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Victor Berger: Sewer Socialist

Victor L. Berger.jpg

On this day 162 years ago, Victor Luitpold Berger was born to a Jewish family within the Austrian Empire. When he was 18, he would immigrate to America with his parents to avoid military conscription, spending some time in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1881, he would then settle down in Milwaukee, which was a prime place for Socialism to take a foothold, due to their large German American Population. Berger would then join with the Socialist Labor Party and became the editor of Socialist Publications that he would freely distribute to people in Milwaukee. However Berger’s prominence would only grow after a fateful meeting in 1894.

That was the year he would visit Union Organizer, Eugene V Debs in prison. While there Berger gave an impassioned speech about Socialism and left a copy of Marx’s Kapital for him to read for the reminder of his sentence. Afterwards he found a comrade for life, one who would help him create the Socialist Party of America, however early on there was a divide within on where the focus of the party should be. Berger was of the revisionist wing of his party, that wanted to focus on electoral politics to transition the US towards socialism rather than the hardliners who were anti-electoral. Berger’s version of socialism, which would later be dubbed Sewer socialism, would become very prominent in Milwaukee, electing quite a few elected officials including three mayors, and a member of congress.

Said member was Berger himself, who was elected in 1910 to serve in the 5th District, becoming the first of two members of congress the party would elect. While Berger was considered a moderate in his party, in congress he was anything but: introducing bills to end the Presidential Veto, Abolishing the Senate, an old-age pension bill, and nationalizing of radio-wireless. The last one brought upon by the Titanic, arguing that a government owned wireless system would prevent another disaster like that from happening again. Berger’s radical actions led to the Democrats and Republicans uniting to support the previous representative William H. Stafford to defeat him. But Berger remained undeterred, running against him three more times, winning his seat back in 1918, however an issue would arise that would not be in Bergers favor.

Berger, being a Socialist, was against US involvement in World War 1, and mad his opposition vocal. Due to said activism, he was indicted under the Espionage Act. Despite this: Berger won, but when he went to go serve, he was refused due to his conviction, which triggered a special election to fill in the seat. Which resulted in another victory for Berger, which just left that seat vacant until the next cycle in which Stafford won. But Berger would end up winning the seat again in 1922 where he continued to push for the old age pension, unemployment insurance, and public housing. However after losing the seat a fourth time: he would not seek it again deciding to continue being a newspaper editor. Berger would end up passing away in 1929 after being struck by a street car.

About Post Author

E Pluribus Unum

The host of the Progressive Oriented YouTube Channel E Pluribus Unum, which has the main focus of educating people on Minor Parties, their history, and their candidates alongside the latest political news of the day. So when an 14 Year Old Website with that same goal says they needed new writers, I felt the need to carry this torch.

72 Comments

  1. NewFederalist NewFederalist February 28, 2022

    This post sounds like a Darcy Richardson post to me.

  2. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 1, 2022

    He stole my style and traveled back in time lol.

  3. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes March 1, 2022

    New Federalist,
    Yes, now that you mention it, there is something going on here. At IPR.
    Another anonymous poster at IPR, like William Saturn.
    Who is this E Pluribus Unum person?
    Sounds like Darcy.
    Saturn sounds like paulie.
    Transitive property of political subterfuge, therefore
    paulie/Saturn = E Pluribus Unum/Darcy = paulie.
    And what is going on with Tom and Darcy?
    Here at IPR?

  4. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 1, 2022

    I’ve been a contributer on the site since 2018….

    With a YouTube and everything lol

  5. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes March 1, 2022

    Do not underestimate their treachery and resourcefulness. – Robert Milnes.

  6. Sammy H Sammy H March 1, 2022

    Milnes are you crazy? So paranoid all the time

  7. Traditionalist Traditionalist March 1, 2022

    Sewer seems redundant when it comes to socialism and socialists.

  8. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes March 1, 2022

    Whatever happened to the good old days when the capitalists were the pigs?

  9. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 1, 2022

    Traditionslist: the name Sewer Socialist actually comes from the fact that the Socialists in Milwaukee fixed the Sewer System

    Robert: Capitalists are the pigs 😛

  10. Traditionalist Traditionalist March 1, 2022

    Communists are the real pigs. Socialism is a sewer ideology that should be flushed down the sewer of history.

