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The Failure of Capitalism and Communism

charleslb
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10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Comparing the Failure of Capitalism and Communism

Because of their unsurpassed staunchness, let me just start off by addressing capitalism's defenders and communism's detractors of the "libertarian" variety. "Libertarians" are inclined to use the hackneyed argument that communism can't ever exist because no example of a successful large-scale communist society has ever existed. Well, it seem then only fair and fitting to turn this empirical argument around on them and point out that there has never actually been a society that has embodied "libertarian" principles. And there never can or will be, because "libertarianism" isn't about society, isn't a plan for a free form of social existence. Rather, it's about atomization, about an egoistic and anti-social economic individualism that's clearly not cut out to be the basis for community. Yes, the It's never existed argument cuts both ways, dear "libertarians".

But this point can indeed be applied more broadly to capitalism. There has never been a historical, empirical example of a successful capitalist society. Yes, there have been and are rich capitalist societies with a filthy rich and fat bourgeoisie, but none that are successful in the sense of actually working according to theory; in the sense of embodying the principles and expectations, the high ideals and high hopes of the early philosophers and economists who formulated capitalist theory.

No, there has certainly never been a capitalist society that has been successful in either an economic or an ethical sense, that has distributed material well-being sufficiently equitably to justify taking pride in the ability of a capitalist economy to create wealth; that has not promoted the cruel and dangerous overaccumulation of capital & wealth in the hands of a few individuals and firms; that has not consequently been prone to produce both injustice and instability; that has not been subject to a drive for profit, production, and growth that generates destructive sociological consequence, and that's propelling us toward an eventual and veritable ecological apocalypse.

Nope, there's never been a capitalist society that's ethically acceptable in terms of universalizing prosperity and well-being rather than obscenely concentrating it in a ruling class. There has never been a capitalist economy that isn't a recurrent train wreck. There has never been a form of capitalism that is a shining part of the solution of sustainability rather than a culpable part of the ecological problem. Capitalism is empirically discredited by history and what it has consistently produced throughout the history of the last couple of hundred years, by actually-existing capitalism, by the stage of late capitalism that the world is in today, and by the doomful environmental prospects of capitalist society.

So, again, the argument so frequently and pedestrianly used against communism, that it was tried and didn't work, that there's no historical precedent of a viable communist system, is very much a two-edged sword that can easily be used to hack capitalism's and free-market fundamentalism's ideological pretensions to respectability to shreds as well.

But it should be noted that there's a profound and highly significant difference between the failure and demise of "communism" and the ongoing failure in economic, human, and environmental terms of capitalism. Soviet-style communism utterly failed & flopped because, from the time that Lenin abolished the workers councils, it utterly failed to apply and actualize communism's core principles. Capitalism, on the other hand, is a terminal patient in history's sick ward and well on its way to the graveyard of history, precisely because of its fundamental operating principles, its inescapable internal dynamics. Actually-existing "communism" was a failure because of its failure to realize its vision and potential; it's failure, largely due to historical baggage & karma in the societies in which it arose, to rise to the historical occasion. Capitalism is indeed a more profound and grievous loser because its failure is due to what it is, to its inherent, incorrigible, perennial pathology.

So then, what are we to do at a juncture in history where both capitalism and communism seem to stand before us, and before the tribunal of history discredited, disgraced, and defunct? The disastrous option would be to stay the course and futilely continue trying to tweak capitalism into a more workable system. This brings to mind the definition of stupidity and insanity as doing pretty much the same thing and expecting better results. Another smarter & saner option would be to recognize that only one largely counterfeit form of communism failed; that it failed because it was distorted and perverted, not because of anything fundamental to communism; that it's not the case at all that communism has been tried and found wanting. And that the reason it hasn't been tried thus far merely has to do with the fact that the formidable powers that be of the capitalist world order oppose it with every ounce of their considerable resources, not because of communism's alleged impracticability.

We can realize this and give hope and communism a chance. We can realize that what the regimes of Stalin, Pol Pot, and Nicolae Ceau57;escu modeled, the totalitarianism and genocide that they had to offer does not actually, fundamentally, eternally define communism and its prospects. We can realize that the dreams of authentic democracy and authentic communism are concomitants, a package deal and that we'll never live as truly free citizens of a democratic polity until we've abolished the underlying plutocratic power structure of capitalist society in favor of the egalitarianism of communism. We can realize that communism's abolition of the capitalist's freedom to overaccumulate, exploit, and dominate spells not the end of liberty but the emancipation of workingpeople from their condition of wage slavery. We can realize that communism aims to liberate the human spirit from the existential lot of being reduced to objects and commodities, and to return us to the spiritual status of human beings.

