- Capitalism and Alternatives -

A crucible of contention ... but I have the remedy.

Posted by: Dr. Cruel on November 22, 1999 at 15:35:32:

In Reply to: Is Doc 'Mister Peace'? posted by Stoller on November 19, 1999 at 10:27:29:

Before I take my place "underground", a few bits for the folks:

..."defending a 'Reaganesque foreign policy'", that is, one solidly and aggressively against communism. Most certainly. See "Thatcher".

...slavery benefited 'some' blacks'... Most certainly. In the black community, such individuals are known as 'house negroes'. Thus, the derogative connotation behind the metaphor of the "oreo". At a reunion of Gettysburg descendants, several blacks showed up on the Confederate side. The holders of the event were quite taken aback, but the fact remains that there were blacks who did profit from the system of slavery, and were willing to fight to preserve it.

Which is hardly a defense of slavery. It means that people, regardless of the color of their skin, are quite capable of being self-centered, crass, stupid, or what have you. One might even expect minorities to stoop to becoming racist themselves, if Farrakhan is any indication. Or communists, for that matter.

... asserting that the Nazi Regime was actually "popular with average German workers" (DC: who, and this is why the Marxists came up with the term 'lumpen proletariat') ... (why then the ubiquitous goon squads?) Answer: Because that is what the workers would become, once organized in large groups - and, of course, invigorated with the customary violent rhetoric of 'revolution' and 'seizing of the means of production' and whatnot.

(N)ow has the audacity to paint Trotsky as a war lord. (DC: He was the 'warlord' of the Bolsheviks, in the early days. He was fairly good at it, too - so long as he was pitted against White Royalist twits. The Poles were another matter entirely; his humiliation at their hands led to his downfall, not the machinations of Stalin.

The quote was meant as Trotsky intended: to warn the complacent that history will play itself out, with or without the influence of active participants. Participate you will, active or not. It's your own leaps to conclusions that bring all the rest of this spuriosness in.)

: Excuse me? (DC: I think not.)

: Who exactly started World War 1, Doc? Was it the Bolsheviks---or was it the capitalists? (DC: The monarchists. The idea was that no one could appear weak - that would be to admit that one's "race" was inferior. In the 19th century, that sort of admission led to pretty abhorrent results. Thus, the importance of breeding, and those who depended on their claim to power from it - the monarchs, the well-heeled noble families, etc.

The Marxists were the one that brought the "bourgeois conspiracy" theory into it, i.e. that the whole war was staged to create a means by which war-profiteers could become ridiculously wealthy. All the Nazis needed to do was switch "Jew" for "bourgeois" and the rest was history ...)

: If the capitalist Tsar regime had QUIT the war in the first place, the Bolsheviks---campaigning on th promise to end the war at any cost as quickly as possible---would never have had their shot at power. (DC: The Tsarist regime - which hardly could be called 'capitalist' - couldn't QUIT. Neither could the Mensheviks. Even Lenin tried to keep things going, until it became obvious that the soldiers would kill the members of whatever government intended to keep the Russians at war. Lenin, as always, was loath to keep a promise when he might stand to gain from breaking it; only the obstinance of the people forced his hand. Thus the silly "one step back, two steps forward" rhetoric. So also the NEP, and the {temporary} distribution of land amongst the peasants.)

: Doc's sudden conversion to peacenik rhetoric is most disingenuous. (DC: I haven't any idea where this is coming from. Perhaps this is referring to the Trotsky quote again. In any case, I'm certainly not "pro-war". Are you?

Oh, I forgot. "The revolution must be violent." Silly me.)

: : Incidentally, the tourist and gambling industries depend on the $100 candy bar rule.

: Now, anyone with half a brain will admit that the LTV does NOT fully apply in the case of monopoly.

DC: Actually, one would expect you to claim that any discrepancies in monopoly pricing were due to the exploitative nature of such an arrangement. One would think, anyway.

: : Being able to buy a $100 candy bar (and the increases in pay and worker output that these sorts of consumer demands generate) is the key to the unmitigated success of capitalism.

: Is this supposed to infer that employees of monopolies SHARE in the spoils of monopoly?

DC: It is supposed to effectively state that I would prefer to purchase my candy bars myself, and not have some self-appointed expert tell me what I will buy, and how much I WILL pay for it. SO long as I can walk away from a sale, I'm happy.

Where you'd stand on stronger ground is in the case of a total food monopoly, i.e. where you really can't be expected to 'walk away' from a sale. Anything with 'mandatory' in it also applies - Mandatory health insurance, for example. This is what I would call "non-violent coercion", a critical problem in a free-market society, and something Marx could sometimes talk coherently about.

: Like, the waiters and hat check girls at EXCLUSIVE country clubs really rake in the dough...

DC: That, of course, depends on the economy. In the Victorian era, they often did get quite a bit more than they were "worth", mainly through the unspoken understanding of what might happen to one's food or one's hat if they didn't. But that's besides the point.

: Please---crawl back under your rock, Doc.

Again trying to bury unpleasant data under a rock. Oh, very well, here I go.

But remember - we don't stay buried forever. One would think the old Soviet disaster might be testament enough of that.

Dr. "More Weight" Cruel

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup