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The Iron Law of Sink or Swim

charleslb
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10/30/2014 7:08:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Sure, capitalism has certain pros, even Marx recognized and acknowledged this, but one of the fundamental and tragic cons that vastly outweighs them, one of its deeply damning drawbacks is that by making life an every man (and woman) for him/herself proposition it makes survival far more of a sink or swim proposition than it needs to be, than it would be in a truly humane and decent society.

And what's more, not only does capitalism make our existence a sink or swim sort of ball game, but by giving rise to a ruthlessly and destructively competitive dynamic and drive for profit; by entailing exploitation, expropriation, and wage slavery; by forcing workingpeople to subsist on stagnating and declining wages, and to resort to going into debt; by breeding a precarious social and economic inequality; by being prone to experience crises of the magnitude of recessions and depressions, capitalism makes it especially difficult for the little guy (and gal) to keep his/her head above water.

And to add insult to injury, when the workingperson is pulled down by the socioeconomic undertow of the capitalist system's cold and cruel iron laws, into the abyss of insolvency and indigence, of chronic unemployment, bankruptcy, or foreclosure and homelessness, we blame him/her for not being a stronger swimmer! Well, we're after all socioculturally conditioned to hold individuals, to hold the victim, and to some extent the bad behavior of specific infamous players in the economy (embodiment's of the "greed is good" ethic such as Enron and A.I.G.) accountable, but to give the capitalist system per se a free pass from bearing any of the brunt of our criticism and disgruntlement.

Yes, we need to think more deeply and critically about the underlying factors, inherently characteristic of capitalism, that cause our economic woes. What imperatively and urgently needs to be promoted is such a critical consciousness, and an ethical-social consciousness; i.e. a consciousness of the fact that life would be a good deal less of a chronic struggle if we evolved an economic system based on mutual aid, on people working together to support themselves and their neighbor, rather than everyone going it alone as a "rugged individual". Economic survival and securing material & social well-being are indeed easier challenges to meet when approached not individualistically but rather with a healthy consciousness of the value of teamwork.

Socialism (and communism) is of course simply a (much maligned) word for such a consciousness, we can either realize this and begin to seriously explore the socialist/communist option, or we can spend the rest of our lives under capitalism swimming upstream and struggling to resist the lethal socioeconomic rip currents generated by its inhuman dynamics. May enough of us find the wisdom to choose option number one, as not merely our survival as individuals but our viability as a civilization and a species may indeed very well depend on it.
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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10/31/2014 12:18:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Why do I expend so much verbiage, so much time and typing effort "ranting" against capitalism? Is anti-capitalism merely my idiosyncratic pet peeve, is that all there is to it? Well, I would contend that capitalism is in fact a quite genuine evil. That in terms of its global coverage of humanity, its attainment of virtual world domination, and its potential for the destruction of well-being and life (I of course refer to the destruction of human well-being spread transnationally by the imposition upon the Third World of neoliberalism, and the destruction of much of the human and animal life on earth that will eventually be caused by the catastrophic climate change in the works thanks to the industrial excesses of capitalism) it's quite arguably the greatest evil ism in history.

Well, its reach and magnitude are certainly unmatched. The imperialism of the Roman Empire, the spread of fascism and counterfeit "communism" (as opposed to the genuine article, which I in fact am a proponent of) never came anywhere near engulfing humanity and becoming a threat to life on the truly planetary scale of capitalism. So yes, I would argue that capitalism is indeed worth spending some energy declaiming or "ranting" against.

And yes, as the capitalist base of our society and world-system is to be found at the root of a great many of the negative aspects of modernity, when I tie capitalism in with war and racism and whatnot I'm not just being an obsessive Johnny One Note, the causal link exists and needs to be addressed. So, if you're so inclined, disagree with the socialist vision that I advocate as an alternative to capitalism, but you deny the legitimacy of my anti-capitalist focus and perspective at the risk of revealing your own ideological blind spot.
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.
HououinKyouma
Posts: 1,030
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10/31/2014 10:50:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/30/2014 7:08:03 PM, charleslb wrote:
Sure, capitalism has certain pros, even Marx recognized and acknowledged this, but one of the fundamental and tragic cons that vastly outweighs them, one of its deeply damning drawbacks is that by making life an every man (and woman) for him/herself proposition it makes survival far more of a sink or swim proposition than it needs to be, than it would be in a truly humane and decent society.

And what's more, not only does capitalism make our existence a sink or swim sort of ball game, but by giving rise to a ruthlessly and destructively competitive dynamic and drive for profit; by entailing exploitation, expropriation, and wage slavery; by forcing workingpeople to subsist on stagnating and declining wages, and to resort to going into debt; by breeding a precarious social and economic inequality; by being prone to experience crises of the magnitude of recessions and depressions, capitalism makes it especially difficult for the little guy (and gal) to keep his/her head above water.

And to add insult to injury, when the workingperson is pulled down by the socioeconomic undertow of the capitalist system's cold and cruel iron laws, into the abyss of insolvency and indigence, of chronic unemployment, bankruptcy, or foreclosure and homelessness, we blame him/her for not being a stronger swimmer! Well, we're after all socioculturally conditioned to hold individuals, to hold the victim, and to some extent the bad behavior of specific infamous players in the economy (embodiment's of the "greed is good" ethic such as Enron and A.I.G.) accountable, but to give the capitalist system per se a free pass from bearing any of the brunt of our criticism and disgruntlement.

Yes, we need to think more deeply and critically about the underlying factors, inherently characteristic of capitalism, that cause our economic woes. What imperatively and urgently needs to be promoted is such a critical consciousness, and an ethical-social consciousness; i.e. a consciousness of the fact that life would be a good deal less of a chronic struggle if we evolved an economic system based on mutual aid, on people working together to support themselves and their neighbor, rather than everyone going it alone as a "rugged individual". Economic survival and securing material & social well-being are indeed easier challenges to meet when approached not individualistically but rather with a healthy consciousness of the value of teamwork.

Socialism (and communism) is of course simply a (much maligned) word for such a consciousness, we can either realize this and begin to seriously explore the socialist/communist option, or we can spend the rest of our lives under capitalism swimming upstream and struggling to resist the lethal socioeconomic rip currents generated by its inhuman dynamics. May enough of us find the wisdom to choose option number one, as not merely our survival as individuals but our viability as a civilization and a species may indeed very well depend on it.

I have no quarrel with the first three paragraphs (thanks for sizing down the OP) so I am going to limit myself to dealing with the last two. The problem with the version of socialism that you're advocating, of collective ownership of capital by the workers, is that whenever it has been practiced--granted, in a small scale, an in a hostile environment--the ideal of the workers' cooperative has failed to work, at one point or anther hierarchies develop in the system, and greed takes over (a natural human emotion, by the way) and ruins the entire the project.

I think that a much more fruitful form of socialism is social-democracy which allows for greed to be a dominating force on the market, but which promotes an ethic of social solidarity, and encourages everyone to contribute according to their means for the benefit of the society at large, and specially for the benefit of the weakest members of society.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
HououinKyouma
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10/31/2014 10:58:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 12:18:14 AM, charleslb wrote:
Why do I expend so much verbiage, so much time and typing effort "ranting" against capitalism? Is anti-capitalism merely my idiosyncratic pet peeve, is that all there is to it? Well, I would contend that capitalism is in fact a quite genuine evil. That in terms of its global coverage of humanity, its attainment of virtual world domination, and its potential for the destruction of well-being and life (I of course refer to the destruction of human well-being spread transnationally by the imposition upon the Third World of neoliberalism, and the destruction of much of the human and animal life on earth that will eventually be caused by the catastrophic climate change in the works thanks to the industrial excesses of capitalism) it's quite arguably the greatest evil ism in history.

Well, its reach and magnitude are certainly unmatched. The imperialism of the Roman Empire, the spread of fascism and counterfeit "communism" (as opposed to the genuine article, which I in fact am a proponent of) never came anywhere near engulfing humanity and becoming a threat to life on the truly planetary scale of capitalism. So yes, I would argue that capitalism is indeed worth spending some energy declaiming or "ranting" against.

And yes, as the capitalist base of our society and world-system is to be found at the root of a great many of the negative aspects of modernity, when I tie capitalism in with war and racism and whatnot I'm not just being an obsessive Johnny One Note, the causal link exists and needs to be addressed. So, if you're so inclined, disagree with the socialist vision that I advocate as an alternative to capitalism, but you deny the legitimacy of my anti-capitalist focus and perspective at the risk of revealing your own ideological blind spot.

Where have the dialectics gone? A few points of disagreement with this post:

1) Neoliberalism in the Third World--as bad as it may be--is far better than the system that it is replacing (tribal feudalism).
2) What is your problem with the Roman Empire? I think that it was awesome.
3) You have to cease treating capitalism as a monolith. There are different forms of capitalism, and different corporations have different goals. Most of our research in renewable energy has come from corporations which have invested in this.
4) War would exist with or without capitalism.
5) Racism, in its institutionalized form has largely disappeared over the last century, in part thanks to capitalism. It was--and still is--more prevalent in feudal societies.
6) No one is denying your right to be a communist.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/31/2014 4:26:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 10:50:46 AM, HououinKyouma wrote:
At 10/30/2014 7:08:03 PM, charleslb wrote:
Sure, capitalism has certain pros, even Marx recognized and acknowledged this, but one of the fundamental and tragic cons that vastly outweighs them, one of its deeply damning drawbacks is that by making life an every man (and woman) for him/herself proposition it makes survival far more of a sink or swim proposition than it needs to be, than it would be in a truly humane and decent society.

And what's more, not only does capitalism make our existence a sink or swim sort of ball game, but by giving rise to a ruthlessly and destructively competitive dynamic and drive for profit; by entailing exploitation, expropriation, and wage slavery; by forcing workingpeople to subsist on stagnating and declining wages, and to resort to going into debt; by breeding a precarious social and economic inequality; by being prone to experience crises of the magnitude of recessions and depressions, capitalism makes it especially difficult for the little guy (and gal) to keep his/her head above water.

And to add insult to injury, when the workingperson is pulled down by the socioeconomic undertow of the capitalist system's cold and cruel iron laws, into the abyss of insolvency and indigence, of chronic unemployment, bankruptcy, or foreclosure and homelessness, we blame him/her for not being a stronger swimmer! Well, we're after all socioculturally conditioned to hold individuals, to hold the victim, and to some extent the bad behavior of specific infamous players in the economy (embodiment's of the "greed is good" ethic such as Enron and A.I.G.) accountable, but to give the capitalist system per se a free pass from bearing any of the brunt of our criticism and disgruntlement.

Yes, we need to think more deeply and critically about the underlying factors, inherently characteristic of capitalism, that cause our economic woes. What imperatively and urgently needs to be promoted is such a critical consciousness, and an ethical-social consciousness; i.e. a consciousness of the fact that life would be a good deal less of a chronic struggle if we evolved an economic system based on mutual aid, on people working together to support themselves and their neighbor, rather than everyone going it alone as a "rugged individual". Economic survival and securing material & social well-being are indeed easier challenges to meet when approached not individualistically but rather with a healthy consciousness of the value of teamwork.

Socialism (and communism) is of course simply a (much maligned) word for such a consciousness, we can either realize this and begin to seriously explore the socialist/communist option, or we can spend the rest of our lives under capitalism swimming upstream and struggling to resist the lethal socioeconomic rip currents generated by its inhuman dynamics. May enough of us find the wisdom to choose option number one, as not merely our survival as individuals but our viability as a civilization and a species may indeed very well depend on it.