  11. Traditionalist Traditionalist March 1, 2022

    Socialism is a deadly plague, worse than any disease. It killed hundreds of millions of human beings in the 20th century, enslaving billions, and threatens to kill billions in the 21st. It destroys everything it touches. It must be totally and completely wiped out for humanity to survive.

  12. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 1, 2022

    Lmao. Literally none of that is true.

    “Enslaved Billions” L O motherfuckin L.

    Capitalism is the ideology that actively lets the poor starve, pushes imperialist wars that murder innocents, treats people like a commodity. In fact: wasn’t capitalism the thing that literally sold black people into slavery?

  13. ATBAFT ATBAFT March 2, 2022

    Interesting comment, EPUnum. Just asking: What would happen if I, and a few friends, wanted to set up a libertarian/capitalist enclave in a socialist state? What would happen if you, and a few friends, wanted to set up a socialist enclave in a libertarian/capitalist state?

  14. Traditionalist Traditionalist March 2, 2022

    Sadly, despite your ignorant and obscene guffawing and dancing on the graves of socialism’s many victims, all of it is true. It has in fact and continues to this day to enslave billions, millions of whom risked their lives and thousands of whom died trying to escape. Millions starved to death, millions more were shot, bludgeoned, and otherwise executed – from Russia and Ukraine to North Korea, Vietnam, China, and many others. Millions were killed in its imperialist wars and its ideology actively lets people starve – something that happened to many of its victims in the past hundred years plus. People are treated as less than a commodity, but as eggs to be broken in order to make the socialist omlette. It puts people of all races into slavery, and will continue to do so as long as it is not totally and completely snuffed out.

    For reference read _The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression_

    And before you claim that is not “real socialism,” it’s the only countries where the means of production were actually nationalized, and the supposed utopia of “communism” was never and will never be achieved, only the mass murdering dystopia of socialism.

  15. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 2, 2022

    ATBAFT: What do you mean set up an enclave, like secede? I do not believe in secessionist movements if that’s what you mean. I doubt you and your friends could form a tiny libertarian society within another country.

    Traditionalist: You’re comment is full of so many shitty things so here we go bit by bit.

    FIRST OF ALL: You are attributing Marxist-Leninist and Communist movements to me (A Reformist Socialist), when I am literally not either. Socialism didn’t kill jack shit lol. The ideology of Socialism is Workers Owning the Means of Productions, meanwhile the way capitalism is structured allows for inequality to exist and allows people to die due to not being able to pay for things.

    You say it continues to “enslave people” (which you still didn’t explain) and cite Russia & Ukraine, despite the fact NEITHER are Socialist. Ukraine is governed by a Centrist and Russia is governed by a Far Right demagogue.

    “The Black Book of Communism” was written by Stéphane Courtois who is known for being a Historical Revisionist wo rewrites and simplifies history to push an Anticommunist sentiment.

    I’ll wrap it up by taking a look at this huge rant u posted: “Millions were killed in its imperialist wars and its ideology actively lets people starve – something that happened to many of its victims in the past hundred years plus. People are treated as less than a commodity, but as eggs to be broken in order to make the socialist omlette. It puts people of all races into slavery, and will continue to do so as long as it is not totally and completely snuffed out”

    My guy, you are literally describing CAPITALISM, as I literally said before: Capitalism is the ideology that says “You can’t afford food: sucks to be you LOL”. Socialism is the ideology that fights against poverty and helping the less fortunate. During Hugo Chavez’s tenure: extreme poverty dropped by 70%. Lula Da Silva dropped poverty 27.7%. Evo Morales poverty dropped 42% and extreme poverty dropped by 60%.

    But go on about how that is worse than the ideology that literally allows the poor to starve because they don’t have money

  16. NewFederalist NewFederalist March 2, 2022

    Wow!

  17. Jared Jared March 2, 2022

    Capitalism is a disease. Socialism is a cure worse than the disease. Georgism—the radical center of the economic spectrum—is where it’s at, y’all.

    And unlike Distributism, you don’t even have to return to a medieval guild system. Ha.