We can summon the wisdom, as individuals and as a civilization in dire need of moral, sociological, and ecological salvation, to realize all of the above and to undertake what this time will be a real, a good faith experiment in building a genuinely communist form of society. Or we can be unduly pessimistic about our ability to do so and suffer the consequences of our lack of faith in ourselves. The choice is presently and urgently before us, may we choose the life and liberty offered by communism.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/13/2014 4:36:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Btw, folks, have you noticed that I've shortened my OPs a bit? You see, I am capable of compromising with my critics.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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10/13/2014 4:43:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Correction. I tried to get the diacritical mark in and it screwed up the name, "... the regimes of Stalin, Pol Pot, and Nicolae Ceau57;escu modeled ..." should of course read "... the regimes of Stalin, Pol Pot, and Nicolae Ceausescu modeled ..."
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
vwv
Posts: 666
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10/13/2014 5:02:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 4:36:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
Btw, folks, have you noticed that I've shortened my OPs a bit? You see, I am capable of compromising with my critics.

What the heck did they used to look like, xD!
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/13/2014 5:15:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:02:49 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:36:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
Btw, folks, have you noticed that I've shortened my OPs a bit? You see, I am capable of compromising with my critics.

What the heck did they used to look like, xD!

They used to be about twice as long.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/13/2014 5:29:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:20:34 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

Point is neither of them work.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. I now welcome your input on the topic & content of the OP.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
vwv
Posts: 666
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10/13/2014 5:30:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:29:22 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:20:34 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

Point is neither of them work.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. I now welcome your input on the topic & content of the OP.

That was it.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/13/2014 5:31:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:30:10 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:29:22 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:20:34 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

Point is neither of them work.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. I now welcome your input on the topic & content of the OP.

That was it.

I'm sad to hear that.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
vwv
Posts: 666
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10/13/2014 5:32:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:31:37 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:30:10 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:29:22 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:20:34 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

Point is neither of them work.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. I now welcome your input on the topic & content of the OP.

That was it.

I'm sad to hear that.

The OP attacked the validity of free market theory, it didn't remotely defend the validity of communism/socialism.
bananafana
Posts: 108
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10/13/2014 5:34:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
charlesmakes a lot of assertions, and uses fancy words in place of justification. LOL.

what a patheticc nerd
thinker, philosopher, renasance-man.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/13/2014 5:34:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:32:33 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:31:37 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:30:10 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:29:22 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:20:34 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

Point is neither of them work.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. I now welcome your input on the topic & content of the OP.

That was it.

I'm sad to hear that.

The OP attacked the validity of free market theory, it didn't remotely defend the validity of communism/socialism.

Sure it did.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
bananafana
Posts: 108
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10/13/2014 5:35:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:29:22 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:20:34 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

Point is neither of them work.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. I now welcome your input on the topic & content of the OP.

u say that to everyone. have u not gotten the hint that no one CARES ABOUT UR OP
thinker, philosopher, renasance-man.
vwv
Posts: 666
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10/13/2014 5:36:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:34:56 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:32:33 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:31:37 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:30:10 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:29:22 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:20:34 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

Point is neither of them work.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. I now welcome your input on the topic & content of the OP.

That was it.

I'm sad to hear that.

The OP attacked the validity of free market theory, it didn't remotely defend the validity of communism/socialism.

Sure it did.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/13/2014 5:51:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:36:21 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:34:56 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:32:33 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:31:37 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:30:10 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:29:22 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:20:34 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

Point is neither of them work.

Thank you for your constructive criticism. I now welcome your input on the topic & content of the OP.

That was it.

I'm sad to hear that.

The OP attacked the validity of free market theory, it didn't remotely defend the validity of communism/socialism.

Sure it did.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...

Nope, I merely disagreed with your assertion and thought that I'd let the arguments of my OP stand on their own merits in this instance.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
vwv
Posts: 666
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10/13/2014 5:52:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:51:25 PM, charleslb wrote:

You have no arguments in your OP, only rebuttals to right-wing Liberals.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/13/2014 5:57:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 5:52:52 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 5:51:25 PM, charleslb wrote:

You have no arguments in your OP, only rebuttals to right-wing Liberals.

Give it another read.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
vwv
Posts: 666
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10/13/2014 6:47:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

"Libertarians" are inclined to use the hackneyed argument that communism can't ever exist because no example of a successful large-scale communist society has ever existed.

What is your defense against this statement?

