[FoRK] Notable moments in jbone / FoRK history

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Sat Aug 30 08:56:47 PDT 2008


On Aug 30, 2008, at 8:50 AM, Russell Turpin wrote:

> On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 12:27 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>> "We are all our brothers' keepers."
>> "Mutual responsibility."
>> "A matter of economic fairness."
>> "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
>> Not a lot of ideological distance between these statements.
>
> Yeah, yeah. I'm not particularly interested in parsing the semantics
> between those.

Well, then, you're willfully ignoring the point.

Is he a "Socialist" cap-S?  Probably not, though I'll note that if you  
look at the rare votes that he's cast in his tenure as a US Senator  
that were not just "present" you'll find that he's the only US Senator  
left of Bernie Sanders, the only self-proclaimed cap-S Socialist in  
the US Senate.  Is he a little-s socialist?  Well, I agree that the  
difference between e.g. 39% and 35% top tax rates, or even 15% and 28%  
cap gains rates, doesn't qualify.  By that metric, Clinton would be a  
socialist, and you've never heard me say anything other than generally  
positive things about Clinton, have you?  You certainly haven't heard  
me call him a socialist.

No, the problem is that Obama has clearly *intentionally* done as much  
as possible to avoid establishing a track record about several  
issues.  But if you *do* parse e.g. his statements carefully, you see  
a clear sentiment peeking through that can only be described as little- 
s socialist in general sympathies and direction, if not in practice.   
Is he a Marxist per se?  Clearly not.  Is he that peculiarly American  
strain of redistributionist who's deeply concerned about wealth  
disparity and believes there's no harm in getting the government  
deeply involved in resolving that sort of thing?  Absolutely, he's the  
template for the new wave of that.  You want to quibble about what to  
call that, fine.  My world is "socialist."  What's yours?

jb



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