The dark side of Theism & Superstition

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SeanBreen's picture
Well that's not what I said,


Well that's not what I said, but let's run with it. If you define strict and severe punishment as mutilation, physical violation, violence or death, then yes, we should avoid those punishments. And there are fundamental reasons why. The vast, vast majority of criminals, commit crimes out of a position of powerlessness, irrationality, passion, mental illness, or necessity.

If you've ever read any court documents, how many of the cases presented were crimes where husbands murdered wives fro intense uncontrollable anger, or where a murderer coldly, calculatedly, psychopathically planned the crime, or where a man burgled a house to sell to pay for the things he needed or was taught to want by our innately consumerist-elitist society?

You will never, ever come across a crime that either: 1. Didn't include a motive that the criminal genuinely thought justifiable at the time of the crime, or 2. Wasn't a cause of intense uncontrollable emotion, or 3. Wasn't a result of a mental illness or deficienty of some sort.

Now, obviously those people present a danger to our societies in some way, but is our response to them working? Well, let's look at facts. How many prisoners, after being released in societies where jail is a fundamentally horrible experience, re-offend? And how much of a deterrent are extremely harsh, brutal punishments in countries that allow them? The answer to the first is anywhere from 40 or 50% upwards depending on who you ask, and the answer to the second is not very much, because societies that inflict severe punishments usually have the highest violent crime rates.

So what are better solutions? Well, one would be to stop teaching our kids that might makes right: we're fundamentally educated towards capitalist ideals -- get more, have more, be more. That mindset alone is the instrinsic motive for such a high proportion of all crimes. Whether it's power, money, status, that people want more of: they are willing to violate or trample all over other people to get it. It's severe, libertarian individualism and it's the reason why the vast majority of crimes have motives of self-aggrandization of some sort. We don't quell these mindsets, we teach them!

Another solution would be to initiate penal practices that don't just punish offenders for punishment's sake, but rather are organized in such a way as to make genuine, concerted attempts at therapy, recognition and rehabilitation. In an American jail you can expect to be beat, stabbed, raped, defiled, violated, deposed, oppressed, mocked, ridiculed and dehumanized. And what happens to such people? They lose their humanity.

There is no cure to our cultural ills to be found in violence, rape, execution, deposition, defamation, oppression, ridicule or dehumanization. None whatsoever. In fact, all it does is breed those traits.

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
from my experience, the

from my experience, the mental health care system should be replicated in criminal justice. Better food, better treatment, more rehabilitation, and less recidivism. everyone wins

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
from my experience, the

from my experience, the mental health care system should be replicated in criminal justice. Better food, better treatment, more rehabilitation, and less recidivism. everyone wins

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
I wouldn't say capitalistic

I wouldn't say capitalistic ideology are fundamental to our culture.

SeanBreen's picture
The way I see it is that

The way I see it is that institutionalization is not only a cultural antecedent response to noncompliance, it is a fundamental government policy. Take schooling as a perfect example. We put a bunch of children into a square room for 6 hours a day, teach them information that they didn't ask to learn, tell them when to pee, when to eat, and when to leave, and penalize them for not conforming to the rules and regulations. The information we teach them is inherently proposed to educate them in the means of creating a sustainable existence for themselves within a cultural and socioeconomic paradigm where currency-garnering is the only viable means of sustenance, unless they prefer homelessness, starvation, or the life of a hermit. Those children who fare better than others are praised, motivated, and ultimately made symbols of success which the other children must aspire to. Those children who fare worse or refuse to co-operate are demoted to positions of fundamentally inferior status. Children who directly contravene the principles of this system by vocal or physical resistance are labelled "problem kids" or branded with some illness created by the pharmaceutical companies and educational authorities: ADD, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder etc etc.

