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Herald Sun adopts socialism

The Herald Sun editorialises:

AS a community we must ask ourselves a deeply disturbing question: If we cannot look after the most vulnerable people in our society, who can we look after?

The evidence is that we have failed those who cannot defend themselves. That is why Victorians must demand more of their politicians. They carry the ultimate responsibility of looking after the disabled and the mentally handicapped, many of them helpless and preyed-upon children.

I look forward to News Ltd suddenly starting to campaign for government support of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, even if it costs taxpayers money. This is a fantastic development for Victoria – the state’s biggest tabloid declaring itself a champion of the unfortunate instead of, say, a relentless promoter of the interests of the privileged and powerful. Let’s hope they keep it up.

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  • 1
    quantize
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait for the big backflip…

    their US arm seems intent though on sticking it up for the rich guys and blaming everything on the middle class and poor

  • 2
    quantize
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    sticking up / typo

  • 3
    monkeywrench
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Pardon my unusual lapse into profanity, but you must be fucking kidding. This is a two-minute whitewash. Let’s hope they keep it up??? This will last about as long as a Ted Baillieu erection.

  • 4
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    And as a Leftist I support killing defenseless people!

    Snookered by the Herald Sun again!

  • 5
    confessions
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I imagine the Daily Telegraph will similarly editorialise once O’Farrell wins government.

    It’s amazing how quickly these publications can spin on a dime in order to cheerlead for their side of politics.

  • 6
    Captain Col
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Just for your benefit, Jeremy, “government support of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, even if it costs taxpayers money” is not “socialism”. Perhaps you should look it up. It is far more sinister.

  • 7
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m sure it’s not your definition of “socialism”, Col, which I imagine includes drowning puppies and running over old people. But it’s, shall we say, a fair way from ruthless free market capitalism.

  • 8
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    No, no, monkeywrench. I’m sure this is a genuine change of heart and in no way a disingenuous sop to principles they never have any intention of upholding in any meaningful way.

  • 9
    Captain Col
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Well, no. Not really, Jeremy. I looked up a reasonable definition for you that I agree with.

    “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.” Can’t see a whole lot of lefty compassion using other people’s money in that.

    But you knew that.

    And I’d only advocate running over people (old or young and avoiding their puppies) if they voted Green. They’re easy to spot but hard to wash off.

    The “ruthless free market capitalism” sounds really bad? Where can I go and get some?

  • 10
    rhwombat
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Captain Colon (Catering Corps. Rtd.): USA! USA! USA!

  • 11
    RobJ
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    It is far more sinister.

    Yeah, providing schools, healthcare, roads… All sorts of services. How EVIL!!!!

    Here’s a tip Col, the trollumnists whose rants you subscribe to don’t even beleive their own crap, they do however realise that there are plenty of stupid people out there that hang off their bullshit, you’re one of them. ;)

  • 12
    RobJ
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    It is far more sinister.

    Yeah, providing schools, healthcare, roads… All sorts of services. How EVIL!!!!

    Here’s a tip Col, the trollumnists whose rants you subscribe to don’t even beleive their own crap, they do however realise that there are plenty of stupid people out there that hang off their bullshit, you’re one of them. ;)

  • 13
    quantize
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    ‘And I’d only advocate running over people (old or young and avoiding their puppies) if they voted Green. They’re easy to spot but hard to wash off.’

    Can anyone verify if this is rightard comedy?

  • 14
    PipBoy
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Captain Colon (Catering Corps. Rtd.): USA! USA! USA!

    Colons, Koch Sucking, Cheer Leading….

    Captain, Me thinks the Doctor might be a little bit…well I think he likes you.

  • 15
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    “Can’t see a whole lot of lefty compassion using other people’s money in that. “

    Wait, so you’re a rightwinger who doesn’t see “lefty compassion using other people’s money” as “socialism”?

    Quick! This debate just got awkward! Let’s pick another definition of the word they’re using!

  • 16
    Fran Barlow
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Speaking as someone who is a socialist, I must reluctantly agree with Captain Col on this one. The idea of community provision for the vulnerable is not peculiar to socialism. Most societies make some attempt — some less coherently, generously and robustly than others. Given that there are no socialist (or even worker-run) societies anywhere on the planet, the conclusion is forced that at least some capitalist societies do this. Somalia might be an exception.

    Community provision for the vulnerable amounts to a form of communitarianism. Conceptually, it predates capitalism by several millennia. I would argue that societies in which production is a systematic undertaking determined on the basis of human need as adjudged by all of the legitimate stakeholders (i.e societies of inclusive governance) offer the most reliable context within which the needs of vulnerable people can be met. Yet such societies, if they ever arise, will not have had a monopoly on this. They will really just be the apogee of millennia of human development.

    What Jeremy might have said of course was that the Herald Sun was at odds with the view that the market is the best allocator of at least one “good” that almost all people deem not merely worthwhile, but essential. Yet the Herald Sun is part of a chain of spruikers for just the idea that government is inherently antithetic to productivity and human well-being, and that authenticity is marked by the exchange of cash or equivalent between one privately employed person and another.

    On this view, looking after the vulnerable by narrowing the scope of the authentic to trade is irrational. Surely, on this view, the “tax eaters” need to be struck down and the vulnerable allowed to contract their welfare to the market place. If that means their needs are not met, we must conclude that meeting those needs would be inefficient and outside of NPV. A truly market-based system would take car of such folk through natural attrition until balance was restored. Doubtless, with all the wealth prised out of the hands of the tax-eaters philanthropic types may freely choose, (subject to the constraints of moral hazard of course, for Herbert Spencer must be honoured) to uplift the truly deserving poor and vulnerable.

    Of course few dare utter such swingeing claims openly these days. Abbott might well declare such comments ill-timed or perhaps “going a bit too far”. Perhaps they would pass the family values sniff test because families are supporting undeserving folks all the time. One suspects that the PR consequences of such candour would be poor.

    Far better it is to talk nebulously about “markets” and have people imagine the ancient agora than a bunch of sleazy paper shufflers in suits deciding who was worth saving.

  • 17
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    CC @9

    Was the the definition you were using here?

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/04/21/correction-demanded-redux/comment-page-1/#comment-26617

    I actually agree with you, but sadly nobody actually uses the word “socialism” to mean what it originally meant. We’re sort of stuck with “liberalism”, but the american right has been gradually redefining that to mean stalinism. All of our words are being broken by the media.

    But at least you and I can agree that obama isn’t a socialist ;-)

    And I agree that it is odd to see an editorial position in the hun or terror that isn’t based on simply hitting people with increasingly heavy clubs as a way to solve all of society’s ills. I can only assume that some sort of self-interest in in play. That’s usually what changes the minds of journalists – the same ones who boost housing prices and the size of cities one decade will eventually discover that their kids can’t afford a house. The same ones who see no value in protecting the elderly or disadvantaged will eventually get old. The same ones who benefited from the debt-funded pro-growth city planning of the post-war boom advocated minimal public intervention, low rates and yearly balanced budgets the very moment that their own mortgage was paid off. We had an opinionator back home whose position on school funding could be tracked by where he was sending his kids at the time.

  • 18
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    q @13

    “Can anyone verify if this is rightard comedy?”

    I can only assume he has a bull-bar. Because running people down can really damage the bodywork, and claiming it all the time would eventually upset the insurance company.

    The XB falcon was reputed to be particularly harsh on pedestrians. Thankfully there aren’t many around any more – although you can hear them coming thanks to the raucously squeaky suspension.

    There was a fuss a while back about banning bull bars. Lots of emotion on all sides, but the one most obvious piece of information was completely missing from the debate – that being, how many people are actually ever injured or killed because they were hit by a bull bar? Any at all? Not a statistic in sight. I came close to being a bull-bar statistic once, but I jumped quick. I was young, and thought it was a great lark – when I got up and ran to the (now stationary) driver, he was white as a sheet. Poor bugger. Being young was great – indestructible. Then there was that time I fell out of a moving car (old cars, bad locks, hard acceleration around a corner …)

    Babble babble …

  • 19
    Barry 09
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Ltd News are only sticking up for their readers.

  • 20
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Just for your benefit, Jeremy, “government support of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, even if it costs taxpayers money” is not “socialism”. Perhaps you should look it up. It is far more sinister.

    Clearly. Socialism is incapable of being framed in positive language, and two concepts cannot possibly be the same if the wording is different. QED.

  • 21
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be hardly any ideological debate in state politics. I suppose the states’ (somewhat diminishing) responsibilities principally concern service delivery. So, it’s rather hard for anyone fighting battles in state politics to argue that there shouldn’t be well-funded public education, healthcare and public transport. State governments and oppositions have to adopt socialist-ish principles and language if they are to justify their own existence.

    It mostly seems to be about how many stuff-ups your opponents have made, rather than any ideological transgressions.

    The language of libertarianism still gets used, though: “How dare you use other people’s money! Yes, we’re using the same amount as you, but that’s beside the point because we spent it better.”

  • 22
    DeanL
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Captain Col had it all worked out long ago. He could have ordered the world for us all had he not been so ensconced in the oldest of public service professions so long. Still weren’t keen on dying by the sword though, were you CC?

