About the author

Joseph Natoli

Joseph Natoli

Joseph P Natoli is a retired college professor and author of numerous books on culture and politics. He is a member of the editorial collective of BAD SUBJECTS, the oldest political online magazine on the web. He writes regularly for a number of political and pop culture online magazines, including SENSES OF CINEMA, BRIGHT LIGHTS FILM JOURNAL, POPMATTERS, AMERICANA, DANDELION SALAD, GODOT, TRUTHOUT

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  1. 2

    Richard Ivans

    I beg to differ
    Socialism *requires* the curtailing of freedom, the violation of rights, property rights among others.

    In socialism the government walks around with a gun forcing you to get with the plan, the central plan.

    A stern fellow sporting a red shirt, black and yellow accents, bearing a sidearm that often jams:
    “Hey you! gimme that excess wealth”
    Late at night. “You there! Go back to the projects. If I catch you moonlighting for $5/hr again your only work will be in the gulag”
    “Lookie here, you need to pay your workers $10/hr or else, no other deals.”
    “No, you can’t hire workers from the east. If we catch you bringing them into the people’s factory you’re all going to the gulag.”
    “No, you can’t leave Socutopia to find better work. You are the means of production. We own you.”

    In socialism you have no property rights. “You didn’t make that we did. That land, house, pork chop, is not yours, they’re ours.
    In socialism you have no freedom in the market place. There are government stores only. This product only. That price only.

    In socialism the community dictates what you make, what you earn, what you do all day long.

    In socialism those communal decisions are made by the central planners. Wise guys. So wise they know how much toilet paper to make, and at what price it will sell. (gee, I hope there isn’t an outbreak of diarrhea)
    Capitalism *requires* your freedom be protected, your rights ensured.

    In capitalism the government walks around with a gun ensuring your rights.
    “Hey you! Get your hand out of that guy’s pocket”
    Late at night, “You there! Let that honest man go to work”
    “Lookie here, you both made a deal, shook hands, now live up to it. $5/hr.”
    “Yes, you can hire workers from the east, west, north, or south”
    “Yes, you can leave America to find work elsewhere. You are a free man. No one owns you.”

    In capitalism your rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness are ensured. If they aren’t then it is not capitalism.

    Capitalism is free markets. Under capitalism the government’s only job is to ensure you aren’t cheated in the marketplace, no one’s thumb on the scale, no one forcing transactions at gunpoint, no one passing a turnip for an orange.
    Funny, that when you allow people freedom they create massive wealth.

    Peasants from lands with domineering oppressive governments endure long boat rides to stand in line for a job from wildly wealthy capitalists.

    Or the peasant starts his own business free from oppressive government regulation and taxes.

    Soon the peasant has more than one pair of shoes, a decent home, meat for supper, and a car. He gets excellent medical care from the doctor he chooses at hospitals built by wildly wealthy capitalists.

    He watches programming brought to him through the extreme generosity of viewers like him, and especially from rich guy foundations.

    He send his kids to universities started and nourished by industrial titans and wildly wealthy alumni.
    It’s not funny when people are not free. When they are forced to turn over 1/3 of their year’s earning to bureaucrats and “wise” government central planners.

    When regulation and taxation stunt business pushing entrepreneurs to move to other states, to other countries. Endowing the arts there instead of here.

    Soon all the classes, even corporations and Wall Street banks, are looking for central planner handouts.

    “Hey, how can I get some of that 1/3?
    The people learn to focus on oppressive government for solutions. Unlike the rugged individuals of years past.

    Dependent people vote for populist candidates promising greater and greater handouts. (encouraged by a Pope whose formative years were socialist Peronist).

    Food stamps become really really popular, the government even promotes and brags about it. Being on the dole is no longer a stigma. Hell, half the people get other people’s (taxpayers) money in some form. How can there be stigma?

    Everyone looks to the central planners for a favor – poor folks, rich folks, college students, corn farmers, bankers, everyone looks to Washington.

    Everyone except those that leave for capitalism friendly climes. Those we call unAmerican.

