Socialism: Change Has to Begin at the Roots by William T. Hathaway

Build a Peace Economy!

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by William T. Hathaway
Writer, Dandelion Salad
August 3, 2013

Terrorists, serial killers, domestic murderers — their ghoulish deeds fill our news and popular entertainment, interspersed with wars, riots, and brutal repressions. Violence surrounds us.

Where does it come from?

The answer propagated by the mass media is that violence is human nature. It’s just the way people are.

This view ignores anthropological evidence about societies that have lived in relative peace, and it also contradicts our knowledge of ourselves as human beings. In certain situations we may feel violent impulses, but we can control them; we know they are only a small part of our make-up.

The Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung denies that human nature condemns us to violence; instead he gives another explanation of its etiology based on three interacting forces: structural, cultural, and direct.

Structural violence is injustice and exploitation built into a social system that generates wealth for the few and poverty for the many, stunting everyone’s ability to develop their full humanity. By privileging some classes, ethnicities, genders, and nationalities over others, it institutionalizes unequal opportunities for education, resources, and respect. Structural violence forms the very basis of capitalism, patriarchy, and any dominator system.

Cultural violence is the prevailing attitudes and beliefs that justify and legitimize the structural violence, making it seem natural. Feelings of superiority/inferiority based on class, race, sex, religion, and nationality are inculcated in us as children and shape our assumptions about us and the world. They convince us this is the way things are and they have to be.

Direct violence — war, murder, rape, assault, verbal attacks — is the kind we physically perceive, but it manifests out of conditions created by the first two invisible forms and can’t be eliminated without eliminating them. Direct violence has its roots in cultural and structural violence; then it feeds back and strengthens them. All three forms interact as a triad. Cultural and structural violence cause direct violence. Direct violence reinforces structural and cultural violence. We are trapped in a vicious cycle that is now threatening to destroy life on earth.

Our society with its fixation on the physical focuses on direct violence and ignores the structural and cultural. Our leaders know that making changes on those levels would threaten their whole system. But as radicals we focus on the structural and cultural because we know that change has to begin at the roots.

Our best chance to break this cycle is through socialism. Economic democracy and social equality will reduce the structural and cultural violence, which will reduce the direct violence. By approaching it from these fundamental levels, socialism can wind down the syndrome of violence. This may not create utopia, but it will create a society vastly better than the one we now suffer under. We really can have peace, but not under capitalism.

William T. Hathaway is an adjunct professor of American studies at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. His latest book, Radical Peace: People Refusing War,  presents the experiences of peace activists who have moved beyond demonstrations and petitions into direct action, defying the government’s laws and impeding its ability to kill. Chapters are posted on a page of the publisher’s website at He is a member of the Freedom Socialist Party, a red feminist organization ( A sample of his writing is available at


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106 thoughts on “Socialism: Change Has to Begin at the Roots by William T. Hathaway

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    • kd , that song that Michel Stipe wrote is a great song , but has nothing to do with religion . he is using that as a metaphor for his struggles in the music world . he finally dropped out completely from playing music years ago or even talking about it and now lives in NYC. in semi — seclusion , only to come out to sing that song with a friend for a special event . again reinforcing his point about the music biz. i know , cause i make a living as a musician and don’t let the biz get its hooks in me .

      i noticed that in one of your earlier comments that you thought that this discussion was about religion. it never has been from my point of view. it is about the connection of spirituality and social justice. One cannot love God without loving those around them, especially those in dire need.

  9. Let me add this, rocket…I have read the Bible more than once (I had Lutheran Catechism as a child, went to the clubs, dances, etc) so I have been that route….The prob. is, I have just thought it over too much and, I wish to hell i could believe that there is some perfect One that is watching us and cares, and knows who cares and who ic a psychopath, but I just cannot….I have tried with some other religious friends, I went to Mass a couple of times with Steve’s daughter…I spent a bunch of time with a friend who had gone to Seminary (he reminded me of Chris Hedges—who I do admire—we called him Mark the Monk–lol although he didnt act like one at all…had a girlfriend, etc) and ppl have tried to comfort me with religious thoughts, faith, etc and it is just not there…anymore

    If it is sometimes in the future, I will be grateful for it, but, as it is, it just goes right through me like a Jew hearing about the Virign Mary (hell I have even spent time talking to my Jewish brother in law—Judaism sounds like a great culture—but it makes no sense to me on a spiritual level) In short , I dont really have any spirituality right now and that is hard—but I cant “fake it until I make it) it is like a love affair that is dead..

