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The Patriotism of American Socialism

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"The times, they are a-changin'"…

Everyone knows the iconic phrase from Bob Dylan's song on the 1964 album of the same name — but the times are always a-changin'. Again, we all know this.

But not everyone sees which way the winds of change are blowing. Not everyone sees the tide irresistibly approaching. If one examines history, one will see that when it comes to politics, socialism has been expanding to every nation on the planet – sometimes in spurts and false starts, sometimes temporarily retreating, but socialism has been slowly increasing around the world since the nineteenth century as country after country has been finding that a social democracy is a better path to prosperity.

The proof can be found in the fact that America no longer has the longest life expectancy in the world as we did in 1945; we're now 30th on the list. We no longer have the highest standard of living; we're now 12th on the list of countries listed on the Human Development Index.

America is quickly being left behind technologically, as is evinced by the high-speed trains that are found in many countries (even in 'third-world' China), but only one – the not-so-speedy Acela – here in America. The world's premier scientific facility is not in America, but in CERN on the Swiss/French frontier. Our educational system is woefully underfunded – and kept that way by those who insist that it's merely a matter of 'spending the money wisely'. We are no longer the world's greatest creditor, but the world's greatest debtor. The only – repeat, ONLY – arena in which we truly lead the world is in military power.

Right-wing ideologues would have us believe that the fiscal prosperity America needs can only be found in a deregulated free market – but even Alan Greenspan now admits the notion that a deregulated free market is self-correcting is faulty. Economic activity, like nearly all other forms of human interaction need some measure of regulation.

America's health-care train wreck is a prime example of the failure of deregulation. HMO's, Big Pharma, and their primary political beneficiary, the Republican party, would have us believe we have the best health care in the world…and for those Americans who can afford it, they are right. However, for the vast majority of Americans who cannot afford it, we're left to legal haggling for our very lives with HMO's…or medical tourism, which I've personally found to be every bit as good as the medical care to which I have access stateside, but FAR cheaper. But the majority of Americans cannot afford the best health care, and cannot afford to travel overseas. This is how we have fallen to 30th place on the life expectancy list…behind Bosnia, Jordan, and the top twenty-seven, ALL of which have Universal Health Care.

America's health care woes are not the major concern, but merely a symptom of the overall problem. Frankly, the problem is that we have too much individual freedom.

Yes, I said we have too much individual freedom.

As I make that statement I can just hear the cla-clack of millions of shotguns aiming in my direction…and rightfully so, if I were advocating an actual loss of our freedom. But I'm not, not at all! America is my home and let no one doubt my patriotism!

Too much freedom is every bit as bad as too little. Aristotle advocated "Moderation in all things". If we have too little freedom, we of course have tyranny and great injustice. If we have too much freedom, we have anarchy and injustice. What America – indeed, all of mankind – needs, is 'Goldilocks freedom': not too much nor too little, but just enough to have the best balance between individual opportunity and social responsibility. Just for the sake of argument, let's refer to this as a kind of 'bell curve of freedom', with the far left leading to anarchy, and the far right leading to tyranny.

And what could socialism have to do with 'Goldilocks freedom'?

It's time to decriminalize the word. During the Cold War, America understandably equated 'socialism' with 'communism' because of the actual name of our enemy, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. But the USSR has been consigned to the dustbin of history. Let us now dispassionately look once more at socialism, its history, and how it already applies to most of the free world.

First of all, socialism is NOT communism. The two are not even closely related. Marx and Engels supported socialism, but only as a halfway point between capitalism and communism. Unfortunately for much of the world, their ideas evinced a lack of understanding of the human animal. Communism – true communism, as they envisioned it, is completely incompatible with the human psyche. It simply won't work.

Conversely, anarchy – total freedom – is every bit as unacceptable to humanity. A group of people in an anarchic setting will organize. Some will take command, some will follow. Thus it has always been throughout human history.

Now we enter the concept of social democracy…similar to that which is practiced by every industrialized democracy on the planet except for America. According to the Brittanica Online Encyclopedia:

After World War II, social-democratic parties came to power in several nations of western Europe—e.g., West Germany, Sweden, and Great Britain (in the Labour Party)—and laid the foundations for modern European social-welfare programs. With its ascendancy, social democracy changed gradually, most notably in West Germany. These changes generally reflected a moderation of the 19th-century socialist doctrine of wholesale nationalization of business and industry. Although the principles of the various social-democratic parties began to diverge somewhat, certain common fundamental principles emerged. In addition to abandoning violence and revolution as tools of social change, social democracy took a stand in opposition to totalitarianism. The Marxist view of democracy as a “bourgeois” facade for class rule was abandoned, and democracy was proclaimed essential for socialist ideals. Increasingly, social democracy adopted the goal of state regulation, but not state ownership, of business and industry as sufficient to further economic growth and equitable income. (emphasis added)

And this is precisely what the other industrialized democracies have found to be true: state regulation, but NOT state ownership, of business and industry are sufficient to economic growth and equitable income. Japan has Universal Health Care, but 85% of their hospitals are privately-owned.

Health care is not the only symptom – look at how fuel prices have plummeted! The laws of supply and demand cannot account for the gas prices having fallen so far, so quickly. The deregulation of Big Oil – driven by the conservatives (remember the 'Enron loophole'?) and approved by Bill Clinton (a liberal in all but economic theory) – allowed oil speculation to run rampant.

Most obvious is the result of the deregulation of the lending industry, which snowballed into the global economic crisis we're all enduring right now.

This is not to say that government regulation is needed in all things. The single most crucial fact is that the Freedom of the Press must be free from all government interference. Most liberals do NOT like the 'Fairness Doctrine' – never mind that right-wing pundits are proclaiming that we're trying to bring it back. The 'Fairness Doctrine' – like communism – is simply not workable, not compatible with the human psyche. There is ONE government regulation that should apply to the press: the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Right now, only a few men control ninety percent of all radio stations…and this is a greater threat to freedom than any armed force outside our borders. Freedom of speech must above all be our most precious right, and when the news is controlled by few, tyranny cannot be far behind. The freedom of speech is the surest guarantor of freedom. It must not be compromised.

In conclusion, the idea of social democracy is not a matter of limiting freedom, but of pragmatism, of finding the proper balance between individual freedoms and social responsibility. The proof is incontrovertible that we need Universal Health Care and greater regulation of our financial sector…and more freedom of our press.

It is time to decriminalize the word socialism. Like all other concepts, socialism has its advantages and disadvantages. We should take advantage of the qualities of socialism that would benefit America and the American people, and discard that which would not. Moderation in all things…even with individual freedoms.

"The times, they are a-changin'" – and all the other industrialized democracies except for America adapted to the times by realizing that they best served their respective populations by proper governance and regulation, not by too little governance.

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Reasonable regulation of business and industry is not socialism by any normal definition, unless the purpose of that regulation is to specifically to redistribute profits to establish some sort of artificial equity, or to require companies to do business in ways which are inherently unprofitable in order to produce some particular social outcome, such as regulating wages and prices or requiring certain levels of employment.

    Various countries HAVE experimented with imposing socialism on businesses and have generally found the results to be disastrous. The best example of this is France’s recent decision to abandon many of their socialist controls on business because of the harm they had done in making French businesses uncompetitive in the international marketplace.

    Regulations for safety or to prevent fraud or exploitation of workers are all good things – even regulations against monopolies. They make sure that a business engages in legitimate and fair practices. Regulation to make businesses operate for reasons other than the profit of their owners or shareholders are always destructive.

    Dave

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    How about regulations that prevent businesses from fraudulently gaining huge profits while bankrupting the countries, decimating the pension funds, screwing the little guy, and screwing the country?

    Oh, and letting the guys who did all that walk with nice fat bonuses and golden parachutes?

    How about regulations that prevent boards from paying people who do all that, even if they hired them in good faith? How about contracts that spell out that a person hired by a company cannot destroy a company and then walk away with the profits while everyone below him/her suffers?

    Or is that socialism?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I did specifically mention regulations against fraud, Lisa. Most of the things you describe I would consider acts of fraud. And as I said before reasonable regulation and holding people accountable for criminal activity is not socialism.

    Why so hostile? You won the election. You can turn the hate meter down a few notches.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Without offering any justification, Dave avers:

    “Regulation to make businesses operate for reasons other than the profit of their owners or shareholders are always destructive.”

    This is quite stupid on the face of it: we prohibit businesses from polluting our air and water (as best we are able, in the face of their hostility).

    We prohibit businesses from making products that kill, maim or electrocute either clients or innocent third parties.

    Historically, in the USA, most businesses (of a Certain Size) were actually operated for a wider range of stakeholders than just the owners. There was a concept of The Larger Community represented in The Board Of Directors. Usually, but not always, that Larger Community was the business community. But it was quite common to find, on the Boards of prominent companies, directors from various religions, banking, universities, etc. It was felt that this broadening served useful (but monetarily intangible) purposes to the company: broadening focus, enriching contacts, etc.

    The big business story of the past 30 years has been the takeover of the boardroom by operating officers of the company, usually lead by the iron rule of the CEO. Thence, the company is operated for the benefit of the CEO and his cohort officers as they loot the companies riches. Witness GM.

    If US capitalism is to survive we must revive the notion of wider stakeholder representation on the BoD, else the corporations just become killer Frankenstein monsters roving the countryside destroying all in their way in the pursuit of narrow self-interest.

    Eventually the angry villagers will come with flaming torches and burn everything to the ground.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Dave, there is a huge difference between hate and anger.

  • Tim325

    Rahm Israel Emanuel officially accepted his appointment by Obama as Chief of Staff on November 6 2008. The Israeli press & media were beside themselves with applause and cheers.

    Rahm Emanuel is a former investment banker who made millions on Wall Street. Emanuel’s sponsor is the Zionist , Bruce Wasserstein, who is now the head of Lazard Banking.

    Rahm Israel Emanuel is the son of an Israeli physician who was a gun runner for the Irgun, an Israeli terrorist group that murdered Arab civilians in Palestine between 1931 and 1948. Upon his son’s appointment as Obama’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel (“Auerbach” was his original surname) had some choice slanderous words for the Arabs:

    In an interview with Ma’ariv: “Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel,” he was quoted as saying. “Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.”

    The Ma’ariv article also
    quoted Dr. Emanuel
    as saying that his son spends most summers visiting in Tel Aviv, and that he speaks Hebrew, but not fluently.

    Emanuel, Clinton & Mossad.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I’m sure our own pet zionist will be along shortly to explain how the appointment of Rahm Emanuel fits in with his end of time theory. Where are you, Ruvy?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Hi there, Chris.

    I’m just savoring how Tim325 keeps acting as if Zionists are criminals.

    As for your comments, the only thing I really have to say is that Zionism is a dead horse. It’s not dead because it didn’t succeed but because it did. Now it’s time for it to move over so that Redemption can take over and give you the royal kick in the butt you’ve been spoiling for.

    If you have read my articles, you will see that this is a steady theme in them. That is, if you have kept a clear head reading them….

    As for Rahm Emanuel, note that he doesn’t speak fluent Hebrew, even though mommy and daddy worked their tails off to bring about a Hebrew-speaking country. Rahm Emanuel has bought into the American dream in both its best (he got rich) and its worst (he pushed that photo “hand-shake” between Rabin and Arafat) aspects. Like his boss, he has intervened in the affairs of the “old country” to its detriment.

    I’ll just let folks like Tim325 scald the NEW monkey coming to Washington and allow the peripatetic “progressives” to spread their hands in defense of the NEW monkey and his actions.

    The stupid fools at Ma’ariv don’t really want to talk about how Rahm Emanuel is nothing but an Oslo Criminal. But we in Israel already know – and the bad news gets around fast. Obama has his pet kike in place and already Tim325 is throwing brickbats at him for being a Zionist. How sweet.

    Lesson kiddies. Jews get stuck in high places in America so that the beer-swilling idiots and Jew-haters in the States can throw rocks at them – while the goyim – like Obama – sneer and laugh in their sleeves.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Why do you keep calling Obama a monkey? It’s so derogatory.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    But let’s get back to the topic at hand. Glenn, I’m a syndicalist socialist. I’ll try and explain what that means in simple English. It means that workers get together and form syndicates that they own that do the work that needs to be done. Collective dairies in the States or in Scandinavia are good examples of successful syndicalist socialist initiatives at work. The collective dairies succeed because membership is voluntary (unlike the Soviet kolkhoz).

    State socialism is not a workable alternative. Over the long run it kills productivity because it kills the chief incentive to productivity – competition. But private firms run on a socialistic basis – socialism for the poor, in other words, instead of socialism for the rich, which is what big bailouts are – slow the creation of rich and poor classes and maintain a level of equality in society which is the best thing for a society to have.

    Israel walked away from its syndicalist socialist roots when the Labor party corrupted the system by allowing kibbutzim and other collective enterprises here to take out loans that they couldn’t pay. When the Labor party was ousted here in 1977, the banks and other creditors called in their teds and the kibbutzim started to either have to break the law and sell off land (at huge profits) or ditch their socialist ideas. They did exactly what the United States has done, they overspent themselves because their boys were at the till.

    So now, in Israel, we have the worst of capitalism – unbrideled comptetition that kills what rights workers had here – combined with the socialistic regulation left over from the days of the Labor party. So, it’hard to make a living here.

    But there were two big points you left out of your essay that need to be raised. After WWII, the European countries were able to adopt various varieties of socialistic structures because they were getting a free ride on defense. The US was paying the bill for them.

    Just like sending a guy to Mars or the moon, it’s all a matter of where the money comes from. The US was covering the Europeans’ back in defense – so the Europeans had the extra cash to set up welfare states.

    Finally, there is this point. The Europeans figured out that kids cost money, and they decided that they wanted money more than they wanted kids. And now, the piper’s bill is coming due. All those Moslems raping European women are tolerated in Europe because the Europeans are suffering a severe labor shortage – they didn’t have enough money gobbling rug rats! So, yeah, they have a higher standard of living – if they can stand their daughters and wives being raped by the “guest workers” they’ve imported…..

    Ahh. I hear the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer, now.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Lisa,

    Why do you keep calling Obama a monkey? It’s so derogatory.

    Obama is not just any monkey . He is the NEW monkey – fresh with brand new bananas (like hope and change). The smelly OLD monkey – Bush (suddenly all those cartoons comparing Bush to a monkey aren’t so funny any more, eh?) – is (hopefully) on his way out, so that he can write his memoirs and run some more businesses into the ground.

    Who knows? Maybe you Americans will get lucky and Bush will become the CEO of Haliburton? With him at the thelm haliburton will be gone in not too long….

    Get used to Obama being called a lot worse than “monkey”, Lisa. When he can’t deliver on the change, the hope will disappear. And then you and all the other progressives who pushed him on the world will only have a dirty monkey cage to clean. out.

    The painful truth of the matter is that while I think a certain level of socialism would be great for the States if applied the right way, YOU CANNOT AFFORD IT ANYMORE. Go read my comment # 13. There is no USA to cover your backs. So you cannot afford to pay for a welfare state for those who truly need one.

    You will not suddenly find the Chinese willing to hand your government money just because Obama is in the White House. You will not find the Arabs willing to give you oil – even if your government tries to stab us in the back even more than it has – just because Obama is in the White House. You can expect a lot of Americans to feel that they don’t have to worry about their bills or mortgages anymore – and to be very disappointed when they discover that merely having Obama in the White House doesn’t solve their problems or get the creditors off their backs. Bitterness will sweep the land. I know how that feels from personal experience.

    At that point, “monkey” will not sound derogatory at all.

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Ruvy are you three years old, or just completely clueless? Stop calling Obama a monkey when you know for a fact that is a known racial insult. Seriously, cut that shit out. Or do you have such a limited vocabulary?

    So many morons around here it’s almost unfathomable. I can’t take people seriously when they act so incredibly stupid and juvenile.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Amen Dawn

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Arch Conservative is having a compulsory holiday until 5 December, so his comments – and any responses to them – have been deleted.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    If Ruvy’s people had been mocked and caricatured due in part to their appearance he might understand what you mean. Or not.

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Somewhere between Glen’s article & Dave’s initial comment lies the path (he so arrogantly proclaims.)

    Bliffle took exceptions to Dave’s comment, “Regulation to make businesses operate for reasons other than the profit of their owners or shareholders are always destructive.” However, pollution, products that kill & maim, etc. can all be considered to be ultimately a bad thing for owners. Not sure if Dave agrees…it’s the Milton Freedman school of economics vs. any sane & rational approach.

    Most important, we have got to try to live without labels. I have no idea what a liberal or conservative is; nor do I know what a socialist is. Let’s talk strategies & tactics: regulations that prevent secret financial instruments that make some rich while threatening the entire world economy; that force boards of directors to truly hold executives accountable for corporate governance; that create a level of transparency in all sectors of our society (not the bedroom, please) so that bullshit mortgages, credit card scammers, etc. are put out of business.

    And regulations that force health insurance companies to do what they were initially supposed to do: spread the risk to maximize opportunity and minimize catastrophic cost. End the cherry picking of healthy, young people & pre-existing conditions.

    (He blathers on and on.)

    Glen’s article makes lots of sense if you simply eliminate that horrible label, socialism.

    Stop using labels. Start using words that having meaning.

    (And Ruvy, come on, man, you know better. Calling Obama a monkey is like calling a Jew a kike–I can use that word, I’m Jewish–pick another “label.”)

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dawn,

    Obama is a Jew-hating prick and I have no respect for him at all. He is a sleazy, lying, corrupt Chicago politician who slid himself past the lot of you and has you all fooled with his hypnotic rhetoric. In this aspect, he is no different from Adolph Hitler or Nimrod (look up the reference to Nimrod, Dawn – I didn’t call Obama a Nazi).

    He put up the misled kid of Etze”l fighters to be his the china doll who takes the rocks of the Jew-haters in your country (see comments #6 and 10) while he sits and laughs in his sleeve. Bush was no different in his tactics, and neither was Clinton. Jews get stuck up in front while the Protestant establishment laughs in the background and rakes in the money and power.

    And Obama still has not laid in front of you a real live birth certificate. What is that lying scum hiding, anyway?

    And let me remind you that Bush was called “monkey” all the time. And go back to the movie “Cabaret” to see which other group was called “monkey”. You can go to the Qur’an and see that same group called the relatives of monkeys and pigs. And I have made my points clear here. If I wanted to do racial insults, I would not hide with lame shit like “monkey”, Dawn. I’d come straight out with the full artillery.

    I don’t do racial insults. Go check through the several thousand comments I’ve posted here in three years. You know, people in glass houses don’t throw stones, etc.

    Go bother somebody else with the PC crap, Dawn.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    If Ruvy’s people had been mocked and caricatured due in part to their appearance he might understand what you mean.

    Uh huh. Tell this dumb Jew-boy more, el bicho. Google up anti-semitic artoons on google, and you’ll get 250,000 places to go for them.

    Try to remember I live in the ARAB WORLD, and see this shit all the time. Nobody gets PC with them and lives.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark,

    Glen’s article makes lots of sense if you simply eliminate that horrible label, socialism.

    Stop using labels. Start using words that having meaning.

    In this case, socialism has plenty of meaning and needs to be clearly defined. Not because you Americans have the money to adopt the concepts, but because you need to clearly understand what it is you are talking about. Horrible label, Mark? I’m a socialist, and always have been. If there was a respectable socialist party to vote for in Israel, I’d be first on line to vote for it. There isn’t.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Uh Ruvy, El Bicho was clearly and obviously being ironic.

    I think it is more than time for you to simmer down a little….

  • zingzing

    ruvy, it would still be a lot better for the discussion if you didn’t use a racially-charged term. if you’re not being racist, which i don’t think you are, then don’t run around calling him a monkey. it would be like talking about building a fire with “faggots” in san francisco. sure, you may mean something quite different, but it’s not going to make one damn difference to your audience, you still look like a dickhead. or not, in that example.

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Ruvy, I will bother who ever I damn well please when they are being willfully ignorant, which you are. I wouldn’t put up with you calling Bush a monkey either. I may not like his policies or his administration, but I respect him as the leader of my country.

    You are NOT an American, nor are you living in the United States. If you don’t like the way things are going in your neck of the woods, complain to YOUR leaders. As for Obama and your blanket accusations and assault on his character, you are WRONG. Period.

    Also, give us all a break about his birthplace. Do you really think if he weren’t a citizen of the United States we wouldn’t have heard about it.

    Cripes, grow the hell up. Also, take that boulder sized chip off your shoulder, it makes you look increasingly paranoid and creepy.

    Obama is OUR president, for OUR country, NOT YOURS. Go bark up a tree that cares.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Ruvy, you’re doing the equivulent of throwing rocks at a bee hive. We’re all gonna come out and sting you if you’re not careful.

    where is this “Holier than thou” attitude coming from?

  • zingzing

    jet: “where is this “Holier than thou” attitude coming from?”

    um, the torah?

    duh, jet, duh. smiley emoticon.

    and ruvy, i don’t see where you get obama being a “jew-hating prick,” because he’s proven several times that he’s not. is it his name? meh.

  • Clavos

    I wouldn’t put up with you calling Bush a monkey either. I may not like his policies or his administration, but I respect him as the leader of my country.

    You shouldn’t Dawn, he’s not worthy of respect. He’s the president of your country, but hardly a “leader.”

    Respect the office, not the man (unless it’s earned).

    I don’t respect him at all; he lied himself into office, garnering votes (including mine) by promising things he had no intention of delivering (fiscal conservatism, e.g.).

    But I agree, he shouldn’t be called a monkey; he’s not that high on the food chain.

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Clavos,

    I guess I don’t hate Bush like so many people do right now. I hate the job he did and how poorly he did it, but I don’t hate/dislike whatever, him. What’s the point in wasting those kinds of negative emotions?

    I am a very proud American and believe we should respect that title and those who have it. I wouldn’t want people threatening Bush’s life anymore that Obama’s. We have to exhibit some rational behavior in times like these. Ruvy spouting this hatred and bile only seeks to destroy us and divert us from our efforts to rebuild this country to greatness again.

    I do not believe for a second that Obama is anti-Semitic or a hater of Jews or any other group. Don’t buy it, don’t believe it. Not to mention the fact that Israel, while a fierce ally, isn’t perfect by any means. Neither is the U.S. Those seeking perfection will always be sorely disappointed. And apparently angry.

  • Clavos

    I don’t hate Bush, either, Dawn.

    I used to respect him, but he eroded that away himself.

    My father was the first to teach me the “respect the office, not the man” aphorism. Later on, many teachers did as well. Gradually, I began to realize the wisdom in it.

    The office, as the highest in the land, should always be respected. But respect of the individual can morph into blindness, which can lead to many of the excesses we’ve seen in societies where the the cult of personality outweighs the common sense of the governed.

    I’m not saying that things under Bush got that out of hand (although it was nip and tuck more than once), but with an approval rating in the low double digits, the people in general obviously don’t have much respect for him, and that’s a good thing, IMO, because it’s deserved.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dawn,

    Ruvy, I will bother who ever I damn well please…

    Indeed, madame. Rank has its privileges.

    I wouldn’t put up with you calling Bush a monkey either. I may not like his policies or his administration, but I respect him as the leader of my country.

    If you wish to respect a puppet of the Saudi monarchy, that is your privilege. It is part of the freedom you still enjoy. Let’s hope you conitinue to enjoy that freedom.

    You are NOT an American, nor are you living in the United States. If you don’t like the way things are going in your neck of the woods, complain to YOUR leaders.

    Now we take you by the hand back to comment #6. Read carefully what the gentleman has to say. He throws brickbats at the Jew Obana stuck up as his “chief of staff” precisely because he is, in his words “a Zionist”. His problems with Rahm Emanuel is what he would regard as Jewish control over your government. He has problems with that.

    And now, I’ll tell you what this Jew WHO IS NOT AN AMERICAN has problems with:

    1. Your government has bought out and intimidated our leaders – Rabin, Netanyahu, Barak, Olmert, Sharon. Each one has been forced to cough up one concession or another since 1992, and each one has been gotten rid of after doing so.

    a) Rabin signed the Olso Accord and was murdered – not by Yig’al ‘Amir, who is taking the rap to save himself from being labelled a child pervert and stuck in jail for that – but by Yoram Rubin, who is on the payroll of Shim’on Peres, who is on the payroll of the European Union. Rabin was murdered because he wanted to back out of the Oslo Accords.

    b) Netanyahu gave the Arabs Hebron – after a massacre of Arabs was arranged by the Shaba”k there, and a Jewish doctor framed for doing it. Netanyahu was gotten rid of by James Carville, a Clinton aide, who forced Ehud Barak on this country.

    c) Ehud Barak gave up South Lebanon – which used to be under our control. The result of that action was the infiltration of Southern Lebanon by HizbAllah and a war against us which we lost, at the orders of Condaleezza Rice THE AMERICAN SECRETARY OF STATE. Ehud Barak was forced out of office when he was literally afraid to put down an Arab rebellion in 2000. He was forced out of office by another American sellout, Ariel Sharon, who infiltrated the Israeli right wing at the instance of Henry Kissinger in 1973, ANOTHER AMERICAN SECRETARY OF STATE.

    d) Ariel Sharon surrendered the Gush Qatif settlements in Gaza and strategic villages in Northern Samaria, not far from where I live. When I heard that Yoran Rubin was back as one of the guards of the prime minister, in Sept. 2005, I told everyone that Sharon’s days were numbered. Indeed they were. A massive stroke killed him, but in order to prevent the return of Netanyahu back to office, the poor man was dragged back from his eternal rest, stuck on life support and today rots like a tomato. Because Sharon was still “alive” Ehud Olmert took the spot as prime minister.

    e) Ehud Olmert, an incompetent fool who could barely keep scandal from his door did his best to win American friendship. He lost the war in South Lebanon. Life isn’t fair. Dawn. He did what Condaleezza Rice told him to do, and then he was judged as lacking by her boss, George Bush. Nort only that, he was scorned as an untoiuchable by Arabs at a conference a year ago in the States. He was made to enter by the servants’ entrance. After swallowing this humiliation, he was ditched as useless by the attorney general Mazuz (a protogé of Shim’on Peres) who kicked up just enough scandal to make sure he could not stay in office. For all this, Olmert still runs to Washington to lick the last vomitus from George Bush, and beg for favors. Now, Tzipora Livni would like to succeed to Olmert’s tattered and dsishoneored chair – another American puppet being shoved down our throats.

