April 30, 2012

"Other cities do have working tent cities. And I think this shows that a tent city can work..."

"... as imperfect as it is, for various reasons... and it's really sad that the city is dismissing it altogether, and it's going to be broken down in a couple of days."

Allen Barkoff, defending the homeless shelter into which Occupy Madison transmogrified. (Via Isthmus.)



Barkoff is identified on the video as "Occupy Organizer." Allen Barkoff is also the name of the Vice-Chair of the Socialist Party of South Central Wisconsin. From the Socialist Party website:
In a socialist system the people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups. The primary goal of economic activity is to provide the necessities of life, including food, shelter, health care, education, child care, cultural opportunities, and social services. 
These social services include care for the chronically ill, persons with mental disabilities, the infirm and the aging. Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.

46 comments:

Scott M said...

Did Barkoff manage to list at least one example in history where the socialist system has been tried at the national level without lots of people ending up dead or worse?

virgil xenophon said...

ALL leftist ideas: Like second marriages, the classic case of the triumph of hope over experience. Which, come to think of it, explains the political fact of the mere existence of Obama.

Seeing Red said...

--Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.--


Does he mean like casting a vote?

Or are we back to using those stupid hand signals?

Where's a good unexpected MMGW heavy snowfall when you need it?

Maguro said...

But, true socialism has never been tried, Comrade Scott. Surely this time will be different. Comrade Cook assured me of this.

Scott M said...

Where's a good unexpected MMGW heavy snowfall when you need it?

You have to invite ManBearPig to speak about AGW for that to happen in a given locality.

Tibore said...

"Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served."

This is the lie of socialism right here. Advocates promise this, but then never truly deliver on it. Ask anyone in Cuba, or the former Soviet Union if it worked out that way.

rhhardin said...

Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.

That's where they vote to hit the guy on the head and take his stuff.

TCB-n-a-Flash said...

Hey is it ok if we encourage the Chicago homeless to head to Madison? That's what tent cities will do for your community. If you build it, they will come.

PaulV said...

Beer tent city did not work well in St Louis. Build yurts and they will come.

Tibore said...

Oh, also:
""Other cities do have working tent cities. And I think this shows that a tent city can work..."

"... as imperfect as it is, for various reasons... and it's really sad that the city is dismissing it altogether, and it's going to be broken down in a couple of days.""


Let's ignore the fact that there's already a functioning homeless shelter in Madison that's not taking up space in public common areas.

Tank said...

Socialism works fine, as long as you want to live in a tent city.

Most of us are aiming a bit higher.

Seeing Red said...

Touche, Scot. LOLOLOL He bought a house on a beach, didn't he? Hedging his bets?

Who's paying for the port o' potties in the background, the beleagured taxpayer?

It's only working because there's a clean-up crew not paid for by the squatters.

Lem said...

Other cities do have working tent cities

That was not the "mindset" originally sold to the.. Street Use Staff Commission.

If I have the right permit hearing right..

edutcher said...

Yes, every city needs a thriving Hoover(oops, Obama)ville.

Peter said...

--Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.--

This truly set off my BS detector. What's he actually saying?? First, he identified three stakeholders- workers, consumers, and the public to be served.

Consumers already have plenty of power as they can choose who they'll buy from, and what they'll buy. But if the intent is for planners to "guide" or otherwise restrict consumer choice, then surely that means less and not more freedom for consumers.

How does the "The public to be served" differ from "consumers"? Well, presumably they are captive consumers, consumers who have no choice but to accept what a monopoly supplier provides. Libertarians and free marketeers mostly work to shrink this sector to its irreducable minimum; socialists work to expand it. And that too surely means less and not more freedom for "the public to be served"- for who would not prefer to be a "consumer" (with freedom to choose) instead of "a public" that is served (by government or government-sponsored monopoly)?

Of course, the core of socialism is the "workers" part. Apparently "planners" and not the market are to determine the "what, where, and how" of production. Yet time and again attempts to replace markets with planning have been a dismal failure, as they produce the wrong goods and services, fail miserably to produce quality, and generally fail to create wealth.

If you are truly convinced that worker control of the means of production is a superior alternative, there's nothing to prevent you from starting a producer co-op and competing in the market with capitalist enterprises.