    • kd- thank you for your honesty . i was talking to a friend of mine last night who feels the same way . coming to a ”dead stop ” is a good thing . if anything is going to happen , rest assure it wont be you contriving it . it is the Good Shepherd’s responsibility to bring you to that life . ”Blessed are the poor in spirit , for theirs is the kingdom of heaven ”. all the best . LOL .

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  11. I have always thought that Lance Selfa (who wrote a critique of Democratic Socialism) and Alex Colinicos had it about right…”Against the Third Way”–he argues that social democracy cant stand on its own when combined with global Capitalism…and I think (not sure) that the prob the EU is having are proving him right…not that I want to see it fall apart (hell I have family there) but, it doesnt look good..that doesnt mean the US couldnt try it…but we need numbers

    • Kdelphi — Micheal Harrington who ran for president for the DS party makes a very compelling case that it can work in America because of the wealth and resources we have here . they just need to be redirected .
      Actually so did Ralph Nader . Nader said that it can work without raising a penny in taxes. Nader view that if we cut corporate fraud , waste , and abuse , and prosecute those who perpetuate it , than as Senator Fullbright said ”a billion here and a billion there starts to add up ”.

      • Do you have anything from Michael Harrington? I was a member of DSA for awhile….but they wanted gradual reform and every time I brought up Marx or Mao or Bolivar, they would just say that that was “vanguardism” or “statism”. Like I say, I like Nader (even voted for him once) but I just dont think that the office of the presidency can make the change we need…neither would “getting more liberals in Congress”. I support that, as far as it goes, but, it only goes so far…like, when I thought Sherrod Brown was going to lose to a punk named Josh Mandel, I “became a Democrat” again…I went door to door and even sent him some $$…but, that was more a matter of thinking how horrible the alternative would be….and, you have to admit, that gets old (well, you know about that) (this guy was REALLY bad…he will prob be a Tea Party star soon)

        The ACA (affordable care act) is a perfect example of what gradual reform can (and cannot) do and, already, the Dems are starting to cave and are letting them chop it up. Not one damn thing in that bill helps anyone I know. And it is that way over and over again, just fighting to keep ppl out that I know are terrible…feels pretty futile..

        Here is an example of what it takes to get me to the polls…

      • I read that book “The Lesser Evil” by Camejo (and Harrington) and others…it seemed to make sense at the time…but it wasnt recently–I googled his books and noticed that one, that i had read it

        • kd – in regards to your comment on state socialism verses international socialism , and also on Chomsky , let me say this — first on Chomsky must understand that he is an Anarchist . There are 6 schools of Anarchism historically . Chomsky straddles the fence with a hybrid of all six .

          Marxism does not allow for volunterism or dissent . Everything is state controlled . no room to breathe . another ”ism ” . where is the individual in all of this ? ask Neitzche and Kierkegaard .

          i contend that socialism that is restricted to one state gives room to breathe , and if someone does not like it , then they can move .

        • and ..i also said that the nation state like the city state ( Polis ) before it is the bulwark against Empire . your point below abolut capitalism finding a way to creep into that state has some value . that is why the people of that state ( nation or whatever ) must be VIGILANT ! notice i said the people must be VIGILANT . the people are the leaders , if this thing is gonna work .
          Marx was dead set against that . so was Lenin . and so was Stalin , Mao, and Pol Pot .

          the Anarchist are important in this mix , even though groups like Black Block have give it a bad name .

        • Rocket—can you tell me, though, what the hell this means? Not in a way I would believe, I suspect…A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of ‘in vain’ is the nihilists’ pathos — at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists.
          —Friedrich Nietzsche, KSA 12:9 [60], taken from The Will to Power, section 585, translated by Walter Kaufmann

          Kierkegaard, to be honest (as I realize I am talking to a Christian here) has way too much god in him to suit me…

          I thought Black Bloc (who only destroyed property, which is not morally reprehensible to me or many others) gave Occupy the kick they needed…too bad the protesters turned against them. It gave “which side are you on” a whole new meaning 😉

          I will have to take your word for it on Pol Pot and Stalin…but you still havent told me (maybe the posts arent in order) what you mean by volunteerism…if you mean Yankee volunteerism as in charity, I am dead set against it too. But I suspect that you dont…