When a child leaves their schooling they are pressured into making one of a limited number of options: find a job, stay in study, or resign themselves to being labelled by conformists as social bottom-feeders. In order to get ahead in any job, it is necessary not only to have superior skills than your peers, but to have social skills that allow you to advance your career often at the expense of someone else. All this is enforced under the implicit assertion that such a social structure -- with its stratification and class structures -- is necessary for a fair, just world where everyone receives what is fair compensation for their contributions. The assertion that it is the only viable method is not only proposed, but vehemently defended: Marxists are conflated with Stalinist Totalitarians, socialist are conflated with scroungers and bottom-feeders, advocates of redistribution or reinvention of our socioeconomics are labelled extremists or radicals. Our society sweats capitalism from its pores, and as with any capitalist structure, the inevitable outcome is that the few benefit immensely from a material wealth and social power afforded to them by standing on the backs of the poor, impoverished many.

Capitalism by its definition is about taking advantage of people. The result of teaching people such a philosophy and enforcing it so oppressively, is that people learn to value that philosophy more than anything else. Now obviously all people have a certain desire for power, wealth, or status, but aggravating and promoting those desires is a fundamental reason why people steal, cheat, lie and
kill so often to fulfill them. If this kind of philosophy wasn't so central to our society, our upbringings, our education and our livelihoods, we mightn't see so many of the issues that stem from it.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"Capitalism by its definition

"Capitalism by its definition is about taking advantage of people. The result of teaching people such a philosophy and enforcing it so oppressively, is that people learn to value that philosophy more than anything else. Now obviously all people have a certain desire for power, wealth, or status, but aggravating and promoting those desires is a fundamental reason why people steal, cheat, lie and
kill so often to fulfill them. If this kind of philosophy wasn't so central to our society, our upbringings, our education and our livelihoods, we mightn't see so many of the issues that stem from it."

Well put, I agree, we are basically manipulated to conform to a greedy and corrupt system for an elite few that denies us knowledge for it's own agendas.

Try reading about other options like a resource based economy.

CyberLN's picture
SeanBreen - "Now obviously

SeanBreen - "Now obviously all people have a certain desire for power, wealth, or status, but aggravating and promoting those desires is a fundamental reason why people steal, cheat, lie and kill so often to fulfill them."

I did look but saw no studies that prop up this assertion. Would be interested in reading them if you would kindly provide them.

It sounds, from your posts, that you think there are systems better than capitalism. What do you think is better? What makes it better? Have you any examples of countries using what you think is a better system?


SeanBreen's picture
We don't need a study to

We don't need a study to prove that teaching greediness will exacerbate greed, or to show that teaching that might-makes-right creates power struggles, or to deduce that teaching status as synonymous to value leads to the aggressive pursuance of status. People most often are conditioned permanently by what they learn in childhood. That's why people who learn they are less valuable than their peers tend to grow up with confidence problems, it's why people who grow up in privilege often end up being entitled privileged people who want to defend a class structure that fundamentally benefits them, it's why kids who grow up in violent cultures are at higher risk to perpetrate violent acts, it's why people who are abused as children often carry out abuse as adults.

A society gets back what it invests in children. What you teach your kids to value ultimately shapes the people they become, and those people together make up the society at some point. Expose them to violence, violence is probably what you'll get in return. Expose them to innate socioeconomic unfairness, resentment and anger are likely what you get in return. Oppress them and one or the other of retaliation or capitulation is inevitable.

Free market, laissez-faire, fiat-currency based capitalism is fundamentally unstable, unsustainable, and destructive. Thankfully there are plenty of alternatives. Libertarian socialism, liberal socialism, anarcho-syndicalism, a resource based economy, the instatement of a central bank that isn't just a privatized profit-machine that preys on the society, requisition of public infrastructures by governments, differently based value standards. Even something so simple as rent-cost controls and utility nationalization can create massive differences to the lives of citizens. Really, I would advocate forcing privately owned banks to eat the losses when they screw up economies. Why should power-impoverished, wealth-impoverished, poor people have to shoulder the mistakes of the powerful rich?

Socialism isn't anything radical. Plenty of countries in Europe already practice some form of it or another, and in most of them it works. People in socialist countries currently enjoy the highest living standards and lowest crime rates in the world. It's no coincidence that by creating better living and working conditions, treating people more humanely, and valuing people's service more than $3.50 an hour, that you can create societies of high living standards that people actually want to be part of.

Socialism is just a set of ideas centered around dissuading the oligarchic tendencies of a free-market capitalism and putting economic, social and political power back in the public domain for the benefit of the many. I believe it's fundamentally more compassionate, just and responsible.

