Do you realize how many other countries that the United States is friendly with have dictators? This is not America's problem with Chavez, it's that he doesn't give us great deals on resources like other dictators do.
Either that, or he isn't a suitable client for arms sales by America, Britain or whoever.
Yea, but your little pearl of wisdom can't be used to divide people politically.....
Besides talk like that is bad for our relations with China......
we buy their crap...they buy our debt...trying to figure who's the biggest looser here....
Come on now, a wide reading of the commentary on Chavez shows that there is huge debate about whether he is a good or bad force for his home country; certainly the poor of his country seem to love him.
He is hardly in a class with Hitler, Stalin, or Saddam, and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.
So be careful before bandying about words like "dictator."
For one thing, Chavez has permitted television stations in his homne country to criticize him mercilessly -- this is not normal behaviour for a "dictator."
But, then again, I am not down there, so what can I say for sure -- but you aren't down there either (or are you...)
Yes, I noticed that tidbit, too. So now what, the U.S. and Venezuela in a race to see who can nationalize "stuff" faster?
You're a big fan of privately owned 'for-profit' banks then? Even after how they've helped us in recent years?
Privately owned banks aren't as "private" as they seem - they've been giving the "help" you mention in the full knowledge that they'd be bailed out by their respective governments if it all went t*ts up. In my book, that means they've been quasi-nationalised all along.
Or at least that they're all in bed with the governments. But given that, they shouldn't also be profit based. (or, recently, loss-based but covered!)
The Fed has operated under the private label for so many years but the public perception has been one of it being a Government bank. The bail out isn't what is the best thing for this system as it is the control that it can employ. Of course a bail out is always in the wings but the Fed has just printed more phony money to make up for its failures based on their exploiting the economy.
If you completely nationalised the banking system and changed the criterion for lending away from a profit-based one, then what criterion would you replace it with? My feeling is that it could all become rather bureaucratic and messy, and hugely dependent on "pull" rather than merit.
I don't think there's an easy solution to this one. A lot of what got us in this mess wasn't down to the banks at all, but to individuals borrowing far more than they could afford because they'd allowed themselves to believe the "everybody should own their own home and if you don't, there's something wrong with you" myth.
The criterion would be public service. Lending could be interest free, but with fixed charges to recover costs. There are many possible alternative models. I'm always suspicious of the idea that things couldn't be any other way.
Although - it seems defaulting on Islamic bonds is allowed in "certain situations," so....
How do you define "public service"? I'm afraid this is such a vague term that it could IMO easily be perverted to mean "something that fits in with government ideology".
That's where you need to be very careful in setting up a proper charter, independent governors on an honorarium, ombudsmen, etc. There is always the possibility of corruption, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. After all, it's not as though our 'for profit' model has been a paragon of virtue either!
That's all very well, but you still haven't answered my question - how would you decide what constituted public service? Say you worked at a bank under your new system, and someone came to you asking for a loan. Who would get the money, and who wouldn't?
You would carry out a process of due diligence to ascertain if the applicant was credit worthy and proceed, unless the declared purpose was illegal.
I think you might have misunderstood what I meant by public service. I meant simply that the bank exists to serve the public (while recovering its operating costs). I wasn't implying that it should only fund activities that were in the public service.
Thanks for clarifying that one - I understand where you're coming from now. AFAICT a lot of the trouble with banks (as they function in the West today) is down to the fact that they're allowed to practise fractional reserve lending. So unless you address that particular issue, I think you'd just be doing the equivalent of putting a sticking plaster on a ten inch wound.
Do you think the problem is fractional reserve lending itself, or the fact that all such lending is at interest? Doesn't interest, rather than the act of lending, increase the apparent total money supply beyond the actual supply of 'minted' money?
I suppose it depends on what rate of interest you're charging! I understand that fractional reserve lending increases the money supply by something like a factor of ten.
If you borrow - say - £5,000 at an interest rate of 5% per year and you have to pay it back over 5 years, then you'd end up paying an extra £1,250 over and above what you borrowed, give or take. If you were talking about a bigger loan such as a £200,000 mortgage payable over 25 years at the same interest rate, then you would end up paying back something like £250,000 over and above what you borrowed (yikes, that's scary - I never sat down and worked that out before). But even so, it's still a lot less than the amount by which fractional reserve multiplies things out.
I think you're right. But with total reserve banking, how can a bank ever lend anything at all? The answer seems to be that it can't, without printing money, which is why I think their should only be one national bank (with branches of course).
There would certainly be a lot less lending going on, that's for sure! A lot less credit and a lot less debt. Perhaps that's no bad thing. Maybe it would mean that you wouldn't "need" to nationalise the banks, because the natural ceiling on debt would have stopped things from getting out of hand in the first place. The world would look a lot different to what it does now in so many ways.
Good, that's settled then. Let's just do it! It's a pity that it's so hard to get from where we are to where we want to be.
What you say is true but not a practical way to deal with the materialistic society of the US. We have not been able to operate without easy credit for a very long time. Our televisions tell us what the latest thing is we need to get and a large portion of the advertising that goes on here is directed at young people who have no skills in value and needs based purchasing. Throw in that the costs are astronomical and credit softens the blow with immediate gratification and you have an addict getting fed their sustanance beyond any reason.
Besides big business wants this to continue as it only adds money to their coffers or at the very least a transfer of the title of your home when you default.
Actually, I would agree with that last sentence. Probably most of the "stuff" we have in our homes just wouldn't have been able to find a market without easy credit being available. That's what I meant when I said the world would look very different to what it does now.
Ultimately though, even big business is going to come up against the law of diminishing returns. What happens when all homes fall into its hands, but nobody has any money to pay them rent (due to the fact that they spent it all trying to meet humungous mortgage payments and pay off their debts)?
I agree and it is more proof of the tremendous shift of wealth that has and is taking place in this country.
I hate to say it, but if memory serves, I have a feeling that this is exactly what Marx predicted would happen
Perhaps this was something we should understand better.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.
Good grief, so predictable; is not possible that Marx could have been right about one, single element of history, and wrong about others? I notice you never seem to agree with your opponents, which I find odd (not that it stands out around here, of course, or on any forum anywhere on the Internet... lol). I say it's odd because I'd say you are perhaps one of the most intelligent posters, certainly on the right (perhaps the most intelligent right-wing poster of all, actually) on Hubpages...
Yet, I smell a rat when you *never* agree with anyone on the left. You don't even like cyclists for crying out loud (though I am capable of recognizing a possible joke ).
Perhaps you just stay silent when you agree; which would be your right.
But a brain like yours -- surely it could stand at least *considering* the possibility that your pre-decided viewpoints can be altered or moderated.
Heck, I've changed my position on gun control thanks to this site, something I am very surprised about.
As for Marx, this is a prime example. I don't support Marxism on the whole (and do support capitalism, in fact) -- but that doesn't mean that *some* of his ideas are not interesting, and perhaps even right
Watch it Adsense he has been trolling for awhile. You may get drawn into one of his prove my point conversations. The result is almost always endless dribble.
You find it odd that I never seem to agree with those who hold views I disagree with? Huh?
Sigh (I am picturing a Charlie Brown scene)
If you disagree with me on an issue - strongly disagree even - does that mean you haven't carefully considered your own position? Is the only proof of careful consideration changing your position?
I was using hyperbole. Again, there are (at least) two ways of using language -- to make literal statements, and for effect. This was the latter.
I just meant that it seems often that you have a rather cardboard cutout set of positions that line up a bit too nicely with a certain type of conservatism. Then you use what is your impressive intellect to argue them (I am not saying your argumentation is impressive, merely that you display evidence of possessing a strong intellect). But this does not pass for critical thinking; it is the first rule of Plato's Republic: no Sophists allowed
Would you really want me to change some of my views just to make you happy?
it just seems suspicious to me; but I've always had a weird mixed bag of views -- I think it's because I moved continents when I was fourteen, and have two sides of the family that couldn't be more different (English farmers and Canadian Jewish city-dwellers... and a father who was a scientist...)
I don't hold my views in order to bother you, really.
No; well actually I am suspicious about the idea that any of us arrives at our views through "purely" rational processes, in any case. I am a product of free-thinking parents, and a Canadian middle-class academic set that was too liberal to have been objective about many things, a "natural" proclivity for entrepreneurship, the Britain of the 1970s, and so on. So, can I really say I arrived at my conclusions via purely rational means?
That is kind of you to say, though undeserved. Thanks.
Yes and no. In other words, the predictive power of Marx's theories is so vague that absolutely everything that happens can be 'explained' as having been 'predicted' by Marxism. For his supporters, that is his strength, but it is actually a great weakness.
That aside, since revolution against the true power-holders is impossible, and revolution against the wrong target (aka right/left cock fighting) is pointless and painful, the only viable way forward is convivial community, perhaps local currencies, etc. Because the Big Engine is dead in the water.
Yes, no doubt such a shift is indeed taking place, but what I was trying to say was that ultimately, even big business is going to find itself up the creek without a paddle if things carry on the way they are. I read somewhere in the forums that in some parts of America, banks can't find buyers for the houses they've repossessed. That's what I was driving at. You have to wonder who is eventually going to benefit if it all comes crashing round our ears.
chavez is supported by most of the people in elections and referenda, i know he is trying to extend his term beyond that that allowed but the people are so far on his side still.
if he was elected how can he be a dictator?
Let us remember that there is one bank in particular who used to own the oil in Venezuala and Iran......
If you want KBR or Halliburton stocks, you must go through Mellon....
We should talk about them, and then do a comparative analysis of Chavez and determine who is the bigger evil....or rather, who may just be evil while the other not so much....
There is popular consent among the Venezuelan people...a dictatorship alone is not a bad thing....
However, when we look at the United States, we see rule by an elite class......an oligarchy of one...less than a quarter of the population, over all the others..the plutocratic/plutonomic model where no responsiblity exists.
Let's look at the pre-Civil War south....there were many plantations that were set up and run like feudal states... From Celia a Slave to My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk About Slavery, the true nature of private, small-government, laissez-faire capitalism...
There was no dicator, but the rule of an elite class based on gender, ethnicity, religion, and economic status...how much worse could one get?
Has the United States truly changed?
Let us look at the wealthiest 10% and watch the selective trickle down effect of our national wealth.....let us see how democratic our system really is.......
Bullocks...people should begin their analysis of the world by first examining the place from which they are looking and venturing outward....
tksensei agrees to anything that he might be able to attach his version of the American flag to......
I wonder if he has ever worn the uniform of service to back up his truly Anglo-American sense of patriotism...
With his track record of critical thought application to the standards of law, if slavery were legal he'd defend it.
He smothers his mind with what appears to be a severe case of identify with the aggressor syndrome.
Too much Samuel Huntington (or someone similar)and too-selective a reading list concerning American history for his own good...
I like this entry. You are on point. I live here in the "dirty south"-only 70 miles from the plantation some of my relatives were born and raise. ole confederate soldiers and all...not only the plantation belong to them the whole town did. I went their walking around-those distant relatives looked at me as though I was a ghost. Nothing change that much here but Latin American is changing. Evo, Kirscher, Brazil-change is on the way. Thats why the US didn't support Zelayas need for help. He's a progessive too.
It should cause all of us pause that we are competing with Venezuela for most proggresively socialist, dont believe Venezuela is much to envy economically.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
Well, I guess at least he doesn't have people stoned for adultery, so, you know, there's clearly different "types"...
Why don't you watch the film.....let's see who the dictator really is....especially when you compare Chavez and his role to Dick Cheney and his views on executive priviledge....which sept. 11th 2001 helped him push for....
Read the memo's authorizing torture that were turned away by the justice department and still signed into action by President Bush, without any legislative overview at all.
What is a dictatorship?
TK, I know that your profile states that you are far older than I, but when I read your words it really leaves me wondering.
Someone your age, at least in my perspective, should have developed some type of critical thinking skills....
But there's hope for you yet. I too used to be like you.....I just decided to spend my time pursuing research....maybe one day you will decide to find out information for yourself too.
Until then, I hope you enjoy your time in Plato's allegorical Cave staring at shadows on the wall...
As I say, just about everything is a mixed bag; Chavez is a dictator, but he has good points (actually not everything is a mixed bag; I take that back: Hitler was not a mixed bag, nor was Mussolini, and Cheney? Definitely not)
What the poster above said is right. Socialist dictators have a tendency to slide into despotism over time; I can see this happening for sure, even if at the moment he is benefitting the poor, who sorely needed someone to help them (I mean it's not America down there; the poor don't even have running water in countries like that)
OK I must confess that it has been a while since I looked at any of this, and even then I hardly did an exhaustive study of sources, so this is certainly possible. I admit, my view is hearsay, in some sense. I stand by my point, however, that he is a different kettle of fish than Saddam, the Taliban, etc, if only to save face (and because I believe that)
I also have a fair bit of respect for John Pilger, who interviewed him, and whose interview I watched. Pilger has a long history of being a left-winger, and no mistake, but he is normally pretty honest, in general, so I was going on that (I have seen a lot of Pilger's stuff, so at least I can make a judgement on his credibility, if not one on Chavez himself). There. Sources exposed
If I remember correctly, Chavez was voted into office. He did not take the government. He has been voted in 3 times. If you don't believe in his tangible support by the Venezuelan people, just look at the crowds that were able to get him back into power after an American sponsored coup tried to take him out in 2002.
Will you research or will you just talk some more?
Now, if you look at those who held office before him, if you look at the strangle-hold on the economy of Venezuela that they had, comparable to the Shah's period in Iran, then you will see what dictatorship really is.
While Europeans make up the elite socio-economic class in Venezuela, the vast majority of the population suffer, at least they did.....when all your resources leave your country and your elites hoard the wealth made while leaving little to nothing to the people who live and have always lived in you country, there is a problem.
How many will watch the film?
Simon Bolivar's model for independence did not involve dictatorship, yet the American imperialist model needs it....
From Panama to Columbia, Ecuador and Uruguay to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, not to mention Mexico and El Salvador....these are American playgrounds, and they have been for over 100 years...I was in the Marines, and I know what our history is, and how the military justifies their actions...
But when the justifications are lies I withdraw my support.
I can only lead a horse to water, I cannot make it drink.
Is there hope for me yet? Whew! Gosh, I can only hope that one day I 'evolve' enough to be an apologist for a filthy dictator.
"Critical thinking skills" "research" and "Plato's Cave" all impressed me terribly just as you hoped they would
While self-delusion may enable you to believe that your comments were clever, your attempt was about as successful as your typical modes of argumentation, if they can be classified in that genre.
I do hope the best for you and your ongoing intellectual development, and I pledge to do my best to "help" you...just like the United States looks to "aid" other nations...
If only I could give you an IMF loan of my own...
Your profile doesn't say anything, so it's hard to compare.
And Chavez is another good example. Obviously abusing power when you are at the top is fishy, in general. But from what I can gather, some of what he does is very good. I am not saying I support him per se, but I've never seen a "dictator" ever get *any* good press before; usually they spend their time murdering their enemies and committing acts of ethnic cleansing. Chavez, on the other hand, as I've said above, even lets the media in Venezuela criticize him nightly -- hardly typical of a dictatorship
I'm living in Qatar where the Emir is effectively a dictator. Same goes for the six Emirates of the UAE. Yet these are not bad places to live. Nowhere is perfect, and I don't feel the imperfections of my present host country are any worse than the imperfections of UK. Some things are better here, some worse. It has more to do with goodwill than type of government.
I live in Canada, where a new report shows that 1 in ten children live in (our definition of) poverty. And I have lived in the UK, which has had all sorts of problems my whole life (though perhaps not always the same problems). So you are right.
But some places (Saudi Arabia (in my view), Iran, the Soviet Union, Mao's China, Saddam's Iraq, Afghanistan under the Taliban) were/are far, far darker entities, and belong in a class by themselves.
I think it's hard to generalise to that extent. No, I'll rephrase that - it's actually far too easy. I've lived in Saudi and found no shortage of good people there. Still, it's not somewhere I'd hurry back to. Iran is a fine place, but with a terrible government. But Iran will very likely implode and regenerate itself along more 'western' lines. Iraq too, was the peak of education, especially in science and engineering, in the Gulf region, during Saddam's time. Iraq now is not an improved place. And so on. The 'axis of evil' and the 'war on terror' were examples of thinking with one neuron. Let's never go back there.
I should be clear, I was talking about the regimes. I realize that Iraqi society before sanctions was in some ways a model society (except it was a police state!), that Iranians are fine people, and I have known Saudi Muslims personally, and they were fantastic! So, I was talking about governments, not people, (which is why McCain singing "Bomb Iran" is so offensive -- why bomb normal, ordinary people who are themselves victims of their regime)
You're kidding, right?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne … f-air.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/ap … sylum-peru
http://laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=3 … ryId=10717
I'm kidding that he is not as bad as Saddam Hussein, or Hitler, or the Taliban, or Stalin? I'm kidding that he may not be my vote for the next Nobel Peace Prize exactly ( ), but that he has done things for the poor that needed to be done.
This is the same thing all over again, so prick up those doggy ears, and listen up: it is possible to have mixed feelings about a person, subject, or political system/government; capiche? God -- it's not rocket science
You have to give him this that he is focused. One sentence at a time.
Big freakin' deal. I don't know how long you've been alive, but I'm sure you realize that anyone can stack any number of articles from the press (including the mainstream press) and paint any version of events they like; without looking at any of these links, if you have an article there from The Guardian there however, that is critical of him, then this would hold more water than the others -- The Telegraph is right-wing, and the BBC can go either way, depending on the wind, but as I say, for The Guardian to crticize him means something, as they are certainly a left-wing paper.
However, it doesn't matter; I am not saying I would want him as leader of Canada -- I most definitely would not; so I guess that sums up my position right there; I just think he's better than some
Actually someone keeps accusing me of looking like Riker -- keeps calling me Number One (I'm sure he doesn't know my real name...). I'm not just a pretty Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, you know
I think I'd rather be Patrick Stewart, to be honest (I also like the implication in that show that Britain conquers France at some point between now and then )
Well, in truth I think we *are* French (Norman French, as you make reference to), but don't tell anyone! I mean, half of our vocabulary is identical in the written form to a French word, even today. And I should know, I'm a French translator...
You would know then. That's why so many people have the mistaken notion that English is a latinate language.
We paid them back a couple of times (Crecy and Agincourt).
I can't talk; I was born in Shropshire, so I might be Welsh (my grandmother was a Griffiths, on top of that); I have dark hair so might be a Roman, and my Dad is a Canadian with Russian, Austrian and Polish roots, but no British...
Speaking in generalities here... there is a lot of "left-versus-right" polarity in the forums at HP.
The people on the left say that business is the problem, and the people on the right say it's government.
I say it's both. *Any* organisation is almost guaranteed to start throwing its weight around when it's got too much power - be it government, business or whatever.
Never trust a man who thinks he is indispensable. The number of 'good socialists' who have turned into tyrants is depressing- almost as depressing as the long queues of political hacks who will blunder their way through their allotted terms in charge of Western countries.
i say nationalise, i thought he had already done it. he was voted in and revoted in and wins the referendums which are all monitored. i dont know when he is due to for another election and i know he has or is trying to extend the amount of time he is allowed to be pres, but still as far as the poor are concerned they are now better off as far as i know, why dont people point next door to uribe in colombia who runs a fascist murdering regime where his paramilitary thugs have burned hundreds of villages and they kill union members and peasants. none of this type of thing goes on in venezuela and yet americans are always running chavez done and say nothing about uribe.
I really can't tell if the poor are better off in Venezuela but the poor have benefitted in the US.
http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/s … ticle=1743
If you learn about the coup of 2002, you will be able to see not only the fraud of the corporate media in Venezuela, but also in the United States.
While being held on an island by the military, waiting for an American helicopter to take him away to another nation, Chavez' supporters were marching in the streets...
Of course, the oligarchs had their supporters as well (and the color lines between the two groups are very clear to see).
With this said, the corporate media showed Chavez' supporters shooting handguns, but not where they were shooting....the media then stated (in the United States and Venezuela) that the crowd was firing on the anti-Chavez' crowd...of course, when you watch the same scene from another camera angle (which the same corporate media had access to, but decided to censor out of its reporting) you will see Chavez' supporters firing not into a crowd, but at military snipers who are firing at them.
The video is clear, and the corresponding American and other private media lies are also blatantly obvious.
With this said, after Chavez' government reclaimed the capital, CNN had a phone interview with the ousted coup-installed president (or wouldn't that be the actual definition of a dictator?) who claimed that he was in the palace, and that his country was just fine...no protests....and that he had total control....lies
Too many of the European inclination, whether living on the American continent or elsewhere, have too much of an ingrained elitist "identify-with-the-aggressor" bias to see past the fraud.
But, the world needs sheep.....those who see the bigger picture need them for food and clothing...
as far as chavez is concerned the proof will be in the eating of the pudding like so many pudding before it.as was foretold by the great pudding eating in the beginning times.
The proof is in the new American military foothold in Columbia and ongoing American intervention in Uruguay.....The Mellon family wants the Venezuelan oil back.....How many here know the power that the Mellon's have over American foreign and domestic policy since the end of the 19th century?
Iraq and Afghanistan are only going to serve as cover for overt and covert military operations in South America.
PBS Frontline: "Cheney's Law"
The true face of dictatorship.
He was and still is the pitbull of the Republican Party. Just think if he fully gets behind Palin.
That some people can play the apologist for an actual, text-book dictator who rewrites his country's constitution at will, installs himself in power indefinately, has political opponents literally jailed or run out of the country, takes over private industry, shuts down media outlets that 'displease' him and has their employees literally beaten down in the street, but are determined to label a former Vice President of the United States (not even a President!) a dictator because they don't like his politics is beyond ridiculous as an example of partisan hyperbole and cannot be taken seriously. Silly kids' stuff and nothing more. Nothing more.
I like this. You come off as a person who tries to argue because you are a better communicator than the average person...in terms of knowledge of words...
But you take this concept too far when you try to converse with those who know more than you.
I like exchanging with you, however, because I like to see how far you will go to support your flawed reasonings.
There will reach a point in your life that you decide to reach out and explore alternate viewpoints from an objective place, instead of the small little box that you have somehow found yourself in.
That would require a lot of courage and determination, however...I don't know if you have what it takes...
I almost bit but you go get him Mike, he exhausts me. You should take notes or tag some of his assertions as he will need you to refer back to the things he has said and denies later in your foray into the TK World.
You sure do offer a lot of 'life' advice for someone of...how many years?
I'm afraid your wisdom may be wasted on the likes of me, here in a box that is both small and little. Thanks for trying, though
i hope south america comes together as a unit and protects their interests from interlopers.
Remember, Cheney is also the pitbull for the unfettered presidency and Haliburton...
Of course, if you want to buy Haliburton stock you have to deal through Mellon Bank... how many will find this as humorous as I?
•Pushing the Envelope on Presidential Power | Cheney | washingtonpost.com
Does anyone here know what the Project for the New American Century is, and what they believe in?
heard of it. its an aggressive doctrine of global dominance i think.
He already abolished term limits. Now he is moving to control the money supply. Ultimate power.
Most democratic countries don't have term limits. I have lived in three democratic countries -- none of them had term limits. So you need a better example
yes, you are right actually, uk has no limits that i know of.
we give the right 18 years then give the other right 18 years then back again, its called" we is a bit fed up with you lot nowism".
I always liked the joke that Blair was Maggie Thatcher in drag.
I also remember a billboard I saw somewhere once that read:
"New Labour, Same Old (S)Tory".
The irony in the US is that what they call the "Left" is about as left as, well, New Labour. In truth, no self-respecting Marxist or true Socialist would be seen dead with the Democrats. I mean, talk about a stitch-up...
i find when i think about or talk about politics that its better for me not to be drawn into using words like socialist or marxist although i have no problem with them as such as far as i know but one gets soviet union and hitlers national socialists thrown at one and also i find the terms left and right are booby traps too which can be defined in technical terms about the size and power of the state.
for me left just means those who fight for their rights or fight oppression and right means any group or state that oppresses its citizens or the citizens of other countries.
that sounds too simplistic which is why i prefer not to use right and left.
what do you think about these terms like left and right, i think they are too abstracted from what they are supposed to represent.
Words tend to mean what large groups of people use them to mean. So, for example, in Canada, the Liberal Party is now being called left-wing by right-wingers -- which is absurd. They are just further left than the Conservatives. It's just influence of late from US media.
I don't remember Clinton ever being called a Marxist, a Leftist, or a Socialist, (and he wasn't), yet suddenly now the Democrats are "lefties". As Noam Chomsky suggests, both parties serve corporate interests (or at least compromise with them), so they are hardly left in the old definition of the term.
China is a Socialist, Marxist dictatorship that used to be very oppressive. Stalin's Russia was a brutal dictatorship. And the national "socialists" were the epitome of the far right.
Marx himself, to the best of my understanding, thought a stateless Utopia would be the pinnacle of history, not a planned economy, so there you go
"Used" to be?
AFAICT the only difference between the regimes of Stalin and Hitler was that everything was nationalised under Stalin, whereas in Hitler's Germany businesses were privately owned, albeit highly regulated. I think once you get to the level of oppression that was present in both regimes, making distinctions between "right" and "left" is pretty pointless - they blur into one another.
Marx's Communist Manifesto states that socialism (the planned economy bit) is the essential step on the road to communism (the stateless utopia bit); according to him, the former would give way to the latter in a kind of fairytale happy ending.
you also get debates about small state big state and planned economy as opposed to lasse faire, but these definitions become meaningless when you see that so called lasse faire countries have a totally planned economic national security strategy where they have a big map on the wall and know where all the resources are where all the markets are where all the cheap labour is and have military bases and aircraft carriers patroling the sea lane and intervene militarily for strategic and economic reasons as woodrow wilson said does any man woman or child anywhere not know that all wars are due to economic competition. where state to state aid is used to lubricate overseas business interests.
I am no expert but I don't think Marx was recommending, I think he was predicting. I think he thought there would be a workers' revolt (which in most places there wasn't), and then, eventually, the state would wither away, leaving an international workers' paradise. Maybe it's easier to think of this in terms of the fact that he was writing in Victorian England -- perhaps such a philosophy sounded a bit less weird in that context.
TK...I ongoingly admire your skillful editing of my comments, as well as those of others who you choose to quote.
Your level of analysis is stunning.
Words are symbols. Symbols are not realities. China is not socialist....it is elitist. Some will benefit from the control system called "socialism", but access to elite is as tightly controlled as it is here in the center of "capitalism", the United States.
Both are plutocracies exercising plutonomy. Rule of the top 10% for the benefit of them and those they select to gain access to true power.
The 2006 Citigroup memo specifically speaking on this provides a good backdrop and support for this concept.
Additionally, a report was just released in the past two months (I'll find and cite it) providing unequivocal evidence that the candidates or measures that have the most financial backing win their elections.
In both China and the United States mulitnational corporations (Walmart, Maersk and others)try to, at least some times successfully, use their influence to shape the nations that they work within.
Here in Los Angeles we have the largest port complex in the nation, and I believe in the entire Western Hemisphere. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which lie adjacent to one another, are the Asian-facing mouth that brings in over 300 billion dollars worth of goods per year to markets across the entire nation, and enables goods to be moved quickly across our transcontinental rail lines for destination in Western Europe.
The union that works those docks, and the ports up and down the Pacific coast is the backbone of national labor. It is the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) under Harry Bridges that ushered in the desegregation of labor groups and the workplace. It was their ability to shut down the ports that enabled Cesar Chavez and others to officially gain recognition for the United Farm Workers Union after Richard Nixon (who Cheney and Rumsfeld were working for) used tax dollars to compensate grape growers for the losses the Union-backed grape boycott incurred. Nixon was going to send them to Vietnam for elites waging another imperialistic war to eat.
Would the soldiers and Marines in the jungle be getting these grapes??
I guess we'd probably drop them into Da Nang?
Cheney's views about executive privilege today, even in his own words, have been shaped by what the Legislative Branch was able to do to Nixon. The "unfettered" presidency indeed.
But back to the point....
The ruling class in China have more in common with the ruling class in the United States than they do with their own people, and likewise.
These great ports of southern California are being undermined right now as I am writing this statement...
Two mega ports are under construction with rail lines running into the United States so that Maersk, Walmart, Home Depot and the rest can divert to them and still get their goods to American markets in the same travel time.
Thanks to NAFTA goods moving northward will not be taxed.
Maersk pays 84 million dollars to Los Angeles for the use of Pier 400 at San Pedro. They pay the Union wages that they have to if they want to bring Walmarts goods ashore...
I spoke to a Maersk vice president down at the Pier about a year ago. He is a fellow Bruin, but that is where we part courses....
He looks forward to the greater internationalization of his company, and he thinks that the American workers here make too much money. Regarding to port truck drivers, who are owner-operators and not union workers, he says that Mexican drivers will do it for so much less that there really is no incentive to continue here....except for the fact that for the time being American west coast ports are the only option....
This isn't hyperbole or some battle of words.....this is the economic reality that is coming in the next decade or so....
I'll stop here, but there is so much more to say...
in the context of the history of mankind with its endless warring it is quite odd to imagine such a thing. i believe that the war like elites of today have grown out of the body of people over time and history from the early stages of warring in the bronze age. i prefer to not let us ordinary people off the hook as is usual in left leaning circles.
But is there truly a "common man"? Where do emancipated slaves fall into this? How about Mexicans and others from Central and South American who are not of status? The women in the family of a friend of mine work as housecleaners for cash from upper-middle class citizens
When I think of the American as a whole I see Eastern European immigrants who were brought in to drive down the cost and strength of emacipated and no longer indentured labor... I see ongoing immigration used as a force to undermine the traditional, going back to the colonial period, strength of the guilds...
"But people want to come here.."
How would they know about "here" if we weren't already over "there"?
In Central and northern South America Americans have held considerable power for more than a century and a half. Just begin with United Fruit and work your way forward......
Mexico's story is similar....looking from the Mexican-American War through the Porfiriato to NAFTA......
Plus Mexicans were a great source of labor used to compete with freed-African Americans.....when the latter would strike, or threaten to do so, Mexican scabs were hustled in (pawns equally defrauded by the same elite) to work until they weren't needed, and could then be easily disposed of across the border....even though most of the laborers would come from deep within Mexico hundreds if not a thousand miles to the south.
Look at the maquiladora industries across the border in Juarez, T.J., and Nogales.... The people living and working in those places full time are the "common people" there.....and they have no voice or power..which is why the violent murders of abducted girls and women in Juarez goes on unchecked, and why the media here in the United States doesn't report on what is going on just across the made-up line we call a national border....
The common people are the subjects of the Citigroup memo, they, as it states, don't exist..a made up spot between the great wealth outlyer at one end of the statistical curve with the vast bulk of people herded at the other end...
What does the memo say about the "common person" and the price of oil? I'll paraphrase, but it can be found online (parts 1 and 2), the wealthy are so rich that prices can continue to rise and demand will not fall. The multitudes will cry out, but they don't have enough money between them to alter demand.
Their premise isn't perfect, but being a very sociable person I treat people around me like sampling groups in order to gauge, in some way, the tones of my fellow Americans....
Very few think for themselves......there is a learned helplessness that is developing in our society....
I work with youth, and I am able to learn about how they are being taught in school.....and I see the onesidedness in the competition between materialist hedonism and education...
Fun for fun's sake, entertainment, the like....just like the capitalist mantra.....
Until there is a value for society for itself......not for profit or glory for self or a specific group, but for the individuals who live about us there is no progress or alteration.
I suppose this is where the commonality is found.....from the factories in China and Mexico that bring us out tv's, clothes, furniture, and most other things that we use to signify "American" status, we are looking at the same system of inequality..
Any Rousseau readers out there?
As business and finance goes global, so to should the check and balance of independent labor organization and education....but that is left out of the "free-trade" ideology...
The failure to recognize our common degradation and act upon this as organized groups......
But I'm just beginning to work......
I support the spirit of your ideas in general, but balk at you lumping the poor of Latin America with "us", when "we" are far and away the most privileged group of people the world has ever seen, and they are still as poor as the minions of the Inca and Mayan empires hundreds of years ago
These "minions" as you call them were cultivators, and were able to feed themselves, as well as support a larger system of taxation based off what they produced.
This is why the Spaniards didn't have to implement taxation overall...it was already a system in place, though to a greatly different degree.
You did not see landless poor per se...which is what we have now.
And as my significant other's father says "There is no culture without agriculture."
By the way, her family is partly derived from Zapotec heritage....minions? how about potential racism on your part...
Get a life. You don't know me from freakin' Adam. That is a seriously dangerous game playing that card, let me tell you. Go take a look at some of my hubs before you accuse me of any such thing. You ain't going to gather many allies for your cause with off-the-cuff remarks like that.
It's you who is the racist -- because you clearly assume I am white!
What is a "minion"
Mind your word selection if you wish to be perceived correctly...
Being a site dedicated to writing, I would expect more precise representation from a veteran hubber like yourself.
Check your words..I only base my views on them from them.
I have no idea what your ethnicity is, because white, to me, does not exist...it is a societal construction, nor does it have any bearing on what I communicate.
Get stuffed. You completely ignored my main point. So you start being a bit more careful. I take it you are still assuming I am white, from the looks of things.... Man.... You know, I don't know how old you are, but let me tell, a little, small apology would go a long way to smoothing things out -- how about that for linguistic insight, discourse analysis, or whatever you would like to term it.
I take it you didn't look at my hubs yet to "inquire" into my background, possible stance on racism, etc. Don't come high and mighty with me -- I will squash you, which is really too bad, because I share much of the political turf you occupy (again, look at my friggin' hubs, please)
How was poverty established in Central and South America?
When United Fruit wanted vast land concessions, what happened to the displaced peoples who lived on and cultivated that soil?
When these peoples' societies are broken up by outside hostile forces, what happens?
I like Harry Belefonte. His music is a reflection, among other things, of the American "other"...the people who worked for United Fruit and others (today Chiquita, Dole and El Monte...all are from the same company) picking and readying fruit for export to the U.S. ....From "Day Oh" to "This is My Island in the Sun", and "Brown-skinned Girl" a great perspective can be gained.....
In the mid-20th century the U.S. pumped major "aid" dollars into "Latin" America....growing dependency while undermining the Import Substitution Industries that had blossomed during World War II.....and then abruptly cut off the funds after a decade or so (I can't recall off the top of my head the stop date...but I believe it was under Nixon's administration and began in Kennedy's).........
What happens when the money stops flowing? It is interesting to note that this period comes to correspond with the rise of Cocaine importation to the U.S.....coming from some of the same places we were operating in and funding...
I was in Mexico a few years ago...not in the tourist spots, but deep in the state of Durango...about four hours or so north of Durango City.
I stayed with a family of a friend of mine who lives here. Her family lives on communal land given to the people after the Mexican Revolution (an ejido). There they have open tracts of land, water, and isolation from the larger world's problems.....
except for one thing.....
AAMCO opened up a factory a few miles down the main road that runs near this community I was staying in, close to Chinecates in Durango....
I remember vividly, and have pictures and video of the poverty that is stacked around that factory...I wonder how many promoters went out promising jobs in order to build up the pool needed to be able to exploit labor the way they do at that factory...
I can tell you about this because, even though they have land, animals, and overall self-sufficiency, the young men living in the home I stayed in were restless.
They watch old VHS movies on their little tv, dubbed in Spanish, and they watch the shows from Mexico City....sexualized "education" and "reality tv"....not all, but for young men it is a lure...
They work 10 hour days 6 days a week for 50 dollars so that AAMCO can charge you a high price for your car parts here in the U.S.
Like the youth I work with, and who live amongst us, they are being classically conditioned to not be satisfied with a truly free or independent life. While not all of them are convinced, I firmly believe that a lot of people who end up behind bars are fallout of a larger social exploitation....kind've like with people who I saw get in disciplinary problems when I was in the Marines....
Of course, AAMCO could have stayed here and paid Americans and supported our society, as opposed to run away for the sake of larger profits, which enable the owners to further exclude themselves from our society at the same time....
Additionally, your grand generalization of all of "Latin America" as the Mayas and Incas represents a larger lack of knowledge that can enable bigoted comments, even if they are not intended to be harmful.
You are such a loser. If you really had the skills you claim you'd have noticed that my concern is clearly with the inequities of poverty -- I guess you didn't bother analyzing that -- he who jumps too quickly on his high horse will fall fast, but he who makes allies with those who largely share his views in the first place, will flourish. Here, here is my hand of reconciliation, stretched out to you. I've had my rant; how about some sort of truce.
This is an interesting choices of responses to view. To begin with, racism transcends being "white". Anyone who participates in the perpetuation of race ideology can become a conduit for it.
Anglo thoughts of racial superiority over other Europeans, which had to do in part with lighter and darker complexities, were not alone, and rubbed off partly onto those who came into contact with it.
The divisions today in many "Latin" American nations deal with Criollio versus Mestizo or Indigenous struggles...
Secondly, I never accused you of anything, I questioned your usage of a word and generalized statement solely and wrote of "potential" racism.....
Economic class in Central and South America is largely based on race...
The whole thing is silly, and rather amusing, actually, because my choice of the word "minions" was very last minute, my use of only two empires merely a way to write fast (I'd have done the same about European history), and anyway I only added that last bit to lengthen the style of the sentence. In truth, it doesn't surprise me to hear that times were better for peasants back then than they are now. Either way, my point still stands -- we are not struggling in any sense like people who don't so much as have access to clean water, or 12 cent vaccinations...
Do you know Hernando de Soto (the modern one); he seems pretty cool to me. Do you have a view on his theories?
Best wishes, glad that's all cleared up, I'm half-Jewish, if that counts for anything, regarding the racism thing, and have never lived in the US, so the notion of being racist against Latinos is a foreign one for me in any case.
Concern for those you dub "minions"?
I accept your truce, but again wish to remind you that it is your loose generalizations about other people that got this started.
People of all walks deserve equal taxonomy.... If you will not dub yourself a minion, please don't do so to others, that is all I ask.
I can be very critical and somewhat reactionary to issues like this, which may seem trivial to others. But words carry heavy meaning, and are taken for granted in my opinion.
I value every word....
Being of a specific ethnic/religous group does not inhibit racism, either. Anyone can play that game.
For the love of God learn to eat a bit of humble pie, now and again, man; it will make for a long and prosperous life . It's really not cool to throw back in my face that I "started" it when I offered a hand of reconciliation. Not smart. Anyway, I'm sure you'll learn, or maybe you're older than I imagine, in which case, you'll probably still learn.
But if I had been Latino I'd have been royally upset with you
Hopefully you mean "alongside" me....."with" me, in the American connotation may not be what you imply.
Otherwise, I know many "Latinos" who are right here with me. "Latino" is viewed as a slur actually, as is the monicker "Latin" America, which is why I always use it in quotation marks...
These words are of the colonizers and only represent the destruction of any other sort of identity markers. "Mexican"....people treat this like a singular being, just like "American".....There is far more ethnic diversity in Mexico, however.
I like to write, so don't mind the detours, but my main point here is that I think I understand you, but realize that there may still be a language barrier of some type.
Like I said, I have never lived in the US, so no nothing about these things. You still haven't addressed the things I am interested in, however, namely poverty, and I am a little surprised you are not more passionate about it -- my understanding was that life for Latin American peasants was grinding, harsh, and that there were lots of problems that need addressing urgently (again, see my hubs). Again, in the same vein, you didn't answer as to wherther you know de Soto's work, and if so what you think of his ideas.
As to "alongside" versus "with", here is my suggestion -- build rapport with a new acquaintance before you start picking apart their words in that irritating way; because I don't know how long you've been on these forums, but there are those with whom you will accomplish nothing whatsoever taking that tack, trust me.
I'm sorry, but you should be more selective, especially when conversing with someone whom you don't know.
But that is the last I will comment on this because it is fruitless.
I am familiar with De Soto, having read "The Other Path."
I don't agree with a lot of what I read. I think he likes to skirt the real issues with elitist talk.
You're giving up just because of the way things went? It gets a damn sight rougher around here than this. Anyway, I am glad you have read him, because I feel ill-equipped to assess his ideas, not having the sufficient background. But some of it made sense, on the face of it, and intuitively, to me...
... I mean it would be nice if all of those a-hole corporations could ship out of town together with their Western-backed power politics, but I can't see that happening any time soon - their power is so entrenched. In the meantime, there are real children, real families, that need economic resources, and while aid is required for infrastructure as well as the political will to build that infrastructure, I imagine most people want the dignity of earning their own living in the long run.
But I am ill-equipped, which is why I would rather not antagonize you, because few people in my environment have even heard of him, Jeffery Sachs, Bill Easterly, Michael Parenti, Muhammad Yunus, or any of these people, so can't refute them, agree with them, or anything! Which sucks for me
I think of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico.....
I believe in land redistribution with an emphasis on localized production.
In terms of governance, deregulation is good in a perfect world, yet, with this, as is clearly shown through American history, this can lead to abuse....and now no one has a commanding authority. Laws are also, in many cases, rules made by the empowered to ensure their longevity and hegemony.
I believe much more in a checks-and-balances approach with vigorous interaction between the center and locale.
I don't believe that labor for cash should be the desired outcome for people individually and collectively. Money is a tool, not a pursuit, nor should it be an arbitrary status symbol.
I must be heading out, but I will be back.
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