  • 23
    rhwombat
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Ah. PiqueBoy. Recovered from last night’s parade, I see. Don’t get your pills mixed up.

  • 24
    Captain Col
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I guess where I depart the lefty’s version of socialism is that I believe, as I stated at the outset, that even a proper capitalist society can provide “government support of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, even if it costs taxpayers money” but you guys want government support (and hence control/dependency) of the entire population including those well capable of making up their own minds and paying for what they want.

    So, Jeremy, I still deplore, “lefty compassion using other people’s money” as well as socialism (however defined – remember the Nazis were socialists). I support government schemes that provide limited support with incentives for recipients to move quickly to self funded support where possible. Nothing terribly radical in that.

    Yes there are many Government programs which are almost part of the furniture and would be impossible to remove now. Some are beneficial and some aren’t. I, unlike you youngsters here, am old enough to remember the days before things like Medicare. How on earth did we survive? What a cruel and heartless society we must have been. People actually paying to go to the doctor (who as I remember, visited us at home for every ailment). Unheard of.

    So contain your feigned outrage that people such as me not only exist, but dare to point out your hypocrisy. The swing is now back to the right. WA first, VIC next, NSW a sure thing to follow, QLD wavering in the future and Gillard one byelection from oblivion. Who knows. You’ll soon be back to your core business. Rather than arse-licking the saintly lefty governments, you will revert to outraged ranting at the evils of coast to coast conservatives.

  • 25
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    you guys want government support (and hence control/dependency) of the entire population including those well capable of making up their own minds and paying for what they want.

    …Nazis were socialists…

    I also want to insert RFID chips into your eyeballs and levy a 32% tax on children’s pocket money, Godwin.

    So contain your feigned outrage that people such as me not only exist, but dare to point out your hypocrisy.

    That’s right – we only pretend to be outraged at your existence and hypocrisy-pointing-out. Secretly, we love you.

  • 26
    John Reidy
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    that even a proper capitalist society can provide “government support of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, even if it costs taxpayers money”

    Yes but this is a slippery slope.

    This will require taxation how about a progressive system where those who can afford it pay more.
    Also (as a method of support) it would be better if the disadvantaged can work in meaningful employment, even if only part time – so some affirmative action policies would be nice.

  • 27
    DeanL
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Captain Col seems typical of a large number of “conservatives” in that they tell us what “we” believe and then berate us for it. Without such a construction of fantasy, a particular NLtd mouthpiece would have nothing to write and CC would have no bait with which to troll.

  • 28
    DeanL
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    And a classic “back in my day” rant to boot @24. My, we are indeed privileged today kiddies.

  • 29
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Col, the Nazis were socialists in the same way that North Korea is a Democratic Republic.

    How about you stop quoting the tired dissembling bullshit of Jonas Goldberg, and come up with some original dissembling bullshit of your very own?

  • 30
    monkeywrench
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Catsidhe@28
    That would imply original thought: an unlikely phenomenon, given the subject.

  • 31
    PipBoy
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    even a proper capitalist society can provide “government support of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, even if it costs taxpayers money” but you guys want government support (and hence control/dependency) of the entire population including those well capable of making up their own minds and paying for what they want.

    Thats a reasonable assessment of a lot of posters here. Followed by the usual pseudo intellectual rebuking – condescending and not really saying anything.

    And Doctor, don’t get your hopes up. I’m not that way.

  • 32
    Phil M
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    even a proper capitalist society can provide “government support of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, even if it costs taxpayers money” but you guys want government support (and hence control/dependency) of the entire population including those well capable of making up their own minds and paying for what they want.

    Thats a reasonable assessment of a lot of posters here.

    Feels strange having other peoples beliefs inserted into my head. It’s weird, because I don’t believe them, yet, I’m being told I do……who to believe?

  • 33
    Captain Col
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Who is Jonas Goldberg?

  • 34
    PipBoy
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    .Feels strange having other peoples beliefs inserted into my head

    yeah that one was already used at 26 Phil.

    I’m wondering if there is a reply generator for anyone disagreeing with the original posts on Pure Poison.

    I support government schemes that provide limited support with incentives for recipients to move quickly to self funded support where possible. Nothing terribly radical in that.

    This is also reasonable.

    How about just debating the post. Might make for some interesting commentary, instead of the ‘koch sucking’, ‘Randian’, ‘wing nut’ , ‘rightard’ weirdo retorts.

  • 35
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    You don’t have Google?

    Jonas Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism.

    You’d probably like it. His thesis, if I can dignify it thus, is that liberals¹ are Socialists, the Nazis were National Socialists, therefore liberals are Nazis, QED. Sometimes he allows himself to be argued into the weak position He takes almost 500 pages to come to that conclusion, but that just proves that he is of the school that a lie repeated often enough may as well be truth.

