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Noam Chomsky Has ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’

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Posted on Apr 19, 2010
AP / Hussein Malla

By Chris Hedges

Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite and the myths they perpetrate. Chomsky has done this despite being blacklisted by the commercial media, turned into a pariah by the academy and, by his own admission, being a pedantic and at times slightly boring speaker. He combines moral autonomy with rigorous scholarship, a remarkable grasp of detail and a searing intellect. He curtly dismisses our two-party system as a mirage orchestrated by the corporate state, excoriates the liberal intelligentsia for being fops and courtiers and describes the drivel of the commercial media as a form of “brainwashing.” And as our nation’s most prescient critic of unregulated capitalism, globalization and the poison of empire, he enters his 81st year warning us that we have little time left to save our anemic democracy.

“It is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”

“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”

“I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” Chomsky added. “I am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope. The CIO was organizing. No one wants to say it anymore but the Communist Party was the spearhead for labor and civil rights organizing. Even things like giving my unemployed seamstress aunt a week in the country. It was a life. There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”

“I listen to talk radio,” Chomsky said. “I don’t want to hear Rush Limbaugh. I want to hear the people calling in. They are like [suicide pilot] Joe Stack. What is happening to me? I have done all the right things. I am a God-fearing Christian. I work hard for my family. I have a gun. I believe in the values of the country and my life is collapsing.”

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Chomsky has, more than any other American intellectual, charted the downward spiral of the American political and economic system, in works such as “On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures,” “Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture,” “A New Generation Draws the Line: Kosovo, East Timor and the Standards of the West,” “Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky,” “Manufacturing Consent” and “Letters From Lexington: Reflections on Propaganda.” He reminds us that genuine intellectual inquiry is always subversive. It challenges cultural and political assumptions. It critiques structures. It is relentlessly self-critical. It implodes the self-indulgent myths and stereotypes we use to elevate ourselves and ignore our complicity in acts of violence and oppression. And it makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.

Chomsky reserves his fiercest venom for the liberal elite in the press, the universities and the political system who serve as a smoke screen for the cruelty of unchecked capitalism and imperial war. He exposes their moral and intellectual posturing as a fraud. And this is why Chomsky is hated, and perhaps feared, more among liberal elites than among the right wing he also excoriates. When Christopher Hitchens decided to become a windup doll for the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11, one of the first things he did was write a vicious article attacking Chomsky. Hitchens, unlike most of those he served, knew which intellectual in America mattered. [Editor’s note: To see some of the articles in the 2001 exchanges between Hitchens and Chomsky, click here, here, here and here.]

“I don’t bother writing about Fox News,” Chomsky said. “It is too easy. What I talk about are the liberal intellectuals, the ones who portray themselves and perceive themselves as challenging power, as courageous, as standing up for truth and justice. They are basically the guardians of the faith. They set the limits. They tell us how far we can go. They say, ‘Look how courageous I am.’ But do not go one millimeter beyond that. At least for the educated sectors, they are the most dangerous in supporting power.”


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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, April 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous: how dumb you are like most rednecks without any education, the US government is not your government, it is the government of the rich people of America (ie: the 5% of the US population).  So it is not your government, you are not so lucky.  And we will overthrow the capitalist-government wether you like it or not.  If you hate socialism, that’s ok with me, you can be on the side of the capitalists fighting against us socialists.

Oh by the way: Did i tell you that i have a personal thing against those who killed JFK, JFK Jr. Martin Luther King, and Malcom X? That anger is boiling in me, and i just want to take my anger and rage against the capitalists who killed The Kennedy Family !!

Bring them on boys, I am waiting for you redneck Tea Baggers


.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Keeping Capitolism in tact has been by far
  much more bloody than any socialist revolution,
  including the state run capitolism of the former
  soviet union

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, April 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, April 23 at 11:36 pm #

EL, what Nemesis has done to you was EXACTLY what Robert was doing to Shenonymous—using the fact that you are female as a reason to dismiss you, rather than attacking you for your posts and ideas.  He calls you “sweetheart” to belittle you, as Robert called She “lard ass” to belittle her.  I tried (ineffectually) to point that out to you.  But I wasn’t very nice about it (I got tired of being “nice” when I was attacked anyway).

=======

ITW’s ways are so transparent! A hypocrite and consistent with it. I pointed this out to him way long ago… on so many times!

He has been so generous with that “fake maple syrup” that is flowing towards ElisaLouisa lately…and maybe, just maybe, he wants EL to wave the flag of his beloved Apartheid Israel, join the camp and get on with that “ADL megaphone” on TD.

Just the usual from ITW… sneaky & deceptive !

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RenZo's avatar

By RenZo, April 23, 2010 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

I dont know where the idea comes from but giving the bankers $700 billion was not a socialist move. NOT SOCIALIST. It was fascism (the union of corporations and state). The purest model of socialism is when the state owns the means of production. But the Social Democracies of the current EU are the best examples of what “partial” socialism/social democracy can achieve. If you have never really BEEN IN Holland or Italy or Germany or France you may not realize that poverty and crime (the inevitable consequent of poverty) such as we live with here, everywhere (not just Camden) DOES NOT EXIST. You cannot find a slum and it is hard to find a neighborhood where your life really is in danger (not talking about being afraid). Those societies as whole national societies do live better lives than we do. It is not hard to see. Only the rich and/or ignorant can object to that.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Sorry for the double post.  The formatting got all wigged out.  But far as
I’m concerned, it was worth saying twice.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

“The recovery we are told is taking place is nothign more than clever
marketing and book keeping tricks.”
  The clever marketing and
bookkeeping tricks will keep it afloat until the more permanent
corrections take place.  Nothing of this magnitude happens all at once.
To criticize a program because it doesn’t immediately take plac being
excessively impatient.  So it is wondered if some intentional haste is
what the fretfulness all about?
“he US could well have broken apart were it not for the bailout
(socialist intervnetion on steroids).”
  Was anyone saying that
“communal” intervention was to be unthinkable, except conservatives,
who are not the majority?  The majority of the majority Democrats
always propose socialist interventions. 
“our country is considered too big to fail, mainly because the worlds
largest economies are inextriocably linked. If the US goes down, so
does China, Japan and much of the EU.”
  Again, the inextricability is
for that purpose, it is the ‘safety net’ concept of the network of
intertwined economies.  They bouy up each other in times of crises.
And you Tennessee-Socialist are a oommunist blowhard.  You say
yourself, “Well I admit that socialist revolutions are bloody because all
changes of one ruling class for another class are violent and
bloody.”
I have twisted nothing, you called loud and clear for
revolution.  Who the hell do you think you are?  You have no more
importance nor are your views better than mine.  They are pure and
simply different.  You are the violent one calling for a revolution.  It is
you who are the hypocrite who dares to live in a country you absolutely
hate.  How dare you try to overthrow my government?  In your
own words, April 22 at 11:47 pm “A workers’ state can be created
only through a socialist revolution that overthrows the capitalist state.
We reject the theory of “deformed workers’ states” not created by any
workers’ revolution. There can be no peaceful transformation from
capitalism to socialism: the capitalist state must be smashed through
an armed workers’ insurrection.”

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

“The recovery we are told is taking place is nothign more than clever
marketing and book keeping tricks.”
  The clever marketing and
bookkeeping tricks will keep it afloat until the more permanent
corrections take place.  Nothing of this magnitude happens all at once.
To criticize a program because it doesn’t immediately take plac being
excessively impatient.  So it is wondered if some intentional haste is
what the fretfulness all about?

“he US could well have broken apart were it not for the bailout
(socialist intervnetion on steroids).”  Was anyone saying that
“communal” intervention was to be unthinkable, except conservatives,
who are not the majority?  The majority of the majority Democrats
always propose socialist interventions. 

“our country is considered too big to fail, mainly because the worlds
largest economies are inextriocably linked. If the US goes down, so
does China, Japan and much of the EU.”
  Again, the inextricability is
for that purpose, it is the ‘safety net’ concept of the network of
intertwined economies.  They bouy up each other in times of crises.

And you Tennessee-Socialist are a communist blowhard.  You just said
yourself, “Well I admit that socialist revolutions are bloody because all
changes of one ruling class for another class are violent and
bloody.”
I have twisted nothing, you called loud and clear for
revolution.  Who the hell do you think you are?  You have no more
importance nor are your views better than mine.  They are pure and
simply different.  You are the violent one calling for a revolution.  It is
you who are the hypocrite who dares to live in a country you absolutely
hate.  How dare you try to overthrow my government?  In your
own words, April 22 at 11:47 pm “A workers’ state can be created
only through a socialist revolution that overthrows the capitalist state.
We reject the theory of “deformed workers’ states” not created by any
workers’ revolution. There can be no peaceful transformation from
capitalism to socialism: the capitalist state must be smashed through
an armed workers’ insurrection.”

Report this
Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, April 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind In which world you live? The USA is already decending into chaos already, the USA is a f*cking mess, it is a failed-state and it might even desintegrate into several nations.  Obama and The Federal Reserve are just buying time, but the USA is doomed.

Let’s look at another capitalist nation (Mexico), Mexico is another capitalist-mess, lets see other nation where capitalism is a mess: (Haiti), Chile, another mess, Iceland (Destroyed by capitalism), Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia (Capitalist hunger), India (Capitalist hunger and poverty).

Man, just tell me one capitalist nation that is doing well, none. coz capitalism doesn’t work, and cannot be put to work.

Wake up, we have 2 options: Socialism or Death, there are no pipe dreams my friend

.

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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, April 23, 2010 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous: I’d dare you accuse and judge me as a killer, and accuse me of advocating killing anybody.  The real killers are capitalist-governments (I.E: US government, Israel, NATO, and not even the state-capitalist socialist experiments of today (North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, nor Vietmam)

You have a totally twisted and disinformed worldview. Let me just say that the social-democrats and left-leaning states of today (Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and others, never kill anybody, never execute anybody, never bomb nations, never drop Depleted Uranium on people, and never drop a big atomic bomb and murder millions of people like the US War against the inocent people of Iraq, The Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic bombs.

They also never do staged-terror like 9-11, Operation Northwoods, nor they have a killer CIA killing people in this world.

Well i admit that socialist revolutions are bloody because all changes of one ruling class for another class are violent and bloody. 

Another thing is that I dont know why you are deffending capitalism, yo are not a real capitalists, I bet that you are not a capitalist in the real sense of the word, because a real capitalist oppressor is somebody who owns a large corporation, or part of a large stock owners of a large corporation.  So you are not even a capitalist, neither a socialist.

But i am sorry to offend you but you are a f*cking Glenn Beck wanna be.  Who uses his dirty mouth to accuse others without any evidence.

Where did i say that i advocated for execution. where the hell did you get that idea about socialists and socialism? In The History Channel? You speak just like a Tea Bagger, a close-republican. Maybe you are conservative shill and troll.  Because last week I read an article about Conservative Internet Think Tanks using trolls to troll progressive socialist websites.

If you hate killers so much start by hating the US government, the US Armed Forces and most capitalist-states in this world.

.

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By Shingo, April 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

I should add that the irony of all ironies is that the bailout, which prevented the economic collapse, and social collapse that would have ensured, did not come from government tax receipts; it came from money we borrowed from countries that we regard as socialist.

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By Shingo, April 23, 2010 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

“Corruption is universal. But, amazingly, our founding fathers knew that and tried desperately to create a system that did not rely on “honorable” men.”

Yes they did, and that piece of paper has been vilated and corrupted to the point of non existence.

“In other words, given enough pain and corruption our system begins to self-correct WITHOUT violent revolution.  Socialist systems collapse into chaos in contrast.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The recovery we are told is taking place is nothign more than clever marketing and book keeping tricks.

Now if you were to argue that capitalism is self correcting, I would agree 100%.  In fact what we witnessed with this latest crisis was a huge correction, or at lest the beginnings of one.  The trouble is that the consensus among the ruling class and Wall Street, what that society could not survive or cope with the correction had it been allowed to unfold to completion. 

Many people I know in ficancial circles were anticipating that the US could well have broken apart were it not for the bailout (socialist intervnetion on steroids).

The consensus on both sides of politics was that we had no choice but to bail out the banks.  I would disagree.  Of course we had a choice, but the other options was considered unacceptable.

You may argue that the same conditions would have toppled a less wealthy/socialist states, but the when you get down to it, only difference is that our country is considered too big to fail, mainly because the worlds largest economies are inextriocably linked. If the US goes down, so does China, Japan and much of the EU. 

China for example, is stuck bertween a rock and a hardplace.  They have no confidene in the US economy, much less the dollar, but cannot afford the US to collapse. For the time being, they continue to buy US securities and prop up the system, which is akin to pumping air into a tyre with a massive puncture.  That’s not economic strength, that’s a case of econimic MAED (mutually asssured economic destruction), and even you would have to agree, it is usustainable.

Smaller states that are not as pivotal as ours, do collapse because the consequences are not nearly a dire.

“But please, feel free to attack me for what I say and believe, not for for what I didn’t say and don’t believe.”