  18. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 2, 2022

    Georgism was actually born out of the Socialist movement and would probably not be considered centrist on the Economic Spectrum. That would be more what the US has now: Welfare Capitalism.

  19. Jared Jared March 3, 2022

    EPU,

    Henry George was not a socialist of any description. He and the single tax movement affirmed the private ownership of capital, so he wasn’t even a free-market libertarian socialist after Proudhon. Georgism is very labor-friendly and shares some socialist concerns about capitalism, but its diagnosis and prescribed remedies are very different. As George wrote in Progress and Poverty, “Laissez faire (in its full true meaning) opens the way to the realization of the noble dreams of socialism.” The socialists wanted to incorporate Georgist policy into a larger progressive framework, but they had little use for the liberal economic philosophy behind it. Georgism has appealed to intellectuals and activists from both sides and all corners of the political spectrum. Auth-left John Dewey and and lib-left Leo Tolstoy were Georgists, but so were lib-right Milton Friedman and auth-right William F. Buckley, Jr. The only way you could label it “socialist” is if socialism refers to any system advocating structural change with respect to the distribution of economic power.

    I said the radical center, not the mushy middle. Welfare capitalism is unprincipled hot garbage, mitigating the effects of an unjust economic system while retaining its structure and fostering dependence on government.

  20. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 3, 2022

    The intention of Georgism was to redistribute the wealth that was hoarded by rich people via the the UBI from the Land Tax.

    I said it was born out of Socialist mobmvement: not that George himself was

  21. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 3, 2022

    Interesting question.

    “EPluribus Unum. Just asking: What would happen if I, and a few friends, wanted to set up a libertarian/capitalist enclave in a socialist state? What would happen if you, and a few friends, wanted to set up a socialist enclave in a libertarian/capitalist state?”

    Great question, but I suspect the latter, hoping to establish some sort of socialist enclave in a truly capitalist society, would probably have an easier time of it.

    But each and every one of us is an individual, a free people, all of whom are fully capable of making it on our own without an authoritarian state —incidentally, that’s not what Norman Thomas and other leading U.S. socialists advocated —telling us how to live our lives.

    The sad fact of the matter is that Wall Street and major Fortune 500 corporations — the latter of which increasingly uses intrusive and privacy-violating Smart technology that not only tells us what to buy, but also influences virtually every other aspect of our daily lives — is a much greater and insidious danger than anything else we face.

    Democratic socialists and freedom-living libertarians should be allies.

    The answer, my friends, lies somewhere between the kind of democratic socialism advocated by Norman Thomas and a truly libertarian society.

    That’s the America I want to live long enough to see.

  22. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 3, 2022

    *freedom-loving”

    Smart technology automatically changed what I typed from “freedom-loving libertarians” to “freedom-living libertarians.”

    Welcome to the world George Orwell never could have imagined.

  23. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 3, 2022

    Libertarians (as in the bastardized version we have now) believe that unfettered capitalism is somehow the cure of societies woes, when that has literally caused the problems to begin with. That section about “Wall Street and major Fortune 500 corporations” controlling us, IS WHAT LIBERTARIAN IDEOLOGY LEADS TO

    That hold hands and sing Kum ba yah bull is not gonna work.

    Orwell was also a Socialist BTW 😉

  24. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 4, 2022

    Sorry, man, but you apparently missed my point because of your inflexible beliefs. Stale leftist rhetoric, moreover, gets us nowhere.

    And, no, libertarianism didn’t cause our nation’s current woes.

    A corporate-controlled state is responsible for most of the problems facing the country today. That wicked combination, both trying to control and run peoples’ lives — one trying to maximize profits and the other trying to assert it’s control over people — is the ultimate villain here, not a philosophy that believes in individual liberty.
    I’ve never met a self-described libertarian who didn’t hate the big banks and Corporate America!

    I’ve lived long enough to realize that there’s no simple answer, no single ideology that’ll produce the kind of society that each and every one of us deserves.

    Unfettered capitalism, which has never really existed, at least not to any meaningful degree in modern times, might be the answer.

    I’m older now, but willing and open-minded enough to think that could be the answer.

    Unlike yourself, I’ll hold hands with anyone across the political spectrum that gets us to the kind of country all of us so richly deserve.

    You know, the kind of promised land we’ve all dreamed about.