Well, it seem then only fair and fitting to turn this empirical argument around on them and point out that there has never actually been a society that has embodied "libertarian" principles.

India does and so do many African nations.

And there never can or will be, because "libertarianism" isn't about society, isn't a plan for a free form of social existence. Rather, it's about atomization, about an egoistic and anti-social economic individualism that's clearly not cut out to be the basis for community.

Irrelevant.

Yes, the It's never existed argument cuts both ways, dear "libertarians".

This achieves nothing in favor of Communism.

There has never been a historical, empirical example of a successful capitalist society.

India and many African nations as well as Brazil. It is just about how you define it. Also the middle east is one of the most economically successful regions on Earth and all are Capitalist.

Yes, there have been and are rich capitalist societies with a filthy rich and fat bourgeoisie, but none that are successful in the sense of actually working according to theory

Explain more please.

No, there has certainly never been a capitalist society that has been successful in either an economic or an ethical sense

Economically yes there have been many. Ethics are purely subjective and down to the individual.

Nope, there's never been a capitalist society that's ethically acceptable in terms of universalizing prosperity and well-being.

That's because you are basing your ethics on Communist ideals.

There has never been a capitalist economy that isn't a recurrent train wreck.

Explain more please.

The rest was just ranting.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/14/2014 1:30:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/13/2014 6:47:55 PM, vwv wrote:
At 10/13/2014 4:34:00 PM, charleslb wrote:

"Libertarians" are inclined to use the hackneyed argument that communism can't ever exist because no example of a successful large-scale communist society has ever existed.

What is your defense against this statement?

That it's an instance of the fallacy of thinking that the possibilities of the future are only constituted by what has existed in the past.

Well, it seem then only fair and fitting to turn this empirical argument around on them and point out that there has never actually been a society that has embodied "libertarian" principles.

India does and so do many African nations.

A rather rubbishy attempt to provide examples of successful libertarian societies. Another example of the fact that some ideologues like to talk a lot of trash for capitalism and against communism but can't back it up with examples of lovely actually-existing "libertarian" societies any more than I and my fellow communists can supply empirical examples of successful large-scale communist polities.

And there never can or will be, because "libertarianism" isn't about society, isn't a plan for a free form of social existence. Rather, it's about atomization, about an egoistic and anti-social economic individualism that's clearly not cut out to be the basis for community.

Irrelevant.

Actually, this observation is quite fundamentally relevant. It's merely not to your liking.

Yes, the It's never existed argument cuts both ways, dear "libertarians".

This achieves nothing in favor of Communism.

Other than pointing out the lack of credibility, the vulnerability, and the hypocrisy of "libertarians" when they fall back on the It's never existed argument.


There has never been a historical, empirical example of a successful capitalist society.

India and many African nations as well as Brazil. It is just about how you define it. Also the middle east is one of the most economically successful regions on Earth and all are Capitalist.

I refer you to the definition of a successful society in the OP.


Yes, there have been and are rich capitalist societies with a filthy rich and fat bourgeoisie, but none that are successful in the sense of actually working according to theory

Explain more please.

For instance, all actually-existing capitalist systems have suffered from what economists term imperfect competition, such as the growth of monopolies, which runs contrary to free-marketarian ideology. Real-world capitalists also don't play according to Hoyle, or Hayek, in other ways, which contributes to the subversion of the high-flown principle of capitalism. The original principles of free-market capitalism or neoclassical economic theory also don't seem to adequately take account of asymmetrical information, externalities, the fact that real humans don't always function like perfectly rational specimens of Homo economicus, the susceptibility of capitalist economies to anomalies, etc. Then of course there's the way that the drive for profit, accumulation, and overproduction scuttles the viability of the ideological vision of capitalist utopians.

No, there has certainly never been a capitalist society that has been successful in either an economic or an ethical sense

Economically yes there have been many.

Not true, Merely generating wealth does not make an economic system successful. It must also enjoy stability and distribute prosperity equitably.

Ethics are purely subjective and down to the individual.

Rubbish, the kind of amoral thinking that's generated by capitalist society, and a view that's a prescription for the kind of anomie that the culture of late capitalism in fact suffers from.

Nope, there's never been a capitalist society that's ethically acceptable in terms of universalizing prosperity and well-being.

That's because you are basing your ethics on Communist ideals.

No, I'm basing my ethics and communist ideals on fundamental ethical, humanitarian, and humanistic principles and precepts.

There has never been a capitalist economy that isn't a recurrent train wreck.

Explain more please.

Capitalist systems are invariably and inherently prone to suffer crises. In fact we're currently in one, a global recession. Perhaps you've been blessed to not be touched by it, but a great many haven't escaped it unscathed.

