Self-Reliance

Socialists believe in the ethical principles that support the formation of self-reliant and productive citizens, but always with the understanding that self-reliance is not an anti-social virtue.  Self-reliance includes being a reliable person, living...

Rewarding Wealth Versus Rewarding Work

We live in a capitalist system that rewards wealth (i.e., capital) to a greater extent than it rewards work (i.e., labor).  We live in this system, because we allow it to exist, we enable it to continue.                                          ...

Socialism and Barack Hussein Obama II

I do not know if US President Barack Obama is a socialist, as many conservative Republicans have alleged.  But, if the choice is between a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican for the office of President, I will vote for the liberal...

What One Social-Democrat Believes

I am a fully convinced social democrat.  And this means that I am not a liberal democrat.  Ideological conservatives like to confuse the ideas of democratic socialism with the beliefs of liberal democratic ideology.  This confusion of socialism with...

Confederacy

"A confederacy, or confederation, is a political system originating in an agreement made between several independent entities that wish to retain a high degree of autonomy.  The idea of confederalism is usually contrasted with that of...

Socialism

"As with communism, socialism can mean a variety of different things, not because of ambiguity or vagueness, but because it is a concept that operates in several different ideological vocabularies. Within Marxism, socialism has a very...

The Church in the World

"The Church is no peaceful garden in an otherwise turbulent world, but rather a vessel that is dependent on the waters in which it is sailing." -- Robert Adolfs, The Grave of God: Has the Church a Future?, 1966                   

The Question of God

"Of all the questions that are being debated in the so-called 'new theology,' surely the question of God has a central place.  Belief in God seems to lie at the foundation of Christian and Biblical faith.  But how can this belief be...

Human Being as Historical Being

"Man is a historical being.  He is not born in the world of things, persons, and time as a finished product.  His being is not prior to history.  He becomes what he is through the history of his relations with his environment.  He is not,...

Authors of History

The powerless are history's footnotes.  The struggle and striving of the powerless is to become authors of history, agents and creators of history.                                               

Marxism and Democracy

“From his earliest writings Marx was committed to the ideal of direct democracy.  His early conception of such democracy involved a Rousseauesque critique of the principle of representation, and the view that true democracy involves the ...

Marxism and Equality

“Marxist theory recognizes two kinds of equality, corresponding with the two phases of post-revolutionary society.  In the first phase the principle ‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to the amount of work ...

Conspicuous Consumption

"In The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen defines conspicuous consumption as the practice of buying and displaying material possessions in order to indicate or enhance one's prestige in the eyes of others.  Conspicuous...

Materialism

"Materialism is a concept having two sociological meanings.  The first refers to a cultural value placed on the accumulation of material possessions, a process in which people base their sense of themselves, their well-being, and social...

Ideas

Ideas are not isolated or insulated particulars, nor are they segments or fragments to be fitted into an elegant and ingenious scheme, to be fixed within a symmetrical and sophisticated system.  Ideas live and breathe; and liberating ideas...

Philosophy of Hope

"In his Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant stated: 'The whole interest of reason, speculative as well as practical, is centered in the three following questions: 1) What can I know? 2) What ought I to do? 3)What may I hope for?"  By...

Transgression

The noun-word transgression usually indicates sin, disobedience, crime, etc.  But transgression can also designate one of freedom's virtues.  Sometimes, to be free is to intentionally decide to transgress against a ready-made world.   ...

Emanicpation

"According to standard liberal views, freedom is the absence of interference or (even more narrowly) coercion.  I am free to do what others do not prevent me from doing.  Marxism is heir to a wider and richer view, stemming from such philosophers as...

Labor and Labor Power

"As developed by Karl Marx, labor is both the process and the product of productive work.  When a carpenter builds a bookcase and sells it, what is being sold is labor, the value of which is contained in the bookcase.  In this sense, the...

Laissez-Faire

"Laissez-faire, a French phrase that roughly translates as 'allow to do' has two main sociological definitions. In relation to political economy, it is traced to an obscure Frenchman named Legendre who, when asked what the state could do...

Capital

"In everyday usage, capital is anything that can be used to generate income or produce wealth, including money lent out at interest, tools and machinery used to make products, and a worker's time sold in exchange for wages.  This broad...

Fascism

"As it appeared in Europe during the first half of the twentieth century, fascism was an ideology and a social movement, and in Italy and Nazi Germany, a form of government.  As an ideology, fascism opposed individualism, liberalism,...

Exploitation

"Exploitation is a central concept in the study of social oppression, especially from a Marxist perspective.  It occurs when one group is able to take for itself what is produced by another group.  Slavery, for example, is an exploitative...

Perfectionism

"Perfectionism is the view that promotion of human excellence is one of the factors that should be weighed in judging the political and social worth of a society.  Much recent discussion is keyed to the treatment in John Rawls's A Theory...

Origination

"Origination is the creation of new causal chains by free human choices.  The traditional doctine of free will or libertarianism asserts that there are such genuine creations.  Not everything is a link in a deterministic causal chain....