Ditto.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2010 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa, April 23 at 11:09 pm #

What response is fitting for you Nemesis for you do not respect anything that is not in line with your concept of life. I deliberately threw in the soul thing for you. Yes, I do believe what I said but why would I waste my time telling you? There must be a receiver in you to comprehend what is put out to you. You have no such receptacle in your heart. How can you be so sure as to matters of the soul. Really, how could you ever understand Gandhi? No, you cannot. That is your loss, not the world’s. You do not know me. You do not know my views or what I have been through to defend who I am. You mention real poverty as if only you have seen it. How do you know what I have seen or how much I have traveled. You don’t know what I have encountered as a woman whose ancestry is from Southern Europe. An example: You ask that I take my Midol in one post
and call me “Sweetheart” in another while ripping me apart. I have gone out in the street and protested, in front of Post Offices with signs and also other hot spots. Did I really expect results? No. Just like I don’t expect results from this post. You think I don’t know that power always responds with violence? When you protest you take that chance. Yet, someone must push power back, someone must say, “Hey, wait a minute.” Set them back on their heels so to speak. You mention violence as a way that has settled things throughout the ages. Yes, but there have always been the protesters who died for what they believed. This goes on today. So go ahead Sweetheart have another of whatever you are drinking that convinces you that you know it all.

************************************************

This thread just gets more and more different as we go on.

EL, what Nemesis has done to you was EXACTLY what Robert was doing to Shenonymous—using the fact that you are female as a reason to dismiss you, rather than attacking you for your posts and ideas.  He calls you “sweetheart” to belittle you, as Robert called She “lard ass” to belittle her.  I tried (ineffectually) to point that out to you.  But I wasn’t very nice about it (I got tired of being “nice” when I was attacked anyway).

Still, I agree whole-heartedly with you about Gandhi.  In his private life, he may have been a real putz, but he gave his nation a chance at freedom.  Despite the EXTREME poverty and exploitation, India IS making progress and building up a technical base of workers, trained in the West, who will carry that massive nation forward.  I seen Gandhi’s achievement, and Mandela’s and King’s and King Juan Carlos’s as stupendous.  Yeah there are problems, but I believe in those nations, there IS hope things will get better.

And you are right about one thing: We both really, really want people, all people to rise out of squalor and ignorance and live in decent condition with education for themselves and their children.  We may disagree vehemently about how to get there, but the goal IS the same.  Thanks for recognizing that about me.

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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, April 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

I just wanna say that Noam Chomsky is right.  Remember folks Chomsky is a psychologist, sociologist, and an observer of the american general behaviour, if he says that there is something spooky going on, if there is a rise in far-right fascism, then it is time for the US left to regroup, to get united and to plan something to prevent fascism in America

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, April 23 at 9:12 pm #

ITW,

I think we’re on the same page ideologically, though we seem to be butting heads on details (as is so often the case).  Let me be clear.  I would not want to live in Venezuela, and I find socialists like Tenesee irritating.  My argument is that all economies/societies, left and right, are a cocktail of socialism and capitalism to some extent.  China and Gemrany being the most obvious example.

I’ve always said that, taken to extremes, Socialism and Capitalism prodce the same results; corruption, nepotism, concentrations of power and human rights abuses.
We in this country suffer from the belief that we are not only at the centre of the universe, but that we’re a politically in the centre, which is a delusion.  You won’t find a single state that could be described as to the right of us.  Thus we’re told that every other country, even the UK, France etc., are cesspools of socialism.

So yes, Scandinavia could be described as “Socialism”, as is Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.

There’s no points arguing that the only socialism is the true Marxist-Leninist variety, because neither Marx nor Lenin advocated the the authoriatarinism which exists in abundance in places like North Korea and Zimbabwee.

As such, it could be argued that these failed states are failed not becasue they are socialist, but becasue they distorted socialism.
********************************************

Ok, who are you and what have you done with Shingo???

J/K

You’ve actually written a post I mostly agree with.  You are right—we aren’t very far apart if THIS is your analysis.  I would disagree on Lenin—he wrote rather callously on the use of terror to quell opponents.  And there’s no way I’d put Venezuela and Bolivia into the same category as Scandinavia.

But all in all, if we were in Congress, I’d say this was a bill I could vote for, even if there were things in it I didn’t agree with.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

This debate began with ITW’s insistence that corruption, nepotism and economic failure and endemic and unique to socialism so I simply set about disproving that theory.
When someone proposes that the existence of corruption and an economic downturn is proof that socialism is bad, you have to shake your head at the hypocrisy.  If corruption is unique to socialism, then that would be easily demonstrated by it’s absence in non socialist circles.

***********************************************

Oh come ON, Shingo! You’re far too smart to think I would EVER make such an idiotic statement!  Especially since you know how I view the Bush Regime, and spit (Ptui!) every time I mention it!

Corruption is universal. But, amazingly, our founding fathers knew that and tried desperately to create a system that did not rely on “honorable” men.

My point, which you have NOT disputed successfully, is that corruption is deadly to the system in Socialist nations, but not in capitalist ones.  In other words, given enough pain and corruption our system begins to self-correct WITHOUT violent revolution.  Socialist systems collapse into chaos in contrast.

Your examples of successful “Socialist” nations I argue are NOT Socialist, although I agree they are successful.

But please, feel free to attack me for what I say and believe, not for for what I didn’t say and don’t believe.

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By Shingo, April 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

RenZo,

“Lenin was firmly behind the DICTATORSHIP of the proletariat; in fact I think it was his invention, supposedly as an intermediate stage on the way to purely utopian soviet collectives”

That may be the case, but it’s not in the doctrine of Marxist Leninism, because simply put, it would have been next to impossible to sell to the public.

Authoritarianism is never mentioned in the foundations of an ideology, but rather, justified after the fact in the ame of pragmatism.  You might recall that Friedmanit accolites lik Bush, Regan and Thatcher stongly decalred their commitment to small government while achieving massive expansions of government.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

firefly, why is it that those who argue for socialism are so ashamed to
admit the worst possible examples of socialism?  Do you demote the
seriousness of the death and destruction of the millions upon millions
who have died and suffered under the belligerence of those who would
impose the banner of socialism on them?

The people of China are not happy not being democratic.  Though
democracy and capitalism are not synonomous, capitalism will afford
them a larger voice in their government and democracy will eclipse
what they have now.  Seen on the news, more and more protests,
violent ones are occurring.

I do not argue that people not have prostituted the capitalistic
structure for their own flagrant benefit.  They have been double-
dealing and perfidious beyond belief.  But Ho Chi Min was also corrupt
in the way human beings were used as fodder. He was not the only one
of the communist persuasion.  Do we have to list them again? 
Capitalism is reified and talked about as if it were a concrete thing. 
Socialism as well.  They are not.  They are different social modes of
how people live economically.  I do not make the mistake of equating
capitalism with democracy.  Obviously you do not either.  Does that
make a majority of two?

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By elisalouisa, April 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

What response is fitting for you Nemesis for you do not respect anything that is not in line with your concept of life. I deliberately threw in the soul thing for you. Yes, I do believe what I said but why would I waste my time telling you? There must be a receiver in you to comprehend what is put out to you. You have no such receptacle in your heart. How can you be so sure as to matters of the soul. Really, how could you ever understand Gandhi? No, you cannot. That is your loss, not the world’s. You do not know me. You do not know my views or what I have been through to defend who I am. You mention real poverty as if only you have seen it. How do you know what I have seen or how much I have traveled. You don’t know what I have encountered as a woman whose ancestry is from Southern Europe. An example: You ask that I take my Midol in one post
and call me “Sweetheart” in another while ripping me apart. I have gone out in the street and protested, in front of Post Offices with signs and also other hot spots. Did I really expect results? No. Just like I don’t expect results from this post. You think I don’t know that power always responds with violence? When you protest you take that chance. Yet, someone must push power back, someone must say, “Hey, wait a minute.” Set them back on their heels so to speak. You mention violence as a way that has settled things throughout the ages. Yes, but there have always been the protesters who died for what they believed. This goes on today. So go ahead Sweetheart have another of whatever you are drinking that convinces you that you know it all.

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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, April 23, 2010 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

A BOOK THAT SAYS THAT THE FAR-RIGHT WING TERRORISTS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE THREATENING OBAMA !!

http://www.alternet.org/story/142511/book_says_obama’s_life_is_at_risk

By Christopher Moraff, The Philadelphia Tribune
Posted on September 11, 2009, Printed on September 14, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/story/142511/

Editor’s Note: With Obama the target of hate speech and over 30 death threats a day, the FBI needs to hear that it can’t let budget shortfalls get in the way of the president’s life. Will you join AlterNet and Credo and sign a petition calling for the FBI to do everything necessary to confront threats to Obama and expand and fully fund efforts to protect the president of the United States?

Every American knows that politics can be an ugly business, rife with mudslinging, underhandedness and, in the worst of times, outright sabotage.

Like it or not, the collective American voting public is as much inclined towards emotional reactionism as it is rational reflection. The former is a trait that both political parties, at times, do their best to exploit; and the conservative right is doing a heck of a job at it right now, dredging up fears of non-existent “death panels” and rationing in an attempt to derail, or at least dilute, Democratic health-care reform initiatives.

Most of us have come to accept the worst politics has to offer as a price worth paying for a democratic system in which every voice, no matter how repugnant, has the right to be heard. But lately the level of hostility directed at President Obama and progressive lawmakers from some corners of society has crossed the line from disturbing to downright scary.

From “birther”-led citizen grand juries charging the president with fraud, to gun-toting protesters outside presidential events, organized opposition to the new administration and its policies has taken on a decidedly radical bent, giving rise to the unthinkable: what if some lunatic, or a group of them, decides to transition from vicious rhetoric to violent action?

As the president works through his first year in office, those charged with protecting him from such a potentiality are finding they have their work cut out for them; and lately some commentators have taken to questioning whether they are fully up to the task.

In his best-selling new book, “In the President’s Secret Service,” journalist Ronald Kessler says the increased threat environment along with inadequate resources have led to a culture of “corner cutting” at the Secret Service that may be putting the commander in chief at risk.

Over the course of approximately a year-and-a-half, Kessler—who has long covered politics inside the Beltway and has written books on the FBI and the CIA—was given unprecedented access to active agents all the way up to the director, as well as former agents going back to the Kennedy administration.

According to the agents he interviewed, President Obama—whose Secret Service codename is Renegade—is the target of more than 30 threats a day, more than four times (or 400 percent) the number received by his predecessor George W. Bush. These threats can vary from a lone individual mouthing off to friends after a few drinks, to haphazard plots, to full-fledged conspiracies.

By far, the vast majority of the threats the president has received to date fall into the first category; and while most are unfounded, the Secret Service is responsible for chasing down every lead. As a result, Kessler says the agency is overtaxed to the point of skipping important training and evaluation sessions, and cutting back on the number of agents assigned to tactical teams.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know how anyone votes for either a
Republican or a Democrat….I wouldn’t even vote for
one them for a dog catcher.  Heck, they blow children up,
no tellin what they would do to a dog.

  The Democrat Progressive Caucus…what a joke that is.
They give their endorsements to Jane Harmon, who says she
is more of a republican than most republicans, against
a real progessive challenger

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By RenZo, April 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

@ Shingo
While agreeing with most everything else you write (to this point)I differ with your statement that “neither Marx nor Lenin advocated the the authoritarianism which exists in abundance in places like North Korea and Zimbabwe.” Lenin was firmly behind the DICTATORSHIP of the proletariat; in fact I think it was his invention, supposedly as an intermediate stage on the way to purely utopian soviet collectives (where everyone would agree with the correct plan and get along perfectly well). On the other end of your statement, & not being any kind of expert on N Korea, I would say that I have a hard time seeing the difference between a failed fascistic state and the failed “communist” dictatorship like NK. I don’t think Korea is any kind of example of Communism, in the ideal or particular case. It is armed repression, famine, forced labor and no freedom of movement or expression, centered around the cult of worship of a Caesar like god-emperor (while the Soviet Union, and post Mao-PRC were not cult-centered).

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

GO TO THIS LINK AND READ THIS ARTICLE ABOUT AN EX-USSR CITIZEN WHO CAME TO USA, AND WHO SAID THAT USSR WAS BETTER THAN USA: THE LAND OF PAIN, EVIL AND MISERY

http://web.archive.org/web/20030114005314/www.efn.org/~valdas/america2.html

“The United States of America is a mistake, a giant mistake!” -Sigmund Freud

“The United States appearS to be destined by providence to plague Latin America with misery in the name of liberty”  -Simon Bolivar

“America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”  -Oscar Wilde

“Poor Mexico, poor Mexico, so far away from God and so close to the United States.” -Porfirio Diaz, Former Mexican Revolutionary President

“Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.”  -Karl Marx, F. Engels


No foreigner who visits the United States fails to be asked by at least one American: “So, how do you like America?” And, as a rule, they always ask in such a tone that only an affirmative answer is considered possible. Personally, I have heard this question at least a hundred times. At first, I tried to be polite. My answers usually were quite diplomatic, such as, “Well, it is interesting here, and different from my country,” or something of that sort. But today perhaps the most diplomatic answer I could give would be: “To put it mildly, I do not like it at all.”