The rest was just ranting.

That's simply your subjective experience and dismissive judgment.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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10/14/2014 1:31:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
A Summary of Key Points of the OP

1. The argument that a communist form of large-scale society isn't possible because it's never existed is essentially the fallacy that because something hasn't existed yet that this disproves its possibility and achievability, the possibility of it constituting a valid option for the future.

2. This fallacy is selectively used by anti-communists & pro-capitalists against communism even though it could apply just as well to capitalism, as no society has ever successfully practiced capitalism if by successfully practicing capitalism is meant hewing to and making free-marketarian principles work in the real world; creating a stable economy that's not prone to periodic crises, to a cruel business cycle of boom and bust; achieving a society that's sociologically viable, one that doesn't suffer from the sociocultural pathologies of late capitalism; and achieving an ethically, humanistically, and ecologically acceptable form of socioeconomic life in which material well-being is decently distributed, human beings aren't objectified, and nature isn't reduced to and ravaged as a resource or excessively polluted with greenhouse gases.

3. Historical communism failed because of what it wasn't, because it wasn't authentic communism. The case with capitalism is a good deal more serious, however. Because capitalism in an economic, existential, ethical, and ecological failure precisely because of what it is at its core; because in terms of its fundamental internal dynamics it's doomed; because it's defined by destructive competition, an economically-environmentally ruinous drive for accumulation & overproduction, and a dehumanizing economism.

4. The salvation of capitalist society therefore lies in the fundamental negation of capitalism, which is authentic, real-deal communism. And that we can't merely sit back and rely on a dialectical process to bring about this negation, we must choose and actively embrace it, individually and as a society. If we fail to do so fairly soon our posterity will face rather bleak prospects in the not very distant future.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Cermank
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10/14/2014 2:21:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/14/2014 1:31:32 AM, charleslb wrote:
A Summary of Key Points of the OP

I don't entirely disagree with your points here. However, I do find the 'utopian economic system' talk a bit futile and frivolous. Neither is it possible to achieve a 'pure' system (mainly because of actors that gain to achieve from the competing system and have power to influence- either through votes or lobbying), nor is it desirable- since it almost exclusively undervalues some social parameters at the cost of others. Socialism, for example, undervalues materialistic tendencies/ money/ freedom at the cost of equality. Capitalism does the opposite. I'm not sure *why* you spend so much time defending pure communism.

Do you not think that degrees of both are infinitely more preferable for the society as a whole?

1. The argument that a communist form of large-scale society isn't possible because it's never existed is essentially the fallacy that because something hasn't existed yet that this disproves its possibility and achievability, the possibility of it constituting a valid option for the future.

Agreed.

2. This fallacy is selectively used by anti-communists & pro-capitalists against communism even though it could apply just as well to capitalism, as no society has ever successfully practiced capitalism if by successfully practicing capitalism is meant hewing to and making free-marketarian principles work in the real world; creating a stable economy that's not prone to periodic crises, to a cruel business cycle of boom and bust; achieving a society that's sociologically viable, one that doesn't suffer from the sociocultural pathologies of late capitalism; and achieving an ethically, humanistically, and ecologically acceptable form of socioeconomic life in which material well-being is decently distributed, human beings aren't objectified, and nature isn't reduced to and ravaged as a resource or excessively polluted with greenhouse gases.

Capitalism never claims to be perfect though. The 'failures' of communism were much more catastrophic than those of capitalism, and had to be resolved by drastically changing their policies towards a market based economy. Capitalism, although did have its bouts of failures, it wasn't solved through a huge shift in its basic economic structure. Capitalism didn't fail, in that sense. It evolved. There was setting up of better regulatory mechanisms and sourcing of funds from the public (which as marx contended, WAS a slight shift towards community ownership and 'socialism', ) but that's a mere technicality. The power did recede back to the management, and hence the basic structure of capitalism wasn't destroyed, or even harmed in the process. it still works. It's not at all comparable.


3. Historical communism failed because of what it wasn't, because it wasn't authentic communism. The case with capitalism is a good deal more serious, however. Because capitalism in an economic, existential, ethical, and ecological failure precisely because of what it is at its core; because in terms of its fundamental internal dynamics it's doomed; because it's defined by destructive competition, an economically-environmentally ruinous drive for accumulation & overproduction, and a dehumanizing economism.

this is just- an assertion without backing it up.

4. The salvation of capitalist society therefore lies in the fundamental negation of capitalism, which is authentic, real-deal communism. And that we can't merely sit back and rely on a dialectical process to bring about this negation, we must choose and actively embrace it, individually and as a society. If we fail to do so fairly soon our posterity will face rather bleak prospects in the not very distant future.

No it isn't, at all. Maybe injecting some degrees of communism in the society to deal with economic inequalities that are the inevitable result of capitalism could be a solution, but communism has its own demons to deal with. Neither of the system is ideal.
charleslb
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10/14/2014 2:57:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/14/2014 2:21:00 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 10/14/2014 1:31:32 AM, charleslb wrote:
A Summary of Key Points of the OP

I don't entirely disagree with your points here. However, I do find the 'utopian economic system' talk a bit futile and frivolous. Neither is it possible to achieve a 'pure' system (mainly because of actors that gain to achieve from the competing system and have power to influence- either through votes or lobbying), nor is it desirable- since it almost exclusively undervalues some social parameters at the cost of others. Socialism, for example, undervalues materialistic tendencies/ money/ freedom at the cost of equality. Capitalism does the opposite. I'm not sure *why* you spend so much time defending pure communism.

Do you not think that degrees of both are infinitely more preferable for the society as a whole?

I don't actually advocate a draconian implementation of a totalistically pure, so to speak, form of communism. I'm fundamentally opposed to any kind of totalism.

1. The argument that a communist form of large-scale society isn't possible because it's never existed is essentially the fallacy that because something hasn't existed yet that this disproves its possibility and achievability, the possibility of it constituting a valid option for the future.

Agreed.

2. This fallacy is selectively used by anti-communists & pro-capitalists against communism even though it could apply just as well to capitalism, as no society has ever successfully practiced capitalism if by successfully practicing capitalism is meant hewing to and making free-marketarian principles work in the real world; creating a stable economy that's not prone to periodic crises, to a cruel business cycle of boom and bust; achieving a society that's sociologically viable, one that doesn't suffer from the sociocultural pathologies of late capitalism; and achieving an ethically, humanistically, and ecologically acceptable form of socioeconomic life in which material well-being is decently distributed, human beings aren't objectified, and nature isn't reduced to and ravaged as a resource or excessively polluted with greenhouse gases.

Capitalism never claims to be perfect though. The 'failures' of communism were much more catastrophic than those of capitalism,

I certainly disagree. The capitalist world-system is ongoingly causing massive and catastrophic suffering for much of the periphery (Third World), and the ecological destructiveness of the relentless capitalist drive for growth is threatening to cause the greatest catastrophe in history if the worst-case scenario of climate change comes to pass.

and had to be resolved by drastically changing their policies towards a market based economy.

This is oversimplification. There was actually a bit more, historically, to the collapse of the Eastern Bloc that the unviability of its economic system.

Capitalism, although did have its bouts of failures, it wasn't solved through a huge shift in its basic economic structure. Capitalism didn't fail, in that sense. It evolved.

This is spin-doctoring. At any rate, capitalism of course hasn't fallen yet but is clearly in decline, has entered the stage of late capitalism, and is in the process of failing quite badly.

There was setting up of better regulatory mechanisms and sourcing of funds from the public (which as marx contended, WAS a slight shift towards community ownership and 'socialism', ) but that's a mere technicality. The power did recede back to the management, and hence the basic structure of capitalism wasn't destroyed, or even harmed in the process. it still works. It's not at all comparable.

Again, capitalism doesn't work at all if one's criteria of a workable economic system include the ability to maintain stability, include not requiring excessive & relentless growth, include certain ethical and humanistic values.


3. Historical communism failed because of what it wasn't, because it wasn't authentic communism. The case with capitalism is a good deal more serious, however. Because capitalism in an economic, existential, ethical, and ecological failure precisely because of what it is at its core; because in terms of its fundamental internal dynamics it's doomed; because it's defined by destructive competition, an economically-environmentally ruinous drive for accumulation & overproduction, and a dehumanizing economism.

this is just- an assertion without backing it up.

It's a prima facie point of view and assertion.

4. The salvation of capitalist society therefore lies in the fundamental negation of capitalism, which is authentic, real-deal communism. And that we can't merely sit back and rely on a dialectical process to bring about this negation, we must choose and actively embrace it, individually and as a society. If we fail to do so fairly soon our posterity will face rather bleak prospects in the not very distant future.

No it isn't, at all. Maybe injecting some degrees of communism in the society to deal with economic inequalities that are the inevitable result of capitalism could be a solution, but communism has its own demons to deal with. Neither of the system is ideal.

You're perhaps thinking of stereotypical authoritarian communism, i.e. Sovietism. This is certainly not what any halfway intelligent and historically literate contemporary communist advocates. No, we're not insanely nostalgic for the bad old days of Russian communism!
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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10/14/2014 3:01:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Typo correction.
"This is oversimplification. There was actually a bit more, historically, to the collapse of the Eastern Bloc that the unviability of its economic system."

should of course read:

"This is oversimplification. There was actually a bit more, historically, to the collapse of the Eastern Bloc than the unviability of its economic system."
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Cermank
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10/14/2014 9:07:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/14/2014 2:57:34 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/14/2014 2:21:00 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 10/14/2014 1:31:32 AM, charleslb wrote:
Do you not think that degrees of both are infinitely more preferable for the society as a whole?

I don't actually advocate a draconian implementation of a totalistically pure, so to speak, form of communism. I'm fundamentally opposed to any kind of totalism.

What do you advocate then? I think the present state of being is pretty satisfactory. High degree of capitalism with enough political sympathy towards equity


Capitalism never claims to be perfect though. The 'failures' of communism were much more catastrophic than those of capitalism,

I certainly disagree. The capitalist world-system is ongoingly causing massive and catastrophic suffering for much of the periphery (Third World),

I have a working knowledge of the economies of third world countries, and I dont see this being true at all. Perhaps the socialist rhetoric in Africa has grown lately, but essentially the growth rate isn't concerning. Its growing pretty good. Same for countries like India/ Pak. What is the suffering you are referring to? (which is a direct result of capitalism, i mean.)

and the ecological destructiveness of the relentless capitalist drive for growth is threatening to cause the greatest catastrophe in history if the worst-case scenario of climate change comes to pass.

Yeah that is a concern, but one doesn't need to go communist to solve it. Government can resolve it by better regulations and stuff. CSR is a good step. Subsidizing is good. A lot of tools government can use w/o resorting to public ownership.


and had to be resolved by drastically changing their policies towards a market based economy.

This is oversimplification. There was actually a bit more, historically, to the collapse of the Eastern Bloc that the unviability of its economic system.

I was more thinking locally, tbh. With respect to India. But yeah, communism wasn't exactly rosy either (although you've addressed this later, i think).

Capitalism, although did have its bouts of failures, it wasn't solved through a huge shift in its basic economic structure. Capitalism didn't fail, in that sense. It evolved.

This is spin-doctoring. At any rate, capitalism of course hasn't fallen yet but is clearly in decline, has entered the stage of late capitalism, and is in the process of failing quite badly.

Definitely not in India. And honestly, I try keeping up with US and UK, and I haven't really seen anything to suggest that. There has been an anti-inequality rhetoric much like that in Africa, but as i said, i dont see that as anti capitalist. There are ways to address that w/o resorting to public ownership of goods.

There was setting up of better regulatory mechanisms and sourcing of funds from the public (which as marx contended, WAS a slight shift towards community ownership and 'socialism', ) but that's a mere technicality. The power did recede back to the management, and hence the basic structure of capitalism wasn't destroyed, or even harmed in the process. it still works. It's not at all comparable.

Again, capitalism doesn't work at all if one's criteria of a workable economic system include the ability to maintain stability, include not requiring excessive & relentless growth, include certain ethical and humanistic values.

lol, i think this is where we clash. 'Ethics' should be voluntary, in our own private realm, rather than forced upon us by the society. I think high growth is good, if complemented by proper (and not disincentivising) redistribution policies. And the only 'vice' i see in capitalism is greed, which isn't all that bad if it leads to production and growth and higher living standards.

3. Historical communism failed because of what it wasn't, because it wasn't authentic communism. The case with capitalism is a good deal more serious, however. Because capitalism in an economic, existential, ethical, and ecological failure precisely because of what it is at its core; because in terms of its fundamental internal dynamics it's doomed; because it's defined by destructive competition, an economically-environmentally ruinous drive for accumulation & overproduction, and a dehumanizing economism.

this is just- an assertion without backing it up.

It's a prima facie point of view and assertion.

i disagree then, i suppose.
4. The salvation of capitalist society therefore lies in the fundamental negation of capitalism, which is authentic, real-deal communism. And that we can't merely sit back and rely on a dialectical process to bring about this negation, we must choose and actively embrace it, individually and as a society. If we fail to do so fairly soon our posterity will face rather bleak prospects in the not very distant future.

No it isn't, at all. Maybe injecting some degrees of communism in the society to deal with economic inequalities that are the inevitable result of capitalism could be a solution, but communism has its own demons to deal with. Neither of the system is ideal.

