- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The association between God and capitalism, however, won't wash.

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on December 29, 1999 at 10:31:43:

In Reply to: The Tyranny of One. posted by Stuart Gort on December 27, 1999 at 13:39:06:

As one of the villains that the all-knowing Gort points to, I believe I must respond.

: I've been attending McSpot for several years during which my main emphasis has been, hopefully, to show how man's willful disobedience to God will be the end of any man centered religion or economic system.

The association between God and capitalism, however, won't wash. It may have escaped your notice, but none of the major world rreligions was started in a capitalistic society, including your own Christianity. History is replete with religiously motivated communist or socialist societies. Massachusetts Puritans? The early Christians? The Sangha? Tanzania? Zambia? Nicaragua? U Nu? Gandhi? Not to mention the tradition of social justice and charity that is a basic part of Christianity, especially Catholicism. Remember, finally, what Graham Greene, seminal writer of teh Catholic LEft, had to say on this matter.

"In Soviet Russia, they merely destroy the body of the [Catholic] Church. In America, they destroy its soul."

:Frequently during the course of this effort, I've noticed individuals who point only to the failures of capitalism but won't recognize the same human failings as responsible for the past, present, and future failings of socialism. A case in point is when others and I have bought up the "Black Book on Communism" which chronicles the murderous, tyrannical methodology of imperialistic communism. We can leave the book, its idealism, and its veracity aside for the purposes of this argument.

Good point, Stu. But I'm not willing to do so. Its idealism is that it promotes a vicious capitalist system in which teh strong prey off the weak. Its veracity is that it counts socialist famines but not capitalist-induced ones (of which I have examples up the wazoo) that it relates unturustworhty sources, and that it ludicrously refuses to count teh victims that every cappitalist state has piled up on its record.

:I am only interested in discussing the rather monolithic response I get when I bring it up at all.

: Of the pro-collectivist regulars who also attend this board, I believe Samuel Day Fassbinder, Barry Stoller, Nikhil Jakiumar, and Red Deathy have all espoused the following sentiment in one form or another in response to accusations of the depravity exercised within Soviet or Chicom systems. That response goes something like this;

I believe, first of all, that I've excised any connection to teh Chinese. Ask Barry SToller how many time I've slipped in, unasked, critical comments of teh MAoists. As for Soviet Russia, in the post-Stalin period she did much evil but also much good. For example, teh SOviets were often in teh forefront of encouraging independense and liberation for teh captive nations of the Third Wporld. Let's try to be marginally objective here and see teh good as well as teh evil of any system, be it socialist, capitalist, whatever.

: "The Soviets and Chicoms never implemented pure Marxist/communist principles so we cannot judge the depravity of the USSR or China to be indicative or representative of Marxist ideology."

: This response always reveals to me the ego and character of the person propounding this point. While my point here will undoubtedly be construed as an ad hominem attack upon the character of those mentioned, I feel it is quite appropriate for a man to examine himself to see and eventually acknowledge bias in his viewpoints.

I've acknowledged myself, STuart. Do you knwo what? As a member of teh privileged class, I would be probably a million times better off if I sat back and defended teh establishment that I live under. However, what would be better for me is not really the issue. If I was satifsfied with this system, simply because it has given ME advantages, then I would be no better than an immoral swine. So I hope THAT tells you enough about my 'motivations'. Motivations indeed. I thought they said teh Marxists and teh Freudians were bad for seeking motivations underneath people's statements; but what you've said, would just take teh cake if it weren't so ludicrous.

: To suggest, "pure Marxist/communist ideology has never been tried" is to posit one of the most convenient arguments available on behalf of this economic theory. Obviously, if the world offers no examples of the pure application of Marxist principles, the world offers no example of pure Marxist failures either.

: To that I answer; A dishonest intellectual is the essence of uselessness.

: Intellectuals can only serve a valuable purpose in this world when their ideas translate into practical solutions for problems or provide a furtherance of a paradigm or a shift of a paradigm toward that goal. The work product of a dishonest intellectual is therefore, nothing. If the world offers no example of the implementation of pure Marxist ideology, esoteric and evasive "pure" Marxism exists only somewhere deep within the bowels of the intellectual community. It is, therefore, relegated to a far less practical function of brain fodder for sporting intellects. Regardless of the utility Marxism serves in that context, one's perception of Marxism should never be presented as ubiquitous or axiomatic reasoning. The definition of "pure" as it relates to Marxism must be established and agreed to before any implementation of it will ever take place on a wide scale.

