The Applicant
AUTHOR: Michael Thompson DATE: 2/07/2005 07:51:00 PM BODY: The University of Minnesota's student paper is the Minnesota Daily, requently called the just The Daily, or cynically, the Doily, after its worthlessness. There's a leftie twit of a columnist, Nick Woomer, whose colum, "Into the Womb" is a weekly screed. Now, I'm not much to say but here's the latest one, "A New Kind of Socialism, Locally and Abroad." Let's get started.

I like murder, and firing squads, and mass graves in the woods, and forced labor camps, and a whole host of other totalitarian abominations … This is what others have been accusing me of for years, most recently right here on The Minnesota Daily’s editorial page.

This is because I am a socialist.

Well, socialist countries tend to become dictatorships, fool. If they aren't, look at Germany, where a woman has to either work at a brothel or loose unemployment.
I think wealth should be redistributed in a far more equitable way and, ideally, that there should be collective ownership of the means of production.

Endosring theft, are you? A man with a bright idea puts his hardwork into, and do-gooders want to take it away for someone else. If it wasn't the government, gawd, where would so many felons work?
Traditionally, socialists have favored state control over the economy, meaning that everybody works for the government. Some central bureaucracy decides how much steel, butter, soap and whatever else society needs and then it issues a declaration and everyone gets to work.

Not surprisingly, in many instances, this setup is terribly inefficient and leads (some would say inevitably) to a Soviet-style collapse. The quality of goods produced under such a system is generally low, and the quality of life for the average person is quite a bit below that of nations with decentralized, market-based economies, like the United States.

Of course it is. Responsiveness is a key. And, ". . . the quality of life for the average person is quite a bit below that of nations with decentralized, market-based economies. . ." Is the quality of life in North Korea or Cuba that good sir?
Centralized economies — in which the government is the only boss — have been largely discredited and rightfully so.

Some sense from you now.
Now that the Soviet Union is dead and buried, most thoughtful radicals are justifiably skeptical of the state. What this means is that when conservatives or liberals attack radicals. . .

Liberals defending Capitalism???? Someone tell former Sen. John Edwards!!!!!
. . .as a bunch of naive, intellectually bankrupt holdovers from the ’60s, they’re really just attacking a straw man.

Oh, so why shouldn't I attack idiots like Ward Chuchill who calls me a Nazi? The First Amendment doesn't protect you from attacks by your fellow citizen, O ink-stained wretch. Only from the Government.
No credible radical wants to build a society that resembles the 20th century’s authoritarian monstrosities.

Tell that to Ed Asner, and the Fellow Travellers/Stalinist Apligists of ANSWER.
On the contrary, I would say that the socialist vision for the 21st century is a major reversal of the old vision: Instead of “top-down,” it’s “bottom-up.” It is radically democratic and decentralized and concerned, first and foremost, with the empowerment of poor and working- class people. In fact, if the new socialist vision has any flaws, it is that it is too skeptical of the state, not the other way around.

The State isn't god. It is there to secure negative rights. It exists because we need an organization to keep things like Goblins (thanks Mr. du Toit) and Osama bin Laden from killing people.
Nor is the new socialist vision some dreamy, pie-in-the-sky, academic fantasy. Today, workers in Argentina and here in the Twin Cities are living this vision and showing us the future.

Where in the Cities?
Last week, Minnesota Film Arts ended its run of “The Take,”

Ah, at an Art Theater.
. . . [A] documentary on Argentina’s occupied factory movement by writer and anti-globalization activist Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis.

Which twit is which?
The film’s Web site is at

Ah, from the NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA, that makes sense, for those foolish Canuks to support any thing that pisses off the Americans. Great neigbors, those fools in Ottawa. Oh, feel free to spam this site, and one that follows.
In 2001, Argentina’s economy disintegrated. Up until then, Argentina’s economy was the envy of all Latin America, but in the 1990s, the Argentine government cozied up to the International Monetary Fund and turned Argentina into a “capitalist wild west.” To make a long and complicated story short, everything went to hell. Tens of billions of dollars left Argentina overnight, the government put severe limits on regular citizens’ access to their bank accounts and factories all over the country shut down.

Well, the first problem was in limiting access to bank accounts. Dumbasses (Note: I have nothing against Argentinans, as I had an excellent Spanish Teacher from there. It's just a stupid government.).
Many Argentine workers realized that they didn’t have to wait for the electoral process to produce a sympathetic government. Instead, workers across the country decided to reopen their shuttered workplaces and restart the production process — without any bosses and without having their profits stolen by their companies’ shareholders.

All right, here it is the theory on how capitalism works, in the smallest possible words for small minds. I have a great idea for making widgets (A hypothetical good- could be anything). I don't have enough money to make enough of them, so I go to a Venture Capitalist (investor in new businesses) to get the cash and trade some of my ownership to him. After we establish it enough, we go to the stock market, and get more money to increase production. Good enough for you, slow boy?
By the time the documentary had been completed, more than 200 factories, schools and health-care providers (employing approximately 50,000 workers) were worker-run.

With the health care, aren't many doctors really self employed in private practice?
Isn’t this just stealing?

Yes, numbnuts.
The workers don’t see it that way: They prefer the term “expropriation.” Anyway, why should they care how the owners feel?

Would you like your life's work stolen, dumbass? Then you should feel some sympathy for them. Oh, wait, you're probalbly Liberal Arts, so you aren't expected to contribute too much. Yes, I am in the most MALE dominated areas at the U, ROTC and IT, wimp.
The workers in the Movement of Occupied Factories are running the show now.

Wait, I forget, you're a panty waisted, champagne drinking twit. Theft by the government, or "the people" is just fine in your worldview.
In worker-run enterprises, decisions are usually made at a general assembly, where each worker gets one vote: How much do they want to pay themselves (and should everyone be paid equally)? How much do they want to spend on improving their workplace? How much vacation will everyone have? And so on … Every worker has an equal say. If someone’s slacking off, he or she hears about it from his co-workers.

Ah, business by direct Democracy. Easily influnced by out siders and personal problems, and industrial espionage is easy. Who pays the bills? Who runs each area, telling people what they need to do? What happens if there's a downturn and people have to be down sized? What happens to them?
The notion that workplaces ought to be run by, and for the benefit of, the people who work there is simple, powerful and revolutionary. And when you think about it, it’s pretty shocking that it’s shocking. I know I’ve worked plenty of jobs where my co-workers and I could have done a better job running everything than our boss.

Ah, yes, but what of decisions that need to be made with confidence and deciveness? That's what you need suprevisors.
Luckily, you don’t have to go to Argentina to see worker-run workplaces in action — the Twin Cities is home to a handful of them: North Country Co-op Grocery, Hard Times Cafe and the Spokes Pizza Collective are just three examples

How many of those break Health Regs? And who can I turn to if I (hypothetically) patronize them and have a problem? And what are the prices compared to Cub or Rainbow?
Interested parties should check out the Web site of The Federation of Workplace Democracies in Minnesota at

As above, feel free to attack them.
People the world over are desperate for an alternative to ruthless, cut-throat capitalism.

Hitler and Mussolini claimed the same thing. Look what happened to them. Capitalism works. Let's use what works, stupid.
Meanwhile, liberal and conservative pundits claim the collapse of the Soviet Union demonstrates that no such alternatives exist . . .

It doesn't stupid.
but workers in the Twin Cities and Argentina have already proved them wrong.

How many of these would create a similar level of employment that we have now? I heard unemployment just hit an all time low. Betcha $250 it would not and/or less productive.
Nick Woomer welcomes comments at

Feel free to piss him off.

Mr. Woomer, I hope this last until you leave the University or I do! COMMENT-AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous COMMENT-DATE:1:44 PM COMMENT-BODY:Upon reading your screed about Mr. Woomer's latest column, I was unable to focus on the content, as I spent the entire time focused on the appalling state of your grammar and spelling:

Spelling Mistakes: "leftie", "colum," "loose," "endosring," "apligists," "Probalbly," "influnced," "deciveness," "suprevisors," "out siders"

Missing commas: "Is the quality of Cuba that good sir," "It doesn't stupid"

Phrases lacking hyphens: "all time," "panty waisted," "self employed"

Sentences lacking verb tense-noun agreement: "why shouldn't I attack idiots like Ward Churchill who calls me"

Sentences that simply make no grammatical sense whatsoever or lack key sentence elements (e.g., a verb): "here it is the theory on how capitalism works," "a man with a bright idea puts his hard work into" (into what???), "Mr. Woomer, I hope this last until you leave the U or I do."

First of all, I am sad that someone with such poor grammar attends the U at all. Secondly, I am surprised that you were able to study Spanish (as you mention) since you have not yet grasped basic concepts in English. And third, you will never be able to convince a wider community of the value of your political views if you are not able to state them convincingly and with basic grammatical correctness.

This post was pathetic. COMMENT-AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous COMMENT-DATE:2:03 PM COMMENT-BODY:p.s. As a woman, I am puzzled by your mention that you study in MALE dominated areas of the university. How does this relate to your argument at all? And secondly, I was also puzzled by your favorable mention of health regulations. Health regs, which you fear will be vitiated in a socialist system, are largely a product of the "socialist" impulse to regulate the workplace and make it safer for workers and consumers alike. A true free-market system would not have health regulations imposed by the government. The worst elements of a capitalist economy ("The Jungle"-type health and safety violations) have been reduced by the socialist-inspired legislation of the Progressive and New Deal eras. The only economy you have ever enjoyed in the U.S. is one that is heavily regulated and is far from a "free-market" system.
My thoughts and papers- updated irregularly. These are only my opinoins, do not apply these to anyone or the U.S. Government, who I do not represent.

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