You're perhaps thinking of stereotypical authoritarian communism, i.e. Sovietism. This is certainly not what any halfway intelligent and historically literate contemporary communist advocates. No, we're not insanely nostalgic for the bad old days of Russian communism!

lol that puts you leagues above other communists i know.

The 'communism' communism professed by Marx (the stateless one) seems unfeasible, as i said previously. And i certainly dont think teh normal dilectical process can achieve it, EVEN if its lead by conscious effort by humans to speed things along by changing public superstructure through discourse.

Do you think that the power structure evolution envisioned by Marx is feasible? Because that would explain why we disagree.
charleslb
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10/14/2014 5:37:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/14/2014 9:07:45 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 10/14/2014 2:57:34 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/14/2014 2:21:00 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 10/14/2014 1:31:32 AM, charleslb wrote:
Do you not think that degrees of both are infinitely more preferable for the society as a whole?

I don't actually advocate a draconian implementation of a totalistically pure, so to speak, form of communism. I'm fundamentally opposed to any kind of totalism.

What do you advocate then? I think the present state of being is pretty satisfactory. High degree of capitalism with enough political sympathy towards equity

I advocate authentically and fully democratic communism.


Capitalism never claims to be perfect though. The 'failures' of communism were much more catastrophic than those of capitalism,

I certainly disagree. The capitalist world-system is ongoingly causing massive and catastrophic suffering for much of the periphery (Third World),

I have a working knowledge of the economies of third world countries, and I dont see this being true at all.

This is easily explainable by the simple fact that you're profoundly biased by neoliberal ideology, and consequently somewhat out of touch with the unsavory empirical and moral reality of capitalism. Oh, but I forgot, as an adherent of a wertfrei pro-capitalist worldview you don't really care about the moral and human ill-effects of capitalism, your sole focus is production & profit.

Perhaps the socialist rhetoric in Africa has grown lately, but essentially the growth rate isn't concerning. Its growing pretty good. Same for countries like India/ Pak. What is the suffering you are referring to? (which is a direct result of capitalism, i mean.)

He asks as if the poverty of the Third World isn't a glaring problem, and as if it isn't clearly caused & perpetuated by the capitalist world-system, by the economic hegemony and predation of its corporate & financial elites, by the neoliberal "reforms" they've imposed on so many societies, and so on.

and the ecological destructiveness of the relentless capitalist drive for growth is threatening to cause the greatest catastrophe in history if the worst-case scenario of climate change comes to pass.

Yeah that is a concern, but one doesn't need to go communist to solve it. Government can resolve it by better regulations and stuff.

Hmm, and when might we expect to see evidence of this?! I seriously doubt that we ever will, as under capitalism government will always be too co-opted by corporate elites and their special interests.

CSR is a good step. Subsidizing is good. A lot of tools government can use w/o resorting to public ownership.

I refer you to my above skepticism.


and had to be resolved by drastically changing their policies towards a market based economy.

This is oversimplification. There was actually a bit more, historically, to the collapse of the Eastern Bloc that the unviability of its economic system.

I was more thinking locally, tbh. With respect to India. But yeah, communism wasn't exactly rosy either (although you've addressed this later, i think).

You're thinking of Soviet-style counterfeit "communism", a perversion that I have no investment in playing apologist for.


Capitalism, although did have its bouts of failures, it wasn't solved through a huge shift in its basic economic structure. Capitalism didn't fail, in that sense. It evolved.

This is spin-doctoring. At any rate, capitalism of course hasn't fallen yet but is clearly in decline, has entered the stage of late capitalism, and is in the process of failing quite badly.

Definitely not in India. And honestly, I try keeping up with US and UK, and I haven't really seen anything to suggest that. There has been an anti-inequality rhetoric

Hmm, so you dismiss the fundamental issues of income inequality, and the asymmetrical socioeconomic power relations fostered by capitalism as merely "anti-inequality" rhetoric! That's a bit to blatantly facile to fly with anyone except those who already share your ideological viewpoint.

much like that in Africa, but as i said, i dont see that as anti capitalist. There are ways to address that w/o resorting to public ownership of goods.

No really, not earnestly, not effectively.

There was setting up of better regulatory mechanisms and sourcing of funds from the public (which as marx contended, WAS a slight shift towards community ownership and 'socialism', ) but that's a mere technicality. The power did recede back to the management, and hence the basic structure of capitalism wasn't destroyed, or even harmed in the process. it still works. It's not at all comparable.

Again, capitalism doesn't work at all if one's criteria of a workable economic system include the ability to maintain stability, include not requiring excessive & relentless growth, include certain ethical and humanistic values.

lol, i think this is where we clash. 'Ethics' should be voluntary, in our own private realm, rather than forced upon us by the society.