CyberLN's picture
"People in socialist

"People in socialist countries currently enjoy the highest living standards and lowest crime rates in the world."

Which countries, specifically? Name a few and we will do some comparisons.

Travis Hedglin's picture
Hmm, let me see if I can find

Hmm, let me see if I can find the "top ten" socialist countries, and then I will try to find the data...

New Zealand

Hmm, already having trouble finding a good breakdown of crime statistics per capita for China... What the hell?

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
China is hard to pin down.

China is hard to pin down. The little we do know about their crime approach is that they tend to prosecute the vast majority of those they charge (it's in the 90's). A number this high indicates that there is corruption and many false convictions. Hoe exactly is this socialist??

Travis Hedglin's picture
I don't know, I looked up top

I don't know, I looked up top ten socialist countries and found that list. However, I may have to simply drop China due to a lack of information on overall crime.

SeanBreen's picture
Well, people call countries

Well, people call countries like China "socialist", and that's mainly an American undertaking. Socialism is the enemy, remember? In reality, China are far from socialist. They're more like a strange quasi-totalitarian oligarchic capitalism. They don't redistribute money to the poor much, if at all; the political power is solely vested in the Chinese communist party, not in the people; labour power is not given to the Chinese people but to the government and large businesses; and generally your average Chinese person doesn't havea very high quality of life.

The same way, Russia wasn't a truly communist country under Lenin of Stalin. They were in fact totalitarian oligarchic capitalist regimes that masqueraded as progressive Marxism. Some of Stalin's strongest detractors were traditional Marxists. In fact most people credit Jewish writer Hannah Arendt with popularizing the term in her book that explores totalitarianism in Hitler's Germany, but the person who came up with the term "totalitarian" was actually a Russian Marxist and opposition of Stalin, whose name I regrettably can't remember.

Totalitarian wealth control is not the same as socialism; totalitarianism is heavily statist (that's to say the state hold absolute power), whereas the central tenets of socialism are fundamentally different: socialism is about empowering the people by placing economic and political power into their hands, particularly by laws that allow strong influence of labour unions and put infastructures like train lines and energy grids back into the public (rather than federal or state) domain.

Countries with more genuinely socialist tendencies (though I would argue no state is completely socialist yet), are Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and to a lesser degree Western European countries like Germany and Britain.

Traditionally Britain was a left-leaning population, and arguably it still is; the issue is that for many years there have been a lack of genuine leftist political parties (the labour under Blair were more Thatcherite than socialist, and they went along with everything the heavily right wing President Bush wanted), whereas now the Labour party who are traditionally a radical left-leaning party, have a socialist leader in Jeremy Corbyn, who I frankly think will be the next Prime Minister.

After World War 2, a radical leftist Labour-Party leader called Clement Attlee won an unexpected victory over the wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and some of the first things he did were to maintain the nationalization of Britain's railways and power grid, to create laws that give great power to labour unions, to build lots of social housing for the foreign and domestic workers who were in the UK (and for the returning soldiers also), to create a central communications company that provided cheap phone lines and Television lines to citizens, to rework the British Broadcasting Corporation into a company that is publically owned and operated to this day, and to create the National Health Service (as well as several important educational reforms) which is free at the point of contact to this day. What these practices did was allow the government to invest in infrastructure and see a return through operation, hand power to the general working men and women, keep rental costs low, and provide more sustainable, comprehensive services to the public.

Under Blair and subsequent leaders, these tenets have been largely destroyed: much of the rail infrastructure was sold off to private bidders (and within twenty years rail prices have gotten so expensive many people struggle to commute); the British Telecoms monopoly was sold off to private bidders (phone-line prices skyrocketed); much of the NHS has been sold off to private companies (about ten percent, mainly in equipment and pharmaceutical production) and so NHS costs have skyrocketed because taxpayers now have to contend with the costs set out not by government self-regulation of the NHS but by private firms (which is why the NHS is costing more and more to run and why the Conservatives are using it as an excuse to "unburden ourselves of this costly drain on national resources"; which is beyond cynical, since the PM and his cronies are the ones who personally benefit from business links to the companies they've given carte-blanche to drain our NHS system dry); and living conditions have continued to drop dramatically -- welfare has been cut so brutally that the government refuse to release the number of at-risk individuals (disabled people, mentally ill people) who have died a short while after their welfare was cut off.

