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I hate to upset all this speculation 
with facts.  Apparently if the 
system weren't rigged and require 
great scads of money to buy 
elections, we could very well have a 
Socialist Party today with anywhere 
from 20% to 30% of the vote.  That 
would be a decent base to build 
from.  Of course the hard core 
supporters of capitalism would try 
to paint the U. S. Socialists the 
color of Stalin or whomever; but if 
the ability to reach the public did 
not depend on immense resources, the 
New Socialist Party would have a 
chance to flesh out a program based 
on the needs and expectations of the 
U. S. working class.  If you don't 
trust PEW, try Gallup: 
http://www.gallup.com/poll/125645/socialism-viewed-positively-americans.aspx
Gallup's poll is entitled *Socialism 
Viewed Positively by 36% of 
Americans**.
*
What needs to be emphasized is that, 
in spite of long standing propaganda 
against socialism and  continuous 
discrediting of it by relating it to 
repressive regimes and painting 
those regimes as evil as possible by 
the main stream press and others, it 
still is viewed positively by a 
substantial portion of the 
population.  Just imagine what kind 
of support it would have if we had 
democracy instead of 
corporatocracy.  Anyways, i didn't 
need these polls.  Working with the 
foreclosure movement, youth doing 
street theater and other art forms, 
and organizing adjuncts (in spite of 
being an old fart) i find a majority 
consider that capitalism has failed 
them.  They want an alternative and 
have some pretty well defined views 
of what some of its attributes 
should be.  They don't seem to be 
bothered by calling it socialism and 
hardly ever refer to other countries 
that use that word.  Unlike older 
persons like Michael Balter they 
don't even know who Stalin was and 
what it felt like to be part of a 
weirdo group like PLP.  As a matter 
of fact what they do know about Cuba 
and Venezuela is the cool music that 
comes out of there.  They definitely 
are tired of our being permanently 
at war and the government not having 
money for other more essential 
things.  I will admit they generally 
are not too happy with China, mostly 
because the Chinese work for such 
low wages that  they take our jobs 
away  So their negative view of 
Communism is of a nation full of 
economic opportunity for dudes with 
cash and hell for the workers, and 
with a government that lies and is 
not a government of, by, and for the 
people--sort of like the United States.
Sweet dreams,
herb

Pew Research Center for the People & 
the Press


  "Socialism" Not So Negative,
  "Capitalism" Not So Positive


    A Political Rhetoric Test

May 4, 2010

"Socialism" is a negative for most 
Americans, but certainly not all 
Americans. "Capitalism" is regarded 
positively by a majority of public, 
though it is a thin majority. Among 
certain segments of the public -- 
notably, young people and Democrats 
-- both "isms" are rated about 
equally. And while most Americans 
have a negative reaction to the word 
"militia," the term is viewed more 
positively by Republican men than 
most other groups.

These are among the findings of a 
national survey by the Pew Research 
Center for the People & the Press 
that tests reactions to words and 
phrases frequently used in current 
political discourse. Overall, 29% 
say they have a positive reaction to 
the word "socialism," while 59% 
react negatively. The public's 
impressions of "capitalism," though 
far more positive, are somewhat 
mixed. Slightly more than half (52%) 
react positively to the word 
"capitalism," compared with 37% who 
say they have a negative reaction.

A large majority of Republicans 
(77%) react negatively to 
"socialism," while 62% have a 
positive reaction to "capitalism." 
Democrats' impressions are more 
divided: In fact, about as many 
Democrats react positively to 
"socialism" (44%) as to "capitalism" 
(47%).

Reaction to "capitalism" is lukewarm 
among many demographic groups. Fewer 
than half of young people, women, 
people with lower incomes and those 
with less education react positively 
to "capitalism."

The survey, conducted April 21-26 
among 1,546 adults, measured 
reactions to nine political words 
and phrases. The most positive 
reactions are to "family values" 
(89% positive) and "civil rights" 
(87%). About three-quarters see 
"states' rights" (77%) and "civil 
liberties" (76%) positively, while 
68% have a positive reaction to the 
word "progressive."

Reactions to the word "libertarian" 
are evenly divided -- 38% positive, 
37% negative. On balance, 
Republicans view "libertarian" 
negatively, Democrats are divided, 
while independents have a positive 
impression of the term. "Militia" 
elicits the most negative reaction 
of the nine terms tested: Just 21% 
have a positive reaction compared 
with 65% who have a negative response.