I have no quarrel with the first three paragraphs (thanks for sizing down the OP) so I am going to limit myself to dealing with the last two. The problem with the version of socialism that you're advocating, of collective ownership of capital by the workers, is that whenever it has been practiced--granted, in a small scale, an in a hostile environment--the ideal of the workers' cooperative has failed to work, at one point or anther hierarchies develop in the system,

Not true. As far a Soviet "communism" goes, it was actually a system of state capitalism, a socialist organization of production having been swapped out quite early on for a more capitalist and Taylorist style. Also, I would suggest that you read chapter eight ("Roads to Sanity") of Erich Fromm's classic work, The Sane Society. Especially the bits about communities such as Boimondau.

https://cdn.anonfiles.com...

and greed takes over (a natural human emotion, by the way) and ruins the entire the project.

But it needn't be the dominant aspect of human nature; there are other, more pro-social aspects of the human character that it would behoove society to predicate itself on and promote.

I think that a much more fruitful form of socialism is social-democracy which allows for greed to be a dominating force on the market,

Oy vey! Here someone goes once again trying to rationalize the "greed is good" mentality inculcated by capitalism And people think that we communists are the ones who fail to learn from history!

but which promotes an ethic of social solidarity,

It should go without saying that the egoistic individualism promoted by capitalism is actually contraindicated if one sincerely wishes to foster social solidarity.

and encourages everyone to contribute according to their means for the benefit of the society at large, and specially for the benefit of the weakest members of society.

Well, if you're going to ground a "social democratic" polity in the belief that it would be ideal for "greed to be a dominating force" then the misbegotten system you're likely to end up with will be too capitalistic in character and certainly not conducive to social solidarity and the well-being of society's weakest members.
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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10/31/2014 5:00:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 10:58:24 AM, HououinKyouma wrote:
At 10/31/2014 12:18:14 AM, charleslb wrote:
Why do I expend so much verbiage, so much time and typing effort "ranting" against capitalism? Is anti-capitalism merely my idiosyncratic pet peeve, is that all there is to it? Well, I would contend that capitalism is in fact a quite genuine evil. That in terms of its global coverage of humanity, its attainment of virtual world domination, and its potential for the destruction of well-being and life (I of course refer to the destruction of human well-being spread transnationally by the imposition upon the Third World of neoliberalism, and the destruction of much of the human and animal life on earth that will eventually be caused by the catastrophic climate change in the works thanks to the industrial excesses of capitalism) it's quite arguably the greatest evil ism in history.

Well, its reach and magnitude are certainly unmatched. The imperialism of the Roman Empire, the spread of fascism and counterfeit "communism" (as opposed to the genuine article, which I in fact am a proponent of) never came anywhere near engulfing humanity and becoming a threat to life on the truly planetary scale of capitalism. So yes, I would argue that capitalism is indeed worth spending some energy declaiming or "ranting" against.

And yes, as the capitalist base of our society and world-system is to be found at the root of a great many of the negative aspects of modernity, when I tie capitalism in with war and racism and whatnot I'm not just being an obsessive Johnny One Note, the causal link exists and needs to be addressed. So, if you're so inclined, disagree with the socialist vision that I advocate as an alternative to capitalism, but you deny the legitimacy of my anti-capitalist focus and perspective at the risk of revealing your own ideological blind spot.

Where have the dialectics gone?

Hmm, would it be easier for you to deal with me if I were a stereotypical dialectics-spouting sort of communist?

A few points of disagreement with this post:

1) Neoliberalism in the Third World--as bad as it may be--is far better than the system that it is replacing (tribal feudalism).

Applied neoliberalism is exceedingly destructive of socioeconomic well-being and stability and certainly not better than traditional ways of life, which you're rather obviously and cheaply trying to disparage with the term "tribal feudalism".

2) What is your problem with the Roman Empire? I think that it was awesome.

And aggressive, and cruel, and, well, by definition imperialistic. Shame on my Italian ancestors.

3) You have to cease treating capitalism as a monolith. There are different forms of capitalism, and different corporations have different goals. Most of our research in renewable energy has come from corporations which have invested in this.

Yes, there are of course different forms of capitalism, and they're all invariably quite rotten.

4) War would exist with or without capitalism.

This doesn't diminish in the slightest the significance of the fact that the amoral dynamics, the economic gluttony, and the imperialism inherently characteristic of capitalism are, with regard to war, most definitely a part of the problem, and certainly not conducive to a solution and to the realization world peace!

5) Racism, in its institutionalized form has largely disappeared over the last century, in part thanks to capitalism. It was--and still is--more prevalent in feudal societies.

Lol! And I suppose that you would also deny the connection of capitalism to slavery and to the invention of modern racism as a justification for that evil institution? And perhaps you don't agree that slavery was really such a horrendous evil, as to your way of thinking it rescued Africans from their dreadful feudal societies, and today their descendants get to live in relatively posh North American slums and Latin American countries where neoliberalism is allegedly bettering their lot. Well, is this perhaps your take?

6) No one is denying your right to be a communist.

No, we're just negatively stereotyped, stigmatized, and subjected to hostility (sometimes lethal hostility, recall, for instance, the Greensboro massacre).
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.
HououinKyouma
Posts: 1,030
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10/31/2014 6:48:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 5:00:29 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 10:58:24 AM, HououinKyouma wrote:
At 10/31/2014 12:18:14 AM, charleslb wrote:
Why do I expend so much verbiage, so much time and typing effort "ranting" against capitalism? Is anti-capitalism merely my idiosyncratic pet peeve, is that all there is to it? Well, I would contend that capitalism is in fact a quite genuine evil. That in terms of its global coverage of humanity, its attainment of virtual world domination, and its potential for the destruction of well-being and life (I of course refer to the destruction of human well-being spread transnationally by the imposition upon the Third World of neoliberalism, and the destruction of much of the human and animal life on earth that will eventually be caused by the catastrophic climate change in the works thanks to the industrial excesses of capitalism) it's quite arguably the greatest evil ism in history.

Well, its reach and magnitude are certainly unmatched. The imperialism of the Roman Empire, the spread of fascism and counterfeit "communism" (as opposed to the genuine article, which I in fact am a proponent of) never came anywhere near engulfing humanity and becoming a threat to life on the truly planetary scale of capitalism. So yes, I would argue that capitalism is indeed worth spending some energy declaiming or "ranting" against.

And yes, as the capitalist base of our society and world-system is to be found at the root of a great many of the negative aspects of modernity, when I tie capitalism in with war and racism and whatnot I'm not just being an obsessive Johnny One Note, the causal link exists and needs to be addressed. So, if you're so inclined, disagree with the socialist vision that I advocate as an alternative to capitalism, but you deny the legitimacy of my anti-capitalist focus and perspective at the risk of revealing your own ideological blind spot.

Where have the dialectics gone?

Hmm, would it be easier for you to deal with me if I were a stereotypical dialectics-spouting sort of communist?

You were being dialectical in the OP, why couldn't you keep that vibe going? And yes, it would be easier to start an argument--for you and me both.

A few points of disagreement with this post:

1) Neoliberalism in the Third World--as bad as it may be--is far better than the system that it is replacing (tribal feudalism).

Applied neoliberalism is exceedingly destructive of socioeconomic well-being and stability and certainly not better than traditional ways of life, which you're rather obviously and cheaply trying to disparage with the term "tribal feudalism".

If you believe that the tribal system where all women belong to the chief--since they are considered property--where property is divided according to the arbitrary decision of the chief; and where territory is disputed according to ancient tradition--brutal inter-tribal infighting and enslavement of the population of different tribes--is a better system than neo-lliberalism, then yes, you could say that I am cheaply disparaging such a system. You are entitled to your opinions.

2) What is your problem with the Roman Empire? I think that it was awesome.

And aggressive, and cruel, and, well, by definition imperialistic. Shame on my Italian ancestors.

If you judge it by the standards of the age of the Roman Empire, then it is obvious that it was superior to almost all the other societies in the world, with a few exceptions.

3) You have to cease treating capitalism as a monolith. There are different forms of capitalism, and different corporations have different goals. Most of our research in renewable energy has come from corporations which have invested in this.

Yes, there are of course different forms of capitalism, and they're all invariably quite rotten.

Not necessarily, I don't see what is rotten with,say, Germany.

4) War would exist with or without capitalism.

This doesn't diminish in the slightest the significance of the fact that the amoral dynamics, the economic gluttony, and the imperialism inherently characteristic of capitalism are, with regard to war, most definitely a part of the problem, and certainly not conducive to a solution and to the realization world peace!

Actually, one could argue the contrary: the more capitalistic a society becomes, the more reluctant it will be to go to war, even in cases when war might be justified--since it is fundamentally amoral. That it is imperialistic is inevitable, even communism would be imperialistic.

5) Racism, in its institutionalized form has largely disappeared over the last century, in part thanks to capitalism. It was--and still is--more prevalent in feudal societies.

Lol! And I suppose that you would also deny the connection of capitalism to slavery and to the invention of modern racism as a justification for that evil institution? And perhaps you don't agree that slavery was really such a horrendous evil, as to your way of thinking it rescued Africans from their dreadful feudal societies, and today their descendants get to live in relatively posh North American slums and Latin American countries where neoliberalism is allegedly bettering their lot. Well, is this perhaps your take?

Actually, slavery was a feudal institution, it was the capitalists who supported the fight against slavery--because it is unprofitable to pay for the housing the upkeep of employees--which is why Marx, for instance, knew that the Union was going to win the American Civil War, because the system was superior. I don't know why you decided to impute to me such views--I expect an apology--but in a point of fact, not all black people in the US live in slums, the same goes for black Brazilians; and in fact neo-liberalism is improving the situation in Latin America, which until recently was still feudal.

6) No one is denying your right to be a communist.

No, we're just negatively stereotyped, stigmatized, and subjected to hostility (sometimes lethal hostility, recall, for instance, the Greensboro massacre).

By whom? The editors of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post? Perhaps the negative portrayal of the left in Fox News offended you? Come on, mate, we on the left dominate the press. And you could possibly be more demagogic? the Greensboro massacre, really?
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
HououinKyouma
Posts: 1,030
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10/31/2014 6:49:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 4:26:59 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 10:50:46 AM, HououinKyouma wrote:
At 10/30/2014 7:08:03 PM, charleslb wrote:
Sure, capitalism has certain pros, even Marx recognized and acknowledged this, but one of the fundamental and tragic cons that vastly outweighs them, one of its deeply damning drawbacks is that by making life an every man (and woman) for him/herself proposition it makes survival far more of a sink or swim proposition than it needs to be, than it would be in a truly humane and decent society.

And what's more, not only does capitalism make our existence a sink or swim sort of ball game, but by giving rise to a ruthlessly and destructively competitive dynamic and drive for profit; by entailing exploitation, expropriation, and wage slavery; by forcing workingpeople to subsist on stagnating and declining wages, and to resort to going into debt; by breeding a precarious social and economic inequality; by being prone to experience crises of the magnitude of recessions and depressions, capitalism makes it especially difficult for the little guy (and gal) to keep his/her head above water.

And to add insult to injury, when the workingperson is pulled down by the socioeconomic undertow of the capitalist system's cold and cruel iron laws, into the abyss of insolvency and indigence, of chronic unemployment, bankruptcy, or foreclosure and homelessness, we blame him/her for not being a stronger swimmer! Well, we're after all socioculturally conditioned to hold individuals, to hold the victim, and to some extent the bad behavior of specific infamous players in the economy (embodiment's of the "greed is good" ethic such as Enron and A.I.G.) accountable, but to give the capitalist system per se a free pass from bearing any of the brunt of our criticism and disgruntlement.