In my experience, living under what we traditionally call British liberal socialism was far, far better than living under what we now live under, which is essentially a Conservatively led transition into free-market libertarian (some might say "fascist") capitalism. Here are a few lovely quotes from our current rich, entitled capitalist Prime Minister, David Cameron:

On free speech: "For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone".

On encrypted civilian communications like WhatsApp: "In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication that [the government] cannot read? My answer to that question is: no, we must not".

On Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (a lovely left-wing gentleman who has been full of class throughout his political career): "He is a threat to our national security, our economic security, and our children's security" (Eerily, three of David Cameron's cronies went on live radio within hours of this to repeat this phrase verbatim, exactly four times each. They ignored the radio-presenters' criticisms of the statement and robotically repeated that phrase. You can find a video that shows both instance here: I couldn't find it in any of the mainstream media outlets)

On homosexual marriage: "Preventing same sex couples from marrying takes nothing away from their relationship"

On the death penalty in Britain: ""Hanging may seem barbarous, but the greater barbarity lies in the slow abandonment of our common law traditions. Were I ever alone in the dock I would not want to be arraigned before our flawed tribunals... I would prefer a fair trial, under the shadow of the noose."

On zero hour contracts (contracts that allow companies to keep employees on standby by promising them zero guaranteed work hours, but superficially employing them: these contracts also allow the government to cut people's welfare as they are technically "employed"): "The zero-hour contract is badly named. I don’t know whoever came up with that idea. It should be named the flexible hours contract."

On human rights (parahprasing): "We want to repeal the Human Rights Act and leave the Geneva Convention".

People spend so much time conflating leftism and socialism with Hitlerism and Stalinism (incorrectly, I might add) that they don't even realize the inevitable fascist oligarchical societies that top-down laissez-faire free-market capitalism leads to. Anyway, I feel like I've derailed this thread a long way from what it was supposed to be. Suffice to say that criminality, injustice, inequality and top-down power structures seem more often to be the legacy of fake "socialist"totalitarian dictators and extreme right wing capitalists.

To answer your question: countries at the moment like Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland (as well as Britain pre-Thatcherism) are good examples of socialism done properly. All four of those countries have relatively low violent crime rates and relatively high quality of life, when you compare them to heavily-capitalist countries like Cameron's Britain or the USA under the Bush administration.

Travis Hedglin's picture
Then does everyone agree that

Then does everyone agree that Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland are the data points most useful for comparison? I need to know before I bother making any graphs.

SeanBreen's picture
Here's an in-depth,

Here's an in-depth, referenced, well-researched and informative comparison of the USA's violent crime rate vs the UK's violent crime rate for 2011:

Here's the conclusion if anyone can't be bothered to read it all:

"While it becomes clear that certain types of offenses are marginally higher in the UK than in the US (robbery and knife crime being more likely in the UK by an order of 1.1x and 1.27x respectively) a number of other, more serious offenses, are both marginally and substantially higher in the US. Rape of a female is 1.02x more likely in the US, while theft of a vehicle is 1.29x more likely. More disturbingly, burglary is significantly higher at 1.52x more likely to occur in the US. However, it is at the considerably more, well, violent crimes that America really supersedes England and Wales into its own class. In the United States, you are 6.9x more likely to be the victim of aggravated assault resulting in serious injury than in the UK. You are 4.03x more likely to be murdered than in the UK. And more staggeringly (though not surprising) you are 35.2x more likely to be shot dead in the Unites States than in the UK. Before anybody asks, no, these do not take into account justifiable homicide and other “acceptable shootings."

Here's a good article with references on Iceland's very low violent crime rate:

Here's a chart documenting the results of a WHO study on the quality of health services in the most developed countries in the world:

By any standard, genuinely liberal socialist countries or capitalist countries with some liberal socialist structures fare far better in pretty much every area that matters, imo.

Travis Hedglin's picture
A. I was asking if those were

A. I was asking if those were good countries for my own comparison.
B. I am not sure I would call the UK a socialist country, yet.

SeanBreen's picture
Well, a majority of the UK

Well, a majority of the UK population have socialist ideals. It's a heavily socialist population, even if its current government (who only got 23% of the electorate's vote) is anti-socialist and are intent on making sure its socialist infrastructures are destroyed. But yes, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Sweden, even Canada are good examples to look at (all of which are countries with old, extant socialist political parties, significant socialist populations and some or lots of socialist infrastructures, and which all hold places on the top ten of the GPI, the Global Peace Index. For your references, the USA places 94th on that list).

CyberLN's picture
They certainly have socialist

They certainly have socialist leanings in portions of their governments but I don't think their market economies are at all socialist. Market economy is a factor that should not go without notice if one wants to call any particular country socialist.

SeanBreen's picture
I don't think any country is

I don't think any country is truly socialist in the fullest sense of the word, but certainly some countries have socialist leanings, politically and economically. The issue with the semantics is that socialism tends to be defined differently depending on the culture and political landscape. A lot of Americans synonymize socialism with communism or more aptly Stalinism, which is fundamentally wrong, while many economists, particularly in the US, tend to view socialism purely in terms of its economic policies, which is misleading. Socialism is a cultural and economic ideology that advocates that the most central powers over production, distribution and exchange (as well as over government) be by the people and for the people. Privatizing public institutions and letting big business have a heavy role in both shaping economic policy and electing leaders is definitely not socalist, and I would argue vehemently that it's not even properly "free market capitalist": it's a top-down system with an extremely disproportionate distribution of power in the rich's favour, which of course severely limits competition and stifles dissent.

If we take that view, there are more than a few countries with heavily socialist economic and political policies. I would argue Marx defined socialism fairly in terms of its economics but got the political aspects of it wrong. Socialism is supposed to be a fundamentally liberating bottom-up social and economic policy with a central aim of creating sustainable labour driven economies, not a top-down oligarchy masquerading as a socialist institution (as Stalin's Russia was). By the prior definition, plenty of great leaders were socialists: Abraham Lincoln in the US, whose Republican party were vehemently opposed to social inequality, who fought for many years against privatizing banking institutions and who were champions of the cause of human rights and social government; Clement Attlee, who created socialistic universal healthcare, nationalized rail networks, put broadcasting into the public domain (rather than in military domain, which Churchill would have preferred), built social housing and dramatically increased living standards and social mobility after the war. Stalin, on the other hand, to name just one leader often wrongly accused of socialism, stripped his people of power, put his friends in government, disregarded human rights and impoverished his people as a form of control. There is a massive contrast there.

The most fundamental inaccuracy regarding common perceptions of socialism is the idea that it's a top-down structure. It isn't.

CyberLN's picture
I would agree that there is

I would agree that there is no completely socialist countries. If the market economy is capitalism, then you do not, in fact, have a socialist state. You have a welfare state. (Please do not assume I've made any editorial comment by using the term 'welfare state'.)

We never have had, nor do I think we ever can have, a genuinely socialist state. Ain't gunna happen.

SeanBreen's picture
Well it also depends how you

Well it also depends how you limit the definition of capitalist. If capitalist is any country that pays labour with money and promotes higher wages for people with higher labour value then every country in the world is capitalist, but that's an error on your part to assume economy is the only standard by which a definition of socialism or capitalism can be reached.

Britain, 50 years ago, had a nationalized rail service, a nationalized health service, a nationalized bank, a nationalized central broadcasting corporation, a robust welfare system and a socialist government. Taxes were higher, inflation wasn't such a problem as it is, rent prices were regulated, labour unions had significant power, social housing was cheap and readily available. If that's not socialist I don't know what is.

Capitalism is the practice of letting central infrastructures be privatized and controlled by private benefactors (which, particularly as regards banks, also has the knock on effect of politics being heavily influenced by the interests of the rich few) while socialism is the nationalization of such central infrastructures so that the public domain retain control over them (which has the knock on effect of politics being more heavily influenced by the lower and middle classes).

The neopolitical definitions of capitalism and socialist don't really do justice to the intrinsic social policies inherent in both political viewpoints. As you've perfectly shown, a lot of people think it's just about the market economy, but it isn't: it's also about where in the society the political power is vested, how the assets of a nation are controlled and by whom, and to what degree the interests of the elite rich are allowed to effect national government policies.

CyberLN's picture
"The neopolitical definitions

"The neopolitical definitions of capitalism and socialist don't really do justice to the intrinsic social policies inherent in both political viewpoints."


"As you've perfectly shown, a lot of people think it's just about the market economy, but it isn't:"

Well, I did not, in fact say that socialism is only about market economy. I do, however, think it is a major factor to be considered.

" it's also about where in the society the political power is vested, how the assets of a nation are controlled and by whom, and to what degree the interests of the elite rich are allowed to effect national government policies."

Your use of the word "elite" is interesting. Do you contend that only the rich engage in elitism?

Additional, you mention "the assets of a nation". What are those?

If, as you say, socialism is nationalizing infrastructure so that the public domain retains control, just how should that be done? No matter how you slice it, someone will directly benefit and someone else will be held responsible for proving that by which they benefit, frequently without their direct consent.

While I appreciate your (didactic) lessons about socialism vs. capitalism, I'd still like to see substantive proof that your brand of socialism is actually, in the long run, better.

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
Sean, rent in London has

Sean, rent in London has always been STUPIDLY high

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"The neopolitical definitions

"The neopolitical definitions of capitalism and socialist don't really do justice to the intrinsic social policies inherent in both political viewpoints. As you've perfectly shown, a lot of people think it's just about the market economy, but it isn't: it's also about where in the society the political power is vested, how the assets of a nation are controlled and by whom, and to what degree the interests of the elite rich are allowed to effect national government policies."

Yeah so true.

The problem is bigger then that though.
The governments loosing constantly control because of corruption that the elite made in place.
The elite make sure that no matter the state of a country the "DEMOCRACY" RULES remains the same, when it is clear to any sane person who even looks enough into it, that it is outdated and increases corruption.

I am no genius but these come natural to me:
-The leader that the people vote in place should not have control on the ministries(where he has no experience in)
-The leader should not dictate himself who the misters will be.(promotes corruption)
-The political party election should not be dictated by who puts more money.
-The political campaign should be funded by the government so all political candidates are fairly judged by the people for their proposals.(not who has more TV stations,newspapers and advertising departments wins)
-The ministries should be elected by qualified people in that subject and not the uneducated people.
-The ministers should have higher authority over the president/prime minister on their ministry unless it is a matter of national security or they are undecided and wish the president to represent the people for that decision.

The only reason those things were not even considered or even debated after 1000's of bad decisions, corruption on all levels regarding bad ministers and their flawed decisions, is because someone well funded wants it that way.

So yes, every democratic country is actually run by the few rich/elite people, especially those countries with only two major parties.
They don't wish to fund a lot of parties if they can get away with what they want with just two.
Once a businessman always a businessman man :)

Capitalism is their bread bin, anything you do against it will be met with heavy discrimination; Communism, socialism, you name it.
And if that does not work, well you might end up dead.
I am not kidding.

Qaddafi (one of the richest man on earth)
He just had everything, his own country, More gold then he could count, similar number in oil.
He made one mistake, he decided that he could beat the rich elite people and sequestrated their properties in his country because he did not want them to take the control he had in his country.

Next thing you know, with enough propaganda they turned everybody against him even his own county man.
That was not enough, so they send America/Nato to take out his military installations and give weapons to the rebels at the expense of the American people of-course.
The shortest war in history.

If he did not stand a chance against these guys in his own country, who does?

Articles like this were the propaganda:

This is much more like the truth:

If he did not stand a chance against these guys, who does?

But whats really frightening is that the elite did not need to spend 1 cent to do that.
That is the level of control and power they have over countries.

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
I don't understand the

I don't understand the sloshing of types of crimes. If America has more guns, it will probably have more gun deaths. If America has more cars, it will probably have more car thefts. Aggregated assault is harder to dissect and the gap seems wide. But I can't pin it down to socialism at this time.

