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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Is Christianity the same as socialism
leo
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If you don't sense judgement in those, you haven't read and sensed them.

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
If it were up to me, everyone would own their own business and that way no one would listen to Marxists.

Surely that would in practice mean workers' collectives, which is itself a fairly Marxist idea?
quote:
Some would prefer to work at the going rate. If they don't like that rate, they can go somewhere else.
Unless they're in a hirers' market of course...
quote:
To "take" people's money and give it to someone else, no matter how high-minded and noble, is still a TAKE.

The problem with the socialist scenario is that it has to assume that all businesses, as evidenced by various posts here, have to be assumed to be assholes in order to justify the "take". Problem is, there are many many business people that pay a fair wage, pay their own reasonable salary, and barely make it. And the socialist philosphy assumes that it is still "Right" to screw them and do the "take" anyway. I mean they are businesspeople, fuck 'em.

Which posters? Who here* has said that businessmen automatically deserve to be screwed?

All I have said is that if there is a large discrepancy between the wage per drop of sweat of the employer, and the wage per drop of sweat of the employee, then the employer is creaming off too high a percentage. I didn't say all businessmen do that, did I? And I acknowledge that the employer probably does work harder, and (as 206 says) there are other variables to be taken into consideration.
quote:
IMO, In order for a socialist to be "Christian" they have to let go of the idea that businesspeople deserve to be judged. Judge not lest ye be judged and all that. It's between the gods and the businessperson as to whether they did well by their fellow humans, not socialists.
Surely you could say the same about any suspected wrongdoer? (Not that I suspect all businessmen of wrongdoing.)
quote:
You're right, I make money off the backs of other people. They give me their backs to use.
I couldn't comment on your business methods.

However, if you mean that, as a general rule, employees voluntarily give themselves to their employers and consequently employers are entitled to do what they like, then might I once again invite you to consider the concept of the hirers' market?
quote:
True socialists...

Yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.

* If I asked "who in real life", then the answer would be almost any political figure on the French Left, but none of those august personages are posting to my knowledge.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
So have most socialists been. The opposite point of view is sometimes met with among Greens. But on the whole socialists have been all in favour of prosperity.

My personal-hypocrisy-meter is about to explode, but if "prosperity" means "productivity", I think I might theoretically be inclined to side with the Greens.

The point being that the planet could not survive if everyone consumes on a First World scale, and much less if First World consumption is to be increased as a drive for increased productivity would suggest. And if socialist policies are only to be applied to the First World, then that in itself is not very socialist.

My complaint about the French Left (though I only bothered to read Royal, Besancenot and Buffet) is that they seem not to have noticed that, relatively speaking, all of the French are bourgeois and the proletariat are the Third World suppliers.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by 206:
quote:
And, obviously, it depends what you mean by "advance".
Sure it does but getting into those kinds of details has proven difficult in this thread.

I know they weren't addressed to you but would you be willing to answer my earlier questions?

Of course. Though I don't think my answers are very likely to differ much from DOD's (though he knows a lot more about the philosophy and "political science" stuff than I do)

quote:

However, by some definitions he would be considered 'super-rich'.

Most people never see anything like 30 million in their lives, so it certainly counts as rich.

quote:

You seem to be suggesting the state should further limit (they get their fair share at least via taxes) how much money he makes:
can you explain who is capable of fairly doing that and what criteria they should use?

I think the point is that that money was not entirely made by his own work, but by the shared work of many people - the boss of the company, all its employees, and everyone else around them building and maintaining the infrastructure that supports the business.

Socialism, in all its various forms, is really set of political responses to perceived problems of capitalism. In particular that it tends to concentrate money (and hence political power) in the hands of the owners of capital, and to remove it from workers. Socialism reacts to that concentration of power in much the same way as the idea of democracy reacted to the concentration of power in the hands of the aristocracy - its really a radical extension of democracy into the marketplace and the workplace. To use a very old quote the point is to return to the workers (by hand or by brain) the full fruits of their industry. Not to limit the income of anyone but to make sure they don't limit the lives of others. Socialism is about people collectively taking control of their own lives, their economic and productive lives as well as party politics and public government, between elections as well as during them.

quote:


Do you anticipate any downside to the state acquiring more control over him and his money?

Of course. Governments are usually pretty bad at running business, they ought to keep out of it in general.

quote:

And do socialists generally think individuals should be limited by the state as to how much money they make?

Some do, some don't. Plenty of people who aren't socialists think that. Plenty of people who are socialists are very skeptical of the state and would like to see it wither away. I don't think being a socialist or not has much to do with someone's answer to that question.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Timothy the Obscure

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I don't think Christianity is inherently socialist (though maybe if you use such a loose definition of socialism that it doesn't imply any specific program). I do think that there are some inherent conflicts between Christianity and capitalism. I don't see how the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself can be reconciled with the capitalist imperative to maximize profit--loving your neighbor as yourself would mean paying your employees as much as you would wish to be paid for doing their work, and charging your customers the price you would want to pay for the goods or services in question. Maximizing profit means keeping wages as low and prices as high as possible (claiming that the market determines these things is an evasion--the market is just people).