    You see, Dawn, it is useless to complain to puppets on a string. The AMERICAN puppets in Jerusalem need to be removed by violent revolution. It has come to that.

    Why?

    Because of the ceaseless intervention in our internal affairs by the GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    So, as an American citizen, not to mention a Jew who worries about the welfare of his own country, I have every right to do whatever I can to end that intervention. I have every right to chararacterize Barack Hussein Obama II as the sleazy piece of shit that he is. I wanted that sleazy piece of shit in the White House precisely because he would stink and twist the knife of betrayal in the the backs of the Jewish People – and I could continually point that fact out to those who might be able to get rid of AMERICAN puppets who ruin this nation.

    We do not need your interference in our affairs; we do not need your money, nor your soldiers, nor your unwanted and unneeded advice; we do not need the corrupting influence of your sick culture here.

    And in three years of posting here, I have been consisitent in stating all these things.

    Unfortunately, it seems impossible to escape this sick American culture anywhere on the planet. But it still stinks, and I can at least state that. And further, I can state that having once lived in the United States and still clearly remembering when it had a better, healthier culture, I can indeed regret the loss of that better culture for the mess that is what America broadcasts from its shores today.

    Have a pleasant evening, madame. And give my best regards to Eric. He’s a great guy and has been doing a great job with the magazine.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Clavos,

    Respect the office, not the man (unless it’s earned).

    Indeed. Quoted for truth.

  • Bennett

    “we do not need the corrupting influence of your sick culture here”

    as he participates in said sick culture, daily, while frothing at the mouth.

    God, what hypocrisy.

  • Doug Hunter

    Interesting article. Socialism has increased, but so has capitalism, free markets, and wealth held in private hands. It’s not a zero sum game.

    There’s an analogy I like to think of when considering these things, perhaps you would find it helpful.

    The economic system is like a train. Free markets and capital are the engine that drives everything forward. Social programs, regulation, welfare, and the rest are like cars attached to it.

    If you have an engine revving with nothing attached it’s likely to overheat and melt down (and what’s the point of all that wealth anyway if it’s not going to move a few cars forward). On the other hand, if you have too much cars and baggage dragging down your engine it will slow down your acceleration or in the extreme grind it to a halt entirely.

    With time and technology the engines of our economy have become stronger and can now pull more cars without bogging down. Some people see this and assume adding cars arbitrarily to the train is a sign of ‘progress’ since that has been a general trend.

    The engine and the cars, although they often pull against each other, aren’t opposing factions they are a team that should be moving forward together.

    The engine of the American economy has overheated. Perhaps if we’d brought a few more cars along we’d have more momentum.

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Ruvy, let me set the record straight for you. Simply because I am married to Eric does not afford me any greater privileges here than anyone else. As an aside, BC wouldn’t exist had I not supported Eric for a number of years before the site ever generated a dime, I am as much responsible for its existence as anyone else who has put time and effort it to it, and your implications that somehow I am above following the rules or think I am somehow more important than anyone else shows how little you know about this site, and definitely about me personally.

    My mother is Jewish and I was raised Jewish for a number of years, so I am not without appreciation for your plight, nor am I ignorant of the complicated relationship the U.S. has had with Israel since its formation. Am I as erudite on Israel’s policy matters as you? Certainly not, but I doubt you understand the nuances of our culture here in the U.S. as well as those of us who live here everyday.

    I don’t constantly spout and spew negative things about your leaders or your country, therefore I have every right to be offended when you do so about mine. It’s unproductive and if your agenda is to enlighten, may I suggest you do so in a less officious and imperious manner. Weren’t you ever taught that tone and inflection are as important as substance?

    In any case, I refuse to absorb one single word you have to say about Barack Hussein Obama (I don’t really give a fat fig if that’s his middle name, because I am not anti-ANYONE as a matter of policy) until you stop being so rude, offensive and crude about him.

    I voted for him, proudly and with great reverence and I have as of yet to see any evidence or proof of what you are asserting about his character.

    Prove he’s anti-Israel, prove he hates Jews and wants to destroy them? Put up, or shut up is what they say in my part of the world.

  • Bennett

    On one side we have Ruvy, spouting his crude slanders,

    on the other side we have millions of people who have taken their measure of the man they voted for to lead this country and (like Dawn) are proud of their vote. Of the millions of those who voted for McCain/Palin, very very few would stoop to the gutter language used by Ruvy to describe the next POTUS.

    Millions and millions to one. Slightly out of balance, wouldn’t you say?

    Ruvy, you need to spend your time on discussion boards where your opinion will make a difference in YOUR country, and thus the world.

    You need to seek change in Israel.

    I doubt that you’ve changed even one mind here on BC with your crass hatred and predictions of biblical doom. In the meantime you are presenting a very poor example of what it means to be an Israeli citizen.

    You are wasting your time.

    Why not make a difference in this world? why not gather and mobilize your fellow countrymen and women to change Israel? Every second you spend on Blog Critics is a second wasted. You won’t change anything by posting comments here.

    All in all, you come off looking like a bitter, angry, and confused madman.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Simply because I am married to Eric does not afford me any greater privileges here than anyone else….BC wouldn’t exist had I not supported Eric for a number of years before the site ever generated a dime, I am as much responsible for its existence….

    That is what is summed up as ownership, Dawn. I’m merely showing a healthy respect for the owner of the site and his wife, whose efforts have kept it alive and afforded me a place to publish 112 articles over three years.

    Take it as what it is meant to be.

    If you are still Jewish, you have a stake in this country, and you should be concerned about its continued existence. Otherwise, you needn’t bother.

    As for the rest, read carefully what I’vwe written above, even if you would rather not. The progressive weakening of this nation’s government, its military and its institutions all can be laid directly at the policies of YOUR GOVERNMENT. The appointment of Rahm Emanuel is just another example of this continuing pattern, that “cemented” the Oslo Accords that has so weakened this nation and cost 5,000 lives.

    You can read further about this in my series “In the Shadow of the Six Day War”, published here at this site. I have very good reason to be very critical of America’s leaders – her actions are leading to the “decountrification” of the nation I call home – and to be blunt, I resent it.

    But if you wish to read further about Mr. Obama, read my analysis of his policies when he made his speech in front of AIPAC, originally pulished here, making sure you follow such links as are still live. Additionally, you can read Israeli Government Planning to Split Jerusalem and Other Downers from the Middle East which will give you some idea of the dangers we live with here – and how your government contributes to them.

    I’ll not have to prove that Obama is a Jew-hater. Time will do that for me, assuming he is indeed inaugurated. The question of his citizenship is to be discussed on 1 December at a court hearing in front of Supreme Court Justice Sauter. It is not a closed issue – yet. For that link, you will need to search yourself. I have the link in my e-mails somewhere, but I’m tired.

    And now I wish you a pleasant evening. Even though I did get lots of sleep on the Sabbath, I still must get some sleep. It is nearly 04:00 in the morning here.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Thank you for you kind advice, Bennett. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]. I’ll spend MY time where I deem fit, thank you. And I’ll answer to my Maker for its use or misuse – not to the likes of you.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Filling in for Arch while he’s on vacation Ruvy?

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Oy, so much for above intelligent discourse on BC politics. Name calling & allegations, hot tempers & loose lips (which, remember, sink ships.)

    I for one am announcing I’m signing of this thread and will find others where personal attacks are the minimum and pompous discourse is the norm…mostly mine.

    (By the way, Dawn, had no idea you and Eric were a permanent item. Congrats on all the success BC has achieved.)

    Curmudgeon-At-Large
    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Hey Mark, thanks on the congrats! BC’s success is a direct result of the hard work of Eric, Phillip, Lisa and the fantastic editors (too many to mention) and all the great writers here, included Ruvy, who needs to understand that how you express yourself is as important as what you are expressing.

    And Eric and I have been married for ten years, and I am hoping it’s permanent :)

  • Clavos

    Dawn,

    Yer newlyweds…:>)

    We just celebrated our 37th, plus we lived together in sin for four years until she trapped me.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    ruvy –

    Okay, I can understand you’re angry. Whether your anger is justified or not, I cannot judge.

    BUT I DO KNOW THIS. A good friend of mine – a black woman in her 60’s – tells me of her oldest son who was killed as a bystander in a gang war, and her youngest son committed suicide. She remembers being a young girl asking Mormon missionaries if blacks go to heaven and being told that blacks do go to heaven – ‘dog-and-cat heaven’. She raised her five children as a single mom despite the prejudice she faced – and sometimes still does face, but of course nowhere near the degree of the whites-only water fountains/restrooms/seats that she remembers so well.

    ruvy, you wanna be angry and insult others, go ahead. But I’ve yet to hear this woman who has seen so much prejudice and heartbreak in her life insult anyone at all. My advice to you is, if she can suffer what she has and still does not speak bitter words to others, then so can I…and so can you.

    yasher koach –
    (and I hope this is a proper use of that phrase – if not, then please forgive me)

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    ruvy –

    A few more things – I really, truly do not think Obama’s a ‘jew-hater’. I think you have given too much weight to the spite that the Obama-haters have spread…and the frivolous claim that Obama’s not a citizen is but one more example of how far they’re willing to go.

    One must wonder if your suspicion of Obama is at least partially rooted in the less-than-cordial relationship that has existed between blacks and Jews for decades – again, please note I’m passing no judgment, but simply raising one possibility.

    I will be the FIRST to agree with you that America has meddled far too much in the affairs of other countries. With few exceptions (such as particularly egregious human rights violations), our policy should be “what you do inside your borders is your own internal matter…so let’s do business!”

    But I think it is fair to say that despite America’s overbearing manner, the two hundred or so nuclear warheads in your possession have been an effective deterrent against all-out war since 1973.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I rarely engage Ruvy any longer. He is on another plain of existence, rather like a different dimension wherein his entire universe revolves around Israel which is the center of all.

    It’s not so much that Ruvy is intolerant, but rather he finds anything that does not directly involve or affect Jews/Israel as irrelevant – especially any of our opinions. Why he bothers to post and comment here is “a puzzlement.”

    Little does he realize just how irrelevant Israel is to the majority of people in the U.S. It is not that most of us are anti-semitic, it’s simply that Israel is of little concern to us in our daily lives. I know a few Jews here in Indy who give little attention to the plight of Israel. They are far too busy just living their lives.

    Of course, I’m an atheist. I find the entire basis of Ruvy’s life view misguided. I don’t see it as irrelevant, though, in that his belief system and his culture are at loggerheads with the muslim world. Out of that struggle thousands of people have died, many in defence of a land which is no holier than any other chunk of arid dirt. That struggle has been brought to our shores and, therefore, endangers me and mine.

    Ruvy’s attitude toward the U.S. – his native land BTW, is so convoluted and lacking any basis of reason [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor].

    I am an American, and I’m not ashamed of it, but I am also aware that unfettered nationalism is often as destructive as religious fervor. Far too many people have died in the name of country as well. We dare not admit that most wars were fought for the cause of power, and, even more importantly, for resources – whether it be oil or salt or tulip bulbs. We just can’t admit that we send our young people to die for money.

    Of course, Ruvy is a righteous true believer who occasionally condescends to let us know what fools and lying bastards we and pretty much everyone else in the world are. It’s doubtful that anyone in the world – even in his so called “Holy Land” amongst the “chosen people” can live up to his standards. Ruvy has stored up pretty much all of his god’s anger, which he spews as hatred.

    B

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’ll not have to prove that Obama is a Jew-hater. Time will do that for me

    Indeed. He hates jews so much that he appointed one as his chief of staff – his first appointment, and the job which includes helping to vet future appointments.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bliffle took exceptions to Dave’s comment, “Regulation to make businesses operate for reasons other than the profit of their owners or shareholders are always destructive.” However, pollution, products that kill & maim, etc. can all be considered to be ultimately a bad thing for owners. Not sure if Dave agrees…it’s the Milton Freedman school of economics vs. any sane & rational approach.

    Mark, I’m fine with the idea of reasonable regulation in the interest of the ‘public welfare’ as suggested in the constitution. If the purpose of the regulation is to protect the people, that’s fine. If the purpose is to favor one business over another or engage in social engineering I’m not so happy with it.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Glenn,

    One more time on all of this; my main interest here is to support the legitimization if socialism in your country – even if it is a luxury you cannot presently afford.

    I have no problems with a man whose father is black, and who makes good, but it should be borne in mind that the influences on Obama were wide, diverse and varied. He is, more than anything else, a first generation American with a powerful loyalty to his father’s Luo tribe in Kenya. Evidence of his interference in Kenya’s politics on his family’s behalf is to be found in my article on him linked to above. The link to that evidence in the referenced article remains live.

    As a child, he grew up in Hawaii with his white mother, AND HE ABSORBED WHITE CULTURE THERE IN A MULTI-CULTURAL SOCIETY. He then went to Indonesia for a time and did study Islam. Some have alleged that he remains a Moslem at heart (I have not), but what IS clear is that he strongly identifies with Islam and built up very strong friendships among Moslems and Pakistanis, friendships which helped him immensely in his race.

    He has spent twenty years in association with a Jew-hating Chicago preacher, Jeremiah Wright. Did this man influence him? Before his break with Wright, he referred to him as a mentor. As a state legislator, he had plenty of Arab support, and associated freely with those who would see this nation destroyed. As a United States senator, he cut those links somewhat, knowing the strong Jewish influence in Washington, and fearing to be linked with groups like CAIR.

    I would fear such things too, if I were an American legislator who had strong Arab affiliations.

    Obama’s life until he got married had little to do with black American culture from what my reading showed. His formative influences were not black culturally, but white and Asian. His buddies as a young adult were Arabs and Pakistanis. Whatever strained relationships there are between blacks and Jews, he did not likely come under that influence until he entered politics in Chicago and hung around Jeremiah Wright’s church.

    But it is there; twenty years makes a difference in anyone’s life.

    Add to this the element of a very good speaker. Obama is highly intelligent, and is virtually a hypnotic speaker. He knows how to tell people what they want or need to hear and to make it sound as though it either comes from the heart or is a very well thought out answer.

    Finally, add in the influence of Saul Alinsky. Saul Alinsky is my kind of ideologue. He has firm beliefs but recognizes the need to infiltrate societies and organizations from within when the ideology seems foreign to the society or the organization.

    Now let’s look at Rahm Emanuel. He is where this all started. I managed to lose the link to this story in my comment to Dawn above. Obama, who is basically anti-Israel, understands the corrosive and destructive influence the Oslo Acccords has had on this country. He certainly understood this when he gave his speech to AIPAC. Rahm Emmanuel, according to Arutz Sheva and other sources, “directed the Rabin-Arafat handshake” – the handshake that “cemented” this treaty with evil. Put simply, the child of real patriots who fought for this country’s survival does not understand what it will take to keep this country alive. This is the man Obama chose for a chief of staff. Emanuel hangs around the country’s rich elite in Tel Aviv, people who have no trouble selling Israel down the tube. They figure they have to money to get out. Why should they care about poor people in Ashkelon or S’derot? They don’t. And people like me who live in Judea and Samaria are a cancer on the society they want to live in.

    Obama made the appropriate choice in light of his own apparent ideas which at the very least reflect those of Zbigniew Brzinski, and involve the weakening, if not the actual destruction, of this country.

    Now where is my dog in all of this?

    I want to rid Israel of the American puppets who ruin this nation. The most effective way to accomplish that is to have an anti-Israel president in office who is actively supported by lots and lots of Arabs, and lots and lots of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish types, like Wright. Obama is just the fellow: a hypnotic speaker who is a good liar and who surrounds himself with those who hate this country and its people. Such a fellow is a target for me to point to. Not on Blogcritics necessarily, but in conversation after conversation with young kids in uniform who will have to do the ugly work of getting rid of these poisonous and bought out American-influenced Israeli traitors who ruin Israel.

    That is why I supported Obama in this election: better a real enemy than a false friend.

    But now that you have chosen him, I do not have to hide my contempt for the man.

    As for the citizenship issue, that was an added bonus to prove just how much Obama does have to hide.

    Nota bene: Unlike so many truly hate-filled people, I would never call for the assassination of Obama. For that, you need to go to the real haters in your society.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, please stop whining. This remark of yours

    The progressive weakening of this nation’s government, its military and its institutions all can be laid directly at the policies of YOUR GOVERNMENT.

    is pathetic. Just like in any other country, it is the government of that country that is responsible for what happens there.

    Even if it was true, which it isn’t, that the USA was weakening Israel, it would still be the Israeli government’s fault for going along with it.

    Personally, I hope you get your wish and that the many countries that support Israel cease to do so, just so you can have an opportunity to grow up and find out what it is like to be a nation with no friends. Even though you, in your most hysterically funny moments, have called for that, you should maybe think about the wisdom of the words, “be careful what you wish for, lest you get it”.

    Israel, the mouse that roared! Laughable much?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Chris,

    There will be, G-d willing, a book review coming out dealing with the sovereign rights of the Jewish People that arise in international law to the entire Land of Israel. When you read it, if you bother to, then you can complain. It probably will make your blood boil….;o))

    I’ve gotten what I asked for, and now must make the best of the opportunity the American people have been kind enough to give me.

    At this point, you have nothing to complain about in my comments. I have engaged in no personal attacks on anyone writing on this site.

    As for politicians, regardless of station, they are public figures, and are not immune to attack.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, here are several statements from your previous comment that you don’t substantiate, you just toss out like little confetti of prejudice and presumption:-

    1. a powerful loyalty to his father’s Luo tribe in Kenya

    2. he strongly identifies with Islam

    3. He knows how to tell people what they want or need to hear

    4. Obama, who is basically anti-Israel

    5. the child of real patriots who fought for this country’s survival does not understand what it will take to keep this country alive

    6. the weakening, if not the actual destruction, of this country

    7. a hypnotic speaker who is a good liar and who surrounds himself with those who hate this country and its people

    I would like to see some evidence – meaning not your hysterical fears and projections – that any of that is true.

    As far as I can tell, you have placed yourself heart and mind in the service of a bankrupt theology and are desperately trying to cling to little flotsam and jetsam of “thought” rather than see the world as it actually is, lest the world, as it inevitably will, proves you for a gullible fool and your “faith” the long con that it is.

    For the record, it’s not true that you don’t engage in personal attacks on this site, you do and routinely they get edited.

    Oh, and your #47, way to go on completely ignoring my point. You do that a lot when people catch you out in your naivety. Never let reality get in the way of the dogma, huh?

  • Clavos

    He knows how to tell people what they want or need to hear

    The principal skill of a successful politician; in his case, the proof of its truth lies in the fact he’s now the president-elect.

    Had he not done what Ruvy says, he wouldn’t have been elected.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    ruvy –

    I really enjoy discussing matters with those from other cultures – I really do. But please listen to this advice – it’s not meant to offend you, but to help you.

    If you want to be taken seriously in a debate, rhetoric MUST be backed by GOOD references. Give us TRUSTWORTHY references, not fishwrappers like ‘WorldNet Daily’. If you cannot back up what you say, then don’t say it.

    In addition to the references Chris asked for above, I want to see your references for the following:

    * “a Jew-hating Chicago preacher, Jeremiah Wright.” Where is your proof that Wright was ‘Jew-hating’?

    * “As a state legislator, he had plenty of Arab support, and associated freely with those who would see this nation destroyed.” Your reference?

    * “His buddies as a young adult were Arabs and Pakistanis.” Your reference?

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Ruvy,

    I have said Obama’s associations with Rev. Wright are the most troubling aspect of his background. Rev. Wright represents everything that’s wrong with race relations in this country. Wright is no less obnoxious than Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, who are anti-Jew and anti-white.

    Obama should have left that church long ago, but inertia counts for a lot. If Obama is anything like the kind of Christian I consider myself, he picks and chooses what he finds useful and rejects what he finds ridiculous.

    This is why I think gay people have every single right to live their lives and pursue happiness as I do, but feel certain that despots, murderers and child molesters are sent directly to hell to be tormented for all of eternity.

    Obama isn’t what I would consider “religious” but merely spiritual. He belonged to that church out of a sense of community, not because he bought into the nonsense Wright was spewing.

    Also, this whole nonsense about his citizenship is stupid. Prove it or it’s just lies.

    Think about Ruvy, do you REALLY think that if there was any question about Obama not being a citizen of the U.S. it wouldn’t have been exploited by his enemies ad nauseum?

    As for his father and the whole Moslem thing, can we please never mention this crap again. I don’t much get the impression his father or that side of his family has had much influence on him at all. Certainly not anymore than I have allowed my Appalachian, bigoted roots to influence me.

    You can’t help who you were born to, and you can’t blame a person for exploring their roots.

    Obama’s exposure to a diverse background is precisely why he is who he is: a combination of us all.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    I heard a very interesting discussion about Reverend Wright. First, the two speeches that were televised were exactly that two: two sermons out of hundreds.

    Second, black churches are different from white churches. Spend some time in one. I have. They are much different than most white churches in terms of temperment, tone, sound, participation and sermonizing. Wright’s was no different.

    Third, get over this as a huge association. I had rabbis for years I didn’t much like. I went to synagogue because I went to synagogue. Now I have a rabbi I really respect and I go to listen to him and I pay attention to the sermons and I really care.

    For many blacks and whites church is as much a social event as it is a religious event–even if they won’t admit it. They are being hypocritical in the extreme. MANY preachers say weird and bizarre things in many churches (having lived in the south I have made it my business to follow this) and I doubt that ever parishoner takes responsibility for each word uttered from his/her preacher’s mouth.

    So, when all these things are put together, Wright becomes a real red herring. Just another way to “prove” something about Obama, like his “having” Muslim friends, or a Muslim father, etc., that make him “different” from some people. Just another way to mark him as not like US (whatever the hell that means) and make it easy to either hate or dismiss him.

    It is so damned tiresome that this is still going on.

  • Clavos

    Wright had the best line of the campaign…

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    I looked at your references and your blog. On Obama’s new Chief of Staff, your reference said something interesting about his actions during Clinton’s election: “Emanuel raised the colossal sum of $72 million, much of the money coming from the Jewish community, and the success catapulted him into becoming a senior advisor to Clinton after he was elected President.”

    “Much of the money coming from the Jewish community” There’s a real problem with that – either you’re taking a reference from somebody with a REAL anti-Semitic bent (because they’re wanting to blame the Jews for Clinton) OR a whole lot of Jews see things differently from you. I think you’d better check the objectivity of your reference.

    And then there’s this:

    “Raila Odinga has, in his own words, a “close personal friendship” with Barrack Hussein Obama Junior….
    When Obama went to Kenya in August of 2006, he was hosted by Raila and spoke in praise of him at rallies in Nairobi: Obama’s bias for his fellow Luo was so blatant that a Kenya government spokesman denounced Obama during his visit as Raila’s “stooge.”

    Ah, so a politician hosted a senator, and so we MUST assume that Obama truly is this guy’s “close personal friend”? And because some government spokesman didn’t like Obama, the senator is now a “stooge”? AND WHERE ARE YOUR REFERENCES? I looked at your link…and the reference THAT gives is “members only” for those who subscribe to ‘TTP’.

    Ruvy, if such information is as TRUE and TERRIBLE as you think it is, why should the information be restricted? Hm?

    AND THEN THERE’S AIPAC.

    Hm. If Obama was so ANTI-Israel, then WHY would Hamas say this about him (from YOUR reference)?

    “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Obama’s Jerusalem statement was “totally rejected. The whole world knows that East Jerusalem, holy Jerusalem, was occupied in 1967 and we will not accept a Palestinian state without having [East] Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.”

    Abbas’ aide and senior peace negotiator Saeb Erekat responded by saying that Obama “has closed all doors to peace.””

    Ruvy – it’s becoming clear to me that you are NOT judging objectively, but making judgments based on assumptions because EVEN YOUR OWN REFERENCES dispute your claims.

    I’d really like to discuss things with you, to hear your side of the story when it comes to what the Palestinians call the “Twice-Promised Land”. That’s not Israel’s fault, btw, but England’s.

    But unless you have something better from trustworthy references, I think you and I are done on this topic.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Clav, if you are talking about what I think you are, then I actually agree with you.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Will Clav and Lisa cut the coyness and tell us what Wright remark they are referring to?

    PS – Although many of his remarks are [deliberately] over the top and a few genuinely offensive, on balance I think the good reverend is kind of cool…and I regret that politics necessitated Obama’s dropping him.

    I got into an argument with two gay friends the other night…they voted for Obama but remain skeptical of him, and think he is ‘no friend of gays.’ Why? Because of Wright’s hyperbolic comments about AIDS. I laughed at them.

    Aren’t we all intelligent enough to tell the difference between rhetoric, which can be deliberately provocative, and statements of alleged fact? The Rev. Wright is all rhetoric. Treating his words otherwise is pure foolishness.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m late to this discussion and it has long since meandered from the original topic (as is to be expected when Ruvy chimes in!), but I’d like to toss in my $0.02 worth anyway.

    Glenn makes the good point that socialism is not communism (the name of history’s most powerful communist state notwithstanding). However, he has a misconception of his own.

    Social democracy is not socialism either.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    I completely agree with handy. Hence my earlier post.