Much water has flowed under many bridges since that day when I first stepped on this continent. My world outlook has changed a good deal and now I understand a lot of such things that I wasn’t able to comprehend earlier. Today, reflecting on the time when we first arrived here, I realize how naive I was. Or perhaps ignorant. I really believed that the United States of America was a democratic and free country. Moreover, I imagined it to be a highly advanced and progressive nation, maybe even the most civilized country on earth in history. How foolish of me!

Just before starting to write this I flipped through the pages of an old booklet that I had found in a stack of papers. It was the program for the 1990 U.S. Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. To my shame and chagrin, I must admit now that I was not only a participant, but one of the featured speakers at this conference, side-by-side with Newt Gingrich, Jesse Helms, Phil Gramm and others… what should I call them? It’s hard to pick a name strong enough for such ... individuals.

Being in political exile from the former Soviet Union, I was duped by the U.S. Government and lured into this country. Now, as I understand how it happened, I am embarrassed that I allowed myself to be fooled. Today I blame myself for some of the direct consequences that have followed. Since my wife was pregnant at the time we came here, our daughter was doomed to be born and suffer in this extremely unpleasant social environment. Now, she can’t even attend school here, because of the constant danger of being infested with head lice from her American classmates…

Without getting too deep into the particulars of my personal story, I just want to make my premise clear before proceeding with what I have learned while living here in America. First, I have to make it understood that I had absolutely no animosity or bias with respect to the United States before coming here. If I did, I wouldn’t have participated along with Gingrich and his ilk in gatherings of right-wing American politicians. If I had any prejudices, they were for—not against—the USA. It may sound bizarre, but there was a time when I had a portrait of U.S. President Ronald Reagan on my writing-desk in Lithuania.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Why does a “free market” capitolist country as the U.S.
proclaims it is,  have to pass laws to prohibit free
access to a small nation such as Cuba after they rid
themselves of a dictator?

Why do they have to try to assassinate other presidents
such as the Venezuela president, or help assassinate
others such as Allende ?

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

All the negative general negative attachments
you stick to socialism could be done to capitolism
also..

the list would probably be four times as long
and twice as damning

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By Shingo, April 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

I think we’re on the same page ideologically, though we seem to be butting heads on details (as is so often the case).  Let me be clear.  I would not want to live in Venezuela, and I find socialists like Tenesee irritating.  My argument is that all economies/societies, left and right, are a cocktail of socialism and capitalism to some extent.  China and Gemrany being the most obvious example.

I’ve always said that, taken to extremes, Socialism and Capitalism prodce the same results; corruption, nepotism, concentrations of power and human rights abuses.

We in this country suffer from the belief that we are not only at the centre of the universe, but that we’re a politically in the centre, which is a delusion.  You won’t find a single state that could be described as to the right of us.  Thus we’re told that every other country, even the UK, France etc., are cesspools of socialism.

So yes, Scandinavia could be described as “Socialism”, as is Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba. 

There’s no points arguing that the only socialism is the true Marxist-Leninist variety, because neither Marx nor Lenin advocated the the authoriatarinism which exists in abundance in places like North Korea and Zimbabwee.

As such, it could be argued that these failed states are failed not becasue they are socialist, but becasue they distorted socialism.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

It is the small socialist parties that always fight
the hardest for peace in this country, civil liberties
and civil rights.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

It was the socialist movement that brought us all
the advantages we hold dear in our country,  they are
also the ones that stood up and took the bullets
from the state and federal militias

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

I would say TARP more reflected socialism
  than capitolism.

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By Shingo, April 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

nemesis2010,

You and ITW seem unable to make an argument without insisting that I am some flag waving fan for Chávez.  This debate began with ITW’s insistence that corruption, nepotism and economic failure and endemic and unique to socialism so I simply set about disproving that theory.
When someone proposes that the existence of corruption and an economic downturn is proof that socialism is bad, you have to shake your head at the hypocrisy.  If corruption is unique to socialism, then that would be easily demonstrated by it’s absence in non socialist circles.

The comparison with the US was an obvious one, because the mere existence of both these traits in our system debunks what ITW is suggesting.  There’s not more a socialist paradise in this world then there is a capitalist one, unless you are Chávez and Llloyd Blankfein.

Furthermore, you provided one example of an industry that has suffered as a consequence of Chavez’s policies.  That proves that staple food production has fallen.  It does not prove that the Chávez destroyed the economy, anymore that the collapse Enron, WorldCom, GM, or Chrysler destroyed America’s.

There shortage of medicine in the barrios is a supply side problem, because most of those medicines are bound to be imported. Your hype about socialist indoctrination centres that happen to be educating the masses,  one would have to decide which is the lesser of the 2 evils: an educated and literate one that has been indoctrinated vs an uneducated illiterate one that has been indoctrinated.

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By Gordy, April 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Some people think that Chomsky ‘doesn’t offer
solutions’ - no, that is rubbish: thinking without
dogma or ‘isms’ is the Swiss pen-knife of solutions.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

The U.S.  agribusiness is complete socialism,

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

does the world’s largest prison population
come along with capitolism??

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Maybe Shingo can convince all of Nemesis’ Indian poor to move to his utopian Venezuela.  Or they can help mine lithium in Bolivia.  Or roll cigars in Havana.

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By firefly, April 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Nemesis2010

There’s no doubt that a lot of people died during
(and after) the independence struggle. There are
indeed 14 year old girls that support their families,
there are orphans whose parents died of AIDS, there
is extreme poverty, there is the ancient system of
dowries, and the usual subjugation of women. All of
this exists in every country on earth (including the
US with the possible exception of dowries, but even
that wouldn’t surprise me).

But, this doesn’t prove anything against Ghandi. He
protested (through several hunger strikes) at the
violence, first between the British and the Indians
and then between Hindus and Muslims. His mantra was
always to achieve justice through peaceful means,
something he started in South Africa when he worked
there in his early years. He believed in equality of
the sexes (and let’s face it, there has been a women
President of India – Indira Ghandi, something the US
has never achieved). What gives you the right to
sneer?

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Where is the wealth you speak of?  We are the world’s
largest, largest debtor nation.

Are you also saying that capitolism doesn’t breed
immorality?
I don’t know how many Injuns died or slaves
,or Iraqis or Afgans, or Latin Americans or Vietnamese
or….. in the many capitolists adventures of greed.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

RenZo, please accept my humble apologies.  Did I malign those dear
animals the pigs.  I raised them as a child and would not want to do
that on purpose.  I often refer to their swill and swamp that many seem
to reside in other than pigs.  I shall research my posts to see where I
committed my crime and give myself a flaggelation like you have never
imagined.  I would never want to hurt a pig.  Well I do eat bacon, ham,
and saugage. That is all!  But I suppose you were not really referring to
their not being used as victuals.  I am a carnivore and have cuspids and
bicuspids with which to tear away at meat products.  I have molars too
for the more granular foods, fruits and vegetables.  Now that I’ve given
away the secrets of my diet, except for the place where I forgot to talk
about my love of chicken and fish that will do for my entire menu and
more than I know you ever wanted to know.  Please do have a good
hiatus.

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By RenZo, April 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

I am so afraid of the shouting roundworms here that I must go take a purge. Please excuse my absence.

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By RenZo, April 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

@ Shenonymous

Please stop maligning the porcine species by comparing avaricious capitalists to them. They are sweet and lovable barnyard animals, and quite smart. No pig has ever used capitalism to foreclose someone’s home, nor stolen their retirement accounts or even canceled their insurance while the human had breast cancer. These are attributes of the Homo sapiens species, alone.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing, April 23 at 12:00 pm -  “A somewhat verbose repetition,
Shenonymous, of the traditional ideological dismissal of socialism as
utopian.”
  Well, ernest, we all have our styles.  Socialism as thought
by all socialists is the utopian dream.  If not, then describe what it
is they think, that their system will sink into an imperfect nightmare? 
I’ve admitted to being verbose.  You certainly do not have to read all of
what I say.  Or any of it for that matter.  At any rate, I disagree with
you to a degree, we will see how much.  In my verbosity, I said as much
that no societal organization is perfect.  So you simply reiterate what I
said.  I don’t think socio-economic arrangements accentuate aspects of
the human personality, but just the reverse.  Human personalities
accentuate socio-economic arrangements.  It is through human intent
that devises, or rather, invents them.  Arrangements do not do
devising. .  Devise implies careful thought, human action.  Sometimes it
is not so careful when the human emotion of greed and the need for
power takes charge, which is why I use the word ‘invent.’ 

As a system of economic organization, capitalism is itself inert.  It is
how its principles are used and the mindset of the participants that
determine whether it is used wisely or to exploit others.  It was not
always manifest as it is in the 21st century mindset, and the 20th by
the way, of those who were able to best exploit the capitalistic
machinery.  In what way do I say that capitalism works for everyone,
not just for those who are able to take advantage of the mechanisms? 
I look at the freedom aspect, not what it has turned into under ill-
conceived uses of the generation of wealth.  Those uses are used by
human beings who have certain self-serving perspectives.  Poorly
devised, careless thought of such things as the subprime lending and
disabling corporate fraud are really just side effects of the system in
which is centered the individual the right to seek and attain his life’s
goals, particularly financial without the government’s interference. 
Human freedom is best served by the capitalistic point of view of
human individuality.  Obviously these are points of disagreement
between you and other socialist minded and myself and those who are
more convinced of capitalism.

Today politics is so interwoven in economic that those who are greedy
are rightly called pigs, and blame capitalism for it.  But I submit that
there are greedy pigs that arise within the system of socialism and that
is a great part of why the big Socialist states failed.  Not the only
reason to be sure, as I think the entire program of socialism fails
because the individual gets lost in the indistinguishable particles of the
masses. I remember my daughter going to one of the largest
universities on the west coast, where the student body was over
35,000. That is larger than a lot of cities!  She felt lost and felt she lost
her identity and transferred to a considerably smaller college where she
flourished.  That may not be the same experience for everyone, but I
am just using that as an example of people getting lost in the formless
crowd.  The continuous hum of sameness drowns out anything that is
uncommon.  And that is scary.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Avarice is not within the sole province of those who are capitalists and
to imply that it is simply wrong and partisan.  I certainly do not
subscribe to Republican ideals and particularly of their use of
capitalism, but I also do not subscribe to the pablum ideals of
socialism.  I do not see socialism in the least as accentuating positive
human traits, and I think it is a mistake to think that empathy is
aroused when personal achievement is discouraged.  It is not wrong to
point to USSR or Cuba or China or any other failed Socialist state.  They
are the models.  They are the experiments by which we must judge the
success of the not only the economic philosophy but the immorality
they engendered.  To complain that anyone would use them as the
yardstick is completely fallacious.  They are not simply “unfortunate
instances.”  They were enormous in their effect and enormous in their
responsibility of human death.  That cannot be denied.  To do so is to
put an executioner’s hood over one’s head. The executioner does not
want to be recognized.

I do not deny there is the best economic possibility and the best
possible socially economic system of human collectivity when there is
“some” level of economic democracy and I have not said anywhere that
is not the case. 

I have repeatedly said that a healthy democracy based on capitalism
would have social programs.  Perhaps you decided to ignore those
admissions. However, I vehemently disagree with someone like
Tennessee-Socialist who would have radical and fanatical socialism
perhaps even eliminating those through execution in this democracy
who would not go along with his socialist agenda.  His call to
revolution with arms is quite scary and degenerate in my mind.

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By nemesis2010, April 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

@ Renzo:

If you’re addressing me please provide statements where I equated “Jews with Nazis.”

Do you believe Jews are something other than Homo sapiens? Perhaps you believe that pap about them being special and the “chosen” people of god? If so, are you aware that they’re own god—in the book—calls them a stiff-necked people and they made him, their god, repent of having created mankind? According to the myth Moses had to intervene on behalf of those stiff-necked people because their own god was prepared to do a number on them that would make Hitler look like a kindergarten genocidal maniac. Human beings are all of the same species and all are capable of the same atrocities. If you don’t believe me go ask a frickin Amorite or an Amalekite. Hell, go ask a Palestinian on the west bank what he thinks about the treatment by Jews. Then come back and we’ll talk.

Until mankind crawls out of the sewer of religious ignorance there is very little hope of any real, worthwhile change.

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By nemesis2010, April 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

@ Firefly:

Tell me something fruitfly; does my being entitled to my opinion entitle you to lie and deceive? Which imaginary being do you represent?

” By the way, Gandhi was not responsible for ‘creating Indian society’ as you say.” –Friefly

Now let’s take a look at what was REALLY written, shall we fruitfly?

” The viewer gets a peek into that society that the great Gandhi helped create.” –Nemesis2010

Quite different from what you’re trying to insinuate, isn’t it? Remember this is POST British rule Indian society. Before you open your mouth; is aboriginal society here in the states the same as it was pre-Columbian? No it isn’t. It’s been changed.