AS for the idea of people advancing themselves--the problem with that is that capitalism pretty much requires that there be losers. There may be a sense in which it is true that anyone can make it in a capitalist system through cleverness and hard work, but it isn't true that everyone can, because people scramble up from the bottom by kicking others off the low rungs of the ladder. A certain level of unemployment is necessary to keep labor costs down and make the system work smoothly.

At a more basic level, capitalism rests on the assumptions of individualism: that people are discrete monads, that all relationships among them are contractual, and so there can be no obligations of one to another except those voluntarily assumed (except for negative obligations to refrain from using force, etc.) This too seems quite incompatible with Christian ethics, which assume an obligation to be actively loving toward others.

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When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
  - C. P. Snow

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HenryT

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I once read a proof (probably by James Blish) that Marxism is a Christian heresy.

Christianity promises eternal peace; Marxism promises peace on earth.

Christianity promises peace that passes understanding; Marxism promises peace through dialetical materialism.

There were other points; and I may have mangled these two that I recall.

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"Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old-fashioned" P. Henry, 1788

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leo
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It may be eternal but we are asked to pray that the kingdom comes 'on earth as it is in heaven'. Socialism is a practical outworking of that.

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Divine Outlaw
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quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
I once read a proof (probably by James Blish) that Marxism is a Christian heresy.

Christianity promises eternal peace; Marxism promises peace on earth.

Christianity promises peace that passes understanding; Marxism promises peace through dialetical materialism.

There were other points; and I may have mangled these two that I recall.

I'm not sure that Marxism is a Christian heresy, but gnosticism certainly is. Christianity does not promise some other-worldly 'eternal peace' utterly unrelated to this present existence. We believe in the resurrection of the body. The point of this life is not to escape our embodied, material, condition.

Christianity promises, through the this-worldly Incarnation of the Word and his bodily resurrection, that creation's groaning will not be in vain and that a new Heaven and a new Earth will be built. The present is the very stuff out of which eternity will be made.

[ 30. April 2007, 08:41: Message edited by: Divine Outlaw Dwarf ]

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Timothy the Obscure:
capitalism rests on the assumptions of individualism: that people are discrete monads, that all relationships among them are contractual, and so there can be no obligations of one to another except those voluntarily assumed (except for negative obligations to refrain from using force, etc.)

That's not capitalism, that's anarchism. Capitalism is quite compatible with authoritarian political structures and an unequal and unfree society. As are some kinds of socialism of course just as other kinds of socialism fit perfectly well into, maybe even require, the kind of free-association libertarian society you describe.

There is no reason to think that capitalism somehow arises naturally from individual freedom. Probably quite the opposite - to start it going you have to have laws that construt certain rather artificial kinds of property that are not "natural" at all.

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Divine Outlaw
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Some anarchists, to be fair, would be unhappy with the suggestion that people are 'discrete monads'.

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Dinghy Sailor

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
It may be eternal but we are asked to pray that the kingdom comes 'on earth as it is in heaven'. Socialism is a practical outworking of that.

So when did God tell you that Heaven is socialist?

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
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Hermes66
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Interesting debate. I've always been drawn to Jesus because I was brought up a socialist/anarchist and saw Him as a revolutionary - which he was!

I've lived in relative poverty for many years, not always sure where the next meal would come from, not always certain to pay the rent, not always able to pay my bills. Being truly poor in the UK today is NOT the same as poverty in Jesus' time, nor is it the same as poverty in other countries. However, I've had weeks when I ate very little, had to walk everywhere, had to work and engage in society when I had no money in my pocket and had no idea when I would see a banknote again. Incredibly, this time wasn't full of anxiety and misery: the parable of the lilies and the birds actually does / did sustain me.

That's where Socialism and Christianity have to part ways. Socialism says my position was appalling and society needs changing to get me out of my economic hole right here and now. Jesus says the material body isn't the main issue in life: we do NOT live by bread alone. The spiritual context will never be there in Socialism: many have tried (William Morris and the Fabians onwards) but the Dialect question - Hegel vs Marx - will always recur: what's more important, the spirit or matter?

I think that's the nub of it, in my understanding of the two philosophies.

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Divine Outlaw
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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
It may be eternal but we are asked to pray that the kingdom comes 'on earth as it is in heaven'. Socialism is a practical outworking of that.

