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My Reply to an Advocate of Democratic Socialism

At Debate Politics I had the following exchange with an avowed socialist, Mentork. There, I am “Onion Eater,” not “Shaka.”


I am not a communist, and I agree the Soviet Union was an evil dictatorship that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

But, I still think we should be a socialist nation, we are a republic, and that's why we can do it right.

And what are your thoughts on a compromise, like a social democracy?

Onion Eater:

“If some demagogue were to offer us, as a guiding creed, the following tenets: that statistics should be substituted for truth, vote-counting for principles, numbers for rights, and public polls for morality – that pragmatic, range-of-the-moment expediency should be the criterion of a country’s interests, and that the number of its adherents should be the criterion of an idea’s truth or falsehood – that any desire of any nature whatsoever should be accepted as a valid claim, provided that it is held by a sufficient number of people – that a majority may do anything it pleases to a minority – in short, gang rule and mob rule – if a demagogue were to offer it, he would not get very far. Yet all of it is contained in – and camouflaged by – the notion of ‘Government by Consensus’…

“The advocates of that notion would declare at this point that any idea which permits no compromise constitutes ‘extremism’ – that any form of ‘extremism,’ any uncompromising stand, is evil – that the consensus ‘sprawls’ only over those ideas which are amenable to ‘moderation’ – and that ‘moderation’ is the supreme virtue, superseding reason and morality.

This is the clue to the core, essence, motive, and real meaning of the doctrine of ‘Government by Consensus’: the cult of compromise. Compromise is the pre-condition, the necessity, the imperative of a mixed economy. The ’consensus’ doctrine is an attempt to translate the brute facts of a mixed economy into an ideological – or anti-ideological – system and to provide them with a semblance of justification…

“The only danger, to a mixed economy, is any not-to-be-compromised value, virtue, or idea. The only threat is any uncompromising person, group, or movement. The only enemy is integrity.”

Source: Any Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 1967, pp. 228-232.

If any DPers would like to join this discussion, please do. You will find Debate Politics to be a lively, civil forum with a variety of viewpoints. I posted Is the collapse of the dollar inevitable? two weeks ago and it has received 622 visitors and 37 comments.

People’s political lean and party affiliation are posted in their public profile. There are about a dozen libertarians, including myself. Mentork is a newbie who leans very liberal. There is a pseudo-intellectual called Scucca who is a socialist, and a rude one at that. I crushed him in a previous thread and he is punishing me with his silence – Thank God! – at the quoted thread, in spite of his having previously called GE Theory “capitalist hegemonic invention,” which I clearly disagree with.

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so its a debate...

when all you do is quote someone? And an abstract, long winded one at that. Thats not a debate its a diatribe.
You were asked a question about social democracy and you did not even answer in the terms that the questioner proposed to debate?
How do you debate without defining your terms?

The unknown ideal indeed...wonder why? I mean, explaining what she meant in your own words and the terms of your debate would have been much more understandable to me as a reasoned and followable reply to the question, no disrespect intended.

Perhaps I am too thick to appreciate the forum, but I do wish you well with it and hope your invitation yields new members.

i argued with the Socialist union today

it was quite fun. these guys were for real, they are not Obama voters.
so basically, everything i said that is a problem with current government they agreed with.
the debate started when it comes to solutions. man he was so naive. his argument was that a government in the power of the people wouldnt be abusive regardless of the large size a socialist government inherently needs to be only because "it belongs to the people". i argued a socialist state can not possibly protect individual liberty. (i decided to leave the macro-economics for another time). anyways i think it was a success since there were a bunch of people listening to us that were probably mainstream-obama voters and i believe they learned quite a lot about freedom and capitalism from our discussion.
one nice part was when he used as an example Coca Cola and Pepsi and how there is no need for two brands, one brand, produced by the state should be enough. i pointed out the only reason there are two is because people actually buy those two, otherwise they'd go bankrupt, abd that a socialist state would have never even created soda pop. then he completly reversed his argument and said well what if i dont like either one, i am stuck with those choices. i pointed out under capitalism you can start your own soda company anytime you want, unlike socialism. by this point the audience was pretty much in my side so i think i gained some converts =)
want Liberty in your lifetime? visit

Conspiracy theory addicts destroy our movement from within.
Let Reason triumph over unreason.

Good for you!

This was a live debate? What was the forum?

Why don't you drop by www.debatepolitics.com? We could use some good debators over there. Socialists are like mushrooms - by the time you've stamped one out, two more have popped up. And the silly thing is that most of the time they can be rebutted by quoting directly from Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson - it is actually pretty funny to see criticism written over 60 years ago fit a modern 18-year-old like a tailored suit.


Shaka, you so crazy! www.axiomaticeconomics.com


Is the collapse of the dollar inevitable? now has 773 views and 47 comments. This is a very active thread.

Cutting the Gordial Knot of GE Theory has 363 views and 30 comments.

In this latter thread, Mentork assembled a very weak argument for socialism around a 100-year-old photo of some kids working in a 19th century factory, as though that was somehow relevant. Unfortunately, the two libertarians who replied were very weak debators. (I had to give them lessons in debate technique, as they were allowing Mentork to assume his conclusions.)

Debate Politics needs libertarians with strong debate skills. Any volunteers?


Shaka, you so crazy! www.axiomaticeconomics.com

Very good use of Ayn Rand quotes

I believe that socialism (government ownership of the means of production) is a completely untenable position (well maybe not if you a nihilist and want people to be miserable... ;-] ).

ps. if anyone is getting frustrated with sloppy unfocused debates where there is not a meeting of the minds, check out this site called Cage Match Debates that is supposed to be going live soon!