Yes, we need to think more deeply and critically about the underlying factors, inherently characteristic of capitalism, that cause our economic woes. What imperatively and urgently needs to be promoted is such a critical consciousness, and an ethical-social consciousness; i.e. a consciousness of the fact that life would be a good deal less of a chronic struggle if we evolved an economic system based on mutual aid, on people working together to support themselves and their neighbor, rather than everyone going it alone as a "rugged individual". Economic survival and securing material & social well-being are indeed easier challenges to meet when approached not individualistically but rather with a healthy consciousness of the value of teamwork.

Socialism (and communism) is of course simply a (much maligned) word for such a consciousness, we can either realize this and begin to seriously explore the socialist/communist option, or we can spend the rest of our lives under capitalism swimming upstream and struggling to resist the lethal socioeconomic rip currents generated by its inhuman dynamics. May enough of us find the wisdom to choose option number one, as not merely our survival as individuals but our viability as a civilization and a species may indeed very well depend on it.

I have no quarrel with the first three paragraphs (thanks for sizing down the OP) so I am going to limit myself to dealing with the last two. The problem with the version of socialism that you're advocating, of collective ownership of capital by the workers, is that whenever it has been practiced--granted, in a small scale, an in a hostile environment--the ideal of the workers' cooperative has failed to work, at one point or anther hierarchies develop in the system,

Not true. As far a Soviet "communism" goes, it was actually a system of state capitalism, a socialist organization of production having been swapped out quite early on for a more capitalist and Taylorist style. Also, I would suggest that you read chapter eight ("Roads to Sanity") of Erich Fromm's classic work, The Sane Society. Especially the bits about communities such as Boimondau.

https://cdn.anonfiles.com...

Thank you for the literature, comrade, I will read it. But from what I know--based on my own studies of such things, back when I was a trotskyist--the small-scale attempts at a workers' cooperative (which is what I was referring to in my post, I was not talking about the USSR) tended to fail for one reason or another.

and greed takes over (a natural human emotion, by the way) and ruins the entire the project.

But it needn't be the dominant aspect of human nature; there are other, more pro-social aspects of the human character that it would behoove society to predicate itself on and promote.

I know that it doesn't need to be the most valued affect in society, but I think that communism would be an attempt to repress, and the repression of emotions never works.

I think that a much more fruitful form of socialism is social-democracy which allows for greed to be a dominating force on the market,

Oy vey! Here someone goes once again trying to rationalize the "greed is good" mentality inculcated by capitalism And people think that we communists are the ones who fail to learn from history!

Only that is not what I did. I only said, that greed should be the dominant force in the market, but only in the market--I didn't say it was "good", though to say of an emotion that it is "good" or "bad" seems to be an error, as far as I am concerned.

but which promotes an ethic of social solidarity,

It should go without saying that the egoistic individualism promoted by capitalism is actually contraindicated if one sincerely wishes to foster social solidarity.

Society can cope with contradictions.

and encourages everyone to contribute according to their means for the benefit of the society at large, and specially for the benefit of the weakest members of society.

Well, if you're going to ground a "social democratic" polity in the belief that it would be ideal for "greed to be a dominating force" then the misbegotten system you're likely to end up with will be too capitalistic in character and certainly not conducive to social solidarity and the well-being of society's weakest members.

Again, in the market, I didn't say that it had to be the dominating force in society; I think that you can see the distinction.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
charleslb
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11/1/2014 1:25:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 6:49:37 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

https://cdn.anonfiles.com...

Thank you for the literature, comrade, I will read it...

You're quite welcome, capitalist running dog.

and greed takes over (a natural human emotion, by the way) and ruins the entire the project.

But it needn't be the dominant aspect of human nature; there are other, more pro-social aspects of the human character that it would behoove society to predicate itself on and promote.

I know that it doesn't need to be the most valued affect in society, but I think that communism would be an attempt to repress, and the repression of emotions never works.

All societies attempt to promote certain traits and discourage others. This doesn't necessarily have to be done in a repressive fashion. Yes, a communist society could certainly promote pro-social values and traits and discourage anti-social capitalistic behavior without degenerating into an authoritarian, repressive state.

Oy vey! Here someone goes once again trying to rationalize the "greed is good" mentality inculcated by capitalism And people think that we communists are the ones who fail to learn from history!

Only that is not what I did. I only said, that greed should be the dominant force in the market, but only in the market--I didn't say it was "good",

Hmm, so you advocate making an economic and behavioral dynamic that you concede may not be "good" the dominant economic force, and you don't think that a society's dominant economic force will characterize it as a whole, you seriously think that its influence can be confined to the market?!

though to say of an emotion that it is "good" or "bad" seems to be an error, as far as I am concerned.

An emotion is a quanta and expression of force, which can be constructive and in that sense good, or destructive and in that sense bad.

Society can cope with contradictions.

But alas the contradictions of capitalism make it an ultimately unsustainable system.

Again, in the market, I didn't say that it had to be the dominating force in society; I think that you can see the distinction.

I refer you to my above comments.
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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11/1/2014 2:14:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 6:48:58 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

Where have the dialectics gone?

Hmm, would it be easier for you to deal with me if I were a stereotypical dialectics-spouting sort of communist?

You were being dialectical in the OP, why couldn't you keep that vibe going? And yes, it would be easier to start an argument--for you and me both.

Well, I could flirt with playing the cliche dialectician. Yes, the demonic and destructive dynamics of capitalism do indeed drive the capitalist system of social relations and ruling class in the direction of a far from satisfactory utilization and realization of the potential of the modern forces of production, i.e. in a direction leading to the precarization and immiseration of workingpeople, which very well might one day actuate and compel them to rise up and overthrow our current system of social relations and ruling class and usher in an authentic form of communist life.

Ah, but please do note the absence of any hint of inevitableism, i.e. note that I'm not at all a "vulgar Marxist" or orthodox dialectician clinging to a nineteenth-century quasi-millenarian faith that the ultimate triumph of communism is preordained by the dialectical laws of history discovered by the prophet Marx. Nope, I'm not, the typical contemporary communist is not, the sort of silly classic stereotype or straw man lamely grounding his/her hopes for the future in a discredited dialectical theory of communism's inexorableness. We can't be dismissed that easily anymore. We've in fact learned from history and adapted our thinking to reality, unlike the true believers in capitalism who contrary to all of the historical, empirical evidence still spout their "greed is good" dogmatism; still believe in the repeatedly discredited possibility of safely harnessing the inherently destructive dynamics of capitalism, while humanity edges ever closer to an extinction-level climatological catastrophe that will prove to be the ultimate refutation of the viability of capitalism.

If you believe that the tribal system where all women belong to the chief...

A one-sided, reductionistic picture. There's a bit more to traditional societies than sexism and feudalism, and the quality of life in some "primitive" societies was indeed arguably better than what's inflicted upon Third-World peoples by neoliberalism, e.g. people toiling for pennies a day and literally living in garbage dumps and whatnot.

If you judge it by the standards of the age of the Roman Empire, then it is obvious that it was superior to almost all the other societies in the world, with a few exceptions.

Hmm, this rather sounds like a bit of morally questionable historical relativism.

Not necessarily, I don't see what is rotten with,say, Germany.

Hmm, if German corporations getting in bed with the Neapolitan mafia (the camorra) to illegally dispose of their toxic & nuclear waste on the cheap and poisoning thousands of Italians in the process is any indication I'd say that the German variant is still characterized by the moral rottenness inherent in capitalism.

http://nuclear-news.net...

Also this, "A wonderful success then? Not for labour. About one quarter of the German workforce now receive a "low income" wage, using a common definition of one that is less than two-thirds of the median, which is a higher proportion than all 17 European countries, except Lithuania. A recent Institute for Employment Research (IAB) study found wage inequality in Germany has increased since the 1990s, particularly at the bottom end of the income spectrum. The number of temporary workers in Germany has almost trebled over the past 10 years to about 822,000, according to the Federal Employment Agency. This is something we have seen across Europe " the dual labour system in Spain being the prime example. So the reduced share of unemployed in the German workforce was achieved at the expense of the real incomes of those in work. Fear of low benefits if you became unemployed, along with the threat of moving businesses abroad into the rest of the Eurozone or Eastern Europe, combined to force German workers to accept very low wage increases while German capitalists reaped big profit expansion. "

http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com...

Actually, one could argue the contrary: the more capitalistic a society becomes, the more reluctant it will be to go to war,

But then one's argument would be promptly defeated by the facts of history.

That it is imperialism is inevitable, even communism would be imperialistic.

You're neglecting to recognize that communism would not be driven by the same imperialistic-making dynamics as capitalism.

5) Racism, in its institutionalized form has largely disappeared over the last century, in part thanks to capitalism. It was--and still is--more prevalent in feudal societies.

Lol! And I suppose that you would also deny the connection of capitalism to slavery and to the invention of modern racism as a justification for that evil institution? And perhaps you don't agree that slavery was really such a horrendous evil, as to your way of thinking it rescued Africans from their dreadful feudal societies, and today their descendants get to live in relatively posh North American slums and Latin American countries where neoliberalism is allegedly bettering their lot. Well, is this perhaps your take?

Actually, slavery was a feudal institution, it was the capitalists who supported the fight against slavery ...

Revisionist history.

... I don't know why you decided to impute to me such views ...

This is simply how you were coming across.

but in a point of fact, not all black people in the US live in slums,

Yeah, just a great many of them, not to mention the suspiciously disproportionate number of African Americans residing in penal facilities. But no doubt you don't see this as a symptom of racism at all.

the same goes for black Brazilians; and in fact neo-liberalism is improving the situation in Latin America, which until recently was still feudal.

Yeah, go try to sell that line in the favelas.

6) No one is denying your right to be a communist.

No, we're just negatively stereotyped, stigmatized, and subjected to hostility (sometimes lethal hostility, recall, for instance, the Greensboro massacre).

By whom? The editors of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post? Perhaps the negative portrayal of the left in Fox News offended you? Come on, mate, we on the left dominate the press. And you could possibly be more demagogic? the Greensboro massacre, really?

Yeah, sure, there's no prejudice at all against communists in the U.S. And the systematic efforts of the right haven't succeeded in turning the words "socialist" and "liberal" into disparaging terms. Lol! Get real!
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.
HououinKyouma
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11/1/2014 7:35:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 2:14:49 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 6:48:58 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

Where have the dialectics gone?

Hmm, would it be easier for you to deal with me if I were a stereotypical dialectics-spouting sort of communist?

You were being dialectical in the OP, why couldn't you keep that vibe going? And yes, it would be easier to start an argument--for you and me both.

Well, I could flirt with playing the cliche dialectician. Yes, the demonic and destructive dynamics of capitalism do indeed drive the capitalist system of social relations and ruling class in the direction of a far from satisfactory utilization and realization of the potential of the modern forces of production, i.e. in a direction leading to the precarization and immiseration of workingpeople, which very well might one day actuate and compel them to rise up and overthrow our current system of social relations and ruling class and usher in an authentic form of communist life.

... We've in fact learned from history and adapted our thinking to reality, unlike the true believers in capitalism who contrary to all of the historical, empirical evidence still spout their "greed is good" dogmatism; still believe in the repeatedly discredited possibility of safely harnessing the inherently destructive dynamics of capitalism, while humanity edges ever closer to an extinction-level climatological catastrophe that will prove to be the ultimate refutation of the viability of capitalism.

Well done, except for the soap-opera organ music at the end, too demagogic for my taste. My disagreements would be that 1) there is a well documented history of businessmen investing and campaigning for better conditions for the workers, and 2) again, there are corporations which have invested a lot into renewable energy. No one is trying to dismiss your points of view, stop portraying yourself as a victim.

If you believe that the tribal system where all women belong to the chief...

A one-sided, reductionistic picture. There's a bit more to traditional societies than sexism and feudalism, and the quality of life in some "primitive" societies was indeed arguably better than what's inflicted upon Third-World peoples by neoliberalism, e.g. people toiling for pennies a day and literally living in garbage dumps and whatnot.

Actually, the people who live in cities like Nairobi or Lagos or Kinshasa are far better off that those who live in the villages; furthermore, Africa was already poor before colonialism, and life was even harsher--things have improved since then.

If you judge it by the standards of the age of the Roman Empire, then it is obvious that it was superior to almost all the other societies in the world, with a few exceptions.

Hmm, this rather sounds like a bit of morally questionable historical relativism.

Maybe, but it can't be helped. If you intend to judge everything and everyone by today's standards you would have to condemn Dr. King as a conservative and Robespierre as a fascist.

Not necessarily, I don't see what is rotten with,say, Germany.

Hmm, if German corporations getting in bed with the Neapolitan mafia (the camorra) to illegally dispose of their toxic & nuclear waste on the cheap and poisoning thousands of Italians in the process is any indication I'd say that the German variant is still characterized by the moral rottenness inherent in capitalism.

http://nuclear-news.net...

That's rather troubling, but as the article points out it was done illegally, and they (the mafia and the nuclear corporations) probably will be punished by law, ; but one cannot forget that there are corporations which oppose nuclear energy in the first place, and that the German government has decided to close its nuclear facilities.

Also this, "A wonderful success then? Not for labour. About one quarter of the German workforce now receive a "low income" wage, using a common definition of one that is less than two-thirds of the median, which is a higher proportion than all 17 European countries, except Lithuania. A recent Institute for Employment Research (IAB) study found wage inequality in Germany has increased since the 1990s, particularly at the bottom end of the income spectrum. The number of temporary workers in Germany has almost trebled over the past 10 years to about 822,000, according to the Federal Employment Agency. This is something we have seen across Europe..."

http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com...

822,000 is about 1% of the population of Germany, not much in my opinion. Wages in Germany are generally low, but the unemployment benefits are actually quite good, not as great as the Swedish ones but that is something else. Then again these are all problems which can be solved without a revolution.

Actually, one could argue the contrary: the more capitalistic a society becomes, the more reluctant it will be to go to war,

But then one's argument would be promptly defeated by the facts of history.

Not at all, there were a lot of corporations which opposed the entry of the US into WWI and II, the war in Bosnia, the first gulf war, etc.

You're neglecting to recognize that communism would not be driven by the same imperialistic-making dynamics as capitalism.

It would be just as imperialist, because the whole world--or a substantial part--would have to be communist.

Actually, slavery was a feudal institution, it was the capitalists who supported the fight against slavery ...

Revisionist history.

Not by any means.

... I don't know why you decided to impute to me such views ...

This is simply how you were coming across.

To you perhaps, but not anyone else I know.

but in a point of fact, not all black people in the US live in slums,

Yeah, just a great many of them, not to mention the suspiciously disproportionate number of African Americans residing in penal facilities. But no doubt you don't see this as a symptom of racism at all.

The black middle class has actually grown over the past few decades and is still growing; as for the number of blacks in penal facilities it can be easily explained by the fact that since a lot blacks are still poor, it is more likely that they will turn to crime as a means to survive--it has nothing to do with racism.

the same goes for black Brazilians; and in fact neo-liberalism is improving the situation in Latin America, which until recently was still feudal.

Yeah, go try to sell that line in the favelas.

Ja foi aprovado pela genta das favelas, which is why poor people in Brazil continue to migrate from the country (feudalism) to the city.

By whom? The editors of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post? Perhaps the negative portrayal of the left in Fox News offended you? Come on, mate, we on the left dominate the press. And you could possibly be more demagogic? the Greensboro massacre, really?

Yeah, sure, there's no prejudice at all against communists in the U.S. And the systematic efforts of the right haven't succeeded in turning the words "socialist" and "liberal" into disparaging terms. Lol! Get real!

And who listens to them apart from Tea Partiers? No one. There is more of a case to be made that the word "conservative" has acquired a negative connotation. Stop making us all look like martyrs.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
HououinKyouma
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11/1/2014 7:53:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 1:25:35 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 6:49:37 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

https://cdn.anonfiles.com...

Thank you for the literature, comrade, I will read it...

You're quite welcome, capitalist running dog.

Zeus! Why the insults Charles? I think they are unwarranted.

and greed takes over (a natural human emotion, by the way) and ruins the entire the project.

But it needn't be the dominant aspect of human nature; there are other, more pro-social aspects of the human character that it would behoove society to predicate itself on and promote.

I know that it doesn't need to be the most valued affect in society, but I think that communism would be an attempt to repress, and the repression of emotions never works.

All societies attempt to promote certain traits and discourage others. This doesn't necessarily have to be done in a repressive fashion. Yes, a communist society could certainly promote pro-social values and traits and discourage anti-social capitalistic behavior without degenerating into an authoritarian, repressive state.

It would have to be repressive to an extent, because you not only want to encourage the view that greed is "bad" but in a communist society one would need to curtail any possible way for it to express itself. By the way, what is wrong with being anti-social? I thought that the point of socialism was (to paraphrase from Wilde) to free men from having to care about everyone else's opinions?

Oy vey! Here someone goes once again trying to rationalize the "greed is good" mentality inculcated by capitalism And people think that we communists are the ones who fail to learn from history!

Only that is not what I did. I only said, that greed should be the dominant force in the market, but only in the market--I didn't say it was "good",

Hmm, so you advocate making an economic and behavioral dynamic that you concede may not be "good" the dominant economic force, and you don't think that a society's dominant economic force will characterize it as a whole, you seriously think that its influence can be confined to the market?!

Yes, it already occurs, to an extent. Everywhere one looks one will hear repeated denunciations of greed as something inherently evil, specially in the media. And no, I don't think that the economy determines everything in society.

though to say of an emotion that it is "good" or "bad" seems to be an error, as far as I am concerned.

An emotion is a quanta and expression of force, which can be constructive and in that sense good, or destructive and in that sense bad.

And who says that greed must be by necessity a "destructive" affect? I find that to be an unproved assumption. And how does one define "destructive" and "constructive"? and on what basis does one say that the former is "bad" and the latter is "good"?

Society can cope with contradictions.

But alas the contradictions of capitalism make it an ultimately unsustainable system.

Again, in the market, I didn't say that it had to be the dominating force in society; I think that you can see the distinction.

I refer you to my above comments.

I direct you to my replies.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
HououinKyouma
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11/1/2014 7:54:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 1:25:35 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 6:49:37 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

https://cdn.anonfiles.com...

Thank you for the literature, comrade, I will read it...

You're quite welcome, capitalist running dog.

Zeus! Why the insults Charles? I think they are unwarranted.

and greed takes over (a natural human emotion, by the way) and ruins the entire the project.

But it needn't be the dominant aspect of human nature; there are other, more pro-social aspects of the human character that it would behoove society to predicate itself on and promote.

I know that it doesn't need to be the most valued affect in society, but I think that communism would be an attempt to repress, and the repression of emotions never works.

All societies attempt to promote certain traits and discourage others. This doesn't necessarily have to be done in a repressive fashion. Yes, a communist society could certainly promote pro-social values and traits and discourage anti-social capitalistic behavior without degenerating into an authoritarian, repressive state.

It would have to be repressive to an extent, because you not only want to encourage the view that greed is "bad" but in a communist society one would need to curtail any possible way for it to express itself. By the way, what is wrong with being anti-social? I thought that the point of socialism was (to paraphrase from Wilde) to free men from having to care about everyone else's opinions?

Oy vey! Here someone goes once again trying to rationalize the "greed is good" mentality inculcated by capitalism And people think that we communists are the ones who fail to learn from history!

Only that is not what I did. I only said, that greed should be the dominant force in the market, but only in the market--I didn't say it was "good",

Hmm, so you advocate making an economic and behavioral dynamic that you concede may not be "good" the dominant economic force, and you don't think that a society's dominant economic force will characterize it as a whole, you seriously think that its influence can be confined to the market?!

Yes, it already occurs, to an extent. Everywhere one looks one will hear repeated denunciations of greed as something inherently evil, specially in the media. And no, I don't think that the economy determines everything in society.

though to say of an emotion that it is "good" or "bad" seems to be an error, as far as I am concerned.

An emotion is a quanta and expression of force, which can be constructive and in that sense good, or destructive and in that sense bad.

And who says that greed must be by necessity a "destructive" affect? I find that to be an unproved assumption. And how does one define "destructive" and "constructive"? and on what basis does one say that the former is "bad" and the latter is "good"?

Society can cope with contradictions.

But alas the contradictions of capitalism make it an ultimately unsustainable system.

Again, in the market, I didn't say that it had to be the dominating force in society; I think that you can see the distinction.

I refer you to my above comments.

See above.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
charleslb
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11/2/2014 1:10:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 7:54:23 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:
At 11/1/2014 1:25:35 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 6:49:37 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

https://cdn.anonfiles.com...

Thank you for the literature, comrade, I will read it...

You're quite welcome, capitalist running dog.

Zeus! Why the insults Charles? I think they are unwarranted.

Let me correct your misconception. I didn't refer to you as a "capitalist running dog" with a serious intent to disparage you, rather I was poking fun at your use of the term of endearment "comrade". Well, turn about being fair play, if you're going to use the anachronistic and stereotyping term "comrade" to highlight the fact that I'm a commie, well, then it's merely the condign response to use the anachronistic and typecasting term "capitalist running dog" to highlight the fact that your viewpoint is quite supportive of capitalism.

and greed takes over (a natural human emotion, by the way) and ruins the entire the project.

But it needn't be the dominant aspect of human nature; there are other, more pro-social aspects of the human character that it would behoove society to predicate itself on and promote.

I know that it doesn't need to be the most valued affect in society, but I think that communism would be an attempt to repress, and the repression of emotions never works.

All societies attempt to promote certain traits and discourage others. This doesn't necessarily have to be done in a repressive fashion. Yes, a communist society could certainly promote pro-social values and traits and discourage anti-social capitalistic behavior without degenerating into an authoritarian, repressive state.

It would have to be repressive to an extent, because you not only want to encourage the view that greed is "bad" but in a communist society one would need to curtail any possible way for it to express itself.

To describe a communist society's efforts to instill pro-social values and discommend and deter egoistic attitudes as necessarily "repressive" is simplistic, extreme, and biased. Firstly, an authentically communist society would foster a communist culture that would culturally promote certain communist social norms, it would not have to rely on state repression or anything like a Cheka to heavy-handedly enforce socialist idealism. Secondly, the members of communist communities would not need to be subjected to a repressive external authority to maintain their way of life, rather they would practice what anthropologists call reverse dominance, i.e. they would respond to the manifestation of the kind of egoistic and social dominance-oriented attitudes and behaviors associated with capitalism in a censorious, actively condemnatory, reprimanding fashion that would promptly slap down the attempts of individuals to regress back into a capitalistic, selfish, power-hungry affective and cognitive orientation.