SeanBreen's picture
The statistics for the UK and

The statistics for the UK and US violent crime rates are all per population sample. So, per 100,000 people, there are 4 times as many murders in the US. Per 100,000 people, there are 6 times as many assaults that result in physical injury. Per 100,000 people there are 32 times as many firearm homicides etc.

Most European countries (specifically the UK) also have a far broader definition of violent crime, which include physical sexual harassment, bum-pinching, unwanted physical contact, right up to rape and murder, whereas the US defines violent crime as rape, aggravated assault, murder and non-negligent manslaughter. That means, obviously, that on the surface some European violent crime rates might be worse than America's, but in fact, last census nearly 50% of violent crimes in the UK resulted in no actual injury to the victim.

You can be arrested for common assault in the UK just for pushing someone. Even laying your hands on someone against their wishes can constitute common assault.

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
I can thing of innumerable

I can thing of innumerable reasons why America is more violent than the UK. The case present, and largely supported with no evidence besides correlation, has yet to be made - does socialism cause a better society. No one has even addressed what the root theory of socialism is!

SeanBreen's picture
Here's how you can

Socialism (noun) -- a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

Capitalism (noun) -- an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Here's how you can differentiate a socialist and a capitalist: should the political and economic interests of those who have managed to capitalize most successfully be more influential in government than the political and economic interests of the lower and middle classes who have not managed to capitalize so successfully?

The prior is the capitalist viewpoint, the latter is the socialist one. The prior invests almost total power in the rich few at the expense of the relatively poor many, while the latter invests almost total power in the relatively poor many at the insignificant expense of the rich few. People who make £3billion a year after taxes in a capitalist society might make £1billion in a year after taxes in a socialist society. Boo-hoo. The high taxation on the filthy rich, the closing of tax loopholes, and reinvestment in services, as well as lower living costs and more free social services mean everybody, including the rich, get a great many benefits in their day to day lives. Housing is cheaper, healthcare is cheaper, travel is cheaper, energy is cheaper, and ultimately living conditions are better. I'd rather the many lived significantly more comfortably while Mr. Gates and Co. had to give up one or two of their various holiday homes and scale back on the Ferrari collection, because it is a proven observation in societies across the planet that better living conditions lead to significantly lower crime rates. The contrapositive is that places with high poverty have high crime.

Making rich people pay more tax is not the same as stealing from them, unless you concede that letting the rich off with less tax and putting the economic burden on the lower classes is also theft by the contrawise mechanism. If both are theft, which is preferable?

Vincent Paul Tran1's picture
raising taxes on any group of

raising taxes on any group of people won't solve the perceived problem. what you are talking about as a complete shift in and the way the government is run. Many people espouse socialistic principles but their proposals only strengthen the perceived capitalistic stranglehold on society

science's picture
Here's the issue. The gov't.

Here's the issue. The gov't. wants to give the rich, and big business all these tax breaks, thinking that it will "create more jobs," and boost the economy. It is a proven FACT that this DOSEN'T WORK!!! The big business owners, corporate big shots, and the wealthy, look to keep doing MORE WITH LESS, they cut staff, hours, and pay... statistics show that although there has been a hiring surge in the U.S., salaries have remained stagnant, and most of these "jobs" have become part time work, and the greedy become more greedy...Meanwhile, it is the working class that must make up slack for all these tax breaks the wealthy you know that General Electric made over something like 50 billion dollars...and didn't pay a dime in taxes, there is serious tax revenue missing...who do you think has to make up for that? Meanwhile, companies like this are sending more and more jobs overseas and/ or are relocating, for cheap labor, and the profits are getting bigger and bigger. Think about this...if you raise taxes on millionaires, they are STILL millionaires. But if you raise taxes on the working class, take the avg. salary in this country ( USA/ about 40-$45,000/yr) what are they left with?? They can't feed their families on what they are already making...and a person will need 2 or 3 of those jobs for that kind of pay just for bare necessity. Big business, corporate big shots, and the wealthy should pay their fair share, and fork it over, to give the working class in this country a BREAK. But it will NEVER happen, why... because the politicians are among the wealthy, are are the ones making the rules...they don't want their gravy train to end.


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