    Libertarians and democratic socialists shouldn’t be hostile enemies…

    Lighten up, E. The libertarian readers here could be your friends…

  25. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 4, 2022

    Your point is incompatible with reality, much like your politics. You are asking me to literally hold hands with people who think unfettered capitalism is the key despite the fact every time there are deregulations things get worse. If it didn’t work the last 50 times we tried, why try it again.

    The thing you keep describing that controls our society “A corporate-controlled state” that is “trying to maximize profits” IS LITERALLY WHAT LIBERTARIANS WANT. Their Social Darwinist philosophy dictating that the invisible hand of the market knows what’s best: literally leads to corporate control. They can pretend they hate it, but the way capitalism works that is the only inevitability, monopolies where the top 1% own 16× what the bottom 50% of the rest of the US. They idealize people who exploit others labor and the loopholes that come from our oligarchic laws Darcy.

    I really don’t see how you can look at that and think: Hmmm more of that is good

  26. NewFederalist NewFederalist March 4, 2022

    Go Darcy!

  27. Darcy Richardson Darcy Richardson March 5, 2022

    E, my friend. Norman Thomas, who despised any form of authoritarianism — left or right — while warning against an increasingly bloated and growing federal bureaucracy in the early 1950’s, and other leading members of the old Socialist Party at the time, were among this country’s greatest civil libertarians. Read some real history, man.

  28. Darcy G. Richardson Darcy G. Richardson March 5, 2022

    I don’t know about you, E, but I certainly don’t want to live in a society where an increasingly powerful government at every level, demanding more regulations and more control of our lives, tells us, as individuals, how to live our lives.

    Please give me some real examples of how de-regulation — as you strongly asserted in a previous comment — has harmed our society.

    This country was founded by defeating an oppressive and authoritarian government, a government not unlike ours today, thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of poor colonists — a majority of whom were hard-working, penniless farmers, especially the poor southern boys and men who risked their lives fighting alongside the cunningly daring and elusive Francis Marion (the legendary Swamp Fox) — who almost certainly would be opposed to what this nation has become some 246 years after our Founding Fathers boldly and courageously signed the Declaration of Independence.

    America’s underclass made the difference in that war…

    If we’re lucky, really lucky, it could happen again.

  29. Darcy G. Richardson Darcy G. Richardson March 6, 2022

    And no, ze, there’s not a single libertarian I’ve ever known — and I’ve met many big and small “L” libertarians across the country over the past forty years or so — who desires a “corporate-controlled state” that is “trying to maximize profits.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong, my friend.

    Libertarians merely want a fair economy, an economy not tilted in favor of the giant corporations that gives hard-working small and medium-sized business owners and their equally industrious employees a fair shot at the American Dream.

    That’s what this nation should be all about.

    If he was alive today, Norman Thomas — a saintly former Presbyterian minister and inner-city social worker who ran for President in six consecutive presidential elections between 1928 and 1948 (more than any other minor-party presidential nominee in American history) — would probably be a Libertarian.

    Just saying…

  30. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 6, 2022

    Darcy I have to be blunt: if you legit believe that Norman Thomas would have been a Libertarian: you are the most braindead human being I have ever heard and literally nobody should take you seriously. Though your arguments up to this point have already shown that tenfold.

    Your evidence of that incredibly ahistorical is Norman Thomas opposing Authoritarianism and Beuracracy: You know the thing that is the CORNERSTONE of Socialist thought, and you expressing that is somehow an own to me when I do not believe in that. That shows you do not actually understand what Socialism is, and a person who is supposed to be a historian should PROBABLY understand.

    And your evidence that Libertarians “Libertarians merely want a fair economy, an economy not tilted in favor of the giant corporations that gives hard-working small and medium-sized business owners and their equally industrious employees a fair shot at the American Dream” is that they hate corporations. Not only is that the furthest from the truth Libertarians love the people behind the large corporations (Elon Musk being a prime example), but also ignores my point. The way unregulated capitalism works: that is the inevitability. How does Laissez-faire help an up and starting computer company compete against Apple? Apple already has a huge advantage going in and a new guy can’t compete. So “fair” Darcy.

