The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Yes, the good Reverend is.
"Critical thinking", "nuances", uncritical praise of Marxism, references to class warfare and false consciousness, constant degeneration of the US.
Stop with your double plus ungood hyper rage, Kevin!
He does manage to hit all the Leftist talking points in just over three minutes, doesn't he? It's like he's practiced it before!
But, Kevin, Obama is learning. The reason he has such people around is because, unlike the rigid lock-steppers on the right, he's open to different ideas and different ways of doing things. We shouldn't judge him just by those people. What Obama deserves as president is our faith that he will do the right thing. He says he wants to do the right thing. Won't you trust him?
Meanwhile, I just heard that Rush once brushed up against a guy who had a cousin whose college roommate may have known someone who was rumored to be in the KKK. Judging by this association, Rush is clearly a horrible, horrible person who surrounds himself with hateful people and deserves nothing but suspicion and scorn.
"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and prosperity instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions." -- Hitler, 1927
Also, Hilter extended state controls over prices, labor, materials, dividends and foreign trade. He limited competition and private ownership in attempt to direct all segments of economy towards "general welfare".
But I don't want to drive an analogy too far, but it's funny how certain things line up.
Where's Tinkerbell to refute such slanderous talk?
He thinks he already has. That's what that first link is.
Additional data is meaningless if one has already asked the right questions!
I know, I'm just trying to taunt the stupid SOB.
Digging deep, aren't we Kevin? Reverend Wright again...Ah, well, when the Wall Street Journal reports that the bail out worked, what's a fella to do?
Thinking that middle class drives our economy is not socialism, Kevin. It's called capitalism. But please continue to cheer for our plutonomy. I sense a My Name is Earl karmic moment coming soon...:)
Meanwhile, in reality...
As Americans, I believe we reject communism because it historically has allowed a tiny group of people to consolidate complete control over national resources (including people), in the process stifling competition, freedom and choice. It leaves its citizens stagnating under the perpetual broken systems with no natural motivation to innovate, improve services or reduce costs.
No, we reject it because Communism killed over 100,000,000 of its own citizens in the last century in its quest for Utopia.
We also reject Communism because, rather than making everyone the "middle class," it makes a huge group impoverished and a tiny group all-powerful.
It is in COMMUNISM, Markadelphia, where there is no middle class.
"Capitalism" is unrelated to the presence of a middle class. It is a system of economic relations in which general productive activity is driven by the decisions of those who provide capital to business.
Capitalism, for most of its existence, was unrelated to free markets. (Which is why I am continually irritated by people who say "capitalism" when they mean "free markets." The East India Companies were capitalist, but were assuredly not free-market.)
Of course, expecting Mark to use words in their precise meanings is clearly expecting too much...
Forgive me, Mastiff, if this comes out sounding naive, but I thought that the East India Companies were considered to have followed Mercantilism? Or would that be considered a specific form of capitalism, much like Greco-Roman markets were an expression of capitalism for their time?
Reverend Wright sure was done wrong by AmeriKKKa... well, except for that huge mansion of his... oh, and that multimillion dollar "line of credit" given him by the church...
"Land of greed" indeed.
"Meanwhile, in reality..."
I don't think you've ever actually been there, to Reality, I mean. They'd have heaved your ass back across the border and we'd have heard the thud as your keister hit the ground.
The laughter would have been loud as well.
What I mean is that the EICs were financed by private investors who purchased (more or less) freely tradable stock shares. They were also deeply involved in loaning money to their respective states, which is why said states gave them their monopolies in the first place.
Again, when I speak of "capitalism," I mean the institutional structures of capitalist finance, not free markets.
(Actually, it's very interesting. When a state granted a charter of incorporation, they were relinquishing part of their sovereignty. Similar charters were granted to towns or Church organizations that granted particular areas of autonomy from state control. In a very real sense, the British East India Company was an independent state, and saw itself as suchwhich was why the British state crushed it as soon as it was able to access the public money markets directly.)
But Kevin (as in Baker) no one on the left is disputing the evils of communism. Why? Because they AREN'T FUCKING COMMUNISTS.
Just because you claim that people on the left are doesn't make it so. There aren't even any liberals in this country, Kevin. And the few that are around (see: corporate media joke) aren't even communists themselves. Dennis Kucinich isn't one and Bernie Saunders is a democratic socialist. There is a difference. You, of all people, who have told me time and again that not everyone on the right is the same should take your own advice about the left.
So, I am begging you, take a fucking chill pill. The commies are not coming. They lost. In fact, even the ones that own our asses aren't even commies themselves anymore.
Speaking of evil, any chance you are going to look at the 7 million people we killed in Vietnam? The hundreds of thousands in Iraq? The other despicable acts that our country has carried out?
I won't hold my breath. I know, we're perfect and I'm an "America hater." And it's all the fault of those damn firners.
Sorry, I have to agree with Mark on this one. But only a bit.
Not all intellectual descendants of Marx's program of Social Democracy are identical. Socialists are not quite the same as Communists, nor are the New Left the same as Stalinists.
But, and here is the key problem, most of these groups are essentially interchangeable on the key issue: the extent of state power over society.
Even though there are differences in details, they all wash out during the implementation. Once governments gain power, they no longer care much about whatever ideological justifications were put forward to limit its use.
There are some Leftist groups that are anti-statist, but they also tend to be anti-capitalists also. This limits their political impact, so that for most purposes they can be ignored. This is a shame, because there are potential areas for collaboration here with the small-government right.
Evenin' Ralph, you moving to 2nd shift?
Ralph: Meanwhile, in reality...
From the article: I believe we reject communism because it historically has allowed a tiny group of people to consolidate complete control over national resources (including people), in the process stifling competition, freedom and choice. It leaves its citizens stagnating under the perpetual broken systems with no natural motivation to innovate, improve services or reduce costs.
Not totally correct, but arguable in some ways, and he does preface that it is his opinion.
Lack of choice, lazy, unresponsive customer service, a culture of exploitation and a small powerbase formed by cronyism and nepotism are the hallmarks of a communist system that steals from its citizenry and a major reason why America spent half a century fighting a Cold War with the U.S.S.R
No, it's really not why we fought the cold war, not for "good customer service". But otherwise, he's right about the description of what ends up under communism.
And yet today we find ourselves as a country in two distinctly different categories: those who are forced to compete tooth and nail each day to provide value to society in return for income for ourselves and our families and those who would instead use our lawmaking apparatus to help themselves to our tax money and/or to protect themselves from true competition.
Are you sure this is the article you meant to link? I mean, I've got no gripes with that paragraph.
If you allow weak, outdated players to take control of the government and change the rules so they are protected from the natural competition and reward systems that have created so many innovations in our country, you not only steal from the citizens on behalf of the least worthy but you also doom them by trapping the capital that would be used to generate new innovation and, most tangibly in our current situation, jobs.
Nor that one. And he's talking about what your Won has done....
Everything from innovation in medical delivery systems to accessible space travel, free energy to the driverless car; all of these things may never come to bear because those powerful individuals who have failed, been passed over by technological advancements, innovation and flat-out smarts, have commandeered our government to unfairly sustain their wealth and power.
... Ok, so he doesn't know jack about the cold war, but he's got some decent prose here, that's for sure. You sure you meant to link this article?
Unfortunately, they use our wealth and laws not only to benefit their outdated, failed companies, but also spend a small pittance of their ill-gotten gains lobbying and favor-trading with politicians so the government will continue to protect them from competition and their well-deserved failure.
The massive spike in unemployment, the utter destruction of retirement wealth, the collapse in the value of our homes, the worst recession since the Great Depression have all resulted directly from the abdication of proper government.
Again, his conclusion is weak, and leaves aside what "proper government" would look like. But if you change out that last sentence or define "proper government" as limited powers with checks and balances and not extending into every field, hey... We're onto something.
Only true rules-based capitalism ensures constant adaptation and implementation of the latest and best practices for a given business, as those businesses that don't adapt fail, and those who deploy the latest innovations to their customers benefit, prosper.
My head at least is still nodding here.
The concept of communism is rightly reviled in this country for the simple reason that it is blind to human nature, allowing a small group of individuals near-total control, while sticking everyone else with the same crappy systems -- and the bill. America spent countless lives and half a century fighting against this system of government. So why are we standing for it now?
Amen! Hallelujah! Preach it Brother!
Yes, why are we standing for it now, Markadelphia?
Why? That's a damn good question. So since you linked to that, why don't you answer it?
Oh, Ralph. You were doing *so well*. Almost got the sheep, then you stepped on the banana peel and swerved back left...
But Kevin (as in Baker) no one on the left is disputing the evils of communism.
Yes, yes they are. Continually. You're (as usual) wrong on your basis.
Why? Because they AREN'T FUCKING COMMUNISTS.
Since they are, it's then fair to say that they are BECAUSE THEY'RE FUCKING COMMUNISTS. (Based on your "logic". We've been through this with "Primary Sources", among others.)
Just because you claim that people on the left are doesn't make it so.
