- Capitalism and Alternatives -

As usual, you haven't looked under the surface.

Posted by: Nikhil JAikumar ( Fellow-Travelers, Massachusetts ) on December 30, 1999 at 15:26:10:

In Reply to: In that case perhaps I can give Nickel Jack a washing. posted by Frenchy on December 30, 1999 at 11:20:00:

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Strangely enough the soul of the Catholic Church was destroyed as a result of Vatican II, in the 60's. By ecclesiastical Liberals, I might add.

All right by me if you want to reject the Pope, John XXIII....he was the originator of the whole liberation theology idea, you know.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Like Bill, my buddy used to say, 'your as full of crap as a Christmas turkey'.

and your basis for saying that would be....none, as usual.

: In a Capitalist system, like here in the states, not your goofy example of El Salvador or some other oligarchy, my property is protected by the same laws that protect Bill Gates' property. He, or any one else cannot take what belongs to me. What's mine is mine and what's your's is your's. So where do you come off with this idiocy of the strong preying on the weak?

Look around, Frenchy. It's so obvious it's impossible not to see. Look at all the people evicted from their homes 'cause it was more profitable to raise the rent. It's an exampel of putting profits fisrst, teh most fundamental aspect of capitalism. So is closing down a factory so you can move it to where jobs are cheaper. So is producing cocoa instead of rice and watching people starve so that you can make more money. So is having one computer programmer make thousands of tiems more than a grape picker in California- and don't tell me that the grape picker doesn't work just as hard. In this country education, health care, food, housing, justice, everything is dependent on your ability to pauy. Ifd that's not teh most corrupt degradatoion of humanity I can imagine, I don't know what is.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Remember the Christmas turkey?
: The problem with using those examples is that you don't give the rulers of those countries the dignity of being able to rule. In other words, their own ineffectual policies may have led to famines, even though they may have traded w/ the US, with France, w/ Isreal and even w/ the Soviet Union, RIP.

What the hell are you d]talking about? I can't even tell. I'm refering to places liek MAlawi, hailed as a free-market success because it exported food; at teh same time, much of its population was starrving because, as always, tehy couldn't afford food. Famines don't happen because there isn't enough fpoood; they happen becuase people cabn't afford it. How about the British induced famiens in Bengal? That was caused directly because it wasn't profitable to give away food to those who needed it. How about the starvation in Latin America today? Good God, how about the hunger that plagues something like a fifth of American kids? IS that teh result of 'socialist mismanagement'? Give me a break.

: : that it relates unturustworhty sources, and that it ludicrously refuses to count teh victims that every cappitalist state has piled up on its record.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Ludicrous? In whose eyes? Untrustworthy? LOL~

Well, isn't it stupid to igmnore the victims of capitalist regimes? Indonesiua and El Salvador are CERTAINLY capitalist, more than teh US, because teh US has the saving grace of a welfare system and political democracy, both of which attenuate the power of capital.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Marginal objectiveity is not your suit.
: When you say captive nation, what are you talking about? How does that work?

It's called COLONIALISM, remember?

:How do you keep an entire nation captive? Isn't that another example of your refusal to give the leaders of other countries the benefit of being able to rule their own country? Other countries are 'captive' to this major power, or that major power, only as long as that relationship is of benefit to the 'captive' nation.

Nonsense. Was the British rule in India beneficial to India? How about BElgian rule over teh Congo, in which half the total population was killed? How about German rule in NAmibia, which killed 40% of the population? Guns and swords are what maintain nations in capitivity.

:Would you say that Cuba is a captive nation of the Soviet Union (well, it's a dated example, but you get my drift)?

No, of course not. Would you say that the Philippines are a cpative nation of teh US? Stromngly influenced, perhapos, but not captive.

: : : "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.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$I'm extremely gratified that you at least recognize that you are priviliged. If this economic and political system is capable of granting benefits to you what makes you so sure that it can't do the same for everyone?

Because I look around and SEE that it DOESN't. I can SEE that privilege fro some can only rest on teh back of SUFFERING for lothers. As long as some do better than the average., others must do worse. Think about it. And then please read BArry SToller's posts for a change.

:Did you have to work for those benefits, or were they just handed to you? Have you seen examples of people who work less then you, who don't put forth as much effort as you do, gain similar benefits (as a rule, I'm not talking about the bosses son).

Why? The bosses' sone is exactly the issue here. You just sweep under teh table everything you don't liek. El Salvador. Inherited privilege. Why?

:Wheather or not you'd be better off or not by defending this system is irrelevant, what counts is what you do, how much your services benefit your fellow man.

Sorry, but those who help free the poor and grant them their share of the goods of society, through sovcialism, do far more for tehir fellow man than people like GEneral Motors who thrive off poverty, inequality, and even murder. (Remember the case of the exploding gas tanks? I consider that murder.)

