Friday, February 05, 2010

A majority of Democrats have a positive image of socialism

From Gallup:













Fifty-three percent of Democrats and 61 percent of liberals have a positive image of socialism.

21 comments:

Steve said...

Who the hell are the 20% of so-called conservatives who have a positive image of socialism?! Are they morons? Neo-nazis?

Not that neo-nazis are conservatives, or somehow different from morons.

Anonymous said...

Very depressing, but having taught public high school for years, this doesn't surprise me. I think all the junk food we've been eating for a few decades has taken its toll.

Underachiever said...

I have a positive vision of socialism, depending upon how it is enacted.

mnuez said...

As compared with America's form of capitalism over this past decade, I have a pretty positive feeling about European-style light socialism.

Nonetheless, considering how I've never heard the word used in a positive context here in the US, I'm curious as to how it's possible that any demographic besides "liberals" could have a possible view of the word. On the Republican side there may be a few stormfronters with positive feelings toward Nazi National Socialism but really now, there can't be enough of them to show up in a poll.

On the democratic side they don't even have National Socialism to fall back on. I could see a few (very few) educated folk having a view different from the ubiquitously advertised one, but how many?

These questions, coupled with the fact that your charts don't show a "Don't Know" category have me wonder whether the word Socialism was explained to people who didn't know it ore fully understand it. Besides, how do you say Socialism in Spanish? (Don't tell me, I'm making a point here about the improbability that the word "Socialism" with no explanation thereof, was presented to the polled public.

On the subject, though you, Inductivist, could undoubtedly expound at length on the subject of Socialism you have to admit that the reason why you assumed this data would have shock-value isn't because Socialism really represents an ideal so foreign to the minds of most Americans but because you thought the word represented horrible things in the minds of most Americans because of the decades-long smear campaign against the term.

mnuez

P.S. It's neither here nor there regarding the merits or demerits of socialistic policies but it is quite interesting how serious a beating this word took in America over the past few decades. Remember that in the early part of the past century (until about 1952) Socialism was a word that was VERY popular among the intelligencia (Wells, Einstein, Gandhi, etc, etc, etc) and had so filtered down to the protalitariat that Hitler had no difficulty with taking over a perty called the National Socialists. "Socialism" was a feel-good political term like "Democracy" (hence the DPRK, and of Congo and Yemen too) or like the words "community" and "sensitive" in modern PC culture and like "relationship with God" among religios folk.

You'd be surprised but these words are often used in an almost wholly meaningless and Pavlovian sense. It's just interesting to see what a complete turnaround the term Socialsm had in half a century. (Perhaps until now, but again, I'm not convinced that people were asked what feeling was evinced by the naked word but rather about the general, theoretical idea about some of it's prefered policies

Matt said...

I can see someone having a positive view of socialism and not wanting to live in a socialist country. They would say it is simply "just another way of life" but not necessarily the American way. I think most Americans are comfortable with our mixed economy and simply argue about how to mix it properly. I don't think this data means Democrats and liberals want the government to completely seize the means of production.

wreaver said...

@Matt said,
"I don't think this data means Democrats and liberals want the government to completely seize the means of production."

My impression is that what people mean when they say "socialism" today isn't the original definition of the word "socialism". But, what people mean when they say "socialism" today would have been called "fascism" about 60 years ago.

KingM said...

I have traveled regularly to Europe and have a positive view of some aspects of socialism.

mengbomin said...

Keep in mind that in the United States, there is no significant officially socialist party. Even our neighbors to the north have one in the form of the New Democrats, so socialism isn't really a term that enters American discourse a whole heck of a lot.

As other commenters have pointed out, one of the typical associations people make with socialism, if they make any meaningful associations at all, are European countries, which have had successes with particular aspects of socialist policies.

But an as of yet unmentioned aspect of this dynamic is pure tribalism. Conservatives are the ones most likely to consider "socialism" as a swear word in political discourse and when conservative activists use it in such a manner, liberals who already view conservatives as "the other side" are unlikely to share the sentiments and may just see the conservatives' dislike of socialism as a plus in socialism's favor...whatever socialism is.

If socialism were a word that were used seriously in our political discourse, I'd put more value into this poll. But given the extent to which the average American is exposed to serious discourse about socialism and the level of knowledge about what the term actually means in this country, this poll is essentially meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Number 1: Democrats are free as birds to apply to emigrate to socialist countries if they so choose. Nobody is forcing them to stay here.