WRong, Stuart. There are flaws with almsot every oen of your statements. First of all, we needn't have an example of pure X being observed before we can decide that X will probably be a good idea. We have never obserevd evolution either, but indirect evidence tells us taht it ahppened. We have never witnessed the Big Bang, but evidence suggests that it happened. Ebverything in mathematics is an abstraction, yet we can reason confidently. If every philosophy needed to have been tried out before a soceity decdied to build on it, tehn those first experiments could never have been tried in the first place. What is probably more accurate is to say that while pure Marxism has never been tried, pure communsim has been tried in a number of societies, notably a number of technologically 'primitive' African societies, These societies were doing fairly well as far as leisure time, nutritional adequacy, and overall ahppiness, at elast until theyw ere forcibly dispossessed from their territroies by capitalistic settlers. Also, different principles of Marxism have been applied at different times and places. Social democracy, for example, represents the grafting of Marx's Ten Points (partially) onto a hitehrto capitalist society. The state capitalism in a number of third world countries represents another partial Marxist application. So whiel tehre never has been a pure Marxist society, there have been partial Marxist ones. The Soviets and teh Chinese represnted one attempt to use poarts of Marxism and throw out the rest. Nicaragua represented anotehr, different one. I tend to see Nicaragua as a better example, if only because political democracy is an essential part of Marxism, and political dmeocracy was never achieved- not erally in the USSR, not at all in China.

To say that "Some Marxist experiments [China and the USSR] failed, tehrefore teh whole Marxist edifice is flawed" is like saying "Well, some of our space satellites didn't erach their destination, teherfore Newtonian gravity is flawed." Marxism is a theory,a device for udnerstanding teh world and predicting the future course of history. To quote the former East GErman spymaster, "We failed not ebcause we were too socialist in tehory, but because we were not socialist enough in practice." This statement can be demonstrated. Every socialist experiment which failed, failed either because it lacked political democracy (thus ensuring that the economy would NEVER be REALLY under 'ommon and democratic ownership') or because there was too much corruption. These represent betrayals of teh socialist, aMArxist and Communist ideals, not their fulfilment. Whenever communsit or socialist democracy were applied effectively, they created a much better society than anything teh capitalist side had to offer. Look at Nicaragua before the days of US terrorism, or at Kerala for examples of what I mean. Maoist China applied soem prinscipels of economic Marxism, grafting them onto a totally un-Marxist, dicattorial society. Tehir subsequent failings were due to a political flaw, teh lack of democracy. But they never had political socialism in the first place! So how can you possibly claim that their failings were due to Marxism?

If, as you say, Marxism has such fundamental flaws, then how do you explain teh fact that not every socialist or communist state became tyrannical or ineffective? How do you explain the presence of Nicaragua, Burkina Faso, Chile, West BEngal, and Kerala?

: If there is no example of "pure" Marxism being applied, there is no proof of theory either. If there is only unproved theory at one's disposal there is no basis for yet another Marxist revolution. In order for a majority to gain control, establish authority and exercise its power through free elections, that small nagging issue called "proof of theory" must be overcome.

No. Even if there is no pure example of the theory being applied, there is enough aportial evidence to give Marxists victories in many free elections, beginning with teh election of teh Kerala Communists in '57.

:That is, unless an oppressive minority finds a more practical solution to capitalist injustices that exist in the perception and meandering of their malcontent minds. There is a shortage of patience in this world and a thing so dreadfully unstable as an economic revolution could seem justified to the impatient radical.

: The average intellect, however, will need things explained far more clearly than this attendant group of intellectuals has ever managed before their minds, backs, and blood can be motivated into service. This, of course, accuses those that attend this board and the general type that has absorbed and embraced Marxist ideology of not having any spine or blood to offer a revolution. I believe you would prefer rather to conscript those less cranially endowed members of the population through emotional, economic, or educational manipulation - or simply put; brainwashing. That, of course, is elitism and tyranny and is the specter I fear most.

Screw you, Stuart. I would fight for feredom and equality. Don't criticize me just because you wouldn't. Anyway, pace Barry SToller, a revolution acn be peaceful. Look at India.

: So sports fans;

: If you guys all argue with each other about the defining characteristic of "pure", where is your intellectual honesty when you posit "pure Marxism" as a solution to the pitfalls of capitalism or when you defend "pure Marxism" as not manifested in USSR and Chinese imperialism? I've witnessed every one of you viciously arguing with each other over the basic and peripheral tenets of Marxism. There obviously is no consensus of opinion on the theory. Therefore, isn't each one of you that suggests there has been no pure application of Marxist theory really suggesting that there has been no application of your own interpretation of this theory and therefore, your own theory?

No. While pure Marxism hasbn't been applied, both democracies like Nicaragua and political tyrannies like China offer examples of socialism and partial communsim. The tyrannies, like China, also had a lot of repression, which i don't like. Therefore, my solution is to combine political democracy with the proven principles of economic socialism. Both of tehse are proven to work. It's as simple as that. This combiantion of socialism with democrcay, explains why, say, Nicaragua was a success.

: Every one of you that finds encouragement in the hope of revolution is shamefully putting himself and his particular ideology ahead of the common man he ostensibly serves. That is both disobedient to God and self-centered by human standards.

: Stuart Gort

Stuart, with all the suffering that exists in teis wporld today, if I didn't believe ina revolution taht woudl bring freedom and equality to everyone, that would grant teh suffering peopel of teh world the dignity and human rights taht is tehir birthright, then I woudl be a selfish pig. I believe taht helping otehrs is an imperative, not a choice. If I were merely inetersted in myself, I woudl support capitalsim, because teh system has been good to me. But acting in your won selkf-interest does not serve God nor teh cause of what is right. This is so clear to me that I simply can't see how you could try to persuade me otherwise.

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