          In cse you think I am not listening or tsaking your seriously, I have ordered these books from Amazon (I have to buy cheap) in the past two days: “The God that Failed” “True Believer”, “Socialism” by Michael Harrington (I have read The Lesser Evil by him and, Socialism, but , a long time ago and I cannot seem to find it…I think it was used as a textbook by my sister?? )

        • “if they dont like it, they can move”?? I wlll have to think about the rest of it, but that suggestion really goes beyond the pale…sounds like every Ayn Randian I have heard from..I am sure that you are not that, and that you have considered why ppl dont “just move”

        • kd — in regards to the Nietzsche quote translated from Kaufman …. Nietzsche is pointing out that one cannot posit a negative like the Nihilist do . It makes no sense .

          better to start with ”Birth of Tragedy ” if you are gonna read him direct. One of the Greatest minds of all time. Very hard to pin this guy down ,. His critique of Marx is deadly ! for him it is just another religion like Christendom . it perpetuates like Christendom what he calls ”the herd mentality ”.

        • makes no sense , to complain about marxism being just like a religion unless you are anti religion

          Thank you for that on the Neitzche quote

          I dont read Neitzche anymore. I just dont find it interesting…I had to read it in school and now I dont really like it. I would like to read his criticism of Marx, though, if you know where it is..I have plenty of criticisms of Marx–enough that I dont call myself a Marxist. But, overall, I think he had it right, for the time he lived in, and, much of it can be translated for now. The prob is that the “alternatives” ppl give usually turn out not to be alternatives or you can watch the news and see them collapse..

        • kd — i would google that in as far as N criticizing Marx . actually some of it Marx agreed with . N got himself in big trouble because of his first book by stating that the Greeks were irrational . i just finished Dodd’s book call”The Greeks and the Irrational ”.

          again, Nietzsche got it right , and was glad that they were irrational , because that is where the action is .

  12. I can say (on Ron Paul) that I totally disagree with his interpretation of the Constitution (not really impt. cause we need to write a new one, by The People)…on gun rights, health care, “free mkts” (which do not exist) , school “choice”, and leaving everything up to charity…I dont give a damn if gays (or straights) get married and I think that “states’ rights” is a good way to lose your rights to the majority in your state if you happen to disagree… Jefferson said (since he is quoted so much , despite his being totally amoral) “this earth is for us, the living”–he believed we should amend and change the constitution at least once every generation….The JOhn Birch society is a racist organization, no matter what Paul said there…sure, he is anti-war but I have come to believe that the main reason is the COST–ge is so obsessed with “deficits” and “inflation”..and I cannot stand Hayek…or Von Mises…the Austrian School has, apparently never been to Austria and anything by those guys reads like a religion for top it off, everyone knows that “Rand” was named after Ayn, who Paul seems to have had a quasi religious relationship wit hher…the Daily Paul (unbelievably arrogant to call it that) calls for “Peace. Gold. Liberty” why in hell is gold in there? Makes no sense to place an object in there with two “concepts” I am sorry I just do not get him and I prob never will, butthanks for patient reading, shouldve waited till i was less sick, but here it is

    • Kdelphi –hope you feel better.

      To the matter at hand: the goal of the 2 party dictatorship is to conquer and divide so they put out propaganda and lots of it. We must cross the left/right divide and make ”Broad based Coalitions” with those who are in dissent with the tecknikon surveillance American Empire. it is not about agreeing on every issue. it is about results.

      Ron Paul was THE only one running for president speaking out against the NDAA! he was the only one speaking about dissolving the CIA. he also said that this government needs to get out of the business of marriage. He was the rare man who would work with Progressive Dennis Kucinich to audit the federal reserve and sue the Obama administration for the illegal bombing of Libya.

      If you have no interest in these issues then he has nothing for you. Look who is left to carry the torch since Paul/Kucinich … Rand Paul and socialist Bernie Sanders. They are both senators. they both work together on dissent against the Empire. they both filibuster. the reason why Ralph Nader has been soooooooo effective all these years is because he knows how to work with grassroots authentic conservatives.

      • Kd –as i have stated below — google in the website called ”the punk patriot”. and ron paul’s name. it shows how from a progressive viewpoint that the dems and repubs have put out propaganda on him that is not true . why? because he is a threat! it is imperative to KNOW the facts.

        the major corporations tried to lie and frame Nader, and it back fired.