    You wanna specific one Darcy. Glass-Steagall was made to regulate the banking industry; it was repealed and led to the Great Recession, which hurt the US a lot. It hurt the economy so much that YOU decided to run for President focusing on restoring it. You know: before your career was bought by Roque….

    You’re a joke

  31. NewFederalist NewFederalist March 6, 2022

    Wow! Ad hominem ALWAYS works!

  32. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 6, 2022

    New Federalists Definition of Ad Hominem: Facts he does not like.

    Literally the majority of the text was addressing facts: try refuting those

  33. Sunflower Socialist Sunflower Socialist March 6, 2022

    I’m sorry but what?
    Darcy, if I may call you that, I don’t mean to be rude, especially when I actually used some of your workers as a historian when getting my undergrad, but I’d think you as a historian would know that to make a claim like “Norman Thomas would be a libertarian today” is just patently absurd! It’s akin to like when Lyndon LaRouche claimed that Abraham Lincoln would have supported his nutcase ideas, or when people try and claim Martin Luther King Jr. was a conservative Republican.

    If we actually look at Thomas’s politics throughout his life, we find he remained firmly a democratic socialist until his dying day. To say he would be a libertarian nowadays is just spurious, and as a historian you ought to know better!

  34. NewFederalist NewFederalist March 6, 2022

    Let’s see Mr. Unum… “you are the most braindead human being I have ever heard”… “before your career was bought by Roque…” …”You’re a joke.”

    Yup those are sure indisputable facts alright!

  35. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 6, 2022

    So again: literally dodging the actual points….

    I called Darcy braindead because he literally just said the person who is quoted as saying “I asked [a student] what he meant, he replied that freedom consisted of the unimpeded right to get rich, to use his ability, no matter what the cost to others, to win advancement. No decent society can tolerate that definition.” And said that he would be the ideology that literally espouses the thing he rallied against right there.

    The Roque statement is a reference to the fact that both Darcy and Joe Wednt after announcing Reform Party bids, dropped out to support Roque De La Fuente. One ends up becoming an employee the other ends up getting the VP nom. Hmmmmmmm

    The joke is a reference to the points: and since you keep ignoring them u can just pretend its ad hom. Lol

  36. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes March 6, 2022

    I noticed Darcy seems to be off his game.
    FWIW.

  37. Darcy G. Richardson Darcy G. Richardson March 6, 2022

    My political career was purchased by Rocky? Damn, he’s my friend, but he apparently owes me a lot of money if that’s the case.

  38. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    As for you, E, once you know as much as I did about U.S. history and American politics when I was in the seventh grade, let’s have a debate.

  39. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    We’ll see who’s “brain dead.”

  40. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 6, 2022

    You can’t even address my points but you want to challenge me to a debate? Judging by your brilliant assessment of Socialist who hates capitalism would be ideology of unregulated capitalism; it would be an easy win.

    If it will finally get u on my show, fine. Time and Place? I got a few people who can host it. IPR can post it too. Finally get some traction here

  41. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    “i don’t mean to be rude, especially when I actually used some of your works as a historian when getting my undergrad, but I’d think you as a historian would know that to make a claim like “Norman Thomas would be a libertarian today” is just patently absurd! It’s akin to like when Lyndon LaRouche claimed that Abraham Lincoln would have supported his nutcase ideas…” — Sunflower Socialist

    I’m not saying Lincoln would have agreed with everything the late Lyndon LaRouche, for all of his seemingly outlandish ideas and more than occasionally peculiar zany comments, had to say, but he almost certainly would’ve agreed with much of it.

    LaRouche, moreover, was smarter than most people realize. In talking about old Abe, LaRouche was referring to the Lincoln administration’s unwavering support for the long-forgotten American System of Political Economy — the nation’s founding Hamiltonian economy tirelessly advocated by Kentucky’s Henry Clay (a man Lincoln deeply respected) — which first and foremost sought to protect American manufacturers and workers, a now-defunct economic system that died at the hands of Wall Street with James Garfield’s assassination on September 19, 1981 — a mere six months into his presidency.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s a fact. That’s real history.

  42. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    *1881

    Sorry for the typo

  43. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    The American System of Political Economy was a standard economic course taught at most universities and colleges in this country — some more enlightened and progressive institutions, such as the University of Wisconsin in Madison, continued to teach it until the late 1930’s or early 1940’s — when Wall Street, eyeing every potential money stream it could get it’s hands on around the globe, had it wiped from the curriculum.

    That’s a fact. That’s also real history.

  44. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 6, 2022

    “I’m not a conspiracy theorist”
    *said Conspiricy theory in the previous sentence*

    Also interesting you cut off his 2nd example and only go for the LaRouche/Lincoln one in order to go on a completely unrelated rant that still does not actually address any of the points you made

  45. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    Name the time, place and format and we’ll have a free-wheeling debate, or conversation, whatever you want, E.

  46. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    Then again, there’s nothing I enjoy less than speaking with some younger person who thinks they have all the answers.

    I’m 66 years old, and I’m still learning. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can speak volumes about how the American people, especially working-class and poor folks, have been forsaken by the powers-that-be…

    The so-called “middle class,” too. Perhaps most of all.

    Knowledge is a lifelong pursuit, my friend. Let’s enlighten each other!

  47. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    Then again, there’s nothing I enjoy less than speaking with some younger person —- or anyone of any age, for that matter — who thinks they have all the answers.

    I’m 66 years old, and I’m still learning. Every day. That’s life.

    The mind is a wonderful thing.

    I certainly don’t have all the answers, my friend, but I can speak volumes about how the American people, especially working-class and poor folks, have been forsaken by the powers-that-be from Wall Street to the Potomac…

    The so-called “middle class,” too. Perhaps most of all.

    Knowledge is a lifelong pursuit, my friend. Let’s enlighten each other!

  48. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 6, 2022

    In closing, I don’t think anything I wrote tonight could be fairly described as a “rant.”

    Language — the words we choose — are important.

  49. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 7, 2022

    Still not addressing my points at all. Or giving any evidence for your “Socialist who hated capitalism would have been a Laissez-faire capitalist if he were here today” statement or the part about deregulation, instead you went on a tangent about the American System. Closing implies you actually made an argument, yet I’m not seeing one.

    And then you went on another tangent about “younger person who thinks they have all the answers”, again NOT REFUTING MY POINTS. Can you actually try that before thinking you can actually debate?

  50. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 7, 2022

    “I’m not a conspiracy theorist’
    *said Conspiricy theory in the previous sentence*

    You’re wrong, E. I’ve spent my entire life researching this kind of material and the American System of Political Economy was taught at most colleges up ’til and after Garfield’s tragic death in 1881. It was a turning point in American history, the moment Wall Street took complete command of the U.S. economy. Moreover, I can show you dozens of college economic curriculums where it was taught.

    You don’t know what you don’t know ..

  51. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 7, 2022

    “Still not addressing my points at all. Or giving any evidence for your “Socialist who hated capitalism would have been a Laissez-faire capitalist if he were here today” statement..” — E Pluribus Unun

    Where in this thread — or any where else —- did I ever make that statement?

    Quote marks? Those aren’t my words.

    Typical dishonest leftist…

  52. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 7, 2022

    Let’s go toe to toe.

  53. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 7, 2022

    But if and when we debate, I want it live-streamed without any editing whatsoever for a later re-broadcast.

  54. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 7, 2022

    C’mon, E Pluribus Unum.

  55. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 7, 2022

    Is your old man brain giving you trouble again Darcy? Did you like forget the entire conversation that is happening and that is why you refuse to actually address my points, do I literally gotta quote your own statements again? Alright then.

    “If he was alive today, Norman Thomas — a saintly former Presbyterian minister and inner-city social worker who ran for President in six consecutive presidential elections between 1928 and 1948 (more than any other minor-party presidential nominee in American history) — would probably be a Libertarian. Just saying…”

    Literally you went from saying that to going on a fucking tangent about the American System. This is why I’m calling you a joke. Your even forgetting the fact you challenged me to debate and are asking me to set it up lol.

  56. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman March 7, 2022

    Not to interrupt the politick, but “Sunflower Socialist” sounds like a sockpuppet of “E Pluribus Unum”

    And Lyndon LaRouche was undeniably a genius. I am a great admirer of him.

  57. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 7, 2022

    Bzzt wrong.