So when did God tell you that Heaven is socialist?
I think this is where my 'natural law' socialism does rather better than Leo's 'revealed socialism'. I can just shrug my shoulders and say, 'socialism would make human beings more human, therefore it belongs to God's Kingdom'. Leo has to find proof texts, or encyclicals, or something, which seem to support socialism.

One of the reasons I worry about 'Christian Socialism', apart from the fact that it doesn't seem to be able to account for non-Christian socialists, is that its hermenutical methods sometimes seem akin to fundamentalism. Let's find a text in the Bible which supports a particular present-day political framework...

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Hermes66
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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
It may be eternal but we are asked to pray that the kingdom comes 'on earth as it is in heaven'. Socialism is a practical outworking of that.

So when did God tell you that Heaven is socialist?
I've always understood 'you can't take it with you', which kinda obviates any call for Heaven to be capitalist, no?

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
Socialist non-Christian weighing in.

No.

Non-socialist Christian weighing in.

No.

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
I can just shrug my shoulders and say, 'socialism would make human beings more human, therefore it belongs to God's Kingdom'.

[Overused]

(Which incidentally, as DOD would doubtless agree, does not mean that 'Christianity is the same as socialism'.)

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moron
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Thanks for the responses.

quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Socialism, in all its various forms, is really set of political responses to perceived problems of capitalism. In particular that it tends to concentrate money (and hence political power) in the hands of the owners of capital, and to remove it from workers.

If it's not going to derail this thread I'd benefit from hearing how anyone thinks transferring more money and power to the workers should work out in practice.

Who makes what decisions, who decides who makes what decisions, how are the profits more fairly distributed: just anything. If you could create Socialism the way you think it should be, what would it look like?

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CrookedCucumber
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It seems to me that the claim that Christianity is incompatible with socialism, as some have made above, is a pretty bold one. I'd need to see some fairly convincing argument to support such a view; my gut feeling is that it is more likely that people who make such claims don't really understand what socialism is really about.

I think it is clear that Christianity is compatible with socialism, in at least the same way as it is compatible with train-spotting, or chess. That is, there clearly are Christian socialists, just as there are Christian everything-elses.

Whether Christians should embrace socialism is, to me, a more interesting question. As has already been remarked, socialists can't claim that they are the only people interested in fairness, justice, liberty, etc. Capitalists, liberals, and everybody else claim to be striving for those things.

But my own starting point is a belief that a socialist society (of some sort) is capable if perfectly implemented of delivering this fair and just society, but a capitalist society if perfectly implemented will deliver the exact opposite.

I can sympathise with those who claim that since we cannot, in fact, perfectly implement socialism, which should rather embrace the political movement that does best when imperfectly implemented. But this, to me, is a council of despair. Better to aim high and miss, in my opinion, than to aim low.

Both Christianity and perfectly-implemented socialism, in my opinion, require `death to the self'. As a minimum, I think, both require us to consider ourselves as significant as, but no more significant than, other human beings. If you cannot `die to your self' in the economic and political sense, I don't really see how you can do it in the spiritual sense.

And that is why I tend to see Christianity as socialist.

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CrookedCucumber
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quote:
Originally posted by 206:
If it's not going to derail this thread I'd benefit from hearing how anyone thinks transferring more money and power to the workers should work out in practice.

Who makes what decisions, who decides who makes what decisions, how are the profits more fairly distributed: just anything.

The problem is that you're asking how to establish a socialist society in the middle of a recalcitrant capitalist one. `Money', `power', and `profits', in the sense you mean them, are capitalist concepts, not socialist ones.

It's a bit like asking how best to build a house with car mechanics' tools.

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moron
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quote:
The problem is that you're asking how to establish a socialist society in the middle of a recalcitrant capitalist one. `Money', `power', and `profits', in the sense you mean them, are capitalist concepts, not socialist ones.

Let me try it differently then: are the concepts translatable so that even a capitalist could begin to get a grasp of them?
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Stars
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quote:
Originally posted by 206:
Thanks for the responses.

quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Socialism, in all its various forms, is really set of political responses to perceived problems of capitalism. In particular that it tends to concentrate money (and hence political power) in the hands of the owners of capital, and to remove it from workers.

If it's not going to derail this thread I'd benefit from hearing how anyone thinks transferring more money and power to the workers should work out in practice.


I think it would result in higher rents, larger mortgages and larger overall indebtedness

This is why the 'welfare state' (bless its cotton socks) couldn't and didn't do that much to alleviate poverty; the benefits given to the poor were more or less sucked straight back off them. The creators of the welfare state were very careful not address the true causes of poverty, which are high unavoidable costs and lack of economic freedom rather than low wages.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
It may be eternal but we are asked to pray that the kingdom comes 'on earth as it is in heaven'. Socialism is a practical outworking of that.