And when they agree they are, or declare people on the "Right"?
There aren't even any liberals in this country, Kevin.
What does "liberal" mean, Mark?
Are you sure you didn't mix that up with "Martian" again? (Verbatim?)
And the few that are around
Wait, wait, there aren't even any, but there are a few...
I just need to quote you to refute you. That's not good proof of your superior intellect, much less debating skills.
Dennis Kucinich isn't one
You might want to tell him that.
and Bernie Saunders is a democratic socialist.
Oh, a Democratic socialist Ah, there's all the difference there! Kevin! Apologies all around!
Let's see. What does wikipedia say about democratic socialism...?
Democratic socialism is difficult to define, and groups of scholars have radically different definitions for the term. Some definitions simply refer to all forms of socialism that follow an electoral, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism, rather than a revolutionary one. Often, this definition is invoked to distinguish democratic socialism from communism
Mark said: But Kevin (as in Baker) no one on the left is disputing the evils of communism.
Mark: Why? Because they AREN'T FUCKING COMMUNISTS.
Then I said: Since they are,
The "Since they are" refers to "disputing the evils of communism" - just in case that was unclear. Referring back to yes, many do that all the time (Including our very own Markadelphia, including in that very post)]
"Just because you claim that people on the left are doesn't make it so."
Just because you claim that people on the left are not doesn't make it so.
Beware labels, teacher boy. You have no credibility, remember?
"There aren't even any liberals in this country, Kevin."
... followed immediately by ...
"And the few that are around ..."
Yet again, you contradict yourself in adjacent sentences.
Why don't you clean up this vomitus a bit before posting it? Can't you at least wipe the crap off your shoes before entering Kevin's parlor?
Remember kids, Bill Ayers, Van Jones, Anita Dunn, Jeremiah Wright... they're all moderates. They have to be, since there are no liberals in this country.
The commies are not coming.
I thought this was about socialists. You know about them don't you M? They were as hated by the communists as any capitalist robber baron ever was. The first group the Bolsheviks slaughtered was the Mensheviks. Europe (western half of course) is still largely socialist, only having shed some of the excesses in some countries. Thatcher isn't hated by Communists in Britain, she is reviled by socialists.
Choice is freedom. Without choice there is no freedom.
Doesn't matter if you call them communist, socialist, fascist, left, right, or Fred--any political faction whose policy is to limit choice for the "public good" and not because it causes harm is evil. That faction is morally bankrupt and should be treated as such.
Any person or party who wants to impose controls "for your own good" is evil. They don't believe you can run your own life, that they know better than you what decisions should be made--that is evil.
Choice is freedom--not having a choice is slavery.
Oh, and since Markadaffya links to HuffPo, here is Nation damning the moderate wing of the Dem Party for not being Pelosites on health-care. The funniest bit is that the author recognizes that every single one of these Congress-critters is a Dem representing a district that voted for McCain - but that shouldn't stop the mighty train of progressivism!
All communists are socialists but not all socialists are communists.
Mastiff: "Again, when I speak of 'capitalism,' I mean the institutional structures of capitalist finance, not free markets."
Ah! That clears it up. Thanks!
Mastiff: I have been thinking about what you said about EIC and capitalism. Before I get to my thought, let's define a couple of terms so I don't get confused.
Capitalism consists of five basic elements:
1. Commodities: There are two types of commodities: capital goods and consumer goods.
2. Money: Money is primarily a standardized means of exchange which serves to reduce all goods and commodities to a standard value. This is superiorto barter.
3. Labor power: Labor includes all mental and physical human resources, including entrepreneurial capacity and management skills, which are needed to transform one type of commodity into another.
4. Means of production: Another term for capital goods all manufactured aids to production such as tools, machinery, and buildings.
5. Production: The act of making goods or services through the combination of labour power and means of production.
"A free market describes a market without economic intervention and regulation by government except to regulate against force or fraud."
(Both definitions taken and slightly modified from Wikipedia)
Now it seems to me that free markets arise from capitalism, and are contingent upon it, as shown by the EICs.
My question is this: are free markets contingent solely on capitalism*?
* or any form that sufficiently resembles capitalism
DJ: "Yet again, you contradict yourself in adjacent sentences."
Marxy likes to declare the empty set and then a sentence or two later, acts like there are members in the set. But no logically fallacies there!
>>Speaking of evil, any chance you are going to look at the 7 million people we killed in Vietnam? The hundreds of thousands in Iraq? The other despicable acts that our country has carried out?
Marky, there is a reason you have no credibility, and why no one takes you seriously.
It is because you constantly just spew shit.