        Nader was able to build broad based coalitions when the state of Conn. tried to with tax payers money buy the football team the New England Patriots. Nader organized leftist Green party people, and right wing anti-tax conservatives, and Connecticut stockbrokers. and that coalition stopped them. they said –you want a football team, buy it with your own money, not the states’. state money is for real human needs. AMEN!

        • I read the article and responded to it. I am pretty sure that we hold completely diff world views, so there is not much point in debating…I would never, ever support Paul any more than you would Bernie Sanders (well, maybe you would) I respect Nader, but I am not a “Green” and dont subscribe to the notion that “green is the new red”.

          The article actually confirmed for me some things I worried about with Paul, so I guess I should be grateful.

          I dont see any coming together of “two sides” and I would rather be on neither “side”—the parties are duopolies –but supporting a GOP candidate is surely not the answer for me…Socialism has barely begun…there are the Bolivarians, many protesting in the streets of Europe, and the misery that is now Russia, with all that private investment that was supposed to make them so happy.

          China is fascist, but only since they turned to Capitalist principles and neoliberalism, courtesy of war criminal Kissinger. Whatever one thinks about it, the Chinese managed economy is sure kicking our capitalist ass. It is not Socialist nor Communist, and anyone who thinks that that is what Socialism is, just doesnt know what they are talking about…I* will give Paul credit where it is due…he sometimes stands in opposition to GOP, but, that is fine with them, as long as he doesnt threaten their power base and most “libertarians” can be convinced to support Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, no matter how diff they are from what the people believe…I’ve grown pretty tired of settling for less and just dont see the point of voting for anyone in either party (locally it is a little different)

          I am not under any illusions that someone like Kucinich can step over the line and not get kicked in the gut. But Kucinich, Paul and Sanders are never, ever, ever going to be POTUS…so , if i CAN put in any efforts, they wil be towards overthrowing the present govt…it is true that there are not the numbers for that yet, but, give the former middle class a couple more year of poverty…that should do it! 😉 Congrats, Capitalists–and thank you (just kidding, of course)

        • as i said, rocket might support sanders…i prob would not…i like him, but, just electing him to presidency would not change much…the person is a slave to the office/system now and while it looks like they have a lot of power, I am not buying it anymore…control over military and spying is about it.

        • Very interesting piece, Rocket! I think you are talking about Social Democracy or Democratic Socialism, which is, indeed the Scandanavian system (although since it is still Capitalist, they are now under “austerity” and busy cutting social needs…if you leave the Capitalism intact, it will eat you alive…I just dont think it lasts very long, but I guess we will see about that.

          I just ordered The God that Failed from Amazon and I will take a look at other ones you suggested…I would agree with you, in theory. But how it works in reality is the proof of it. And, I see it falling apart (the EU wll not survive.).I am a Europhile, but, Europe has been trying to impress unity for centuries and it just hasnt worked..I think the countries are better off not buying into an economic system that fails over and over…thanks ds for linking the article by rocket….sorry, I didnt mean to be assumptive..

          If Germany succeeds in imposing austerity on the other EU countries, the falling apart (as it does so often in these same countries) could be very violent indeed…fascist groups are springing up in Greece, Italy although they always had large groups of fascists. The EU standard of living has been the highest in the world and I just cannot imagine their response to poverty…i know what it was in the past…

          I truly wish Putin and Obama would top trying to incite the Cold War for popularity and propaganda purposes–half of Russia hates his guts and about half USAns hate our own system…US/Russians are natural allies and would excellent comrades! Then, we get rid of the nation state 😉 ?

        • This is what a Swede is saying is going on in Sweden, now: (and my uncle says, Denmark is the same) True, its from a Chinese paper, but…ppl living there confirm it…I have even less reason to believe that gains would not be overturned in US

        • kd– thank you for your kind words about my article on Socialism . it must be made clear that i am not an international socialist nor do i believe in the International that Marx kicked the Anarchists out of . there should be room for Anarcho-syndicalist communitys and volunteerism that Chomsky so effectively documents ( Mexico and Spain ) .

          why i am not an internationalist socialist is because i see the nation state as the last bulwark against the WTO , IMF , and the whole notion of the new world order and Empires.

          i will state that i agree with you 100 per cent about the EU . i think that it was the only thing that Maggie Thatcher ever did right when in office was not to allow England into the EU .