    A simple google search would have very easily shown you..

  58. Darcy G Richardson Darcy G Richardson March 7, 2022

    Yeah, “Sunflower Socialist” was probably EPU himself.

    New Federalist is one of my favorite people — someone I hope to meet one day if we both live long enough — wiser and more witty than almost any commentator on this site.

    Thank you, NF, for coming to my defense..

  59. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 7, 2022

    1. Again a quick Google search will prove you wrong
    2. Even if u did not do that; why would I leave a comment as an alt?

  60. Sunflower Socialist Sunflower Socialist March 7, 2022

    I can assure you I am not a sock puppet account. If you don’t believe me, you can check out my youtube channel or my podcast. EPU and I have even done streams together.

    But this is not history, as this commits two of the cardinal sins of the history profession. Firstly, speculation. You make unfounded speculations about historical figures if they existed in a present day context. History can only deal with the facts of what is and was, not what ifs and what could be, and specially not “what would be”. That’s for alternate history fiction authors, not historians.
    Secondly, presentism: you apply modern day standards and context onto historical figures. This is one of the first rules you learn when writing history.

    The point I brought up about LaRouche was to give another example of someone doing this, but I also gave the example of those who claim MLK would be a conservative Republican. Other examples I could give are those who say Winston Churchill would have supported Brexit, or Susan B. Anthony would have been Pro-Life or Jesus would have supported tax cuts.

  61. NewFederalist NewFederalist March 7, 2022

    “New Federalist is one of my favorite people — someone I hope to meet one day if we both live long enough — wiser and more witty than almost any commentator on this site.

    Thank you, NF, for coming to my defense.._ – Darcy G. Richardson

    Aw shucks… thanx! I look forward to meeting you as well.

  62. Sunflower Socialist Sunflower Socialist March 7, 2022

    For those who still think EPU and I are the same person, here is a stream we did together

    https://youtu.be/_IprLsjfvs8

  63. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman March 7, 2022

    Were you asked to comment here to back him up?

  64. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 7, 2022

    No.

    You know adults can make their own decisions right?

  65. Sunflower Socialist Sunflower Socialist March 7, 2022

    No, I just saw the article and then read the comments and was quite surprised by Darcy’s claims about Norman Thomas, as I expected better from Darcy, given his work as a historian.

    Personally, I must admit I’ve got some issues with some of the things E. said towards Darcy, namely the ad hominems and the claims about his relationship with De La Fuente. Darcy is objectively wrong, but calling him braindead was uncalled for.

  66. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman March 7, 2022

    Idk. You seem to believe the government should make decisions for everyone.

  67. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 7, 2022

    Don’t wanna be called braindead, don’t make braindead statements. Simple solution.

    Another solution would have been providing any lick of evidence for his claims: instead he went on a multi message rant about the American System.

    Almost as if he has none and made it up…….

  68. NewFederalist NewFederalist March 7, 2022

    “Can’t we all just get along?” – Rodney King March 3, 1991

  69. Jared Jared March 7, 2022

    E,

    While I appreciate you trying to enlist the early Georgist movement to your side for the cause of socialism, given that they wanted to abolish all taxation, save for one on the rental value of land, which some were uncomfortable even referring to as a “tax,” and that they strongly supported private ownership of capital and a free enterprise system, I don’t think they’d be thrilled with the association. Capitalists and socialists both tend to regard land as capital and, therefore, as one category to be either fully privatized or fully collectivized, whereas Georgists maintain the classical economic position that land and capital are independent factors of production, a distinction erased by Marxism, Austrianism, and neoclassical economics.

    Redistribution of wealth through a UBI is not the point of LVT. DemSocs might hate the rich for being rich, but Georgists look at the source of wealth. What matters isn’t how much someone has, but how they acquired it. Wages from labor and profit from capital should have neither a floor nor a ceiling. Rent capture from excessive land ownership and natural resource speculation are not legitimate ways to build private. They are properly social wealth, commons not produced by human labor, and rightfully belong to all the individuals in the community deprived of equal access, which is what land value taxation and the citizen’s dividend fundamentally are about. Geolibertarians want as much as possible going directly to residents, with public spending going to cover only the core essential government provisions, which supplies a financial incentive to keep government efficient and minimal in size and scope.