How many dead do you estimate there were in that “peaceful” independence from British rule? How many more after peaceful independence was won in “peaceful” struggles for the reins of power? How many more since then dying in conditions of the most extreme poverty, filth, and religous ignorance?

Let’s make a deal, shall we? You get together a piece showing us the wonderful splendor that is India and while you do that the people here can view the link below; okay?

India’s Hidden Plague

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/indias_hidden_plague/

When you return they’ll already have learned of great things like a 14 year old girl being the sole supporter of her family—her little sister and brother because both parents have died of AIDS—and not earning enough to feed them and facing the dreaded possibility of forced prostitution in order to survive. 14 years old! They’ll also have learned how a large portion of the Mumbai population is AIDS infected prostitutes. They’ll have already learned that half of Mumbai’s sex workers—that also includes young boys—are all AIDS infected; so you can save time by leaving that part out of your presentation. Should you find the time to watch the video let me know if you see fear in the eyes of the high-price prostitute when she considers the possibility of her becoming a low-priced prostitute? I know I did!

When you return why don’t you explain to us how having women pay dowries—thus making them a regretted financial burden to the family—and selling daughters into prostitution is beneficial to society. Also I’d personally appreciate your giving us a small lecture on the glorious and wonderful benefits of a caste system. There are many things about India that I’m sure you can teach us that this video simply doesn’t cover since its purpose is to document India’s plague of AIDS.

Since you’ve lived in India please explain to me how one rises from the lowest caste to the highest; is that something they can accomplish without having to be recycled? I can’t imagine how one believing that his lot in life is due to conduct in previous lives could ever have the attitude that he can advance unless he dumps that whole religious ignorance into the nearest trashcan. But I’m sure you can enlighten my western ignorance.

Since I’ve seen the video while you’re preparing your piece I’ll be in my office drinking Scotch and jumping up and down like a crazed loon singing Hare Krishna while my secretary bangs her tambourine.

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By RenZo, April 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

@ nematodes2001

Equating Jews with Nazis is one of the most profane, inhumane, offensive, repugnant, vile, assinine, obscene and ammoral things you could possibly come up with so short a time after the Holocaust - you must be very proud of yourself.

Just to be clear however, the white hood on your head is showing.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Nemo:

Thanks for the belly laugh! After your last attack on me, filled with self-contradictions I was actually ROFLMAO!

Really! Toooooo Funny!  What’s amazing is that you are SPOT ON about Venezuela.

But the belief the change can only be obtained in ALL situations by violence is morally reprehensible.

To the others:  If Scandinavia is what YOU think of as “Socialism”, then I have no argument against it.  Remember: I’ve argued for a single-payer health care system. I think what those nations are doing is just fine.  But it ain’t Socialism.

But if Chavez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia and Castro in Cuba and Ill in North Korea and Mugabe in Zimbabwe are what Socialism really is (according to Marx), then I’m dead-set against it.

Of course, if you play with, and grossly distort the definition of “Socialism” you can find fine examples of it working.  Such as Western Europe.

But if you follow Marxist-Leninist definition of “Socialism”, which is the true one, it is a horror and a dismal failure.

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By firefly, April 23, 2010 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Nemesis2010 you sound like a patronizing, self-
satisfied, condescending boor, but you are entitled
to your opinion.

As someone who has lived in many other nations
including India, I find your view of Indian and
Ghandi simplistic and very shallow.

By the way, Ghandi was not responsible for ‘creating
Indian society’ as you say. Indian society has
existed for thousands of years. He was responsible
for bringing about independence from British
colonialism in a peaceful way. He is famous for
demonstrating that revolutions and freedom can be
accomplished peacefully.

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By firefly, April 23, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Why is it that people who argue against Socialism
always use the worst possible examples? The former
Soviet Union, China and North Korea all have despotic
and autocratic socialism (well communism to be
precise). However, many countries in Europe have
Democratic Socialism which works. In other words, the
key word here is not Socialism or Capitalism, but
Democracy. Real Democracy. Democratic Socialism works
when people vote for it and when people can hold
their governments accountable.

Americans often make the mistake of equating
Capitalism with Democracy. As China is gradually
demonstrating, Capitalism can also exist without
Democracy. In fact, the old monarchies of the past
were more capitalist than socialist – that’s how you
ended up with one family owning everything. As
Goldman Sachs proves, the richer you are, the more
tyrannical and domineering you become.

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By nemesis2010, April 23, 2010 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Here’s a little video about the Kushan Empire. The viewer gets a peek into that society that the great Gandhi helped create. The reason I’m posting the link is because of the comment made by someone on SpikedHumor (the second one scrolling down). When I saw it I busted out laughing because of the adjective used by the commenter.

Here’s the link—for those of you who are not overly sensitive—to SpikedHumor:

http://www.spikedhumor.com/articles/203476/The-Kushan-Empire.html

For those of you who are easily offended by course comments, advertisements w/sexual content, etc. I’ve provided the YouTube link to the same video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&feature=player_embedded&v=BRZn1ffNndY

Those opting for the YouTube video and wondering what the commenter on SpikedHumor said about what he saw in the video, here it is:

What a shithole.

Enjoy! smile

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By nemesis2010, April 23, 2010 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

@ Gerard:

I sincerely apologize. I wanted to get to your last comment to me but I’ve simply been unable due to time constraints. I wouldn’t answer it without being able to give it the time and attention that it deserves.
I admire your goals but feel that you err in not knowing the enemy.

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By nemesis2010, April 23, 2010 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

@ ITW:

RE: Unemployment figures.

All the linked articles prove is that if one uses different criteria, from that of the government, one can obtain different results. You can accomplish the same by defining “the unemployed” differently also.

A good read on how, when, and why the government began to change its criteria for calculating unemployment can be found in Peter Schiff’s “Crashproof.” I used the same argument to throw neocon Bush worshippers into a tailspin years ago.

Your problem is to present evidence that unemployment in AmeriCorp—whatever the percentage—makes it equally as much a shithole as S.A.; which is what you were alluding to.

RE: Bad acting.

I always had the feeling you were an aspiring bad actor waiting tables until that big break might happen by. After the melodrama exhibited in your latest post I’m convinced that you are and that should your big break come, you’ll probably be ranked in skill and natural ability several points below Steven “Job II” Baldwin.

ElisaLouisa hasn’t “taken apart” anything but the straw men that you guys create. The only argument that I posited here is that you cannot achieve meaningful change without there being violence and that Americans aren’t quite ready to begin an all out revolution. (All the other stuff is opinion and personal viewpoint about your demagogues and the states of South Africa and India.) The only way ElisaLouisa or you or anyone else can take that “argument” apart is by going out and achieving meaningful change through peaceful, nonviolent action on anyone’s part. I encourage you to join Elisa in singing Kubaya, carrying a sign stating your particular grievances, and demanding that Power give in to those demands.

Re: Even more bad & over-the-top melodramatic acting.

Viciously attack? You haven’t a clue what a “vicious attack” by me would be like. Go read your posts. You label any commenter that dares to speak the truth about the rogue state of Israel and Jews—especially Jews—as being Nazis, anti-semites, etc. All I’ve said—and stand by it until you prove otherwise—is that you are a hypocrite.

You decry violence and at the same time condone the violent dispossession of millions of Palestinians from their homeland in favor of a religious group. A people that both you have said on another topic wasn’t even a nationality or a race. I then asked you if that doesn’t make you complicit in that violence that you condone and you call that a vicious attack. Give me a break!

I have not asked you leading questions. I have asked you clearly—and even explained why I was asking that question—and you refuse to answer. We both know why you refuse to answer. Your answer will expose your hypocrisy with respect to your position on the rogue state of Israel. If you don’t believe you’re a hypocrite or fear your hypocrisy being exposed then answer the simple question:

To whom—in your opinion—does South Africa belong; the blacks, the Afrikaners, or both? Explain the basis of your belief.

RE: Time for the cane with the hook on it to pull this sorry-assed actor/waiter off the stage.

Had you called my dearly sainted and departed mother a crack ho I would have been less insulted than being compared to O’Reilly and Hannity. You talk of vicious attacks? What nerve!

It’s interesting that you insinuate that I’m a “conservative” when someone else on another article claimed that I had a leftist agenda.

Be sure to watch my last post on this article because it involves your precious Gandhi’s India and the comment that I made about South Africa that got your panties all knotted up.

Ciao!

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By nemesis2010, April 23, 2010 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

@ Shingo:

You asked for proof that what was stated about your Chavista paradise was true. I did that.

When you and your ilk—after being countered with the truth about Chávez’s Revolución Boliviariana—resort to comparisons to the U.S. you automatically prove your argument fallacious. Either your socialist paradise is or it isn’t. Anyone who has first hand knowledge of pre and post Chávez Venezuela knows that for the most part, the situation in Venezuela has worsened tremendously under Chávez’s regime and it wasn’t that good to begin with. It’s truly a case of making a bad situation worse. And the situation was extremely bad because of predator capitalism.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been some improvements. There are clinics in most poor barrios where before there were none and there are Cuban doctors manning them. The down side is that there is a severe shortage of medicine. Without medicines to cure what ails you there isn’t much good in having medical attention is there? Also literacy has improved in Venezuela since Chávez came into power and that’s a positive. Unfortunately the schools are being converted into socialist indoctrination centers.

If your Chávez socialist paradise is what you say it is then there should be no need for you to compare corruption, morality, economy, etc. with the U.S. It either is or it isn’t despite the U.S.

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By nemesis2010, April 23, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

@ elisalouisa:

Sweetheart, I hope you didn’t work too hard copying and pasting all that crap expecting me to actually waste my time reading it. I don’t care what you think of Gandhi. I don’t give a hoot what you think I think of Gandhi. Most of what the world believes about that religious loon is myth. To me a person who preaches “peace” while openly recruiting soldiers for his white masters during WWI is a frickin hypocrite of massive proportions. Gandhi, to me, was nothing more than another religious loon among multimillions of other, backward, fantasy believers.

You mentioned soul. We have no souls. There’s no evidence for such a thing as a soul. That’s part of your problem, you believe in made up shite! If Gandhi and Mandela and Jeebus and the Dallying lama are your heroes; so be it darling. Have at it! Admire those Homo sapiens and deify them to your heart’s content; you can do that because it’s your privilege to do so, just as its mine to look at those same characters and have a rational—as opposed to irrational—opinion of them.

This whole discussion has been blown incredibly off course with all the fanciful straw men.  You believe that you can achieve great accomplishments by peaceful means. I say you and your buddies are full of delusion. You—unlike me—believe that if one party attempts to effect change through peaceful means and another party beats you to within an inch of your miserably lives and eats your babies before your dying eyes that it’s still a peaceful movement because you have not resorted to violence. Of course I think you’re all nuts! To me, the second one party initiates violence there’s no longer any way one can call the action non-violent. And Power always responds with violence. That’s life and that’s not delusional thinking. We have all of human history testifying to that fact.

The way to prove your argument sound and right is to go out there and see how much you can accomplish. Prove me wrong! Go out in the street, with your little Kubaya song in heart and a protest sign demanding change in your little hands and let’s see how Power cringes in fear of you. Go for it! I wish you all the good fortune in the world and I’ll be here waiting to reap all the benefits of those changes effected by your peaceful actions!

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 23, 2010 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

JOIN THE BOLIVARIAN CIRCLE AS WE CELEBRATE THE 8TH ANIVERSARY OF PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ’ TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO POWER

Save the Date!!!

The Bolivarian Circle Alberto Lovera invated you to a day of Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution

SEIU Local 1199 in Manhattan
43rd St. b/w 8th &9th; Ave
Friday, April 30th 2010
7pm to 9pm


Join the Bolivarian Circle as we celebrate the 8th anniversary of President Hugo Chavez’ triumphant return to power after the failed U.S. backed coup

Socialist organizations will raise their voices in solidarity with the great achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution & its influence throughout Nuestra America

Wine and snacks will be served.  Revolutionary music will follow the program! 

Organized by El Circulo Bolivariano Alberto Lovera de Nueva York


.

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By firefly, April 23, 2010 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You say that “Faith in socialism has shown to be a
instructions for death as we have seen uncountable
mass murder, and actually economic suicide.”

Why is it that people who argue against Socialism
always use the worst possible examples? The former
Soviet Union, China and North Korea all have despotic
and autocratic socialism (well communism to be
precise). However, many countries in Europe have
Democratic Socialism which works. In other words, the
key word here is not Socialism or Capitalism, but
Democracy. Real Democracy. Democratic Socialism works
when people vote for it and when people can hold
their governments accountable.

Americans often make the mistake of equating
Capitalism with Democracy. As China is gradually
demonstrating, Capitalism can also exist without
Democracy. In fact, the old monarchies of the past
were more capitalist than socialist – that’s how you
ended up with one family owning everything. As
Goldman Sachs proves, the richer you are, the more
tyrannical and domineering you become.

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By amunaor, April 23, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

((RE: cann4ing, April 23 at 12:00 pm
…No human construct for societal organization is perfect.))

***

Absolutely!

Given such ‘constructs’ are abstractions, therefore all ‘States’ are psychological.

Any, for lack of a better term in this forum, spiritual, abstractions pulled down into the concrete, tend to become rotten within the perverse hands of human nature; it’s like throwing the pearls to the swine.

Checks and Balances are required to bind such beastly natures!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

WikiLeaks—Collateral Murder:
http://www.collateralmurder.com/

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By Leefeller, April 23, 2010 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

cann4ing stated:

“I think one point you thoroughly miss, Leefeller, is that real democracy is not possible without some level of economic equality entailed in democratic socialism in which the needs of the many outweigh the greed of the few.”

My reply,

Canning, why would you suspect I missed the greed of the few, the manipulation by the few and opportunism of the these same few?  I assure you I do not miss equality or the lack of it. I only can suspect you misinterpreted what I was ranting about, so I will attempt to make it clear.

Cause, blind cause is what I was referring to. The cause so blind it is all consuming to the fanatic who lives for nothing but their noble cause. This can be religious, political, or even be a deep love of hate.

Jumping ahead, I am very aware of the abuses, opportunism’s, manipulations and inequities sponsored by the plutocracy. Even aware of the great divide of which you mention, between wealth and the poor.  Manipulations by these opportunists have not escaped my notice. Being aware is useful when and if the time comes, becoming a fanatic is not. 

Causes are important to the disenfranchised for several reasons, a cause provides a goal, fills a void of those feeing disenfranchised.  My observation of causes and especially blind causes, comes from a simple observation of history.  Causes have come and gone throughout history with the same results, to end up as they started or not much different than what was in the beginning.  This is debatable, but Nemisis2010 comments on India seem a good example. 

Good intentions start out and opportunisms takes over.  Iran may be a recent example, when the college students took over the embassy only to be shoved aside by the religious elders, in a typical power struggle.

Socialism even as promoted by Tennessee with fanatic servitude, is not a boggy man for me, I just do not see the panacea in Socialism as some others do!

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By Robert, April 23, 2010 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

By Shingo, April 23 at 8:59 am #

“As for Israel being “Socialist”, well, that’s simply untrue.”

No it’s a fact.
Government health care.
The worlds biggest welfare cheques from the US.
Government subsidies for settlements in the occupied territories.
=============

Just some of the largest Israeli state-owned companies…to name just a few:


Israel Chemicals (formerly the Dead Sea Works)

Electric Corporation

Bezek (communications)

Israel Refineries (petroleum)

El Al (airlines)

Israel Shipyards

Israel Aircraft Industries

Mekorot (which controls the nation’s water supply).

kibbutzes

Social Welfare

Health Services


Israel depends heavily on financial assistance from abroad and mainly from the US taxpayers and American Jewish organizations.

The US government favors a free economy…so it would be counterproductive for Israel to establish pure socialism.

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By Anarcissie, April 23, 2010 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, April 23 at 6:41 am:
’... Well everybody knows, Anarcissie, that Marxism, Socialism, communism are all defined by government ownership of the means of production. ...’

In that case you have two words for fascism (“everything inside the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state”) and none for “the ownership and control of the means of production by the workers”.  If George Orwell was correct, you can’t think what you can’t say; and since you can’t think about socialism, you can’t discuss it, which of course was the point of inculcating that sort of vocabulary in the first place.

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By cann4ing, April 23, 2010 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, April 23 at 6:47 am #

“Socialism is a constant irritation motivated mainly by the belief that if everything was socialized, was put in a collective barrel and equally distributed to the people, all would be living in a state in which everything was perfect.  with no jealousy, envy, or class warfare.”

____________________________________

A somewhat verbose repetition, Shenonymous, of the traditional ideological dismissal of socialism as utopian.

No human construct for societal organization is perfect.  When you examine socio-economic arrangements, the key is to look at what aspects of the human personality they accentuate.

Capitalism, especially in its 21st Century corporate monopoly form, accentuates destructive traits—greed and avarice—at the expense of community and the environment. 

In its most destructive form, social Darwinism, there is no res publica; no common good—a hypocritical ideology that ignores the power of inherited wealth, corporate welfare and the corrupted control wealth acquires over ostensibly public institutions.

As I noted in “‘Food, Inc.’ and the Tyranny of a Corporate Controlled Economy,”

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7742

“We hear it constantly from Republicans; an ideological mantra to the effect that government, especially government programs that would place the interests of public health, safety, and equality above the profits and power of those who already have too much of both, threatens our liberties.”

Set against the myth that “free markets” make us free is the brutal reality of a corrupt, dysfunctional and tyrannical system of corporate control over not merely the economy but mass communication and a political system that serves the greed of the few not only at the expense of the many but at the expense of planetary survival.

Socialism must be evaluated not on the basis of whether it will eliminate all human faults but on whether it accentuates positive human traits—empathy, a sense of community, a recognition of responsibility both to one another and to a sustainable planet—over the destructive traits—individual greed, avarice.

Finally, returning to the point I made responding to Leefeller—and I do appreciate the apology and explanation Leefeller—when Americans hear the word “socialism” and immediately point to the former U.S.S.R. or to Cuba, they are reflecting a blind-spot engendered by pro-capitalist propaganda.  They confuse socialism as an economic arrangement with the unfortunate instances in which socialist economies were under authoritarian control—in part because true democratic socialist experiments are under constant threat from corporate Empire—e.g. Allende’s overthrow and murder in Chile 9/11/73.

There is no inconsistency between socialism and constitutional democracy.  To the contrary, meaningful political democracy is possible only where there is some level of economic democracy.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

That one guy that was really, really good at math said
 
  I don’t know what WWIII will be fought with
  but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones

  I wonder what he meant by that ?????
    Albert…that was his name

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

Thank You Omop

  I thought thats how it worked

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By omop, April 23, 2010 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

Taut u all mite tink about wat does 2 guys r cuoted as saying.

  “GIVE ME CONTROL OVER A NATION’S CURRENCY AND I CARE NOT WHO
  MAKES ITS RULES.”

              Baron M. A. Rothschild 1724 -1812. Financier of the
              British Empire.


    The suppression of truth has long been among the highest priorities for the
upper echelons of power and authority.

    For a minority elite that clings to power by the manipulation of the masses
using an omnipresent cocktail of lies, deception, mass-produced ignorance
and ingrained propaganda.

    The destruction of truth is an essential method of control. It is a formula
that has worked to unmitigated success for the elite throughout history.

    From ancient pyramids, marble temples, castles, mansions or halls of
governance.’ - Manuel Valenzuela

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

I am really good at math and physics,  their laws
  don’t work anything like this.

  Cuba and Haiti , their debt is no where like ours
  per person,  yet they live in poverty.

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By Shingo, April 23, 2010 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

“What I really like about Capitolism,

  You can be the world’s,largest, largest Debtor Nation

and still live one of the world’s most leisure lifestyles

  I don’t know how that works , but it’s sure cool.”

That’s an excellent observation.

Economics and money follow certain laws that are similar to physics - namely, you
cannot create matter or money out of thin air and that what goes up must cme down.
The other is, the bigger they ate, the harder they fall. US style capitalism has convinced
us that we can somehow violate these principals and not suffer the consequences.

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By Shingo, April 23, 2010 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

“What I really like about Capitolism,

  You can be the world’s,largest, largest Debtor Nation

and still live one of the world’s most leisure lifestyles

  I don’t know how that works , but it’s sure cool.”

That’s an excellent observation.

Economics and money follow certain laws that are similar to physics - namely, you
cannot create matter or money out of thin air and that what goes up must cme down.
The other is, the bigger they ate, the harder they fall. US style capitalism has convinced
us that we can somehow violate these principals and not suffer the consequences.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

What I really like about Capitolism,

  You can be the world’s,largest, largest Debtor Nation

and still live one of the world’s most leisure lifestyles

  I don’t know how that works , but it’s sure cool.

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By elisalouisa, April 23, 2010 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

If you don’t mind my saying so, your latest post rings with truth as do all your posts Shingo. For me you provide the balance and have the necessary writing skills on these threads to bring to light the untruths that sometimes appear, for whatever reason.
In my view, Anarcissie also has skillfully provided information in a clear, concise manner as to socialism vs. capitalism.
Some posters have commented more than once on styles of writing that are less than productive. Hopefully, writers such as TaoWalker will not continue to be driven away.

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By Shingo, April 23, 2010 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

ITW,

I realize that you don’t share your view about the US,  but that flies in the face of reality. While you’re falling for the spin about our so called recovery, the reality is that we’re borrowing money from the poorest countries in the world to service a debt we can’t repay.  It doesn’t give me any satisfaction to point that out.

Yes, She is right that socialism or capitalism that’s taken to extremes is going to lead to disaster.  The sad thing about deregulation, is that the straw that broke the camel’s back was the Clinton years, when Rubin and co pushed the Republican controlled House to repeal Glass Setigel.

Yes,  GM and Ford are now doing well because both companies are owned by the government.  Another example of socialism coming to the rescue.

“In fact, the “bailout” has quietly turned out to be a revenue generator for the US treasury as most of the banks that took TARP money are paying it back with interest…”
False.  AIG, which received the lion’s share has recorded losses, as was the case with Citibank.  Goldman Sachs received 12 billion via the back door from AIG and has kept the lot.

There is no legislation to control the excesses.  Obama is trying to push those through as we speak, but the banks have bribed the Republicans to oppose those reforms.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63F53520100416
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63I3ZW20100420

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual. Eurpe are calling for GS to be banned or at least investigated, while in the US, no one is willing to lay a hand on these criminals.  It’s the aids infected blood scandal all over again.

The USA has not survive by any stretch of the imagination.  The exposure to derivatives, which Warren Buffet described as financial weapons of destruction,  (estimates at 10 times the GDP of the planet) hasn’t even been mentioned. 

“As for Israel being “Socialist”, well, that’s simply untrue.”

No it’s a fact.
Government health care.
The worlds biggest welfare cheques from the US.
Government subsidies for settlements in the occupied territories.

And as for a the list of products and innovations that are privately held, those all benefit from special trade status they are given to export to the US, while Israel imposes tight trade barriers on US imports.  That’s not to mention the multi nationals that have been given huge tax incentives to put office into Israel.  The same thing happens in Quebec Canada, where companies who move there have half their payroll subsidized by the government
There’s not enough pools in Israel to keep Aquabot, Blue Diamond and Dolphin in business. 

Do you know what the biggest US exports are?  Scrap metal , woods chips and war.  Do you know what our biggest growth insdustry is?  The prison system.

Some legacy!

Sorry, I know this stuff as least as well as you do.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

Mitch McConnell?  Who me?  5 Nups.  UmmaDemmacrat and Krugman
seem to be the best liberal economists around.  But not a Socialist,
Krugman has advocated free market,s, written against rent control in
favor of supply and demand, argued that “sweatshops” are preferable to
unemployment, challenged minimum wage and living wage laws,
likened the opposition against free trade and globalization to the
opposition against evolution via natural selection, opposed farm
subsidies and mandates, subsidies, and tax breaks for ethanol,
questioned NASA’s manned space flights, and written against some
aspects of European labor market regulation. See bio online.  And Alice
Rivlin has excellent liberal credentials.  And I like Robert Reich.  So who
do you like?  Mitch McConnell?

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

are your political views more in line with
mitch McConnell than Cris Hedges??

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2010 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

Shingo,

I just don’t share your view that the US economy is now at the BRINK of collapse.  In fact, just the opposite.

As She astutely pointed out, unregulated ANYTHING, Capitalism or Socialism, doesn’t work.  Our economic troubles have a direct line back to the de-regulation movement brought in by the zealots’ hero, Ronald Reagan.  Meanwhile, both GM and Ford are doing well, GM’s bailout money is going to be re-paid to the US citizens—at a profit.

In fact, the “bailout” has quietly turned out to be a revenue generator for the US treasury as most of the banks that took TARP money are paying it back with interest, and stocks which the US took are generally being sold at enormous profit—all going into the Treasury.  It’s the two biggest, Goldman and AIG that are getting the most ink, the latter SHOULD be able to repay the money but it will take a long time.

Now there’s legislation to try to control the worst excesses, and the always opportunistic GOPers are realizing that doing NOTHING to rein in the banks will get them UNelected come November.

So the only failure I see is YOUR failure to see that the USA has survived and will come back from this disaster.

As for Israel being “Socialist”, well, that’s simply untrue.  That would imply that the Government owns all the means of production and that independent businesses couldn’t be started…Sorry guy, too many examples to list of products and innovations that are privately held.

Here’s one simple example:  Pool owners lust after “robotic” pool cleaners like Aquabot, Blue Diamond and Dolphin.  They were invented in Israel and, as sometimes happens, there was a feud and other companies leaped in to make similar products—all Israeli.  Now WHAT government in its right mind would seek to invest in developing pool cleaners?  No, that takes a bold, risk-taking entrepreneur, something “Socialist” Israel is full of.

You really must get that mental myopia looked into.

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

the Helms-Burton Act…...we need that for capitolism????

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By ofersince72, April 23, 2010 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

and capitolism hasn’t led to mass genocide???

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

And notice I said all of this without calling anybody a name!

Socialism is a constant irritation motivated mainly by the belief that if
everything was socialized, was put in a collective barrel and equally
distributed to the people, all would be living in a state in which
everything was perfect.  with no jealousy, envy, or class warfare. The
dark force in man’s heart would be relieved and all can live happily
ever after. This utopian dream, through neo-neo-Socialism, is a blind
faith that purposely ignores all the evidence from the attempts from the
last 150 years.  I call it neo-neo because it is being recycled…again. 
Socialism has been tried over and over and it not only has failed
miserably to provide even the basic necessities for survival much less
blissful amount of communal property and a good life, but has led to
some of the biggest massacres in human history.  The biggest
slaughter of human flesh was Mao’s Cultural Revolution that murdered
at least 20 million of his own citizen and most likely, if you count
those that disappeared who’s fates are unknown, 60 million.  Imagine,
my god, and I am not even a believer in god, jut think for example, the
entire population of California and Texas being murdered.  Why do
neo-neo-Socialists intentionally forget those human lives that fell
under the leviathan of so-called public owned industry and property. 

Then there was Stalin’s wonderful agricultural collectivism that starved
only 20 million Ukrainians.  And Pol Pot’s killing fields that saw the
deaths of 2 million of a country that had 6 million total population. 
How many South Vietnamese were butchered.  We know of a million,
but the numbers are really unknown and this was after the Western
military left. Castro’s dazzling Cuban revolution saw the imprisonment
of just a few million.  And what happened to those million?  Shall we
really get real and count up the number of millions of people who have
died for the causes of socialism?  Good grief.  Get a grip.

Those that put their faith in the notion that socialism can bring about a
Utopian society if just the right people would take charge, have put a
kerchief over their eyes and are moving in the blind realm of unreality. 
Look, in the United States, millions upon millions of people would need
to be killed to properly install Socialism.  Surely you see that!  It is
without a doubt a recipe not for utopia but for mass murder.

Promises of this kind of human destruction is the economic results
from said socialist countries.  Russia was completely bankrupt after just
71 years of socialist policies.  However, China today is prospering
because they permitted the free market strategy to drive their economy. 
True, China is a socialist country, but it has a capitalist market system
and to be candid, the reason China is killing the United States
economically is because they have greater number of free markets than
we do. And, not to mention slave prison labor.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 2:45 am Link to this comment

Cuba is the second poorest country in the Caribbean with Haiti first.
the Russia has the largest group of thugs on the planet putting the
Italian Mafioso to shame running what’s left of their economy. The
people still have to wait horrendous time in line to buy meat.  North
Korea seeks unceasingly foreign aid to avoid starving to death.  And the
Ukraine has not yet made it into a mentionable national marketplace. 
So it is lunacy to think, as socialists do, that if they can just get the
right people to control the economy, everything will be hunky dory (a
40s saying for ‘great’).  Of course the same claim can be made for
capitalists, that if only the right people were in control, honest people
who really care about the population then all would be perfect.  Yup, 5
yups, and an oh yeah.  It is the nature of all economic systems to be
liable to failure because of the wrong group of people with self-serving
power hungry, deplorable character. 

Faith in socialism has shown to be a instructions for death as we have
seen uncountable mass murder, and actually economic suicide.

The only significant socialist country that is prospering economically
today, China, is doing so using a free market economy and pretty much
with hands off letting it do its work.

My view is that with due regulation, with due socialistic cast of
programs and an eye on the needs of the people, capitalism offers the
best progress of a society.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 2:41 am Link to this comment

To the contrary, Shingo.  Capitalism doesn’t reward cynical and
fraudulent behavior, people do, just as the same action in socialism
does.  Socialism has failed miserably and it is the neo-neo-Socialist
ideologues who refuse to see that after a hundred years strict Marxism
is not going to work.  Socialism took hold in South America because it
is a continent of ignorant peasants. But as it even though slowly gets
its people educated, the flavor of economics will change to the
capitalist banquet table. The same thing happened in Russia when the
Soviet revolution happened and communists took the helm.  It was a
continent of ignorant peasants.  Why deny the magnitude of the failure
there or anywhere? 

The socialist language is old and lame.  Proletariat, bourgeois, blah,
blah.  I don’t know anything that will turn The American People off
more than stupid socialist ideologos except socialist philosophy.  The
ship of state is not sinking.  It is only in the minds of the ideopraxists
that this country is in a fatal decline.  America has more persistent
determination than any other country in the world.  Coming from a
large family, mostly of craftsmen and blue collar workers who all
belonged to a union, miners, blacksmiths, steel workers, factory
workers of all kinds, I know first hand that socialism as envisioned by
some of the zealots here that they would have lifted you off the ground
and dumped you on your head.  There is strength in unions if the
leaders are intelligent and not self-serving.  Too many unions harbored
those who love power as much as self-importance in their leaders.  But,
every single one in the family were capitalistic Americans second after
family first.  They all wanted their cars, their houses, and fishing gear. 
Most of those here who are parading socialism for this country do not
seem to have that kind of dedication.  Your dedication is only to an
idea that is out of step with The American People.  The American
People want the good life that capitalism allows.  Unbridled capitalism
does not work, unregulated anything does not work.  That does not
mean it doesn’t work. 

The biggest misconception about faith in an ideology is holding on to
unproven truths.  The reality is that trust in what is perceived as the
truth is based on the certainty of past evidence.  It’s a continuation of
trust based on history.  Trust in things unproved based on no evidence
is blind faith.  However, neo-neo-Socialists take blind faith once again
to the trough, and I’m saying it is pissing up a tree, again.

Well everybody knows, Anarcissie, that Marxism, Socialism, communism
are all defined by government ownership of the means of production. In
a socialistic state, government bureaucrats direct all production.  The
central committee is the directing force.  The bureaucrats direct
production arbitrarily in universal socialism. 
And everybody knows free-market capitalism is defined by private
ownership of the means of production. Entrepreneurs and capitalists
can use prices and careful economic planning to settle conclusively
which of an indefinite number of ways a project can be made
economically viable or not. 

Austrian economist Ludwig Von Mises was the first to develop an
understanding and explain economic problems in his book, “Human
Action.”  This 930-page book is actually available for free online, and is
fully searchable within the text.
http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/pboettke/summer/Mises_Appreciation.pdf
I suggest it is an antidote to Marxism that one read this book, or at the
least if not an antidote, as an expansion of food for thought.

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By Shingo, April 22, 2010 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

I should add that the biggest irony about your attack on socialist states is that the one you most support, Israel, happens to be one of them.

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By elisalouisa, April 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps I have missed it but as you all cite reasons for the failure of governments in mostly third world countries the heavy handed methods used by our own country as a possible reason for the success or failure of any given country should be right up there. The program “Confessions Of An Economic Hitman” tells the story of how people are handpicked then trained to economically destabilize countries whose leaders do not cooperate. See below.
? ?
” In this Link TV special presentation of the documentary ‘Apology of an Economic Hitman’, we learn about a kind of government persuasion that ?doesn’t involve the CIA. Author John Perkins is an economic hitman, whose job it is to get new foreign leaders to yield to U.S. interests—using debt as a weapon. In front of an angry audience somewhere in Latin America, Perkins describes his personal journey: he is an American who decided to tell the truth, regardless of the risks for his family and his life. He worked for a secret network that used loans from the World Bank, payoffs, extortion, sex, military coups and political assassinations to create the American empire. But an ?unexpected crowd storms the theater demanding answers about the country’s suffering. Among the people gathered is the daughter of an assassinated president. Perkins doesn’t know if he will be accepted or lynched. Based on rare propaganda material, film-noir-style reconstructed sequences and the exclusive filmed confessions of best-selling writer John Perkins, this documentary sheds new light on the international economic and political ?influences in recent American history, from the Second World War to Latin America, to the invasion and looting of Iraq.? ?Joining this special presentation with commentary on the film is investigative ?journalist and New York Times best-selling author Greg Palast.?”  

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By Shingo, April 22, 2010 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Zimbabwe is not a Socialist state, it’s a dictatorship. 
By your own admission, Mugabe’s rise to power had nothing to do with his promises of socialist reforms.  His redistribution of land is more akin to feudalism than socialism.

I never claimed that Venezuela is a Socialist “success”, I merely challenged your suggestion that socialism is dead or a failure.  You seem to be determined to ignore al the other Latin American countries that have followed Venezuela’s lead down that road.  Every one of those countries flirted with free market economics and threw it away.

You certainly can’t label Venezuela a failed state.  Nor did I suggest the US was Capitalist “failure”.   I challenged your suggestion that we have come out of this recession and that things are rosy again.

Nemesis gave one anecdote, (while failing to produce any links to verify what he said) claiming the Venezuela’s capacity for producing staple foods had been temporarily diminished.  That’s certainly fixable and it hardly destroying an economy. 

Was the collapse of GM and Chryzler the destruction of OUR economy?  What about Lehman Brothers?  Get a grip ITW.  It sounds like your sitting in an oxygen poor environment.
Unlike Venezuela, we have debts who’s interest repayments we won’t be able to meet.  Chavez certainly does not have that problem.  How you can compare our predicament, which we haven’t seen the worst of yet, to Venezuela is truly mind boggling.

Chavez is certainly an egomaniac, but unlike the Bush’s he made the wise decision to nationalize Venezuela’s resources, and put a stop to the country being raped, just as Putin did.  Meanwhile, we’ve been shipping our industry and jobs overseas.  You might want to explain where the recovery is going to come from now hat we don;t make anything any more. Derivatives and complexed Ponzi Schemes dreamt up by Wall Street isn’t going to help us.
It’s no surprise that Putin and Chavez suddenly became dictators overnight in our media after they wrestled control of their country’s oil resources from multi nationals who were sucking the wealth out of those countries.

was listening to Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel winning economist) on a pod cast recently where he described the US as one giant piñata.  The corporations are all taking turns hitting the thing with a stick to see what they can get out of it, because they al realize that the piñata never lasts till the end of the party.

I haven’t the time or the space to cover all the ways that the system is broken, but mark my words, we are screwed. I

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

You might think that rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic will keep it afloat.
*************************************

And you would punch holes in the bottom of the hull to let the water run out.

Zimbabwe IS a Socialist state.  Mugabe was an avid Marxist when he took over and he compromised with the White land owners to get power.  When he decided it was politically expedient to redistribute the land, he discovered the ultimate flaw of Socialism: Those who produce will not accept being harnessed for those who don’t produce. The most productive members of the nation fled.  Mugabe, in his race to Socialism, killed the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg.

I find it hilarious that you claim Venezuela is a Socialist “success” and the USA is a Capitalist “failure”.  Yet Nemesis, who detests me almost as much as I detest him, laid out a BRILLIANT demonstration of how Chavez has destroyed his nation’s economy and how, by the measurable statistics, he has put Venezuela in a far worse state than the USA, all in the name of “Socialism.”  And the kicker is: Just like Bush and the GOP (and the cowed Dems) damaged our economy, Chavez wreaked havoc on THEIR economy for no damn good reason other than his own ego (which is even bigger than Bush’s).

Naturally, you won’t see this.  You can’t.  Cognitive Dissonance prevents you from seeing it.

Maybe we’d have more fun talking baseball…Everyone has an opinion, they don’t mean squat, because all that matters is who wins in the end.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 22, 2010 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

I AM AN ABSOLUTE MARXIST-LENINIST-TROTSKIST. I DON’T BELIEVE IN SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY NOR THE SO CALLED SOCIAL-DEMOCRAT EUROPEAN STATES, WHICH ARE CAPITALIST OLIGARCHIC STATES JUST LIKE USA BUT WITH A BIT OF MORE WELFARE.  I REJECT ANY PIPE DREAMS AND THIRD ALTERNATIVES.  WE IN AMERICA HAVE 2 OPTIONS: SOCIALISM OR BARBARISM, THERE IS NO THIRD WAY.

http://www.lrp-cofi.org/PR/polres.html

A workers’ state can be created only through a socialist revolution that overthrows the capitalist state. We reject the theory of “deformed workers’ states” not created by any workers’ revolution. There can be no peaceful transformation from capitalism to socialism: the capitalist state must be smashed through an armed workers’ insurrection.

A socialist revolution must be led by a proletarian vanguard party. Soviets, workers’ councils, etc., the highest forms of the workers’ united front, can act as vehicles for the revolutionary conquest of state power though the leadership of the vanguard party. “Spontaneous acts” of the working class—that is, mass acts of the proletariat without organized leadership and control of defined political forces—can and do have great positive significance. In fact, the growth of advanced consciousness occurs as a result of lessons learned in such preliminary struggles. However, as long as such struggles are dominated by non-revolutionary consciousness—that is, not led by the conscious working class vanguard—they cannot achieve proletarian revolution.