        • I agree, except on the fine point–I dont see how socialism can survive in one nation….Capitalist countries would do anything they could to bring it down..(and they did) I am not sure what Chomsky means by volunteerism” (he is one writer and speaker that I feel like the total lone ranger on..I keep trying to be impressed because everyone else is…but I stopped reading Chomsky when I realized that, every time his back was against the wall, he would do absolutely anything to avoid saying that he believed in Socialism

          The best reading I have done lately is mostly by ppl that hardly anyone knows or has heard of.

    • kd –when reading Marx one must understand his writings in the century that it was written . the 19th century was the utopian century that everyone and his brother and sister were seeking to come up with some ideology that would correct the driving force of history .

      the 2 defectors to this mindset were Soren Kierkegaard the existentialist christian genius rebel , and Frederick Neitzche the brilliant aphorist Atheist rebel . they were both saying that existence itself is related to the category of being an individual and not axioms or systems. nor matter what ”ism ” was floating around at that time –feminism , capitalism , utilitarianism , vitalism , pragmatism , Marxism , etc…… the individual ends up basically falling between the cracks , hence massification overwhelms the individual . not good . ergo–the Orwellian nightmare of conformity ensues.

        • well, this wont be pop. here, but i tend to think anyone who is educated and still as religious as he was, is kind of silly –I dont think he felt that morality was possible without chritendom–I will watch that link later…thanks

        • kd — my lecture last year was called ”Soren Kierkegaard’s influence on modern Atheism”. Kierkegaard was not religious, he was a christian . he hated Christendom and wrote the most scathing critique ever on the subject called ”Attack on Christendom ”.

          there is a world of difference between being a real christian and mere religion as such christian geniuses like Pascal , Kierkegaard , Tolstoy , Dostoyevsky, Simone Weil , Augustine , Bach , Isaac Newton , and many other devout real believers thru history at the top of their field goes.

          so one can invert the question : how can someone be intelligent and not be a christian?

        • THAT is the prob with religion for me…Newton was a Christian? Tolstoy? you are really stretching the definition here, my friend

          I think most ppl would disagree that Kierkagaard wasnt “religious”…come like him because her verifies the beliefs that you already have…

          I am not a “professional atheist” which is what I consider the late Hitchens, Harris, Maher and others to be..seems to be an excuse to do whatever the hell they want….I think Hitchens was an intelligent psychopath..I reject the idea that intelligence is involved in “belief”–I think that they are completely different animals

        • in reponse to your comment on Newton and Tolstoy . Yes , they were both believers. Newton wrote more about Christ then science.look it up . fact. Tolstoy had a late conversion in life and like st. Francis left it all . but first he wrote his 2 last books ”The Kingdom of God is within you” , and ”Resurrection”.

          concerning Kierkegaard–HE WAS NOT RELIGIOUS ! i have studied him for 30 years. his attack on Christendom and the church of Denmark was vicious .

          i don’t read him because he agrees with me. many atheist like Sartre, Camus, and Heidegger read him and he was their number 1 influence post ww2. i read him because he disturbs me. he never said a person could be moral without christ. he thinks that a person cant be moral with Christ. He states that all Ethics and morality is suspended when one becomes a follower.

        • I know that Tolstoy “converted”, after obvious senility…so what? I am not going to “look up” Isaac Newton, but I think you are about the only one in the world that thinks he was a “True Believer” (which applies to religion, in my book, as much as to political persuasions) Newton thought that worshipping Christ as divine was idolatry

          Kierkegaard (for those who dont wish to spend yrs studying him) is listed as a religious scholar by everyone but you..he may have criticized, but he felt that christianity was the basis of all morality

          You are obviously much more interested in these philosophers than I am…I am just not willing to spend a lot of tim,e reading these guys again…I came to detest, esp Sartre and Neitzche in college, because I was forced to read them…as a way to spend leisure time, I find them a real snoozerama

        • kd- what do i propose we do ? well , first off after you watch my synopsis of Kierkegaard , i state at the end what we should do …..move away from rationalism cause it is getting us tied up into knots.

          what i do as christian practitioner is feed the poor , work for prison reform , volunteer at homeless shelters , keep the earth clean and green cause its the only one we got . try my best to cut thru this fog of propaganda that says that following christ is religion , because it is the exact opposite.

          and to clear things up Soren Kierkegaard thought that the enemy of true spirituality was morals . one cannot be moral and follow christ . that is why he divides his spheres of existence between 1. aesthetics 2. ethics . transcendence .

