Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

19

Winning government power and using it to break the dominance of the capitalist class is a necessary condition for beginning the transition to socialism. A government run by a socialist party (or a coalition of left and working-class parties) would move to bring the economy’s key industries and enterprises under some form of social control. But that alone wouldn’t be sufficient. The bitter experiences of the twentieth century have taught us that socialism won’t further the cause of human freedom if the political and administrative structures of government aren’t thoroughly democratized.

—p.19 Isn’t America already kind of socialist? (12) by Chris Maisano 1 year, 4 months ago

Winning government power and using it to break the dominance of the capitalist class is a necessary condition for beginning the transition to socialism. A government run by a socialist party (or a coalition of left and working-class parties) would move to bring the economy’s key industries and enterprises under some form of social control. But that alone wouldn’t be sufficient. The bitter experiences of the twentieth century have taught us that socialism won’t further the cause of human freedom if the political and administrative structures of government aren’t thoroughly democratized.

—p.19 Isn’t America already kind of socialist? (12) by Chris Maisano 1 year, 4 months ago
23

To say that capitalism restricts the flourishing of these values is not to argue that capitalism has run counter to freedom and democracy in every instance. Rather, through the functioning of its most basic processes, capitalism generates severe deficits of both freedom and democracy that it can never remedy. Capitalism has promoted the emergence of certain limited forms of freedom and democracy, but it imposes a low ceiling on their further realization.

—p.23 But at least capitalism is free and democratic, right? (22) by Erik Olin Wright 1 year, 4 months ago

To say that capitalism restricts the flourishing of these values is not to argue that capitalism has run counter to freedom and democracy in every instance. Rather, through the functioning of its most basic processes, capitalism generates severe deficits of both freedom and democracy that it can never remedy. Capitalism has promoted the emergence of certain limited forms of freedom and democracy, but it imposes a low ceiling on their further realization.

—p.23 But at least capitalism is free and democratic, right? (22) by Erik Olin Wright 1 year, 4 months ago
25

Capitalism deprives many people of real freedom in this sense. Poverty in the midst of plenty exists because of a direct equation between material resources and the resources needed for self-determination.

heading: "Work or Starve" Isn't Freedom

—p.25 But at least capitalism is free and democratic, right? (22) by Erik Olin Wright 1 year, 4 months ago

Capitalism deprives many people of real freedom in this sense. Poverty in the midst of plenty exists because of a direct equation between material resources and the resources needed for self-determination.

heading: "Work or Starve" Isn't Freedom

—p.25 But at least capitalism is free and democratic, right? (22) by Erik Olin Wright 1 year, 4 months ago
40

The socialist view of redistribution within a capitalist society must reject an important premise at play in nearly all tax policy debates: that pre-tax income is something earned solely by individual effort and possessed privately before the state intervenes to take a part of it. Once we break from this libertarian fantasy, it’s easy to see that individual and corporate income is made possible only through tax-financed state action.

—p.40 Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money? (36) by Michael A. McCarthy 1 year, 4 months ago

The socialist view of redistribution within a capitalist society must reject an important premise at play in nearly all tax policy debates: that pre-tax income is something earned solely by individual effort and possessed privately before the state intervenes to take a part of it. Once we break from this libertarian fantasy, it’s easy to see that individual and corporate income is made possible only through tax-financed state action.

—p.40 Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money? (36) by Michael A. McCarthy 1 year, 4 months ago
42

Of course, hard work, guile, and luck afford some workers the ability to become capitalists. But the basic structure of capitalism, in which a small number own most of the productive assets, guarantees that the vast majority of people will (at best) spend their lives earning wages, but never profits. Taxation provides a partial remedy to that essential, structural inequality of capitalist society.

—p.42 Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money? (36) by Michael A. McCarthy 1 year, 4 months ago

Of course, hard work, guile, and luck afford some workers the ability to become capitalists. But the basic structure of capitalism, in which a small number own most of the productive assets, guarantees that the vast majority of people will (at best) spend their lives earning wages, but never profits. Taxation provides a partial remedy to that essential, structural inequality of capitalist society.

—p.42 Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money? (36) by Michael A. McCarthy 1 year, 4 months ago
43

In the context of tax policy, however, positive freedom matters as well. Positive freedom is the “ability to”—the capacity to do things, and the possibility of selecting goals and making efforts to realize them. Such freedom requires resources. In capitalist societies with low levels of redistribution, positive freedom is a zero-sum game in which a few enjoy a great deal of such abilities at the expense of many others. Tax policy that divides the social product in such a way that allows some people to live opulent lives while others scrape by cannot be said to promote freedom. The public education system, for example, which offers citizens the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in pursuit of both collective and individual ambitions, is a bedrock of positive freedom that can only be sustained through taxation.

