Until yesterday I have avoided the Political Rhetoric forum on these boards.
There has been a lot of misuse of the word socialist and socialism in the media and on these boards. In fact in the last 3 years, socialism has become a dirty word that most on the right use as a degrading derogatory term at those who do not share their beliefs. Our country was founded on core principals, in which spirited debate is not only excepted, but encouraged.
I thought it might make for a good intellectual exercise to debate a specific point.
Those against socialism might be quite surprised to know that the U.S. Public Library System is absolute socialism. The Public Library Act was passed in 1857 and has been running smoothly ever since. For those of you that are completely against socialism it would only make sense that you are also against the Public Library System, since it truly is the “poster child” for socialism with a history in Europe going back hundreds of years.
I chose this as the point of debate, since it is far from today’s political rhetoric, yet any argument both for and against can easily be converted to just about any of today’s current political situations, for and against socialism.
For those of you against socialism this should be an easy mental exercise and you should have no problem putting your perspective eloquently below as to why we should abolish the Public Library. If your are a die-hard anti socialism defender, Tea Party member, hard core conservative, here is your chance to help change some minds about your views. Those on the left will see opportunity for respectful rebuttal.
Here are some basic rules:
No name calling (it is so unproductive)
Stay on point (this debate is about socialism in regards to the Public Library only. Start a new thread if you cannot control yourself!)
This all might be asking too much for the completely ignorant, however, no matter what your views, left or right, most of the people on the Political Rhetoric threads are older and have formed their opinions through many life experiences, which I totally respect, regardless if I agree or not. I just want to see if we can have a civil debate.
Here are some philosophical questions:
Does the library cheat publishers, authors, movie makers, and many more out of a fair profit? Does the common good out weigh the negatives? Without the library would a John Grisham book now cost over $100? Does the library have a positive or negative impact on the poor or the rich? Who benefits the most? Who does not? Are the operational costs to taxpayers worth the benefit?
These are just some questions, you will see more
Here is some info from wikepedia:
A public library (also called circulating library) is a library which is accessible by the public and is generally funded from public sources (such as tax money) and may be operated by civil servants. Taxing bodies for public libraries may be at any level from local to national central government level.
Public libraries exist in most places in the world and are often considered an essential part of having an educated and literate population. Public libraries are distinct from research libraries, school libraries, or other special libraries in that their mandate is to serve the public's information needs generally (rather than serve a particular school, institution, or research population), as well as offering materials for general entertainment and leisure purposes.
Public libraries typically are lending libraries, allowing users to take books and other materials off the premises temporarily; they also have non-circulating reference collections. Public libraries primarily focus on popular materials such as popular fiction and movies, as well as educational and nonfiction materials of interest to the general public; computer and internet access are also often offered.
LET THE SOCIALISM DEBATE GET STARTED!