Number 2: Socialism working well in a heavily white country with a well-behaved population for 50 years is one thing, having it work in a ethnically diverse nation, with much of its population having IQ's in the 80's is quite another. We cannot be what Sweden was in the 1980's-1990's.

Anonymous said...

Nowhere on earth do we have an example of socialism that works for a population the size of the United State's.

The government of a large population is also the government that would be responsible for the enacting, the constant administering, and the regulating, of said socialist polices.

Take a look at Stimulus I and tell me how effeciently you think a huge government bureaucracy has performed with our wealth?

Take a look at Social Security and the raiding of its monies.

Take a look at the "care" one gets at Veteran's hospitals.

Take a look at California.

Small, largely homogeneous populations can do well with it--not so this country.

Plus, it flies in the face of the Constitution, which places primacy on not the group, but the individual, something the pols of both parties have forgotten.

And, to think that at one time I hated Bork. God, I wish he had been confirmed. Had his style been less confrontation and had he been less honest, he would have been. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Example: Australia. They have a significant "low IQ" population (indigenous Australians, Filipinos, Indians, Pacific Islanders) -- and we all know what a despotic, totalitarian wasteland that country is.

Comments/arguments such as:

1) "Socialism working well in a heavily white country with a well-behaved population for 50 years is one thing, having it work in a ethnically diverse nation, with much of its population having IQ's in the 80's is quite another. We cannot be what Sweden was in the 1980's-1990's."

2)"Small, largely homogeneous populations can do well with it--not so this country."

....essentially translate into:
"I don't my taxes going to spics, niggers and Indians."

agnostic said...

Pretty depressing, although I'm not surprised. The GSS has questions about govt's role in various industries -- steel, banks, etc. -- whether they should stay out, control prices, or own them outright.

Only a minority think govt should leave them alone; a majority favor price controls / ownership. This was back in 1985 and 1990 -- as if people didn't learn much from oil price controls in the "recent" '70s.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Example: Australia. They have a significant "low IQ" population (indigenous Australians, Filipinos, Indians, Pacific Islanders) -- and we all know what a despotic, totalitarian wasteland that country is.



AUSTRALIA IS 92% WHITE!!! That is not "ethnically diverse". The CIA world factbook would be instructive to you.

silly girl said...

Didn't I read that Australia tried to restrict firearms ownership? They had folks turn in their guns. Then crime went up. I think it was a while back.

Anonymous said...

Australia is socialist? Hmmm, you learn all kinds of things on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I read that Australia tried to restrict firearms ownership? They had folks turn in their guns. Then crime went up. I think it was a while back.
---
Handguns are forbidden in Wash DC. It has worked out so well! If I could only remember who wants wonderful policies like that...

Anonymous said...

In response to this comment from someone,

"Small, largely homogeneous populations can do well with it--not so this country."

Another someone said,

....essentially translate into:
"I don't my taxes going to spics, niggers and Indians."

It's cheap emotional responses such as this that make debate about efficient policies so difficult. Shame on you for such juvenile tactics.

The Juvenile Tactician said...

In response to this comment from someone,

"Small, largely homogeneous populations can do well with it--not so this country."

"Another someone said,

....essentially translate into:
"I don't my taxes going to spics, niggers and Indians."

It's cheap emotional responses such as this that make debate about efficient policies so difficult. Shame on you for such juvenile tactics."


I don't want to hear its not about fucking race. HBD bloggers (such as the author of this one) talk about "regression to the mean" and "IQ is genetic", thus implying minorities are a lost cause...don't say it's not about race. At least white nationalist sites are honest.

Anonymous said...

So true Juvenile Tactician. It's not that HBD-cons don't like crime, illiteracy and crumbling social structures, they merely don't like NAMs. That NAMs tend to cause these things is simply incidental. This also explains why Ron and others are never the least bit critical of white liberals. It's not about crumbling society, it's just about race . . .

Also, pity you didn't bother to counter the claims that Australia is overwhelmingly white and thus a peculiar example of large "diverse" socialist country. I'm sure you had something brilliant.

al fin said...

Juvenile Tactician is on loan from Mensa. Please handle gently and return in good condition.

Anonymous said...

Juvenile Tactician said,

"I don't want to hear its not about fucking race."

Gee, why might others think that mooching is more common among some pop. groups than others? (Oh, yeah, the data seem to show it...silly me.)

Don't worry--others are catching up.

Love your language, BTW. Soooo classy.