    I think,now that the election is over, people will feel pretty stupid (ie., Repubs, I hope) for making such a huge big deal over both Ayers and Wright.
    But then again, maybe not. Naw….. probably not.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Good point. I’ll take that one as a lesson learned. Labels are trick things….

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The remarkable thing I’m getting in my conversations with people who didn’t vote for Obama is that by and large, while they’d have preferred it if he hadn’t won, they’re willing to give him a chance. There’s an atmosphere of conciliation that was noticeable by its absence after the last two elections. I’m not sure if Obama should be given the credit for that, or McCain, or a combination of the two.

    What I am sure of is that the small but very vocal minority of Republicans who kept harping on about red herrings – Wright, Ayers, ACORN, Obama’s middle name, Obama’s Kenyan family, Obama using more than four squares of toilet paper in the Senate restroom – are going to keep doing so. They were oblivious to how foolish they sounded during the campaign and there’s no reason to suppose they’re any more self-aware now.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Frankly, I found the same kind of thing in religious forums – and it did not matter how courteous one was towards them, their response would be filled with spite and insults.

    I’m sure they thought the same thing of me.

    I’m not trying to link partisan politics and religion here, but I guess that’s what I’m doing. The more fundamental their religious beliefs, the more likely they were to be conservative…and the more likely they were to use insults and spite in their posts. This is NOT a hard-and-fast rule of human psychology, but only a general layman’s observation. My own opinion is that the greater degree of intellectual curiosity (but NOT actual intelligence), the more likely one is to be fundamentalist and/or conservative.

    But that’s just my opinion…and I’m sure you know what opinions are like and why they stink.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    My own opinion is that the greater degree of intellectual curiosity (but NOT actual intelligence), the more likely one is to be fundamentalist and/or conservative.

    Did you mean “less likely”, Glenn? My own observations have led me to conclude the exact opposite.

    Fundamentalism requires absolute faith – something that doesn’t sit all that easily with intellectual curiosity.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    glenn, it’s the fanaticism, NOT the christianity which is the problem. You’ve noticed it among Christians because that’s where you’re looking for it, but the spite and anger is just as strong among the cult-like fanatics of the pro-choice movement, the ecoextremist left, the most hardcore of the gay rights movement, and any other group of any political affiliation which holds a particular belief set with an extreme and irrational fanaticism.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Man, but my brain is fried today –

    Doc – good catch – you’re right – the LESS intellectually curious, the LESS one is likely to challenge one’s own world view.

    You get my drift.

    DAVE – when the eco-freaks and the gay rights crowd massacre thousands for not holding the same beliefs as they do, then I’ll agree with you.

  • Irene Wagner

    Excuse me, but I’m just being a little intellectually curious here: can’t two intellectually curious people, even if they’re atheists, come to two different conclusions? Isn’t that what is happening to Dave Nalle and Glenn Contrarian right now?

    A person with intellectual and spiritual curiosity might come to conclusions that are different from those of an atheist…and from those of other people having spiritual curiosity.

    Spiritual curiosity and intellectual curiosity. Some people have one, some people have t’other, some people have both, and people, including those who “massacre thousands for not holding the same beliefs as they do,” have neither.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, I think that’s a given, Irene.

    Personally I don’t take it so far as to imply that you can’t be both intellectually and spiritually curious. You only have to read Lewis and Eliot to know the fallaciousness of that.

    It’s all a matter of degrees, I know, but Glenn does have a point in that whatever else one might be, one is most definitely NOT intellectually curious if one accepts without question the literal infallibility of every word of one’s holy book, when one’s own eyes could easily tell one otherwise.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    DAVE – when the eco-freaks and the gay rights crowd massacre thousands for not holding the same beliefs as they do, then I’ll agree with you.

    Um, when have Christians in modern America massacred thousands? And some (not me) would argue that pro-choicers have massacred millions. And others (me) would argue that these lefty fanatics are the ideological disciples of those who slaughtered millions in the last century and sent millions more to the gulags and killing fields.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Handy stole the word that I had on my mind while I was reading Ruvy’s comments – “coy”. Anyone who was born and raised in America can’t claim ignorance when he calls a half-Kenyan a monkey.

    Dread’s right that McCain supporters will give Obama a chance. It demonstrates the exact opposite of what he and Glenn said. We crazy religious zealots are more generous to our opponents than open-minded liberals are. That’s one of those ironies that you get used to. You can tell it’s true because the press reports on the anti-Obama hate, and they always get the story wrong.

    As to the original article, it’s a reminder that every generation fights the same battles. It wasn’t too long ago that the world recognized the folly of socialism, yet here we are again talking about it as a viable alternative.

  • Irene Wagner

    It may be a matter of degrees, Dr. D, or perhaps it’s a matter of semantics. Spiritual curiosity and intellectual curiosity intersect in a “why” posed confidently to a God from whom one expects an answer, from whom one has received, after patient application, answers to other intellectual obstacles that seemed absolutely faith-shattering years ago. That’s why I’m a fanatic about my Holy Book.

    My cold dead hands’ll be clasped around it long after anything resembling a firearm will be! :)

    Well before I go, Dr. D, for go I must, I have to thank you. You’ve never pulled any punches in any of our many discussions about faith, but I’ve also never picked up a “dog in the manger” vibe from you.

  • Bennett

    “the gay rights crowd” … “these lefty fanatics are the ideological disciples of those who slaughtered millions in the last century and sent millions more to the gulags and killing fields.”

    Really? I’ve never thought the gay rights crowd was capable of that. I could be wrong…

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Irene, how do you square your pretension to any kind of curiosity when you have already decided that you have the answers in your “god” and the bible? I think you’re fooling yourself so effectively you can’t even see it.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Baronius – you state “It wasn’t too long ago that the world recognized the folly of socialism”. When was that then?

  • zingzing

    when the world confused socialism with communism.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    The world or just Baronius?

  • zingzing

    well, not just baronius… but not the world either…

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    There’s Dave too, of course.

    You’re not going all even-handed on me are you zingzing? Not sure I could cope after the troll’s mysterious conversion, not that that was even-handed, but a weird metamorphosis nevertheless.

  • Baronius

    Christopher, maybe it was Irene’s open mind that led her to believe in her “god”. Maybe the Bible is the end of an intellectual’s journey, rather than the beginning of a moron’s.

  • zingzing

    chris, just because i don’t name names doesn’t mean i haven’t gone soft. wait. “i have gone soft.” i think. wait. i haven’t gone soft! fucking negatives.

    ahem… there were just too many names to name.

    socialism is certainly a stepping stone to communism, but it’s a long, long step. and that would be like saying capitalism is a stepping stone to personal riches.

    fuck the right wing! happy now?

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Baronius, much as you’d like it to be, no it wasn’t and no it isn’t.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    “socialism is certainly a stepping stone to communism”. Right, if milk is a stepping stone to drug addiction.

    I don’t have a problem with capitalism or personal riches. Money is just a kind of energy really, no big deal. Personally, I just need more energy money!

  • zingzing

    well, used to be i couldn’t live without milk, now i can’t live without my smack! oh, gimme some. mmm, mmm. that’s the… stu… ffff. f.

  • Cindy D

    RE: #51 and #52 Dawn and Lisa

    Please have a look at Reverend Wright’s “chickens coming home to roost” comment in context .

    The sermon is in this 10 minute video. Nothing in this sermon was captured for me by the media, inclding Huffington Post. I think you might be surprised.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Yes, Cindy, I have actually heard that sermon before, but I watched it again. So, I wasn’t surprised. What do you want me to say? I think he said some powerful things, actually. Incendiary, perhaps. But with truth in them, too.

    See my post #58.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    At #54.

    Glenn,

    As you may have noticed, I’ve stayed away from this forum for a bit. This had nothing to do with my opinions, links or anything to do with them; it has to do with living life, which occasionally requires sawing one’s derierre from the chair in front of the computer and getting about and to places that are not accessible to computers (if you don’t have the $300 hand-held jobbies).

    It’s after 04:30 in the morning here, and I just finished an editing session, after running around from 07:00 the previous morning, chasing assorted wild geese in our fair capital. A bit of a long day, in other words.

    I’m going to leave the links question for now, simply because I am a bit tired.

  • Cindy D

    Les,

    Some people here don’t seem to understand what communism is. I’m too tired to explain it.

    And to the rest:

    I see Marxism as a subcategory of socialism. Marx’s special understanding, if you will.

    I don’t read much Marx directly. Although I respect much of his work, indirectly.

    The Bolsheviks took over Russia. They betrayed the Communist ideas. They called themselves “The Communist Party”.

    Good for them. Now no one understands Communism. Like no one understands what classical liberalism was really about.

    Time for bed.

  • Franco

    #78 — zingzing

    socialism is certainly a stepping stone to communism

    Thank you zingzing. You are up on your Marx.

    However the length of the step being long or short is all a matter of the degree of the socialist incline a people are set on, and then further effected by a variety of other political and economic and natural occurrences that increases its incline. Once started in builds its own incline and becomes harder to keep in check, and thus lies our discussion/debate.

    However, what is not in debate is what is so butt ugly about the slip from socialism into communism, for whatever reason, once in communism, it is next to impossible to get out. The means, the tools, the resources are all in the state hands, leaving the people nothing in means to get out and a state that prevents people from organizing for even protesting.

    The Berlin wall only came down a little over 20 years ago. The fact that there was a wall there to hold the people in, says it all. Just look at the two Koreas. I ask you, even given our capitalist economic nightmare right now, which of these two would you choose the live in. And note that you have a choose, the those living in the north do not.

    So the real debate is why increase something that operates ever so more closely to the bottomless pit, when freedom and personal property rights are protected and capitalism can fulish and produce so much more comforts of life, and the worst pit of capitalism is greed, that can be more easily controlled then the slip from socialism to communism. I mean, why even consider risking it when the free market can bring so much to so many wihtout that risk.

  • Cindy D

    Wait. Maybe I could say Marx is envisioning the “perfect” socialism. At any rate, if we had true Communism country, as per Marx…we would all be rejoicing.

    Communism isn’t evil. State communism, State Socialism, State Capitalism (what we have now) is.

  • Cindy D

    Franco,

    You are up on your ummm, what should I call it?…your propaganda (as usual).

  • zingzing

    franco: “why even consider risking it when the free market can bring so much to so many wihtout that risk.”

    because sometimes it doesn’t bring enough to enough.

    it brings just about enough, but not quite. a little socialism, like a little salt, isn’t going to kill anyone, but it’ll make life tastier for many.

    life is good, for the most part, under capitalism. but, it’s not anywhere near perfect. i think we can inject a little bit of socialism, some idea of it that we can keep firmly in check, and it will benefit the many (while pissing off a few) that need the benefits it can bring. of course, it won’t make life perfect. just a little bit easier.

    i don’t think taking a step towards a cliff means you’re going to jump off it. and socialism is a long way from said cliff. and the view is better from just a little closer.

    wow. too many metaphors.

  • STM

    Cindy, I have to comment here: a bit of more equitable social engineering will only take America CLOSER to the point the other western democracies reached years ago.

    I can only speak for Down Under, but we do love our (almost) free universal health care. It’s of a very high standard, but offers a choice component. It didn’t send the health insurance funds broke: they just invented more cover – gym memberships, alternative medicine, dental etc.

    There’s a bizarre mindset in America that says it’s OK to spend billions upon billions on a military that probably doesn’t need it any more given the changed nature of the conflicts its involved in, but that it’s a huge drama to spend a fraction of that amount making sure Americans don’t die waiting for treatment or go bankrupt getting an appendix taken out.

    I’d be really bummed off if the taxes I paid every week weren’t going to universal healthcare and were being snapped up instead by the military. I genuinely don’t understand Americans who think that’s the better use of their taxes.

    All I can say is, under a genuine social democracy that delivers good disposable incomes to workers and legislates for great workplace conditions, we are indeed happy little possums down in this piece of paradise on the edge of the Pacific.

    And don’t anyone get the idea that we don’t work or have no work ethic … we work our tits off.

    But we know – for certain – that the people who deliver the profits to industry and big business are the workers. We create their wealth.

    I don’t have any issues at all expecting that I should be able to share in that.

    What Americans regard as socialism, we call community … we’re all in this together, let’s look after each other.

    Instead of: I’m all right Jack, keep your hands off my stack.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Thanks, Cindy. The full text of the “God damn America” sermon is nearby on YouTube as well.

    I’m not a follower of Rev Wright, but I am an admirer – I find his words stirring and, to say the least, thought-provoking.

    Before anyone makes a definitive comment about him or his rhetoric, they should watch at least one of these unedited clips.

  • Bennett

    zingzing, #89, damn close to “exactly!”

    except for the last line.

  • Bennett

    and #90 STM. Sir, You make a strong point for moving down there! (carefully avoiding the word ‘under’).

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    Wait. Maybe I could say Marx is envisioning the “perfect” socialism. At any rate, if we had true Communism country, as per Marx…we would all be rejoicing.

    Oy, such an idealist. I makes me almost wet in me eye. Marx was a reasonably good analyst – but sitting in those London libraries with the horse trolleys going by made him ignore certain realities of building societies – like road building and infrastructure. His blind Russian followers built factories – and only later considered how they would get there…. And the blind followers of the Russians – except the Jews in Israel – made all the same mistakes.

    Also, much that he wrote ignored basic (or base) human nature. Socialist organizations must be voluntary to have any real chance of success. This was one of the conditions forced on early Jewish socialists trying to build a society here. Too often “dictatorships of the proletariat” forgot the proletariat in short order, remaining only dictatorships.

    The kibbutzim (for example) succeeded here originally for two reasons: the first was that they either had seed support from overseas in terms of capital – BUT THEN HAD TO STICK TO A BUSINESS PLAN AND BUDGET. The second was they were voluntary.

    Most of the kibbutzim later failed because their boys had a hand in the till and could extend the kibbutzim bank loan atop bank loan, continually bailing out cooperative societies that needed less and less to actually stick to a profitable business plan. When the Labor party got kicked out, the banks started calling in the loans bit by bit, slowly bankrupting institutions that had long since scrapped living on a budget or considering how they would make money.

    Fiscal conservatism is a the basis for any successful socialist operation – even in Australia!

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    STM

    Well, that is just the point, isn’t it?

    But here we are, offering “socialism” to the rich and leaving the middle class and the poor once again out in the cold. Spending huge amounts on the military (and private military contractors, who wasted millions and millions) and then saying health care (even for children) is too expensive. And now we are forced to cut education!!!! because the country is going down the tubes, but AIG gets another 85 billion.

    And no one thinks this is stupid?

    I do.

  • Cindy D

    RE # 83

    Lisa,

    Sorry, I had not read down the column. Didn’t read handy or your post after that. I was mostly thinking of Dawn’s concern. I see now that is not a concern for you.

  • Cindy D

    Franco: …the free market can bring so much to so many…

    There is no free market–its myth, imagination.

    One thing I like about you Franco. You seem to be willing to devote time to making an argument, and because of this I assume you do your research. However, in order to make a reasonable argument, one would need to look at information on both sides of the aisle. Wouldn’t you agree?

    So, don’t believe me. Instead, remember this guy’s name: John Kenneth Galbraith. He is Milton Friedman’s contemporary. He was an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt, JFK, Clinton. He saw what Friedman did not see. He warned us about what he saw. Unfortunately, he died in 2006. He would have had a lot to say about today’s economy.

    So, here are two very brief articles for your perusal. The first will contrast Galbraith and Friedman:

    John Kenneth Galbraith understood capitalism as lived – not as theorized

    The second will explain what I mean when I say we do not have free markets. But it’s much, much worse, we have private industry controlling government.

    He outlines how economists, economic and political scholars, perpetrate a sort of deception whether conveniently or deliberately. I’ll quote two paragraphs.

    Free Market Fraud – the myth of capitalism

    Let’s begin with capitalism, a word that has gone largely out of fashion. The approved reference now is to the market system. This shift minimizes–indeed, deletes–the role of wealth in the economic and social system. And it sheds the adverse connotation going back to Marx. Instead of the owners of capital or their attendants in control, we have the admirably impersonal role of market forces. It would be hard to think of a change in terminology more in the interest of those to whom money accords power. They have now a functional anonymity.

    (snip)

    Take the common outcry about corporate welfare. Here the private firm, as it is called, receives a public subsidy for its product or service. But what is called corporate welfare is a minor detail. Far more important is the full-fledged takeover by private industry of public decision-making and government spending.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    STM #90 –

    I agree with you 100%. That was PRECISELY my point in my original article, but you said it better than I did – it’s not truly socialism as Marx (who did NOT invent the idea) envisioned it, but a sense of ‘community’ rather than ‘I got mine’.

    And Tasmania is – next to Hawaii – the most beautiful place I’ve seen on Earth. The climate is a lot like here in Puget Sound in Washington state…but the biggest shock was finding a sequoia tree there! I had thought they were only in northern California….

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave #67 –

    Do you think Lutherans are Christian? If so, try looking up how majority-Lutheran Germany supported Hitler and how they certainly didn’t resist his attacks on the Jews.

    And then there’s Rwanda – before the Rwandan genocide, Rwanda was touted as the ‘most Christian nation in Africa’. Of those who espoused Christianity there, at least half were Catholic.

    As I’m sure you know, there’s many, many more examples I could bring against both Catholic and protestant believers.

    If you share the same religious beliefs as any church whose members have supported and engaged in atrocities, then you are either ignorant of the history of mainstream ‘Christianity’ or you believe that the Church that Jesus founded was so fallible that millions of its members would be party to genocide.

    Sorry, Dave, I know that’s harsh – but that’s the reality of the history of mainstream ‘Christianity’. As for myself, I am certainly Christian…but I doubt my beliefs are the same as yours.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave – one more thing – I’ve seen some indication, but not absolute proof, that unlike their Catholic and protestant countrymen, Rwandan Muslims did NOT participate in the genocide.

    It was a few years ago on afrol.com, the African News site, and I cannot vouch for that site’s integrity.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    #99 Agreed.

    Dave, really. “ideological disciplies,” indeed. When the Catholic church JUST apologized for its complicity in World War II? Gimme a break…

    Christians of all stripes have been ideological discipiples for centuries. You know that, you are just in denial. Doesn’t mean ALL. Just means that there’s been more than enough death and destruction in Christ’s name to go around…. The Inquisistion, The Crusades…you name it.

    Not to mention the Bible thumpers today who think that anyone who is a non-believer, a homosexual, etc. deserves to go to hell. Not to mention those who bomb abortion clinics and assassinate doctors who perform abortions.

    Nothing Jesus, if he existed at all as Christians paint him–as a man of peace and love–would have condoned at all. He would, in fact, have been competely horrified.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Blimey, I step away for half a day…

    Sorry to backtrack, but:

    Baronius @ #68: Your caricature is unworthy of you. The Republicans I’ve spoken to are not by any means ‘crazy religious zealots’. What’s more, neither you nor Irene are anything of the kind, and if you read on I’ll explain why.

    (And as far as generosity to one’s opponents goes, the respective reactions of Obama’s and McCain’s supporters when the other candidate was mentioned in the election night speeches says it all!)

    Chris @ #71: You’re not being fair to Irene. The difference between her and the type of fundamentalist Glenn and I were talking about is that Irene (and, yes, Baronius too) has recognized apparent discrepancies between what her Bible says and the way the universe actually operates, and has sought to reconcile the two. We may disagree with her conclusions, but we must acknowledge that she has made the intellectual effort.

    A fundamentalist, in contrast, will read a Bible verse, observe the piece of reality which contradicts it, and reject the reality out of hand.

  • Clavos

    Ruvy #94:

    Spot on. Excellent analysis.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I disagree Doc. Monotheism is either true or it isn’t. Based on the evidence, I think it is false. It follows therefore that all the fruits of it are equally fake.

    I see it as a cruel deception against humanity that serves only to cause friction and obscure the potential for a more real spirituality based on and in the actual universe we occupy.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    You’re supposed to ping me when we get into religious debates, especially when Christopher Rose is involved. I almost missed the start of this one!

  • Les Slater

    The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer.

    They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of communism.

    All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions.

    The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois property.

    The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.

    In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I don’t know why everyone insists on taking so much space to say simply, the GOP hangs on desparately to Religious Zealots because they’re the only (until now) dependable voting bloc they have.

    Over the years, the GOP has conned the Fundamentalists into believing that if they vote their ticket, they’ll support their twisted born-again agenda.

    Now that they’ve proven otherwise, the same block is deserting them in droves.

    Today Sarah Palin stated that (following in Bush’s footsteps) when God shows her the political doorway with which she is to step through, she’ll step forward to lead our country.

    I guess she forgot that the electorate has already shown her the door!

    Of course that’s only my opinion.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    I had thought that the rules were that basically you can say pretty much any damn thing to beat up the president. I just know that Dawn is going to be having an awfully mad four years if she’s going to choose to be Deeply Offended by anybody who says anything about obama that anyone might even could choose to take as “racist.” That’s cool. I mean, whatever gets you off and all.

    I guess that also means that I shouldn’t mention how intrigued I am in the weird current context by the idealistic 70s Tom T Hall song about “The Monkey That Became President.” I note that both the bigots and integrationists supported him. That’s not just bipartisan, but bi-species.

    And the lion shall lie down with the lamb as The One heals the planet.

    Good luck with that.

  • Caranza

    Palin will be back. Don’t doubt that for a moment. Her time is coming. She’s too smart and too ambitious to be held back.

    And as for racism, it’s already quite clear what the tactic is going to be. Say something negative about Obama and you get smeared as a racist. Even if Obama is burning the Constitution and eating the flesh of children, if you mention it in the media or from any public position you will be branded a racist and destroyed.

    Learn to love the new America. And that knock on your door is agents of Obama’s new Department of Civil Security who are here to take you to a quiet camp somewhere to reeducate you out of your racism.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    You’re a bit late to the party, Al. I too, am surprised by the strength of Dawn’s reactions, and agree with you that the next four years will be difficult ones for her. Her Your new overlord is going to get a lot of criticism as the hope disappears when people see the real face of change in your land. My comments, condemnatory as they seem now, will be mild as real pain spreads throughout America – and George Bush isn’t there to take the blame.

    That assumes that Obama is indeed allowed to take the oath on 20 January next, and that the results of the election on 4 November are not set aside, two separate possibilities entirely. Had not 200,000 Israelis cooperated with an illegal expulsion of their fellow Jews from Gush Qatif three years ago, I would be far more willing to assume a regular precession of events. The expulsion of fellow citizens from their homes with barely any compensation by a hostile government, backed by a hostile media, taught me that the regular procession of events – against the word of a man who said that “Nevé Dekalim was a much part of Israel as is Tel Aviv” – is not necessarily what will occur, and I’m willing to give credence to the possibility of events being thrown into a different course entirely.

    There is a hearing on issues concerning Obama’s place of birth before Chief Justice Sauter on 1 December, and while I don’t really care about the outcome, the fact that Barry Obama is hiding his birth certificate and using the Hawaiian justice system as his g-string is most suspicious. Justice Sauter would not hear these allegations on certiorari if they were nonsense and not worth listening to at all. The vast majority of applications to the Supreme Court, whether as cases or on certiorari, wind up rejected. Any attorney worth his salt will tell you that.

    If Justice Sauter did not see something worth looking at in these allgations, he would refuse to hear them at all. He is a judge, not an idiot, and while I may disagree with some of his views, he does follow the basic concepts of jurisprudence traditional in English and American law.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    There is no Justice Sauter.

    It is Justice Souter. Show proof.

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Ruvy, since you kept pressing this non-issue about Obama’s birth place and citizenship, I decided to hunt it down. Outcome: B.S., debunked, nonsense, wasteful ridiculousness. Watch as it gets ignored like many of the other piles of nonsense being flung at Obama just to see what sticks.

    I will continue to ignore Al, as it’s always best to ignore the willfully ignorant and backwards.

    And Cindy pointed to a video which she believed to support some negative claims about Rev. Wright.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t blame Obama for the blatant hatefulness of Rev. Wright, anymore than I blame all Republicans for the viciousness of a select, but especially, pathetic few.

    Ruvy, while I totally disagree with virtually EVERY single thing you’ve ever said in regards to Obama, I think you are a smart fellow.

    Let’s agree to disagree.

    I refuse to get worked up over politics, I’ve lost way too many cool people in my life over petty matters.

    One final point I’d like to make. I don’t consider criticism of Obama as racist, unless of course it is. Criticism of his policies and administrative agenda is expected and encouraged in a healthy democracy. Unfortunately, a lot of what I am hearing from the less intelligent conservatives (not necessarily those on this site) is out and out blatant racism.

    Also, monkey references made in conjunction with African-Americans have had a known racial component for many decades now. Just ask poor Howard Cosell.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Maybe after all the belittling from the majority and most vocal right-wing of this website, we have the right to shove it right back in your faces that YOU WERE FUCKING WRONG AND WE WERE RIGHT.

    You problems seem to be that you can dish it out but you can’t take it Al, Franco, Clavos and your like-minded arogant company

    Not only that, but you refuse to acknowledge you were wrong and intend to keep refusing to face reality that there’s a new order in Washington that isn’t obligated to kiss the collective asses of likeminded people like you.

    We may overreact a little, not that we’ve been PROVEN right-which we have, but it’s not like we’ve been provoked over the last two years.

    and you know it.

  • Clavos

    I don’t blame Obama for the blatant hatefulness of Rev. Wright

    I like Wright. He’s the only voice in the land really speaking the unvarnished truth.

    And Pfleger was dead on about Hillary.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    I don’t think Wright was hateful, either….. as I said before. Provocative, yes. At times, perhaps, incendiary. But he said some things that needed saying. Only no one wanted to hear them. Don’t still.

