Class warriors think they have a new angle, but it is a big fail

This morning I was watching some post SOTU interviews to catch up on the reactions to the speech. I turned off the TV before the speech ended, because there is just so much bullshit I can take in one sitting, and went to bed, a more productive use of my time, by far. So there they had a panel discussing the aftermath, and on it was with some lady from some institute for progressive something or another. She was quite outmatched by the others. But she did drop a bombshell that remained unchallenged, and she sure felt she had scored a big win because of that. I want to address this, because her argument and line of thinking was so easy to take apart.

Basically when it was brought up, she made the case that democrats should not let republicans win the argument Obama made about all the “injustices” – there you have that marxist drivel again, even when you try to pretend you are an optimist like Reagan – he wants to address. Those that identify this as base class warfare rhetoric and point out that what democrats are basically really doing is counting on this rhetoric to galvanize enough jealous and envious people into giving them the go-ahead to steal even more money from the productive sector, to keep their big government efforts going, did not sit well with her. To her this was a just struggle, and she thought she was quite clever to link it to the struggle to build this great nation. Something Obama spend a long amount of time paying lip service to in his speech as well.

Her defense of class warfare was based on drawing a parallel between the choices made by our forefathers and the ones that the class warriors, I am sure she doesn’t like that term, but I am calling it what it is, tell us they want made. Their premise is that the forefathers created our democracy in order to prevent the European aristocracy and oligarchy from being the driving force in America. I agreed with her on that premise, to some extent, even if she was got a lot wrong – I am certain that what our forefathers concocted was a republic, specifically because of the inherent dangers of a pure democracy where the majority would be free to impose their will on the minority – to insure a just society, but she was way, way off base. This concept of three wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner, sound familiar? And then she dropped the bombshell and concluded this line of thinking by making the ludicrous argument that what the people opposing Obama referred to as class warfare were trying to do the same. That’s because, after all, the democrats where fighting the power of the rich, which are a manifestation of aristocracy or oligarchy, which basically had turned America into an unjust society!

How clever! Except, it is transparently bullshit. I could go into a long ass diatribe about how these class warriors fighting the rich, aristocracies, and oligarchies have always played out, but suffice it to say that that this is unnecessary, because the premise that they are fighting the rich, the aristocracies, and oligarchies, is pure unadulterated bullshit. I could also wax philosophical about how the left is trying to recreate the European experiment, which is still rooted in a society where the credentialed elite rule the masses, by fiat, and represents the ultimate class conscious society. But I will just stick to pointing out that what the class warriors are really fighting against, is what they perceive as the current centers of power. And what they intend, the reason they fight, despite the claim that they are trying to address an injustice and level the field, is to replace the current people in power with themselves. That’s what their struggle is about. That’s what marxism and every other spun off collectivist ideology that came from it has been all about. This battle to replace the existing power centers with themselves played itself out everywhere that the class warriors did their thing. From the revolution in Russia that gave us 70 years of the USSR to the one in China, Korea, Cuba, and every other third world shit hole that embraced this cancerous ideology, the fight was to kick the people in power out and take over that power. In every single instance, whoever was in charge that the class warriors wanted gone, was replaced by a singular individual or a gang of tyrants, which did far worse things than their predecessors. The injustices got even more pronounced after that.

And what we have here going on with the ne breed of class warriors, is more of the same. This lady’s argument that the democrats should tell people that what they are doing is not class warfare, but a noble struggle, one that emulates the virtues and values of the forefathers that set up the republic, and addresses the injustice between the suddenly aristocratic rich and the common man, is bullshit. A huge, smelly pile of bullshit. A whopper of epic proportions. These leftists have no problem with rich people, or for that matter aristocracies. Most of them are super rich. Practically every single one of them belongs to the credentialed class and thinks they are far, far above the stupid common man. They have all the answers, and we all need to do what they tell us. So when they tell you that what they are doing is battle the powerful rich and to level the field, it is a lie. They don’t have any problem with the rich: they have a problem with any rich people that do not go along with their vision of a big government nanny state run by an oligarchy/aristocracy of the approved/credentialed leftists. This fight isn’t against an aristocracy or oligarchy of the rich, but a fight to replace the current people in power – which hilariously is themselves – with an oligarchy or aristocracy composed of those they approve of. And have no doubt our new people will be powerful, and rich. Castro and Chavez claim to be men of the people but they have the wealth of the entire nation they are raping at their disposal.

I guess, to paraphrase some Orwell, some rich people are created more equally than others. That absurd distinction is why Mitt Romney is a bad rich guy. But John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros, and Warren Buffet, to name a few, all are not bad rich people. Or for that matter even considered rich or worthy of being called such. Romney’s crime is that now that he is running as a republican, he isn’t a big supporter of the nanny state the left sees as a means to ensconce itself in perpetual power. That makes him earning millions and paying what the law says he should on these earnings from investments, unjust. Those “rich people” that say they are fine with the class warriors call for government to jack the rates up, while making backroom deals that allow them to not only be exempt from the new financial burdens these onerous regulations impose on people trying to get rich, but often double their earnings because government rigs the game in their favor, are not the good guys. Crony capitalism sucks. Warren Buffet telling us he is fine with higher income, estate, and even investment taxes, knowing full well that his investments will make a killing, in excess of whatever he would have to pay now, once people trying to avoid getting whacked seek some redress. And when that all comes with a huge bonus, like that big government scratching his back, by killing a deal that then sets up more of his investments to make oodles of cash, in return for his support of their power grab masquerading as a battle to redress injustice, we should be angered. It shouldn’t us think Buffet is a good guy, and it certainly shouldn’t lead to people thinking that these crooks are doing a decent thing.

It has forever bothered me that so many people fail to realize that this class warfare rhetoric is bullshit. These democrats are playing them. They do not plan to address any injustice at all! If that was the case we wouldn’t be burdened with the nonsense of the last 5 decades which have only served to make the injustices they proclaim to be addressing worse. What power is there to derive from declaring a war on poverty, racism, sexism, and so on, when you actually fix the issue? No, what the class warriors are after is to shift the power from those that have it now to them and those they approve off. That’s what the fight against big oil in favor of green energy – more like red, but I digress – is all about. That’s why Buffet and Kerry are good guys, but Romney and the Koch brothers are greedy and evil. That’s why Immelt’s GE is a good company, and Immelt gets to sit on a panel, but Ford gets told they will get the full force of the government on their back if they dare put out a commercial where they point out they didn’t get bought out, at tax payer’s expense, so democrats could secure power & wealth for one of their constituent blocks. That’s why Obama tells us flushing billions down the toilet on idiotic ventures like Solyndra or fining the energy industry for not doing something that is physically impossible is considered an “investment”, while anything done for evil oil companies are “subsidies” and in dire need of ending. That’s why they tell us government creates jobs and we need to let them funnel close to a trillion dollars to their friends, lobbyists, special interests, and campaign coffers, then blame the fact things are going south faster on everything but their idiotic wealth redistribution based social engineering policies.

