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Hello, my real name is Duy. I found this website after watching a video that Jreg made on it. And I must say, I'm glad to have stumbled upon this community. It helped me expand my worldview when I could find so many ideologies across the economic, cultural, and civic spectrum. I'm very active in the forum, making polls or memeing.

I sometimes make edits on the pages here. Although, my edits could be very long.

My drawings



Ideological Evolution

You probably wonder how I became a democratic socialist.

So at first, I'm apolitical. And then, I got to 9th grade in my home country in 2016. I'm still apolitical but leaning toward Marxism-Leninism. Even though I don't know what ML entails, I know the philosophy that underpins it.

Dialectical Materialism.

In the law of the negation of the negation, I remembered how they talked about how objects tend to evolve by repeating the first step but at a higher level, thus moving in a spiral.

Primitive communism --> Slavery --> Feudalism --> Capitalism --> Socialism --> Communism

You noticed how the end-stage is very similar to the first stage, but it's superior?

In February 2020, I said goodbye to my friends and family to move to the United States. At that point, I already had doubts about our Communist Party when my teacher talked about the South before Reunification. I went to Walmart and was surprised at the staggering number of goods there. "Is that because of the market forces in capitalism?" I thought.

I got home and took a random magazine from the table. The only part that even impressed me is how they talked about the alleged superiority of petroleum, and I wasn't fully convinced even then. It was full of anti-trans propaganda, and I couldn't take it, so I put it back down.

And that's when I began to learn about politics in earnest. To counter those arguments.

I looked at the history of Eastern European countries, and that started to challenge historical materialism as I know it. If the general trend is true, how was it possible that so many countries transitioned away from socialism? Surely, there must be some errors that Marxist-Leninist countries have made.

I searched up Bernie Sanders, and the Nordic Model, and I enjoyed that a lot. I was initially interested in David Pakman, but the populist rhetoric that Kyle Kulinski uses caused me to gravitate toward him. I learned how firms in unregulated capitalism tend to accumulate power, destroying market competition as a result. Extreme economic inequality is persistent in the United States, combined with big money in politics and democracy in our nation is quite damaged. Progressive taxation, universal healthcare, a strong welfare state, co-determination laws, high union membership, public ownership of key industries. You know the stuff. Those are the policies that can mitigate the strong inequality. And so, from mid-2020 to early 2021, I was a modern social democrat.

Even though I believed in liberal democracy and pluralism, my mindset had always been to convince my opponent that I was right. In a way, that made me intolerant. I got super pissed when someone said that the Nazis were socialist. I tried to prove that it wasn't the case, but I could never understand where they were coming from. So the arguments just got to nowhere. I'm not willing to go extra left since I thought of socialism as either the planned economies found in the old Soviet Union and pre-1986 Vietnam or good libertarian societies that couldn't keep themselves together for a long time. Even though I accepted some capitalist measures, I'm willing to defend socialism from other anti-communists, pointing to non-authoritarian examples.

That all changed when I watched Hakim's video, "How Rich Countries Rob The Poor; The Failure of Social Democracy.'

It left me disillusioned with my economic system at the time. I couldn't tolerate exploitation in any form, whether it's domestic or abroad. I also started watching lectures from Richard Wolff about workers' self-management. Also, Eurocommunism in Europe. And Yugoslavia after 1950. That changed my perception of socialism completely. It was no longer something far-fetched but one that was pretty much possible in our time. However, I'm convinced that we mustn't force socialism against the popular will, since it can weaken support for that economic system. I imagine the transition to socialism as a long and gradual process. The reforms will build up over time to build up democracy, both in the political spheres and the workplaces. In this period, I started to get more pluralist, accepting different points of view from mine. I imagine many different people as having ideas that they thought would be the best for society. Because of this, I enter debates no longer with the sole purpose to win but to inform and learn in the process.

Thus, from early 2021 to the present, I'm a market socialist. Not a strictly revolutionary kind.

I'm an Evolutionary socialist.

My advocacy

The case for Welfare state universalism

One exception of this is for the developing economies. A mix of universalist and targeted welfare programs can make social services more efficient.

In more advanced economies, universalist welfare can reduce the loss of dignity and self-respect for anyone receiving. It is because recipients no longer see themselves as a "public burden." There's no longer a duality between beneficiaries and non-recipients, so stigma about welfare decreases as a result.

Additionally, universalist welfare has the potential to eliminate the "welfare trap," as there is no longer a cut-off of benefits when individuals make high enough income, removing the perverse incentive to not work.

In 1998, two researchers (Korpi and Palme) found the paradox of redistribution: universal programs achieve higher redistribution than means-tested ones in high-income countries. Another study by Jacques and Noel confirmed that the paradox still existed in the 21st-century developed welfare states. Other data on Norway would support the correlations between universalism and redistribution & correlations between redistribution and poverty relief.

Furthermore, there was also a slight correlation between universalism and public support, although not high. It turns out that encompassing welfare programs could garner broad support for redistributive efforts, making it much harder to dismantle.

To be continued...


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