    Speaking of which. Today, Cheney talked about the Iraq “war” as payback for 9-11. OMG. Still delusional.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Just like talking to a wall

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Link on Cheney quote? I have to see this, and can’t find it.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Dawn, it reads like you’re doing a little Enid Strict superior dance as you type about ignoring my “willfull ignorance” and “backwardsness.” This is cool, but I’ll point out that you have no real answer but name calling.

    “Willful ignorance” apparently means knowing what Dawn Olsen thinks, but still yet being stupid enough to choose not to buy some left wing nonsense. “Willful backwardsness” would seem to mean one who knows the correct PC “progressive” standards of officially recognized correct attitudes, yet rejects them.

    I suppose I’ll own the terms. If being actively opposed to “progressive” thought means being therefore by definition “backwards,” then that’s me. And it certainly is willful.

    But don’t call it “ignorant,” cause it’s not. If I’m anything, it’s evil rather than stupid. And as Kevin Kline’s Otto said, don’t ever call me stupid. Ha!

    I’ll note though that I am trying to give Barack a chance. As a rightwing nutjob, I have spent much time in these W years pissy with liberals because they go so crazy with Bush Derangement Syndrome that I end up having to defend the bastard way more than I’d like to.

    So I’ma try to be actively giving the devil his due, and not getting all up in arms agin him until and unless he gets real stupid. Given the socialist rhetoric of his campaign, I suspect that’ll take him about 5 minutes. But even then, I’m looking for the good in this.

    President Obama’s walking into a helluva tough job, so I’ll try to see the good in our president as best I can.

    One of the benefits of low expectations is that you’re easily pleasantly surprised. Personally, I’ll consider his administration a fair success if they just manage not to completely destroy the country.

    Plus, I’m looking forward to Rev Wright’s invocation at his inaugaral – God DAMN America!!!.

  • Cindy D

    Dawn,

    And Cindy pointed to a video which she believed to support some negative claims about Rev. Wright.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t blame Obama for the blatant hatefulness of Rev. Wright, anymore than I blame all Republicans for the viciousness of a select, but especially, pathetic few.

    I think you misunderstood my position. Did you view the video?

    I am in agreement with Handy in #91 where he says:

    The full text of the “God damn America” sermon is nearby on YouTube as well.

    I’m not a follower of Rev Wright, but I am an admirer – I find his words stirring and, to say the least, thought-provoking.

    Before anyone makes a definitive comment about him or his rhetoric, they should watch at least one of these unedited clips.

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    From my perspective, Rev. Wright’s rhetoric is/was hateful, regardless of whether some of it rings true. I wouldn’t give him anymore credence than I would Farrakhan, Sharpton or Jackson. And just because Obama’s black, doesn’t make him a militant like many of the so called black leaders before him.

    Give him a chance, don’t give him a chance, whatever, that’s up to each individual. Obama deserves the same opportunity to screw up this totally effed up economy/foreign policy that George Bush had, and will likely come quite short of doing so.

    Al, seriously, I would consider it a real kindness if you pretended like I didn’t exist. You invoked my name on this, not the other way around. Please, leave me alone.

  • Cindy D

    P.S. My very point was: What is the basis for saying Wright is blatantly hateful? Because the press said so? They were doing nothing more that promoting a “good story”. Because the “rumor mill” said so?

    Why not look at the video yourself and see if you say so?

    As an aside: A good example of how the press is not “left-wing”, but capitalistic. The truth of the story or a “fair and balanced” telling of it is of far less importance than what is going to get readers. Often they’re just whores.

  • STM

    Glenn C: “And Tasmania is – next to Hawaii – the most beautiful place I’ve seen on Earth”

    Thanks Glenn. I love Tassie too. I harbour secret dreams of moving to Hobart to live. It’s only a couple ofr hours flying time from Sydney and the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. I used to fly down there for weekends, and my wife and I went on a drive ourselves swing through Tassie for our first honeymoon.

    You can still buy a house in Hobart with 360 degree views of the city, the mountains, the harbour area around Constitution Dock and the River Derwent for around $500,000!! Because it was settled about the same time, the old original Georgian architecture is similar to Sydney, but they’re a world away from each other the two places.

    Problem is, they don’t pay any near as well down there. It’s a much better life though, and costs less to live, so it might be worth making the sacrifice. Good surf too if you can stand the cold in winter – the nearest land going south is Antarctica

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Cindy, sorry, didn’t see your comment until I posted.

    I have watched several lengthy clips of Wright’s sermons. I guess for me, he’s way too over the top and extreme in his viewpoints. I really am a person smack dab in the middle, I can see all viewpoints and choose to avoid anything which interferes with my pursuit of peace and tranquility. Wright disturbs my peace, even if I agree with his general point about how we’ve brought some of our woes upon ourselves.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    My apologies, Dawn. I did not have the facts exactly as I thought them to be.

    So, now let’s detail this. An attorney from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philip Berg, filed a lawsuit demanding that Barry Obama produce a birth certificate. In the video linked to here,, which is, more than anything else, Philip Berg explaining his case, Berg points out that the company that allegedly “fact-checked” the Hawaiian birth certificate put online by the Obama campaign was owned by a firm that Obams sat on the board of. I believe the name I heard was Annenberg. This video was made before the election took place.

    The case was dismissed for lack of standing by the Federal District Court in Pennsylvania, even though the Obama campaign never replied.

    Immediately before the election Mr. Berg applied a writ of certiorari to Justice Souter (boy are you petty, Lisa) requesting that the vote count be stopped in the election. Justice Souter refused to stop the election. But he did not deny the writ altogether; according to this article in the Philadelphia Bulletin, a response from the Obama people, the DNC, and all other co-defendants is due by 1 December.

    This is the writ of certiorari filed. We will see what happens with all of this.

    This is the e-mail that got me interested in all this.

    BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, ET AL :

    :

    Defendants :

    AFFIDAVIT OF REVEREND KWELI SHUHUBIA 10 30 2008

    I, Kweli Shuhubia am over the age of eighteen (18) and not a party to the within action. If called to do so, I could and would competently testify under oath as follows I am an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a native evangelist and translator for the Anabaptist churches in Kenya. I am the official Swahili translator for the annual Anabaptists Conference held each year in Africa, working with the American bishops sitting upon the Continental Presbytery of the Anabaptists Churches of Africa. I am fluent in Swahili and in English. I am a former teacher in Kenya, and travel extensively in the ministries of the Anabaptists Churches of Africa throughout Kenya, Uganda and the Sudan.

    It is common knowledge throughout the Christian and Muslim communities in Kenya that Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., the United States Presidential candidate, was born in Mombosa, Kenya. Senator Obama’s grandmother still resides in the village of Alego-Kogello, approximately 37 miles from Kisumu City. On October 16, 2008 I went to interview Ms. Sarah Obama at her home. Ms. Obama’s home was flooded with people who were celebrating Senator Obama’s success story. Ms. Obama’s home was heavily guarded by Kenya Police. Prior to the interview with Ms. Obama, I took pictures of Ms. Obama, her grandson who was present and other family members.

    During my interview of Sarah Obama; I called Bishop Ron McRae in the United States from my mobile number. I advised Bishop McRae that I was present with Ms. Obama in her home, and wished for him to speak with her. Bishop McRae informed me he would call me right back, to avoid the international costs on my personal mobile phone. Bishop McRae subsequently called me back; Bishop McRae requested permission to electronically record his telephone conversations with Ms. Obama, to which I agreed.

    Due to bad telephone connections Bishop McRae had to call me back three [3] times, before we were able to continue our conversation. The telephone interview conducted by Bishop McRae was conducted on loud speaker (speaker phone). During the interview conversation, one of Ms. Obama’s grandsons and myself acted as Swahili translators, and as Bishop McRae talked to and questioned Ms. Obama, we would translate what Bishop McRae said to Ms. Obama in Swahili, and then we would translate her Swahili responses to Bishop McRae in English. Ms. Obama can fluently speak Swahili in her native dialect, but cannot read or write.

    Bishop McRae asked Ms. Obama specifically, “Were you present when your grandson Barack Obama was born in Kenya?” This was asked to her in translation twice, and both times she specifically replied, “Yes”. It appeared Ms. Obama’s relatives and her grandson, handling the translating, had obviously been versed to counter such facts with the purported information from the American news media that Obama was born in Hawaii. Despite this, Ms. Sarah Hussein Obama was very adamant that her grandson, Senator Barack Hussein Obama, was born in Kenya, and that she was present and witnessed his birth in Kenya, not the United States.

    When Ms. Obama’s grandson attempted to counter his grandmother’s clear responses to the question, verifying the birth of Senator Obama in Kenya, Bishop McRae asked her grandson, how she could be present at Barack Obama’s birth if the Senator was born in Hawaii, but the grandson would not answer the question, instead he repeatedly tried to insert that, “No, No, No. He was born in the United States!”

    But during the conversation, Ms. Sarah Hussein Obama never changed her reply that she was indeed present when Senator Barack Obama was born in Kenya. A copy of the Tape transcript is attached hereto as EXHIBIT “A”.

    I left Kisumu City and traveled to Mombosa, Kenya. I interviewed personnel at the hospital in which Senator Obama was born in Kenya. I then had meetings with the Provincial Civil Registrar. I learned there were records of Ann Dunham giving birth to Barack Hussein Obama, III in Mombosa, Kenya on August 4, 1961. I spoke directly with an Official, the Principal Registrar, who openly confirmed the birthing records of Senator Barack H. Obama, Jr. and his mother were present, however, the file on Barack H. Obama, Jr. was classified and profiled. The Official explained Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. birth in Kenya is top secret.

    I was further instructed to go to the Attorney General’s Office and to the Minister in Charge of Immigration if I wanted further information The above related facts are true and verifiable to the best of my personal knowledge before God Almighty, whose I am and whom I serve.

    I declare under the penalty of perjury of the laws of the United States, that the foregoing is true and correct.

    Dated: October 30, 2008

    Kweli Shuhubia – John 3:30/Philippians 3:19-21, 29, 30

    I\Obama\Obama, Affidavit of Rev. Kweli Shuhubia 10 30 2008 5

    EXHIBIT “A”

    I\Obama\Obama, Affidavit of Rev. Kweli Shuhubia 10 30 2008 6

    Transcript of Phone Conversation With Kweli Shuhubia & Sarah Obama

    Thursday, October 16, 2008 Time: 10:40 a.m.

    NOTATION: Mr. Kirori called me first on October 16th at 10:33a.m. and advised that he was with Sarah Hussein Obama and that she wanted to speak with me, but the connection was lost. He called me right back at 10:35a.m. and I answered and asked him for permission to record the conversation, which he granted me saying “yes”. I then turned the recorder on and repeated the question, “Do I have permission to record you phone conversation today, including the conversation with Obama’s grandmother?” Kweli Shuhubia replied, “yes”. I then informed him that I would call him right back, so it would not cots him money for the call. I called back at 10:40a.m. and spoke with him and Ms. Sarah Hussein Obama for 10 minutes.

    From AT&T Monthly Statement of Calls:

    110 WED 10/15/2008 8:18PM 814-629-5423 BOSWELL PA 1 RM30 DT 0.00 0.00 0.00

    111 THU 10/16/2008 10:33AM 254726477700 INCOMING CL 1 RM30 DT 0.00 0.00 0.00

    112 THU 10/16/2008 10:35AM 254726477700 INCOMING CL 1 RM30 DT 0.00 0.00 0.00

    113 THU 10/16/2008 10:40AM 254726477700 KENYA ** 15 RM30 DT 0.00 12.32 12.32

    114 THU 10/16/2008 10:54AM 610-662-3005 BALA CYNWYD, PA 2 ESM1 DT M2MC 0.00

    115 THU 10/16/2008 10:56AM 610-825-3134 CONSHOHOCKON, PA 10 RM30 DT 0.00 0.00

    116 THU 10/16/2008 11:17AM 313-418-6959 DETROIT MI 1 RM30 DT 0.00 0.00 0.00

    117 THU 10/16/2008 11:18AM 313-418-6959 DETROIT MI 16 RM30 DT 0.00 0.00 0.00

    118 THU 10/16/2008 11:33AM 254726477700 KENYA ** 2 RM30 DT 0.00 1.76 1.76

    119 THU 10/16/2008 12:37PM 254726477700 KENYA ** 2 RM30 DT 0.00 1.76 1.76

    120 THU 10/16/2008 12:41PM 814-242-9409 VMAIL CL 1 RM30 DT VM 0.00 0.00 0.00

    121 THU 10/16/2008 12:42PM 254726477700 KENYA ** 10 RM30 DT 0.00 8.80 8.80

    Transcript: Two Rings:

    Kweli Shuhubia: Hello? [Back ground music]

    Ron McRae: Brother Tom? [music] Brother Tom? This is Brother McRae.

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yes.

    Ron McRae: Okay. How are you today?

    Kweli Shuhubia: Now. We are okay. How are you?

    Ron McRae: I’m doing very well. You said you are there with, uh, Barack Obama’s grandmother?

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yes. I am just in the home now. She is right here. We’re, we’re waiting to talk in a uh long conversation. And [unitelligible] a good family and she is ready to talk.

    Ron McRae: Good. She’s not there at the present?

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yes. She’s here right now.

    Ron McRae: Okay. Is it possible to speak to her?

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yes. It is possible. I ah, along with her and her family, uh, you and me.

    Ron McRae: Uh, is it possible for you to put her on the speaker phone and translate for me?

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yes! Yes! I will do that.

    Ron McRae: Okay.

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yes?

    Ron McRae: Okay.

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yes. Go ahead [speak to her in Swahili]

    Sarah Obama: [Replies to him in Swahili]

    Ron McRae: Ms. Obama?

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yes go ahead.

    Ron McRae: Mrs. Obama, my name is bishop Ron McRae.

    Kweli Shuhubia: Ametaja bishop Ron McRae, Ron McRae. Go ahead.

    Ron McRae: I am, I am the bishop of the Anabaptists Churches of North America.

    Kweli Shuhubia: Yeye niaskofu Anabaptists makaisa.

    Sarah Obama: Shikamooo! [Hello, good day].

    Translator: Are you speaking English and , and we will tell her in Luo. Okay?

    Ron McRae: Now give me that again. Explain it to me again.

    Translator: It is welcome. She is very grateful for your interest.

    Ron McRae: Okay. Thank you! Tell her I count it a great honor to speak to here since her son Barack Obama is running for President of the United States.

    Translator: Eh makasema yuko kiuu mgomba Obama kwa mwenyekiti America. Yah, she says she is very helpful for got to you to please pray for Obama. She is asking you to pray for him. For Obama.

    Ron McRae: Yes Sir. Uh…Ms. Obama, you can rest assured that I am praying for your son, for your grandson.

    Translator: Yes. It is helpful also towards it is beginning to help.

    Ron McRae: Okay.

    Sarah Obama: [unitelligible from Ms. Obama because of room noise].

    Translator: She says she is covet your prayers for he [unintelligible] her son.

    Ron McRae: Okay. And tell her that I will be coming there in December and I would like to come by and meet with her and pray with her.

    Translator: Yes. Ye atakuwa mwezi Desemba.

    Kweli Shuhubia: In December. He will come in December and he wants to come and talk with you.

    Sarah Obama: [unitelligible]

    Translator: Oh she says you’re so encourage her. You’re coming in December so you can talk together with her.

    Ron McRae: Amen. I am so thankful. Could I ask her, uh, about his, uh, his actual birthplace? I would like to see his actual birthplace when I, when I come to Kenya in December. Uh, was she present when he was, was she present when he was born in Kenya?

    Translator to Sarah Obama: Alikuma zalima Obama [unintelligible].

    Kweli Shuhubia: He is asking her, he wants to know something was ah she present when he was born?

    Translator: Yes. She says, “Yes she was! She was present when Obama was born.”

    Ron McRae: Okay.

  • Clavos

    GWB is likely to be the last white president for quite some time to come.

    The demographics of the country are changing rapidly. Shortly after Obama’s eight years are over, whites will be very close to no longer being the majority, while Latinos, though culturally varied, will be well on the way to becoming the largest ethnic group in a population comprised of nothing but minorities (including Caucasians).

    If, as so many expect to be the case, the Obama administration is a success, particularly in lifting the African American cohort’s status and power in the overall population, the Latinos are likely to react to this shift and work to overcome their cultural differences (among themselves) to present an attractive Latino candidate for the presidency. Again assuming a successful Obama presidency, the political atmosphere will be much more nurturing of, and receptive to, non-white candidates than it is now (when a non-white won), and a Latino (or other ethnic group) candidate will have an excellent chance of succeeding Obama.

  • Cindy D

    RE #123

    Dawn,

    That is a fair criticism. I can tell you’re not a reporter. :-)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Does it actually matter what skin colour a US citizen has?

  • Clavos

    It is common knowledge throughout the Christian and Muslim communities in Kenya that Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., the United States Presidential candidate, was born in Mombosa, Kenya.

    Unless you made a mistake in typing this transcription, Ruvy, the name of the city is Mombasa.

    115 THU 10/16/2008 10:56AM 610-825-3134 CONSHOHOCKON, PA 10 RM30 DT 0.00 0.00

    And that one’s Conshohocken.

    Makes you wonder about the accuracy of the rest of the transcript…

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    Unless it’s reported in People, Us or Star, I am not a reporter. I am a blogger ;)

    Ruvy, dude, seriously, you are killing me. I swear to all that is holy, I researched this claim about Obama’s citizenship and it’s bogus. I appreciate your tenacity and determination though. You know, I bet you are a swell guy in real life, but sometimes I worry a bit about you. I know it’s hard living in Israel and the threat of violence is very real, but I just can’t get that worked up about this particular issue.

    When it makes MSM stand up and take notice, let me know, because I have seen several outlets say it’s complete nonsense. I feel satisfied if it were even the remotest bit an issue, McCain and Palin would have been all up on it. Seriously, those two did all the vetting that needs to be done and they came away empty handed.

  • REMF(MCH)

    Clavos;
    Happy Veteran’s Day.
    – REMF

  • Clavos

    REMF(MCH),

    Thanks, and right back atcha.

    Where you been?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Clavos,

    I didn’t check the transcript for spelling errors and neither did the person who originally published this. While one likes to see accuracy – indeed I edit phone calls to make sure that the conversational English used can be read as an internet document – editing this transcript would have tampered with the veracity of sworn testimony.

    My own typing is atrocious. But in the case of the e-mail, it was strictly copy and paste.

  • REMF(MCH)

    Clav;
    Just needed to make a change and focus on other venues, for my personal and my family’s well-being.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dawn,

    I know it’s hard living in Israel and the threat of violence is very real, but I just can’t get that worked up about this particular issue.

    Several times you told me to put up or shut up; it’s your deal now. Swearing by all that is holy that something is bogus will not make it so.

    If Obama had indeed done what his opponent McCain had done – released the requested data – no questions would be asked. But Obama has been anything but forthcoming on something so simple as a birth certificate, not to mention school records etc. That is the behavior of a man who has something to hide.

    I repeat what I told Senator Barger above:

    and while I don’t really care about the outcome, the fact that Barry Obama is hiding his birth certificate and using the Hawaiian justice system as his g-string is most suspicious.

  • Clavos

    editing this transcript would have tampered with the veracity of sworn testimony.

    My point is that transcripts like that one are proof read so as NOT to have such errors. That they are present in this one leads me to wonder about its accuracy in its more important elements.

  • Clavos

    REMF,

    I hope it worked and that all is well with you and yours.

    As you’ve undoubtedly seen, it’s just as crazy as ever around here.

    But in a very cool way, I think…

  • http://www.glosslip.com Dawn

    His birth certificate can be found online and was examined and verified by the state of Hawaii. That’s good enough for me.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Clavos,

    In the final analysis, a court will decide on the veracity of all this – or as is more likely, justice will not be served and this suit will somehow be quashed without the evidence ever being presented. That is what I expect to happen, as your judicial system will likely start to spiral along the politicized path the Israeli one has already gone on.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    I have been too busy to talk about your article seriously.

    I love the aim of your article. I want to make this statement: Both Anarchists and Marxists are interested in the same outcome. Both are socialist (they both oppose Capitalism and want the means of production to be owned by the producers not the appropriators). That said, not all socialism is Marxist or Anarchist. But I want to talk about this one thing, being an Anarchist (another name for a Libertarian Socialist):

    Conversely, anarchy – total freedom – is every bit as unacceptable to humanity. A group of people in an anarchic setting will organize. Some will take command, some will follow. Thus it has always been throughout human history.

    You define anarchy as “total freedom”. It’s also not clear what you mean by “anarchic setting”. These things sound more like something one might believe (if one was charitable, at that) about Anarchism, without actually having read any of its greatest proponents.

    Anarchists are opposed to all coercive, hierarchical, and authoritarian structures or relationships. Anarchism does not mean living without rules. All society requires rules. But the rules would be determined from the bottom up, such as via direct democracy, not the top down such as in a government by a state. As an aside, to those who equate Anarchism with violence. Anarchists can also be pacifists (like Tolstoy) and most Anarchists are opposed to violent revolution.

    Here is a good, basic, easily readable explanation of the Anarchist perspective.

    An Anarchist FAQ

    And if that more readable one is unavailable here is the same thing in slightly a less reader-friendly format.

    “Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice. Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.” –Mikhail Bakunin

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Mr. Obama's birth Certificate

  • Cindy D

    RE #94

    Ruvy,

    Oy, such an idealist. I makes me almost wet in me eye.

    LOL!

    Too often “dictatorships of the proletariat” forgot the proletariat in short order, remaining only dictatorships.

    I couldn’t agree more. See this interesting rant against Marx’s followers by an Anarchist. Although, I have not found any reason to blame all the things people did with Marxist thought on Marx himself!1

    Main reasons why I am not a Marxist:

    A) I agree with Bakunin (whose prediction was realized) that Marx’s idea of “dictatorship of the proletariat”2 would lead to a Red Dictatorship of the state. Witness the Stalin quote from the link above–In the Soviet Union…no important political or organizational problem is ever decided by our soviets and other mass organizations, without directives from our party. In this sense, we may say that the dictatorship [of the proletariat] is substantially the dictatorship of the Party…” –Josef Stalin

    B) I abhor dogma and I think following the dogma of dead people borders on the pseudo-religious. Also, one would presume a live Marx would evolve and grow. As he did when he was alive. I accept many of Marx’s insights on Capitalism, particularly those on ownership of the means of production and alienation.

    1) I want to set aside some time to read this: Marxism Freedom and the State

    From The Foreword:

    It is not only the question of the relation of Marxian doctrines to those of freedom and of the State, so much discussed in the following pages that gives them interest and importance, but also the light they throw on the system that now exists in Soviet Russia, and which calls itself “Socialist” and “democratic”, where it is, in reality, neither the one nor the other, but essentially capitalistic and totalitarian or, as Bakunin expressed it in a passage to be quoted later “all work performed in the employ of the State”. Bakunin showed in the early seventies of the nineteenth century that such a system must result if it is attempted to transform society on an authoritarian basis; the existence in the middle of the twentieth century of that portentious phenomenon, the Soviet Government, has proved him up to the hilt to be right. In the words of his friend and collaborator, James Guillaume, “How could one want an equalitarian and free society to issue from an authoritarian organisation? It is impossible.”

    2) Unless one considers ONLY the Paris Commune as an example of “dictatorship of the proletariat”. Marx and Engels both saw this uprising and wresting of control as an example of that. The only one they saw. Can we really call the USSR, et al examples of Marxism merely because they claimed to be following Marx’s ideology?

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D –

    Thanks for the compliment. I read the FAQ, and please take no offense at this, but what I see there is IMO unworkable for the same reasons that true communism is unworkable. They might both work in small settings no larger than a medium-sized town, but anarchism as presented in the FAQ is not a practical possibility unless all of humanity is trying to achieve that same goal. As presented, anarchism cannot support a military…and one can only imagine the world if America turned anarchist and disbanded the military. Russia and China would both find the prospect amusing.

    That said, I really like the quote – that is truth indeed.

    AND TO JET – y’know, that looks JUST like my son’s birth certificate that I received after he was born at Tripler Army Medical Center on O’ahu.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Uh Glen, keep that under your hat or they’ll say he’s not a citizen!

  • Cindy D

    RE # 90

    STM (Stan, yes?),

    While I’m almost sure we aren’t supposed to agree on anything [:-)] Democratic Socialism is a far better system than blatant Capitalism.

    I am always for progress toward freedom and fairness. I agree with your post in its entirety.

  • Les Slater

    Cindy,

    “Can we really call the USSR, et al examples of Marxism merely because they claimed to be following Marx’s ideology?”

    I would hope not.

    Les

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    …take no offense at this, but what I see there is IMO unworkable…

    I am going to take offense at what Glenn decides, in 5 minutes, about hundreds of year worth of thought often based on biological and social evidence and direct experience of some of the greatest minds in history? About arguments and proposals that span centuries of thought and fill unlimited tomes? An understanding of which I have only scratched the surface after years of dedicated reading?

    Believe me Glenn when I say, I don’t take offense.

  • Cindy D

    Make that, what Glenn dismisses in 5 minutes of reading…

  • Les Slater

    Cindy,

    Have you read what I posted in 106? Does that answer any of your questions?

    What doesn’t it answer? From a theoretical perspective, that is.

    Les

  • Irene wagner

    Baronius, thanks for #77 :) You’ve given me courage to come back for one more comment.

    Dr. D: Thanks, again. My spiritual why’s are different from that, though. My math books and my Bible are chock full of ideas I don’t understand and also ideas that seemed just as unfathomable a few years ago, but now, I “get it.” As for reality, I don’t know of anything that can match it for weirdness. The weirder the Bible is, the better the fit.

    And finally, Jet in #140 and Ruvy in Jerusalem, I’m going to get my favorite Sam Cooke song stuck in your head. “I was BORN by a river, in a little tent. And just like that old river, I’ve been runnin’ ever since. It’s been a long, oh a long time comin’, but I kno-o-ow, a change gonna come. O yes it will.” God bless Obama. He’ll need all the help he can get.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Irene, but there’s more

    …and I go.. to my brother
    and I say, and I say BROTHER
    help me please,

    But he, you know he just keeps on,
    Keeps on knockin’ me to my kneeeeeeees
    Ohhhhhhhhhh

    Theres been a time when I thought,
    I wouldn’t last too lonnnnnnng,
    Now I think I’m able to carry on.

    it’s been a lonnnnnng… a long tam comin’
    But I know a change has got to come,
    a chaaaaaaange has got to come oh yeah.

    I was introduced to this as the middle of a trilogy as performed for President Lyndon Johnson by the Fifth Dimension…

  • Cindy D

    Les,

    I read that earlier and I have been thinking about it all day. I am sure I don’t understand it yet.

    It says the progression is as Marx would have said from Feudalism to Capitalism to Socialism?
    —-

    “Can we really call the USSR, et al examples of Marxism merely because they claimed to be following Marx’s ideology?”

    Is, of course rhetorical, as I know you understand.

    I would hope not.

    Thanks for that confirmation. That’s what it was for me. Because I like and respect Marx. I have a hard time, without formal education in his philosophy, of weeding out the supporters of all kinds of claims.

    Marx was very excited about the Paris Commune. It changed his thinking. I have always liked to think that that is what he meant by the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and not the other horrors that came later.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    By the way it was written by Otis Redding

  • Les Slater

    Cindy,

    My 106 was a direct cut and paste from the Proletarians and Communists section of the Communist Manifesto. I thought Marx and Engels could do a better job than I could.

    Les

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

    Winston Churchill

  • Les Slater

    Sir Winston Churchill. A more up-to-date version of ‘let them eat cake’.

    The British Empire joined several other imperialist armies siding with the ‘white’ Russian counterrevolution that destroyed both 90% of industry and 90% of the working class itself. His quip shows him to be nothing but a smug, royal asshole.

  • Cindy D

    Les,

    That is sort of hilarious. I have always said I have a difficult time reading Marx. Troll once made me do it. I begged him to stop.

    I will devote some time to reading that tomorrow and see what I come up with.

    Thanks,
    Cindy

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    One more point…

    Kropotkin argued, for example, that “from all times there have been Anarchists and Statists.” [Op. Cit., p. 16] In Mutual Aid (and elsewhere) Kropotkin analysed the libertarian aspects of previous societies and noted those that successfully implemented (to some degree) anarchist organisation or aspects of anarchism. He recognised this tendency of actual examples of anarchistic ideas to predate the creation of the “official” anarchist movement and argued that:

    “From the remotest, stone-age antiquity, men [and women] have realised the evils that resulted from letting some of them acquire personal authority. . . Consequently they developed in the primitive clan, the village community, the medieval guild . . . and finally in the free medieval city, such institutions as enabled them to resist the encroachments upon their life and fortunes both of those strangers who conquered them, and those clansmen of their own who endeavoured to establish their personal authority.” [Anarchism, pp. 158-9]

    Stephen Jay Gould accepted all but a couple of minor points of Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid. So, as far as saying these ideas are unworkable. They have already been demonstrated to work.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Sir Winston Churchill was a greater, more intelligen and tactful man than you will ever be les, and a damned sight less smug about it

  • Les Slater

    At least I don’t have any feudal pretensions.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    You know, someone should be publishing this website in book form, they’d make a fortune. They could title it “Why use three sentences when 20 pages will do?” Vol I-XXXXIV

    Are we trying to make a point (longwinded as it may be) or just trying to impress people by copy and pasting several pages out of some text that’s even more longwinded that all of you seem to be?

  • STM

    Well, whatever you think of Churchill, Les, at least the countries of the old British Empire of which Sir Winston was so proud are far more socially equitable than America.

    The polarity of the Labor/Labour and Conservative/Liberal parties resulted in class warfare that eventually found common ground with a coming together of positions and eventually legislated for great wages and working conditions whilst accepting the need for capitalism.

    America’s problem is that it doesn’t have a Labor Party, or anything approaching one, and even those described as liberals in the US are more to the right than conservatives elsewhere.

    The great paradox is that in places like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, we’re the ones living closest to the American dream, while Americans stagnate and see that dream slipping away, struggle to make a living, pay for basics like health care, widen the gap between rich and poor, take the real decision-making process out of the hands of the middle classes and give it to rich elites with an ear in Washington, prop up failed capitalists and fight and bicker amongst themselves.

    And if it wasn’t for Churchill, a lot of us would speaking German and wearing armbands. So while I didn’t like his politics, I can at least thank him for changing the very nature of our societies.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I think even Wolf Blitzer would’ve gone to commercial by now!

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    We will never have universal health care because it’d put too many multibillion dollar insurance companies out of business.

    19-words

  • STM

    How come they got bigger in Australia after universal health care?

    11 words

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Your guess is as good as mine mate, they’re shaking in their boots here, like universal healthcare is some kind of socialist plot.

  • Les Slater

    Stan,

    My blast at Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was primarily aimed at the quote in comment 154. The hypocrisy of his ‘…socialism is the equal sharing of miseries’ was something that needed exposition. The imperial onslaught, to which his country was a part, played no small role in the bringing about those miseries.

    Les

  • Clavos

    Lady Astor:

    “”Winston, if I were your wife I’d put poison in your coffee.”

    Churchill:

    “Nancy, if I were your husband I’d drink it.”

  • zingzing

    hey! hey democrats!

    we won!

    now we can institute our socialist domination!

    you’ve been reading up, yeah?

    so have i!

    it’s time!

    now is the time!

    we will begin our pogram on conservatives… i mean program of re-education… i mean program for the betterment… i mean…

    we will begin!

    kill the…

    wait.

    what are we doing?

    right. socialism.

    how do we get that started?

    nationalize the what?

    from who?

    really?

    you’re kidding.

    how the fuck are we supposed to do that?

    yeah, and i’m your mother’s uncle.

    well, you’re not my grand-niece, are you?

    no, you’re not, that’s right.

    what’s wrong with you?

    fuck me?

    oh, sure.

    i hope you’ve got a permit for that.

    well then, we’ll make a law!

    dragons.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Oh rath-er

  • Clavos

    pretty good, zing. really juiced on the lit tonite, huh?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    This has been a test of the narional emergency broadcast system, had this been an actual emergency, you would’ve been instructed where to tune in your area

    etc

    etc

    etc

  • zingzing

    yeah, yeah… if you can live without it, just toot your fucking horn.

    don’t have a horn?

    buy one.

  • Cindy D

    Hey Jet!

    Not fair. My long-winded text was less long-winded than me.

  • Cindy D

    zing,

    that reminded me of robin williams, pretty darn funny

  • bliffle

    While the easily distracted argue about the length of their pithy comments, the administration is shoveling $2trillion towards the banks SECRETLY:

    Columbia Journalism Review

    “Freedom of Information Act requests are a commonplace newsgathering tool, and so, for that matter, are lawsuits to force disclosure when the law is violated. The Bloomberg suit is a reasonable, appropriate and measured tactic by a mainstream news organization. And the suit is manifestly in the public interest.”

    Look here and weep:

    Bloomberg

  • Cindy D

    Hrmmm,

    Regarding that transcript.

    1) I can understand if the McRae fellow makes the mistake of constantly calling Obama her son.

    But it seems to me that his grandmother would hardly be likely to make that mistake:

    Translator: She says she is covet your prayers for he [unintelligible] her son.

    2) Also, why does she call her own grandson Obama?

    3) Her son has the exact same name. He was born in Kenya.

    Just random musings.

  • Cindy D

    bliffle,

    Thanks for those articles. I don’t understand. That sounds insane! Here was everyone focused on the 700 billion bailout, meantime the Fed is shoveling out money like water? 2 Trillion in a matter of weeks/months? And our reps are there going, “hrmmm, sure, sounds fine to me.”

    Holy mackerel! Well, at least I can follow it now.

  • Les Slater

    bliffle,

    The big secret is that all the loot being handed over to the banks has NOTHING AT ALL to do with any attempt at reviving the economy.

    It is beginning to become public that the capitalist class EXPECTS a 30’s style depression and they KNOW they can’t avoid it.

    It seems to me that this loot is aimed at shoring up some institutions to survive the depression. Who they’ve picked to board the Ark is not that important. We do KNOW that the collateral being put up is junk.

    We also know who’s going to be left to fend for themselves. We are the ones that need to organize ourselves to take this all away from the looters.

    Les

  • Mark Eden

    For those who haven’t taken a look already, I recommend this.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    STM –

    The great paradox is that in places like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, we’re the ones living closest to the American dream, while Americans stagnate and see that dream slipping away, struggle to make a living, pay for basics like health care, widen the gap between rich and poor, take the real decision-making process out of the hands of the middle classes and give it to rich elites with an ear in Washington, prop up failed capitalists and fight and bicker amongst themselves.

    The saddest thing is, you’re absolutely right. Personally, I have no intention of growing old within the U.S., for I have found other countries – such as within the British Commonwealth – often are just as free and are governed more wisely and fairly than my own. Don’t get me wrong – I love America and I would still give my life to defend her. I get teary whenever I write poetry about my homeland, just as I grow teary listening to the Doobie Bros. “Black Water” about the home of my youth…but my objective understanding sees that while America is the mightiest, she is not always the best.

  • Les Slater

    My Take on all this is that workers NEED a government that acts in OUR interest. WE NEED our own STATE POWER.

  • Les Slater

    Oh, BTW, my 181 was in response to Mark’s link in his 179.

  • Mark Eden

    Les – As Mao pointed out before he went insane: a workers’ state will only arise out of ongoing revolutionary action.

    (Also note the Argentinian workers’ use of the courts in their attempts at expropriation.)

  • Cindy D

    Mark,

    Thank you for that. I am suddenly in a brilliantly good mood.

  • Les Slater

    Mark,

    “…a workers’ state will only arise out of ongoing revolutionary action.”

    This is obvious to any revolutionary Marxist.

    Mao was not a revolutionary Marxist. He repeatedly handed power back to Chiang Kai-shek under Stalin’s orders.

    Even after the corrupt Kuomintang, giving up the defense of the mainland, fled to Formosa, leaving a power vacuum which Mao’s armies filled, he did not overturn capitalist property relations. It was NOT a workers state. Only after the U.S. military forces were in norther Korea, heading to cross the Yalu River into China, did Mao nationalize the capitalist’s holdings.

    “(Also note the Argentinian workers’ use of the courts in their attempts at expropriation.)”

    The courts can be used in conjunction with workers militant struggle. It won’t be successful as a primary means of that struggle.

    Les

  • Les Slater

    To be precise, the second to the last sentence in 185 above should read: The courts can be used in conjunction with workers militant struggles, but only subordinate to the main axis of those struggles.

  • bliffle

    Les is right:

    “The big secret is that all the loot being handed over to the banks has NOTHING AT ALL to do with any attempt at reviving the economy.”

    Exactly.

    Indeed. It is simply looting. The Bush administration is looting the public treasury in cooperation with the banks. Just like a corrupt dictator about to leave a banana republic after an unfavorable coup.

    I suppose that Dave, Clavos, Doug, Archie, etc., are oiling up their weapons to defend the Republic from the scoundrels. The trouble is, they don’t know which direction to shoot.

  • Les Slater

    “The trouble is, they don’t know which direction to shoot.”

    How very, very true.

  • Mark Eden

    OK Les. “”…a workers’ state will only arise out of ongoing revolutionary action.”

    This is obvious to any revolutionary Marxist.”

    So – just what revolutionary action are you proposing that we contemplate as the depression deepens? Some cadre seizing power from a teetering US government?

    I suggest that we focus on revolutionizing our economic relationships on the ground at the level of production. The necessary government structure will emerge from that.

    I see no other way to avoid the further failures and relapses into capitalism that have marked the history of the movement.

    Mark

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D –

    My apologies to you for seeming to dismiss your courtesy in helping educate me on anarchism.

    To some extent anarchism will work and is necessary, but only in those situations where egalitarianism is the norm and not the exception e.g. the online world. Here, you and I are about as equal as we could ever be.

    But in the real world, the one that is populated not only with good, honest, hardworking people but also with politicians, televangelists, and other power-hungry sociopaths, I really don’t think that it’s within the realm of human possibility that true anarchism could work on a nationwide – much less a worldwide – scale.

    It’s good to be able to determine rules from the bottom up – and the democracies of the world (and, to a lesser extent, the American ‘representative democracy’) try to do just that. However, a true anarchic society would see a military as anathema, wholly unacceptable. Not only that, but any organization that is by necessity authoritarian (like law enforcement agencies or fundamentalist religions) would never be compatible with a truly anarchic society.

    Allow me to digress for a moment on the military. There is a certain segment of the population that needs to be in the military, that will only thrive within such an environment. Proof of this is in the success the Marines (the most macho of the services) have almost always had in recruiting. Certain personalities want, crave, need a military environment.

    And frankly, the same can be said for fundamentalist religions and rigid corporate structures.

    Please don’t get me wrong – while I do not believe anarchism is possible in the world as we now know it, if I said it would ‘never’ work, then I apologize. I should not have said that, because there was once a time when the idea of democracy would have been beyond the realm of possibility for an entire nation. Perhaps with the advent of the worldwide online community, someday the present paradigm of humanity will change and anarchism will become a possibility.

    But for the world as we now know it, with those who desire power and will do anything to achieve it, with those who are willing to follow those in power, with the need for a military and authoritarian law enforcement agencies, with fundamentalist religions that control the beliefs of tens of millions, anarchism on a large scale is simply not possible.

  • Mark Eden

    Glen, the ‘anarchy of the market’ and the warped psyche of modern man that it both produces and relies on already exist. And then there’s anarchy.

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in ‘the world as we now know it’ that you refer to. It has a nasty tendency to change up on one.

    Les, you’re probably correct when you say that Mao wasn’t a revolutionary Marxist. All the more remarkable that he figured out the necessity of ongoing revolutionary action.

    Mark

  • Les Slater

    Mark,

    “I suggest that we focus on revolutionizing our economic relationships on the ground at the level of production. The necessary government structure will emerge from that.”

    I’m not sure exactly where you’re coming from politically, but one thing is clear, you are NOT an anarchist. Your ‘necessary government’ settles that.

    But, you avoid pointing out explicitly, what your proposals are. You just express fear of what MIGHT happen. This sort of ideology will not interest the majority of the working class.

    “Some cadre seizing power from a teetering US government?”

    No, I have stated repeatedly that I am for the right of the working class to organize to defend itself. I mean, in addition to organizing at the point of production, to organize politically, to organize to democratically bring into being a government that represents our interests and priorities.

    We must also recognize that those who use their state to prevent the democratic majority from coming to power, will resort to violence in that endeavor. We must be prepared to suppress that violence and those that perpetrate it. We need our own state. The present one, as it becomes clear, is only the armed prop of an exploiting minority, must be destroyed and replaced with one that upholds the rights of the majority, by force.

    “I see no other way to avoid the further failures and relapses into capitalism that have marked the history of the movement.”

    That is precisely why we need our own state. The Paris Commune demonstrated that quite starkly.

    Les

  • Mark Eden

    Les, I’ve stated my ideas about ad hoc governance, vigilantism and the need to eliminate standing government before. I am hardly concerned with your gotcha moment.

    “But, you avoid pointing out explicitly, what your proposals are.”

    I have stated my proposals as well: allow no factory or field to lay idle while there are people in need; allow no house to sit unoccupied while there are homeless and to this end reject foreclosure; come up with some other rationalizing principle for production than ‘maximizing profit'; etc.

    We’ll see what “…sort of ideology will not interest the majority of the working class….” when it no longer has a pot to piss in.

    And as for your proposals – would you kindly clarify what the hell you’re talking about. You sound as airy as a Founding Father.

    Mark

  • Cindy D

    Thank you mark Eden!

    Glenn,

    I am going to answer your #190 with the video Mark Eden was kind enough to give us a link to. “The Take.”

    I thank Mark through my tears.

    If you have a bit torrent client you can see The Take for free.

    You NEED to see it. More than that if Dave, et al does not see it and has any more to say about freedom he/they is/are defunct. Done.

    Dave, see for yourself what freedom is. You are required to see this if you are going to hold yourself out as any sort or intelligent speaker on the subject.

    The Take.

    Thanks Mark Eden. Thanks and thanks and thanks.

  • Cindy D

    bliffle, Les, troll, et al

    You all need to see this film.

    Fuck all your petty bickering. Really you NEED to see it.

    The Take.

    Where I downloaded it.

    The original link posted by Mark. And with very important news (only a year old, yet new to me).

  • Mark Eden

    Cindy – troll’s not here. Call me Mark.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn Contrarian,

    “…anarchism on a large scale is simply not possible.”

    Wrong. Very Wrong!

    Thank you Mark. See the links above.

    Seriously, anyone who misses this, misses an important, perhaps later an essential part of contemporary history.

  • Cindy D

    Mark :-)

  • zingzing

    mmm, socialism at it’s best: bit torrent file sharing.

  • Cindy D

    I am beside myself. I have been laughing and crying all day. I am amazed, in awe, and so very, very hopeful.

    Thank you Mark.

  • Cindy D

    zing,

    I think Naomi Klein will be happy for Bit Torrent.

    That is what I think, imagining myself as Naomi Klein.

  • STM

    Glenn, I don’t mean my point about the American dream to be a put down, either. As others here will attest, while I can get feisty with you guys when you whack on the bullsh.t, like most of my countrymen I’m a genuine America lover and I always have been.

    I feel sad in a way though that things have gone awry over there, as I see us in the English-speaking countries (including Britain) all lumped together in this world flying the flag for (cliche alert) personal freedoms and genuine democracy in the modern sense.

    It’s just that I think the nature of that democracy has gone off the rails a bit in the US. Perhaps Obama can truly be the first point of change, as he promises, and give some of that power back to the people over there.

    Perhaps even the global financial crisis will have some good results on that score. It might just make everyone sit up and take notice.

    A world without a strong, just, benevolent, happy and healthy America is a dangerous place.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    A world without a strong, just, benevolent, happy and healthy America is a dangerous place.

    Oh, the world’s always been a pretty dangerous place, Stan. Nevertheless, it’s survived fairly well without a strong, just, benevolent, happy and healthy America for 99.9999998% of its existence.

    If America falls, some other empire will rise to take its place. Things might get a bit messy for a while though, while various assemblages of people jostle to decide who gets to have a go as Top Civilization.

    But I don’t think there’s much need to worry in the immediate term. The US is far stronger and wealthier than Rome ever was – and the Roman Empire lasted in one form or another for almost 2000 years.

  • Clavos

    Nonetheless, Doc.

    What Stan said.

    Thanks, mate.

  • STM

    Doc: Survived fairly well mate?. Are you fair dinkum? Don’t think so. Everyone on this planet’s been out giving everyone else a good tonking and vice versa almost since the dawn of man.

    Look at our own (collective) history. The British Empire lasted, what, 400 years at best, and what happened after WWI when it was broke and in a recovery phase from that conflict and because of the horrendous casualties (1 million dead, 3 million wounded) not wanting to go around again just 20 years later? Can’t say I’d blame them (but to their everlasting credit, the Poms were the first to give Hitler the two-fingered salute).

    A: What happened was, all the bastards popped their heads up: The rise of Fascism, Nazism and Japanese militarism stepping in to the vacuum. And the US somehow managing to keep its head in the sand until someone stomped on its tail.

    It’s the modern world Doc, times have changed. Rome was a genuine superpower of its day at best for 800 years, Britain for 200 years, Russia for just 50 years.

    America is in great danger of not remaining a superpower forever, a fact that is becoming more obvious and particularly so in light of the most recent developments, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientists to work out that the balance is very fragile.

    Perhaps the danger isn’t immediate, but you don’t want America getting too wishy-washy in the meantime. This modern world that we live in is largely of America’s making, and it therefore has responsibilities to the rest of us as well as to to its own people – and on that note, I reckon China will be the superpower of the 22nd century.

  • STM

    Cheers Clav. I tried to call you the other week (on election day) but your phone wasn’t working, according to the recording I got.

    How goes it all? Hope you missus is OK, and you too. Hope you had a good Remembrance Day too.

    Get the A-1 titfer on at the barbie did we??

  • Clavos

    Fair dinkum, mate.

    The missus is doing better than the first half of the year, so that’s to be grateful for.

    Hope you and yours are all well.

    Just sold a boat last month that had an Aussie captain on it. He’s from Sydney and a good bloke. Told him about you; he knew the suburb you live in. Been here quite a while, he’s married to a Yank Sheila (from Atlanta)

    Me titfer? Wore it on Veterans Day, yesterday (Tuesday) when I went to the local ceremonies ran into some other Vietnam mates who recognized it immediately; you’d have laughed: they asked me if I was an Aussie.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Survived fairly well mate?. Are you fair dinkum? Don’t think so. Everyone on this planet’s been out giving everyone else a good tonking and vice versa almost since the dawn of man.

    We’re still here, mate, and so’s the lump of rock we live on.

    Although most of us aren’t so fortunate as to live on the bit you do!

  • STM

    Clav: “Asked me if I was an Aussie”.

    Lol. What a hoot. I hope you said “fair dinkum”, and I hope you had the brim up on the left-hand side. Glad your wife’s OK Clav.

    Doc … now there’s a thing, eh? You’re all welcome down here though if you ever get sick of the shenanigans up there. The more the merrier, I say … we need some help at the moment.

    Rudd’s going OK but this state government is the worst in history, seriously. They’re stinging us for everything. Tell you about it another time

  • zingzing

    look, if another one of you says “fair dinkum” again, the world is going to get just a little dumber. my brain huts. like something lodged in there.

  • STM

    Zing: “My brain … like something’s lodged in there”.

    Fair dinkum? Better check to see if there actually is a brain in there zing

  • Clavos

    Hey mate don’t rag on zing like that, he’s a good mate, fair dinkum.

  • zingzing

    none of you watched monty python.

  • zingzing

    seriously, stan, i beat you to that joke by miles. fair dinkum.

  • STM

    Fair dinkum, are you blokes fair dinkum?

    I’ve fair dinkum had enough of this.

    If zing’s fair dinkum got half a brain in there, I’ll fair dinkum volunteer to become a Yank (including the prerequisite surgery … getting half me brain removed). Fair f..king dinkum.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    #173, Cindy I’m frightened of just how long your “wind” is. ;) so lay off the beans.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    206-Stan, Someone’s putting A-1 sauce on the tit of a Barbie doll?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Oops, forgot to label a joke again.

  • STM

    Jet: Very funny … close, mate, but no cigar.

    You guys have Barbie dolls and A-1 Sauce too, eh?

    Geez, what a small world!!!

    I bet you don’t have the Pommy version though: HP Sauce (with the cliche picture of London Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on it).

    Now there’s a sauce just made for a dirty great big steak. Not bad with bacon and eggs, either.

    The two are similar, but different. I like ‘em both, although A-1 can be a little pricey here. I like to keep an American in work, though, so I forks out me hard-earned regardless.

    When they start making it in China and someone in the US gets punted out of a job, they’ve lost me.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I think I’ll reconsider moving to Oz, I’m not good at second languages. ;)

  • Mark Eden

    Cindy, while the experiments in Argentina are grounds for hope and instruction for the future if our economy goes into a severe depression, the game isn’t over. As a young American visitor noted after a visit to one of the ‘Fabrica Recuperada‘, “…they are terribly inefficent, and that they probably won´t survive because they can´t buy new technology (let alone fix old technology) and they can´t keep up with the market. When they hire new people, they only hire their children, because people from outside the community will demand money they can´t pay them.”

  • Mark Eden

    I published my last without its rimshot: the need for continuing revolutionary action spreading the movement throughout the economic base and a shift away from the ‘profit’ motivation is clear.

    Mark

  • Mark Eden
  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I guess I should have been keeping up with this thread. I seem to have missed what makes the complete economic collapse of Argentina such a good thing.

    The ‘experiments’ they are trying there have all been tried before and failed again and again. It’s like someone with a headache beating their head against a brick wall. Pure self-destructive craziness.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D – My apologies, but I don’t have bit torrent for ‘The Take’.

    One question, then – how does anarchism deal with organizations that are by nature authoritarian, such as the military, the police, and certain government agencies such as the FBI/CIA/NSA?

    Please don’t tell me that these would no longer be necessary…because there’s a world out there that, if all these went away, would see this as a golden opportunity to spread their own national influence through the world.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    AND FOR ALL (especially STM) CONCERNING THE END OF EMPIRES AND THE AMERICAN DREAM:

    My apologies, but this is a long poem that I wrote over a year ago (before I ever heard of Obama). It helps if one understands that Rudyard Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” was NOT about race, but about America’s entrance to the world stage after the Spanish-American War, and his challenge to ‘see if we could do as well as the British have done':

    The Judgment of Peers
    (An American Reply to Rudyard Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden”)

    by Glenn Contrarian

    Angry, defiant, he answered the summons
    Of great empires of antiquity;
    Naught of this world was beyond his grasp
    Save this verdict of history.

    “This White Man’s Burden you laid at my feet,
    ‘Twas never for white men alone,
    But that futility borne by great empires of old
    ‘Make the tired, the poor as our own!’
    And I stand before you triumphant!” he cried,
    “O’er a century of woe and weal,
    So proffer your arguments dire and prepare
    To hear the strength of my appeal!”

    In gilded seats of judgment sat
    The peerage of empires past;
    Sweet glory they’d known, and power unchallenged,
    And illusion that such could last.

    Many looked on from every land
    Where the feet of men still tread,
    But three there were in positions of honor
    Whose colors were gold and red
    Hard and fierce, their miens reflected
    The aspects their thrones had willed:
    Gold dragon, gold eagle, gold lions a-prowl
    Crimson fields of blood they’d spilled.

    The Dragon was eldest, was first to speak,
    Of the temporal certainty,
    “That you may learn the surest of all
    The lessons of sovereignty.

    “Such power you have, like none before,
    But secular, not divine.
    Millennia passed before I learned
    The Middle Kingdom was not mine.
    Kings I summoned, my Peacock Throne
    Saw emperors kowtow to me,
    But my wisdom provided no surety ‘gainst
    The poisoned sweetness of vanity.

    “I saw the danger of enemies without;
    A great wall I built to defend.
    The wall did not fail, but was easily breached
    By corruption that festered within.

    Your trust in power, in weapons of war
    May give you a semblance of peace,
    But the battle you fight is internal, eternal,
    Your empire will falter and cease.”

    The Eagle was next to speak, to decry
    The folly of luxury.
    “All roads led to my seven hills,
    And led the barbarians to me.

    “I knew well the peril of monarchy,
    And trusted to tribunals,
    But lawful republic fell to limitless pride,
    To opulence and bacchanal.
    But still we conquered, not comprehending
    The end of our strength we had reached.
    We perceived not the malice we had engendered
    In savages we’d thought to teach.

    “They turned on us, taught us that harshest of lessons:
    ‘Who falls farthest, falls hardest’,
    And sentenced our children to perpetual dreams
    Of past glories and bountiful harvests.”

    The last to speak was the wisest, the Lion
    On whose empire the sun never set.
    “I begat you and shed blood beside you,
    Our kinship ever benevolent.

    “Before you were born, ‘twas I stood strong
    ‘Gainst the spectre of tyranny.
    To contain Moor and Inquisitor I gladly paid
    That price of admiralty.
    I believed my Charter’d freedom and justice
    Were sufficient to win the day,
    And see! My children now stand on their own;
    For all mankind they light the way!

    “But you, my child, tho’ our hearts were one,
    We desired the best for mankind.
    Our paths have diverged, I will not follow
    Your doomed imperial design.

    “The historians now speak of Pax in past tense,
    Not only of ours, but yours.
    Romana, Britannica, Americana…
    Is there aught that you can demur?
    For yours is but a portion, a fraction
    Of the centuries my peers survived;
    My heart is heavy and cold with the thought
    That my child may be less than I.

    “You stood for the tortured, the wrongful imprisoned,
    For freedoms of worship, of speech.
    But now you sacrifice such liberties,
    ‘Pon a brass altar of security.
    Empires thrive so long as they uphold
    The ideals that made them great;
    I fear you will not sit with my rank, the first,
    But the second, the subordinate.

    “’Tis your turn now to speak, my child,
    Prove me wrong, I beg you, I plead.
    Restore me the hope I once proudly held
    That to freedom this world you would lead.”

    The brash young man nodded, quietly smiled,
    And stood serenely composed,
    Before these three who in all history’s grand sweep
    Had longest borne the mantle of hope.

    “So this be the judgment of my peers,
    Cold and hard-edged indeed!
    We cannot deny your centuries of glory,
    For which your dear sons did bleed.
    But neither need we appeal your decision,
    Nor should we implore your leave,
    For there’s one advantage that we yet wield,
    Of which never did you conceive.

    “For each of you praised the aristocrat,
    The patrician, the mandarin,
    And forever denied and denigrated
    The pedigree of the common man.
    Such similarity will always bind you
    In the pages of history writ:
    Your power restricted to only the bloodlines,
    Of Han, of Roman, of Brit.

    “You each believed ‘twas but destiny
    Assured your perpetual reign,
    But did you remember your gods’ caveat:
    The wheel turns, all things must end?

    “The Han, supreme, till a thunderbolt signaled
    Their Mandate of Heaven was lost;
    And Rome reigned nobly till honor and duty
    Were o’ercome by comfort and sloth.
    And you, O Lion, your wooden walls a-sail
    Were our cradle, our crucible!
    As from one in his prime to his sire now diminished
    Our duty is oath-bound and filial.

    “Our path is not yours, ‘tis not empire we crave,
    But freedom of choice, of creed,
    Your tempest-tossed fluttered folk and wild
    Surely become the best we breed!
    For any and all can be truly a part
    Of this roiling and boiling pot,
    Wherein melts away (if ever so slowly)
    The hatred of those who are not.

    “This world is not that which we jealously covet,
    No dominion is our desire,
    No Ozymandian edifice of stone,
    Nor generations in royal attire.
    Your paths we daren’t follow, though we have stumbled,
    Supplanting freedom with patriots’ zeal;
    And should we fall, yea, and someday we shall!
    Others will rise bearing our seal.

    “For we are not an empire or a nation,
    But an idea whose time has come.
    Your White Man’s Burden is bleached no longer,
    But a grand spectrum, egalitarian!

    “Today we declare our freedom from peerage,
    From comparison with empires past;
    Today we declare with harmonious discord
    The Peace of Liberty, Pax Libertas!”

  • Mark Eden

    Glen – your observation at #225 highlights to the need for international working class solidarity which was a terrible flop last century.

    Remember that ‘worlds’ and ‘governments’ don’t act. People do.

    Mark

  • bliffle

    Maybe nobody noticed, but the article I posted reveals that this administration SECRETLY made $2trillion in bailout ‘loans’ to banks BEFORE the bailout that we NOW know about.

    That’s two trillion dollars: 3 times the bailout we’ve been told about.

    And now they REFUSE to reveal the recipients.

    Where’s the outrage? Does no one care?

    Why doesn’t this deserve at LEAST the outrage provoked by an attempt to extend the SCHIPS program a couple years ago by a paltry $30billion?

    Is everyone SO desensitized by successive outrages from this administration that they are simply numb?

  • Mark Eden

    So bliffle – are we supposed to express surprise that the rip-off continues as the wealthy scramble to insulate themselves from the approaching storm?

    Mark

  • STM

    At the beginning of this century, Argentina and Australia were spoken of in the same breath … shining examples of new-world countries destined for greatness, literally new frontiers and beacons of hope following the tradition of America.

    By the end of the 20th century, one becomes a workers’ paradise, the other a basket case.

    I’d hestitate to suggest that Australia is “great” in the traditional sense, but it’s survived on rule of law; rule of law and the parliamentary system has meant there is little high-level corruption, and we’ve never had a military arresting us and throwing us in jail, or worse.

    Even in the days before federation of the states, the old separate colonies of Australia were democracies.

    Argentina’s problem is that there’s never been any respect for rule of law, and without that, there’s nothing to guard a people’s personal freedoms.

    In examining this, it’s worth noting here that the country that gave birth to Argentina is famous for the conquistadores, the inquisition, a willingness to do the bidding of the old Catholc Church no matter what that bidding might be, and the cruel dictatorship of General Franco.

    Troubled Spain only became a democracy in the 1970s. No wonder most of its “children” are struggling. Spain was the dysfunctional family of the colonising nations.

    So don’t expect much to change in Argentina any time soon, despite their best efforts to turn things around.

    And thanks for the poem Glenn. I think the British have a bit to answer for, but when you tote up the ledger, the balance is in their favour.

    I was recently in the Philippines, and a historian explained to me that the British had captured Manila and parts of Luzon from the Spanish in the late 1700s, but returned it to them two years later after signing a treaty to end a war they were fighting in Europe.

    He says on balance it would have been better for Filipinos had they stayed, and pointed to the living standards of their neighbours: Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Hong, which are the highest in Asia.

    It’s an interesting “what if” in that particular case, especially given the state of what I’d describe as a faux democracy in that country.

    At the very least, they would have got a decent railway :)

  • bliffle

    I thought that surely the anti-socialists (Nalle, Clavos, Doug Hunter, Archie, etc.) would rise up against ANY attempts at socializing the economy and the country.

    They always talked so bravely. Even mentioning secession, force of arms. I remember a scenario where they would use their rifles to liberate bigger weapons from the Armories.

    Now, they seem unwilling even to raise their voices in protest, let alone raise their weapons to fire.

    Why have they become so passive, so …cowardly?

    Meanwhile the invasion of the money snatchers continues…they’ve taken Wall Street…they’ve taken Pennsylvania avenue…Paulson and Bernanke are turncoats…they’re marching on Main Street even now!

    Where oh where are our heroes of Free Markets and the Right To Fail?

  • Mark Eden

    I heard that they were ready to revolt but could only raise an army of strawmen. (See Dave’s #224 for an example of their typical conscript.)

  • Lumpy

    Perhaps they’re too busy laughing at how arrogant and power drunk you socialists have become to do anything.

    and remember it was the mensheviks who were taken down first and it took years to get the white cossacks, comrade.

  • STM

    Bliffle, ME, lumpy, et al,

    If Americans think an Obama administration will be socialist, then no one in the US has any real understanhding of socialism.

    A bit of more equitable social engineering doesn’t make a place socialist.

    It might just take the US closer to the other first-world western democracies, who’ve been getting along very nicely thanks with legislated six weeks’ a year leave and minimum wages you can actually live on, universal health care and state-supplemented higher education systems for decades.

    Anyone who thinks it’s going to be a bad thing should remember how much they were whingeing recently about the value of the Euro compared to the greenback.

    A sense of community isn’t socialism. It’s democracy (in the modern sense, not the ancient Greek).

    America’s problem lately has been that everyone’s most worried about what they can get, and not about what they can do for anyone else.

    JFK was right … it’s not about what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country – and your fellow citizens.

    A more just country is a happier and less divided country. I can attest to that from experience.

  • Mark Eden

    Not to worry about delusions on this end concerning Obama and an impending enlightened socialist regime, STM. Nor do I look to him to bring our ongoing state/corporate socialism under control. Depending on the economy, I think that a less than gentle fascism will emerge before he’s finished. And most unfortunately, I fully expect that he’ll stumble into a way to get even more people killed in ‘authorized uses of military force’ than his predecessor.

    Mark

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    But let’s talk about it now while we still can, before Rahm Emanuel’s security police and the fairness doctrine shut down all free speech.

    And btw, I don’t care what you call it, even if you choose to call it something other than socialism to make yourself feel better. The end result is the same. Less freedom, more government.

    Dave

  • Les Slater

    “But let’s talk about it now while we still can, before Rahm Emanuel’s security police and the fairness doctrine shut down all free speech.”

    Oboma will continue the recent trend and will attack democratic rights, including free speech. He will not succeed.

    It’s gone too far to successfully put the lid back on.

  • STM

    Come on guys, give the bloke a chance. He hasn’t even started and you’re knocking the wind out of his sails.

    Will of the people, and all that ….

    Here’s my tip: he’ll be a lot less drama than the outgoing fella.

  • wildnfree

    Ugh frightening thread. I think I’ll go reload a few thousand more shotgun shells.

    The election of Obama will make little difference in the decline of the U.S. McCain would not have been any better or worse, just different.

    Even amongst anarchist leaning libertarians such as my friends & I, some sense of community is needed. Very few people are capable of living a life that is unfettered by the need to cooperate with and care for others. Some of us are smart enough that we don’t need the government to do this for us.

    My question for Ruvy is why didn’t you just support the one US presidential candidate who advocated a “hands off policy” when it came to Israel?

    America the land of fake free enterprise with communism for the rich & capitalism for the poor. It doesn’t really matter if the republicrats or the demonicans control the white house.

    One good thing that would come of a fully socialized economy would be a burgeoning black market in which capitalism would be extremely profitable to anyone with skills or needed/desired merchandise to sell. Just look at how profitable industries such as illegal drugs and prostitution are. Now just imagine if you had to buy bread, fuel, repair services, etc. the same way. Hell I can’t wait! A fully socialized US economy may be just what I need to get rich.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    However, a true anarchic society would see a military as anathema, wholly unacceptable.

    the Makhnovshchina . . . was a true popular movement of peasants and workers, and . . . its essential goal was to establish the freedom of workers by means of revolutionary self-activity on the part of the masses.” [Arshinov, The History of the Makhnovist Movement, p. 209] They achieved this goal in extremely difficult circumstances and resisted all attempts to limit the freedom of the working class, no matter where it came from.

    Have a look at the Anarchism, militarism and civil war: Can you have an anarchist army? An easy read about the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukrain–Nestor Makhno’s Anarchist Black Army.

    A list of communities created (and some now being created-Argentina, for example) based on Anarchistic Principles.

    And a quote from that link about the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine:

    “Even in the military area it seemed that the anarchist answer was superior. The Makhnovists defeated on several occasions armies up to 30 times their size, and had great morale.”

    Try not to let the idea of being against coercive authority lead you to the conclusion that people would not want to have military defense or that this could not be enabled in a reasonable democratic way. Of course we would no longer be the “boss of the world”. What we might need would likely look very different from what we have now.

    BTW, you can get Bit Torrent for free @ bittorrent.com I recommend the documentary.

  • Cindy D

    “Less freedom, more government.”

    Strange, that has a familiar ring to it. Hrmmmmm, where have I seen that happening?

  • zingzing

    mhmm. yes, obama will be our fascist leader. and we will be freee to fuck and fight all day long! if we aren’t getting punched in the face, we will be screwing the next attractive person! and if you can’t take a punch or aren’t attractive, we will put you in a prison camp! and we will fuck and fight ourselves to death! oh, the testosterone! oh the pheromones! we will live long lives, bruised and sexxxed to death! life under obama!

    fucking grow up.

    obama’s not going to restrict your rights. it’s rights that got him in there. it will be a celebration of life and liberty such as you republican fuckheads have never seen.

    but it’s not going to be that either. it’s just another government. what, have you never seen a democrat in office? for fuck’s sake, look at the 90s. did you die? were you imprisoned? no.

    it’s nothing as dramatic as you assholes make it out to be. or us assholes either. it’s just another fucking government.

    i doubt he’ll make as many inroads into rights erosion as mr. w did. but you didn’t mind those, so what the fuck?

    god, you’re such children. –> dave. <– spouting off stupid shit only gets you so far in the political world. learn a lesson from the republican losers. sit down in the southwest and weep.

  • zingzing

    that was to 236 and, partially, 235, surprisingly.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Zing, they’re only screaming “Fascist” so loud to drown out their contemporaries who came to a valid conclusion and began screaming “We were wrong!”

    Eventually one of them will write an article about how wrong they were, and the editors will label it a satire in self-defense.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Wildnfree,

    My question for Ruvy is why didn’t you just support the one US presidential candidate who advocated a “hands off policy” when it came to Israel?

    I’m guessing here that you mean Dr. Ron Paul. My answer is predicated on that guess.

    I would have liked to have supported Dr. Ron Paul.

    BUT

    1. His own lierature proved his deep hostility to my people and to this country. Ergo, IF HE HAD A SNOWBALL’S CHANCE IN HELL OF GETTING ELECTED, he’d be no better than the current president-elect, a man who will surround himself with “pro-Israel” Jews up front, so that the public can throw rocks at them when the economy goes sour, but who will operate through a thoroughly pro-Arab “back-room” group of advisers in an effort to weaken and finally destroy this country. Obama’s present actions seem to bear out this analysis/prediction.

    2. Ron Paul didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected. Obama, by contrast, did.

    If you meant someone other than Dr. Ron Paul, please specify.

    For the rest of you: I’m answering a civil question with a civil answer and have no interest in hijacking this comment thread.

  • Mark Eden

    Zing, this isn’t the 90s. Unless our capitalists can come up with another economic bubble to carry us through the next decade (on the backs of some workers elsewhere), we face hard times in the immediate future. As for the possibility of a more aggressive fascism taking hold here, let’s talk again when our unemployment rate gets into double digits.

    Although I may have missed it, I haven’t heard Democrats pushing for a rehabilitation of habeas corpus or posse comitatus in a while.

    Mark

  • Les Slater

    Mark,

    “Zing, this isn’t the 90s. Unless our capitalists can come up with another economic bubble to carry us through the next decade (on the backs of some workers elsewhere), we face hard times in the immediate future.”

    Precisely. See Krugman’s Depression Economics Returns New York Times Op-Ed.

    The problem is that this is fundamentally no different than a bubble. One of the reasons the last bubble didn’t work was that the profits the capitalists collected weren’t invested in productive capacity. They won’t do it this time either.

    It will eventually burst leaving us in an even worse situation.

    The economic stimulus package of FDR never got us out of the depression. Only arming for world war did that.

    One might be tempted, Krugman for instance, to believe that spending on a scale equivalent to that war spending could avert a depression. But it took the destruction of most of the worlds capital, in the form of leveled factories and destroyed infrastructure.

    It was the U.S. capitalists investing their accumulated capital in the rebuilding the destroyed countries that fueled the post-war economic boom.

    Les

  • Cindy D

    Please consider this video news source:

    (pssst…no not you Dave)

    THE REAL NEWS NETWORK

    You can also subscribe to The Real News Network on Youtube

    An independent video format news source like this is extremely important.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Mark –

    Check the news. Obama’s already put out the word that he’s going to review every one of Bush’s executive orders to check them for their constitutionality and fairness…and I think you must agree that there are few in government who would be more QUALIFIED to do so, since Obama’s law specialty was the Constitution itself.

    zing –

    Hey – please take no offense, guy, but dropping the f-bomb every sentence reflects poorly upon the one doing it. If you want to be taken more seriously than just an anonymous person with a chip on his shoulder, try to use the f-bomb VERY rarely – because the less often one uses something, the more shock value that something brings when it is used. Again, this is constructive criticism only and is not meant to offend you in any way.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D –

    I’ve been a serious student of military history since my youth. I consider myself only an amateur historian because I realize the depth of my ignorance – (“the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know”).

    The Ukrainian army to which you referred was a GUERRILLA army. They were NOT organized on a national scale, and as such could NEVER have hoped to project their power beyond their borders save for terrorist attacks.

    They had only basic weaponry, which speaks volumes about their logistical capability. Something for you to remember about war is, “Amateurs discuss firepower. Professionals discuss logistics. By logistics we’re discussing their supply chain, all the way from collecting the tax dollars to acquiring the raw materials to developing the technology to build the factories to build the military equipment…and then there’s the small matter of actually building and maintaining those factories and ensuring the consistency and quality of their output. And that’s not even addressing the act of transporting men and materiel to the front.

    In other words, what you described could support nothing more than a guerrilla army – like the one the Soviets fought (and we’re now fighting) in Afghanistan.

    What an anarchistic military could not hope to support a modern navy (or even a coast guard). They could not hope to support a modern air force. And these are crucial to maintaining the West’s strength when facing potential enemies such as China and Russia. (Remember, in the military as in so many other things, you must plan for the potential rather than the current)

    I’m sorry, but there’s no way a modern military force can be built and supported with the anarchist structure you propose.

    If America were Balkanized and we did not face even the possibility of aggressive action by a modern military power, anarchism might work. But the reality of our world will not permit that.

  • Mark Eden

    Glen, the Patriot Act and The Warner Defense Authorization Act were not executive orders. Democrat’s in Congress will have to overturn them.

    If they were to do so, I’d be pleasantly surprised. My suspicion is that they will do all they can to maintain and increase the centralized executive powers that Bushco grabbed.

    Mark

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    I showed you what formed when it was needed–what is possible. Anarchists are the ultimate realists. I couldn’t possibly propose a structure in advance of having facts, a context, realistic input. Some have done things like that, detailed what Anarchist systems might look like–interesting exercises. It is good to discuss possibilities–but it is VERY undesirable to think one could decide, in advance what “should” be. I didn’t propose a structure. Thus, my words:

    “What we might need would likely look very different from what we have now.”

    What an anarchistic military could not hope to support a modern navy (or even a coast guard). They could not hope to support a modern air force.

    I’m calling bullshit. You’re going to tell me we need government to take our money by force in order to support a military? Pure bullshit. We are the same people here Glenn, without government, we are the same people. We have the same resources. We have brilliant thinkers and strategists.

    The Anarchistic model would not only allow for whatever people need or want, it is flexible as it is not a dogmatic prescription. You are going to tell me that without government, people’s brains are going to shrivel up and no one will be able to think or organize? History says you are wrong.

    Finally, you missed something very important in what I said–the Anarchist morale. When people are really free, something happens to them Glenn. You no longer need to beat them. Also, the support from outsiders is overwhelming. People actually like freedom and they are willing to support it. The Anarchist Army was welcomed and aided everywhere they went. They were helped in their reconnaissance and intelligence by locals everywhere.

    See how people act when embracing the principles of Anarchism. Get Bit Torrent and see The Take.

    Talk from an informed perspective.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, I’ll take zingzing’s way of expressing himself anytime over the amount of sanctimonious self-serving bullshit posted by people without using the word fuck, so please take your bourgeois bullshit and so called “constructive criticism” and fuck it! No offense meant of course! Maybe… lol

  • Cindy D

    And Glenn,

    You sound like a Bolshevik. That sort of thinking is something you might like to seriously question yourself about.

  • Cindy D

    One more thing, I forgot to mention efficiency. No more $500 hammers when things are handled through direct democracy. No more big pensions for fat cats. No more unbelievable waste. And no more sustaining a bullying military presence worldwide.

    Anarchists could do supremely better than the state.

  • Mark Eden

    Cindy, you are a fast learner.

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    (…and a far more eloquent advocate for the movement than I.)

  • zingzing

    glen, you’ll note that i don’t use it all the time. i like the word… i think it’s very useful as every part of speech. but, i only used it in that post so much because the things you people are saying are fucking ridiculous.

    and mark, les, etc.: no, it’s not the 90s, but it’s not the end of the world. really, this is a fairly small blip. i’m just saying don’t get so worked up. it won’t change your life all that much.

  • zingzing

    well, not “you people.” but conservatives/republicans/followers of dave.

  • Les Slater

    “…it’s not the end of the world. really…”

    I never said it was.

    “…this is a fairly small blip…”

    That’s where I disagree. More economists are seeing this as much more serious than anything since the Great Depression. Some are seeing it leading to a depression.

    “it won’t change your life all that much.”

    I’m anticipating it will. It will change politics significantly.

  • Mark Eden

    Zing, I couldn’t come up with a live version for ya, so this will have to do. Is that what you mean?

    Mark

  • zingzing

    “More economists are seeing this as much more serious than anything since the Great Depression. Some are seeing it leading to a depression.”

    but, what does that have to do with obama? do you think his policies are going to plunge us deeper into it than any other politician’s policies would? and if this hadn’t happened now, don’t you think it was going to happen anyway, not merely because of what politicians do, but because of the way the american economy was running?

    “It will change politics significantly.”

    that’s really my point. politics is only a small part of the equation. what politicians do, especially at a federal level, rarely impacts your life unless you let it. and politicians can only do so much to affect domestic life. it was unchecked greed that doomed us before it was the lack of oversight. we have to fundamentally change corporations attitudes before any changes for the better can be made.

    really, there’s very little that the federal government can do except put a bandaid on the worst holes in the economy. it’s up to us to make it right again.

    but you’re still going to wake up, go to work, eat lunch, go home, catch a movie, have dinner, screw your significant other and fall asleep, repeat, repeat, repeat… life WILL NOT change significantly, no matter who is president or which party runs congress.

  • zingzing

    mark, i know that song. are you expecting obama to become a total dictator, ruling with an iron fist? why? how?

  • Mark Eden

    The more likely ugly story would be that he is swept out of office in 4 after some extremely hard times by He Who Would Be Dictator. Or perhaps he will choose to go the charismatic leader route himself.

    In any case, it behooves ‘we the people’ to take it through a whole new door.

    Mark

  • zingzing

    when’s the last time america had a dictator? (and no, bush doesn’t count.) haven’t we gone through worse before and come out alright?

    i think you’re being just a teensy bit paranoid. but, whatever. you keep your eyes peeled and keep us informed as to what you see. but give him a chance… he’s not even in office for another 2 months.

  • Mark Eden

    We are reading the tea leaves differently. My answer to your question, “…haven’t we gone through worse before and come out alright?” is that I don’t know. This contraction is setting up to be pretty significant.

    And what do you call constantly justified paranoia?

    Mark

  • zingzing

    well, that depends on what you mean by “justified.” but to answer your question, constantly justified paranoia, thy name is shark. stop forgetting it.

    i’m trying to be optimistic here, which is rather difficult for me. but not even on my darkest day have i ever really thought that a president would be ballsy enough to roll out the tanks and start enslaving his own people. not so far, at any rate. i thought we were kinda heading in that direction under bush, but only to the point where it was pissing me off. i wasn’t actually living in fear.

    i think obama represents a reversal of the trends we’ve been seeing, as far as rights go. he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. and a good heart, as well.

  • Clavos

    he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. and a good heart, as well.

    The key word there is “seems.” We really don’t know yet, do we?

  • Cindy D

    Mark,

    I never thought of myself as having to be called upon to advocate for military interests. I always figured that for someone else’s job.

    That video you posted was an opportunity to see a real life playing out of things I believe about people. It’s stunning to believe something and then see its beautiful evidence.

  • Cindy D

    The word SO Cialist is a banned word. I can’t post it.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Cindy, it isn’t that word that is banned but another that is contained within it, the name of a drug. I’ve asked the management to see if they will undo it.

  • Cindy D

    OBAMA SUPPORTERS. IT’S NO TIME TO GO BACK TO SLUMBERLAND.

    I think Naomi Klein has a very good take on Obama and on some of those who supported him to avoid at ALL costs a McCain/Palin win (which would include me). She said that this involved deception (here she is pointing out MoveOn, Daily Kos, et al)–those who inform the “progressive” movement (whatever they may be).