What people need to understand is that the only injustice these democrats seek to address is the one where they don’t control everything. After all, they are the credentialed smart ones, and they know better than the rubes. So they should both be calling the shots and getting the rewards for doing that. That’s why Obama delivered a speech last night where big left leaning government was going to solve all the world’s problems. And these are the reasons why people should wise up. At the beginning of the last century the fellow travelers of our current crop of class warriors used the same arguments, banking on the jealousy and envy of the majority to propel them to success, through violent revolution. Now they have abandoned most of that violence – unless it is union related, I guess – because it is a dead give away of what is to follow. But the goals remain the same. And based on historical evidence, the end results will be the same too. Sooner than later. It’s the whole theory that if you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water he will get it, but if you do it to it incrementally, the dumb thing gets cooked.

Class warfare is a disgusting excuse used by power hungry scam artist to fool people into letting them do what they otherwise would never go along with. Class warriors have never fixed any injustices, history shos us that they only managed to create more of them.

Comments are closed.

  1. Hal_10000

    I’m sorry, I’m laughing my ass off over their Democrat worsip. Which Presidential candidate has gotten more contributions from Wall Street and moneyed interests than any other? Who has rigged the system to favor their powerful rich interests? The idea that Democrats are the party of the masses is absurd. And everyone except the hard left seems to realize it.

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  2. davidst

    Yes it is absurd. However, it’s equally absurd that Republicans are any better. The whole system is corporate sponsored. The government does not work for the people anymore. We need some class warfare, or at the very least an honest playing field, but Obama isn’t going to fight either of those battles.

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  3. AlexInCT *

    The idea that Democrats are the party of the masses is absurd. And everyone except the hard left seems to realize it.

    Hal, I wish I was as certain about this as you are dude. Either the hard left accounts for a far, far larger number of people than we have been led to believe, or democrats are even dumber or more insane than I have thought them to be. If the message is falling on deaf ears, why keep bringing up this class warfare nonsense? I mean, by now the class warriors should have realized this nonsense doesn’t play well with anyone that understands/realized how inanely stupid they must think us to be. Are people aware of this and they don’t care? Are they aware of it and they let it go on simply because they figure they will profit fro it somehow? Is it just the belief that if they tell this lie enough times people will start believing it? None of these options is a good thing in my opinion.

    You are right to point out that being lectured by the very people having an absurdly disgusting and obvious incestuous relationship with the centers of money and power in this country on how they hate that power, and that they are not only fighting against it, but hell bent on breaking it and giving us justice, should be fooling no one. But then the question of why they keep doing it, begs for an answer. If they didn’t think it worked, and even more importantly, if they didn’t think it would do them more good than bad, they would not use it. Right? Are they that beholden to this concept and these people that they simply do not care most see through it? How scary is that.

    Mind you, I am not saying republicans are much better either, but given the choices it is between getting a reach around, and not only not getting a reach around, but getting a couple of donkey punches instead, I guess I pick the reach around. Just in case someone was thinking that I was saying republicans were saints, or some such nonsense.

    Yes it is absurd. However, it’s equally absurd that Republicans are any better. The whole system is corporate sponsored.

    As I pointed out, one group is killing us slowly, the other is racing off the cliff. Given those choices what is someone without a death wish to do? Especially when sitting it out guarantees the people with the death wish win.

    The government does not work for the people anymore.

    The start of this trend coincides specifically with the start of the movement that claimed to be making changes for the welfare and benefit of the people. We are here today because some people became convinced government should solve all problems.

    We need some class warfare, or at the very least an honest playing field, but Obama isn’t going to fight either of those battles.

    Yeah, the credentialed elite need to be discredited for telling us they want to create a honest level playing field when they have no such intent at all.

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  4. davidst

    Well, I’m willing to give pure libertarianism another shot if we could get people to try it. I’ve donated 10% of my last two paychecks to Ron Paul’s campaign in fact. However, I’m suspicious that free markets will not help us now. Let me ask you: if rich people already have most of the wealth, what good does economic freedom do?

    Money flows through the economy like electricity in a circuit. You insert various electrical components in the circuit, the electricity passes through it and interesting things happen. Various kinds of work get done. But for this to work you need a power source to create a flow of electricity. If all your electricity has already traveled from the positive to the negative side, what you’ve got is a dead battery or an otherwise depleted energy source.

    That’s where we are now. Our savings are depleted, our resources are gone, there are no jobs and we’re in debt up to our eyeballs. What’s worse, our steadily increasing supply of dollars represent claims on a soon to be declining supply of industrial wealth. How does a libertarian free market fix any of that?

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  5. Dick Fitzwell

    Let me ask you: if rich people already have most of the wealth, what good does economic freedom do?

    Are you a progressive plant sent here to fuck with our heads or are you really asking this question seriously?

    For the gazillionth time, there is no fixed amount of wealth. Wealth must be created. Even the wealthiest people on earth must continue to create wealth lest they fall out of the 1%. Amass a fortune and rest on your laurels and you will be passed over and forgotten while those who continue to produce thrive. More economic freedom makes it easier for you to become one of the producers if you wish.

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  6. davidst

    I’m very seriously asking the question. I’m an ex-republican independent. And you’re dead wrong. There is not a limitless amount of wealth! Land is real wealth and there is a fixed amount of it. Oil is real wealth (the lifeblood of industrial civilization) and it is not fixed, but declining as are other natural resources. Without access to these things, people have no wealth in the modern sense. Modern wealth is in limited supply. Just because it’s possible to add infinite “value” to an instance of a finite resource (changing some worthless paint into a beautiful work of art for example) doesn’t mean the core resources are infinite. And technological innovation is no guarantee for solving the limitations, not that Republicans advocate even trying. Think long and hard about what I’m saying before you dismiss it out of hand, because laissez-faire capitalism utterly depends on it. Just because we are doing fancier work with the finite resources owned by the wealthy doesn’t mean we’re any less peasants than someone working a farm owned by a nobleman in days gone by. Go tell a peasant farmer that there is no fixed amount of wealth.

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  7. Seattle Outcast

    Spare me the “peak resource” line of BS – this sort of thinking has been consistently been proven wrong for decades. I know exactly which batch of kool-aid you drank, and you’ve been had.

