America’s secret weapon

“Putting people first has always been America’s secret weapon. It’s the way we’ve kept the spirit of our revolutions alive a spirit that drives us to dream and dare, and take great risks for a greater good”

— Ronald Reagan.

 

 

Both political parties are elected to represent their constituents. These constituents are people not business entities.  Entities cannot vote.  Its time for our politicians to put their party philosophies in their pocket and represent the people who elected them. Not just the people who represent businesses.

Its time for the people (voting people)  to start voting in the best interest of all of us, not just because of a political party philosophy or affiliation. No one can know who a voter actually voted for. There is no reason to vote for people who are not going to represent us.

I don’t know about you but I guess I don’t exactly know why the Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on what is good for this country and what is not. I have written past articles about things that hint at the reasons why but these things don’t really seem to get to the core of the issue.

One of the things I wrote about is related to contributions made by financial institutions to politicians in service and politicians seeking office. It has been my belief that our representatives are subjected to the wishes of their contributors but I found that the same contributors were handing out large amounts of cash to both Republicans and Democrats. That would lead a reasonable person to assume that these politicians would unite behind a common cause (Their pocket books). But it seems they cannot. Maybe there is more to it and maybe not.

Sometimes I really do not see the philosophical difference in the two parties. I do however see a difference in the candidates.

Democrats are described as liberals and Republicans are described as conservatives. What do these terms really mean and more important do policy and legal governmental decisions favor party platforms and preempt what is good for this country?  There are subtle differences between the Democrats and Republicans that go as far back as the initial immigration of British citizens to America. It appears that these differences are alive and well in our two party system today.

I’m providing the following information in as much of an unbiased impartial way as is possible for me. My intent is to provide documented historical information for you in the hope that you will use this information to assist you in understanding why our politicians do what they do. You will see how its possible that the difference in party philosophies can prevent mutual agreements between the Democrats and Republicans.

It will become obvious that although the individual party philosophies are admirable and have good intentions the politicians dedication to their respective party is preventing co-operation at the expense of the common good.

As our economic situation continues to degenerate I decided to do a little basic research on what political liberalism and conservatism is if that’s even possible to define.

These definitions are found in Wikipeda and the Wikipedia people do not allow articles on their site that are not credible and are constantly updated.  I decided to hang my hat on Wikipedia. These Wikipedia articles all have links and I encourage you to go the ones of interest to you. There is no advertising here.

Where did the term political conservative originate?

American Revolution

American conservatives today strongly admire the Founding Fathers, and demand a return to their values. Historians have given considerable attention to the values of the Founding Fathers, and to conservatism in America at the time of the Revolution. By the 1750s and 1760s some colonial institutions had conservative aspects. These included political power held by small elites, established churches in half the colonies,[31] entailed property rights in Virginia, large landholdings operated by riotous tenants in New York, and slavery in every colony. Although the colonists lived under the freest government in the European world,[32] they were fiercely determined to protect and preserve their historic rights. By the 1750s most Americans owned property and could vote in elections that controlled local government. Local and colonial taxes were low, and imperial taxes were few.[33][34][35][36]

By the 1770s there was a large element tied to the British Empire, including wealthy merchants involved in international trade, and royal officials and patronage holders. Most of these conservative elites and their followers who remained loyal to the Crown are called Loyalists or “Tories”. The Loyalists were “conservatives” in that they tried to preserve the status quo of Empire against revolutionary change. Their leaders were men of wealth and property who loved order, respected their betters, looked down on their inferiors, and feared democratic rule by the rabble at home more than rule by a distant aristocracy. When it came to a choice between protecting their historic rights as Americans or remaining loyal to the King, they chose King and Empire.[37][38]

So Republicans were initially known as “Loyalists”

Democrats are known today as liberals. Where and what does that mean? I found that the Democratic parties philosophy was more difficult to define. As you will read below the original name of the Democratic party was the “Republican Party” and later changed to “Democratic-Republican party” and even later changed to just plain “Democratic Party” by Andrew Jackson.

The Democratic Party is one of the oldest political parties in the world. Most historians agree that it first became a party with the Democratic-Republican Party created by Thomas Jefferson in the 1790s. The other political party in the USA then was called the Federalists, created by Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson first called his party the Republican Party because it believed the USA should be a republic instead of a direct democracy. The name of the party was changed to Democratic-Republican in 1798.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected President. He was a new kind of politician who got support from many different kinds of people, especially poor and working people in the country, rather than just from rich people in the city. He changed his party’s name to the Democratic Party, because he believed in democracy. He is called the first President of the United States from the modern Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party at that time stood on a platform that government should be limited. Many Democrats supported expansion, opposed the federal government interfering with state governments, and opposed a national bank, like Jackson did.

During the Civil War, some members of the Democratic Party supported the Confederate States of America, but many others in the party did not. This led to a weak and confused party that lost many elections after the war was over. After the Civil War, the Republicans dominated the government (most of the time), until 1933.

So in summary the initial Republican/Loyalists were comprised of wealthy merchants, men of wealth and property who believed in social order, respected the hierarchy and looked down on their inferiors. When push came to shove during the American Revolution these men remained loyal to the King of England.

In contrast many in the Democratic party initially believed the new American country should be a Republic and not one of Democracy.  The Democrats were supported initially by poor working people and although they believed in expansion they thought the role of the Federal government should be limited and opposed the formation of a National Bank.

Now we understand the basic crude basic beginning of our two largest political organizations.  How did these two parties evolve over the generations into what they are today?

Tax policy

Russell Kirk

While Republicans in Washington were tweaking the New Deal, the most critical opposition to liberalism came from writers. Russell Kirk (1918–1994) claimed that both classical and modern liberalism placed too much emphasis on economic issues and failed to address man’s spiritual nature, and called for a plan of action for a conservative political movement. He said that conservative leaders should appeal to farmers, small towns, the churches, and others.[111] This target group is similar to the core constituency of the British Conservative Party.

Kirk adamantly opposed libertarian ideas, which he saw as a threat to true conservatism. In Libertarians: the Chirping Sectaries Kirk wrote that the only thing libertarians and conservatives have in common is a detestation of collectivism. “What else do conservatives and libertarians profess in common? The answer to that question is simple: nothing. Nor will they ever have.”.[112]

The Eisenhower era

Isolationism had weakened the Old Right, as shown by General Eisenhower’s defeat of Senator Robert Taft for the GOP nomination in 1952. Eisenhower then won the 1952 election against Adlai Stevenson II by crusading against “Korea, Communism and Corruption.” Eisenhower quickly ended the Korean War, which most conservatives now opposed and adopted a conservative fiscal policy while cooperating with Taft, who became the Senate Majority Leader. Eisenhower as president promoted “Modern Republicanism,” involving limited government, balanced budgets, and curbing government spending. Although taking a firm anti-Communist position, Ike cut defense spending by shifting the national strategy from reliance on expensive manpower to cheap nuclear weapons. He tried (but failed) to eliminate expensive supports for farm prices, and tried (and succeeded) to reduce the federal role by returning offshore oil reserves to the states. Eisenhower kept the regulatory and welfare policies of the New Deal, with the Republicans taking credit for the expansion of Social Security. Eisenhower sought to minimize conflict among economic and racial groups in the quest for social harmony, peace and prosperity. He was reelected over Stevenson by a landslide in 1956.[109][110]

The Great Depression

The Great Depression which followed the 1929 stock market collapse led to price deflation, massive unemployment, falling farm incomes, investment losses, bank failures, business bankruptcies and reduced government revenues. Herbert Hoover‘s conservative protectionist economic policies failed to halt the depression, and in the 1932 presidential election, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt won a landslide victory.

When Roosevelt tried to bring the country out of depression and ease the plight of the unemployed with the New Deal, conservatives fought him every inch of the way. The counterattack first came from conservative Democrats, led by presidential nominees John W. Davis (1924) and Al Smith (1928), who mobilized business men into the American Liberty League. Opposition to the New Deal also came from the Old Right, a group of conservative free-market anti-interventionists, originally associated with Midwestern Republicans led by Hoover and Robert A. Taft, the son of former President William Howard Taft. The Old Right accused Roosevelt of promoting socialism and being a “traitor to his class”. (SOUND FAMILIAR?)