    I can identify with what she said. Because I advocated for Obama. To those of you who still think there is no difference–you’re simply not thinking. Obama is much better than having McCain/Palin in office. I can think of more reasons than I have fingers: Education and standardized testing; Environmental issues (though he really hasn’t a complete plan–I can still flinch at thinking of Palin as McCain’s Oil Czar or in charge of decisions on the environment); the victory for youth that this represents and as Tim Wise was astute to point out:

    It was a victory for youth, and their social and political sensibilities. It was the young, casting away the politics of their parents and even grandparents, and turning the corner to a new day, perhaps naively, and too optimistic about the road from here, but nonetheless in a way that has historically almost always been good for the country. Much as youth were inspired by a relatively moderate John F. Kennedy (who was, on balance, far less progressive than Obama in many ways), and much as they then formed the frontline troops for so much of the social justice activism of the following fifteen years, so too can such a thing be forseen now. That Kennedy may have been quite restrained in his social justice sensibilities did not matter: the young people whose energy he helped unleash took things in their own direction and outgrew him rather quickly in their progression to the left.

    (An aside: If you go down that page through the comments, you can find Tim Wise’s best critic in my opinion “R Zwarich”)

    Klein’s main point was, now we have to apply pressure. And if she is right, it’s already too late. Obama doesn’t actually have a plan to cure most of the ills he’s suggesting he’d like to. So, all of you who think “Obama won”–“it’s going to be great” or even “how bad can it be”–need to change your tack (Clav what is that sailing thing?). The wind has changed.

    Klein pointed out a most important thing. In 1992 Bill Clinton, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, went in to accomplish something, by the time he had gotten through the briefings, he had already been convinced that that something needed modifying. BEFORE he was inaugurated.

    Progressives and liberals need to watch that video. Naomi Klein says it much better.

  • Cindy D

    Thanks Christopher. I went through my would-have-been post trying to find the banned word. I didn’t even say fuck! :-)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    This may be the most surreal discussion I’ve read anywhere in years. There are actually multiple people on this thread talking about socialism and social-anarchism as if they had ever worked or could ever work. It’s alice-through-the-lookingglass time on BC.

    My apologies for not participating, but I don’t want to mess with the flow of world-class self-delusion. The whole thread is like a bizarre monument to failed ideologies and the people who can’t get over them.

    Dave

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Almost like Seinfeld; eh Dave?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “The past itself, as historical change continues to accelerate, has become the most surreal of subjects – making it possible… to see a new beauty in what is vanishing.”

    Susan Sontag

  • Mark Eden

    It’s always interesting to read capitalists and their sycophants write about the failures of communism, soc_ialism, and anarchism, when, paradoxically, the only thoroughly vetted modern economic system is capitalism — which repeatedly has proven itself to be fatally flawed.

    Mark

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The addition of the brand name of a certain erectile dysfunction medication as a ‘stopword’ was down to me, I’m afraid, as I attempted to stem a spam attack. Unfortunately, it had the unforeseen consequence of bringing this discussion screeching to a halt. Sorry about that.

    It’s a bit of a puzzler, actually. I’ve added stopwords which formed parts of other words before now without blocking the larger word from getting through. Still, as Chris said earlier, he’s referred the matter to management, so hopefully this will get resolved soon.

    Apologies again for the inconvenience.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    There’s no “Match exact word” option?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I was going to say “whole” word, but I didn’t want the marginally literate to get offended

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    capitalism — which repeatedly has proven itself to be fatally flawed.

    So fatally flawed that it has been the one ongoing element in all of the most successful societies of the last 500 years. So fatally flawed that it is what every marxist-inspired experiment turns to when their command and control system proves not to be productive.

    It’s the fatally flawed system which is just a little less of a failure than every other system that’s been tried.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    hey, dave–just playing devil’s advocate here, quote, unquote–maybe we should find something that’s not “fatal?”

  • zingzing

    like a combination. a hybrid. a mixed baby. they’re always hot.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D –

    Gee – I’ve been called lots of things…but ‘Bolshevik’ is a first!

    No, I’m NOT a ‘Bolshevik’ – that, like communism and anarchism, will NOT work. A social democracy – like those found in much of the British Commonwealth – seems to be working the best.

    And Cindy – before you start waving the BS flag at me, please illustrate how an anarchistic system will not only collect the billions of tax dollars needed, but also build the INFRASTRUCTURE needed to not only build the factories that would build the ships, but would MAINTAIN the ships (that’s many more billions of dollars). Not only that, how would anarchism provide the infrastructure needed for the CONSTANT technical improvement needed in order to maintain effectiveness needed in modern war? AND let’s not forget the recruitment and constant training of millions of people (which MUST be uniform and of a high degree of training and discipline).

    They say “the devil’s in the details”, Cindy – so please ‘splain to me how an anarchistic system would DO all that. Not generalities, but DETAILS.

  • zingzing

    really, glen, WHY do we NEED all these things? i know we do, but that’s what sucks.

  • STM

    Cindy: “The word SO Cialist is a banned word. I can’t post it.”

    Try breaking it thus: social ist. I tried to post the same thing yesterday in reply to WildnFree and couldn’t … now I realise it’s the name of a certain alleged wonder drug, ads for which keep clogging up my spam folder.

    Thanks Rosey. Always good to know that you’re keeping your end up, son :)

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I wonder if he’s a
    s o c i a l i s t
    C i a l i s
    salesman?

  • zingzing

    you know what? maybe “soc-ial-st” doesn’t need to be said around here anymore. i wonder if they got so many hits on the word that it started setting off the spam filter… i know it didn’t, but it must have gotten close.

  • STM

    And seriously, guys … what you’re getting AIN’T social-ism. I can’t believe so many people are on here talking about America becoming a social-ist country under Obama, as if a little bit of mild social engineering is going to turn you into the next Soviet Union.

    You won’t even be getting close on that score to any of the other western democracies where, just in case anyone’s wondering, everyone still shops at the mall, pays off mortgages and buys their fuel at service stations run by the oil companies or small business operators.

    Honestly, I’ve never read so much bollocks in all my life.

    Actually, I have … but that was on another BC thread.

    Seriously, get a f.cking grip.

  • STM

    Doc: “The addition of the brand name of a certain erectile dysfunction medication as a ‘stopword’ was down to me.”

    DOC, YOU’RE A FAIR DINKUM GIBBERER. Yesterday’s finely crafted reply went in to the dustbin of history (where in truth, it probably belongs) because of you!

  • zingzing

    stm: “Seriously, get a f.cking grip.”

    that’s what i said yesterday, without the fucking dots, and it was ignored.

    this is the only argument they have left. other than berating me for “fuck”ings. fuck em.

  • STM

    Panic at the disco, zing.

    What’s everyone so worried about?

  • Mark Eden

    If readers don’t like my use of ‘fatal’ in #277 above then they should feel free to replace it with ‘systemic’, ‘functional’, ‘basic’ or the like. I chose ‘fatal’ to highlight the system’s self-destructive logic.

    Capitalism’s ‘long’ history in no way disproves the existence of this flaw: capitalist production results in periods of intense wealth destruction. Explaining this phenomenon is at the heart of classical economics, and modern economics, most notably the work of the Chicago Boys and their spawn, is in large part an effort to accept this flaw in a nihilist embrace. The problem is that wealth destruction translates into human misery.

    (That capitalist wealth destruction turns out to be a constant process with its own peaks and troughs is another story.)

    There has to be a better way.

    Mark

  • Cindy D

    Geeez Glenn,

    You helped elect Obama to run the country and you didn’t require HIM to give you any details!

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    “…how an anarchistic system will…collect the billions of tax dollars needed…”

    No taxes. Anarchism is voluntary. There are no taxes.

    Anyway, I will try to find something on the subject.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Here is a joke I found. It’s funny. It’s about you.

    “How many neoliberals does it take to change a lightbulb?”

    “None, the market will take care of it.”

  • Clavos

    Mark,

    The thing about the periodic wealth destruction of which you speaketh is that it never destroys all the wealth previously created; it is sort of a “three steps forward, one back” situation, thus moving the society forward overall.

    And as such, it is (so far) superior to anything else that’s been tried.

    As for misery: it’s part of the human condition.
    (I know, I know; it doesn’t have to be, you say. But so far, no one’s been able to prove that.)

    But nihilism is cool…

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    zing – I agree. I wish we didn’t need such things as navies and air forces and the military-industrial complex that’s costing us a half trillion a year. Think of what could be done domestically with all that money! Free education and health care for all, good paying jobs, a national infrastructure second to none….

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Cindy, that’s not a joke. If the room is in darkness and someone has a lightbulb all of those who need light will pay the person with the lightbulb for its use.

    hey, dave–just playing devil’s advocate here, quote, unquote–maybe we should find something that’s not “fatal?”

    Or acknowledge that the word ‘fatal’ was ludicrously misused by an overly dramatic anti-capitalist (see, I don’t need to use the S word).

    And Clav, nihilism is only cool if you’re 16 and are wearing girl jeans and a nosering.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    Gee – I’ve been called lots of things…but ‘Bolshevik’ is a first!

    No, I’m NOT a ‘Bolshevik’ – that, like communism and anarchism, will NOT work.

    What you were saying sounded exactly like some things that Stalin and Trotsky said. It a justification for totalitarianism and state social_ism. We simply say that–those common people can’t possibly organize and be effective (if they do we’ll just kill them). That is what Makhno’s Army was fighting…and so “unsuccessfully” that it took a few years for a state organized military to defeat them even under the most difficult and non-stable social conditions (the fighting being a home-game for the Anarchists).

    Here is what Trotsky thought:

    “The working class cannot be left wandering all over Russia. They must be thrown here and there, appointed, commanded, just like soldiers”. “Compulsion of labour will reach the highest degree of intensity during the transition from capitalism to social_ism”. “Deserters from labour ought to be formed into punitive battalions or put into concentration camps”.

    My ongoing fear of Marxism is represented by that quote and by comments of people like yourself who suggest that authoritarian states are necessary.

  • Clavos

    Dave,

    Admittedly, sarcasm is difficult to convey online, but by now you should be pretty familiar with where I stand politico-philosophically.

    You got something against piercing?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #290: Stan, don’t tear me off a strip. Blame the spammer in Shanghai or wherever the idiot’s sitting who seems to be under the firm impression that the only reason anyone would want to post comments to a political website is to compensate for having trouble in other areas…..!

    ;-)

  • Cindy D

    Ha! It pays to be female.

  • Zedd

    I’m curious and a quite nerdy. What drugs name is in the word soc.al.sm?

    Can’t figure it out. It’s driving me nuts.

  • Clavos

    C i a l i s

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Where’s Alice? I don’t see Alice.

    Although I definitely run into the Mad Hatter on here quite frequently…

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clavos @ #297: I would have thought you, of all people, would know the proper archaic declension of English verbs…

    Tut tut.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Clav, I was just adding my scoffing to your sarcasm.

    “Deserters from labour ought to be formed into punitive battalions or put into concentration camps”

    Great quote, Cindy. The parallells to programs promoted by Obama are impossible to ignore.

    So I guess we can conclude that he’s a menshevik like the neocons rather than a bolshevik. Good news?

    Dave

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    One pill makes you larger,
    and one pill makes you small
    and the ones that mother gives you
    don’t do any thing at all

    Go ask Alice Doc,
    I think she’ll know

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Don’t you think it’s assinine that you’re putting labels on the man and he hasn’t even taken office yet?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly!”

    Elizabeth Gaskell

  • Clavos

    Doc 307:

    “The destruction of which thou speaketh?”

    Prithee, what is the “correct” tense?

    There is discord a-brewing, methinks.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Depending on how familiar you are with Mr Schannon:

    ‘thou speakest’

    or

    ‘you speak’

  • Mark Eden

    Dreadful, that’s a personal attack on Mr Shannon who would be caught dead spouting my shyte.

    Mark

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    I prithee, google the phrase “thou speaketh.”

  • Mark Eden

    ‘wouldn’t’

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Obama is a Capitalist. You haven’t been paying attention.

    But, on to a more important point.

    You said speaking of Capitalism:

    “…it is what every marxist-inspired experiment turns to when their command and control system proves not to be productive.

    It’s the fatally flawed system which is just a little less of a failure than every other system that’s been tried.”

    Please refute this Dave. (Quippy comments don’t count.):

    I am speaking about the Spanish Revolution.

    Anarchism did not fail as a system. Anarchism succeeded. When the Anarchists took over Barcelona they succeeded in not only creating a system that was working. They proved that Anarchism surpasses Capitalism in its productive capability.

    Look at this 8 minute clip: Anarchists in the 1936 Spanish Civil War

    (This clip is well worth seeing for anyone interested.)

    That this movement was crushed by the Fascists does not say anything about its failure as a workable system. It was crushed maybe in part because the Anarchists made the mistake of not accepting the control that was eventually offered to them over Catalonia. (In trying to live without a state how does one take over a state?) Likely it would have been crushed anyway, for a variety of reasons.

    Here is a sampler of successes of the Anarchist system as it existed in Spain. These are clear examples of how Anarchy works better than Capitalism .

    I will quote one telling example from that list:

    Before July 19th, 1936, there were 1,100 hairdressing parlors in Barcelona, most of them owned by poor wretches living from hand to mouth. The shops were often dirty and ill-maintained. The 5,000 hairdressing assistants were among the most poorly paid workers, earning about 40 pesetas per week while construction workers were paid 60 to 80 pesetas weekly. The 40 hour week and 15% wage increase instituted after July 19th spelled ruin for most hairdressing shops. Both owners and assistants therefore voluntarily decided to socialize all their shops.

    How was this done? All the shops simply joined the union. At a general meeting they decided to shut down all the unprofitable shops. The 1,100 shops were reduced to 235 establishments, a saving of 135,000 pesetas per month in rent, lighting, and taxes. The remaining 235 shops were modernized and elegantly outfitted. From the money saved, wages were increased by 40%. Everybody had the right to work and everybody received the same wages. The former owners were not adversely affected by socialization. They were employed at a steady income. All worked together under equal conditions and equal pay. The distinction between employers and employees was obliterated and they were transformed into a working community of equals — social_ism from the bottom up.

    This is only one example, look at the entire list.

  • Mark Eden

    “…it is sort of a “three steps forward, one back” situation…”

    And don’t you find it bizarre and a bit discomforting that our “superior” system, the best that we’ve come up with to date, requires that ‘a third’ of the wealth that is produces using its principles be destroyed every few years, Clavos?

    Mark

    (For the literalists out there: 1/3 is not an actual measurement, of course.)

  • Cindy D

    …the LESS intellectually curious, the LESS one is likely to challenge one’s own world view.

    Whoever said that (Glenn) needs to take a long hard look in the mirror.

  • Clavos

    Not at all, Mark.

    First, flawed as it is, it still does better than other systems that have been tried.

    Secondly, I think “three steps forward, one back” pretty much describes all of human endeavor throughout history; I think it’s as good as it gets.

  • Cindy D

    Clav,

    …it still does better than other systems that have been tried.

    I am readdressing my post #317 to you as well as Dave.

  • Clavos

    How was this done? All the shops simply joined the union…

    How is that anarchy, Cindy? And what if I, a shop owner, refused to join the union? Would anarchists force me? If so, are they not acting as a state would?

    Is the union not then the “authority?”

    Your example also is of a very small microcosm within a much larger context.

    I’m not convinced.

  • Zedd

    Thank you Clavos.

    What is the big deal about that drug? I guess I was too lazy to read the BC policy manual. eee-well.

  • zingzing

    jet #152: “By the way it was written by Otis Redding”

    no, it wasn’t… it’s a sam cooke song. you should hear the original, which runs all over the redding version from a few years later.

    dunno why i felt the need to correct you on this. other than that it’s one of my favorite songs. and cooke poops on redding’s shoulders.

  • Zedd

    zing are you really in prison?

  • zingzing

    ha! prison, brooklyn… they sound the same if you leave out the right details… it was a joke, zedd. but it made a certain sense, i guess.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav: I prithee, google the phrase “thou speaketh.”

    I did. And confirmed that there are millions of people online who don’t know how to conjugate* archaic English verbs.

    For your delectation, I refer you to this site.

    And the verb ending for the second person singular is… All together now…

    :-D

    * Not ‘decline’, sorry – that’s nouns. My bad.

  • Clavos

    I (and millions of other schmucks) stand corrected, Doc.

    Damn! I was going to call you out on that “declension” in my last message and forgot.

    You got a freebie…

  • Cindy D

    Clav wimps out on a real answer.

    I didn’t ask for your conviction, merely your valid rebuttal.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Cindy, what you describe in #317 is NOT anarchism, it’s collectivism, which is a perfectly reasonable business and organizational model that works within a generally capitalist system. Collectivism is antithetical to anarchism, because the associations which are formed are themselves government like and ultimately become a government if no other governing body exists. This is how government started in colonial America. The Pilgrims were collectivists or even communists (though the term had not yet been invented), and their autonomous collectives found it expedient to join together in larger collective associations which turned into a government. That’s the way it always happens.

    Dave

  • STM

    The answer to those who are citing the spanish anarchists.

    Spain became a fascist dictatorship not long after, and it lasted over 30 years.

    The Spanish people now have a democratic constitutional monarchy – 300 years after the British – and have never been happier (apart from the naughty basques).

    They’ve worked out – eventually – that capitalism and a social democracy will co-exist and work just fine.

    Just like everywhere else that’s got one.

    Also, can you imagine ANY place where taxes are voluntary?

    Yep, that’d work really well.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Collectivism is used under Anarchism, Communism, Social_ism. It happened under the Anarchist take-over of the city. It wouldn’t have happened that way under Capitalism.

    Stan,

    Not long after Spain “became” a Fascist dictatorship? You mean like Anarchy turned into Fascism? Like magic? Were you making some particular point? I’m not sure. We know the Fascists won the Revolution.

    I’m not sure the point of the whole post.

    In fact I’m pretty pissed off. I’m not sure why I am even trying to have an intelligent discussion with you people. You don’t bother looking at anything. You argue from the same place. It’s not even a discussion really. You don’t look at a person point and then make any sort of considered response. You just quip the same bullshit, from the same closed loop of thinking. I have to stop wasting my time like this.

  • Cindy D

    I gave you the information Dave. It’s right there. The developed an entire system. Hospitals, healthcare for everyone, equal pay. Restaurants, everything. They developed an optical factory that financed directly by contributions of the workers.

    And Stan, voluntary contribution worked just fine. Why don’t you toss out another date that you looked up in 30 seconds to dispute that in some nonsensical fashion–instead of actually having a look at an argument and then going from there.

  • Cindy D

    fucking philistines

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Cindy, are you on the vodka again? 8-)

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Damned Hippies!

  • Mark Eden

    When the arguments get down to, ‘it’s human nature’, and ‘that’s they way it always happens’, and ‘anything different is unimaginable’, then we’ve reached the heights of bourgeois historical explanation, and there really isn’t anywhere productive for the conversation to go.

    Mark

  • STM

    Cindy writes: “In fact I’m pretty pissed off. I’m not sure why I am even trying to have an intelligent discussion with you people”.

    It must be really frustrating having to deal with people who are nowhere near as smart as you, Cindy. I truly feel for you.

    Lesser minds and all that …

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    I took the trouble to read the web-site at comment 317. It sounded an awful lot like what occurred in Israel under the British Mandate.

    Someone appreciates your efforts….

  • Cindy D

    Stan,

    I’m not smarter. Which is why I was very disappointed. I took the time to make a serious argument. I had an expectation, precisely because “you people” (the ones that didn’t give it a serious reply) are quite smart enough to have done so.

    For example Stan, the video I posted opens with a man (an Anarchist) who was a part of the Spanish Revolution. He is animated in his passion for what Barcelona was like. Later we here from a woman who was there. So, when you say something in reply like “people have never been happier”.

    You say it without even looking at the two very live people who would dispute that. How do we know what people who have never known something to compare would be happier with? Some people in Nazi Germany must have never been happier that they’d ever been.

  • Cindy D

    Dr.D,

    No. I just don’t understand the point of this kind of discussion. It’s frustrating speaking in the wind. It makes me wonder why I am doing it. It also doesn’t help much that last night I went to my sister’s for my birthday and my 18 year old niece blurts out that she thinks she needs breast implants and liposuction.

    I was seriously wishing for real and considered response.

  • Cindy D

    Ruvy,

    Thank you. :-) That will be an interesting thing for me to check out.

    Mark,

    I was hoping they would at least give the respect of hearing what an opponent has to say, before the usual dismissal. Having Dave dismiss me with “that’s not Anarchism” is more than unbelievable. It makes me wonder what quality of history teacher Dave could possibly be. But, maybe that’s it (what you said above). Maybe there isn’t anywhere productive to go. They’re not even willing to look at something else…not even to properly argue with it.

    Jet,

    :-) That was very funny! It has lightened my mood. Yeah, I know, it probably doesn’t show much.

  • Mark Eden

    “I was seriously wishing for real and considered response.”

    Cindy, consider the possibility that you’ve got their best shots; they are expressing a consistent ideology. If the economy goes south ‘facts on the ground’ will overtake them.

    Mark

    and Happy Birthday!

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Collectivism is used under Anarchism, Communism, Social_ism. It happened under the Anarchist take-over of the city. It wouldn’t have happened that way under Capitalism.

    All I’m saying, Cindy, is that if you have implemented collectivism as clearly happened on wide scale in the example you cite, even if they were claiming to be anarchists, their collective ventures had effectively become a government even if they didn’t choose to admit it.

    What people SAY something is matters far less than what it actually functions as.

    Dave

  • Mark Eden

    The notion that collective decision making is by definition impossible for anarchists is obtuse.

    fuck such dogma

    Mark

  • Brunelleschi

    Glenn;

    That was an excellent article.

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying we need less freedom. When a big economy puts all it’s eggs in the social basket or the private basket, that limits freedom already.

    You best point is about balance, and keeping on open mind about each.

    You totally nailed it on health care. It’s ruined in America.

  • Cindy D

    Clav,

    How is that anarchy, Cindy? And what if I, a shop owner, refused to join the union? Would anarchists force me? If so, are they not acting as a state would?

    The answer is no Clav. They wouldn’t force you. Anarchy is voluntary. Even the union would be run by direct democracy. No, union bosses. Direct voting on all issues–if you decided to join.

    However, you will have been welcome to sit in your dirty little shop starving and waving your little Capitalism flag and no one would force you to do anything else.

  • Clavos

    However, you will have been welcome to sit in your dirty little shop starving and waving your little Capitalism flag and no one would force you to do anything else.

    Why would my shop be dirty and little, Cindy?

    You’re making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions here; chief among them that capitalism inevitably results in failure-failure even of individuals, not just the system.

    I guess I’m stupid, but I don’t understand how a society with rules and a central authority can be anarchistic. If you’re saying it’s anarchistic because it’s voluntary, I think that’s an oversimplification of the philosophy.

    Plus, isn’t anarchism supposed to be individualistic? If so, then my decision to go it alone would be in the tradition of anarchism, as I refuse to bend my will to the collective and instead, proceed to act as an individual.

    One last point: anarchism is based on the willingness of everyone subject to it voluntarily adhering to its precepts. That one word kills the idea, IMO, given human nature. It’s idealistic, but ignores the significant proportions of humans who are A) predators, B)selfish, C)narcissists, D)without scruple or principles, E)just plain assholes, and F)all of the foregoing.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D –

    Your fixation on the success of the Ukrainian ‘anarchist’ army belies your sheer ignorance of military matters. The Ukrainians were fighting a guerrilla war!

    Guerrilla wars are fought on one’s HOME turf, among one’s OWN people. Guerrilla wars ARE OFTEN SUCCESSFUL, as France and America found out in Vietnam, as the Soviet Union found out (and we might still find out) in Afghanistan. But a guerrilla war CANNOT be waged on another country overseas should the need arise.

    For instance, if on 9/11 we’d had the type of army you envision, we could not even have attempted to go after Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Even with the forces that we had, Bush still botched the job.

    MOST telling is your refusal inability to illustrate how we could build, maintain, and supply a modern navy and air force. So long as you’re unable to do so, your entire argument falls to pieces.

    Instead, you claim that what I support is tantamount to the follwing:

    “The working class cannot be left wandering all over Russia. They must be thrown here and there, appointed, commanded, just like soldiers”. “Compulsion of labour will reach the highest degree of intensity during the transition from capitalism to social_ism”. “Deserters from labour ought to be formed into punitive battalions or put into concentration camps”.

    SHOW ME WHERE I SUPPORTED ANY OF THAT! Show me where I supported ANY form of tyranny!

    You apparently didn’t really read what I posted, for if you had, you’d have been familiar with what I referred to as ‘Goldilocks freedom’. Instead, you are apparently likening anything less than your ‘anarchism’ to tyranny, as if it’s an all-or-nothing proposition.

    Cindy, if you and I are going to have a rational discussion, then do NOT accuse me falsely.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    …even if they were claiming to be anarchists, their collective ventures had effectively become a government even if they didn’t choose to admit it.

    How so? The onus is on you to demonstrate how they had become a government when there is no one “governing”. There is there is no political body calling the shots. There is no authoritarian hierarchy. They did everything through direct democracy. All people are owners. All people had a say in all things. The floor sweeper and the soldier all have the same rights and the same voice.

    You can see some of this in the 8 minute video I posted to you.

    In fact, the Anarchists refused to “govern”. The Prime Minister of Catalonia told them that they were “in charge” and that he would cede his authority to them and follow their lead, they refused to make a government. They felt it would be a betrayal to both their own principles and to the various groups–the syndicalists; the social_ists (who had once helped the liberals to keep Capitalism in place); the POUM, who were trying to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat–that had fought with them against the Fascists and–in the a revolution within a revolution–against the Republic itself.

    The Anarchist’s own design was the one that was able to succeed in organizing and hold forth. These people (who the Social_ists earlier said were too stupid to be ready for Social_ism) the peasants and workers and ordinary people, managed to succeed where all the other anti-Capitalist factions had not.