: : 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.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Ludicrous? Like Cuba being an example of a successful Communist state?

Cuba IS successful in soem regards. How else do you expalin that it has ;lower infant mortality and higher literacy, and longer life expectancy than the US? How do you explain that its nutrition levels
: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$If societal prediction is what Marxism stands or falls on, then we are forced to conclude it is a failure, a dismal failure. It should've predicted it's own downfall and missed. Instead it predicted the downfall of Capitalism.
: Something keeps going through my mind, something about the 'dustbin of history'.

That's ridiculous. It wasn't Marxism that collapsed, it was a series of LEninist-Stalinist regimes. MArxism as a n ideology continbues to sway literaklly mnillions of peoiple.

: Wonder if you could help me out....

: 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?j

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$That's your proof! Chinese Communism failed, but Nicauraguan Communism succeeded?
: I've recommended a source to you to read so that you could disabuse your self of magical thinking in regards to the jpolitical 'success' of Nicaragua. Power has always been held by decendants of the Spanish, mostly whites. The only thing that changes in Nicaragua is that sometimes one family holds greater power than a rival family (or groups of families). The vast majority of Nicarauguans, the mestisos, the aboriginies, have seen no changes in their living conditions or access to power and probably never will, unless they do as the folks in Chiapas are doing. La Familia is what counts in Nicaragua, not this ideology or that ideology. The rulers of Nicaragua change ideologies like I change my shirts in order to ensure that their families maintain power.

YEs, and America doesn't have a far worse oligrachical system? Do you know how concentrated wealth in America is?

: : 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?

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Nicaragua, again, is an oligarchy controlled by a small percentage of families of Spanish ancestry.

PErhaps to an extemnt, but to a lesser extent than nearly any other Latin Americamn state besides Cuba.

: Burkina Faso; Government; Republic. Literacy rate-19% life expectancy, M-45, F-48 Religion; Muslim,50% Animist,40% Per Capita 700$/year Ethnic groups; Mossi 24%, Fulani, Lobi, Malinke, Bobo, Senufo, Gurunsi, others.
: Does this sound like success to you?
: Trading partners; France, Switzerland. (Capitalist implications? Careless analysis?)
: People; The agricultural Mossi, descendants of warrior migrants, are Burkina Faso's majority population (Warrior migrants? hmmm, wanna talk about displacing peoples?)
: Economy and the Land; Burkina Faso's agricultural economy suffers from frequent droughts and an underdeveloped transportation system. Most people engage in subsistence farming or livestock raising, and industrialization is minimal....The country remains dependant on foreign aid, much of it from France (!). Etc, etc.
: That's your example of success? Do you do drugs?

As usual, you haven't looked under the surface. 60% of kids vacinnated in two weeks in 1985? Yes, I do consider taht a success. A 33% rise in education levels over a few years? LAnd redisytribution? Abolition of rent? railroads built with volunteer labor? Elimination fo several major diseases? YEs, thsoe are successes. Or maybe you think tehy're failures?

: : : 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.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$And, undoubtedly, when we stumble across the truth, we'll discover that the 'sucess' of Kerala amounts to little more than rural Dumpster diving.

You actually express reservations about teh veracity fo MY Sources? Come off it. You defedn Ronald REagan, who lied consistently mroe tahn any otehr man I ever heard of. Do you actually expect people to beleive anything he said?

: : :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.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$"I would fight for freedom and equality" Oh? "Would"? That's another statement in the subjunctive, like Marxist theory in general. Ever visit your local recruiter? Ever think of actually walking your talk? You could go in as an officer, sacrifice four years of your still young life, and actually serve your country, the one that's given you all those wonderful priveliges, you know.

YEs, except for teh fact taht the US Army seems to suppress freedom and dignity as often as it promotes it. REmember Vietnam? Santo DOmingo? Remember Grenada? If you're interested in fighting for a good cause, teh US army isn't your best army. REmember how we killed three million BVIetnamese? Killing civilians and babies isn't my cup of tea.

: You know, as much as I detest Marxism and Communism in all of it's guises, I do honor their soldiers. I really do. I honor all soldiers who fought and died for their countries.
: Ya know why?
: Because they did it, they didn't mouth platitudes.
: They walked their talk.
: They may have been wrong in the extreme, but they at least put their money where their mouth was.

: : : 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.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Tell that to the 95% of indians who barely get by. Would you yourself live that sort of life? Why then is it good enough for them?

Communsim, and socialism, are teh only tools rtthat can help teh poor on a large sacale. Why do you think taht teh 95% you regfered to vote consistently for socialist and communsit parties?

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup