"What is a left-wing socialist but a Marxist without a gun?"
by:
Don Feder
(1950- ) American columnist
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Many of them have guns, illegally.
 -- Mike, Orlando     
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    No, only Rosy OD. The other's are smart enough to hide them. The quote is essentially true, otherwise the left wouldn't press so hard to dissarm us.
     -- Roy Purkiss, Riverdale     
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    The man did not know history. The left week came into existence over fifty years before Marx, so it may be fair to say Marx was a left winger but not vice a versa. As we all know the left wing is simply the people and the right wing is simply the nobility.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Mr Feder said it exactly in one short sentence. Ahh gibberish, Waffler is thy name.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    The main message the Dalai Lama presented in his lecture 7-17-2008 in Philadelphia was the idea of aiming for world peace through inner and outer disarmament. He explained that to reach a point where nations would outwardly disarm, people must first inwardly disarm, by becoming compassionate, not just with friends, but with all people, including those perceived as enemies. We have tried guns and it seems to make matters worse - we have more guns and hatred in the world than ever before. Yes, Waffler, and it was Liberals that started America - and for you all out there once and for all: The left began in the French Revolution the people (middle class) sat on the left and nobility sat on the right. The term Left then stuck. By the way they still have the same arrangement in the French Assembly
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Left and Right are 2 parts of the whole. The error occurs when one side believes one half is THE whole -- that 51 to 49 means the 49 have to do the will of the 51. Rich and poor make up We The People -- not one side or the other. To me a Leftist is someone who clings to their side and would vote away the rights of the other. Same with the Right-wingers. I believe it takes 2 wings to fly. Robert, even Gandhi chastised the Britsh for disarming the Indian populace. I am all for world peace, but not world submission. No peace without justice. Non-violent non-cooperation with evil is a powerful weapon -- perhaps the only weapon that can be waged against a superpower. For God's sake, who here would not use every power in their possession to protect their child? Consider yourself lucky if you have never had to use force to defend what is rightfully yours. I am not one who agrees that when someone says, "Stick 'em up!" you simply do so. Everyone knows that you have to strike back at a bully -- and the only thing he understands is force. We are a predatory species -- that isn't going to change. Maybe one day when the cows take over the Earth it will be different, but if one of the bulls decided that the others file down their horns, it would be to dominate them.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, "even Gandhi chastised the British for disarming the Indian populace" this has been used many times by gun lobbyists and was taken out of context. Gandhi totally believed in non-violence; he single handedly won back India from the British Empire with the best weapon of all time NON-VIOLENT activism. And, as B. R. Nandra wrote “He objected to violence not only because an unarmed people had little chance of success in an armed rebellion, but because he considered violence a clumsy weapon which created more problems than it solved, and left a trail of hatred and bitterness in which genuine reconciliation was almost impossible.” This is a quote often sited “ I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil; it does is permanent”. Archer, I agree, if you are being attacked I will come to your aid that is not the question. The question of violence is not taken up on such simple debate as your comments imply but on the deep rooted cause of why a person or nation feel it is necessary to hurt another being or nation. It is this approach to violence that should be addressed. Waiting for the attack and then attacking back is not the answer – if you were to show kindness and understanding to you enemy wars may be averted; if you provide wealth, whether it be material or spiritual, guns may not stand a chance. Let’s get down to the core of the problem instead of just addressing its outcome. During Gandhi’s war on violence factory workers in India were beaten to a pulp – they didn’t even lift a finger to protect themselves; when this was shown to the world the message of non-violence became a reality. Usually, we are told to be violent, either by religious factors, dictators, despots or governments; so, if those being told didn’t obey a new order would appear. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t stop another person being harmed but what I am saying is let’s help those with anger, with hatred, with vengeance, or any other reason – let’s start by being proactive against violence instead of it being reactive; let’s conquer evil that fires violence. Sorry, I rambled on a bit there…
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    (-; I smile ;-) I don't know how to rate this. It is fairly accurate with, I'm sure, some exceptions, especially from the right's perspective. I also believe the left and the right are nothing more than 2 sides of the same coin. Differing only in how best to do away with inalienable rights. Neither take into consideration basic human characteristics or the God of Nature's laws.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    You are an honorable man, Robert. I commend you. We are not far off. Forget about the word 'gun' -- think in terms of 'power.' The common man's 'power' is under constant attack by those with more of it -- usually by commanding the collective power of individuals (i.e. corporations, unions, congregations, governments, etc.) against him that aims at self-reliance. Attempts at disarming the people have been made throughout history -- never have they ended violence, always have they resulted in the centralization of power into the hands of the monopolist and criminal elements. The right to bear arms is not the obligation to do so -- I would argue against that as well. It is the CHOICE to weigh the risks vs. the benefits -- and the responsibility of the choice. When we let others dictate to us how much power we may wield in our defense, then we are setting ourselves up for perpetual servitude. The argument of keeping the common man powerless because he might abuse power when acquired comes from people who have the power! I wholeheartedly agree that non-violent boycotting of tyranny is absolutely necessary -- and having powers of DEFENSE (whether it be guns or videos of abusive officers) must remain a sacred principle in the cause of Liberty. I believe that the pen is mightier than the sword and that the Truth liberates us. I was brought up to turn the other cheek and practiced it as a child -- never earned me anything but contempt. It's not a practice I recommend to my children. The error is confusing defensive force with offensive violence.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    What connection is there between Marx and guns? But what would a neo-con like Feder know about Marx, left-wing socialists, or almost anything anyhow?. Marx was largely influenced by Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia. Marx was intent on establishing his utopia by democratic means. The idea of Karl Marx an arbitrary dictator is part of the ignorance of people like Don Feder
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    Jack, I smile, you're probably right, Karl Marx was just another misunderstood nice guy, not the disturbed sadist his writings showed him to be. Is that why the ACLU tries so hard to promote his Utopia by democratic means here in the U.S.?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Archer, your points are well taken and I understand your choices and appreciate your words -- my position is simple, first, what is power? I don't see power as a negative force and true power can never be taken from you. You may have things, benefits, rights, even your loved ones taken away from you; but, never can they take your Self from you (though evil and despots desperately trie to do so). It is this inner power we all share that once ignited as a people is far superior to any weapon. A good example of this is Krishna's revelation to Arjuna in the Bhagavada Geeta and in this Krishna tells Arjuna to defend his people as Arjuna did not want to harm his bothers (it's a fascinating story). Others can never dictate the power you have and perpetual servitude only occurs when you capitulate your Self. To cut to the quick I'm really just trying to get the point across that this continual superficial attitude towards violence must be addressed and not the violence itself. Have a great weekend, Robert
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Robert, e=mc² ;-) That's power. What is human power but the ability to translate will into act? Yes, one person can make a difference -- but specifically what is that 'difference' and should it in fact be made? If you want to speak in terms of enlightenment, the quest for 'good, better, or different' is the root of all suffering (see Buddha's 4 Noble Truths). Arjuna was the reluctant warrior -- with his brother's army arrayed for battle against him, his conscience held him back from fighting him -- Krishna revealed himself as his charioteer and the Bhagavad Gita is the discourse Krishna has with Arjuna prior to this epic battle. I would hardly use the Gita as a reference for non-violence! ;-) In the end, Arjuna is moved by the lesson and finds the courage and context in which he may battle his brother. Arjuna wins, and his brother and his army dead and defeated. If anything, Arjuna's philosophy could have been shortened to "Kill 'em all -- let God sort 'em out." (sorry couldn't resist). ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, I'm glad you couldn't resist - life is full of different facets belonging to the same stone. "Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve... Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigor, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride. Then, you will achieve your destiny." -- Krishna from Bhagavad-Gita. In the end Krishna is killed by an arrow meant for a Deer. Have you read the Upanishads? Here's a sampling: "He who understands, understand not, he who understands he understands not, understands."
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    I agree absolutely, Robert. Yes, I very much enjoy the Upanishads. Krishna most likely did speak as you have said -- and never-the-less encouraged Arjuna to fight and defeat his brother. The Mahabharata (of which the Gita is a volume) is an encyclopedia of Hindu/Vedic philosophy. And like the Bible, filled with legends of sex, war, and supernatural power. In one paragraph great wisdom is imparted by the sages, then in the next a war is waged against 'the evil ones.' In the end, the individual must come to terms with all that he knows, believes, and (if he is lucky) all that he stands for, then chooses and fights his battles. From there, the next hurdle approaches. 'Maya' is the grand illusion in which this corporal existence unfolds -- that is what the Vedic/Hindu/Buddhist teachings say, and that we are all cling by desire to this masala (Indian mix of spices) called life. When you speak of the Dalai Lama's abstaining from 'violence' it is in the context of letting go of this world of illusion, recognizing the connection of all living things, the futility of killing one another for 'peace', and ending the cycle of rebirths (reincarnating over and over to burn off karma, in short). As with all good intentions, they cannot be legislated -- they are to be freely chosen. Even Gandhi said that perhaps we weren't ready for his kind of world -- I must agree. Keep in mind though that non-violent non-cooperation is not passive -- it is not even defensive, it is a proactive stance to challenge existing orders, it is a form of attack -- it is hardly the 'disarming of the inner self' -- I would say it is the arming of the self with Truth, Love and Courage. So I agree that when challenging a corrupt order with lots of weapons, non-violent attacks are the way to go, and it comes with great sacrifice just as dying in armed battle often does. Just to declare, "I am" is an attack on all those that wish 'you weren't.' Life is a constant battle -- for me that is what the Gita is about, the Spiritual Warrior. Peace.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    You men sound like a good old boys smoking club, smoking cigars that is. No one new dare provide input because one must agree with you. What is all this leftest and rightest, liberal and conservative talk? It is merely labeling to make it easier to argue one's limited point of view. Yes, I am the nurse who had the audascity to accept food stamps my last semester of nursing school. Yes, I let the public help support me and my children. Yet, I have worked overtime taking care of your parents who were too much trouble and irritating to handle with their dementia, and I was expected to do it at a rate of pay an hour below what you MEN receive. There I go labeling Men. It would be interesting to know your ages, probably mostly over sixty years old. Try to think out of the box and see people as having varying points of view and stop trying to simplify issues with labels. I have many points of view along the spectrum, and I am 65 years old now.
     -- Judith, Corrales     
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     -- Anonymous, Texas      
    Waffler, The Pilgrims started out as Marxist. You don't even know what a left-winger is. Marx was not the first communist. As a matter of fact he didn't even buy his own theory. He later in life said, "I am not a Marxist." Today in this country the left is the nobility and the right is the common people.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    By the way what we now refer to as Marxism has little to do with Marx's ideas and much to do with Stalin's.
     -- warren, olathe     
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     -- Mary - MI      
    Under current standards of worship, a left-wing socialist sides with Marxist / communist (by example, the 10 planks of the manifesto) ideologies. A right-wing socialist sides with fascist ideologies. Both left and right support the use of guns, it just depends on who is holding the gun.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Change the wording above from Marxist to Communist and you have it.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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