    Wealth is not limited to physical material resources that are known to exist at some point in time. Wealth comes in infinite forms and from resources that are frequently intangible, and those that are tangible are often times replaced. Or did you forget that you don’t exactly burn a lot of whale oil these days?

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  8. Dick Fitzwell

    You are severely confused.

    Resources are limited. Wealth is not.

    Resources are not wealth if they hold no value. If you were a whaler in the 19th century you might become pretty wealthy selling whale oil for lamps. Then comes along someone like Rockefeller and sells a much cheaper, more efficient fuel–kerosene. Here you are with warehouses full of whale oil. How wealthy are you?

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  9. davidst

    What do you two believe that a currently favored resource can always be replaced, much less by something better? A physical infinite is not possible.

    Why do you believe that human ingenuity is infinite? What are we God?

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  10. Seattle Outcast

    Yes, real people with a god-complex.

    And you’re a defeatist twit that had your marbles sucked out by gloom and doom leftist assholes that live in ivory towers.

    Go look up a an old Nova TV series called “Connections” and watch season 1. After that, get back to me and explain how anybody at all can tell what’s coming around the bend just by what they know now.

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  11. Xetrov

    There is not a limitless amount of wealth! Land is real wealth and there is a fixed amount of it. Oil is real wealth (the lifeblood of industrial civilization) and it is not fixed, but declining as are other natural resources.

    Which of those two sources was the reason for the wealth created by Google, Microsoft, and IBM?

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  12. sahrab

    I’m an ex-republican independent.

    Who cares, just a note, this reads as a Demcorat trying to tote his bona-fides, ala “I have black friends”.

    There is not a limitless amount of wealth! Land is real wealth and there is a fixed amount of it. Oil is real wealth (the lifeblood of industrial civilization) and it is not fixed, but declining as are other natural resources. Without access to these things, people have no wealth in the modern sense. Modern wealth is in limited supply

    And you show a (not) suprising lack of understanding of economic systems. Even worse, you display this lack of understanding in your own sentence above.

    If Land is real wealth (your statement), and there is a fixed amount of it, then the value for the Land will always be on the rise. As long as it is an example of Real Wealth.

    Whenever demand exceeds supply, then the value (potential wealth) will always increase.

    doesn’t mean the core resources are infinite.

    Now your mixing apples. Resources do not create wealth, but resources can be the engine that drives wealth.

    How valuable is the single corn kernel in my last shit? According to you, its worth more than the toilet I took the shit in.

    Whenever demand for a resource exceeds the supply of that resource, then the value of that resource increases.

    Resources do not drive wealth, demand does.

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  13. AlexInCT *

    For the gazillionth time, there is no fixed amount of wealth. Wealth must be created. Even the wealthiest people on earth must continue to create wealth lest they fall out of the 1%. Amass a fortune and rest on your laurels and you will be passed over and forgotten while those who continue to produce thrive. More economic freedom makes it easier for you to become one of the producers if you wish.

    But, but… Scrooge McDuck swam in his cash and never let any of it out of his sight and he stayed rich…

    That was sarcasm for the dimwitted/leftists. A joke at the expense of the idiots that think the rich do this sort of stupid shit they believe that they do, and stay rich. Actually, I would like to make fun of whatever other nonsense these class warriors believe are injustices caused by evil rich people that just are not progressive.

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  14. davidst

    If Land is real wealth (your statement), and there is a fixed amount of it, then the value for the Land will always be on the rise. As long as it is an example of Real Wealth.

    The value of land depends greatly on what it can be used for. Australian farmland is worth much less than American farmland for example (in general).

    There is not a limitless amount of wealth! Land is real wealth and there is a fixed amount of it. Oil is real wealth (the lifeblood of industrial civilization) and it is not fixed, but declining as are other natural resources.

    Which of those two sources was the reason for the wealth created by Google, Microsoft, and IBM?

    The point is not that there are no other kinds of wealth, but physical resources are the bottleneck. As long as we rely on finite energy, wealth is very limited. Global GDP generally tracks the availability of oil (excepting in times of financial catastrophe of course).

    I’m an ex-republican independent.

    Who cares, just a note, this reads as a Demcorat trying to tote his bona-fides, ala “I have black friends”.

    I’m trying to say that I have believed all the things you believed at one time and become convinced otherwise. I think there are things that you are not aware of. I am definitely not a liberal. I’m more of a libertarian than anything, but I’m worried that many true things are lost and ignored in the political process which I think is little more than a show funded by corporations at this point.

    I’m trying to be as intellectually honest as possible so if you think I’ve got something wrong, call me out on the specifics. I’m trying to believe true things as much as possible.

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  15. Xetrov

    The point is not that there are no other kinds of wealth

    Because it dismantles your argument?

    but physical resources are the bottleneck. As long as we rely on finite energy, wealth is very limited.

    As already demonstrated, wealth and natural resources are not the same thing.

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  16. davidst

    Oil is the ultimate form of wealth as long as it is the bottleneck for industrial production. I don’t know how anyone can deny a plain fact like that. There are plenty of other forms of wealth, but that is currently the choke point. And Intangible wealth ultimately relies on physical wealth for the intangible wealth to be realized. And again, it doesn’t matter if it is possible to generate an infinite amount of wealth over time if one group’s wealth grows faster than another. The faster growing group will eventually own 99.9~ percent of the wealth (i.e. 100%). Of course, there are physical reasons that that extreme won’t be reached, but they can come close enough.

    Maybe Albert Einstein can convince you. I hear he was a pretty smart guy: http://www.bigissueground.com/politics/einstein-socialism.shtml

    I’m not trying to convince you to become a socialist, just to realize that there are problems with the way things currently are and we may need some class warfare to fix it.

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  17. sahrab

    Maybe Albert Einstein can convince you. I hear he was a pretty smart guy

    Einstein “Why Socialism” envisioned a centrally planned economy, and a single world government. When we are near that point then, maybe, he’d have a point.

    But his article is easily refuted just as any other positive take on Marxism. Why should anyone listen to or seek council from Einstein on government and the economy? He has no credentials to speak on the subject simply by virtue of his name. Just because it was Einstein doesnt mean he was always right (might also want to look into his history of the Big Bang).

    From Einstein:
    Captalism is evil, without explaining why. It just is.
    States capitalism is evil, yet he fled the national SOCIALISTS
    Competition (for a job) is a waste of Labor, yet never explains what the wast of labor is
    If a person makes something for their own use that’s selfishness. But if a person makes something for others to use that’s even worse
    Einstein claims that technological progress increased Unemployment, when the opposite has been true

    Even better? Einstein refutes himself

    It is no accident that Capitalism has brought with it progress, not merely in production but also in knowledge. Egoism and competition are, alas, stronger forces than ‘public spirit’ and ‘sense of duty.’ In Russia they say it is impossible to get a decent piece of bread. Perhaps I am over-pessimistic concerning State and other forms of communal enterprise, but I expect little good from them. Bureaucracy is the death of achievement.

    An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. Force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels. … The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; the individual alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.

    “Albert Einstein, The World As I See It: Culture and Prosperity (1954)”

    and

    Every individual should have the opportunity to develop the gifts which may be latent in him. Alone in that way can the individual obtain the satisfaction to which he is justly entitled; and alone in that way can the community achieve its richest flowering. For everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom. Restriction is justified only in so far as it may be needed for the security of existence.

    “Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (1950)”

    There may be problems, but the alternatives are worse

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  18. Xetrov

    Oil is the ultimate form of wealth as long as it is the bottleneck for industrial production. I don’t know how anyone can deny a plain fact like that.

    Because industrial production isn’t the only route to growing wealth. Do you know it it can be denied now? For some reason I doubt it.

    And Intangible wealth ultimately relies on physical wealth for the intangible wealth to be realized.

    Is this like…the dollar isn’t a dollar because it’s not Gold? Wealth is wealth. Buffett is a billionaire whether his money is 1’s and 0’s, or dollars/gold sitting in a vault.

    And again, it doesn’t matter if it is possible to generate an infinite amount of wealth over time if one group’s wealth grows faster than another.

    It doesn’t matter because…you don’t like it? Tough tatas.

    The faster growing group will eventually own 99.9~ percent of the wealth (i.e. 100%).

    If one person has 100% of the dollars (“wealth”), what are those dollars worth to anyone else?

    Maybe Albert Einstein can convince you. I hear he was a pretty smart guy

    Yeah, he was a smart physicist. What his view on socialism has to do with anything, I fail to see.

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  19. CM

    And you’re a defeatist twit that had your marbles sucked out by gloom and doom leftist assholes that live in ivory towers.

    this reads as a Demcorat trying to tote his bona-fides, ala “I have black friends”.

    That was sarcasm for the dimwitted/leftists. A joke at the expense of the idiots that think the rich do this sort of stupid shit they believe that they do, and stay rich. Actually, I would like to make fun of whatever other nonsense these class warriors believe are injustices caused by evil rich people that just are not progressive.

    Such civil discourse. Compare that with davidst’s comments.

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  20. Dick Fitzwell

    davidst,

    Your argument is based on an incorrect premise. Resource =/= wealth. Oil in and of itself is not wealth. Wealth is not a property that is inherently contained in a particular resource. You only think that “oil is the ultimate form of wealth” because you know how much we all value it today. But you don’t know how much value it will hold tomorrow much less whether there will be a completely different “ultimate form of wealth” in 100 years. Something tells me that if you were around in the 19th century you would have said the same thing about whale oil. Which reminds me, how come you didn’t answer my question up thread?

    Why would Einstein convince me (or any other intelligent person) on a subject on which I’m not sure he knew his ass from a hole in the ground? Should we turn to Einstein for answers on every subject? If I needed to know about theoretical physics or advice on marrying my cousin, Al would be the man. Take him out of his field of expertise, though and all you have is a man offering an opinion just like everyone else. Ol’ Al isn’t around anymore so…should I ask Stephen Hawking which was the best way to make crawfish etouffee?

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  21. AlexInCT *

    If you hold to the definition that land and materials are how you measure wealth, then the USSR was one of the richest nations ever to exist. Russia should be the same today. We all know better, however. Similarly, Japan should be a poor ass country, and that is not the case either. Methinks that it would be obvious that holding onto a ton of anything that nobody needs, or worse, having a ton of things people need and not being able to get it to a place where you can charge for it, are sure fire signs of ending up lacking wealth.

    Wealth is created when someone finds use for something, and people then choose to buy & use that something. Sometimes the wealth is created fast; sometimes it takes a real long ass time to develop. There is no clear formula, but it isn’t limited to who has the most materials. If tomorrow someone discovers a way to make unlimited fuel, clean & cheap from dog turds, for example, there is going to be a lot of wealth created by people that have dogs shitting all over their carpets or back yards. But until someone figures out a use and you can get that turd to market, it’s just that: a turd.

    Why would Einstein convince me (or any other intelligent person) on a subject on which I’m not sure he knew his ass from a hole in the ground? Should we turn to Einstein for answers on every subject?

    Defenitely his solution to wardrobe. You might not get laid ever again, but it sure is smart.

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  22. hohokiss

    When Einstein saw the A-bombs fall he knew he was dumb to have trusted mankind “haha lookit them goddam $lopes fry. We sure fu(ked them up their yellow a$$! Next up, them godless Russkis!”

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  23. davidst

    Xetrov, you’re assuming that I’m some kind of idiot if you can write something like this about me:

    If one person has 100% of the dollars (“wealth”), what are those dollars worth to anyone else?

    Dollars are only a claim on wealth and are only worth anything if people believe in them. Obviously we should be in agreement on that as it is a plain fact. When I say the wealth is concentrating in the hands of the richest people, I mean the control of real resources. Right now dollars are part of that system of control, but that may not always be the case.

    People have said of Karl Marx that everything he wrote about capitalism was true and everything he wrote about communism was false. Similarly, the reason I linked to Einstein was not to support socialism, but because of what he says about capitalism.

    Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

    This is exactly the state we are in now. People who nod their heads in agreement with mainstream media sources or politicians (left or right), have been thoroughly propagandized by corporations and are suffering from the problem Einstein mentions in the last sentence.

    The antidote is real information but where can you find it? And if you encounter it, how will you recognize it? I think you can recognize real information only with extremely careful scrutiny. A complex system of false beliefs will always have inconsistencies, but reality is always consistent.

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  24. davidst

    I know that the things that constitute wealth change, and a resource only helps an entity (a nation like Russia) if they are able to make use of it. You would do well to remember that the next time you tell someone that we have 100 years of oil left.

    In any event, none of that changes my arguments. Unless the source of wealth changes very suddenly and unexpectedly, those in control will maintain control.

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  25. AlexInCT *

    When Einstein saw the A-bombs fall he knew he was dumb to have trusted mankind

    If he thought socialism was a good or workable idea, and granted, in his time too many of the people that came from Europe actually thought the same so we should not judge them too harshely, he sure as hell was not too bright on any subject but physics. The ones that are the dumbest however are the ones that still believe in socialism today, after over a century of proof that it is a gateway for tyrants and tyrannies, and the economic turn the socialist so desperately are tyring to blame on capitalism right now. Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.

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  26. Seattle Outcast

    Unless the source of wealth changes very suddenly and unexpectedly, those in control will maintain control.

    The source of wealth does change suddenly and unexpectedly. It used to be wealth was land (which it still is to some extent), and then it became control of resources and manufacturing (oil, steel, textiles, etc) and now it is quite frequently information.

    So, tell me how Google was a massive power in control of things just 15 years ago.

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  27. Poosh

    People have said of Karl Marx that everything he wrote about capitalism was true

    Which people? Idiots? Leftists and Marxists? Idiots?

    Marx’s claims on Capitalism were already disproved before he even published them. He’s not even consistent himself when it comes to Capitalism. And Marx himself said very little of what Communism would entail.

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  28. CM

    The ones that are the dumbest however are the ones that still believe in socialism today, after over a century of proof that it is a gateway for tyrants and tyrannies, and the economic turn the socialist so desperately are tyring to blame on capitalism right now. Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.

    I think there is a significant danger in dismissing all crituques/concerns under the guise that they are an argument for socialism.

    Again, specifically how does conservative/libertarian economic policy not just increase the concentrations of wealth (and therefore the control of the ability to get wealthy)? People tell me that it will do the opposite because people will suddenly have all these opportunities because there will be less regulations. As if economic power would somehow fall away from those who control the majority of everything now. But power/control doesn’t just occur via regulations. So what I’m wanting to know is how that occurs. What actually happens?

    BTW some are arguing that austerity measures in the UK have resulted in a much more protracted recession than in the US.

    cutting debt depresses the economy which depresses revenues which increases the debt some more

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/01/romney-obama-and-europe.html

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  29. Seattle Outcast

    BTW some are arguing that austerity measures in the UK have resulted in a much more protracted recession than in the US.

    I hope that they aren’t saying the recession is over in the US, because it most certainly isn’t.

    Not going to even bother with your link to Sullivan, he’s an idiot.

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  30. sahrab

    Similarly, the reason I linked to Einstein

    Noticed you completely ignore my post, no problem lets try it this way

    You posit Einstein is your example of an understanding of Econmoics, and Einsteins stances on Capitalism is correct.

    Flawed but OK

    1949 Einstein – Capitalism is Evil (his words not mine)

    But wait theres more

    1950 Einstein (Out of My Later Years) – Every individual should have the opportunity to develop the gifts which may be latent in him. (he’s starting to turn the corner)

    1954 Einstein (The World As I See It: Culture and Prosperity) – Capitalism has brought with it progress, competition are, alas, stronger forces than ‘public spirit’ and ‘sense of duty.”, Bureaucracy is the death of achievement, The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; the individual alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.

    Your source, the one you interjected into this conversation, clearly and strongly disagrees with your whole assertion.

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  31. CM

    I hope that they aren’t saying the recession is over in the US, because it most certainly isn’t.

    Nope, he’s not:

    In the US – following the Keynesian model – the economy is recovering, however slowly and has been adding jobs for two years. In Britain, following Tea Party policy (with some tax increases as well) the recession is now officially longer than the Great Depression in the 1930s, and still drifting down

    Not going to even bother with your link to Sullivan, he’s an idiot.

    He links to this
    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/01/the-british-economy-is-now-doing-worse-than-it-did-in-the-great-depression.html
    And this
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/the-greater-depression/

    Obviously the arguments stand or fall on their merits, and facts are facts, no matter who makes or presents them.

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  32. davidst

    sahrab: It was lazy of me to just post a link to Einstein like that and use his reputation as a brilliant physicist to try and get my point across. That’s why I’m not responding to the other things you posted. Whether Einstein is right or wrong is not relevant. What I really wanted everyone to read is the paragraph I quoted from that writing which explains how thoroughly indoctrinated we are today and why that has come about. Once you realize we’ve been badly mislead, it’s easier to start questioning the things you think of as truth.

    Unless the source of wealth changes very suddenly and unexpectedly, those in control will maintain control.

    The source of wealth does change suddenly and unexpectedly. It used to be wealth was land (which it still is to some extent), and then it became control of resources and manufacturing (oil, steel, textiles, etc) and now it is quite frequently information.

    So, tell me how Google was a massive power in control of things just 15 years ago.

    The Internet is our one hope of changing the system. We’ll see if it pans out before the powers that be assert control over it as they have in more overtly repressive countries. However, I think you’re missing my point. Google runs on oil just as much as everything else in the world.

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  33. Seattle Outcast

    While I generally agree with the sentiment about facts, you also have to consider the source(s). First you give us Sulliven, who is a deranged loon obsessed with nutjob conspiracy theories, and then you link to Krugman, an idiot’s idiot. Neither of those two people are closely related to reality, so their “facts” are seriously in question.

    I’ll check out Brad DeLong – interesting, but swamped with a boatload of opinion and assumptions.

    I’ll give that one as a place to start a discussion from, but not as an authority on economics as he appears to think that deficit spending is the way to prosperity. Offhand, I’d say his analysis of things is incomplete and he’s cherry picking to reach preconceived conclusions.

    Finally, on the subject of facts standing on their own, you have to take into account that different people, equally intelligent and educated, will arrive at different conclusions given the same data.

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  34. CM

    While I generally agree with the sentiment about facts, you also have to consider the source(s). First you give us Sulliven, who is a deranged loon obsessed with nutjob conspiracy theories, and then you link to Krugman, an idiot’s idiot. Neither of those two people are closely related to reality, so their “facts” are seriously in question.

    Their arguments should be very easily debunked then, and quickly.
    The ‘facts’ in this case are the economic data which make up the relevant graph, and the details and timing of the austerity measures. The ‘arguments’ revolve around whether there is causation here – i.e. cutting debt results just in more debt and prolongs the recession, with the ‘facts’ put up to support this.

    I’ll check out Brad DeLong – interesting, but swamped with a boatload of opinion and assumptions.

    Sure. And you’re fully entitled to challenge every last one of them. And you might be right that he’s wrong on all of them. But that’s what a discussion is about.

    I’ll give that one as a place to start a discussion from, but not as an authority on economics

    Yep, that’s precisely why I said (and often use phrasing such as) “some are arguing”. A place to start a discussion from is EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.

    as he appears to think that deficit spending is the way to prosperity. Offhand, I’d say his analysis of things is incomplete and he’s cherry picking to reach preconceived conclusions.

    I’m not sure that it’s accurate to say he’s claiming “deficit spending is the way to prosperity”. He’s suggesting that the evidence may suggest that “stimulative policies” can help a recovery from a deep recession. They are two quite different things.

    If he’s wrong, what analysis of the data would demonstrate that? What is he missing in the analysis that makes this misleading, and would change it all around?

    Finally, on the subject of facts standing on their own, you have to take into account that different people, equally intelligent and educated, will arrive at different conclusions given the same data.

    Only once they apply reasoning/argument to those facts. They can use those facts to reach different conclusions. Is that what you mean?

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  35. Xetrov

    Xetrov, you’re assuming that I’m some kind of idiot if you can write something like this about me

    I’m actually not assuming that much. If the shoe fits…

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  36. sahrab

    What I really wanted everyone to read is the paragraph I quoted from that writing which explains how thoroughly indoctrinated we are today and why that has come about.

    And the relevant point you keep missing, ol’ bushy eyebrows refuted his own statement 1 year later

    In other words your own source disagrees with you

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  37. davidst

    He was correct both times. Capitalism brings with it progress via competition and that is a more powerful force than a sense of duty to one’s nation. However, capitalism eventually devolves into oligarchy if the people aren’t vigilant. And we haven’t been vigilant for decades. More and more people are paying attention now, but it’s probably too late to regain control of our government without first going through a significant period of decline and possibly overt tyranny.

    An ideal system would use a combination of free-market principles to encourage competition and government regulation to limit the externalization of harm and concentration of capital, and to prepare for large scale problems that arise (peak oil, global warming and so on). This is what democrats pretend to do, but in actuality they are looting the treasury, burdening the public with unpayable debt and assisting corporations in saddling individuals with private unpayable debt. Republicans, of course, have been helping their own set of corporate constituents (as well as a lot of the same ones). Anyone who escaped that trap through responsibility will soon see their savings destroyed by high inflation. This will be a result not of big government, so much as corrupt government.

    The conclusion is inescapable for me. We already have class warfare, and we’re losing.

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  38. sahrab

    And your source, the one you inerjected into this conversation, disagrees with you:

    An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. Force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels. … The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; the individual alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.

    This would describe Regulation in your “ideal” system

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  39. davidst

    Autocratic coercion describes communism or maybe socialism. Constitutional governance as envisioned at the founding of the country was a democracy with provisions for adding regulations (laws). If you want to consider highly regulated democracy as socialism, where is the dividing line between what the founding fathers gave us and socialism?

    Every system of governance naturally concentrates power and will inevitably devolve into tyranny. Jefferson expected as much when he said: “The tree of liberty has to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    In any case, it’s a moot point because we don’t have anything like socialism (where the people own the means of production via the state), we have oligarchy where the rich elite own the means of production. With the economy breaking down, the only question now is precisely what tried and tested means will be used to maintain control over the coming decades. Many of us are already handily propagandized and not everyone will be desperately impoverished, so there will be a lot of willing compliance. To many, it will look like the same country only poorer.

    I’m just trying to point out that we’re not living in a Democracy anymore and voting for Romney or Gingrich instead of Obama is mostly a matter of style not substance. Ron Paul would do his best to fix things, but I think he would only be a temporary annoyance if he somehow got elected. He doesn’t have the power to magically fix the economy and congress wouldn’t cooperate, so he would be out on his ass after four years and it will be back to a left or right corporate stooge.

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  40. sahrab

    As a discussion you could make the comparison to democracy to socialism, solely as a high level discussion.

    But, we are not a democracy, nor have we ever been a democracy. And, since your all over the map on this subject, Thomas Jefferson did his damnedest to ensure we never became a democracy.

    You brought up a source because you mistakenly though it supported your position. Either because of ignorance or laziness it only displayed your lack of due dillegence. As you’ve continued to grasp onto your source, to continue your mistaken assertaion, you are now attempting to twist the underlying theme of what your sources intended.

    No knock on you, but it seems you’ve read snippets of things here and there, and then took those snipets and pieced them together into some version of the US, economics, and the forms of Government.
    Sadly you’ve missed the mark, by quite a large margin.

    Socialism, Communism or a Central Government (what Einstein was originaly championing, before he realized he was wrong) only works in a Eutopian ideal. As history shows, these types of systems fail as soon as humans interact with them. Because of man kinds basse nature, the ability to use the “System” to empower a set of people over the will of others, turns these ideal systems into a means to squash freedom.

    Reality is a bitch and quickly makes it possible for someone to use a weakness of a system for their own benefit.

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  41. Seattle Outcast

    In any case, it’s a moot point because we don’t have anything like socialism (where the people own the means of production via the state), we have oligarchy where the rich elite own the means of production

    This a clear case of you being told something by a professor and you not actually thinking it through. Try again, only without regurgitating something that is obviously false.

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  42. Xetrov

    we have oligarchy

    Hmmmm

    a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.

    All those out voting in the primary’s better knock it the fuck off before they upset their masters.

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  43. davidst

    Sahrab: And what happens when you don’t have a powerful central government? Your decentralized states go to war with each other (Civil War in the US, World War I and II in Europe). Not that I’m advocating for either position. Seems like we eventually get screwed no matter what.

    SO: Ok granted. We won’t have anything like theoretical socialism (which probably isn’t possible in the real world). We’ll have oligarchy and people will call it socialism as they have in the past.

    Xetrov: Our masters want us to vote because it keeps up the pretense of democracy. They don’t care who we vote for since they own all the candidates who have a chance of winning. If the system isn’t already so rigged that Ron Paul could slip through, he’s easily dealt with by congress (or worse).

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  44. sahrab

    And what happens when you don’t have a powerful central government

    You really, really, REALLY, REAL-FUCKING-LY need to read your own source.

    Albert Einstein wasnt talking central government at the Nation level, he was talking globally. This also goes for Socialism, Marxism and Comunism, Einstein position (at the time he wrote “Why Socialism) is they would be better as a global government than a Capitalistic government. Of course, a year later he repented his stand, admitted he was wrong, and championed Capitalism. (only took him a year to figure it out).

    Socialistic (whatever flavor) Governments are good in a utopian dream. But the theory is nothing resembling anything anywhere close to what we have now or any time in the past.

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  45. Seattle Outcast

    davidst, I think you need to revisit the definition of socialism, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

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  46. davidst

    I was generalizing Einstein’s explanation of capital to the national level. Logic that applies to the world can apply to smaller sub-sections of the world (a nation of states for example). A nation of states isn’t that different from a world of nation-states. That sort of generalizing comes naturally to me. I guess I should have explained what I meant better.

    Also, I was just using the writing for its elegant explanation (and the famous author never hurts). I think the paragraph I cited concisely explains how capitalism concentrates wealth and power and leads to corruption. Anyway, it’s just a well written series of words by a famous author at the end of the day if it doesn’t apply to the real world, it’s worthless. Einstein changed his mind about advocating for a world socialist government, not about capitalism concentrating capital in the hands of a few. I’d argue that he just realized that setting up a socialist system deliberately will bring about that unfortunate state of things immediately instead of after capital has had time to accumulate more to itself. If he saw what the world is like today, I think he would feel vindicated on both opinions. They’re not mutually contradictory.

    As I understand it, the executive summary of my linked article: capitalism will lead to concentration of capital and hence oligarchy so we should engage in socialism instead

    And the later article: socialism devolves into the same kind of tyranny much more quickly, so never mind on the world social government thing.

    That doesn’t change the observation that eventually capitalism devolves as well, it just takes longer. So when you finally do end up with a tyrannical government what do you do about it? Class warfare. I probably shouldn’t use their word for it, as it’s designed to make people reflexively reject it. If class warfare fails, outright revolution may be necessary. Unless a country goes the German route and gets defeated in war instead.

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  47. davidst

    SO: socialism: A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole

    I said we don’t have anything like socialism. You said I need to rethink that. I admitted what we have may be approaching quasi-socialism (what socialism ends up working out to in the real world).

    Am I missing something?

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  48. AlexInCT *

    I said we don’t have anything like socialism. You said I need to rethink that. I admitted what we have may be approaching quasi-socialism (what socialism ends up working out to in the real world).

    So, did you admit socialism, because what is written in books is no more than your usual fairy tale, in the real world is a disaster, and hence socialism should be considered a failure? if you did you finally got it.

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  49. Poosh

    or regulated by the community as a whole

    That translates as (in theory, usually but not always) democratic power being given into the hands of a party who makes these decisions, “community” is vote by majority. The redistribution of wealth within a welfare system CAN be used to recreate some of the intentions of a socialist state, instead of bothering to take over a “means of production” it can merely tax it and redistribute the money that way.

    Even Europe is a distance from proper socialism – but the socialistic attributes they do have have been catastrophic alone.

    And socialism in practice, if done with a great attention to detail, ends up like the Soviet Union. That is exactly as socialism should be, and it doesn’t work. It needed a police state to enforce it because people, once they live under it, simply will not vote for it. The only reason modern western countries today can flirt with socialism and spread it around, is because they can afford to do so, off the backs of the rich.

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  50. davidst

    Sure.

    But are you equating a tactical redistribution of power from giant banks or corporations with socialism? Do you believe in trust-busting?

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  51. davidst

    poosh: I’ll agree that in practice socialism has mostly ended up as you describe. And since it so far hasn’t ended up the way it’s supposed to, I like to think of the real world attempts as quasi-socialism. It’s a mistake to think that socialistic activities are never necessary though. In any situation where a vital resource is running low, unfettered freedom to exploit that resource will virtually guarantee a societies extinction if the resource can’t be replaced. There are plenty of examples of this happening to societies of various sizes throughout history. Check out Jared Diamond’s Collapse for more information.

    I’ll also agree that socialized commodities are expensive for whatever group is privileged enough to afford them when they’re not socialized. That follows naturally from demand suddenly rising against a fixed supply when socialization allows everyone to suddenly “afford” it. Of course, there aren’t enough care providers so rationing must occur (rationing occurs in the free market of course… by price). The government ought to be able to set a wage for medical care providers to fix the rationing problem, or else subsidize schooling for medical personnel.

    However, the extra expense is not paid for off the backs of the rich (not in our country). It’s funded by government debt. The debt is paid for by foreign governments who buy bonds as secure investments and in the case of China, to prop up the dollar against the Yaun to facilitate their export based economy.

    The reason welfare is necessary is that people are broke from decades of outsourcing. And that is necessary because corporations can’t afford to pay American workers (certainly not if the government doesn’t force them to anyway) because of the strong dollar. And of course it’s much more twisted and deep than that, but I’ll save it.

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  52. Seattle Outcast

    SO: socialism: A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole

    And that’s where you’re going to leave it? Seriously? Like I said, you don’t really know what it means, or you’re just disingenuous.

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  53. Seattle Outcast

    Yeah, I’m going with disingenuous.

    Only someone playing games is going to stick with a definition of socialism stuck in the 19th century that fails to address the myriad versions ranging from Europe’s “Socialism Lite” to “People’s Republic” that have been employed with uniform failure.

    Also, you seem to want to view it clinical terms, like a professor talking about abstract political concepts without actually having experienced any of them.

    I guess you could add “for the common good”?

    Except that it never actually does that. At best it’s a wash, in practical application it always does harm.

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  54. AlexInCT *

    But are you equating a tactical redistribution of power from giant banks or corporations with socialism?

    Oh, come off it. Seriously, the only people that believe banks & corporations are the center of power are idiots on the left with an agenda.

    The hallmark of the nanny socialist state is an all powerful government that picks winners and losers in the private industry. Those companies and banks that do the social engineering that the socialist government favors get to make oodles of money and get bail outs when the stupid social engineering collapses in the face of the realities of economics like we just recently saw. And then they have the privilege of being used as scapegoats. They get blamed & demonized, accused of running rogue, so the leftists nanny staters can come to the rescue. Instead what we get is big nanny state government strengthening and expanding their control/influence even more, leaving the very social engineering problems that caused the problems in the first place in place, as the “Dodd-Frank” bill does.

    The bad guys are the soft fascist that run the socialist governments and really have all the power and the ability to lay blame elsewhere. That’s why socialism sucks and fails. But I suspect you already knew that davidst.

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  55. richtaylor365

    I think our last socialism proponent was murgeo, his arguments were not any better, but at least he could blame the impetuousness of youth on his errors.

    davidst, do you remember the “pilgrim” experiment with socialism? If you were around in November, I wrote a short Thanksgiving post on the subject

    The bottom line is this, what you advocate or defend has been tried and failed (every time) since man has lived together. It does not work, for the obvious reasons.

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  56. Poosh

    In any situation where a vital resource is running low, unfettered freedom to exploit that resource will virtually guarantee a societies extinction if the resource can’t be replaced.

    Yes but socialism isn’t the only way to protect a natural resource.

    And it is off the backs of the rich, because it is they, through their own will, genetics, talents, and so forth, become rich through creating wealth. They create the real jobs. The debt incurred will always, ultimately, be paid for by the rich and those moving toward being rich (the rich, or capitalists, create jobs for most of the peasant, low and middle classes). It is they that create the real wealth that the government needs to tax in order to pay back the debt/interest. Though I realise many countries are at a point when we’re just borrowing more money to pay back the interest of past debt.

    At any rate… who buys a bond etc. The rich. Mostly private individuals.

    Exceptions are abundant as many countries have very specific circumstances. An oil-rich country will have a very different perspective.

    There is too much to deal with, including an odd reinterpretation of “rationing”.

    There are a great number of reasons for Welfare, and many are perfectly right-wing, conservative reasons for Welfare. Anyhow, some companies outsource because minimum-wage laws make it pointless to create jobs in the home-country. And because of excessive taxes, all created to pay for Welfare. So your single claim is circular and muddled.

    Socialism fails because it inhibits and oppresses human nature and creativity. It destroys progress in the name of progress. Socialism leads to coal miners keeping their pointless little jobs at the cost of everyone else, and at the cost of progress and better, more efficient, means of creating energy. The reason socialism, in the soviet union, for example, fails is because the profit motive is the BEST means to ensuring success and advancement, and lifting EVERYBODY up. State run anything, and so-called “good” intentions generally lead to a host of untended consequences (welfare making people poorer, for example, in western countries) – all wrapped up in politics and power.

    That’s not to say one should not always be wary of capitalists translating money into power. But that’s another issue.

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  57. Poosh

    It does not work, for the obvious reasons.

    i.e human nature.

    Sadly socialists, drawing on marxist and post-marxist BS (Freud for example) simply say human nature is socially constructed… which is convenient.

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  58. davidst

    SO: seriously I’m being honest. I explain my political background briefly in Alex’s “Oh nooo” thread (5th or 6th post down). All I know about socialism is what those on the right say about it, and forgive me if I feel like I need to par that down to the most basic critique for lack of trust in mainstream political views.

    Alex said:

    Oh, come off it. Seriously, the only people that believe banks & corporations are the center of power are idiots on the left with an agenda.

    The fringe left are the most visible people that hold that view, however, there are those on the fringe right that hold it as well.

    Exhibit A: Paul Craig Roberts. Here is a slightly-racist (or maybe just racially aware), old, white libertarian who makes a somewhat convincing argument that the government had something to do with 9-11 and that JFK was assassinated according to the plans of those in the military industrial complex for undermining the cold war. Again, he’s a libertarian. He supports Ron Paul and immediately identified Obama as a liar based on his cabinet appointments before he even took the oath of Office. He supported Bush initially, but quickly realized that Bush wasn’t a real conservative.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

    Exhibit B: Ron Paul himself. I mean he doesn’t overtly talk about corporate money influencing politics, but he sure talks about the banking oligarchy via his criticisms of the Fed. He has to be careful not to venture into territory that will make him lose credibility. Besides, it’s hard for him to complain about money in politics since he would apparently deregulate campaign finance and solve the problem of lobbying by shrinking the government to the point that there is very little to lobby for (the standard libertarian position).

    Exhibit C: Eric Janszen. This guy’s analysis is purely economic in nature. He’s a venture capitalist and contrary economist who analyzes the world to make good investment decisions. He share those decisions on his website and charges a subscription for the deeper analysis. Anyone who has followed his advice for the last 10 years is a very happy person. He’s made accurate predictions of every significant macro-economic event in the last 10 years, and willingly admits when he gets something wrong. He goes back to the drawing board constantly to update his analysis. You can verify that his predictions were made before the events they predict by using the Wayback Machine (ww.internetachive.org).

    He identifies a rise in the size and power of corporate financial interests since World War II, particularly from the 80’s onward. From the 80’s onward, financial interests have dominated American politics. His macroeconomic forecasts revolve around the interplay between the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, the availability of oil and other important commodities, and the competition and cooperation of other nations with our national (and now corporate) interests. I strongly recommend his book “The Post Catastrophe Economy”. This is definitely something that everyone here should read for themselves.

    Separate from these examples let me ask if banks and mega-corporations aren’t “the center of power” then what is? Please don’t confuse cultural liberalism with power. Social issues are not relevant to those with real power, except as a tool to divide and distract voters. Economic issues (many of which have been repackaged as social issues) are what really matter to the true elite. Power comes from money and money in politics comes from corporations and banks. They still compete with each other; just not to our benefit most of the time. So I’m not saying that competition is entirely a show, just that they are competing to see which of them get to rob us most efficiently with the assistance of government (which they mostly own).

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  59. davidst

    Poosh: I am not a socialist. I pretty much agree with everything you’re saying.

    There are a great number of reasons for Welfare, and many are perfectly right-wing, conservative reasons for Welfare. Anyhow, some companies outsource because minimum-wage laws make it pointless to create jobs in the home-country. And because of excessive taxes, all created to pay for Welfare. So your single claim is circular and muddled.

    I think the root of the problem is the very strong dollar. Nixon went off the gold standard in 1971 because we were in a lot of debt from Vietnam, printed some money, and France rightly started a run on the bank, demanding physical gold from us. Nixon suspended convertibility, revalued the dollar a couple of times and then went off gold completely. Since then we’ve maintained a strong dollar in order to have cheap imports (particularly oil) and used the dollar as a tool to increasingly fund the government via debt (based on the dollars emergent role as the world’s reserve currency). The role as reserve currency has been used to bully other countries around economically. At home, the inevitable financial hegemony has vastly increased the cost of anything that is financed (housing, medical care, education) while the price of imported goods declines and increasing technological innovation has made some honest and incredible gains in quality of life that offset the other problems to some extent. It’s a complicated picture and we may not have had any other choice about implementing some kind of welfare in response. I mean, people have to eat. If you don’t have some government welfare, you’ll have social unrest as people are forced to beg for basic necessities.

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  60. Xetrov

    Xetrov: Our masters want us to vote because it keeps up the pretense of democracy. They don’t care who we vote for since they own all the candidates who have a chance of winning.

    Those darn Illuminati.

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  61. davidst

    I never said “our masters” are a secret society. Monied interests buy the political process openly and voters heavily invested in one party are convinced they still matter by advertising and sponsored newscasts in mainstream media paid for by those same interests. Even independent blogs like this one reflexively go along with the usual narrative to some extent (out of long habit I guess, although not as slavishly as ones who are getting money for their trouble). It’s no conspiracy, just the inevitable end game in a society where most people can’t be bothered to be well informed (it is an enormous amount of work).

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