But my point was that the 'trend' of material abundance---regardless of political systems---improves within each production epoch. The U.S.S.R. of the mid-1980s was a MUCH more progressive culture than it was in, say, 1936; I posit that given the SAME period of develop that America has enjoyed, it would have SURPASSED the level of abundance and, in its trail, freedom.
Stoller: In short: the higher the level of production the higher the level of political (and cultural) freedom.*
: Alright Barry, for arguments sake, I am going to cite ancient (democratic) Athens as an example of an underdeveloped free nation.
As Chuck pointed out, that is a ridiculous claim.
: Now, to invoke the name and wisdom of capital's dominatrix, Ayn Rand, she wrote a nice little article on what she called the "Monument Builders," those people -- monarchs, pharohs, despots, and emperors -- who's reign constructed massive monuments to their greatness and the prestige of the nation. She likens those great monuments to mausoleums and claims they are not monuments to greatness but to disparity, because they were built by slaves. She claims the great monuments are those like the sky scrapers of New York that were built by individuals for their own glory.
You'd do better finding a smarter procapitalist to quote. New York skyscrapers were NOT built by 'individuals,' they were only designed and financed by individuals. Workers did the building. And workers did the building because workers, possessing NOTHING but their own labor-power, must sell labor-power piecemeal to the capitalists (who then own the labor-power of millions) because the capitalists 'just happen' to own EVERYTHING ELSE. The primary difference between a slave and a wage-slave is that the slave is fed and sheltered by his master while the wage-slave must do that himself.
: I think another item to point out is that the U.S. government did not enslave people, it was the plantation owners that enslaved them.
That's saying plantation owners were not beholden to U.S. law.
: [T]he U.S.S.R. had the advantage of being established AFTER the industrial revolution...
That's most inaccurate. Russia in 1917 was only partially industrialized. 80% of its population lived on peasant farms. Consider how many Americans presently are required to do the agricultural work of the nation (around 7%).
: Damn Barry, you are SO right! Those quacks, what fools they are for choosing to defend a system that has the greatest amount of individual rights and freedoms and offers its populace the highest standard of living ever seen. Where even the poorest of the poor are in luxurious conditions compared to those poor bastards in Burkina Faso where 80% (10 million) engage in subsistence farming and there is a 77% illiteracy rate.
The above demonstrates that you failed to grasp ENTIRELY the historical perspective of my argument.
Sorry, David, you've had better days and better posts in the past.
* 'In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing the way of earning their living, they change all their social relations. The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill, society with the industrial capitalist.' Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy, International n.d., p. 92.
1. Engels, Anti-Dühring, International n.d., pp. 170 & 316.