    You will forgive me if I mistook his argument coming from your keyboard as an indication that you were familiar with his works directly. I would not be surprised if you merely picked it up from the echosphere, though.

    [1] small-l, US usage.

  • 36
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I didn’t notice the break there: let me fill the gap:

    … Sometimes he allows himself to be argued into the weak position that liberals may not be Nazis, they are merely like Nazis. …

  • 37
    Eponymous
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    My favourite form of argument is when someone repeatedly TELLS ME what I want or mean. It’s good, because sometimes I forget:

    “but you guys want government support (and hence control/dependency) of the entire population including those well capable of making up their own minds and paying for what they want.”

  • 38
    twobob
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “you guys want government support (and hence control/dependency) of the entire population”

    That is the line that stood out for me too Eponymous.
    Funny though that so much of what I want is at odds with that. Ah by why let reality get in the way of a story from either col or the herald-sun?

  • 39
    dogspear
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Nothing wrong with a bit of good old reductionism. You guys are such nazis.

    What I want to know is how do we know who is capable of making up their minds and who isn’t?

    Also wondering, Col, seeing as you are the only straight talker around here, where do you stand on murder, the legalisation of Cannabis and slavery? I can’t trust the commies to tell me what righties think.

    xxx
    doggie

  • 40
    returnedman
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Bloody nanny state. Stop interfering with parents who want to get away with f$cking up their kid’s lives.

    Of course, when those kids go ballistic in the city later on, bring on the heavy police presence ($$$) and prison system (even more $$$$$$$$).

  • 41
    rhwombat
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    PiqueBoy: You don’t quite get the concept of projection, do you?

  • 42
    Captain Col
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Well after all the advice I’ve received, I notice not one of you has contested my assertion that, “The swing is now back to the right.”

    That must rankle.

  • 43
    Eponymous
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Yes you are correct Col. The swing in the ideology of the Liberals is towards the right. And no it doesn’t rankle, it’s actually excellent. The further right they go, the less relevant they become.

  • 44
    PipBoy
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Doctor, I understand fine.

    I’ll feed you some more:
    You project disdain and failure wrapped up in homo erotic posts and criticisms of others.

  • 45
    Angra
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I’m confused by this left/right thing. There are rightists in the ALP, and leftists in the Coalition. My Dad was a good old-fashioned middle-of-the-road Liberal – tolerant, prepared to give the other bloke a fair go, against blatant discrimination and exploitation, pro less Government interference in life. He voted for Menzies consistently. While I don’t share his views there is a moderate Liberal homeground which should not be forgotten – maybe this is Turnbull territory.

    My grandfather however was a good old-fashioned socialist who grew up, in the slums of Glasgow. Capitalists were bad, unions good, and the forces of elite society were always out to get the poor bloody working man. So there is a natural socialist homeground too. Pity it seems to have become a dirty word.

    I loved them both and they got on very well with each other, as they had a mutual respect. But I doubt whether you would find much of this these days.

    As both Labour and Liberals move further to the right, it makes room for more radical parties like the Greens to fill the vacuum.

    Maybe this is just a natural political evolution. And that’s what a democracy should be all about. So both extremes of the spectrum should stop the name calling and vilification.

    All hail the forces of change!

  • 46
    returnedman
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Shame that a party like the Greens whose policies would not have seemed out of place in the post-war years are now considered “radical” and “extreme”.

    What did they call the people in the UK who were pushing for the NHS (now being carefully dismantled by the Cameron government in spite of Thatcher stating “it would not be touched” during her tenure) way back in the mid-20th century?

  • 47
    rhwombat
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    …and when did you stop doing unpleasant things to small animals, PipBoy?

  • 48
    Fran Barlow
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Angra said:

    There are {…} leftists in the Coalition.

    There are no leftists in the coalition. There are some social liberals and for all I know there may be some of keynesian disposition as well. That would not make them advocates of the empowerment through communitarian structures of working and socially marginalised people — which is the starting point for calling someone a leftist.

    Turnbull may well be some kind of liberal. People like Judith Moylan and Troeth and AIUI Fran Bailey and Mal Washer have shown a modicum of humanity in public policy and have avoided talking utter nonsense. Even Malcolm Fraser these days appears to be liberal. That’s about as good as it gets though.

  • 49
    returnedman
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Shorter Pip and rhwombat:

    “I know you are, but what am I?”

  • 50
    JT
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Fran,

    That’s what I wrote to Angra a few weeks back in the comments of a previous post about the Liberal Party in England when I wrote ‘Define Leftism’ to his/their referral of Gladstone, Chruchill, Asquith, Lloyd George et al as ‘leftists’.