    It’s not yet illegal to leave, it’s just villainous to exercise freedom.
    All that special interest spending causes government debt to explode. To keep the debt from super explosion, money is printed. The Federal Reserve printing presses clatter on overdrive. And the money in your pocket becomes more and more worth less.
    The purpose of government is to ensure your unalienable rights endowed by your Creator (God, Allah, Mother Nature, what/whom ever). When they do that capitalism and prosperity flourish.
    Socialism forces everyone to toe the line.
    Capitalism only forces its will on rights violators.
    Freedom made capitalism.
    Capitalism made America great.
    Socialism is turning America into the place from which our ancestors fled, back to line toeing.

    1. 2.1

      Einar Nordgaard

      Richard and once again you doe not know the meaning of Socialism.
      You probably hunted down commies when you where a young boy or didn’t you.

    2. 2.2

      Richard Ivans

      ad hominem:
      An argument that attacks a person’s character, skin color, religion, or other personal qualities rather than the substance of their argument.

      ..often used when a substantive counter argument is lacking.

    3. 2.3

      Einar Nordgaard

      Richard, I beg to differ
      The argument is there, btw for the second time.

    4. 2.4

      Richard Ivans

      your ad hominem argument?
      that’s the best you can come up with?

      If you can’t defend your views then it’s time to change them to something you can defend. That’s the way seekers of truth operate.

    5. 2.5

      Einar Nordgaard

      here you go:
      In socialism the government walks around with a gun forcing you to get with the plan.
      – most of the countries that have a Socialist-led government have less mass killings in their schools,universities, cinemas, bowling alleys etc etc.
      – a better life expectancy at birth.
      – a healthier life

    6. 2.6

      Richard Ivans

      Capitalist countries have more than socialist countries? show the stats on that, or even the logic of it.
      ..depends on many variables, food, genetics, climate, lifestyle. In comparative studies you want to reduce those variables as much as possible. So you use twins, or similar peoples.
      Socialist East Germany – West Germany
      Socialist North Korea – South Korea
      Socialist China – Taiwan
      You are saying socialism results in a longer lifespan?
      Name the socialist countries that allow their citizens a healthier life than capitalist countries.

      Name real socialist countries, not one that have some socialism here and some capitalism there.

      Remember, in socialist countries the government owns and controls the means of production, individual economic freedom is outlawed.

      Remember, in capitalist countries economic freedom reigns.


    7. 2.7

      Einar Nordgaard

      and again
      Socialist East Germany
      Socialist North Korea
      Socialist China
      these / are were dictators
      and has got nothing to do with socialisme
      (As is killing all the native Americans makes you a good christian)
      MASS KILLINGS happened again a few days ago Oregon

    8. 2.8

      Jeff Chelf

      Richard, stop upsetting Einar with your nonsense.

    9. 2.9
    10. 2.10

      Richard Ivans

      I am sorry if I have upset you.
      It’s best you look away. Maybe do some yoga,
      have a hot cup of tea. I like chamomile for times like this.
      The only way you can have socialism is with dictators:
      Stalin – Socialist
      Castro – Socialist
      Mao – Socialist
      Hitler – Socialist
      Pol Pot – Socialist

      The only way you are going to give the state your property and your labor, is when Stalin, or somebody else in a red shirt, comes to your door with a gun.
      Capitalism is when you are free…
      – to own property
      – to move you and your property about
      – to trade whatever with whomever you want
      – to trade at whatever price you want
      – to work and keep the fruits of your labor
      I like freedom. Most people do.

    11. 2.11

      Einar Nordgaard

      Again that gun??
      CAPITALISM = Richards warped view on the worlds history
      BTW I am not upset at all

    12. 2.12

      Richard Ivans

      yes, i knew the upset was a joke.

      Okay Einar, let’s play a game.
      Pick any time, any place, in history.
      1) You name a country where capitalism abused its citizens.
      2) I’ll name TWO countries where socialism abused its citizens.
      3) Whoever runs out of names first loses.

      If you are right then you should win easily.

      Even if capitalism and socialism are equal you will still win because I’ll run out of names TWICE as fast.