        • Ethics verses Transcendence . never the twain shall meet. Never. Oscar Wilde said ” Morality is something we invent to use on people we dont like ”. Moralizing is anti-Christ . There was nothing ethical ( in man’s definition ) of Abraham walking up mount moriah to offer up his son isaac. it transcends thought , rational , morals , etc. even Shakespeare could not write about him .

          so what do we do — we leap ! we take that leap of faith and starting getting serious with our maker , and that will get us more serious about loving each other . love is , and always will be the answer .

        • kd– you said that you dont get how someone can be educated and be ”religious”. well, what do you think of Martin Luther King? or Gandhi? or Bhatsi Khan? or Dorothy Day? or Daniel Barrigan? or Flannery O’conner? or countless others who have changed our world for the better and have been very very educated and also what you might call religious. what about them?

          BTW — there was no proof that Tolstoy was senile after his conversion. can a man of senility write those last 2 books about God? he is the founder of Christian Anarchism.

        • of course you can name “christians” (esp. in the distant past…) who I can respect….I respect some christians today…this has really turned into a “religious” argument, which I have no desire to participate in…

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  14. Socialism wants to end capitalism? I think it is the other way ’round. Why not ask the Scandinavian countries, what they think about social democracy while sporting one of the highest living standards. What is wrong with everyone being fairly well-off? The problem is greed: blinding and brain atrophying.

    • I lived in Denmark for 6 mos (My father is from there) so I know all about Scandanavia’s social democracy–its great, as far as it goes…but, look at it now (my uncle says its a mess), they are implementing austerity, his kids cant find jobs or a place to live…the problem with “reformism” is that Capitalists just begin to attack reform and regulation almost as soon as it begins…unless the state has been overthrown and is run by the true majority (the proletariat) it iwll fall back to “rich/poor”–sure they still have it better than we do, and, I like Bernie Sanders a lot. I am just a Marxist…I love Denmark, BTW, and hate what EU is doing to it

      • K — you may want to check out “The god that failed”, a book written by a lot of former brilliant Marxists . Another one that goes along with that is ”the other god that failed” about former fascists . it seems that there really is no one panacea or form of government that can really change the human person in our de profundus . that is why i go with the things that are spiritual . they seem to get to the root . we have met the enemy and it is us .

        • Rocket you are so right, yet the message still gets confused by those who advocate a perversion of Islam for political ends. We can track right back to T E Lawrence and the British betrayal.

          Greater Jihad is spiritual battle, the discipline of the soul. The Islamist rot is due to reactionary forces who are corrupting the spirit by misrepresenting it. The scholars are ignored, the saints denigrated, the lunatics, dupes and poseurs are promoted ~ by whom? Cui bono?

        • I have read the aricle you referred me to, as well as the original article…(the “anti Paul one) turns out i really am sick (massive infection) so it will be awhile before I can respond,,,,but I am reading philosophies, taking notes notes, etd,,,I WILL get back to you…I see things I like about Paul and things I dont….but thanks 8, k wish you all the best if do not hear rom you again

        • I’m so sorry that you are so ill. Make sure you eat some yogurt if you are going to be on antibiotics for the infection. Unless you are vegan, in that case you may have to choose another probiotic to take.

          I don’t think Paul will be running again.

          Even though I disagreed with Paul’s domestic agenda and economic views, his views on restoring our civil liberties, returning the soldiers from all the overseas military bases (800+), etc were extremely important to me.

          How can we have a future Socialist country if we have a police state? We must end the police state that we live under first, in my opinion.

          To do this, the far left and the Libertarians must unite. If anything “good” has happened with the public knowledge of the NSA spying is that both the far left and Libertarians agree that this must end. The broad-based coalitions have begun with the Restore the 4th movement.

        • I agree with that last statement ds….i wish i felt better, i really did find that article fascinating…but it has to wait–but, true, if we don’t defend our rights together, we won’t have any to defend in the future

        • I guess we disagree as to what the “nature of man” truly is…I think that “man/womans'” spirit need only be released from the boundaries of consumerist society to fully blossom….Marxist is not the”opposite” of fascism. It is not really a “continuum” at all. There are also many forms of Socialism, Communism, Social Democracy etc

  15. I know that you didnt say that Paul couldnt win, but what do you say about his stance on the right to health care? (or govt intervention when it comes to racial policies, or corporate regulation, etc)