    Roderick Long has pointed out that the term “capitalism” carries a self-contradictory colloquial definition inherited from the Cold War. We use it to mean, “A laissez-faire economic system like we have here in the United States,” which leads the right to defend an economic system loaded with institutionalized privilege as “free-market” and the left to denounce free markets as volatile, predatory, and naturally friendly toward corporate monopolies.

    Like Darcy, I have never met a left or right-libertarian who wants to see a state dominated by large corporations, and most of us believe that corporations would be severely weakened if the regulatory state were dismantled because of the ways large corporations weaponize regulatory bodies against their competitors and crush small entrepreneurs. Big businesses can better afford the manifold costs of compliance, and regulatory agencies are filled to the brim with former and future corporate lobbyists.

  70. E Pluribus Unum E Pluribus Unum Post author | March 7, 2022

    Left Libertarians are Socialists, Libertarian Socialists/Anarchists, etc. Georgism being birthed out of the Socialist/Progressive movement fits in that same vein.

    Not only has Georgism been referred to as the “Single Tax Movement” thorough history, as that is the crux of the movement/ideology, George himself referred to the VAT tax as a tax in Progress and Poverty.

    “The tax upon land values is, therefore, the most just and equal of all taxes. It falls only upon those who receive from society a peculiar and valuable benefit, and upon them in proportion to the benefit they receive. It is the taking by the community, for the use of the community, of that value which is the creation of the community. It is the application of the common property to common uses. When all rent is taken by taxation for the needs of the community, then will the equality ordained by Nature be attained. No citizen will have an advantage over any other citizen save as is given by his industry, skill, and intelligence; and each will obtain what he fairly earns. Then, but not till then, will labor get its full reward, and capital its natural return.”

    The point of his tax was literally to take the wealth that the rich people who owned more land were hoarding and redistributing it back to the community. The idea is they were paying for using the land, and the people who used more land would pay more to be redistributed to to the people who do not have access to the land they do not own.

    You’re point on Libertarians is moot as I’ve addressed it tenfold: That is how their policies will end up. Without any form of regulations; companies will continue to form monopolies and control an entire industry and will then use that unlimited power to exploit the people: either through directly forcing them to work shitty jobs or through lobbying officials to do whatever they want. Or better: with no regulations, they can cut out the middle men

  71. Jared Jared March 14, 2022

    E,

    I don’t care how you define left or right-libertarianism. Socialists are for collective ownership of capital, either by the laborers themselves (the operators of capital) or by the state representing the working class. Georgists are for private ownership of capital and for usufruct in land—not collective or joint-ownership, but private possession for use and production of the unowned commons—legally recognized land titles with just compensation for privative access. No one pays LVT to use the land. That is not the idea. Landholders pay to exclude others on the basis of the rental value determined by nature’s supply and market demand because the earth itself is given as our common inheritance and natural treasury for all. It is not the fruit of any person’s labor.

    If you have property in a plot of land that is equal in value to your share of the aggregate land value in your jurisdiction, then you break even. Parasitic speculators are disincentivized from buying up valuable land, which leads to more available land for housing and prevents real estate bubbles. Politically connected landowners are disincentivized from the graft of steering taxpayer-funded public works projects to increase their land values. Politicians are disincentivized from wasteful overspending because their constituents receive higher dividends the less money is spent by government. Kill destructive NIMBY zoning restrictions, too, and developers will be encouraged to build up and not out, reducing urban spawl along with greenhouse gas emissions. Productive economic activities, whether production, investment, savings, or consumption, are no longer penalized. Housing prices are reduced, take-home pay increases, and the labor market is rebalanced as workers have options opened up to them. On top of everything, unlike other taxes, LVT is justified by a libertarian theory of natural rights and nearly impossible to evade.

    That is how you boost labor and achieve the noble goals of socialism through laissez-faire policy. Without the distortionary effects of confiscatory taxes, without the corrupt bureaucracy of a massive regulatory state, without dehumanizing or culturally destroying the lower classes through welfarism masquerading as philanthropy. The tax incidence would be flipped on its head, and the vast majority of individual landholders, including people we’d consider quite wealthy, would see their tax burden radically reduced or eliminated.

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