      I’ll go first:

      Democratic Kampuchea
      (Socialist Cambodia under Pol Pot)
      1.5 million Cambodians die from execution, starvation, disease and forced labor. Out of a population of 8 million.

      Socialist Republic of Romania
      When it was overthrown news reporters, previously censored by imprisonment and death, discovered 170,000 orphans crammed into 700 institutions, beaten, neglected, starved. Life outside the orphanages wasn’t much better.

    13. 2.13

      Einar Nordgaard

      Why not play a game on guns?
      Only winners in that game 🙂

    14. 2.14

      Einar Nordgaard

      Country nr 1: the USA when they killed all the native Americans

    15. 2.15

      Richard Ivans

      sure. absolutely. after this game.

    16. 2.16

      Einar Nordgaard

      2nd every single English and Dutch Colony
      3rd every Spanish invaded country

      ( damn totally forgot your history books does not go that far 🙂 )

    17. 2.17

      Richard Ivans

      Look, you can’t just blurt out absolutes and expect to be taken seriously. “all natives Americans” killed?

      Here is a list of the Native American casinos just in Michigan alone:

      Bay Mills Resort & Casino
      Firekeeper’s Casino
      Four Winds Casino – Dowagiac
      Four Winds Casino – New Buffalo
      Four Winds Casino – Hartford
      Gun Lake Casino
      Island Resort & Casino
      Kewadin Casino – Christmas
      Kewadin Casino – Hessel
      Kewadin Casino – Manistique
      Kewadin Casino – St. Ignace
      Kewadin Casino Hotel – Sault Ste. Marie
      Kings Club Casino
      Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino
      Leelanau Sands Casino
      Little River Casino Resort
      Odawa Casino
      Ojibwa Casino – Marquette
      Ojibwa Casino Resort – Baraga
      Saganing Eagles Landing Casino
      Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
      Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel
      You can use the USA, but you have to give a rational explanation.

    18. 2.18

      Einar Nordgaard

      let me rephrase that: 90%

    19. 2.19

      Einar Nordgaard

      btw have you ever been out side of Michigan

    20. 2.20

      Richard Ivans

      Were’d you get 90%?

      Yes, I have been outside Michigan. What does that have to do with anything?

    21. 2.21

      Einar Nordgaard

      i just gave it to an irrational man
      now let’s go for the kill
      All the CAPITALIST countries that were one way or the other, supported by the USA to gain Oil or other minerals all those dictators where and are CAPITALIST
      and yet the free world” is fighting them right now
      how Ironic

    22. 2.22

      Richard Ivans

      “irrational man”?
      Look, if you are going to be throwing out ad hominems when you get frustrated then I might as well go argue with some kids on the playground. Keep it civil. You get more respect that way.

      So is the USA your number 3? cause we only left 10% alive to run casinos?

    23. 2.23

      Einar Nordgaard

      i guess you ran out of guns 😉
      BTW lovely weather isn’t it

    24. 2.24

      Richard Ivans

      no, unlike Democratic Kampuchea and the Socialist Republic of Romania we haven’t given up our guns to the government.

      You see we need our guns to keep us free.

      And we never know when we’ll have to go back to Europe to free the people there, again.

      So is the USA your #1 because we only left 10% of the Native Americans alive to run the casinos?

      Is it my turn now?

    25. 2.25

      Einar Nordgaard

      no you have to stand inline for your next turn
      you are nr 369

  2. 3

    Richard Ivans

    ^^^previous comments under “Richard Ivans I beg to differ”.
    SOCIALISM can not survive without dictatorial powers.

    Dictators require each to work according to their ability, and they give unto each according to their need. “Need” of course determined by some central figure, the politburo or reichstag he controls, and the legions of bureaucrats.

    Dictators take your property. “You didn’t build that, we, your countrymen did. So that’s ours. Your business isn’t your business, it is ours.”

    Anway, back to our game.
    I name an evil socialist country.
    You name TWO evil capitalist countries.
    Whoever quits first loses.