In no country is a bourgeois-democratic or any further capitalist, “mixed-class” or “non-class” stage necessary. The working class must seek to lead other classes and class elements, such as the peasantry and the lower middle strata, in a revolutionary alliance for international socialist revolution.

Given that in this epoch the proletariat has grown into a powerful and independent force, the bourgeoisie is forced to align with remnants of utterly reactionary pre-capitalist classes. Imperialist to the core, it itself must resort to reactionary anti-“bourgeois-democratic” means to defend its rule. In relatively prosperous times, the imperialists prefer to cloak their armed power—or that of their pawns—in democratic clothing. However, in today’s crisis, the fist is evermore apparent. However, in this epoch, no matter the level of crisis the remaining democratic tasks of the bourgeois revolutions can only really be achieved, much less secured, by the working class through socialist revolution. That is, the democratic “revolution” is now a by-product of the socialist revolution, not an inevitable stage ahead of it. This is the theory of permanent revolution.

Since capital is international and depends upon fratricidal nationalism to survive, the proletariat must be internationalist. A proletarian revolution in one country must spread especially to the proletariat of the dominant, economically-advanced, imperialist powers, if the workers’ state is to be able to develop into socialism and communism.

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By Shingo, April 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

ITW.

Zimbabwe can hardly be attributed to the fallout of socialism.  That country has ben wracked by colonialism and apartheid for most for the century as well as tribal tensions.

Yes, the USSR did fall apart, but to call the USSR socialism is to describe Benrie Madoff as a bookmaker.  Iceland and Greece could easily be described as examples where capitalism has failed.  They just happen to be small enough not to have affected those around them, though the EU has tried to revive Greece.

You did acknowledge that we were bloodied and scarred, but you also assumed that we’ve come out of the other end, which is delusional.  The fact we are still standing doesn’t mean we’re going to come out stronger and better for it.

There’s no sophistry in my argument.  I’m merely holding up a mirror and pointing out the blatant hypocrisy, along with generous helping of denial that you are others have on display.

The fact is that every criticism and label you want to pin on socialist states is abundantly evident in our own system. Individuals like yourself confuse the fact that we risk taking the world down with us if we fall as a sign of our strength.

You might think that rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic will keep it afloat.

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By Leefeller, April 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

“Cann4ing, rant reply, set in sand!” Correction: should have been.

Cann4ing,

My rant reply set in sand!

Sorry Cann4ing I was indicating my ranting not in any way meaning you, looking at my lead in, I see how that could have happened,  please accept my apology.

I have no disparage towards your post, except possibly some disagreement of opinion and obviously misinterpretation of my comments from before. Let me make it clear I have no love of unregulated Capitalism nor unleashed Socialism!

Socialism does not appeal (never realized it before)  because I spend much of my time as an affeminte (what ever that is)  man mowing my lawn and talking on my cellphone at the same time!

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

Shingo:

“Failure” is what is happening in Zimbabwe, and what happened that led to the USSR falling apart.

NOBODY debates that we have very serious issues and troubles.  Remember I said we were bloodied and scarred?  Or don’t you remember that either, along with Yeltsin standing on a tank fending off a military coup?

But we haven’t collapsed and don’t have anarchy and chaos in the streets.

Your sophistry knows no bounds and no limits.  You oughta be a Republican.  You’d give Orren Hatch a run for his money as the Humpty-Dumpty of the Senate.

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By Shingo, April 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

“Clearly rule by a politburo or central committee, unless very democratically chosen, is not socialism according to the definition I have given—the workers do not control the means of production.  The sort of pretended socialism enacted in the Soviet Union for the most part fit Mussolini’s definition of fascism, and I think that is the proper name for it.”

I am often reminded about a anecdote that Robert Fisk tells about a delegation from the former USSR that visited the US.  When asked about the free press in this country, they expressed their awe at how effectively the media in this country were controlled and kept on message. 

They lamented that to achieve the same level of censorship we got for free in Russia would have been beyond their means.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie: Do not try to argue with people who are brainwashed by the the mainstream media, american slaves are too argumentative and too apologetic.  It takes like 10,000 hours of debating in order to convince the US apathetic slaves how evil capitalism is.  It is real hard to convince people in the USA how evil the capitalist system.

.

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By Anarcissie, April 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, April 22 at 6:49 pm:
’... Actually there is a concealed class system in socialism as well:  the politboro or central committee members and the rest who are kept as worker bees. ...’

Clearly rule by a politburo or central committee, unless very democratically chosen, is not socialism according to the definition I have given—the workers do not control the means of production.  The sort of pretended socialism enacted in the Soviet Union for the most part fit Mussolini’s definition of fascism, and I think that is the proper name for it.

’... Capitalism is based on free choice. ...’

Capitalism is usually defined as “the private ownership and control of the means of production.”  In practice, in Western Europe and North America, traditionally it means the ownership and control of the means of production by an elite class, the bourgeoisie, who require a working class to do productive labor and to consume the products (unless they are used in war, in which case the enemy “consumes” the products).  I don’t see how freedom of any sort is intrinsic to capitalism, although I agree that it is ideologically associated with liberalism, which in its original form was supposed to secure liberty at least for the bourgeois and maybe a rich-peasant class, although not for their women, children, employees, servants and slaves.

The fact that it was capitalism into which Soviet fascism (partially) evolved should certainly trouble the sleep of some somnabulists.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE MALCOM X ON USA, INSTEAD OF THE APATHETIC, AFEMINATE MEN WE HAVE IN AMERICAN MOWING THEIR LAWNS, AND TALKING ON THEIR CELLPHONES

WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT MALCOMX, AND TO HELL WITH THIS FREE MARKET NAZI SYSTEM OF DEATH AND BLOOD AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT1jLY20tLo

VIVA CHAVEZ, VIVA CHE GUEVARA, VIVA FIDEL CASTRO, AND TO HELL WITH AYN RAND, ADAM SMITH AND BUSH !!


.

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By Shingo, April 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

BTW Shen,

While I realize it’s always precarious to cite examples and use them as then as the basis to condemn an entire economic system, I would like to cite one example of how Capitalism (at least the system we have is the US) rewards and encourages inhumane and murderous behavior while socialism punished it.

in 2001, Bayer discovered that blood products for haemophiliacs they had produced (factor 8), were contaminated with HIV.  They took it off the market in the US, but then dumped the products into markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Why did they not destroy the contaminated products?  Because there was too much money at stake.  They had to figure out how they could turn a profit on a product they could not sell in America.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf2u7j9FeVI
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1482021.stm

Now the indictment of America is that the Bayer execs in those countries went to prison for it.  Not one single corporate executive from Bayer USA was even investigated for this crime.

This was made possible of course, becasue the FDA, the regulatory body that is supposed to provide oversight, allowed this to happen and the reason they allowed it to happen is that the FDA is run and funded by the drug companies.

Americans were dying from the product before it was pulled off the market.  The government stopped Bayer from selling the product in the US, but allowed Bayer to sell it overseas.

Thousands of haemophiliacs in Europe and Asia, died of aids as a result of this greed and corruption.

Bayer’s excuse was they what they did was legal because it was “consistent with the regulations in place”.

That’s the kind of “morality” that capitalism encourages and rewards.

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By Shingo, April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Shen,

Part 1 of 2

You and ITW are going to be repeatedly caught in your own rhetorical traps while you persist with superficial platitudes about socialism being dead, or how socialism has failed because there are too many examples which contradict you.  You’re also demonstrating a profound level of double standards by dismissing corruption within capitalist economies as the consequence of a few bad apples while holding up corrugation socialist systems as proof that the ideology is fundamentally flawed.

Capitalism and socialism are ideologies.  Like religions they both aspire to noble goals, but are susceptible to human nature.  In reality, they cannot exist without the other to some extent and indeed, as we have seem with the bank bailouts and TARP, they co-exist.

Cann4ing puts this very eloquently in his/her post.

“I believe you have confused authoritarian political systems with the essence of an economy based on socialist principles, which, at their core, can be found in democratic principles and in a value system that elevates the needs of community over the selfish and destructive path (both economic and ecological) of a corporate security state which, in many respects, has taken on the trappings of a feudal order of 21st century billionaire masters and serfs.”

In essence, Socialism is as much a free choice as capitalism.  Socialism exists because certain societies have chosen it and rejected raw capitalism.  This is abundantly obvious in Latin American where all but a few states have turned their backs on free market Friedman economics and returned to socialist ideals.  To suggest socialism has failed miserably is to ignore all reality.  If it were such a failure, it would not be overwhelmingly embraced.

As we have seen with the rampant gambling on Wall Street, Capitalism as we know it, rewards cynical and fraudulent behavior and lacks the will to punish wrongful and vice laden behavior.  Just look at Goldman Sachs, who were at the forefront of the collapse, yet through powerful connections not only got bailed out, but has profited handsomely from their own vice laden behaviour.  In fact, while 2 years ago, everyone agreed that the same behavior could no longer be sustained or tolerated, we are seeing such behavior being handsomely rewarded.

Bernie Madoff was an sacrificial lamb, much like Lindie England was for Abu Graib.  I would challenge you to produce a “list a host of those who have gone to jail”.  As for those who committed suicide, they more were likely to have been driven to take such action by having seen personal fortunes go up in smoke than any sense of remorse.

“It is the kind of economic system that allows the people to be good.”

It’s ironic that you should still believe that because that’s what Alan Greenspan believed and has since refuted.  Greenspan believed that the free market would self regulate because it would act in it’s own interests, but as it turns out, the free market is cannibalistic and will ultimately eat it’s own.

“It is all for the good of the state, the collective, the anonymous masses.”

That sounds like a socialist doctrine if I ever heard one.  You see, the essence of socialism is fundamentally humanistic. It has to be in order to appeal to the masses. It professes to serve the good of the collective.  As is the case with capitalism, the fact that it falls short of this ideal in practise does not make the ideology itself evil or wrong.

Capitalism above any other economic system, allows the application of free will.  Even though capitalism cannot
assure a moral society, it is required to have one.”

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By Shingo, April 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

Some would argue that capitalism engenders selfishness, inhumanity, greed, corruption, and ultimately fuels violence.  It’s no coincidence that the US, the bastion of capitalism, is among the most violent societies in the world.  We have the world’s biggest prison population, both in absolute terms and per capita.  In the developed world, the health system in the US ranks around 37.  In terms of education, we’re even lower.

Here’s just a handful of statistics to show how capitalism has failed us.

1.The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).
2.The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
3.Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the earth. Seventeen percent believe the earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005).
4.“The International Adult Literacy Survey…found that Americans with less than nine years of education ‘score worse than virtually all of the other countries’” (Jeremy Rifkin’s superbly documented book The European Dream: How Europe’s Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, p.78).
5.Our workers are so ignorant and lack so many basic skills that American businesses spend $30 billion a year on remedial training (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004). No wonder they relocate elsewhere!
6.“The European Union leads the U.S. in…the number of science and engineering graduates; public research and development (R&D) expenditures; and new capital raised” (The European Dream, p.70).
7.“Europe surpassed the United States in the mid-1990s as the largest producer of scientific literature” (The European Dream, p.70).
8.The World Health Organization “ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. [was]...37th.” In the fairness of health care, we’re 54th. “The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world” (The European Dream, pp.79-80). Pay more, get lots, lots less.
9.“U.S. childhood poverty now ranks 22nd, or second to last, among the developed nations. Only Mexico scores lower” (The European Dream, p.81). Been to Mexico lately? Does it look “developed” to you? Yet it’s the only “developed” country to score lower in childhood poverty.
10.The United States is 41st in the world in infant mortality. Cuba scores higher (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).
11.Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005). 
12.“Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European, while only 50 are U.S. companies” (The European Dream, p.66). “In a recent survey of the world’s 50 best companies, conducted by Global Finance, all but one were European” (The European Dream, p.69).

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Sometimes it’s just more fun to sit back and watch…

Nemo attacks me viciously and who takes most of his arguments apart, rather brilliantly? ElisaLouisa!

Shingo makes inane claims, and weird interpretations of links I gave him, and who leaps in to rip Shingo’s arguments to threads?  Nemo!

BTW, Nemo….

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/how_nation_true_jobless_rate_is_N4E6MjtfhnMcCi537pucaJ

http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/blogs/investorcentric/2010/01/what-is-true-unemployment-number.html

http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-410190

You have a disgusting habit of asking leading questions then make invalid PUBLIC assertions about a person who refuses to play into your game.  Who are you, Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly in a Socialist cloak?

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

American socialists should get united. Because the people united will never be defeated by tea-baggers, pro-free market libertarians and by the far-right wing Republic-Rats.  Capitalism is too evil, and the USA can no longer be capitalist, whatever the people say about Chavez, or Stalin, Pol Pot or whatever pretexts they have to keep this evil system.  Capitalism only serves the mafias of this world, and is destroying the living standards of most americans.  We need a socialist system as soon as possible in the USA.

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By Shingo, April 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Nemesis2010

4)Only an idiot would try this defense.

I see.  Rampant corruption in our political system is excusable while corruption in Venezuela is evidence that their political system is a failure.

