I just received this comment on that last post about Colonel Sanders, and I thought it would be nice to answer it here:
"I dont think you know what socialism is...You seem to be confused with a dictatorship that was labeled communism. It is not state directed lives but working for the betterment of the whole, not the individual like we find in capitalism. You cannot look at the system of such immense greed and tell me that the system which produces a poor working class (which needs welfare to survive) is working properly. Edison is proof of that, he did not make a majority of his patents, he relied on people like Telsa to create while he rolled in the money. He abused the real geniuses who never made a dime while he was able to make a huge profit off others work. And that is what capitalism promotes, corporate greed and sweatshops. I think what most people hope for is something closer to the Nordic model of modern scoialism. Where the larger welfare state guarentees a certain level of living with healthcare, education, nutrition."
Whew! Well, first of all, doofus, I do know what "socialism" is, and you clearly don't. A quick google gets this definition:
Nope. Nothing about working for the betterment of all, which actually sounds more like populism or fascism. Socialism is, then, state-directed lives, or at least the economic components of lives, which is a pretty big percentage. So you're wrong about that. This "poor working class" has been poor since we crossed out of Africa, and didn't become poor as a result of capitalism. In fact, they were poor under feudalism and all the command economies of the past. Under capitalism, they're for the most part only poor when compared with other people today, since in the capitalist West, the "poor working class" is of course outrageously wealthy compared to practically everybody else in history. And the only people who need welfare to survive are those unable to work, and they'd need welfare to survive in any economic system at all. And free-market capitalism makes it possible for poor people, however defined, to stop being poor. Under just about any other system, they're stuck right where they were born.
In fact, the Nordic economies you're talking about are mixed, and mostly free-market capitalism, and it's the capitalism that generates the wealth that makes the expanded welfare state possible. Under actual socialism, the welfare state would be impossible, and the gvt would simply enslave anybody who didn't feel like working. Check out some actual socialist countries and see how many people you can find on welfare. And see the conditions their working class lives in. Hint: It'll seem a lot poorer than our "poor working class." Anyhow, Colonel Sanders' career would have been possible in Sweden or Norway or Denmark because they're capitalist countries. You know, the kind of place where a communist like Stieg Larsson can get rich.
And I don't have a clue as to whether Edison was a jerk or not. But in a free economy, he could only screw over people who worked for him. But if he was, say, Soviet Minister of Technology, he could screw over the whole country!
So if you want a lot of social welfare and bennies for your working class, by all means agitate for it. (But try not to make them into dependent drones, as Bob Beckel warns.) However, since you want it financed by other workers and by taxes on business, don't call it "socialism." That's ownership and/or control of the means of production, etc., remember. In short, that's what communist countries call their system. They consider it a stage of development leading to communism. But I'm sure you didn't know that.