So when did God tell you that Heaven is socialist?
I have already quoted messianic prophecies earlier in this thread. And I am talking about the kingdon/reign of God not 'of heaven'.
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Teufelchen
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quote:
Originally posted by 206:
Thanks for the responses.

quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Socialism, in all its various forms, is really set of political responses to perceived problems of capitalism. In particular that it tends to concentrate money (and hence political power) in the hands of the owners of capital, and to remove it from workers.

If it's not going to derail this thread I'd benefit from hearing how anyone thinks transferring more money and power to the workers should work out in practice.

Who makes what decisions, who decides who makes what decisions, how are the profits more fairly distributed: just anything. If you could create Socialism the way you think it should be, what would it look like?

Begin by looking at worker co-operatives, and syndicalist ownership of industry. I'm no expert on either of these topics, but I do know enough to know that they provide good examples of both how socialist principles can be implemented without state involvement, and what happens in existing socialist scenarios.

T.

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Little devil

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
Some anarchists, to be fair, would be unhappy with the suggestion that people are 'discrete monads'.

True, but I must confess to having very little idea what the word "monad" was meant to convey in the post I was replying to. Not a common part of political discourse hereabouts.

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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CrookedCucumber
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quote:
Originally posted by Stars:
This is why the 'welfare state' (bless its cotton socks) couldn't and didn't do that much to alleviate poverty; the benefits given to the poor were more or less sucked straight back off them.

That's the point I'm trying to make, I think, and it does not invalidate the notion that socialism is a good thing, in principle. Dishing out `benefits' is another attempt to establish a little bit of socialism within a prevailing capitalist milieu. It's going to fail, in the same way that building a house on quicksand will fail -- you can work hard to make the house the best house you can possibly build, but in the end it's on quicksand, and it's gonna sink.

But (taking up 206's point) the problem is not an inability of one `side' to grasp the other side's concepts. A socialist is perfectly capable of understanding what `profit' means, in the same way that I am capable of understand what `slavery' means even though it is not a feature of my society. When you talk about `redistributing profits' you a presupposing a society in which `profit' is a crucial economic notion and that is not, ipso facto, a socialist society. It's house-on-quicksand time again.

This is why, I think, Marx and his palls tended to see the transition from a capitalist society to a socialist one in terms of (metaphorical or actual) bloody revolution ( something which I don't espouse [Smile] ) The systems are so incompatible that they can hardly exist side-by-side. In order for socialism to get a proper foothold, people's entrenched attitudes would have to change, and change radically, first.

Now, I don't know how to establish a socialist society, any more than I know how to establish a Christian society, except by walking the walk and hoping that my example is one that people would want to follow. Trying forcibly to `convert' people to socialism is as practicable as forcing them to convert religion.

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Timothy the Obscure

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Timothy the Obscure:
capitalism rests on the assumptions of individualism: that people are discrete monads, that all relationships among them are contractual, and so there can be no obligations of one to another except those voluntarily assumed (except for negative obligations to refrain from using force, etc.)

That's not capitalism, that's anarchism. Capitalism is quite compatible with authoritarian political structures and an unequal and unfree society. As are some kinds of socialism of course just as other kinds of socialism fit perfectly well into, maybe even require, the kind of free-association libertarian society you describe.

There is no reason to think that capitalism somehow arises naturally from individual freedom. Probably quite the opposite - to start it going you have to have laws that construt certain rather artificial kinds of property that are not "natural" at all.

Oh, I agree--freedom is no more the definining characteristic of capitalism than altruism is the defining characteristic of socialism. But I do think that capitalism proceeds from individualist, social contract assumptions about human nature, either Lockean or Hobbesean (or maybe some other variant). It isn't the only place you can get to from that foundation, and in any case, anarchism as a political theory can coexist with capitalism as an economic system (with some tension as you rightly note, since it takes government intervention to create certain critical types of property and entities, such as corporations and shares in them).

The conflict with Christianity, ISTM, comes about because capitalism depends on a competitive and contractual model of human relations, and so the system goes wrong if people start acting genuinely loving toward one another and valuing things that can't be quantified and incorporated into the economic calculus.

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When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
  - C. P. Snow

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Mad Geo

Ship's navel gazer
# 2939

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
If it were up to me, everyone would own their own business and that way no one would listen to Marxists.

Surely that would in practice mean workers' collectives, which is itself a fairly Marxist idea?

If everyone owned their own business, there would be no workers, only owners.
quote:


quote:
Some would prefer to work at the going rate. If they don't like that rate, they can go somewhere else.
Unless they're in a hirers' market of course...

Again, they are owners, not workers. But to address your hirer’s market crisis, if it is a hirers market, what would you do to correct it? Take more from the hirers? Notice the “take”.

quote:
quote:
To "take" people's money and give it to someone else, no matter how high-minded and noble, is still a TAKE.

The problem with the socialist scenario is that it has to assume that all businesses, as evidenced by various posts here, have to be assumed to be assholes in order to justify the "take". Problem is, there are many many business people that pay a fair wage, pay their own reasonable salary, and barely make it. And the socialist philosphy assumes that it is still "Right" to screw them and do the "take" anyway. I mean they are businesspeople, fuck 'em.

Which posters? Who here* has said that businessmen automatically deserve to be screwed?

All I have said is that if there is a large discrepancy between the wage per drop of sweat of the employer, and the wage per drop of sweat of the employee, then the employer is creaming off too high a percentage. I didn't say all businessmen do that, did I? And I acknowledge that the employer probably does work harder, and (as 206 says) there are other variables to be taken into consideration.


Papio clearly believes that businessmen deserve to be screwed (although I am getting that from his numerous posts all over the boards to that affect, as well). For example, he said on this thread, “I don't believe that anyone has a right to be super-rich. Full stop. No matter how hard they have worked. Their money is usually made of the back of other people, anyway.”

Sure sounds like “screw businessmen” to me. He clearly assumes that if you work hard and make money, your bad.

And for the record, I did not say ”you”.

As for “Creaming off too high a percentage”, the problem I have with that is, Who gets to decide “Too High”. Some businesses spend say 30% of their money on say, marketing, some 70%. If the socialists take 30% of their money, one business can cut it’s marketing budget for the financial molestation it just got from the socialists. The other business goes bankrupt. This is a simple example, of course, but it does show the problem with the socialist approach.
quote:

quote:
IMO, In order for a socialist to be "Christian" they have to let go of the idea that businesspeople deserve to be judged. Judge not lest ye be judged and all that. It's between the gods and the businessperson as to whether they did well by their fellow humans, not socialists.
Surely you could say the same about any suspected wrongdoer? (Not that I suspect all businessmen of wrongdoing.)

I love that. You just accused someone of wrongdoing and then tried to take it back. The bias shows up in the rather sneaky word “all”.

You have done exactly what I said socialists shouldn’t do. You are looking for the needle in the haystack and think it is relevant in order to justify the socialist “take”. Many, if not most businesspeople are like you and me. Small groups of people trying to get by as ethically and humanely as they can.

In the socialist zeal to find the bad needle, they often burn haystacks to the ground and proclaim “I found the needle!”.
quote:


quote:
You're right, I make money off the backs of other people. They give me their backs to use.
I couldn't comment on your business methods.

Your right, you can’t. You shouldn’t. And neither should anyone else.

I happen to be a nice employer, for the record, I often hire my friends, and they are still my friends. But they are still willingly giving me their backs, because they want the money.
quote:


However, if you mean that, as a general rule, employees voluntarily give themselves to their employers and consequently employers are entitled to do what they like, then might I once again invite you to consider the concept of the hirers' market?

Do what they like? LOL. Are you serious? Yes, I am advocating that employers molest their employees at work…..NOT.

It is again telling that the assumption is that employers are bad. That they would “Do what they like?”. As if employees had no choice in the matter, no possibility of leaving ever. No power to decide. Poor employees, they are just babes in the woods. How disempowered they are.

What a pantload.

Employees can go back to school, start a business, change jobs, work on the side, get a second job, whatever. In short, they are limited only by their own imagination and hard work for themselves.

But of course, not everyone is so enterprising and it is these that do the best under the socialist schema.

I have had two side jobs and a business while doing my “day job” on more than one occasion. I am afraid I can’t drum up a lot of sympathy for people that disempower themselves, even in a “hirer’s market”.

quote:

quote:
True socialists...

Yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.

* If I asked "who in real life", then the answer would be almost any political figure on the French Left, but none of those august personages are posting to my knowledge.

What…..

….ever.

Interesting colloquialism though.

--------------------
Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

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Mad Geo

Ship's navel gazer
# 2939

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:

Socialism, in all its various forms, is really set of political responses to perceived problems of capitalism. In particular that it tends to concentrate money (and hence political power) in the hands of the owners of capital, and to remove it from workers.

I love the socialist language. "Remove it from workers". That is SO disempowering to the workers I can hardly stand it. It's as though they are poor little sheep instead of voluntary participants in a greater thing (the business).
quote:

Socialism reacts to that concentration of power in much the same way as the idea of democracy reacted to the concentration of power in the hands of the aristocracy - its really a radical extension of democracy into the marketplace and the workplace. To use a very old quote the point is to return to the workers (by hand or by brain) the full fruits of their industry.

Again, the language.

"Return" means to "Take/Steal" from the employer using governmental means.

Getting the "Full fruits" of a business requires being a business owner. To "return the full fruits" involves theft by some means.

quote:

Not to limit the income of anyone but to make sure they don't limit the lives of others. Socialism is about people collectively taking control of their own lives, their economic and productive lives as well as party politics and public government, between elections as well as during them.

If they want to have full control, then they need to start a business, not bitch about it and try to get someone or somegovernment to steal from other businesses.
quote:

quote:


Do you anticipate any downside to the state acquiring more control over him and his money?

Of course. Governments are usually pretty bad at running business, they ought to keep out of it in general.

WOW! I agree with you all the way on this. Only I would say that government are ALWAYS bad at running businesses.

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Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

Posts: 11730 | From: People's Republic of SoCal | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
Papio clearly believes that businessmen deserve to be screwed (although I am getting that from his numerous posts all over the boards to that affect, as well). For example, he said on this thread, “I don't believe that anyone has a right to be super-rich. Full stop. No matter how hard they have worked. Their money is usually made of the back of other people, anyway.”

Sure sounds like “screw businessmen” to me. He clearly assumes that if you work hard and make money, your bad.

Nope, Geo.

I said I don't believe that someone's right to a Lambourgini trumps a persons right to eat. I also don't believe that anyone has a right to be super-rich, in that I don't believe it to be a legitimate expectation. Ever. I think it is NEVER the case that someone super-rich paying high taxes has any reason for complaint whatsoever. I think it is NEVER tha case that ANYONE is ENTIRELY "self-made". Never. Ever.

But that falls someway sort of what you ascribe to me...

I don't hate all employers. I do 1) think they are not the only people with legitimate complaints, 2) think that if they screw their workforce, they deserve no sympathy from anyone, ever, 3) tend to think they are more likely to be wrong than the workforce is, 4) think the should, by and large, stuff their multi-nationals up their arse, 5) think they should STFU and 6) think that large numbers of them are both corrupt and incompetant, and that any employer who doesn't see the value of a contented workforce is dumb as shit, 7) Thimnk that huge wealth is always a privelledge and NEVER a "right". Never. Never. Never.

That's not the same thing, however. I'm sorry if you think it is, but it isn't.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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8) Think they are never eleted, so their political legitimacy is ALWAYS open to question 9) Think that if the residents of a town tell them to fuck off, they should.. fuck off - as opposed to applying again and agaian and again until the council grants their request out of sheer boredom.

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wesleyswig
Shipmate
# 5436

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Some quality history for you all, stemming from the Labour Church movement within the UK, where we the find

*trumpet call*

The Socialist Ten Commandments

Oh and yes, Christianity and socilism are compatable , possibly not completely the same but definatly compatable.

Regards
John

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"I am still a Methodist, You can never get it's special glow out of your blood" Ellen Wilkinson
Read my ramblings

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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Not quite as fun as

The Socialist Christian Catechism!

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
Not quite as fun as

The Socialist Christian Catechism!

Did you know that your in-box is full? [Biased]

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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No.

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Mad Geo

Ship's navel gazer
# 2939

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
I don't hate all employers. I do 1) think they are not the only people with legitimate complaints, 2) think that if they screw their workforce, they deserve no sympathy from anyone, ever, 3) tend to think they are more likely to be wrong than the workforce is, 4) think the should, by and large, stuff their multi-nationals up their arse, 5) think they should STFU and 6) think that large numbers of them are both corrupt and incompetant, and that any employer who doesn't see the value of a contented workforce is dumb as shit, 7) Thimnk that huge wealth is always a privelledge and NEVER a "right". Never. Never. Never.

[Killing me]

1) Agreed
2) Agreed, but we almost certinaly disagree on what constitutes a "screwing" there.
3) Yes, because the mob of employees always knows what is best for the business. Suuuuurre. As someone wise once said, if everything was ran by a majority, we would all eat pizza at every meal, and drink Coors. Employees don't know dick, and remember, I am also an employee too.

Now here is where it gets very interesting.

You say that you don't hate employers and yet you also say that they should stuff their multi-nationals up their arse, Shut the Fuck Up (with no limiting modifiers), a majority are corrupt and incompetant, and some are outright dumb as shit.

Nope no hatred there. I feel the love POUNDING from your keyboard. A regular pillar of employer agape. Your "Shut the fuck up" gave you away Papio.

Papio's post is as clear a reason as any I could have hoped for to show why IMO Christianity and Socialism are incompatable. Christianity wants you to love your neighbor. Socialism requires a certain hatred for employers that is incompatible with Christianity.

[Big Grin]

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Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

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CrookedCucumber
Shipmate
# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
Papio's post is as clear a reason as any I could have hoped for to show why IMO Christianity and Socialism are incompatable. Christianity wants you to love your neighbor. Socialism requires a certain hatred for employers that is incompatible with Christianity.

Can't speak for Papio, but I have no hatred for employers as human beings. My distaste is for a socio-political system which uses a desire for material self-improvement as one of its driving forces. Capitalism works because we want more stuff. Since we live in a stuff-based society, one can hardly criticise individuals for being stuff-centered.

But, as I understand it, a theme of Christianity is that you won't get fulfilment from stuff, at least much beyond your daily bread. If everyone was genuinely Christian (as I understand it) there would be little drive for material self-improvement, and capitalism would not be able to get its energy from anywhere.

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:


But, as I understand it, a theme of Christianity is that you won't get fulfilment from stuff, at least much beyond your daily bread.

Not at all. Is it lands flowing with milk and honey, water being changed into wine, or the Lord preparing a banquet on his mountain, that gives you this idea?

Stuff is good. The irony is that if we focus our heart on stuff, we don't even get stuff, we get dust, ashes, moths and worms. If we focus our heart outwards in love, we get stuff thrown in. Because stuff is there to be shared.

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Mad Geo

Ship's navel gazer
# 2939

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Capitalism also works because it provides not only stuff that we don't need, it provides everything we DO need, and more effectively than any other system ever devised and tried. People do not only want stuff only to have more stuff. They want stuff because they need better water, better housing, better food, better jobs. Capitalism provides all that and "more".

Where we probably disagree is on how much constitutes "more". Real Christians™ can theoretically live on very little sustenance, in a no-bedroom tent, with an outhouse and some water. Good luck finding a Real Christian™ in any country, socialist or capitalist. Not to throw stones at Christians btw, I think most religions pooh pooh stuff as Not All That.

"Desire for material self-improvement" has resulted in far more good than bad. The money that is generated by Capitalism (including the Rich) has resulted in serious advances in the worlds lifespan, food quality, and nearly every other measure. It has it's problems too, but then that can only be solved by, you guessed it, more money.

The countries that embrace a mixed economy where capitalism is allowed to flourish fare far better than those that don't. Ask any modern economist.

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Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

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HenryT

Canadian Anglican
# 3722

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It seems to me that we covered much of this territory before in Libertarians and Hypocrisy.

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"Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old-fashioned" P. Henry, 1788

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Timothy the Obscure

Mostly Friendly
# 292

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There really isn't much (if any) evidence that more stuff has made people happier. There's some evidence of a steady increase in depression in developed countries over the past century, which might suggest that the pressures of a life focused on "material self-improvement" are actually bad enough for you to offset the measurable gains. But of course that evidence is disputable and subject to myriad interpretations...

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When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
  - C. P. Snow

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Mad Geo

Ship's navel gazer
# 2939

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Your right, I would say that we have an increase in the measurement of depression, not actual depression.

Besides, people now live 67ish years to find their happiness instead of 35ish years. That in and of itself is a HUGE change.

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Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

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CrookedCucumber
Shipmate
# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
quote:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:
But, as I understand it, a theme of Christianity is that you won't get fulfilment from stuff, at least much beyond your daily bread.

Not at all. Is it lands flowing with milk and honey, water being changed into wine, or the Lord preparing a banquet on his mountain, that gives you this idea?

That isn't what I mean by `stuff'. Sorry about my sloppy choice of words. I mean the kind of stuff that is, for the most part, neither use nor ornament in its own right, and only exists to satisfy the lust for ownership.
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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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Oh, that stuff, right you are.

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:

The countries that embrace a mixed economy where capitalism is allowed to flourish fare far better than those that don't.

If you mean 'flourish far better than those which have any other economic system hitherto tried' (and I assume that is all you can mean), then that's a fairly insubstantial point. Marx, for example, would agree with you.

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CrookedCucumber
Shipmate
# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
Your right, I would say that we have an increase in the measurement of depression, not actual depression.

Besides, people now live 67ish years to find their happiness instead of 35ish years. That in and of itself is a HUGE change.

I agree to the exent that, if every day is a tooth-and-nail struggle for basic survival, you don't have time to be depressed. So I can see how depression appears to be symptomatic of increased prosperity.

But this observation does not prove that the total amount of happiness, objectively measured (should such a thing even be quantifiable), is increased by having more stuff. Of course, I concede that it doesn't prove it is decreased either.

I think that in a true socialist society there would be less stuff. What's more, I think this applies not only to trivial stuff -- big televisions, fat cars, etc -- but also to non-trivial stuff like healthcare and housing.

Yes, I did say that; a socialist society might deliver lower average standards of things like health and housing.

The reason for this is that, if the economy is planned, rather than left to the whim of the individual, we might decide that we don't want to subsidise our material standard of living by borrowing from future generations to the extent we do now. If we can only have what we can pay for this generation, very likely we will have to be content with less of a lot of things.

This is all speculation, of course.

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Ricardus
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# 8757

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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
If everyone owned their own business, there would be no workers, only owners.