  16. Like when Sherrod Brown was challenged by an absolutely horrible Tea Partier (Josh Mandel), I went to work for Brown….fortunately, wouldnt have had to lol…ppl were smart enuf to see it, but cant count on that in this city

  17. True…Obama is a corporatist..i have done my time “working for campaigns”..if it was going to change anything, it would have within 25 yrs…

  18. BTW–Nader (while I like him) is in no way a “socialist”, neither in Glenn Greenwald or Jeremy Scahill (although they both spoke at a “socialist convention” last month….sorry to say (as I know your response) that social democracy may be a way of “regulating capitalism” but true socialism wants to end capitalism, thinks its time is past….(sorry so few caps , my hands are so sore)

  19. I am not sure “Ron Paul” is your best bet to entice socialists…in fact, I am SURE he is not….let him retire…he has too many skeletons in his closet, for most socialists…but, you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess

    • To clarify, we are talking about broad-based coalitions including Libertarians and Socialists and others in the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012.

      I agree with you that Ron Paul is not the best choice for Socialists. However, in the last pres. election in the Republican primary election, Ron Paul was the best choice.

      In the Nov. presidential election 2012, many of the third party candidates were not on many states’ ballots. So, we had to choose from those who were on the ballot in our state.

      Voting third party is at the moment a political statement; a protest vote against the 2-party system.

      • well, the alternative is to overthrow the system…but i suspect libertarians just want a more “constitutional originalist” form of capitalism….true socialists could never vote for paul (either one), although, yes, he was the “best GOP”

        • Kdelphi, you are focusing on the differences. Broad-based coalitions focus on the similarities.

          One of most important issues of our day is the erosion of our civil liberties. Both the Socialists and Libertarians agree with this.

        • yes, there is that…but i have tried to work with ppl who called themselves libertarians and i have ended up shouting or crying….i am not the one to work with them, if it is true that socialists should

        • K — the importance of Ron Paul is that he is the only candidate that came out to end the CIA once and for all . that would be the start of the end of the entire system in spying here , and in causing wars overseas . also , working with Kucinich for the audit of the federal reserve , and working with Nader on electoral reform .

          the Ron Paul revolution is important ! Ron Paul is to the Republicans what Eugene Debs was to the Dems . His effect has yet to be seen . But it will be . If Jesse Venura runs in 2016 –Independent , i think that this country might just be ready for him .

        • I will give him that….I had some really bad experiences with Paul supporters at Occupy….I know they dont represent all of them, but, I have to say, Ventura is not for me, either….I know that what I want is not possible within USs’ electoral system, so I just stopped participating (at the natl level) I belong somewhere else, I guess, but I am a Marxist, plain and simple, and, I dont really trust any other way…but thanks for response 😉 Hell, I MIGHT vote for Ventura, if he said the right things

        • K — good to be honest . i take the middle way of socialism because i see what i call the 2 C’S to be failures –Capitalism and Communism.

          my problem with Marx is that he thinks that consciousness can evolve thru social engineering , where as i believe that it evolves from within each individual person . i find his approach brilliant but as flaw as the capitalists because it massifies the human person , and is against volunteerism.

        • rocket..i would have to agree that Marx is flawed (isnt everyone?) but I see his “massing” of peopel as the antidote to the hyper-individualism of western style capitalism and so-called “democracy”

  20. Pingback: Socialism: Change Has to Begin at the Roots | Just The Messenger

  21. Socialism would be a complete erosion of the U.S. Constitution. The constitution calls for a limited government as our founding fathers were fighting a government with limitless control. They taxed the people within the colonies without giving them representation.

    I am not in complete disagreement with your views. We have our differences (I see the plus’s of capitalism, and you see the plus’s of socialism), but we do agree on some issues. IE: Our current president is destroying America, agreed. Corporations should not control the government, agreed. The point that I have to disagree is to give complete control to either. Democracy is my favorite form of government because it gives the power to the people.

    The way that our government is currently being run and has been run for quite some time is a perversion of it’s original intent. I think that we can both agree on that.

    P.S. I stand corrected on calling Obamacare socialist. I only said that because of the government’s complete control over our investment in their health insurance plans, which I do not agree with.