You're wrong in fact, you're wrong in conclusion, and you've never given us any reason to consider a damned thing you say seriously.
We don't owe you a damned thing, and you have no claim against us. Fuck off.
Russell, I don't think wiki's definition is even near close.
For example it misses the rule of law (and respect thereof) as essential. This is important to markets and key to contracts.
The salient feature of capitalism isn't just that there IS means of production, it is about who creates and controls those means. And commodities exist under any system as well, nor is that a particularly useful categorization of them.
juris_imprudent, I have to agree.
Let's see if we can expand the definition.
Still using wikipedia: "Capitalism is an economic and social system in which capital, the non-labor factors of production (also known as the means of production), is privately controlled; labor, goods and capital are traded in markets; and profits distributed to owners or invested in technologies and industries."
So "who creates and controls those means" is privately owned and controlled.
Is that better?
Geek: What's a factor of five in a death toll among friends?
Marky: ...Real World...links to HuffPo
Me: Almost pissed my pants.
We all know why.
He still takes himself seriously, however, and I'll never be able to fathom why.
As I said, the article's history and conclusions were poorly drawn and done, but the narrative I had no problem with.
Fits in perfectly with most our our worldviews - so I don't know why Mark was linking it. "Less power to government" was the thing to take home from that article, and hey, I'm good with that.
What Marky doesn't understand is this, what's going on in that article on HuffPo is a phenomenon that's been pretty well documented, Agency Capture.
What the real problem revolves around, and you are understanding it perfectly, is that the regulatory agency gets all Buddy-Buddy with those who they regulate. Which is to be expected, as the corporations are exceptionally keen to keep their interests safe. What's to do other than make nicey-nice with the self-appointed wolf. Marky thinks the problem is with the corporate pukes when the real problem, AS ALWAYS, is the fooking gummint, dicking around in free-market stuff that they don't understand.
What the fuck does he expect to happen? Jeezis, talk about dense.
End of story.
My problem with that definition is that it shows the effect of Marxist doctrine, in conflating the "free market" economy with "capitalism."
The way I use the term "capitalism" includes what Max Weber called "adventure capitalism," which is when private investors made use of state power for private gain. For example, when a corporation is granted a monopoly charter to trade with Asia, and permitted to enforce its monopoly with the force of the Royal Navy.
It seems to me that if a system is called "capitalism," then its most important element should be the presence of capital. Economies can run on capital whether or not they are free. The Nazis, to take one example, exerted such close control over their banking system that it was for all intents and purposes an organ of the state; yet they never abolished it entirely, and the forms of capitalist investment were still followed. It was a command economy in effect, but the "command" was indirect, through the allocation of capital.
Here is the heart of my problem: one can have a free market without banks or securities markets. Admittedly, as Schumpeter notes, such things will tend to emerge on their own, but they are not essential to the definition of a free market.
The issue of "agency capture" reminds me of another well known, but seldom discussed phenomenon that often develops:
The collusion between prison guards and prisoners.
The guards, knowing themselves to be outnumbered and vulnerable, and knowing the limitations of the few tools they have at their disposal to meet their duty to keep order come to an informal arrangement with "big man" prisoners. The "big men" keep order with the rank and file, and in exchange, get special privileges, both for their direct benefit, and for passing around as rewards, which has the purpose of maintaining the big man's status. Thus, the big man's status becomes at least partially dependent on the guards good will, and the guards have a much smaller number of people on whom they need to concentrate their influence.
That pattern seems to have been the archetype of all governments throughout time, until very recently in the developed countries (under ideal circumstances). Most states simply did not have the resources to directly rule their populations, so they worked through intermediaries such as village elders, tax farmers, guilds, and the like.
Now I'm interested in the prison thing, darn it. And I'm not a sociologist, darn it!
"During one of Chavez's customary lectures on the "curse" of capitalism and the bonanzas of socialism, the Venezuelan leader made reference to GM's bankruptcy filing, which is expected to give the U.S. government a 60 percent stake in the 100-year-old former symbol of American might.
'Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right,' Chavez joked on a live television broadcast."
"Economies can run on capital whether or not they are free."
Right, I think you hit on the root problem by noting "the effect of Marxist doctrine". Capitalism != free market.
Marx did so much damage by equating free markets to capitalism.
"...[O]ne can have a free market without banks or securities markets."
Therein lies my question:.
Are free markets built out of capitalist elements? Or, can free markets exists independent of capitalism? Or are they related in basic elements, but different models otherwise? Granted, there are blurred lines there, but I'm trying to get at the basic shape of the systems.