Politics.

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Which political ideology is closest to your own beliefs?

Communist Utopian
3
20%
Communist/Bolshevik
0
No votes
Socialist
2
13%
Social Democrat
4
27%
Social Conservative
0
No votes
Classical Liberal
1
7%
Fascist
1
7%
Libertarian
2
13%
Apolitical
2
13%
 
Total votes: 15
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Politics.

Postby Chimaera » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:52 pm

So, because I'm bored, and to deprive jelco of an obvious poll topic he should have used a while ago, lets talk politics.

Of course, the main problem with this kind of poll is definitions. There seems to be a political ideology for every person who ever lived, and due to tradition and linguistics, you get confusing situations; for example Britain's Conservative party can hardly be described as conservative, and to be liberal is completely different from being Liberal. Another common problem is that people seem to think there is a line, from left to right, with communism on one end, fascism on the other. Although this is, to a certain extent, a useful visual aid, certain ideologies share the same position on the left-right line, but are fundamentally different. The vertical authoritarian-anarchism line must also be taken into account, to prevent libertarians being labelled as Nazis. So, I will explain each one of the choices given in the poll, and would appreciate if you could write an explanation of your views.

Communist Utopian: Someone who believes than all people are equal, all produce should be shared equally among everyone, and effectively, everything should be under control of the state. Fairness and equality are the main aims of any government that follow this ideology. No governments of this type have ever existed, as, evidently, such a utopian society is impossible to achieve. I would say that philosophers such as Karl Marx are closest to Communist Utopians.

Communist/Bolshevik: People who believe that the perfect society of Communism can only be achieved through viloent struggle against the 'bourgoisie' or middle class capitalists who rule society, and can only introduce the perfect society through dictatorial rule for many years with full-scale collectivism and state control of industry and the media. Often very nationalistic and opposed to the pacifism of Commutopians. Major examples are Lenin, Stalin and Mao (none of the countries who practiced this ideology have ever reached 'Stage 2', in which power actually goes to the people)

Socialist: Still believe in state control of industry to a certain extent, but are more liberal in regard to the free press and a certain amount of private ownership. Closely associated with the trade union movement, who often have massive power in socialist governments. Often pacifist and isolationist. For example, Old Labour in the UK.

Social Democrat: Like socialism, but with no commitment to state ownership of industry, except of schools and hospitals. Usually a bit more interventionist. Often concerned with 'green' issues. For example, the Liberal Democrat party and possibly New Labour.

Social Conservative: Commitment to minimal government control in the economy, sometimes support subsidising education or healthcare, often more interventionist than socialistic ideologies. Against the trade union movement and 'green' issues taking priority over the economy. For example, most of current UK politics, especially the Conservative party and possibly New Labour (see above). Probably the american Democrats.

Classical Liberal: Complete devotion to a pure free market economy, believe that government in itself is only a necessary evil, and should exist only to provide defence and law and order. For example, the Liberals in the UK in the 19th Century, probably the American Republicans, Margaret Thatcher's New Right movement. Usually quite interventionist and hawkish .

Fascist: (I only expect MVPE to pick this option, although he doesn't usually venture here) Complete state control of everything, although the market economy usually remains intact, resulting in a strong economy, like in Nazi Germany. Often subverts cultural myths and mystical traditions to promote the superiority of a single race above all others, and uses this as an excuse to persecute outsiders(althought he Japanese fascist government blamed everyhting on Jews and Freemasons, which seeing as they were a total population of zero and zero, was really quite convienient). Extremely nationalistic and hawkish, often imperialist and expansionist (although some, such as franco's Spain, were very isolationist) For example: Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan 1920s - 1945, Mussolini, Franco, various White and Black Power groups such as the KKK and the Black Panthers etc.

Libertarian: Government is inherently evil and corrupt, individualism and private property are the foundations of freedom. There should be no government and everyone should look after themselves. By definition, no libertarian goverments have been formed.

Apolitical: the equivalent of an atheist. You don't vote in elections or have any interest in politics.
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Postby xander » Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:18 pm

Your definition of communism is inaccurate. Communism, as outlined by Marx and Engles was seen as the inevitable march of history, in which the working class (the Proletariat) violently overthrow those that own the means of production. Thus, from its inception, communism was about violent revolution. However, Marx and Engles thought that after the revolution, a governmentless society would emerge. Thus, an anarchistic utopia, founded on the overthrow of the Bourgeoisie by the Proletariat.

As to Bolshevism, the word "bolshevik" (болшевик) is contrasted to "menshevik" (меншевик). Bolshevik comes from the word for "big," while menshevik comes from the word for "small." The Bolsheviks were the majority communist party at the time of the Revolution, while the Mensheviks were the minority community party. As above, both sought the violent overthrow of the owners of the means of production. The difference being that they applied communist ideals to a non-industrial society. Further, the Bolsheviks felt that state control was needed for a term in order to ease the transition from revolution to utopian anarchy (again, this is the philosophical standpoint, not the reality). This temporary government is really what distinguishes Bolsheviks from Marxist communists, not the violent revolution, which is a part of both.