But the snag is the "competing" part- your co-op might fail, and that's where socialism comes in- the power of government must be used to protect those "superior alternatives" (from the socialist perspective) at all costs.

Michael Haz said...

Socialists would be far more credible if they'd clean up after themselves.

Michael Haz said...

Although perhaps cleaning up their mess has already been discussed at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served and the decision was "no way, man!"


The Tea Party capitalists are in the habit of always leaving their rally grounds spotlessly clean. No collectivism involved, other than collecting debris and puting it where it belongs.

Joe said...

Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.

Yet, when the community and regional voters decide they would rather not pay people to sit on their asses doing nothing, democracy becomes flawed and action must be taken a national level to prevent people from making the wrong decisions.

Alex said...

Just another right-wing troll bait.

cubanbob said...

Since they are occupying property, levy property taxes on them. They too have to pay the price for civilization.

X said...

just don't count on Allen Barkoff ever producing anything useful for redistribution

Quaestor said...

Tibore wrote:
This is the lie of socialism right here. Advocates promise this, but then never truly deliver on it.

Suppose they did deliver democratic planning, would that have been any better?

Sorun said...

"I thought Wisconsin had more welfare, um, I mean, jobs..."

Tim said...

Why doesn't Barkoff just have all the dirty hippies live at his place?

Since he believes in sharing stuff?

He can start by sharing his stuff.

SGT Ted said...

And when, not if, the socialists run out of other peoples money, then what?

Socialism is just hijacking Democracy for the benefit of Government and the aquisition and maintenance of power over others via high taxes.

Tim said...

I'd like Socialists more if they spent more time on acquiring private property, devoting their resources to creating wealth, and then re-investing their profits from creating wealth into creating more wealth.

But then, if they could do that, they wouldn't want to be Socialists, would they?

Leaches.

paul a'barge said...

Socialists/Commies suck.

Quaestor said...

Ann wrote:
Allen Barkoff is also the name of the Vice-Chair of the Socialist Party of South Central Wisconsin

That sounds like a jim dandy group, alright. Who needs an Algonquin Round Table when there's the Socialist Party of South Central Wisconsin? And Barkoff is Vice-Chair, too, bless his heart. And to think his daddy thought he'd never amount to anything after declaring his major in fine art ceramics. Shows him. Can you picture the scintillating scene of the roll call?

When you hear your name, say here or present. Alan Barkoff?

Here!

Good, all present or accounted for.

*************

After Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, the Kim dynasty, Kruschev, Ceau┼čescu, Castro, Guevara, Brezhnev, Pol Pot, Andropov, Chavez and a host of others with large and larger still tallies of slaughter, tyranny, failure, famine and pestilence one would think this socialism thing would wear out its welcome even in the the most benighted, cobweb-festooned corners of college town hangers-on-dom. After all, the most cretinous micro-cephalic mongoloid will eventually give up booger mining if you smash him on the kneecap with a mallet every time a finger strays into a nostril, but it seems socialists, particularly the decrepit hippy boomer type, just cannot learn... brainless, utterly devoid of neural ganglia... Hells belles! Even planaria can learn left from right if you apply a voltage often enough! ... Oh, well. I guess that bell curve will always be with us. We can't all be in the 99th percentile, but you'd think a geezer like Alan Barkoff could at least drag himself up to the 2nd or 3rd given his 65+ years on the planet.

wyo sis said...

All of this "planning" and they have a tent city and it was built by OWS with money from union dues. Impressive.

David said...

Tent cities work ok if they are in the middle of a wealthy, high service actual city like Madison.

Suggest he try Southern Sudan if he wants another version.

Scott M said...

Suggest he try Southern Sudan if he wants another version.

Hell, he doesn't even have to go that far. Appalachia would probably break them.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

Why is anyone surprised when a lot of the guys who organize events such as Ocuppy-whatever turn out to be "professional" lefties?

These guys are protest organizers. That's what they do for a living. Having a cadre of such organizers who could turn up a mob at a moment's notice was one way the CPUSA punched above its weight from the 30's until the Cold War.