Yes, but I would have thought that a business would need more than one person in it. Or at least, several your self-employed people would have to band together to do certain tasks. Which in practice is not much different from a workers' collective (i.e. where all the workers are also shareholders).
quote:
But to address your hirer’s market crisis, if it is a hirers market, what would you do to correct it? Take more from the hirers? Notice the “take”.
Retraining schemes. But I'll come back to this.
quote:
As for “Creaming off too high a percentage”, the problem I have with that is, Who gets to decide “Too High”.
It should be possible to calculate, in a reasonably objective way, the discrepancy between the pay-per-drop-of-sweat of the various members of a company. (And I think I should acknowledge here that it doesn't have to be the senior management who are being paid a sum disproportionate to the amount of work they put in. Look at Premiership footballers...)
quote:
Some businesses spend say 30% of their money on say, marketing, some 70%. If the socialists take 30% of their money, one business can cut it’s marketing budget for the financial molestation it just got from the socialists. The other business goes bankrupt. This is a simple example, of course, but it does show the problem with the socialist approach.
This is not really relevant. I was not talking about company taxes but about redistributive taxation to redress the discrepancy between earnings and workrate.

As far as company taxes go you may well be right. Ségolène Royal was recently accused of wanting to impose so many charges patronales on small businesses that they would no longer be able to hire anyone. She didn't have an answer to that...
quote:
I love that. You just accused someone of wrongdoing and then tried to take it back. The bias shows up in the rather sneaky word “all”.
No sneakiness was intended. I made what could be read as a blanket condemnation of businessmen and then qualified it. I don't think it is in doubt that there are unethical businessmen around, or that plenty of businessmen aren't.

But the existence of evil businessmen is not quite the point.
quote:
You have done exactly what I said socialists shouldn’t do. You are looking for the needle in the haystack and think it is relevant in order to justify the socialist “take”. Many, if not most businesspeople are like you and me. Small groups of people trying to get by as ethically and humanely as they can.
As I have said, it is a question of redressing the discrepancy between workrate and earnings. I don't think the management has to be evil for there to be a discrepancy.

If the senior management's earnings are disproportionately high relative to the salaries of the employees, then there is still a "take" happening, by the senior management, from the employees, whatever the employees' actual quality of life.

You, I think, are arguing that this is OK as long as the employees still earn enough to live decently, which is what happens in most businesses. If this is correct, though, then it should be equally OK to tax the employers provided they are left with a decent residue.

You seem to be arguing that it is OK to take from the employees, without any real justification beyond "because I can", but not from the employers even when the tax is to be used for social improvement.
quote:
It is again telling that the assumption is that employers are bad. That they would “Do what they like?”. As if employees had no choice in the matter, no possibility of leaving ever. No power to decide. Poor employees, they are just babes in the woods. How disempowered they are.
Sweatshops.

I have already said that I think the real underclass these days is mostly found in the developing world, rather than the West.

That said, even in the West I don't believe employees are as empowered as you claim:
quote:
Employees can go back to school, start a business, change jobs, work on the side, get a second job, whatever. In short, they are limited only by their own imagination and hard work for themselves.
They are limited by their financial resources. Also by the unemployment rate. In a hirers' market, unless retraining schemes are offered cheaply or free of charge, it is far easier to retrain if you have money - and it has already been established that money is not proportionate to amount of hard work.

And I don't see how this discrimination is in the employers' interests either, because it gives them a much smaller pool of possible employees to choose from.
quote:
quote:

quote:
True socialists...

Yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.

What…..

….ever.

Interesting colloquialism though.

I was trying to accuse you of the No True Scotsman Fallacy in a humorous manner - the clue was in clicking the link. It didn't really work though ...

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:
if every day is a tooth-and-nail struggle for basic survival, you don't have time to be depressed.

Are you talking about just feeling a little blue, or about actual, clinical depression?

If you are referring to the latter, could you please do some more reading about the subject? What you have said makes it appear, however unintentionally, that those of us with clinical depression are just lazy and "sorry for ourselves". I have lived with it for 30 years, and although I know that to be a common misconception, it IS a misconception. I can assure you that at various points in my life, I have been engaged in a "tooth and nail struggle for basic survival" BECAUSE of my depression.

Please get your facts straight before talking about what is, for many people, a debilitating and life-threatening illness. Thanks.

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Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
leo
Shipmate
# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
Not quite as fun as

The Socialist Christian Catechism!

Not 'fun'. It is quite succinct summary of my beliefs.

Happy Workers' Day - May 1st - everyone!

Posts: 23198 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dinghy Sailor

Ship's Jibsheet
# 8507

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And happy 10 years of Blair.

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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Isn't Our Beloved TB meant to be a Christian Socialist? [Killing me]

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Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged



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