—p.43 Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money? (36) by Michael A. McCarthy 1 year, 4 months ago

In the context of tax policy, however, positive freedom matters as well. Positive freedom is the “ability to”—the capacity to do things, and the possibility of selecting goals and making efforts to realize them. Such freedom requires resources. In capitalist societies with low levels of redistribution, positive freedom is a zero-sum game in which a few enjoy a great deal of such abilities at the expense of many others. Tax policy that divides the social product in such a way that allows some people to live opulent lives while others scrape by cannot be said to promote freedom. The public education system, for example, which offers citizens the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in pursuit of both collective and individual ambitions, is a bedrock of positive freedom that can only be sustained through taxation.

—p.43 Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money? (36) by Michael A. McCarthy 1 year, 4 months ago
44

[...] Even a modest increase in the total tax burden on the top 1 percent of earners to a 45 percent rate, far lower than its postwar levels, would bring in an additional $275 billion in revenue. [...]

the obvious rebuttal to that is that such an increase might spur an increase in tax avoidance/evasion, or would lower the incentive to draw such a high salary. that's not addressed in this article, unfortunately. my response to that: you'd also need better enforcement + closing of tax loopholes, and as for the lower incentive, that might actually be a good thing in a macroeconomic sense, depending on where the money comes from (need to think about that more, esp in a global context)

—p.44 Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money? (36) by Michael A. McCarthy 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] Even a modest increase in the total tax burden on the top 1 percent of earners to a 45 percent rate, far lower than its postwar levels, would bring in an additional $275 billion in revenue. [...]

the obvious rebuttal to that is that such an increase might spur an increase in tax avoidance/evasion, or would lower the incentive to draw such a high salary. that's not addressed in this article, unfortunately. my response to that: you'd also need better enforcement + closing of tax loopholes, and as for the lower incentive, that might actually be a good thing in a macroeconomic sense, depending on where the money comes from (need to think about that more, esp in a global context)

—p.44 Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money? (36) by Michael A. McCarthy 1 year, 4 months ago
50

democratic control over our workplaces and the other institutions that shape our communities is the key to ending exploitation.

That’s the socialist vision: abolishing private ownership of the things we all need and use—factories, banks, offices, natural resources, utilities, communication and transportation infrastructure—and replacing it with social ownership, thereby undercutting the power of elites to hoard wealth and power. And that’s also the ethical appeal of socialism: a world where people don’t try to control others for personal gain, but instead cooperate so that everyone can flourish.

—p.50 Will socialists take my Kenny Loggins records? (46) by Bhaskar Sunkara 1 year, 4 months ago

democratic control over our workplaces and the other institutions that shape our communities is the key to ending exploitation.

That’s the socialist vision: abolishing private ownership of the things we all need and use—factories, banks, offices, natural resources, utilities, communication and transportation infrastructure—and replacing it with social ownership, thereby undercutting the power of elites to hoard wealth and power. And that’s also the ethical appeal of socialism: a world where people don’t try to control others for personal gain, but instead cooperate so that everyone can flourish.

—p.50 Will socialists take my Kenny Loggins records? (46) by Bhaskar Sunkara 1 year, 4 months ago
56

The capitalist argument that individual choice in the market equals freedom masks the reality that capitalism is an undemocratic system in which most people spend much of their life being “bossed.” Corporations are forms of hierarchical dictatorships, as those who work in them have no voice in how they produce, what they produce, and how the profit they create is utilized. [...]

—p.56 Doesn’t socialism always end up in dictatorship? (52) by Joseph M. Schwartz 1 year, 4 months ago

The capitalist argument that individual choice in the market equals freedom masks the reality that capitalism is an undemocratic system in which most people spend much of their life being “bossed.” Corporations are forms of hierarchical dictatorships, as those who work in them have no voice in how they produce, what they produce, and how the profit they create is utilized. [...]

—p.56 Doesn’t socialism always end up in dictatorship? (52) by Joseph M. Schwartz 1 year, 4 months ago
60

[...] For students of history, the question should be not whether socialism necessarily leads to dictatorship, but whether a revived socialist movement can overcome the oligarchic and anti-democratic nature of capitalism.

—p.60 Doesn’t socialism always end up in dictatorship? (52) by Joseph M. Schwartz 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] For students of history, the question should be not whether socialism necessarily leads to dictatorship, but whether a revived socialist movement can overcome the oligarchic and anti-democratic nature of capitalism.

—p.60 Doesn’t socialism always end up in dictatorship? (52) by Joseph M. Schwartz 1 year, 4 months ago