At least this guy's organization makes some pretense at democratic socialism. Out east, it's ANSWER who fills the organizing role, and a scummier bunch of misfits never walked the planet.

Aridog said...

Aw hell, why can't somebody just punch out this ill kempt snot nosed unshaven ancient pseudo-hippie every time he steps outside. Might deter him a bit, eh?

I suspect I am older than he is and remember the 1960's on the Madison campus very well. Raggedy assed weasels like Barkoff always wanted to share everything, but never had a thing to share themselves. They liked to impede things though, like access to the Student Union Cafeteria, where I once had to punch a couple of them to get through the door ... I had little money in those days and I needed to eat there inexpensively. I had no patience in those days. Guys like Barkoff never offered anything except lip service.

I'm surprised this phony act still survives.

Tibore said...

"Quaestor said...

Suppose they did deliver democratic planning, would that have been any better?"


Don't read my statement as any sort of defense or validation of socialism. All I was saying was that the agitprops making the promises tend to be liars lying for the sake of gaining power. That's all.

DADvocate said...

Some how I think the socialist are tied too strongly to the word "democratically" except as a feel good term. Democratically hasn't worked out too well for them yet and they're upset about it.

Bruce Hayden said...

Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.

Reminds me a bit about Hitler's rise to power. Watched the speech a couple days ago that he gave to spell bound Germans right before his party took power, and then effectively ended democracy in Germany. Hitler went from being appointed Chancellor to suspending civil liberties in a month, and got dictatorial powers a month later. All after his party had become the largest parliamentary party with the elections the previous year.

This is what socialists do when they can - use the democratic process until they gain power, and then effectively eliminate democratic opposition as quickly thereafter as possible. Have seen similar things happen in Italy, Nicaragua, and most recently Venezuela. In Russia and Cuba, the seizure of power was not really democratic, but democratic institutions were nevertheless quickly neutralized.

The basic problem is that socialism and democracy are ultimately irreconcilable. Which is why the later is invariably one of the first casualties of the ascension to power of the former. And, I would suggest that part of the reason is that ultimately socialists, when given power, reveal themselves as the ultimate hypocrites. Everyone is equal, but those closest to power are the most equal. Plus, socialism invariably fails as an economic system - man is inherently greedy, and socialism is built upon the dream of men putting the good of society above their own needs and wants, and, in particular, the taking care of their families.

EMD said...

Socialism is gross.

Shanna said...

I just heard they're kicking the Occupy LR goobers out because they're going to need the parking space in the summer.

Bryan C said...

"Other cities do have working tent cities. And I think this shows that a tent city can work..."

In his younger days this fellow could've listed entire nations as examples of how well socialism works. Now he's reduced to hawking the nobility of squatting under a tarp in a parking lot.

I'd feel sorry for him if he wasn't so determined to drag the rest of us down there with them.

Clyde said...

Someone should tell Comrade Barkov the old Russian chestnut:

Under capitalism, man exploits man;
Under socialism (well, actually "communism," but same-o, same-o), it's the opposite!

Bryan C said...

"The basic problem is that socialism and democracy are ultimately irreconcilable."

Socialism views democracy as a tool used to validate predetermined decisions. Read Barkoff's little mission statement and note that every single aspect of life is assumed to fall under the purview of the collective and its all-pervasive "planning". They've already decided on your spending, your goals, your food, your living arrangements, your children, your entertainment, your sick, your disabled, and your elderly.

All that's left to be "determined democratically" is trivia, and even then the individuals who are tasked with building these things are kept in their proper place by the "consumers" and "the public" whom the workers apparently exist to "serve".

So what color socks shall the workers make for the mental patients in state hospice? Let's vote.

chickenlittle said...

Occupazione? Disoccupato

wyo sis said...

How is this tent city different than Sheriff Arpaio's tent prison that the left decries as cruel and unusual punishment or Gitmo for that matter?

Penny said...

"So what color socks shall the workers make for the mental patients in state hospice?"

Needs to be a "warm tone" for sure. Why else would they wear socks?

Penny said...

Ha ha

And Bryan C?

Not sure who you are, but that was pretty damn funny.

"STATE HOSPICE"?

Now that's an American Express card right there.

Priceless!