    • Chris –There is a very good dialogue that courses the left /right divide between ralph nader (progressive constitutionalist) and Ron Paul (conservative constitutionalist). We have more in common than not. i voted for Nader for president in 2000, 2004, 2008, and i voted for Ron Paul for president in the primary election 2012.

      i am a progressive constitutionalist –socialist with strong libertarian leanings . there is no reason why any American should go hungry , homeless , and without medicine . it is a mockery to ”life , liberty and pursuit of happiness”. Obama’s health care makes a mockery of that by dangling this carrot … millions go without and are being spied upon .

      the Nader/Paul dialogue can be found on youtube . so can the Buchanan / Nader one be too.

      • Fascism was a type of government created from socialism using a militaristic leadership with a capitalist veneer. They didn’t use corporations as you would think, they controlled their production of products and also controlled pricing. They believed in national and racial superiority. To say that they were capitalist would be a mistake. I am a capitalist in many ways but I am not like Adolf Hitler in any way.

        Government + Corporations= Democracy

        Also compensation is not always monetary. Fame can also be compensation, look at blogs, everyone want validation (likes, visits, comments). Firefox is famous and Linux (which I have a computer that runs it) is not as widely used as OS’s that are made for profit such as Windows and Apple OS. This is because of the technological advances that come with these OS’s. I wouldn’t be able to open source cars for example due to cost of materials and manufacturing. The U.S.S.R. produced cars but they weren’t desirable and were not widely available.

        Ron Paul is libertarian which is the exact opposite of socialist. He is a strong supporter of the free-market (Corporations).

        • Look deeper into Ron Paul . he is against the NDAA, CIA, FBI , federal reserve , wars , abortion , the death penalty , the list goes on and on and on . put that man in the white house !

        • he is also against my life…he doesnt believe i deserve med care, because i cannot pay for it, thru no fault of my own..if i die, he says it is a “testament to the countrys’ liberty” in the hell could i vote for someone like that??


          this list is long , and it would stop and put an end to the American Empire. finito. the end !

          Ron Paul made it clear that he resents the fact that people twist his words and think that he is not a compassionate man . he is right . both partys know how much of a threat his run was , and his revolution is . Because it would end their tyranny .

          the punk patriot website has a response to the lies about ron paul blow by blow. i am a socialist who wants an end to Imperial America . the true Libertarians want an end to it too.


          I respect that, but what in the world makes you think that, even if Paul were president, that he could implement these changes? And, would I care, if my med treatment was cut off and I couldn’t survive? Maybe it would be worth it…but I have never figured out how Libertarians think they will implement closing all these govt agencies with just the White House…most USAns don’t want to end those programs, hell, half of them work for one of them or are afraid to see them close..I agree with all you have said, as well as ending NATO….but no single president could do it within the system as it is…IMHO 😉

  22. I would have to disagree with you on the idea that socialism is the answer. Many societies have believed that socialism was the answer in the past only to have it become a dictatorship. True socialism is an idea that everyone would be treated equal under the government, the problem is the factor of greed. Governments have always fought to extend its power over the people but when the power is given the people are the ones that suffer. Government officials will always take more for themselves. Even in the most recent socialist move of the U.S. government, know as the PPACA or Obamacare, Congress has passed legislation stating that they are exempt from participating. This has made a different social inequality, those with political influence and those without.

    Also the idea that everyone should be compensated equally will completely negate the need for hard work. No one will work hard if they are not compensated for these actions. All the innovations that have created in recent history (automobiles, trains, steel, planes, computers, etc), have been made because one person believed that hard work would lead to a better life. Without compensation these inventors would have no reason to create today’s technology and our entire way of life would not have existed.

    • Do you use Firefox or other open-source software? There are many, many people sharing their work via the Internet through open-source. Check it out, if you are not familiar with it.

      Compensation is NOT the overriding motivation for many inventors.

      Obamacare is NOT Socialized medicine. In fact, it is a corporate welfare program that makes people purchase from a for-profit insurance company/corporation.

      Many countries in South America are socialist without dictatorships. Most of Europe has some socialism, too.

      I highly recommend watching this interview:

    • Obama has never been a Socialist. He speaks of helping those marginalized on society while hanging out with his rich friends at Martha’s Vineyard. His trip to Africa cost the taxpayer millions. He is a typical capitalist who is eroding our constitution, making war, and gloating all the way to the bank.

      you talk about the need for hard work. the people that are doing the hard work are those who have been in the resistance movement against this president since the day he took office . You want to do hard work christopher? join the resistance ! Done wait for the half and hour pizza delivery man. Take time out of your day to sign petitions, protest (peaceable redress of grievances) work on campaigns for those who stand for liberty and real justice…social justice.

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