Vice President John Nance Garner worked with congressional allies to prevent Roosevelt from packing the Supreme Court with six new judges, so the court would not over-rule New Deal legislation as unconstitutional. U.S. Senator Josiah Bailey (D-NC) released the “Conservative Manifesto” in December 1937 which marked the beginning of the “conservative coalition” between Republicans and Southern Democrats.[99] Roosevelt tried and failed to purge conservative Democrats in the 1938 primaries, but all but one beat him back and the Republicans made nationwide gains in 1938. The Conservative Coalition generally controlled Congress until 1963; no major legislation passed which the Coalition opposed. Its most prominent leaders were Senator Robert Taft (R-OH) and Senator Richard Russell (D-GA). Robert Taft unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in 1940, 1948, and 1952, and was an opponent of American membership in NATO and of American participation in the Korean War. Richard Hofstadter in 1966 claimed that opposition to conservatism has been common among intellectuals since about 1890.[175] In the 1920s, religious fundamentalists including William Bell Riley and William Jennings Bryan (a liberal Democrat) led the battle against Darwinism and evolution, a battle which fundamentalists are still fighting today. More recently, conservative anti-intellectualism has taken the form of attacks on elites, experts, scientists, public schools and universities.[176]

Social conservatism (Republican Party)

 in the United States is the defense of traditional social norms and Judeo-Christian values. Typically rooted in religion, modern cultural conservatives, in contrast to “small-government” conservatives and “states-rights” advocates, increasingly turn to the federal government to overrule the states in order to reverse state laws they find unacceptable, such as laws allowing gay marriage or restricting gun ownership.

IT APPEARS THAT IN SPITE OF CONSERVATIVES WHO SAY THAT BIG GOVERNMENT IS BAD THEY LIKE BIG GOVERNMENT WHEN IT SUITS THEM.

Social conservatives tend to strongly identify with American nationalism and patriotism. They often denounce anti-war protesters and hail the police and the military. They hold that military institutions embody core values such as honor, duty, courage, loyalty, and a willingness on the part of the individual to make sacrifices for the good of the country.

While some conservatives denounce judges they consider too liberal, many want to use the federal courts to fight against the health care law of 2010 and to over-rule laws allowing legalized marijuana or assisted suicide.

Many conservatives, especially in the Midwest, in 1939–41 favored isolationism and opposed American entry into World War II—and so did many liberals. (see America First Committee). Conservatives in the East and South were generally interventionist, as typified by Henry Stimson. However, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Dec. 1941 united all Americans behind the war effort, with conservatives in Congress taking the opportunity to close down many Social conservatism and tradition

Main article: Social conservatism in the United States

The Republican Party (United States) is the largest political party with some socially conservative ideals incorporated into its platform.

Social conservatives are strongest in the South, and in recent years played a major role in the political coalitions of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Sarah Palin.[177]

Social Liberalism in the Democratic Party

Social liberalism is the belief that liberalism should include social justice. It differs from classical liberalism in that it believes the legitimate role of the state includes addressing economic and social issues such as unemployment, health care, and education while simultaneously expanding civil rights. Under social liberalism, the good of the community is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual.[1] Social liberal policies have been widely adopted in much of the capitalist world, particularly following World War II.[2] Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered centrist or centre-left.[3][4][5][6][7]

A reaction against social liberalism in the late twentieth century, often called neoliberalism, led to monetarist economic policies and a reduction in government provision of services. However, this reaction did not result in a return to classical liberalism, as governments continued to provide social services and retained control over economic policy.[8]

The term “social liberalism” is often used interchangeably with “modern liberalism“.[9] The Liberal International is the main international organization of liberal parties, which include, among other liberal variants, social liberal parties. It affirms the following principles: human rights, free and fair elections and multiparty democracy, social justice, tolerance, social market economy, free trade, environmental sustainability and a strong sense of international solidarity.[10] In the 1870s and the 1880s, the American economists Richard Ely, John Bates Clark, and Henry Carter Adams—influenced both by socialism and the Evangelical Protestant movement—castigated the conditions caused by industrial factories and expressed sympathy towards labor unions. None, however, developed a systematic political philosophy, and they later abandoned their flirtations with socialist thinking. In 1883, Lester Frank Ward published the two-volume Dynamic Sociology and formalized the basic tenets of social liberalism while at the same time attacking the laissez-faire policies advocated by Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner. The historian Henry Steele Commager ranked Ward alongside William James, John Dewey, and Oliver Wendell Holmes and called him the father of the modern welfare state.[18] Writing from 1884 until the 1930s, John Dewey—an educator influenced by Hobhouse, Green, and Ward—advocated socialist methods to achieve liberal goals. Some social liberal ideas were later incorporated into the New Deal,[19] which developed as a response to the Great Depression.

In the 1870s and the 1880s, the American economists Richard Ely, John Bates Clark, and Henry Carter Adams—influenced both by socialism and the Evangelical Protestant movement—castigated the conditions caused by industrial factories and expressed sympathy towards labor unions. None, however, developed a systematic political philosophy, and they later abandoned their flirtations with socialist thinking. In 1883, Lester Frank Ward published the two-volume Dynamic Sociology and formalized the basic tenets of social liberalism while at the same time attacking the laissez-faire policies advocated by Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner. The historian Henry Steele Commager ranked Ward alongside William James, John Dewey, and Oliver Wendell Holmes and called him the father of the modern welfare state.[18] Writing from 1884 until the 1930s, John Dewey—an educator influenced by Hobhouse, Green, and Ward—advocated socialist methods to achieve liberal goals. Some social liberal ideas were later incorporated into the New Deal,[19] which developed as a response to the Great Depression.

Fiscal conservatism

Fiscal conservatism is the economic and political policy that advocates restraint of governmental taxation and expenditures. Fiscal conservatives since the 19th century have argued that debt is a device to corrupt politics; they argue that big spending ruins the morals of the people, and that a national debt creates a dangerous class of speculators. The argument in favor of balanced budgets is often coupled with a belief that government welfare programs should be narrowly tailored and that tax rates should be low, which implies relatively small government institutions.

This belief in small government combines with fiscal conservatism to produce a broader economic liberalism, which wishes to minimize government intervention in the economy.

This amounts to support for laissez-faire economics. This economic liberalism borrows from two schools of thought: the classical liberals’ pragmatism and the libertarian’s notion of “rights.” The classical liberal maintains that free markets work best, while the libertarian contends that free markets are the only ethical markets.

The economic philosophy of conservatives in the United States tends to be more liberal allowing for more economic freedom.

  Economic liberalism can go well beyond fiscal conservatism’s concern for fiscal prudence, to a belief or principle that it is not prudent for governments to intervene in markets. It is also, sometimes, extended to a broader “small government” philosophy. Economic liberalism is associated with free-market, or laissez-faire economics.

Economic liberalism, insofar as it is ideological, owes its creation to the “classical liberal” tradition, in the vein of Adam Smith, Friedrich A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ludwig von Mises.

Classical liberals and libertarians support free markets on moral, ideological grounds: principles of individual liberty morally dictate support for free markets. Supporters of the moral grounds for free markets include Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises. The liberal tradition is suspicious of government authority, and prefers individual choice, and hence tends to see capitalist economics as the preferable means of achieving economic ends.

Modern conservatives, on the other hand, derive support for free markets from practical grounds. Free markets, they argue, are the most productive markets. Thus the modern conservative supports free markets not out of necessity, but out of expedience. The support is not moral or ideological, but driven on the Burkean notion of prescription: what works best is what is right.

Another reason why conservatives support a smaller role for the government in the economy is the belief in the importance of the civil society. As noted by Alexis de Tocqueville, there is a belief that a bigger role of the government in the economy will make people feel less responsible for the society. These responsibilities would then need to be taken over by the government, requiring higher taxes. In his book Democracy in America, De Tocqueville describes this as “soft oppression.”

While classical liberals and modern conservatives reached free markets through different means historically, to-date the lines have blurred. Rarely will a politician claim that free markets are “simply more productive” or “simply the right thing to do” but a combination of both. This blurring is very much a product of the merging of the classical liberal and modern conservative positions under the “umbrella” of the conservative movement.

The archetypal free-market conservative administrations of the late 20th century—the Margaret Thatcher government in Britain and the Ronald Reagan administration in the U.S. – both held the unfettered operation of the market to be the cornerstone of contemporary modern conservatism (this philosophy is called neoliberalism by critics on the left). To that end, Thatcher privatized industries and public housing and Reagan cut the maximum capital gains tax from 28% to 20%, though in his second term he agreed to raise it back up to 28%. He wanted to increase defense spending and achieved that; liberal Democrats blocked his efforts to cut domestic spending.[178] Reagan did not control the rapid increase in federal government spending, or reduce the deficit, but his record looks better when expressed as a percent of the gross domestic product. Federal revenues as a percent of the GDP fell from 19.6% in 1981 when Reagan took office to 18.3% in 1989 when he left. Federal spending fell slightly from 22.2% of the GDP to 21.2%. This contrasts with statistics from 2004, when government spending was rising more rapidly than it had in decades.[1

Fiscal Liberalism

Democrats generally support a more progressive tax structure to provide more services and reduce economic inequality.[49] Currently they have proposed allowing those tax cuts the Bush administration gave to the wealthiest Americans to expire as written in the original legislation while wishing to keep in place those given to the middle class.[49][50] Democrats generally support more government spending on social services while spending less on the military.[51][52] They oppose the cutting of social services, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and various welfare programs,[53] believing it to be harmful to efficiency and social justice. Democrats believe the benefits of social services, in monetary and non-monetary terms, are a more productive labor force and cultured population, and believe that the benefits of this are greater than any benefits that could be derived from lower taxes, especially on top earners, or cuts to social services. Furthermore, Democrats see social services as essential towards providing positive freedom, i.e. freedom derived from economic opportunity. The Democratic-led House of Representatives reinstated the PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) budget rule at the start of the 110th Congress.[54] DNC Chairman Howard Dean has cited Bill Clinton’s presidency as a model for fiscal responsibility.

The New Deal (IS THIS WHAT WE NEED TODAY?)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945), came to office in 1933 amid the economic calamity of the Great Depression, offering the nation a New Deal intended to alleviate economic want and joblessness, provide greater opportunities, and restore prosperity. His presidency from 1933 to 1945, the longest in U.S. history, was marked by an increased role for the Federal government in addressing the nation’s economic and other problems. Work relief programs provided jobs, ambitious projects such as the Tennessee Valley Authority were created to promote economic development, and a Social Security system was established. The Great Depression dragged on through the 1930s, however, despite the New Deal programs, which met with mixed success in solving the nation’s economic problems. Economic progress for minorities was hindered by discrimination, about which the Roosevelt administration did less than subsequent administrations, but more than had been done before. The New Deal provided direct relief for minorities in the 1930s (through the Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps and other agencies); and, during World War II, executive orders and the FEPC opened millions of new jobs to minorities and forbade discrimination in companies with government contracts. The 1.5 million black veterans in 1945 were fully entitled to generous veteran benefits from the GI Bill on the same basis as everyone else.[19]

The New Deal consisted of three types of programs designed to produce “Relief, Recovery and Reform”:[20]

Relief was the immediate effort to help the one-third of the population that was hardest hit by the depression. Roosevelt expanded Hoover’s FERA work relief program, and added the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Public Works Administration (PWA), and starting in 1935 the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In 1935 the Social Security Act (SSA) and unemployment insurance programs were added. Separate programs were set up for relief in rural areas, such as the Resettlement Administration and Farm Security Administration.

Recovery was the goal of restoring the economy to pre-depression levels. It involved “pump priming” (deficit spending), dropping the gold standard, efforts to re-inflate farm prices that were too low, and efforts to increase foreign trade. New Deal efforts to help corporate America were chiefly channeled through a Hoover program, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC).