Does this perhaps sound disturbing and somewhat repressive/coercive? Well, all societies use some form of coercion to uphold their values and social cohesiveness. Indeed "coercion" is an inherent aspect of the social-relational nature of life, one which people could only avoid by leading a totally atomized, nonsocial existence. Quite simply, whenever human beings live together their personalities and interests will impact and be imposed upon (i.e. will repressively affect) each other, and it will prove to be impossible for individualism and freedom to be absolutes. A society's goal then should not be the unattainable dream of the total eradication of coercion, but rather merely preventing it from being taken to an extreme. Which is certainly something that an authentically communist society could manage.

By the way, what is wrong with being anti-social? I thought that the point of socialism was (to paraphrase from Wilde) to free men from having to care about everyone else's opinions?

Individualism is in fact a communist core value, that is, communism seeks to liberate human beings from the social dominance of "job creators" and capitalist elites, and from the objectification and reification they're subjected to under capitalism so that they can realize the richness of their human individuality. The true goal of real-deal communist is certainly not a procrustean egalitarianism.

Oy vey! Here someone goes once again trying to rationalize the "greed is good" mentality inculcated by capitalism And people think that we communists are the ones who fail to learn from history!

Only that is not what I did. I only said, that greed should be the dominant force in the market, but only in the market--I didn't say it was "good",

Hmm, so you advocate making an economic and behavioral dynamic that you concede may not be "good" the dominant economic force, and you don't think that a society's dominant economic force will characterize it as a whole, you seriously think that its influence can be confined to the market?!

Yes, it already occurs, to an extent. Everywhere one looks one will hear repeated denunciations of greed as something inherently evil, specially in the media.

Well, if greed is widely recognized as a morally negative and socially pernicious force perhaps you might wish to rethink advocating the view that it's a positive thing for it to thoroughly characterize society the way it does under capitalism.

And no, I don't think that the economy determines everything in society.

Nor do I. Note that I said that the dynamics of capitalism characterize society, which means contribute defining characteristics to it, I never said that they absolutely determine everything about society. Nope, a communist needn't subscribe to such a simplistic economic determinism, that's "vulgar Marxism", not genuine Marxism.

though to say of an emotion that it is "good" or "bad" seems to be an error, as far as I am concerned.

An emotion is a quanta and expression of force, which can be constructive and in that sense good, or destructive and in that sense bad.

And who says that greed must be by necessity a "destructive" affect?

That's a statement of empirical fact.

I find that to be an unproved assumption.

That's because of your viewpoint.

And how does one define "destructive" and "constructive"? and on what basis does one say that the former is "bad" and the latter is "good"?

Now you're simply resorting to being tedious, and frankly beginning to argue like a teenage "libertarian". Destructive is as destructive is experienced (i.e., as laying waste, as ruination, as devastation and disintegration), and its badness is likewise empirically known (known through its painfulness).

Society can cope with contradictions.

But alas the contradictions of capitalism make it an ultimately unsustainable system.

Again, in the market, I didn't say that it had to be the dominating force in society; I think that you can see the distinction.

You said that greed should be the dominant force in the market, and one doesn't have to be an economic determinist to recognize that there isn't a disconnect between the market and society, to recognize that the dominant force in or fundamental dynamics of the economy will profoundly affect and characterize society and life in general. Mm-hmm, society can't be socially, axiologically, and spiritually quarantined from the dominant force of its economy, this is of course why societies should choose their economic systems quite carefully.
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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11/2/2014 1:59:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 7:35:29 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

Well done,

Thank you.

except for the soap-opera organ music at the end, too demagogic for my taste.

Sometimes one man's demagoguery is another man's truth telling.

My disagreements would be that 1) there is a well documented history of businessmen investing and campaigning for better conditions for the workers, and

The fact that every individual capitalist isn't a SOB doesn't redeem capitalism as a whole any more than the fact than not every member of the Hell's Angels is evil redeems motorcycle gangdom.

2) again, there are corporations which have invested a lot into renewable energy.

Sure, it's corporations that are saving not waging war on the ecosphere. LOL! What Fox Newsish rubbish.

No one is trying to dismiss your points of view, stop portraying yourself as a victim.

Hmm, have you ever considered the possibility that some "victim complexes" have their roots in reality?

Actually, the people who live in cities like Nairobi or Lagos or Kinshasa are far better off that those who live in the villages; furthermore, Africa was already poor before colonialism, and life was even harsher--things have improved since then.

Careful, you're verging on sounding like a denier of the very concrete evils of colonialism. I wouldn't want you to drift into the camp of the right.

Maybe, but it can't be helped. If you intend to judge everything and everyone by today's standards you would have to condemn Dr. King as a conservative and Robespierre as a fascist.

How about judging the Roman Empire by the standards of, seeing it from the point of view of its victims, who certainly recognized the wrongness of the taxation without representation they were subjected to, or their young men being conscripted into the Roman legions, or the brutality they were often treated to.

That's rather troubling, but as the article points out it was done illegally,

So your defense of German capitalism in the light of such wrongdoing is that the corporations in question merely fell prey to the tendency to lapse into law-breaking in the process of manifesting the tendency of capitalists to operate in a ruthlessly cost-cutting fashion. That's a pretty inadvertently backhanded defense or spin.

and they (the mafia and the nuclear corporations) probably will be punished by law, ;

The harm is already done, and the law will never be sufficiently effective at deterring the ruthlessness of corporations.

but one cannot forget that there are corporations which oppose nuclear energy in the first place, and that the German government has decided to close its nuclear facilities.

You seem to not wish to get the point, that sure one cannot say that all capitalists all of the time are evil SOBs, but that the dynamics of capital & the capitalist market, the drive for the maximization of profit, do in fact drive too much dangerous and downright bad behavior, too much of the time.

822,000 is about 1% of the population of Germany, not much in my opinion. Wages in Germany are generally low, but the unemployment benefits are actually quite good, not as great as the Swedish ones but that is something else. Then again these are all problems which can be solved without a revolution.

What about these other points:
"... About one quarter of the German workforce now receive a 'low income' wage, ..."

"So the reduced share of unemployed in the German workforce was achieved at the expense of the real incomes of those in work."

"Fear of low benefits if you became unemployed, along with the threat of moving businesses abroad into the rest of the Eurozone or Eastern Europe, combined to force German workers to accept very low wage increases while German capitalists reaped big profit expansion. "

Not at all, there were a lot of corporations which opposed the entry of the US into WWI and II, the war in Bosnia, the first gulf war, etc.

Yes, but we know which elements of the economic establishment prevailed. And I never said that the capitalist ruling class is monolithic, that all of its members share the exact same interests. But it is as a rule the interests of certain elites that have motivated this country's wars, not mom, apple pie, and the desire to make the world safe for democracy.

You're neglecting to recognize that communism would not be driven by the same imperialistic-making dynamics as capitalism.

It would be just as imperialist, because the whole world--or a substantial part--would have to be communist.

I repeat, "You're neglecting to recognize that communism would not be driven by the same imperialistic-making dynamics as capitalism."

Actually, slavery was a feudal institution, it was the capitalists who supported the fight against slavery ...

Revisionist history.

Not by any means.

Sure it is.

... I don't know why you decided to impute to me such views ...

This is simply how you were coming across.

To you perhaps, but not anyone else I know.

Well, those in your circle probably share your views or don't wish to offend you.

but in a point of fact, not all black people in the US live in slums,

Yeah, just a great many of them, not to mention the suspiciously disproportionate number of African Americans residing in penal facilities. But no doubt you don't see this as a symptom of racism at all.

The black middle class has actually grown over the past few decades and is still growing;

And are you now going to begin singing the conservative tune that racism is a thing of the past and African Americans just have a "victim complex"?

as for the number of blacks in penal facilities it can be easily explained by the fact that since a lot blacks are still poor, it is more likely that they will turn to crime as a means to survive--it has nothing to do with racism.

It can be easily explained as the law enforcement and penal system being used as a form of social control to control and contain (quite literally contain in jails and penitentiaries*) the victims of the economic inequality and injustice that so overtly characterizes American-style capitalism.


Ja foi aprovado pela genta das favelas, which is why poor people in Brazil continue to migrate from the country (feudalism) to the city.

Well, this is your main tack, to portray capitalism as a superior system because it's superior to your image of feudalism. Well, in some ways fascism was probably preferable to your picture of feudalism, does this mean that fascism deserves a ringing endorsement too? Is being better than a negative stereotype of feudalism really a ringing endorsement for any system?


And who listens to them apart from Tea Partiers?

Thanks to the very effective efforts of the right all too many folks in the U.S. have a somewhat negative view of the left.

No one. There is more of a case to be made that the word "conservative" has acquired a negative connotation.

Rubbish.

Stop making us all look like martyrs.

Well, frankly you often don't really sound like that much of a leftist, perhaps this is why you haven't personally experienced a great deal of anti-leftist prejudice.

*How uncanny, btw, that in the U.S. the abbreviation for penitentiary is used as a slang synonym for prison, and is spelled the same as a word for a place where livestock are held captive. That is, our capitalist society subjects African Americans to dehumanizing poverty and sociological conditions, and then confines a large percentage of its disadvantaged and degraded African American males in pens like animals, where they're turned into real beasts!
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.
HououinKyouma
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11/2/2014 5:54:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/2/2014 1:10:39 AM, charleslb wrote:
Let me correct your misconception. I didn't refer to you as a "capitalist running dog" with a serious intent to disparage you, rather I was poking fun at your use of the term of endearment "comrade". Well, turn about being fair play, if you're going to use the anachronistic and stereotyping term "comrade" to highlight the fact that I'm a commie, well, then it's merely the condign response to use the anachronistic and typecasting term "capitalist running dog" to highlight the fact that your viewpoint is quite supportive of capitalism.

If you think that my use of the term "comrade" was disingenuous I would like to correct that impression, it was perfectly honest on my part, after all we are both leftists.

and greed takes over (a natural human emotion, by the way) and ruins the entire the project.

But it needn't be the dominant aspect of human nature; there are other, more pro-social aspects of the human character that it would behoove society to predicate itself on and promote.

I know that it doesn't need to be the most valued affect in society, but I think that communism would be an attempt to repress, and the repression of emotions never works.

All societies attempt to promote certain traits and discourage others. This doesn't necessarily have to be done in a repressive fashion. Yes, a communist society could certainly promote pro-social values and traits and discourage anti-social capitalistic behavior without degenerating into an authoritarian, repressive state.

It would have to be repressive to an extent, because you not only want to encourage the view that greed is "bad" but in a communist society one would need to curtail any possible way for it to express itself.

To describe a communist society's efforts to instill pro-social values and discommend and deter egoistic attitudes as necessarily "repressive" is simplistic, extreme, and biased. Firstly, an authentically communist society would foster a communist culture that would culturally promote certain communist social norms, it would not have to rely on state repression or anything like a Cheka to heavy-handedly enforce socialist idealism. Secondly, the members of communist communities would not need to be subjected to a repressive external authority to maintain their way of life, rather they would practice what anthropologists call reverse dominance, i.e. they would respond to the manifestation of the kind of egoistic and social dominance-oriented attitudes and behaviors associated with capitalism in a censorious, actively condemnatory, reprimanding fashion that would promptly slap down the attempts of individuals to regress back into a capitalistic, selfish, power-hungry affective and cognitive orientation.

Does this perhaps sound disturbing and somewhat repressive/coercive? Well, all societies use some form of coercion to uphold their values and social cohesiveness. Indeed "coercion" is an inherent aspect of the social-relational nature of life, one which people could only avoid by leading a totally atomized, nonsocial existence. Quite simply, whenever human beings live together their personalities and interests will impact and be imposed upon (i.e. will repressively affect) each other, and it will prove to be impossible for individualism and freedom to be absolutes. A society's goal then should not be the unattainable dream of the total eradication of coercion, but rather merely preventing it from being taken to an extreme. Which is certainly something that an authentically communist society could manage.

I will take this as--largely--a concession, I at no point said that the repression would be carried out by the state. I would argue that rather than repress greed it would need to be sublimated.

By the way, what is wrong with being anti-social? I thought that the point of socialism was (to paraphrase from Wilde) to free men from having to care about everyone else's opinions?

Individualism is in fact a communist core value, that is, communism seeks to liberate human beings from the social dominance of "job creators" and capitalist elites, and from the objectification and reification they're subjected to under capitalism so that they can realize the richness of their human individuality. The true goal of real-deal communist is certainly not a procrustean egalitarianism.

That is not how it comes across.

Well, if greed is widely recognized as a morally negative and socially pernicious force perhaps you might wish to rethink advocating the view that it's a positive thing for it to thoroughly characterize society the way it does under capitalism.

I did not say it was a "good" thing, you put that in my mouth, I said that it was useful in the market.

And no, I don't think that the economy determines everything in society.

Nor do I. Note that I said that the dynamics of capitalism characterize society, which means contribute defining characteristics to it, I never said that they absolutely determine everything about society. Nope, a communist needn't subscribe to such a simplistic economic determinism, that's "vulgar Marxism", not genuine Marxism.

And who says that greed must be by necessity a "destructive" affect?

That's a statement of empirical fact.

Only if one has already defined it as "destructive".

And how does one define "destructive" and "constructive"? and on what basis does one say that the former is "bad" and the latter is "good"?

Now you're simply resorting to being tedious, and frankly beginning to argue like a teenage "libertarian". Destructive is as destructive is experienced (i.e., as laying waste, as ruination, as devastation and disintegration), and its badness is likewise empirically known (known through its painfulness).

Anyone would think that the only effects of greed are laying waste to the environment and that it has nothing to do with innovation and competitiveness.

You said that greed should be the dominant force in the market, and one doesn't have to be an economic determinist to recognize that there isn't a disconnect between the market and society, to recognize that the dominant force in or fundamental dynamics of the economy will profoundly affect and characterize society and life in general. Mm-hmm, society can't be socially, axiologically, and spiritually quarantined from the dominant force of its economy, this is of course why societies should choose their economic systems quite carefully.

I would say that it is perfectly possible to have a society were greed is allowed to express itself in the market, but where people acknowledge that it should not influence the rest of society.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
HououinKyouma
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11/2/2014 6:40:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/2/2014 1:59:04 AM, charleslb wrote:
My disagreements would be that 1) there is a well documented history of businessmen investing and campaigning for better conditions for the workers, and

The fact that every individual capitalist isn't a SOB doesn't redeem capitalism as a whole any more than the fact than not every member of the Hell's Angels is evil redeems motorcycle gangdom.

No, but it does mean that one shouldn't treat capitalism as a monolith.

2) again, there are corporations which have invested a lot into renewable energy.

Sure, it's corporations that are saving not waging war on the ecosphere. LOL! What Fox Newsish rubbish.

I don't think people in Fox News even admit that there is a problem in the "ecosphere", but the fact remains unchanged even if you dislike the facts.

No one is trying to dismiss your points of view, stop portraying yourself as a victim.

Hmm, have you ever considered the possibility that some "victim complexes" have their roots in reality?

Some, not yours.

Careful, you're verging on sounding like a denier of the very concrete evils of colonialism. I wouldn't want you to drift into the camp of the right.

No need to fear that, but it is perfectly reasonable to say that colonialism was an improvement upon feudalism while at the same time condemning all the evils of colonialism. There is no contradiction involved.

How about judging the Roman Empire by the standards of, seeing it from the point of view of its victims, who certainly recognized the wrongness of the taxation without representation they were subjected to, or their young men being conscripted into the Roman legions, or the brutality they were often treated to.

They were represented in the Roman Senate, and conscription was rampant in the ancient world, even in the not so ancient world. And not all conquered tribes were treated brutally.

So your defense of German capitalism in the light of such wrongdoing is that the corporations in question merely fell prey to the tendency to lapse into law-breaking in the process of manifesting the tendency of capitalists to operate in a ruthlessly cost-cutting fashion. That's a pretty inadvertently backhanded defense or spin.

Only I'm not defending capitalism, I'm defending the German government--and the German model--which does not encourage these sorts of actions.

The harm is already done, and the law will never be sufficiently effective at deterring the ruthlessness of corporations.

It is already deterring them, which is why they had to resort to that.

You seem to not wish to get the point, that sure one cannot say that all capitalists all of the time are evil SOBs, but that the dynamics of capital & the capitalist market, the drive for the maximization of profit, do in fact drive too much dangerous and downright bad behavior, too much of the time.

That last point I would accept, even if it is slightly exaggerated.

822,000 is about 1% of the population of Germany, not much in my opinion. Wages in Germany are generally low, but the unemployment benefits are actually quite good, not as great as the Swedish ones but that is something else. Then again these are all problems which can be solved without a revolution.

What about these other points:
"... About one quarter of the German workforce now receive a 'low income' wage, ..."

You have to consider the fact that Germany had to adjust its economy after reunification, and wages were pushed down, as were living standards.

"So the reduced share of unemployed in the German workforce was achieved at the expense of the real incomes of those in work."

"Fear of low benefits if you became unemployed...

Rich people in Germany pay about 50% income tax, if not higher. CEOs don't even receive a salary, they make their earnings off their stocks. Unemployment benefits--see above.

Yes, but we know which elements of the economic establishment prevailed. And I never said that the capitalist ruling class is monolithic, that all of its members share the exact same interests. But it is as a rule the interests of certain elites that have motivated this country's wars, not mom, apple pie, and the desire to make the world safe for democracy.

You would be surprised how many politicians actually believe in the deal about expanding democracy. And no, a lot of those interventions were not motivated by the interests of elites.

It would be just as imperialist, because the whole world--or a substantial part--would have to be communist.

I repeat, "You're neglecting to recognize that communism would not be driven by the same imperialistic-making dynamics as capitalism."

It would still be imperialist.

Actually, slavery was a feudal institution, it was the capitalists who supported the fight against slavery ...

Revisionist history.

Not by any means.

Sure it is.

Marx disagreed.

Well, those in your circle probably share your views or don't wish to offend you.

Yes, right-wingers and communists--they share my views.

The black middle class has actually grown over the past few decades and is still growing;

And are you now going to begin singing the conservative tune that racism is a thing of the past and African Americans just have a "victim complex"?

No, but racism is disappearing.

as for the number of blacks in penal facilities it can be easily explained by the fact that since a lot blacks are still poor, it is more likely that they will turn to crime as a means to survive--it has nothing to do with racism.

It can be easily explained as the law enforcement and penal system being used as a form of social control to control and contain (quite literally contain in jails and penitentiaries*) the victims of the economic inequality and injustice that so overtly characterizes American-style capitalism.

One need not turn to crime if one is poor, most poor people don't, it is the recourse of the desperate.

Well, this is your main tack, to portray capitalism as a superior system because it's superior to your image of feudalism. Well, in some ways fascism was probably preferable to your picture of feudalism, does this mean that fascism deserves a ringing endorsement too? Is being better than a negative stereotype of feudalism really a ringing endorsement for any system?

Fascism was feudal in almost all its aspects. Feudalism is a terrible system, capitalism is an improvement, just as social-democracy is an improvement upon capitalism.

Thanks to the very effective efforts of the right all too many folks in the U.S. have a somewhat negative view of the left.

Where in Berkeley or Columbia? Perhaps in New York everyone is anti-liberal.

No one. There is more of a case to be made that the word "conservative" has acquired a negative connotation.

Rubbish.

Stop making us all look like martyrs.

Well, frankly you often don't really sound like that much of a leftist, perhaps this is why you haven't personally experienced a great deal of anti-leftist prejudice.

Not even in my trotskyist days did I receive the prejudiced treatment that some of my libertarian friends did.

*How uncanny, btw, that in the U.S. the abbreviation for penitentiary is used as a slang synonym for prison, and is spelled the same as a word for a place where livestock are held captive. That is, our capitalist society subjects African Americans to dehumanizing poverty and sociological conditions, and then confines a large percentage of its disadvantaged and degraded African American males in pens like animals, where they're turned into real beast

1) The first bit is an example of foucauldian nonsense. 2) Blacks have not been forced into poverty, they are actually rising out of it. 3) S
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
charleslb
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11/2/2014 6:57:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/2/2014 6:40:52 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

How about judging the Roman Empire by the standards of, seeing it from the point of view of its victims, who certainly recognized the wrongness of the taxation without representation they were subjected to, or their young men being conscripted into the Roman legions, or the brutality they were often treated to.

They were represented in the Roman Senate, ...

I simply have to single this out and say LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



And, btw, this reflects very poorly, very discreditably, on the rest of your views. Are the lame thought processes that produced this laughably weak defense of ancient Roman imperialism actually the same thought processes that your defense of neoliberalism, American militarism/imperialism, and capitalism stem from? This certainly, and somewhat disappointingly, seems to be the case. And here I thought that I was arguing with someone with a more sophisticated mind. Silly me.
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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11/3/2014 1:25:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/2/2014 6:57:42 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/2/2014 6:40:52 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

How about judging the Roman Empire by the standards of, seeing it from the point of view of its victims, who certainly recognized the wrongness of the taxation without representation they were subjected to, or their young men being conscripted into the Roman legions, or the brutality they were often treated to.

They were represented in the Roman Senate, ...

I simply have to single this out and say LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



And, btw, this reflects very poorly, very discreditably, on the rest of your views. Are the lame thought processes that produced this laughably weak defense of ancient Roman imperialism actually the same thought processes that your defense of neoliberalism, American militarism/imperialism, and capitalism stem from? This certainly, and somewhat disappointingly, seems to be the case. And here I thought that I was arguing with someone with a more sophisticated mind. Silly me.

Don't be offended, surely you must realize that it was a quite boneheaded thing to say and entitled me to a bit of an ad hominem 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
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11/3/2014 1:37:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/3/2014 1:25:52 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/2/2014 6:57:42 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/2/2014 6:40:52 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

How about judging the Roman Empire by the standards of, seeing it from the point of view of its victims, who certainly recognized the wrongness of the taxation without representation they were subjected to, or their young men being conscripted into the Roman legions, or the brutality they were often treated to.

They were represented in the Roman Senate, ...

I simply have to single this out and say LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



And, btw, this reflects very poorly, very discreditably, on the rest of your views. Are the lame thought processes that produced this laughably weak defense of ancient Roman imperialism actually the same thought processes that your defense of neoliberalism, American militarism/imperialism, and capitalism stem from? This certainly, and somewhat disappointingly, seems to be the case. And here I thought that I was arguing with someone with a more sophisticated mind. Silly me.

Don't be offended, surely you must realize that it was a quite boneheaded thing to say and entitled me to a bit of an ad hominem response.

I also cordially invite you to my most recent thread, http://www.debate.org...
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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11/3/2014 3:38:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/2/2014 6:40:52 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

They were represented in the Roman Senate, ...