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Postby jelco » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:19 pm

Chimaera wrote:So, because I'm bored, and to deprive jelco of an obvious poll topic he should have used a while ago, lets talk politics.


First and foremost, I don't have the exclusive right to polls here, and if anyone says so he or she is a moron. I don't know if you meant it like this, but I sort of interpret it this way. Going on: As far as my knowledge of the word Weekly goes, I can only post one poll a week. And considering I've just done a poll on religion, I thought it'd be best to refrain from controversial topics for a while.

Furthermore: I'm sure I would have spent a few days of studying before coming up with a set of options for this subject. I know that you're a Politics student, but your definition of Libertarian should be a little broader. The way you tell it sounds more like anarchism.
Also, an atheist explicitly denies any existence of a supernatural entity, whereas apolitical can also apply to people who maintain political neutrality. The political equivalent of an atheist would be something like an anarchist.
Next to that, a poll option of being unknowledged isn't available. People like myself would need such an option. I wouldn't say I'm oblivious to politics - I certainly keep track of the events - but I know for sure that my knowledge is too limited to formulate a true opinion.

Anyway, I always ask people to contribute to a discussion, instead of purely criticising it. Therefore, here's my thoughts.

As I stated above, I believe my knowledge can't be enough to choose which side I'm on. I tend to more or less agree with all sides, until I hear the arguments from everyone to support their statements. Only then can I decide who I'd agree with, and the party in question constantly changes. Yes, there is some general idea of a party, but to be honest their political statement is a little vague. In the end, I don't think every political party in the modern Western world can be classified as being one of the mentioned options.

Jelco

PS: A tip for polls - especially with such a topic: refrain from using biased words. I'd say it's a bit dangerous to for example call Classical Liberal 'hawkish'. You can avoid arguments if you keep this in mind. :wink:
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Postby zjoere » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:39 pm

the most close to my own political beliefs would be libertarian since i believe in free market and freedom for the people with a very small goverment.

I used to be a fascist, but that was actually more to piss of other people then really believing in it.
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Postby jelco » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:44 pm

zjoere wrote:I used to be a fascist, but that was actually more to piss of other people then really believing in it.


So you didn't used to be a fascist. You used to say you were, while actually being somewhat oblivious to politics. Right? :P

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Postby Xocrates » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:53 pm

Hmmm... It seems I'll need to start a new political movement since I very frankly don't fully agree with any of those while at the same time not being fully apolitical.
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Postby zjoere » Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:10 pm

jelco the galactaboy wrote:
zjoere wrote:I used to be a fascist, but that was actually more to piss of other people then really believing in it.


So you didn't used to be a fascist. You used to say you were, while actually being somewhat oblivious to politics. Right? :P

Jelco


I used to be a fascist except for their economical ideas, didn't like those much, way too commie for me and the killing minorities thing was taking it a bit too far IMO, i was just for discriminating them
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Postby Feud » Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:05 pm

My college major is Political Science, and while it was a nice effort by the author the definitions are fraught with inaccuracies.

So, I will explain my views in my own words rather then the definitions given. I believe the ideal form of government is a religious theocracy, however in the absence of deity to lead such a government I think that a federal republic works best. I would describe myself as a communitarian (similarly to Michael Sandel) and economically I side with Robert Nozick's arguments of capitalism.

As for the distribution of power of government in the federal system I feel that most of it should reside in the local levels, with the national government dealing mainly with international issue, interstate issues, and the protection of the rights of the citizens (i.e., prevention of mob violence and such).
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Postby xander » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:46 pm

Feud wrote:I believe the ideal form of government is a religious theocracy, however in the absence of deity to lead such a government I think that a federal republic works best.

Really? You think that the best possible government would be a theocracy?! Please, tell us more. How on Earth can you assert that a theocracy would be better than anything else?

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Postby KingAl » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:52 pm

I presume he means theocracy directed by God in person, in which case His perfection would presumably lead to everything being just dandy.
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Postby Feud » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:55 pm

xander wrote:
Feud wrote:I believe the ideal form of government is a religious theocracy, however in the absence of deity to lead such a government I think that a federal republic works best.

Really? You think that the best possible government would be a theocracy?! Please, tell us more. How on Earth can you assert that a theocracy would be better than anything else?


Well that view is contingent on deity being here on earth to act as the head of that government (I thought that was implied and would be understood in the statement but it seems I was mistaken). Now, whether one believes in God or not, if there were an all knowing, all powerful, all loving, and perfectly just being in the universe would that being not make a better leader and make better choices than a flawed being?

So long as that being is not here on earth to personally lead us I feel that a federal republic is the next best choice.
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Postby xander » Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:20 pm

Feud wrote:
xander wrote:
Feud wrote:I believe the ideal form of government is a religious theocracy, however in the absence of deity to lead such a government I think that a federal republic works best.

Really? You think that the best possible government would be a theocracy?! Please, tell us more. How on Earth can you assert that a theocracy would be better than anything else?


Well that view is contingent on deity being here on earth to act as the head of that government (I thought that was implied and would be understood in the statement but it seems I was mistaken). Now, whether one believes in God or not, if there were an all knowing, all powerful, all loving, and perfectly just being in the universe would that being not make a better leader and make better choices than a flawed being?

So long as that being is not here on earth to personally lead us I feel that a federal republic is the next best choice.

In other words, you are meaning theocracy to mean something other than the normal definition. Got it. Also, there is no god or goddess that I have ever seen described in any book that I would want to lead my government. They are all capricious, petty, and all too human.

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Postby Feud » Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:30 am

xander wrote:In other words, you are meaning theocracy to mean something other than the normal definition. Got it. Also, there is no god or goddess that I have ever seen described in any book that I would want to lead my government. They are all capricious, petty, and all too human.

xander


Well, the normal definition is a system of government in which God is the leader of the civil government (looking back I realize that I wrote down religious theocracy which is is a superfluous description). This can take several forms (just as a Republic can take many forms, including a bicarmel legislature and a parliament), the two that most people associate is where a priestly class operates as the civil authorities or where a religion as an institution functions as the civil government. However the form I meant was where deity is actually present, and I thought that would be understood from the point concerning the absence of deity.

As for your opinion, that's fine with me. The hypothetical though is a being whom is perfect (in ever way including justice, mercy, love, etc) and is free of any human failings or other imperfections. Until such a being resides on the earth I wouldn't ask or suggest anyone to accept them as their sovereign since I would not do so myself.
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Postby Chimaera » Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:24 am

jelco the galactaboy wrote:
Chimaera wrote:So, because I'm bored, and to deprive jelco of an obvious poll topic he should have used a while ago, lets talk politics.


First and foremost, I don't have the exclusive right to polls here, and if anyone says so he or she is a moron. I don't know if you meant it like this, but I sort of interpret it this way. Going on: As far as my knowledge of the word Weekly goes, I can only post one poll a week. And considering I've just done a poll on religion, I thought it'd be best to refrain from controversial topics for a while.

Furthermore: I'm sure I would have spent a few days of studying before coming up with a set of options for this subject. I know that you're a Politics student, but your definition of Libertarian should be a little broader. The way you tell it sounds more like anarchism.
Also, an atheist explicitly denies any existence of a supernatural entity, whereas apolitical can also apply to people who maintain political neutrality. The political equivalent of an atheist would be something like an anarchist.
Next to that, a poll option of being unknowledged isn't available. People like myself would need such an option. I wouldn't say I'm oblivious to politics - I certainly keep track of the events - but I know for sure that my knowledge is too limited to formulate a true opinion.

Anyway, I always ask people to contribute to a discussion, instead of purely criticising it. Therefore, here's my thoughts.

As I stated above, I believe my knowledge can't be enough to choose which side I'm on. I tend to more or less agree with all sides, until I hear the arguments from everyone to support their statements. Only then can I decide who I'd agree with, and the party in question constantly changes. Yes, there is some general idea of a party, but to be honest their political statement is a little vague. In the end, I don't think every political party in the modern Western world can be classified as being one of the mentioned options.

Jelco

PS: A tip for polls - especially with such a topic: refrain from using biased words. I'd say it's a bit dangerous to for example call Classical Liberal 'hawkish'. You can avoid arguments if you keep this in mind. :wink:


My point concerning you was entirely in jest, indicating that I assumed you planned such a poll in the near future.

As I said in my opening post, definitions is the problem, and I knew that this argument would come up whatever I wrote. The idea was not to identify yourself with a political party, but to point out which one of these fixed points on this fairly broad spectrum I have put together. The descriptions are only meant to be there as a brief description in the build up to some actual (or even wikipedia) research, and were purely from my own understanding of the topics (it appears I was mistaken concerning Marx, but I couldn't think of any other term than Bolshevism to describe how an ideology promoting world peace and fraternity could turn into the platform for the worst homicidal demagogues the world has ever seen - I understand that it is particularly inaccurate to describe Mao in this way, as he had slightly different, but equally repellant ideals.)

As for my choice of vocabulary, it seems that I am the only Classical Liberal in these parts, and have completely failed to insult myself :P . It was just a commentary on the tendency of leaders such as Thatcher and Bush to start wars with people. (nonwithstanding any arguments on the legitimacy of these wars, lets not start that again)
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:13 am

Don't worry Feud, I knew what you meant and agree. :wink:

Also, these discussions remind me of someone who once said "Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
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