      Partisan Divide over "Socialism"

The most striking partisan 
differences come in reactions to the 
word "socialism." Just 15% of 
Republicans react positively to 
"socialism" while 77% react 
negatively. By more than two-to-one 
(64% to 26%), independents also have 
a negative impression of 
"socialism." However, Democrats are 
evenly divided -- 44% have a 
positive reaction to "socialism" 
while 43% react negatively.

"Capitalism" elicits a less partisan 
reaction. About six-in-ten 
Republicans (62%) react positively 
to "capitalism," compared with 29% 
who have a negative reaction. About 
half of independents (52%) have a 
positive impression while 39% react 
negatively. Among Democrats, 47% 
react positively to "capitalism" 
while nearly as many (43%) react 
negatively.

There is a substantial partisan 
divide in views of the word 
"progressive." However, majorities 
of Democrats (81%), independents 
(64%) and Republicans (56%) have a 
positive reaction to "progressive."

More than four-in-ten independents 
(44%) react positively to the word 
"libertarian," while 32% have a 
negative reaction. Democrats are 
nearly evenly divided (39% positive, 
37% negative). However, Republicans 
on balance have a negative 
impression of this term (44% 
negative, 31% positive).

Majorities of Democrats (70%), 
independents (66%) and Republicans 
(59%) react negatively to the word 
"militia." Nearly twice as many 
Republicans (27%) as Democrats (15%) 
have a positive view of this term.


      Young People Lukewarm Toward
      "Capitalism"

Young people are more positive about 
"socialism" -- and more negative 
about "capitalism" -- than are older 
Americans. Among those younger than 
age 30, identical percentages react 
positively to "socialism" and 
"capitalism" (43% each), while about 
half react negatively to each. Among 
older age groups, majorities view 
"socialism" negatively and 
"capitalism" positively.

People ages 65 and older have a 
particularly negative reaction to 
"socialism" -- 73% have a negative 
impression of the term compared with 
just 14% who are positive. But those 
65 and older are no more likely than 
those ages 30 to 64 to have a 
positive reaction to "capitalism" 
(56% vs. 55%).

More than twice as many blacks as 
whites react positively to 
"socialism" (53% vs. 24%). Yet there 
are no racial differences in views 
of "capitalism" -- 50% of African 
Americans and 53% of whites have a 
positive reaction.

Those with a high school education 
or less are evenly divided over 
"capitalism" (44% positive vs. 42% 
negative). Among those with some 
college experience, 49% react 
positively to "capitalism" as do 68% 
of college graduates. Those with a 
high school education or less are 
more likely to express a positive 
view of "socialism" than do those 
with more education.

People with family incomes of 
$75,000 or more are the only income 
group in which a clear majority 
(66%) reacts positively to the word 
"capitalism." Views of "socialism" 
also are much more negative among 
those in this income category (71% 
negative) and among those with 
incomes of $30,000 to $75,000 (64% 
negative) than among those with 
incomes of less than $30,000 (46% 
negative).

Conservative Republicans stand out 
for their overwhelmingly negative 
reactions to "socialism" (84% 
negative) and highly positive 
reactions to "capitalism" (67% 
positive). No more than about half 
in other political groups, including 
moderate and liberal Republicans 
(51%), have a positive impression of 
"capitalism."

Perhaps surprisingly, opinions about 
the terms "socialism" and 
"capitalism" are not correlated with 
each other. Most of those who have a 
positive reaction to "socialism" 
also have a positive reaction to 
"capitalism"; in fact, views of 
"capitalism" are about the same 
among those who react positively to 
"socialism" as they are among those 
who react negatively (52% and 56%, 
respectively, view "capitalism" 
positively). Conversely, views of 
"socialism" are just as negative 
among those who have a positive 
reaction to "capitalism" (64% 
negative) as those who react 
negatively (61% negative).

There are some differences in the 
relationship between these terms by 
demographic groups, although the 
association is not particularly 
strong among any group. For 
instance, among college graduates, 
71% of those with a positive 
reaction to "capitalism" have a 
negative reaction to "socialism." By 
contrast, among college graduates 
who have a negative view of 
"capitalism" a smaller proportion 
have a negative view of "socialism" 
(51%).



On 8/10/2011 12:28 PM, Kamran Nayeri 
wrote:
> Kamran, I'm out of posts today, 
> but perhaps you would care to post my
> response to yours which is below. 
> That will be my last post for today.
>
> thanks, Michael
>
> ---------- Forwarded message 
> ----------
> From: Michael Balter 
> <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
> Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:20:30 +0200
> Subject: Re: Please apologize, and 
> soon
> To: Science for the People 
> Discussion List 
> <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>
> When it comes to Marxist analysis, 
> I'm an amateur and so is nearly
> everyone here, although it would 
> be refreshing if they would admit it.
>
> But more incisive analysts than us 
> have thought and written about
> false consciousness (Stanley 
> Aronowitz and many others) and 
> sought to
> explain the clear fact that it is 
> not just the working class being
> badly led or mean capitalist 
> crackdowns a la Reagan that are to 
> blame,
> but the consciousness of the 
> working class itself which has turned
> away decisively from socialist 
> values over the decades. Or does 
> anyone
> here want to argue that the 
> workers are just stupid and subject to
> threats and suggestions and unable 
> to make up their own minds about
> anything? The problem is that they 
> HAVE made up their minds, and the
> job of socialists is to change 
> them. But JOB ONE has to be to 
> convince
> workers that socialism doesn't 
> mean Cuba, Chavez, USSR, Chairman Mao,
> etc. Is anyone other than David 
> Westman actually going out into the
> street and trying to sell 
> socialist or Communist 
> publications? I did
> it for years, and this is the main 
> argument I had to deal with every
> time. Try it today, you will get 
> the same response.
>
> MB
>
>
> On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 9:25 AM, 
> Michael Balter 
> <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> 
> wrote:
>
>     Kamran, I'm out of posts
>     today, but perhaps you would
>     care to post my
>     response to yours which is
>     below. That will be my last
>     post for today.
>
>     thanks, Michael
>
>     ---------- Forwarded message
>     ----------
>     From: Michael Balter
>     <[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>     Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011
>     18:20:30 +0200
>     Subject: Re: Please apologize,
>     and soon
>     To: Science for the People
>     Discussion List
>     <[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>
>     When it comes to Marxist
>     analysis, I'm an amateur and
>     so is nearly
>     everyone here, although it
>     would be refreshing if they
>     would admit it.
>
>     But more incisive analysts
>     than us have thought and
>     written about
>     false consciousness (Stanley
>     Aronowitz and many others) and
>     sought to
>     explain the clear fact that it
>     is not just the working class
>     being
>     badly led or mean capitalist
>     crackdowns a la Reagan that
>     are to blame,
>     but the consciousness of the
>     working class itself which has
>     turned
>     away decisively from socialist
>     values over the decades. Or
>     does anyone
>     here want to argue that the
>     workers are just stupid and
>     subject to
>     threats and suggestions and
>     unable to make up their own
>     minds about
>     anything? The problem is that
>     they HAVE made up their minds,
>     and the
>     job of socialists is to change
>     them. But JOB ONE has to be to
>     convince
>     workers that socialism doesn't
>     mean Cuba, Chavez, USSR,
>     Chairman Mao,
>     etc. Is anyone other than
>     David Westman actually going
>     out into the
>     street and trying to sell
>     socialist or Communist
>     publications? I did
>     it for years, and this is the
>     main argument I had to deal
>     with every
>     time. Try it today, you will
>     get the same response.
>
>     MB
>
>     On 8/10/11, Kamran Nayeri
>     <[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>     wrote:
>     > Would you perhaps consider
>     (1) the timing of the decline
>     in membership (does
>     > it not coincide with the
>     anti-union push beginning with
>     Reagan attack on air
>     > traffic controllers strike),
>     (2) inability /lack of
>     interest of union
>     > leadership to fight back
>     (due to the rise of labor
>     aristocracy and labor
>     > bureaucracy that have more
>     in common with the employer
>     class than with
>     > rank-and-file workers, in
>     addition to the crimes of
>     Stalinism?
>     >
>     > It is my observation (others
>     can correct me if I am wrong)
>     that Michael B.
>     > typically blames "socialist"
>     and "anti-imperialist"
>     currents for much of
>     > what is wrong with the
>     world. This is a serious
>     theoretical and
>     > methodological error that
>     share nothing with Marx's
>     heritage if that is what
>     > he aspires to follow.
>     >
>     > Kamran
>     >
>     > On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 8:48
>     AM, Michael Balter
>     > <[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>wrote:
>     >
>     >> Thanks to Carrol and Herb
>     for taking my digs with humor,
>     and to Herb
>     >> for responding to them in a
>     thoughtful way. Better
>     responses than that
>     >> of our moderator, who
>     insists on silly apologies.
>     >>
>     >> The decrease in union
>     membership can probably be
>     traced to a number of
>     >> factors, and anyone here
>     who tried to explain it would
>     probably just
>     >> be guessing. My guess is
>     that it is a combination of
>     increasing
>     >> disenchantment with the
>     possibilities of socialism
>     beginning in the
>     >> 1950s with Hungary, the
>     1960s with Czechoslovakia, the
>     1970s with
>     >> China, and the 1980s with
>     the fall of the Soviet Union,
>     along with
>     >> capitalism's increasing
>     ability to satisfy the major
>     needs of an
>     >> increasing number of people
>     (a big middle class despite
>     poverty and
>     >> increasing wealth gaps.)
>     Certainly the fall of
>     Communism, which many
>     >> on the American left have
>     yet to come to grips with, has
>     made
>     >> socialist goals farther
>     away than ever for both
>     leftists and the
>     >> people they might organize.
>     >>
>     >> But good to know that my
>     remarks have generated a
>     discussion, that's
>     >> encouraging. I will keep on
>     truckin.
>     >>
>     >> MB
>     >>
>     >> On 8/10/11, Mitchel Cohen
>     <[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>     wrote:
>     >> > At 10:54 AM 8/10/2011,
>     herb fox wrote:
>     >> >>Apparently either unable
>     or unwilling to investigate
>     what actually
>     >> >>is the political practice
>     or position of those whom he
>     judges, he
>     >> >>cavalierly invents their
>     views.
>     >> >
>     >> > Putting words in the
>     mouths of one's opponents is
>     an old
>     >> > tried-and-true tactic.
>     Sooner or later, some of that
>     will inevitably
>     >> > stick, tho' we never know
>     beforehand which ones.
>     >> >
>     >> >>in 1952 (when this old
>     fart's eldest son was born)
>     21.6% of the
>     >> >>workforce was organized
>     and popular support was at
>     75%.  Today about
>     >> >>half, around 11% is
>     organized and popular support
>     of unions is below
>     >> >>50%.  Explain that M. B.
>     >> >
>     >> > Similarly, let me put
>     Michael Balter's inevitable
>     one-note response
>     >> > in his mouth. Why should
>     Michael have all the fun?
>     Michael says: No
>     >> > doubt 10.6 percent of the
>     workforce withdrew support
>     from labor
>     >> > unions because they were
>     disgruntled with the Soviet
>     Union. And Cuba.
>     >> >
>     >> > Isn't it obvious?
>     >> >
>     >> > :-)
>     >> >
>     >> > Mitchel
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> > http://www.MitchelCohen.com
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> > Ring the bells that still
>     can ring,  Forget your perfect
>     offering.
>     >> > There is a crack, a crack
>     in everything, That's how the
>     light gets in.
>     >> > ~ Leonard Cohen
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> --
>     >>
>     ******************************************
>     >> Michael Balter
>     >> Contributing Correspondent,
>     Science
>     >> Adjunct Professor of
>     Journalism,
>     >> New York University
>     >>
>     >> Email:
>     [log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     >> Web: michaelbalter.com
>     <http://michaelbalter.com>
>     >> NYU:
>     journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
>     <http://journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/>
>     >>
>     ******************************************
>     >>
>     >> “Faced with the choice
>     between changing one’s mind
>     and proving that there
>     >> is
>     >> no need to do so, almost
>     everyone gets busy on the proof."
>     >>                            
>                          --John
>     Kenneth Galbraith
>     >>
>     >
>
>
>     --
>     ******************************************
>     Michael Balter
>     Contributing Correspondent,
>     Science
>     Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
>     New York University
>
>     Email:
>     [log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     Web: michaelbalter.com
>     <http://michaelbalter.com>
>     NYU:
>     journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
>     <http://journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/>
>     ******************************************
>
>     “Faced with the choice between
>     changing one’s mind and
>     proving that there is
>     no need to do so, almost
>     everyone gets busy on the proof."
>                                  
>                        --John
>     Kenneth Galbraith
>
>
>
>     --
>     ******************************************
>     Michael Balter
>     Contributing Correspondent,
>     Science
>     Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
>     New York University
>
>     Email:
>     [log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     Web: michaelbalter.com
>     <http://michaelbalter.com>
>     NYU:
>     journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
>     <http://journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/>
>     ******************************************
>
>     “Faced with the choice between
>     changing one’s mind and
>     proving that there is
>     no need to do so, almost
>     everyone gets busy on the proof."
>                                  
>                        --John
>     Kenneth Galbraith
>
>