Reform was based on the assumption that the depression was caused by the inherent instability of the market and that government intervention was necessary to rationalize and stabilize the economy, and to balance the interests of farmers, business and labor. Reform measures included the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), regulation of Wall Street by the Securities Exchange Act (SEA), the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) for farm programs, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance for bank deposits enacted through the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933, and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (also known as the Wagner Act) dealing with labor-management relations. Despite urgings by some New Dealers, there was no major anti-trust program. Roosevelt opposed socialism (in the sense of state ownership of the means of production), and only one major program, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), involved government ownership of the means of production.[21]

In international affairs, Roosevelt’s presidency was dominated isolationism until 1938, followed by an increasingly central role in World War II, especially after America’s formal entry into the war in 1941. Anticipating the post-war period, Roosevelt strongly supported proposals to create a United Nations organization as a means of encouraging mutual cooperation to solve problems on the international stage. His commitment to internationalist ideals was in the tradition of Woodrow Wilson, architect of the failed League of Nations,[22] and led to his support for the establishment of the United Nations, with the proviso that the U.S. would have a veto power.[23][24]

Socialism

Why are some claiming that our President is promoting Socialism and that it’s a bad thing?

Democratic socialism is a description used by various socialist movements and organizations to emphasize the democratic character of their political orientation. Democratic socialism is contrasted with political movements that resort to authoritarian means to achieve a transition to socialism, instead advocating for the immediate creation of decentralized economic democracy from the grassroots level, undertaken by and for the working class itself. Specifically, it is a term used to distinguish between socialists who favor a grassroots-level, spontaneous revolution or gradualism over Leninism – organized revolution instigated and directed by an overarching Vanguard party that operates on the basis of democratic centralism.

The term is sometimes used synonymously with “social democracy“, but social democrats need not accept this label, and many self-identified democratic socialists oppose contemporary social democracy because social democracy retains the capitalist mode of production.[1]

Democratic socialism is often used in contrast to movements, who supported the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China and other socialist states during the Cold War. Some Social democratic parties label themselves “democratic socialist”, however, their policies and goals have moved toward social liberalism and neoliberalism since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[citation needed]

Definition

Democratic socialism is difficult to define, and groups of scholars have radically different definitions for the term. Some definitions simply refer to all forms of socialism that follow an electoral, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism, rather than a revolutionary one.[2] Often, this definition is invoked to distinguish democratic socialism from communism, as in Donald Busky’s Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey,[3] Jim Tomlinson’s Democratic Socialism and Economic Policy: The Attlee Years, 1945-1951, Norman Thomas Democratic Socialism: a new appraisal or Roy Hattersley‘s Choose Freedom: The Future of Democratic Socialism.

But for those who use the term in this way, the scope of the term “socialism” itself can be very vague, and include forms of socialism compatible with capitalism. For example, Robert M. Page, a Reader in Democratic Socialism and Social Policy at the University of Birmingham, writes about “transformative democratic socialism” to refer to the politics of the Clement Attlee government (a strong welfare state, fiscal redistribution, some nationalization) and “revisionist democratic socialism”, as developed by Anthony Crosland and Harold Wilson:

The most influential revisionist Labor thinker, Anthony Crosland…, contended that a more “benevolent” form of capitalism had emerged since the [Second World War] … According to Crosland, it was now possible to achieve greater equality in society without the need for “fundamental” economic transformation. For Crosland, a more meaningful form of equality could be achieved if the growth dividend derived from effective management of the economy was invested in “pro-poor” public services rather than through fiscal redistribution.[4]

Indeed, some proponents of market socialism see the latter as a form of democratic socialism.[5]

A variant of this set of definitions is Joseph Schumpeter‘s argument, set out in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1941), that liberal democracies were evolving from “liberal capitalism” into democratic socialism, with the growth of workers’ self-management, industrial democracy and regulatory institutions.[6]

In contrast, other definitions of democratic socialism sharply distinguish it from social democracy.[1] For example, Peter Hain classifies democratic socialism, along with libertarian socialism, as a form of anti-authoritariansocialism from below” (using the term popularised by Hal Draper), in contrast to Stalinism and social democracy, variants of authoritarian state socialism. For Hain, this democratic/authoritarian divide is more important than the revolutionary/reformist divide.[7] In this definition, it is the active participation of the population as a whole, and workers in particular, in the management of economy that characterises democratic socialism, while nationalisation and economic planning (whether controlled by an elected government or not) are characteristic of state socialism. A similar, but more complex, argument is made by Nicos Poulantzas.[8]

Other definitions fall between the first and second set, seeing democratic socialism as a specific political tradition closely related to and overlapping with social democracy. For example, Bogdan Denitch, in Democratic Socialism, defines it as proposing a radical reorganization of the socio-economic order through public ownership, workers’ control of the labor process and redistributive tax policies.[9] Robert G. Picard similarly describes a democratic socialist tradition of thought including Eduard Bernstein, Karl Kautsky, Evan Durbin and Michael Harrington.[10]

The term democratic socialism can be used in a third way, to refer to a version of the Soviet model that was reformed in a democratic way. For example, Mikhail Gorbachev described perestroika as building a “new, humane and democratic socialism”.[11] Consequently, some former Communist parties have rebranded themselves as democratic socialist, as with the Party of Democratic Socialism in Germany.

Hal Draper uses the term “revolutionary-democratic socialism” as a type of socialism from below in his The Two Souls of Socialism. He writes: “the leading spokesman in the Second International of a revolutionary-democratic Socialism-from-Below [was] Rosa Luxemburg, who so emphatically put her faith and hope in the spontaneous struggle of a free working class that the myth-makers invented for her a ‘theory of spontaneity'”.[12] Similarly, about Eugene Debs, he writes: “‘Debsian socialism’ evoked a tremendous response from the heart of the people, but Debs had no successor as a tribune of revolutionary-democratic socialism”.[13]

Justification of democratic socialism can be found in the works of social philosophers like Charles Taylor and Axel Honneth, among others. Honneth has put forward the view that political and economic ideologies have a social basis, that is, they originate from intersubjective communication between members of a society.[14] Honneth criticises the liberal state because it assumes that principles of individual liberty and private property are a historical and abstract, when, in fact, they evolved from a specific social discourse on human activity. Contra liberal individualism, Honneth has emphasized the inter-subjective dependence between humans; that is, our well-being depends on recognizing others and being recognized by them. Democratic socialism, with its emphasis on social collectivism, could be seen as a way of safeguarding this dependency.

In recent years, some have suggested replacing “democratic” with “participatory” upon seeing the reduction of the former to parliamentarism.

Based on the above historical definitions and events I think the basic differences are similar to what they were 100 years ago. The Republicans believe that the solution to our financial problems are in the hands of big and small business and strive to promote and protect free enterprise. They believe that if business prospers we all prosper. They believe that this prospering includes protecting the rich and business’s from taxes.

The Democrats don’t disagree with all of the Republicans philosophies but do not think that the benefits for big and small businesses and the rich should include eroding benefits to the poor and middle class.

So as I understand what I have read here the differences in the two parties, Democrats and Republicans is this. The Republicans will not accept any legislating that takes money away from the Rich and Businesses. The Democrats will not accept any legislation that takes money and services away from the middle and lower classes in this country.

In order for our country to survive there has to be free enterprise and free enterprise must flourish within our boundaries. The success of our businesses is what provides the income to the classes and the taxes to provide our social benefits etc:

From my point of view it seems fair and equitable that the rich and businesses do what is necessary and contribute what is necessary to get our economy back on track.  The middle and lower classes of people in this country cannot do this, only the business people in co-operation with the government can do this.

Since it is the Republicans that have a philosophy that is more favorable to the businesses in this country it seems to me it should be the Republicans who step up to the plate.  It is unfathomable to me to think that the answer to our economic woes  in this country is to decrease taxes on the rich and decrease social benefits and jobs on the poor so that businesses are not monetarily affected and the poor carry the burden.  I believe that this is not going help either businesses or our middle and lower classes.

 

My next articles will be an Analysis   of the major candidates to determine how close or far they are from their party platform and what they have said before they were running for president.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Follow Me