Yes, henceforth and forevermore, to anyone paying attention to this thread, you sir shall be known as the guy who thinks that the ancient Roman Empire offered its conquered subjects a form of representative government, i.e. taxation with representation in the Senate! FYI, just as the modern American Senate (and House) is populated mostly by the lackeys of capitalist fat cats, by their Tea Partier hero-worshipers, and by a number of individuals whose net worth qualifies them as plump to fat cats (such as Sen. Jay Rockefeller, with a reported net worth of $108 million, or Darrell Issa whose $357 million most definitely puts him in the fat cat league), the Roman Senate consisted exclusively of patricians (an elegant word for fat cat), who were exclusively concerned with the interests of their class, the emperor, and the state. And as they made no pretense whatsoever of being a part of a democratic system the idea that the overtaxed residents of conquered provinces, who didn't even enjoy the legal status of citizens, somehow had their interests represented in the slightest by these ruthless fat cats at the seat of power in Rome is simply laughably ludicrous.

But nevertheless you seem to be able to picture a system in which a Roman subject might write a letter to his senator or provincial governor - "Dear Honorable Pontius Pilate, I feel that the number of crucifixions and conscriptions this year have been excessive ...", or "Dear Honorable Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, I was distressed by the public flogging and rape of Boadicea and her daughters ..." - and be accorded some consideration and rights as a taxpayer. Not a very realistic view of the way imperial Rome was run by its elites and emperors. And alas your understanding of the current capitalist, plutocratic world-system is equally unrealistic. I hope that one day you'll join those of us on the left in the real world and let go of the kind of pro-ruling class ideological tendencies that make you attempt to legitimize even the tyranny of ancient Roman elites.

(See my other replies above)
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.
HououinKyouma
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11/3/2014 7:08:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/3/2014 3:38:44 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/2/2014 6:40:52 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

They were represented in the Roman Senate, ...

Yes, henceforth and forevermore, to anyone paying attention to this thread, you sir shall be known as the guy who thinks that the ancient Roman Empire offered its conquered subjects a form of representative government, i.e. taxation with representation in the Senate! FYI, just as the modern American Senate (and House) is populated mostly by the lackeys of capitalist fat cats, by their Tea Partier hero-worshipers, and by a number of individuals whose net worth qualifies them as plump to fat cats (such as Sen. Jay Rockefeller, with a reported net worth of $108 million, or Darrell Issa whose $357 million most definitely puts him in the fat cat league), the Roman Senate consisted exclusively of patricians (an elegant word for fat cat), who were exclusively concerned with the interests of their class, the emperor, and the state. And as they made no pretense whatsoever of being a part of a democratic system the idea that the overtaxed residents of conquered provinces, who didn't even enjoy the legal status of citizens, somehow had their interests represented in the slightest by these ruthless fat cats at the seat of power in Rome is simply laughably ludicrous.

But nevertheless you seem to be able to picture a system in which a Roman subject might write a letter to his senator or provincial governor - "Dear Honorable Pontius Pilate, I feel that the number of crucifixions and conscriptions this year have been excessive ...", or "Dear Honorable Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, I was distressed by the public flogging and rape of Boadicea and her daughters ..." - and be accorded some consideration and rights as a taxpayer. Not a very realistic view of the way imperial Rome was run by its elites and emperors. And alas your understanding of the current capitalist, plutocratic world-system is equally unrealistic. I hope that one day you'll join those of us on the left in the real world and let go of the kind of pro-ruling class ideological tendencies that make you attempt to legitimize even the tyranny of ancient Roman elites.

(See my other replies above)

This is the sort of nonsense that passes itself off as leftist critical analysis. The above post is riddled with the same attempt at sarcasm and ridicules that characterizes the work of imbeciles like Chomsky--probably the most overrated intellectual in the United States.

It is ludicrous to even suggest that because the Roman Empire was not an anarcho-syndicalist workers' cooperative--of the kind that Charleslb and the other comrades desire to see implemented worldwide--it must therefore be condemned as an intrinsically tyrannical and evil organization, no better than all the barbaric tribes of the ancient world. Never mind that in Rome there was a proper justice system (though far from perfect), that those who were poor could rise up in life, through the army of through business, and that the standards of life of the people who lived in the Roman Empire and were Roman citizens were far higher than those of everyone else in the Ancient World, where there was science and art and philosophy and hygiene. As if there was no other society at the time which conscripted its male citizens into its armed forces. And as imperfect and corrupt as the Senate often was, at least there was a Senate, and society was not ruled by the might of a tribal leader--as was the case with the Celts.

No, all this must be ignored because the Roman Empire failed to live up to the expectations of a few rotted brains who think they are very radical because they hate the Coca-Cola Company and Halliburton.

One would think, from reading the inane and verbose post above, that the Senators of Rome had a peaceful relationship with the Emperors of Rome as well as with the military, and that this monolithic elite oppressed the people of the Empire, and (according to the comrade) the people of the Roman province of Gaul, or of Greece, or of Egypt, were not citizens of the Empire--one does not believe one's eyes. But with this anyone who has any rudimentary knowledge of the history of the Roman Empire will cease to take seriously the opinions that these would-be leftists have of Ancient History.

This is what happens when one judges the Ancient World with the standards of the modern world.

And all of this because one dared to say--oh the horror--that the Roman Empire was vastly superior to any of the other societies of antiquity. With that one has committed the greatest of all possible crimes--as far as the ideologues of the left are concerned--one has sided with the powerful, with the good, consequently one must be punished for it, and in the most personal terms, too! No, it would have been much better to exalt the Celts (a barbarous tribe among whom the very concept of law was unknown) or any other such barbaric people that was oppressed by Rome.

They go further, these leftist dogs, they claim that since one does not share their idealistic and overtly simplistic and stupid interpretations of history, one should not be taken seriously. But who is the joke on here? We are told that the American Senate (and one supposes that the same applies to Congress) is populated by fat cats and Tea Partiers, both of which are false claims. Yet even if the first of these claims were true, so what? Who--apart from Orthodox Leftists--really thinks that all rich people are "evil" and have nothing but nefarious plans for society; as if there are no, and have never been any, liberals among the rich. Only dogmatic leftists are capable of spouting this kind of nonsense, and with soap-opera organ music at that!

This is all to be expected, of course, seeing how the radical left has nothing positive to contribute to any discussion and all of its attempts at an analysis of modern society are flawed to the very core.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
charleslb
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11/4/2014 1:47:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/3/2014 7:08:45 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

This is the sort of nonsense that passes itself off as leftist critical analysis.

Not at all, you made the absurd statement that subjects of the Roman Empire were not the victims of taxation without representation because they were represented by the Senate, which was actually in large measure an old boys club of patricians (members of the ruling class) that one sought to join for the prestige, all real power having been arrogated by the scumbags called Caesar (i.e., it was a house of lordly lackeys serving at the emperor's sufferance). That is, the Roman Senate was not a representative body and didn't function to provide the common man with representation in the Roman political system. You seem to be erroneously thinking of it in terms of modern parliamentary institutions and their official if sham function of representing an electorate. Well, at any rate, your need to play apologist for, to argue for the legitimacy of elites and of imperialism seems to have biased you in favor of an unwarrantedly positive view of the Roman Senate, despite its totally illegitimate nature from your professed "social-democratic" perspective. Such absurdity of course merited a little rebuke and ridicule, don't blame me if you had such a response coming. Yes, it's not my fault if the ole hobgoblin of little minds, a foolish consistency, got the better of your intelligence.

The above post is riddled with the same attempt at sarcasm

As I explain above it was quite deserved.

and ridicules that characterizes the work of imbeciles like Chomsky--probably the most overrated intellectual in the United States.

You don't like the politics of a bona fide and world-renowned genius of the caliber of Professor Chomsky and so you deny his genius and call him an imbecile, how unmagnanimous, how small of you.

It is ludicrous to even suggest that because the Roman Empire was not an anarcho-syndicalist workers' cooperative--of the kind that Charleslb and the other comrades desire to see implemented worldwide

You're merely attempting to straw-man or reduce to absurdity my criticism of your statement. In fact I did not say (in my responses regarding your statement about Roman taxpayers having a measure of representation in the Senate) that imperial Rome should be condemned because it wasn't based on my personal vision of an ideal society, I merely pointed out that your statement that Roman subjects enjoyed taxation with representation in the Senate was rather absurdly boneheaded.

... Never mind that in Rome there was a proper justice system (though far from perfect),

"Far from perfect" is a rather gross and insensitive understatement.

that those who were poor could rise up in life, through the army or through business, and that the standards of life of the people who lived in the Roman Empire and were Roman citizens were far higher than those of everyone else in the Ancient World, ...

You're simply applying the same defense that you use for the modern American and global capitalist systems to ancient Rome! And you don't even seem to realize how this reveals and drives home their lack of groundedness in realism. Well, it reveals that your defenses of and arguments for capitalism and the capitalist world-system are merely sophistical and ideological rationalizations that you can and do intellectually deploy to defend any elitist system, and that your pro-elite, pro-imperialism point of view should enjoy no credibility whatsoever.

No, all this must be ignored because the Roman Empire failed to live up to the expectations of a few rotted brains who think they are very radical because they hate the Coca-Cola Company and Halliburton.

Your reasoning is getting weaker and weaker. And drifting farther away from your statement that the Roman Empire's subjects enjoyed taxation with representation in the Senate. Yes, you can't defend such an absurd, abjectly pro-elite & and pro-imperialist statement so you take off on a derisive rant against my socialist political perspective.

One would think, ... that the Senators of Rome had a peaceful relationship with the Emperors of Rome

It's their relationship with the taxpaying subjects of the empire that's at issue, and no, they were most certainly not representatives of the victims of Roman imperialism.

as well as with the military, and that this monolithic elite oppressed the people of the Empire, and (according to the comrade) ...

Well, if folks of your political ilk and on the right feel the ideological imperative to rationalize and excuse the political structures and imperialism of the Roman Empire this indeed says quite a lot.

and (according to the comrade) the people of the Roman province of Gaul, or of Greece, or of Egypt, were not citizens

In the age of Augustus the Empire contained 45 million inhabitants and only 4 million citizens.

This is what happens when one judges the Ancient World with the standards of the modern world.

Oy vey! Look whose talking. All you've been doing is applying your stock defenses of the modern American empire to the ancient Roman Empire. Yes, clearly some proponents of American imperialism do in fact identify with ancient Roman imperialism.

And all of this because one dared to say--oh the horror--that the Roman Empire was vastly superior to any of the other societies of antiquity.

Nope, here are my comments and what you dumbly dared to say in reply.

My comments: "How about judging the Roman Empire by the standards of, seeing it from the point of view of its victims, who certainly recognized the wrongness of the taxation without representation they were subjected to, or their young men being conscripted into the Roman legions, or the brutality they were often treated to.

Your reply: "They were represented in the Roman Senate, ..."

With that one has committed the greatest of all possible crimes--

No, 'twas you my friend who committed a boner.

as far as the ideologues of the left are concerned--one has sided with the powerful, with the good,

Hmm, so your ideological perspective equates the good with the powerful, and considers being critical of the powerful to be a contemptible thing.

... it would have been much better to exalt the Celts (a barbarous tribe ...

Here you go again with your rationalization of imperialism as a beautiful force for "civilization". Sure, imperialists and conquistadors sometimes act as a force for civilization, but at what cost? For instance, Spanish conquistadors put an end to the Aztec practice of sacrificing war captives, but brought violence, repression, slavery, and disease that killed considerably more natives than the savagery of the Aztec Empire. And, btw, this was of course in truth driven by greed for gold not by an enlightened sense of having a mission to civilize the "savage" peoples of the world. Nope, imperialism is not something that can be morally justified in your simplistic "Let's-turn-a-blind-eye-to-its-evils-and-praise-it-as-a-force-for-civilization" fashion.

They go further, these leftist dogs,

Hmm, seems that pointing out the stupidity of claiming that the victims of Roman imperialism received representation in the Senate has really irked you.

they claim that since one does not share their idealistic and overtly simplistic and stupid interpretations of history, one should not be taken seriously.

Nope. Again, I merely assert that your belief that the Roman Empire's subjects received representation in the Senate is beyond simplistic, is quite obviously stupid, and prevents one from taking your perspective seriously anymore.

But who is the joke on here?

Well, given the laughable nature of your view of the Roman Senate I'd certainly cast my vote for you dear fellow.
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.
Wocambs
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11/4/2014 7:11:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/3/2014 7:08:45 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:
It is ludicrous to even suggest that because the Roman Empire was not an anarcho-syndicalist workers' cooperative--of the kind that Charleslb and the other comrades desire to see implemented worldwide--it must therefore be condemned as an intrinsically tyrannical and evil organization, no better than all the barbaric tribes of the ancient world

It must be condemned, certainly, for if there was no aspect of it that could be condemned then it would have to be perfection. We do not condemn all societies as 'equally immoral', but we do not apologise, as you do, for the injustice of one society by pointing to the injustice of another.

monolithic elite

Your 'monolith' criticism is absurd. According to what you propose, no one can ever be held guilty of anything. No organisation can be condemned, because its actions are just the actions of individuals responsible to varying degrees, and furthermore I can't be condemned for my previous actions because I am not now identical to what I was previously.

This is what happens when one judges the Ancient World with the standards of the modern world.

No, this is what happens when you refuse to be a hypocrite and judge everyone by the same standards.

the greatest of all possible crimes--as far as the ideologues of the left are concerned--one has sided with the powerful, with the good, consequently one must be punished for it, and in the most personal terms, too! No, it would have been much better to exalt the Celts (a barbarous tribe among whom the very concept of law was unknown) or any other such barbaric people that was oppressed by Rome.

You are simply upset that we deign to criticise the imperial powers you perpetually brown-nose instead of criticising the Celtic tribes who no one actually defends. This is a typical right-wing response - 'Why do you criticise the US when there are far worse places out there?'. The answer is that no one here advocates that we adopt the practices of the Taliban, whereas the structure of the US has mainstream support. If we sat around applauding ourselves for having created a society more just than some other brutal society, then we lose any hope of actually improving. It is not productive for us to write articles on how Hitler was an evil man because when we criticise things, we are trying to cause change. Criticising Hitler, or Celtic tribes, does not appear to be an exercise with much value with regards to changing the society that we actually live in.

these leftist dogs, they claim that since one does not share their idealistic and overtly simplistic and stupid interpretations of history

Ironic, since you swallow wholeheartedly what mainstream journalists and mainstream politicians tell you about history.

Who--apart from Orthodox Leftists--really thinks that all rich people are "evil" and have nothing but nefarious plans for society; as if there are no, and have never been any, liberals among the rich. Only dogmatic leftists are capable of spouting this kind of nonsense, and with soap-opera organ music at that!

You appear to be suffering from crazy old right-wing internet syndrome, which causes you develop an increasingly paranoid and dogmatic view of the world, and illustrate it with bizarre and theatrical flourishes.

Rich people are 'evil' because you can only possibly be rich when others are by comparison poor. The interests of the rich therefore ultimately lie in increasing inequality, i.e. making everyone else poorer and themselves at the same time richer. Philanthropy merely illustrates the obscenity of their wealth, that they can give away millions and still suffer absolutely no detriment to their way of life.

This is all to be expected, of course, seeing how the radical left has nothing positive to contribute to any discussion and all of its attempts at an analysis of modern society are flawed to the very core.

You must be the most right-wing social democrat of all time.
charleslb
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11/4/2014 3:18:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/4/2014 7:11:24 AM, Wocambs wrote:

You must be the most right-wing social democrat of all time.

He actually sounds like more of a neocon (he's even an avowed ex-Trotskyite like Irving Kristol, James Burnham, and Suzanne Lafollette).
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.
Wocambs
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11/4/2014 3:25:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/4/2014 3:18:13 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/4/2014 7:11:24 AM, Wocambs wrote:

You must be the most right-wing social democrat of all time.

He actually sounds like more of a neocon (he's even an avowed ex-Trotskyite like Irving Kristol, James Burnham, and Suzanne Lafollette).

Yes, but if he wishes to use that to establish some kind of street cred, then I presume we could both respond that we used to believe the mainstream agenda, our rejection of it also surely more thoughtful than some clich"d narrative about how everyone hopes for reform until they grow up.
charleslb
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11/4/2014 3:27:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/4/2014 3:25:27 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 11/4/2014 3:18:13 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/4/2014 7:11:24 AM, Wocambs wrote:

You must be the most right-wing social democrat of all time.

He actually sounds like more of a neocon (he's even an avowed ex-Trotskyite like Irving Kristol, James Burnham, and Suzanne Lafollette).

Yes, but if he wishes to use that to establish some kind of street cred, then I presume we could both respond that we used to believe the mainstream agenda, our rejection of it also surely more thoughtful than some clich"d narrative about how everyone hopes for reform until they grow up.

Good point.
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.
HououinKyouma
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11/4/2014 6:29:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/4/2014 1:47:27 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/3/2014 7:08:45 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

This is the sort of nonsense that passes itself off as leftist critical analysis.

Not at all, you made the absurd statement that subjects of the Roman Empire were not the victims of taxation without representation because they were represented by the Senate, which was actually in large measure an old boys club of patricians... that one sought to join for the prestige, all real power having been arrogated by the scumbags called Caesar... That is, the Roman Senate was not a representative body and didn't function to provide the common man with representation in the Roman political system. You seem to be erroneously thinking of it in terms of modern parliamentary institutions and their official if sham function of representing an electorate...

As anyone can clearly see it is you are engaging in projection. You criticized the Roman Empire on the basis that the Senate did not represent the population in the same manner that a modern parliament does, and then you made the absurd claim that the Emperors and the Senators of Ancient Rome were in cahoots--which is ahistorical. I only pointed out that the Roman Empire was better than the other nations at the time, a fairly innocuous comment, and--last time I checked--far from being a matter of historical controversy.

You don't like the politics of a bona fide and world-renowned genius of the caliber of Professor Chomsky and so you deny his genius and call him an imbecile, how unmagnanimous, how small of you.

It is not my political differences with the dear professor that lead me to call him an imbecile, it is his simplistic and biased analysis of history.

It is ludicrous to even suggest that because the Roman Empire was not an anarcho-syndicalist workers' cooperative--of the kind that Charleslb and the other comrades desire to see implemented worldwide

You're merely attempting to straw-man or reduce to absurdity my criticism of your statement. In fact I did not say (in my responses regarding your statement about Roman taxpayers having a measure of representation in the Senate) that imperial Rome should be condemned because it wasn't based on my personal vision of an ideal society, I merely pointed out that your statement that Roman subjects enjoyed taxation with representation in the Senate was rather absurdly boneheaded.

And I pointed out that you were being historically absurd.

... Never mind that in Rome there was a proper justice system (though far from perfect),

"Far from perfect" is a rather gross and insensitive understatement.

Who cares? It was better than anything else at the time, which is the point I was trying to make.

that those who were poor could rise up in life, through the army or through business, and that the standards of life of the people who lived in the Roman Empire and were Roman citizens were far higher than those of everyone else in the Ancient World, ...

You're simply applying the same defense that you use for the modern American and global capitalist systems to ancient Rome! And you don't even seem to realize how this reveals and drives home their lack of groundedness in realism...

There is nothing in this that deserves a reply, seeing how it is composed only of accusations and not of refutations, you clearly missed my point.

Your reasoning is getting weaker and weaker. And drifting farther away from your statement that the Roman Empire's subjects enjoyed taxation with representation in the Senate. Yes, you can't defend such an absurd, abjectly pro-elite & and pro-imperialist statement so you take off on a derisive rant against my socialist political perspective.

You seem to be under the impression that I praised the Roman Empire as being perfect, while I only said that it was better than anything else at the time, a critical distinction which you're unable to make.

It's their relationship with the taxpaying subjects of the empire that's at issue, and no, they were most certainly not representatives of the victims of Roman imperialism.

Oh yes, the horror of living in cities which had roads, and bath houses, and where people didn't live in huts! How evil! Between Rome and Germania I would choose Rome.

Well, if folks of your political ilk and on the right feel the ideological imperative to rationalize and excuse the political structures and imperialism of the Roman Empire this indeed says quite a lot.

I fail to see the point of this response, apart from accusing me of being a right-winger, quite wrongly at that.

In the age of Augustus the Empire contained 45 million inhabitants and only 4 million citizens.

And by the time of Caracalla all free men were citizens, so what's your point?


Oy vey! Look whose talking. All you've been doing is applying your stock defenses of the modern American empire to the ancient Roman Empire. Yes, clearly some proponents of American imperialism do in fact identify with ancient Roman imperialism.

1) I don't think there is such a thing as American Imperialism. 2) I only said (see above) that life in the Empire was better than outside the Empire--nothing controversial to any historian.

Nope, here are my comments and what you dumbly dared to say in reply.

My comments: "How about judging the Roman Empire by the standards of, seeing it from the point of view of its victims...

Your reply: "They were represented in the Roman Senate, ..."

That was only part of my reply--which happens to be a historical fact, by the way--I went on to say that conscription was not unique to the RE, and I would add that it was used as a way to end unemployment and a pathway to citizenship, which is why so many patricians opposed conscription. Again, nothing that is historically controversial.

as far as the ideologues of the left are concerned--one has sided with the powerful, with the good,

Hmm, so your ideological perspective equates the good with the powerful, and considers being critical of the powerful to be a contemptible thing.

No, but I would say that sometimes the powerful are the good--such as with the Romans, who were better than the barbarians. I have no ideological perspective.

Here you go again with your rationalization of imperialism as a beautiful force for "civilization"...

Well, it was the only way that the Ancient World was going to be civilized, and usually the cost wasn't very high, and it is not a rationalization--it is historical fact. The rest of the post was irrelevant, mere demagoguery.

Hmm, seems that pointing out the stupidity of claiming that the victims of Roman imperialism received representation in the Senate has really irked you.

No, I merely decided to reply in kind to your insults. Also, you keep bringing up the subject of the victims, but the fact is that the tribes that were defeated by the Roman Empire fared better than those defeated by other nations.

Nope. Again, I merely assert that your belief that the Roman Empire's subjects received representation in the Senate is beyond simplistic, is quite obviously stupid, and prevents one from taking your perspective seriously anymore.

No it is not. Saying that because citizens did not enjoy the representation that citizens in the modern world have it means that the Empire was "oppressive" is simplistic, and stupid--it means that one is unable to see the progress that the RE represented in history; but with that one cannot be taken seriously in any argument about history.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
HououinKyouma
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11/4/2014 7:10:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/4/2014 3:18:13 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/4/2014 7:11:24 AM, Wocambs wrote:

You must be the most right-wing social democrat of all time.

He actually sounds like more of a neocon (he's even an avowed ex-Trotskyite like Irving Kristol, James Burnham, and Suzanne Lafollette).

You make it sound like they were criminals, Charles. Well, there is worse company out there.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
charleslb
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11/4/2014 11:41:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/4/2014 6:29:24 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

1) I don't think there is such a thing as American Imperialism.

Lol!

2) I only said (see above) that life in the Empire was better than outside the Empire--nothing controversial to any historian.

No, you explicitly said that subjects of the Roman Empire enjoyed taxation with representation in the Senate, which was a quite historically-illiterate, lame, and imbecilic claim to make, motivated by an unfortunate need to defend imperialism.
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.