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Debating with a "democratic socialist"

Hey guys, I think I just may have set myself up for an unintended debate. I recently commented on a friend's Facebook post about local police, and ended up later talking to a guy who described himself as a democratic socialist, saying that he believed that a mix of socialism and capitalism was the best way for America to go. Of course he correctly guessed I was libertarian in ideology and said we should debate sometime. I'm more than willing to talk politics to some leftist than a brainwashed neo-con, but I'm no economist. What would be some good arguments against socialism, in favor of true free-market capitalism, etc.? Thanks!

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Road to Serfdom

Hayek's book, The Road to Serfdom, is specifically about the downfall of "democratic socialism". For it was the political philosophy of democratic socialism that took over Europe in the 1920s and 30s. Hitler was a democratic socialist. Many of those who believed in this idea had good intentions, but it leads to mob rule, the rise of a very powerful state, and minority oppression. I had a friend who used to say he was a democratic socialist, and I argued with him forever. During debates he never gave in an inch, but today his beliefs have changed whereas mine have stayed strong.

Nail down the goal posts first

If you do not demand a basic principle from which the other viewpoint is based, then the rule of the day can be obfuscation or argument for the sake of argument.

Right away, for example, ask if the person supports involuntary association where by definition he (or she) would be willfully forcing other people to abide his connection to them.

If the person has not thought about this at all the answer my likely be yes I support willfully forcing serial killers to stop serial killing, or some other example of some other reaction to a crime.

That is not the question, so that answer dodges the question.

Do you willfully support an involuntary association upon someone else? That is not the same thing as asking if the person has a method in mind whereby crime is avoided.

The question isn't to ask if the person supports punishing criminals.

The question that identifies the underlying principle is to ask if the person supports the initiation of force upon an innocent person.

The question asks if the person willfully supports, or lends moral support and material support for an involuntary association.

Does the person support aggressive attacks upon innocent people.

Nail that down before falling into any clap traps.

If you nail that down first then command of the contest of viewpoints remains in your control, if you fail to nail down that principle first then the argument will be rudderless or worse the argument will be steered by someone who does support you being made to connect to an involuntary association.

If the person says maybe, then that is not an answer.

If the person says yes, then how is that person any different in principle than any other criminal?

Who, for example, does that person target as the unwilling victims connected to him, and his army, when he lends moral and material support for that non-voluntary association designed by that person?

There will be aggressors and victims, who is who?

He is the aggressor.

Who is the potential victim?



Does that person insist upon enslaving me, or you, so as to accomplish any supposed higher moral principle, such as defense?

What, if the answer is yes, yes I support, for example, enforced taxation of everyone "for the greater good" so as to defend against serial killers, or people who torture, or people who mass murder, or even people who threaten the human species with extinction, what, if that is the answer, what if my plan is better than that plan, and therefore I, and my army, and not him and his army get to tax him, or her, instead of the other way around?

If that is the way the argument goes then return to the principle, asking if there were any boundaries by which one side can be held behind when seeking to dominate the other side, so as to gain the power to tax, involuntarily, the other side, and if the answer is something along the lines of "majority rule", then that is another dodge.

What is the boundary? Not how many people constitute the winning side? The question can't be dodged, without wandering outside the arena, or without moving the goal posts.

The larger number of members on the winning side agree that they are winning, sure, but one less person on the losing side may not convince them to merely bend over and take it up the kazoo.

Make them confess what they really are, by their own words, or they will get the best of you by deceit, because that is actually the power that hides the thinly veiled threats of open violence, just like any other criminal.

If the answer is no, no I do not support involuntary associations, then you may have an actual democratic socialist instead of a counterfeit version.


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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism

Book Description:

Stalin’s gulag, impoverished North Korea, collapsing Cuba...it’s hard to name a dogma that has failed as spectacularly as socialism. And yet leaders around the world continue to subject millions of people to this dysfunctional, violence-prone ideology.

In The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to Socialism, Kevin Williamson reveals the fatal flaw of socialism—that efficient, complex economies simply can’t be centrally planned. But even in America, that hasn’t stopped politicians and bureaucrats from planning, to various extents, the most vital sectors of our economy: public education, energy, and the most arrogant central–planning effort of them all, Obama’s healthcare plan.

In this provocative book, Williamson unfolds the grim history of socialism, showing how the ideology has spawned crushing poverty, devastating famines, and horrific wars. Lumbering from one crisis to the next, leaving a trail of economic devastation and environmental catastrophe, socialism has wreaked more havoc, caused more deaths, and impoverished more people than any other ideology in history—especially when you include the victims of fascism, which Williamson notes is simply a variant of socialism.


Watch These Two Lectures


"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

Is what YOU need

There's no cliffnotes on this subject

Your best bet is to read up on your shit, really. I think the easiest and most concise mock up of libertarian philosophy would come from Ron Pauls own book, "The Revolution: A Manifesto." In there he has more recommended reading from his influences, including Ludwig von Mises(which I'm currently going through "Human Action" by him; its over 900 pages, not for the faint of heart!), Murray Rothbard's "The Ethics of Liberty," and I think(though I could be wrong) he also recommends Milton Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom." There is no way to bullshit knowledge. You either do your reading and win the argument, or you remain ignorant and anyone you speak to on the subject will be able to poke holes in your theory all day long.




Sorry, I ain't posted in a while. Should be fixed now!

"We're going to take the government out of your bedroom, your bloodstream, your brain, your bladder, your business, your billfold, your back pockets, your bingo halls and your Internet bulletin boards." -Gatewood Galbraith