And thus and so you justify allowing society, its economic system, to operate in an indecent, inhumane, wertfrei, downright sociopathic fashion in the name of individual autonomy & liberty. Yes, pro-capitalists cloak all of the more unsavory attitudes and aspects of their worldview in libertarian rhetoric & rationalizations. Yes, American conservatives have identified all the wrong suspects upon whom to sanctimoniously pin blame for the moral decline of society. It's not out-of-the-closet homosexuals, naughty girls having babies out of wedlock, or Americans not reading their Bibles anymore, it's the cultural atmosphere of sociopathy, as it were, of amoral materialism, mammonism, and self-interest, of the erosion of socioethical values in favor of commercialism & consumerism, of prioritizing production & profit over people, directly and inherently fostered by capitalism, that actually accounts for Western civilizations protracted self-undoing.

I think high growth is good, if complemented by proper (and not disincentivising) redistribution policies. And the only 'vice' i see in capitalism is greed, which isn't all that bad if it leads to production and growth and higher living standards.

So, is this your guru? https://www.youtube.com...

No, it's not greed and capitalist egoism that's good and will save declining societies, it's the kind of (ethical) universalism promoted by communism that we urgently need to embrace as a global society.


this is just- an assertion without backing it up.

It's a prima facie point of view and assertion.

i disagree then, i suppose.

Well, it's your right to be wrong.

lol that puts you leagues above other communists i know.

You're merely be derisive here, to dismiss the fact that not all communists are totalitarian villains.

The 'communism' communism professed by Marx (the stateless one) seems unfeasible, as i said previously. And i certainly dont think teh normal dilectical process can achieve it, EVEN if its lead by conscious effort by humans to speed things along by changing public superstructure through discourse.

I would then question your concept of communism.

Do you think that the power structure evolution envisioned by Marx is feasible? Because that would explain why we disagree.

I'm not a nineteenth-century Marxist who still expects a historical-dialectical scenario to unfold precisely as Marx envisioned. No, I don't think that very many contemporary communists are the kind of anachronistic orthodox Marxists that you seem to suspect me of being; nope, we're not intellectually taken up with conceptualizing revolution like ideological throwbacks to Lenin.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/14/2014 5:43:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, folks with an outdated negative stereotype of communists rattling around in your heads, there's actually been intellectual evolution and growth in the Marxist camp!
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Chimera
Posts: 178
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10/14/2014 6:42:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/14/2014 6:18:51 PM, TN05 wrote:
'Democratic communism' is an oxymoron.

Let me explain why you are wrong.

Communism is a stateless, classless, moneyless society where private property (aka capital, aka the means of production, land, etc.) is abolished in favor of collective property (aka controlled by the people/workers). Also, when I say private property, I am specifically referring to capital (or things that can produce surplus-value), not anything that you own. Things like your house, bed, and other things you use for a personal basis would still be yours.

Democracy is a form of decision making based on votes.

Communism != USSR, DPRK, PRC, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.

Or in other words:

Communism != state socialism

Communism would need an organizational structure, that doesn't result in hierarchy and thus a state. Thus, consensus based democracy is a form of democracy compatible with communism.

Conclusion: 'Democratic Communism' is not a contradiction of terms.
charleslb
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10/14/2014 7:20:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/14/2014 6:18:51 PM, TN05 wrote:
'Democratic communism' is an oxymoron.

Rubbish. I'll merely refer you to Chimera's thoroughgoing response.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/14/2014 7:23:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/14/2014 6:42:55 PM, Chimera wrote:
At 10/14/2014 6:18:51 PM, TN05 wrote:
'Democratic communism' is an oxymoron.

Let me explain why you are wrong.

Communism is a stateless, classless, moneyless society where private property (aka capital, aka the means of production, land, etc.) is abolished in favor of collective property (aka controlled by the people/workers). Also, when I say private property, I am specifically referring to capital (or things that can produce surplus-value), not anything that you own. Things like your house, bed, and other things you use for a personal basis would still be yours.

Democracy is a form of decision making based on votes.

Communism != USSR, DPRK, PRC, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.

Or in other words:

Communism != state socialism

Communism would need an organizational structure, that doesn't result in hierarchy and thus a state. Thus, consensus based democracy is a form of democracy compatible with communism.

Conclusion: 'Democratic Communism' is not a contradiction of terms.

Thank you, your response is so excellent and thorough that I won't even bother to compose one of my own. And btw, any feedback on the OP will of course be most welcome.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.