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A Property-Owning Democracy

I've been reading Irving Krisol (the father of neoconservatism) a lot lately. I agree with the idea of "property-owning democracy" (widespread distribution of property ownership) as ideal. This idea has deep roots in conservative philosophy. But the neocons fall short because they fail to support any institution that fosters property-owning democracy.

The Welfare State as a Conservative Institution

The welfare state is a conservative institution and widespread distribution of wealth is also a concervative ideal. Conservatism largely looked to the economic system of medieval Europe and the political system of 18th centruy England as ideal (i.e. parliamentary or representative democracy). These two periods were what traditional conservatism idealized.

Kazakhstan: Trade unionist Erlan Baltabay imprisoned - again!

In July this year, Erlan Baltabay, a leader of the Independent Oil and Energy Workers' Union in Kazakhstan, was sentenced to seven years in prison on politically motivated charges.

A huge international union mobilization followed, including a LabourStart campaign signed by thousands calling for his release. He was released from prison in August after being pardoned by the President and was able to return home to his family.

The Conservative Welfare State

The welfare state is an American idea and a conservative institution. The Church did poverty relief and free healthcare when it was a public institution funded by taxes. When the "separation of church and state" was introduced under the new republican system of liberal democracy in America, the church lost its ability to raise revenue from legally mandatory tithes (income tax). When this happened, some of the social responsibilities of the church had to be passed on to the government.

Adam Smith and Capitalism

It's inaccurate to read Adam Smith as the "father of capitalism." Capitalism wasn't a thing yet. Wage-labor wasn't the norm. He was a defender of the emergence of industrialization and the division of labor. Marxism is just as much a logical outgrowth of many of Smith's doctrines as neoliberalism is.

Parents would not be happy

When I was a child and we used to visit my grandma and I remember living in fear of this grumpy old curmudgeon who lived a couple of units down from her.

Her hatred of children was fanatical. She was like the witch from Hansel and Gretel, only without the pleasant demeanor and gingerbread. The mere sight of a child would sent her into a walking stick-waiving frenzy about how we were up to no good and shouldn't be allowed to roam unsupervised.

I assume that woman is long dead now, but I'm sure she'd have just loved what the Liberal Party have become.

We Need Someone Like Yang

Listen, politics is a matter of life and death. Y'all need to vote for Andrew Yang. Here's why.

If someone's toddler is sick and in the hospital, they shouldn't have to worry about "how am I gonna pay for this treatment to save my baby's life" or "I better get back to work soon before I lose my job."

If someone gets sick and loses their job after being bedridden for months, that shouldn't wreck their financial wellbeing. And they shouldn't have to be jobless and still stuck with the medical debt from being sick.

Updated rankings for the 2020 Democrat candidates.

Updated rankings for the 2020 Democrat candidates. I didn't get a chance to do another of these after the last debate, but honestly we're beyond the point where anything other than a complete meltdown on stage would have any effect on individual candidates' standings. In fact there's no better illustration of the irrelevancy of the televised debates to the overall race than the flatlining Kamala Harris campaign.

Suffragettes, Extinction Rebellion, and Being a Damned Nuisance

Recently Terry Laidler posted an image that encouraged supporters of the Extinction Rebellion to be like the Suffragettes.

Ever ready to parade his ignorance of history in a public place, Geoff Kelly argued:

Things Boycotts Achieve

The term “boycott” is derived from Captain Charles Boycott, an agent in Ireland for a British absentee landlord. In 1880, Boycott began evicting tenants who could not pay their rent following a particularly bad harvest. In response Boycott was socially ostracised. Shops refused to serve him, local business refused to transact with him and workers refused to tend his fields, stables and household.

In the 1930s boycotts of goods from Japan and Nazi German severely curtailed their preparations for war.

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