5) ” So because Bush and Cheney are corrupt it’s okay for Chávez”

I never said anythign abotu corruptino being OK, only that it was endemic to all political classes, left and right.  If it’s bad for Venzuela then it’s bad for the US. 

6)

a) If Venezuelans are facing shortages of staple foods it’s a supply side problem not an inability to buy those staples.  The lack of expertise is temporary.  Expertise will come with time and more importantly, the expertise will remain within Venezuela.

Daily 3 hour blackouts?  Ever heard of Enron in California? Ever been to NY in summer?

“Choice positions have been given to talent-less pro-Chávez managers in a system of cronyism that makes the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney blush with shame.”

Come back to me when you can name a contract that Chevez has handed out to his cronies that is 1% of of the pork dished out toe Halliburton and Lockheed or when the companies hat are under investigati9no for defrauding the government are being paid performance bonuses.

7)“My daughter-in-law is Venezuelan and I’ve several in my employ, so if you’re going to come here and try to blow smoke up our arses you’d better bring your “A” game because we’re all looking at you buddy! “‘

You’re welcome to look. But don’t touch. That’s extra.

Foreplay aside, you haven’t even bothered to address the fact that oil revenues in Venezuela are down because of falling oil prices.  Venezuela is particularly sensitive to price of oil because it’s oil reserves are heavy in tar and thus more expensive to refine than the sweet crude from the ME.  Venezuela only starts to make money when oil is above $50 a barrel.

The fact that you happen to know a few Venezuelan’s doesn’t carry much credibility either.  If they’re in the US, then chances are they left Venezuela becasue of their opposition to Chavez.  I’ve met wealthy white South Africans migrants who tell me what a shit hole SA has become since apartheid ended.  are you suggesting I place much credibility on their account?

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By nemesis2010, April 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

@ cann4ing:

Good work, keep it coming.

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By nemesis2010, April 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

@ Shingo: (2)

4) Totally corrupt
And what do you call Congress?

A: And what has AmeriCorp’s congressional corruption have to do with the heavenly beauty of Chavista paradise? Are you trying to condone the Chávez government’s corruption because the U.S. government is corrupt? Only an idiot would try this defense.

5) Favoring family members
Yeah, I’m sure Bush and Cheney didn’t give their family any backhanders.

A: So because Bush and Cheney are corrupt it’s okay for Chávez—the supposed great liberator of the Venezuelan people—to be corrupt also?

6) Totally DESTROYED the Venezuelan economy
Destroyed? Really?  How so? The last time I checked,

Venezuela owned no one a dime and was lending money to it’s neighbours. The last time I checked, the US was so paranoid about this guy’s popularity and influence that they arming Colombia and still have military bases dotted throughout the region.
Venezuela’s economy grew by 10.3 percent in 2006 and about 8.4 percent in 2007.  It has fallen in 2008 because of recession,  so what?

How well was Venezuela’s economy doing before Chavez came to power? And how well has ours been doing this last decade?

Dude, do you ever take a look in the mirror?

A: Venezuelans are facing shortages of staple foods in a way that has never before occurred in Venezuela. The economy always was a predator capitalist economy much like that here in the U.S. –only worse. Until the past few weeks the nation has been experiencing daily 3 hour electrical blackouts. Chávez has tried to blame the problem on the drought while conveniently looking the other way when anyone mentions the horrendous state of disrepair of the government managed utility.

Much of the food shortages are due to “expropriation” of lands from companies and given to inexperienced locals who haven’t the capital nor the expertise to yield a level of production that meets the needs of the country.

PDVSA’s production is 30-50 percent less than it was prior to Chávez. Much of the problem is due to talent flight and persecution of non-Chavistas. Choice positions have been given to talent-less pro-Chávez managers in a system of cronyism that makes the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney blush with shame.

7) Has rampant unemployment DESPITE oil revenues.
False:  Oil revenues are down because oil prices have fallen dramatically.

A: That’s only partly true. See above (#1 & 6). Unemployment continues to be high and opportunities are shrinking. It remains in the mid to high twenty %. Much of this is due to the inability of businesses to conduct business because of the cronyism and government regulation of foreign capital. The great Liberator’s economic policy is strangling the nation into a slow death. He is destroying the lives of those that he claims to care about most.

My daughter-in-law is Venezuelan and I’ve several in my employ, so if you’re going to come here and try to blow smoke up our arses you’d better bring your “A” game because we’re all looking at you buddy! smile

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By nemesis2010, April 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

@ Shingo: (1)

‘”In Venezuela, despite the propaganda, Chavez has been”

1) Destroying liberty
Evidence?  Of course, Liberty has been just so overwhelming here hasn’t it?

A: In Venezuela the government has taken control of all foreign currency. If you travel there and exchange dollars, euros, pounds, etc. for the Bolivar you will NOT be able to reconvert the unused portion upon leaving. This little gimmick is used to strangle businesses into either bankruptcy and/or forcing them to purchase equipment, commodities, etc. from Iran, Russia, China, etc.; in other words friends of Chávez.

It is almost a daily occurrence for a business owner to arrive at his business only to be confronted by soldiers prohibiting entry into what was once his business because it has now been “expropriated.”
There’s much more if you so desire.

The U.S. is not Venezuela. Whatever liberty is here shouldn’t mean a damn thing. Either it’s a socialist paradise as you claim or it isn’t.

2) arresting the opposition
Evidence? Name one.

A: Oswaldo Álvarez Paz, the two-time former governor of Zulia state and former presidential candidate and anti-Chavista was arrested 22-March-2010, the same day the owner of Globovisión, Guillermo Zuloaga, was arrested. Globovisión is the only remaining free anti-Chávez television station in operation. You’ve asked for one and I’ve mentioned two; would you like a much longer list? 

3) Trying to arrange to be “President-For-Life” (that means “Dictator” in plain English).
False.  He conducted a referendum.  He lost.  He accepted the outcome.

A: He continues in pursuit of this goal and is determined to be dictator for life. He has not accepted anything. He was forced to accept the outcome and is still applying political pressure and has a handful of lawyers trying to wriggle out of the few constitutional restraints that the Chavistas overlooked when they wrote the new constitution.

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By Shenonymous, April 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Assuming that Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance satayagraha (resistance to
tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a philosophy firmly founded
upon ahimsa or total nonviolence) is effective, apparently it did secure
independence for India.  Then it inspired Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s drive
for civil rights in America as well as Cesar Chavez championing
treatment of farm workers in California.  Czechoslovakia used the
Velvet Revolution to defeat the Communists widely known in the history
books as being one of the most important nonviolent Revolutions of
20th century.  The women of Liberia, after a 14-year civil war, under
the leadership of Leymah Gbowee achieved peace through nonviolent
action, and the Dalia Lama promotes progress for Tibet through non-
violent resistance against the Chinese.  Given these stellar examples, I
wonder if it is the Israelis or the Islamists who should take a clue?

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By OzarkMichael, April 22, 2010 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

Every now and then, unrelated to the topic at hand, omop drops a little antisemitic propaganda our way.

I am considering engaging in counter-point with him. Not that i would chase down the tenuous connection his ‘quotes’ have to reality. That would be too much work and he wouldnt answer me if i challenged him.

So instead I will just do the exact same thing to him that he is doing to Jewish people. I will post random connections between a cause he holds dear and something stupid. The idea is to make what opmop holds dear look evil and stupid by association. What I could do is pump this bilge out in the same measure that he shovels it into Truthdig, which is almost daily.

Let me get started with today’s “Dear omop” report:

We begin with yesterday’s Palestinian Telegraph. This online reportage by Palestinians has decided to discuss terrorism in America. But not any terrorism, no dear no. They want to expose Jewish terrorism.

This is very important to The Palestinian Telegraph. So they need an expert. Who is the authority they turn to? Who do they feature in their online magazine?

Well, lets see.

The guy on their front page looks familiar. Looks like David Duke, the Grand Wizard of the KKK. By golly it is David Duke!

But I suppose thats ok. I mean its all for a good cause, right? i mean if you love your antisemitism nice and hot, who serves it up toastier than the Grand Wizard of the KKK?

Take a look at the front page of yesterday’s Palestinian Telegraph:

http://weaselzippers.us/2010/04/22/uk-palestinians-team-up-with-former-kkk-grand-wizard-david-duke/

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By elisalouisa, April 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Part !!
A deputation from South Africa led by Sorabji Rustomji came to India in 1946 (CWMG, Vol 83, pp 352-354). It was protesting against racial legislation in South Africa. A member of the delegation asked Gandhi: “You have said we
should associate with Zulus and Bantus. Does it not mean joining them in a common anti-white front? ” Gandhi replied: “Yes, I have said that we should associate with the Zulus, Bantus, etc….It will be good if you can fire them with
the spirit of non-violence”. (CWMG, Vol 83, p 353). Gandhi remarked of the deputationists’ cause on May 27, 1946 : “The cause is the cause of the honour of India and through her of all the exploited coloured races of the earth, whether they be brown, yellow or black. It is worth all the suffering of which
they are capable”. (CWMG, Vol 84, p. 215).Gandhi’s article in the Harijan of September 22, 1946 sums up his attitude: ?”
News comes from Durban that a group of Indians has sprung up in South Africa who have lost faith in satyagraha. They cherish the dream that they can overthrow the rule of the White man there, only by joining forces with the Negroes, the coloured people, other Asiatics and European sympathizers and adopting violent means. The rumour, if there is any truth in it, is disturbing and a definite fly in the ointment. All, whether they believe in non-violence or not, should realise that Indians in South Africa gained world-wide esteem simply because in spite of being a handful, they showed infinite capacity for suffering
and did not, through losing their patience, resort to sabotage and violence.
They learnt the wholesome lesson that true well-being springs from suffering and that victory lies in unity. From my own experience, my firm advice to Indians in South Africa is that they should, on no account, be lured away into throwing aside the matchless weapon of satyagraha. ?This does not, however,
imply that they are not to accept the help of the coloured people, Negroes and any other sympathizers or that they will not help them in their need, should occasion arise. The only condition is that satyagraha should be their one and
only weapon.” (CWMG, Vol 85, pp297-298)

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By Shenonymous, April 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie - “I trust you are aware that capitalism does entail certain
intrinsic structural problems, like the class system and the strategies
necessary to maintain it?  It seems a little complicated for yups.
As for socialism, “the ownership or control of the means of production
by the workers,” I can’t see it as a “real evil”.  Millions of people own
and control their means of production without any special ill effect.”

I do believe I already expressed that problems plague capitalism.  How
many times does it need said?  There are certainly enough voices on
Truthdig expressing their myriad and various criticisms.  Actually there
is a concealed class system in socialism as well:  the politboro or
central committee members and the rest who are kept as worker bees. 
Drones.  But that is negligible I would guess to those whose idealism
veils their eyes to the reality of it.  And the yups were for my
observations, not the simplicity of the situation, that should have been
obvious.  The real evil that creeps into socialism is the delusion that
millions of people “own” and control their means of production without
any special ill effect.  Seems to me failed Russia and communism in
China did not work for million upon millions of people.  It appears to
be the soup du jour for a few South American experiments but I hear
reports that it is not working for ‘millions’ there either. And Cuba is
transforming into a capitalist state as we breathe.  The collapse of
Soviet Communism ought to have alerted some political
somnambulists. 

Capitalism is based on free choice.  Regardless of the way it has been
corrupted, because socialism can equally become corrupt when
nefarious individuals decide to line their own pockets regardless of the
underlying philosophy, capitalism also provides the best theater for
morality and individual quality and human advancement.  Theoretically,
and that is the basis on which to compare the two systems since one
has failed miserably (socialism) and the other is radically uneven it is
applications.  Capitalism requires and rewards virtuous behavior as
much as it punishes wrongful and vice laden behavior.  Uh, Bernie
Madoff is in jail, and I could list a host of those who have gone to jail
even a couple have committed suicide. 

There is much tedious recital about freedoms as if raising the word
itself is supposed to raise the hair on one’s neck.  But freedom for
humans is not without limitations.  Anarchism such as your name
implies is an attitude to which you might subscribe doesn’t work on a
large population either. It would sink into chaos.  Dog eat dog. 
Practically speaking, pragmatics if you will, social ethics and social
rules must be given serious attention.  Freedom within a society means
people are free from the coercion of thugs and vicious human animals
who would wrest their property or life’s work or even their life away. 

Capitalism requires individual participants to decide on the ends that is
desirable an is in reality only a means.  It is the kind of economic
system that allows the people to be good.  It will not make people
good, but then what in socialism extols individual goodness?  It is all
for the good of the state, the collective, the anonymous masses. And
what collective mind thinks about what is good?  To do that there has
to be freedom to think about what is the nature of the good.  And to do
that in socialism is anathema just as the god of the garden did not
want his creations to think about good and evil.  It is only when an
individual has a choice and takes responsibility for his actions that he
can be a moral person.  Capitalism above any other economic system,
allows the application of free will.  Even though capitalism cannot
assure a moral society, it is required to have one.

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