    You are certain to win, only having to name 1 to my 2, right?
    MY 1
    Democratic Kampuchea
    (Socialist Cambodia under Pol Pot)
    1.5 million Cambodians die from execution, starvation, disease and forced labor. Out of a population of 8 million.

    MY 2
    Socialist Republic of Romania
    When it was overthrown news reporters, previously censored by imprisonment and death, discovered 170,000 orphans crammed into 700 institutions, beaten, neglected, starved. Life outside the orphanages wasn’t much better.
    YOUR 1
    United States of America
    227 people die in mass killings from 2009-2013, and more since then. Native Americans killed by cavalry and such. And guns, Americans shouldn’t be allowed to have guns.
    MY 3
    Forced prices on about everything, government plans your job, your pay, what you make. Life is dreary. Prosperity is something they only see to the west. They are forbidden to leave for the west. When they revolt and overthrow socialism the surrounding socialists country tanks roll in to re-institute socialism.

    MY 4
    The government central planners dictated what, how much, by whom, at what wage, at what selling price stuff was produced. Like in Moscow at the time.
    I don’t think we need to go over how Hitler treated his countrymen.


    1. 3.1

      Einar Nordgaard

      do you even know that the term NATIONAL SOCIALIST means?
      and please do not start with WE, YOU did not fight during that war

    2. 3.2

      Richard Ivans

      My father, an uncle, and other relatives fought in WW2.

      I served during Viet Nam. One of the tasks we had when I served was to protect Norway and other NATO countries. We were protecting Norway from full blown socialism to their east.

      Regardless, I have no problem with a young man today saying, “WE protected Norway in the Viet Nam era”.

      Maybe only you would say, “No you didn’t, Richard did.”

    3. 3.3

      Einar Nordgaard

      One of the tasks we had when I served was to protect Norway and other NATO countries. We were protecting Norway from full blown socialism to their east

      Who told you that
      Richard Nixon?

    4. 3.4

      Richard Ivans

      Then why does Norway belong to NATO?

      Is it not because Norway likes having a big strong pal?

      The USA is by far the biggest contributor to NATO.

      The USA is the only NATO member with anti ballistic missiles, significant air force, significant navy, significant army and marines, all protecting Norway and the others.

  3. 4

    Richard Ivans

    Yes, National Socialist is short for National Socialist German Workers Party. In other words Nazi Party.

    National Socialists ran Germany in the 30s and 40s. “The government central planners dictated what, how much, by whom, at what wage, at what selling price stuff was produced.” Like the Soviet Socialists did in Moscow at the time.


    1. 4.1

      Einar Nordgaard

      and yet:
      Hitler believed that private ownership was useful in that it encouraged creative competition and technical innovation

    2. 4.2

      Richard Ivans

      That’s what socialists want you to believe. National Socialists want you to believe they really aren’t socialists.

      All the other socialists want you to believe they are different from National Socialists.

      Well, in National Socialist Germany
      — you could not make what you wanted.
      — You could not pay your workers what you wanted.
      — You could not hire and fire whoever your wanted.
      — You could not charge the price you wanted.
      — You could not move your business from Munich to Frankfurt if you wanted.
      — You could not make contracts the way you wanted
      — You could not sell your goods to whomever you wanted.
      — You could not leave the country if you wanted.

      Just like in the Soviet Socialist Union.

    3. 4.3

      Einar Nordgaard

      Richard Ivans that being said LUNCH

    4. 4.4

      Richard Ivans

      nice graphic. American baseball cap and hot dogs like they serve at American ball parks. Admit it. You love America. 🙂

    5. 4.6

      Richard Ivans

      Walmart is a capitalist enterprise. Socialists and socialist countries don’t like capitalist enterprises.

      Last year Walmart sales revenue was $482.2 BILLION.
      If Walmart saved shoppers only 1% over shopping elsewhere that means they saved shoppers $4.87 BILLION
      Most of the people who shop at Walmart are on the poorer side. And Walmart saved them more than 1%.

      What is it that prompts you to make fun of Walmart shoppers?

      You don’t like poor people saving BILLIONS?

    6. 4.7

      Einar Nordgaard

      Richard Ivans i would love them to be able to join the union and have a normal income

    7. 4.8

      Richard Ivans

      See, that is the beauty of capitalism.
      — If you want to unionize you are free too.
      — If you don’t like the union to don’t have to belong.
      — If you don’t like your employer you are free to leave.
      — No one forces you to contract with unions or employers.

      — If your workers unionize you are free to ignore union demands.
      — If you don’t like the way workers act, unionized or not, you are free to send them out the door.

      Capitalism means freedom.
      Walmart haters will like this. Socialists will like this too….
      The government can force Walmart to accept unions.
      What is that? Which wise man or group of men can tell us what that is? I know, how about some Central Planners. Wise men that know the true price of things.

      What one true wage is good for Walmart workers in rural depressed areas *and* for workers in posh suburbs.

      See, that is the beauty of Capitalism. The “invisible hand” causes prices to fluctuate constantly in response to supply and demand. Rural and suburb fluctuating independent or one another. And independent of idiot bureaucrats in far away marble buildings.
      Walmart pays better wages and benefits than the mom and pop stores they replace. And Walmart is safer and cleaner.

      No employee is chained to their job. They are all free to not work there. Instead, when a new announces, “We’re Hiring!” they line up around the block.

      Why do they queue up? Because Walmart is a better employer than their other choices.
      If you think that then maybe you want to buy some WMT stock. Get in on the lucrative action. Ride down the street in your big black car lighting your cigars with $50s.

      The owners of Walmart make a profit, but not a lot. Billionaire Sam Walton, founder, drove old cars and pickup trucks and dressed in clothes only from his store.

      Sam’s lifestyle was way below that of Obama, Hillary, Al Gore and the rest of that socialist crowd. No limos for Sam.

  4. 5

    Richard Ivans

    Don’t just post reading assignments.

    Tell me what you think.
    In your own words.
    Then, if you wish, copy and paste supporting evidence. If I need the support I’ll read it.

    Otherwise this might degrade down to
    1) you post somebody else’s work
    2) I post somebody’s else’s work
    3) back to #1, repeat until tired

    Think for yourself. Don’t let others think for you.
    (Except maybe Joe. It might be okay to let him think for you. He’s a professor 😛 )
    Joe does. But I’ll get to that later.

    Walmart is owned by its shareholders, no one else.
    The shareholders choose the board.
    The board chooses the managers.
    If the owners want the managers to fire all the butchers then fine. They have that right. It is their business. They can do what they want with what is theirs.

    It is the same for the mom and pop stores that Walmart replaces, and for any big store competitor. They also fire as they wish. That is capitalism.

    Of course you are going to be a lousy capitalist if you fire good people that add more value then you spend on them. Good employees you woe, you entice them with higher wages.

    Walmart made the decision that unionized butchers would cost the shareholders more than they are worth, so they fired them. And sold packaged meat instead.

    That’s what the shareholders want. They want profitable meat sales.
    That’s what Joe Joseph Phillip Natoli wants too. You see Joe owns Walmart stock in his CREF 403(b) retirement funds. I do too. We’re both on MSU’s retirement system.

    Imagine that, capitalist Richard and “socialist” Joe both want their corporate earnings to do well.

    Come Joe. Fess up. Nothing to be ashamed of. You are a corporation owning capitalist too 🙂
    Under socialism the butchers would only lose their job if the central planners planned it. Which they do from distant whim to whim.

    Firings don’t come from the boss that sees the quality of your work. They come from far away central planners in marble buildings.

    Wages are also determined at far away marble buildings.
    Walmart has a front door.
    Unemployed people walk in, freely.
    They sit down with a representative of the shareholders, they talk about the work, the salary and the benefits.

    Then they look each other in the eye and shake hands on a deal.
    OR if either party doesn’t like the deal then they don’t shake, they go their separate ways, freely.

    And after being on the job for 1day or 40years Walmart workers walk out the door. Either because they or the management called it quits.

    That’s how capitalism works. Free men making deals with each other, trying to maximize the benefit to themselves.

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