On Taxation and Socialism

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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addlepate
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Postby addlepate » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:03 pm

That sounds a lot like, "I want Harlan to be a socialist, but if I called him one he'd chew me out."

I could be wrong, and I say that with all due humility; it sounds like it to me because of the absence of elaboration on your part, or maybe my own knowledge of Harlan's politics is lacking.

For a socialist, he seems a bit on the fence when it comes to the necessity of war. Though, I've never read a bad word about Trotsky in any of his stories although he's been mentioned once or twice if I recall.

Personally, I didn't much care for the socialists I've met throughout my life, but, darn the luck, I just can't find any flaws in dialectical materialism, so I'm stuck. Poo.

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Peggy
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From the dept of what were you expecting....

Postby Peggy » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:36 pm

"Complaints surge as bill collectors get tough

NEW YORK (AP) -- After several years in which Americans were buying stuff on credit they couldn't afford, a rapidly increasing number are complaining about getting harassed and abused by bill collectors"

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/30/debt.c ... index.html

(to be fair, the context of the article is around the growing use of harassment and inappropriate behavior used to collect the debts, but still!)
"And if you're like me, you need hope, coffee and melody..." - Robbie Seay Band, "New Day"

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:24 am

See Peggy, women can get into poltics as much as men. Pretty soon you will be slapping wet towels on our butts.

Gwyneth M905
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Postby Gwyneth M905 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:25 am

Swwisssh Thwack!
Another bar of soap put to good use. Tee hee.
Kiss. :P

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:16 pm

Woohooo

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:32 am

The problem with a word like "socialism" is that it means so many different things that it winds up not meaning anything.

I would prefer a system along the lines of some of the states in Western Europe. But there is a private sphere as well as a public sphere and this applies to the economy as well.

The last thing you want is a Bureau of Lemonade Stands.

addlepate, the problem with "dialectical materialism" is that it is very difficult to distinguish from astrology.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:01 am

I don't understand why the private sphere is so damn important.

We wouldn't control lemonade stands in a socialist world--once again, you are thinking about the Soviet system.

Only McCain thinks like that, Ezra. You can do better.

People run the means of production and control their own work. That is socialism.

addlepate
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Postby addlepate » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:56 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:addlepate, the problem with "dialectical materialism" is that it is very difficult to distinguish from astrology.


The problem with the oft-rerererererepeated objections to dialectical materialism/Marxism, such as yours, is that they depend entirely upon crude insult or s t r e t c c c h h h e d analogy instead of scientific method.
Can't sensibly expect that to soundly disprove that opposites are not interconnected, or that contradiction isn't inherent to all things and processes and that, as a result, everything must always change. I'd love it if you did disprove them, I really would, I could spend a lot less time reading and a lot more time buying new socks. Argyle, if you're curious.

I'd really feel a lot better about life if I could confidently tell everyone else to fuck off and die while I enrich myself to their detriment, but with dialectical materialism being scientifically unchallangeable and hence as certain as anything can be, that would be just terribly short-sighted of me to do.

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:29 am

I don't understand why the private sphere is so damn important.

Yes I know Frank. I am impressed by your honesty. Most partisans of your particular stripe give the concept lip service but don't really understand it either.

A quick smart-assed answer... Go rent or buy this DVD box and watch it over and over until you get it.

http://www.amazon.com/Prisoner-Complete ... 065&sr=1-1

A longer more thoughtful (I hope) answer.

My life is my own. Who gets to define who I am? What obligations do I have? What reponsibilities? The private sphere is the part that belongs to me. The part you can't have or even share unless I invite you in. The part that knows no obligation except one voluntarily accepted.

Everyone draws a line in the sand. This far and no further.

An obvious example for me of the public sphere is healthcare, already mentioned. That one group should be allowed to restrict or even deny health care to another group in order to profit strikes me as foul and outrageous. That the people should use the mechanisms of their government to guarantee an equitable distribution of healthcare resources seems to me both necessary and reasonable.

An example of the private sphere?

The Metro subway system here has decided to insttitute the random searching of bags of customers entering the system, imitating the process already in place in New York after 9/11. The searches are intended to be truly random, every 14th person (for example) at different stations constantly changing.

In my opinion (alas not shared by the courts) this clearly violates the Fourth amendment. The idea that it would intimidate a truly determined terrorist I find absurd. In the absence of a specific threat I find this unnecessary and even offensive.

Now I carry nothing in my bag particularily intertesting to the police. Usually a book, maybe CDs, a notebook. So what's the harm? Yet I suspect I will have surrendered something precious.

The process will begin this week. I must ride the Metro. I may never be picked. If I am I don't know how I will respond.

Did this give you a clue, Frank?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:33 pm

I was thinking more along the lines of "this is what I own, if you don't have anything, then it is your fault. You have to work harder or die."

Douglas Harrison
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Postby Douglas Harrison » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:21 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote:The process will begin this week. I must ride the Metro. I may never be picked. If I am I don't know how I will respond.

Geez, that shit is awful. I don't want to settle for a world with CCTV surveillance on every corner, random security checks, walled borders, GPS you can't turn off or aren't aware of, wiretaps, etc. Why do people fall for this shit when so many struggled for so long to ensure our right to liberty? One can't live without risk.

Goddamn the sensationalism around us and what it's wrought.

D.

cynic
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Postby cynic » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:27 pm

i can't wait for my transponder implant,carrying a wallet is such a bother.

Douglas Harrison
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Postby Douglas Harrison » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:34 pm

cynic wrote:i can't wait for my transponder implant,carrying a wallet is such a bother.

I'm using yours.

mike

cynic
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Postby cynic » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:49 pm

that's cool,i trust YOU.

watch yourself around frank though,i don't want him digging it out for his own use. :shock:

i am no one ...........(no not that one :evil: )

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:44 pm

I've no problem with the private sphere. I just object to rich people expanding their private spheres to the point where there's nothing left for the rest of us. The world is surely a public sphere, no?


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