    “…it is fair to say that the durability of the collectives in Spain, their social scope, and the resistance they offered to the Stalinist counterrevolution, depended largely on the extent to which they were under anarchist influence.”

    (out of order)

    “During the first few months of the military rebellion, Social_ist workers in Madrid often acted as radically as anarchosyndicalist workers in Barcelona. They established their own militias, formed street patrols, and expropriated a number of strategic factories, placing them under the control of workers’ committees. Similarly, Social_ist peasants in Castile and Estramadura formed collectives, many of which were as libertarian as those created by anarchist peasants in Aragon and the Levant. In the opening “anarchic” phase of the revolution, so similar to the opening phases of earlier revolutions, the “masses” tried to assume direct control over society and exhibited a remarkable élan in improvising their own libertarian forms of social administration.”

    Quotes from this excellent article by Murry Bookchin, To Remember Spain: The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936

  • Mark Eden

    Glen, your response to Cindy presupposes the necessity of waging war against other countries, actually against people in other countries – tyranny exemplified. Non-violent conflict resolution is both possible and necessary.

    The requirements of our economy are what make war seem necessary. International worker solidarity would put an end to it. When our (improperly so-called) leaders demand that we kill our brothers, each of us is free to ‘just say no’.

    Mark

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    For Pete’s sake, get ahold of yourself. You sound so pompous, I expect next you’ll slap me with a glove and challenge me to a duel.

    If you recall, I explained some of the benefits a non-state run military might have. Efficiency, morale, a supportive network, no need to have standing military in foreign countries.

    It’s not likely a 911 is going to happen to such a society. But, if it were to–I suggested that it would be handled more economically and efficiently than a state military. I pointed out that simply because people are acting under democracy and freedom does not make their brains fall out.

    I also said I would look for some details, and I have found some. But only among anarcho-capitalists (who aren’t real anarchists and with whom I disagree on nearly everything). I will post some of their ideas for your perusal.

    Keeping in mind that the one where they say “let the markets fix it” has proven to be only something that happens in the imagination of people who are happy to ignore everything that is wrong in a system that creates poverty, sees people as valuable greatly insofar as they are either commodities or consumers (in support of which they are unwittingly stripped of their own self-worth so that it can later be sold back to them via advertising), does not actually give a shit about what its commodities citizens want, and actively engages in tyrannical practices (including supporting dictatorships against their own citizen’s voices) while claiming it’s so just and fair and swell (amen).

  • Zedd

    “For Pete’s sake, get ahold of yourself. You sound so pompous, I expect next you’ll slap me with a glove and challenge me to a duel.”

    FUNNY!

    Getting the popcorn….

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    And then there is what Mark pointed out in #351.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark (Eden)

    Glen, your response to Cindy presupposes the necessity of waging war against other countries, actually against people in other countries – tyranny exemplified. Non-violent conflict resolution is both possible and necessary…

    Just a thought for you. The effective actions of your leaders have put the lot of you Americans in debt up to your eyeballs to a variety of foreigners – who, using the “non-violent conflict resolution” you feel so necessary, would take everything you own, and feel justified doing so in order to collect their debts; or they could demand that you enslave yourselves voluntarily to them.

    The other option is to make war on your creditors. It’s not particularly moral, but at least you keep your freedom.

    Dinner calls, so I gotta run. Later!

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    Before I pose any of the possible “solutions” offered by the anarcho-capitalists, I would like to ask you directly, based on this:

    MOST telling is your (refusal) inability to illustrate how we could build, maintain, and supply a modern navy and air force. So long as you’re unable to do so, your entire argument falls to pieces.

    With an understanding that:

    A) I will admit to my sheer ignorance in military matters. Of course, I doubt anyone is ever going to ask me to lead a plan of military action.

    and

    B) My personal inability to develop a military plan has nothing to do with whether any particular plan would work. For example, I doubt that you would decide the current system is unworkable simply because I, personally, am unable to defend it (or develop any plausible resemblance to it in my imagination).

    My points then have to be based on a belief in the intelligence of human beings to survive and to develop what is needed, when, and if it is needed–even while being free.

    So, I will bow to your greater knowledge of military matters. And not having a concrete understanding myself what you mean when you say it can’t be done–this seems as good a place to start as any. So, please explain why an Anarchistic society cannot, in your view, support a Navy, an Army, and any necessary Intelligence.

    I will then attempt to refute your claims individually. As, it’s not up to me to demonstrate anything, except where you demonstrate it isn’t possible with your own illustrations–particularly since I am acknowledging your advantage.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I think I should point out the obvious here that Ruvy does not prepresent all of Israel… thank “g-d”

  • Cindy D

    Gelnn

    A word on the Anarchistic principles involved. This should help you make your points.

    1) There is no taxation. (A note to Stan RE: #331: People are often extremely generous in voluntarily supporting what they feel they need–witness Obama’s aunt sending her dollars in support. The only reason one needs taxation is to support things no one in their right mind would ever support unless they were forced.)

    2) All matters are decided through direct democracy. In external society (that which presumably supports a military collective) and within the military collective itself. Which means that inside the military, the only leadership that can exist is where all participants elect that leadership.

    3) There can be no central authority. That is no Anarchist will accept a centralized military that could potentially wield power over the whole society.

  • http://spryeye.blogspot.com Evan Ravitz

    The most evolved project for a hybrid direct/representative democracy is led by former Sen. Mike Gravel. Registered voters can now vote to ratify the National Initiative for Democracy, much as citizens ratified the Constitution at the Conventions when the Legislatures wouldn’t. In other words, in an extralegal, direct democratic act.

  • Cindy D

    Clav,

    Why would my shop be dirty and little, Cindy?

    You’re making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions here; chief among them that capitalism inevitably results in failure-failure even of individuals, not just the system.

    I was recounting the “reality” in Spain, under Capitalism, remember. Look back at the quote (#317) So, no assumptions. Just based on what actually was.

    …I don’t understand how a society with rules and a central authority can be anarchistic….

    There was no central authority. All societies have rules. Any Anarchist will tell you an Anarchistic society has rules. (Not counting kids -who may not know better through lack of experience, and crazy people.)

    The last two of your points I will address separately. As I need to think about them and maybe look for some examples.

    Thanks for taking my points seriously as I will do with yours.

  • Cindy D

    Evan RE# 359

    Thanks for that. I went there did all the necessary stuff and voted for that after reading about it.

  • Cindy D

    Clav,

    The second two points you made.

    Plus, isn’t anarchism supposed to be individualistic? If so, then my decision to go it alone would be in the tradition of anarchism, as I refuse to bend my will to the collective and instead, proceed to act as an individual.

    No. You are likely talking about people who are probably anarcho-capitalists or market anarchists, I imagine. Anarchists are against Capitalism. Anyone who doesn’t believe that can call themselves anything they want, no Anarchist (in the common political sense of the word) is going to accept that. Most Anarchists would disclaim that sort of person who says he is an Individualist Anarchist as being an Anarcho-Capitalist, I would think. Certainly the Anarchists in the Spanish Revolution were not market Anarchists or Anarcho-capitalists.

    I am told here that there are a variety of Anarchists under this idea of Individualism–like William Godwin, someone whom I respect. He is not an Individualist Anarchist under my understanding of anarcho-capitalism. I also admire Lysander Spooner and would not consider him to be an anarcho-capitalist or Individualist Anarchist.

    I’m sorry to be so unspecific. I am a Libertarian Social_ist. I can tell you best what I believe. So, I would have to study the variety of things that might be meant meant by this philosophy–Individualist Anarchism. That is where the idea of Anarchism being “everyone against everyone” probably comes from. It sounds like. Anarchists in my understanding and experience are social people. But the general meaning, what one means when one simply says Anarchist, would be the Libertarian Social_ist variety–the most common meaning.

    In reading about the Spanish Revolution, I remember something being said about an individual or two who had to be simply tossed out of the army as they refused to cooperate in any democratic sense. Perhaps that individualistic idea was what they held. That is the impression that I got.

    One last point: anarchism is based on the willingness of everyone subject to it voluntarily adhering to its precepts. That one word kills the idea, IMO, given human nature. It’s idealistic, but ignores the significant proportions of humans who are A) predators, B)selfish, C)narcissists, D)without scruple or principles, E)just plain assholes, and F)all of the foregoing.

    Anarchism uses direct democracy. You can see this in the documentary The Take discussed above. Paraphrasing a speaker in that film: You learn to vote often and because of that you learn that much of the time you will win and sometimes you will lose, it makes coming to grips with both wins and losses easier.

    So, to answer your question–majority in a direct (all people have an equal say by vote) democracy stands.

  • Mark Eden

    Individuals without social contexts are in the same class of beings as unicorns.

    [Reuven! We never talk anymore. I assume that’s because I’ve insulted you one too many times. I want to come up with something other than a flip response to your #355, but I’m too weary this evening. I’ll get back to you. Mark]

  • Cindy D

    And in a sense, the tossing out of the person or two in the army who just couldn’t cooperate with anyone else might be an example of what happens to the selfish, the assholes, the narcissists, and the unprincipled.

    The real predators, I imagine, would be handled in such a way as is acceptable to people who have a right to defend themselves against predators. But I guess it would depend on what kind of predators.

  • STM

    Cindy writes: “So, when you say something in reply like “people have never been happier” .. etc”

    I’ve been over in Iberia recently Cindy, and the Spanish genuinely are very happy with their lot in the new Europe. Few Spaniards would be alive now who were young adults during the Civil War, but their children have stories to tell.

    They now have good wages and a great standard of living, and because of the weather, among the best lifestyles in Europe. Before that they had decades of suffering (in the 20th century), and the place was beset by absolutism prior to that, a fact that is evident even when you look at the colonial history of Spain. I was in the Philippines last month and right up to the Spanish American War and the American colonisation, the Spanish were ruling for the elites only, even breaking the pecking order down among the educated classes into those born in Spain, those born in Spanish colonies of Spanish background, and those born in the colonies and not of Spanish background. That is not unlike how Spain ruled itself.

    The problem with experiments like that of Barcelona was that it detracted from what Spain really needed – an end to the carry over of absolutism and rule by and for the elites, into a genuine social democracy supported by the all-important rule of law, with or without a monarch.

    What they got were the two extreme ends of the political spectrum, a revolution, a civil war and nearly 40 years of pain, with some bizarre anarchist notions of government tossed into the mix.

    I’m not doubting that you are trying to have an intelligent discussion, but it’s worth noting that just because someone punts up a viewpoint that is the polar opposite of yours, it doesn’t mean that its not equally valid – or right.

    My point in that first post was that Spain was a basket case during that period, and paid for it dearly, and is now enjoying a long, hot, happy summer for the first time in centuries.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Mark Eden – “Glen, your response to Cindy presupposes the necessity of waging war against other countries, actually against people in other countries – tyranny exemplified. Non-violent conflict resolution is both possible and necessary.”

    Okay. Explain how, if the ability to wage war overseas is so unnecessary, would South Korea would have survived the Korean War…and then there’s the ‘arsenal of democracy’ that helped win WWII.

    While you’re at it, explain how an anarchistic America would have been able to keep the peace between China and Taiwan – ask any naval historian and he’ll tell you it’s OUR navy that kept that particular peace (just by always keeping an aircraft carrier in the vicinity).

    And then you can explain how an anarchistic America would have been able to oppose (and finally defeat) the Soviet Union on a TRULY worldwide scale during the Cold War.

    Mark, NO good military man WANTS war. But a strong military is crucial in this world – and if America did not have a strong military with the ability to project power overseas, then would the other free democracies – even united – be able to stand up to China or Russia?

    Dude – I’m a bleeding-heart liberal and would LOVE to see Bush and company stand trial before the Hague…but not having a strong military with the ability to project power wherever it’s needed…is a recipe for disaster.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy – I’m not going to go piecemeal showing you every little reason why anarchism cannot support a navy or air force – come to think of it, I already tried doing so in my first refutation to you on this particular subject when I described to you the logistics chain from taxes (the hundreds of billions of dollars without which a proper military would be impossible) to the building and utilization of the infrastructure, to the building, maintenance, and operation of the military equipment, to the recruitment and CONSTANT training over entire careers necessary to maintain a TRULY professional force.

    You admitted that you cannot properly refute what I posted, and I truly respect people who are able to admit their ignorance on subjects – and I hold myself to that same standard. However, just as you cannot refute what I’ve posted as a whole, you can’t refute the details either.

    But to simplify things, I say an anarchistic society cannot manufacture a simple heat-seeking anti-aircraft missile like the Stingers the Afghan army used (but could NOT manufacture) against the Soviet Union. Consider to yourself why they could not design, test, and manufacture such a thing, and then you should see why an anarchistic America could never hope to have the kind of military might that the ‘arsenal of democracy’ needs.

  • zingzing

    still, glen, why do we have to provide the “arsenal of democracy?”

    and that’s a really silly term.

    i’m not going to say anarchism is a good idea or anything… but why do we have to be the ones policing the world? huh? that brings us as much trouble as it does prosperity.

    we’re in this position where we’re drunk on our exploitation and control. we can’t see any way of living without it. we think this world is a better place with us in charge and slapping wrists. i’m not sure if it is. and we’re slowly losing that grip anyway. our military is stretched too thin by two wars as it is, and our economic stranglehold has become a pinky-hold over the last few years. we’re the superpower we were in name only.

    there’s no reason for us to assume so much “responsibility” anymore. the world’s a different place, and whether that’s our influence or a reaction against it is something we may never know.

    basically, we have no reason to try and be the world power that we were. the world would get along much better without a leader/country that could kill us all in two seconds.

  • STM

    Geez, I don’t know about that “why do we need to the arsenal of democracy” thing, zing (a poet and didn’t know it) …

    The British would still be fighting the Germans 60 years on if they’d had no help at all from the US – that’s assuming they weren’t now fighting the Russian masters of Europe instead. Or that wonderful island state might even be just a sheet of glass.

    And since Australia would never have let the Japanese take over this country without an almighty stoush, we might either be all be wiped out by now (or worse, all squashed into Tasmania or New Zealand, or even worse, all been forced to move to the US – California MIGHT be OK -, or worse still, Canada, brrrrrr!) because one thing’s for certain, we wouldn’t be speaking Japanese.

    Can’t see that the US would have benefitted much either from having Fascists, Communists and Miltarists in charge of most of the rest of the world.

    This is a world largely of America’s making … it’s a lot better than the alternative that was on offer at the time. Perhaps it’s good that we keep it that way.

    I realise these are what ifs … but they’re also could have beens.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    The notion that collective decision making is by definition impossible for anarchists is obtuse.

    I agree. But that’s not what I said. What I said is that when the collective begins to make policy it becomes a government and not anarchistic. The higher the level of organization, the more like a government it is. And at the point where representativs of all the different collectives form a coordinating council, the anarchism is all over.

    And to Clavos’ point, what happens to the shopkeeper who won’t join the union is either that customers are encouraged to shun him, or if he does get some business going and becomes successful, one night his competitors burn his shop down. That’s the way it works in the real world when there is no structure of law to protect individuals and minorities from the rule of the mob.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    stm: “The British would still be fighting the Germans 60 years on if they’d had no help at all from the US – that’s assuming they weren’t now fighting the Russian masters of Europe instead.” and etc.

    see, that’s 60 years in the past. i’m not saying that that wasn’t a good thing THEN. i’m just saying, why do we need to be “the arsenal of democracy” NOW? it’s a different thing.

    the world has changed a lot in 60 years, and i’m not sure if we’re even playing by the same rules we were then.

    besides, i’m just playing devil’s advocate. i don’t want anarchy… not particularly. too much left to chance there. but… i don’t think we need our military for the reasons glenn is specifying or for the reasons that bush has been using either.

  • STM

    What you need is a different kind of military. You see a giant airforce mostly doing not much and all those ships sitting around at anchor in San Diego and Virginia, and kind of think: “What’s the point”.

    The nature of the conflicts the US is likely to be engaged in has changed markedly, but the pentagon retains the thinking of 60 years ago.

    A different kind of military more suited to today might cost considerably less, punch above its weight – and leave plenty left over for health care for Americans.

  • zingzing

    and that would be fine. that’s the point i’m trying to make. we need a military that says “don’t fuck with us,” but we don’t need one that says “we’re going to solve your problems with our guns.”

  • Cindy D

    Stan,

    …but it’s worth noting that just because someone punts up a viewpoint that is the polar opposite of yours, it doesn’t mean that its not equally valid – or right.

    First I would like to apologize. You seem to have born the brunt of my frustration. I realize the point you were making.

    It wasn’t the disagreement that upset me. It was the failure to look at the information I took the trouble to present as an important part of my argument. To skip over it and continue in disagreement without addressing it, is the same thing as ignoring what someone is saying and carrying on from the same place, never having taken in the new information.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Cindy, I actually did look at your video and researched more in depth on the subject. I’m still not at all convinced. The video comes off as propaganda, and all of the evidence suggests that the situation in Catalonia at the time was so unique and so radically different from anything which exists today, especially in America, that it has virtually no relevance.

    America is NOT an agrarian peasant society with a tiny and vulnerable ruling class in the middle of a huge civil war which has plunged the area into chaos and created a power vacuum. We also have an established history of property rights granted on a more or less rational basis, which makes much of what these anarchist groups did in example you cite utterly impossible without massively abusing the fundamental rights of a great many people.

    In theory, here in America, we have an established system which allows most or all of the benefits of the unique situation you’re promoting to be available to individuals on an institutionalized basis where their rights are also protected.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Stan,

    The nature of the conflicts the US is likely to be engaged in has changed markedly, but the pentagon retains the thinking of 60 years ago. A different kind of military more suited to today might cost considerably less, punch above its weight – and leave plenty left over for health care for Americans.

    I hear what you are saying. The Eastern Roman Empire adopted quite a different style military from the legions their predecessors had used. In his book “Strategy”, Captain Liddell-Hart examines the techniques used by the Eastern Roman Empire to attempt to reconquer Italy. I apologize for the memory lapse, by I do not remember the names of the two generals employed.

    The point is made in Liddell-Hart’s book, among others, that the combination of light and heavy cavalry used to defeat the various rulers in Italy was a lot cheaper than the military formations used when the Roman Empire was a lot richer.

    While a good look at the Eastern Roman Empire would be worth while (I’ve read your recommendations elsewhere, and they sound similar) I doubt that the mind set of the American military can adapt to these ideas. IN essence, the entire three headed structure of the American military would have to be scrapped, and the unified approach of the Israeli military adopted – a highly unlikely event. In addition, a whole stack of dead wood in the American military would have to be carted off to a lumber yard, another unlikely event.

    No, it is likely that the American military will have to suffer serious defeat in war before becoming even willing to re-think its role or methods of organization.

  • Mark Eden

    Modern wars are fought by workers against workers in the interests of capitalists primarily to destroy wealth (notably labor) and enable capitalist production. Not having ‘a strong military with the ability to project power wherever it’s needed’ is indeed a recipe for disaster — for the international capitalist class. I have tried to emphasize and ‘get across’ the idea that worker class solidarity is the solution; ‘nationalism’ is an ideological tool of capitalists and is the enemy of peace. If you analyze past wars from this perspective it becomes clear how unnecessary and wasteful they have been. Chinese and Russian workers are not my enemies.

    But don’t get me wrong. If I am personally attacked by a brainwashed sociopath, then I will personally ‘end him’. As Glen noted above, gorilla warriors are often successful which is an important point to keep in mind in the event of open class warfare.

    Ruvy, the essential answer to your ‘thought’ in #355 is that I, along with workers around the world, don’t actually own anything and have nothing to lose in that regard. ‘Making war on my creditors’ would mean going after capitalists world wide. (And when the international revenuers come for my still I will try to win them over with the high quality of my Taos Lightning. If that fails, and assuming that they don’t go blind, they will have to pry the copper tubing out of my cold dead hand.)

    Concerning anarchist governance, the claim that, “…at the point where representativs of all the different collectives form a coordinating council, the anarchism is all over.”, is only valid if the coordinating council sets itself up as a permanent standing body. Ad hoc assemblies in which participants come together to meet each others needs as problems arise remain anarchistic, although such a structure might not meet some dogmatic definition of anarchy.

    Mark

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    …What I said is that when the collective begins to make policy it becomes a government and not anarchistic.

    You are basically saying here–a society with rules cannot be Anarchistic. What leads you to that conclusion? It’s a wrong one.

    If a collective makes policy based on direct democratic input, that policy would be fluid in that any time it doesn’t serve, it could be changed–again based on consensus.

    The higher the level of organization, the more like a government it is. And at the point where representativs of all the different collectives form a coordinating council, the anarchism is all over.

    Again, you define Anarchism in your own eccentric way. Are you rewriting history or playing with semantics? Are you saying that what Anarchists call Anarchism isn’t simply because it doesn’t fit into your own narrow definition? What exactly is that definition you are using then, Dave? How are you going to be able to speak to other people if you decide to redefine the things they say so that they don’t exist?

    Collectives, councils, whatever they might be called could certainly coordinate federally and internationally. This doesn’t mean any of the delegates would have any authority beyond what is democratically decided at the bottom level.

    If you want to call that government, fine call it government. Just give me the word you’d like to use for this hypothetical set-up: A non-bureaucratic, non-hierarchical, non-authoritarian system, whose policies and decisions are decided at the lowest levels via direct input from all members, and whose directly elected delegates are mandated to represent those decisions and have no personal authority to determine policies or rules independently. Then put government on the end.

    And to Clavos’ point, what happens to the shopkeeper who won’t join the union is either that customers are encouraged to shun him, or if he does get some business going and becomes successful, one night his competitors burn his shop down.

    Why shouldn’t a tradesman be allowed to work? Why are his competitors (the collective, say, in this case) going to burn down his shop? In another circumstance each shop may have been independent from the other (like factories might be–see Argentina), yet still run like collectives individually.

    More realistically, he is going to be working with no employees. Who would want to work for him?

    In the illustration above of the hairdressing shops, the point was that under Capitalism 1,100 shops created a situation where everyone starved. The solution to collectivize helped everyone. The number was reduced to 200+ shops. Everyone had a right to work. Everyone got to eat. They were able to design better shops, which meant better working conditions. They all joined because it made sense to join. No one forced them to join.

    That’s the way it works in the real world when there is no structure of law to protect individuals and minorities from the rule of the mob.

    The whole point is freedom and non-domination. If mob-rule became a problem then it would need to be dealt with Dave. There are principles involved. A certain amount of trust in those principles is needed to even make a start. Mob-rule is not desirable, but abhorrent. It couldn’t be tolerated.

  • Mark Eden

    Oh, and Zing, there are no ‘devil’s advocates’ in a firefight. You might keep that in mind.

  • Cindy D

    Add to my #378 what Mark said in #377.

    Permanent standing councils with non-changing delegates wouldn’t work.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark,

    Modern wars are fought by workers against workers in the interests of capitalists primarily to destroy wealth (notably labor) and enable capitalist production. Not having ‘a strong military with the ability to project power wherever it’s needed’ is indeed a recipe for disaster — for the international capitalist class. I have tried to emphasize and ‘get across’ the idea that worker class solidarity is the solution; ‘nationalism’ is an ideological tool of capitalists and is the enemy of peace. If you analyze past wars from this perspective it becomes clear how unnecessary and wasteful they have been. Chinese and Russian workers are not my enemies.

    This kind of talk might have been relevant in the world of 1928, and certainly as late as 1938, when there was a clear laboring class in most societies, and a clear owning class.

    Since then that line has been considerably blurred at least in the “first” world, the allegedly civilized countries of Europe, Australasia and the Americas.

    For example, my father-in-law, a postal worker for most of his working life, managed to develop a rather large stock portfolio over the years. Is he a capitalist or a prole? In reality, he is both. Asking him to give up the consciousness of one class to adopt solely the consciousness of the second (provided he has the consciousness of either) is sheer idiocy.

    What about the fellow in Israel who worked for Egged, a bus cooperative originally. For most of his life, he was a driver with an ownership interest in the company he worked for. But, retired, he was given x number of shares in the company that Egged became when it ceased to be a cooperative recently. Is the driver a capitalist or a prole? How should he view his class consciousness (assuming this is even on his radar)?

    The members of the extreme left-wing kibbutzim who suffered Arab attacks in 1948-9 may have regarded themselves as proletarians, revolutionaries who were vanguards of the class struggle devoted to liberating the workers of the world. But the Arabs who attacked them regarded them as damned Jews who deserved only to die. Preaching Marx to the Arabs attacking them was a joke, and always was. Class consciousness is just not on the Arab radar – clan consciousness is.

    You just can’t dictate these things, Mark. Marx ignored the basic fact that people do what they damned well please when they can, and so are you. Merely from a philosophical standpoint, one needs a point of view that allows for this basic element of human nature – the fact that people to do what they damned well please if they are able.

  • Mark Eden

    Ruvy, Israel is based on the theft of land, a basic ‘means of production’. That Arabs want it back is hardly a surprise. And that the land was underutilized at the time of the grab doesn’t change things. Try not to get too pissed at my expression of this simple truth.

    As for your claim that class analysis is passe, try this (and with apologies to all who will find this offensive): Jews kept their brethren in line in the camps. Jews loaded the ovens. Jews sorted the possessions. Jews ground the bones. All of this for what they hoped would be special consideration for their lives.

    Were they any less Jews?

    Additionally, not only has ownership failed to penetrate the working class nearly as deeply as you seem to believe, but you might want to watch as class distinctions clarify themselves in the coming months if our economy of exploitation tanks. How are your family’s holdings doing?

    Mark

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    Cindy – I’m not going to go piecemeal showing you every little reason why anarchism cannot support a navy or air force.

    Okay, then I am going to say, wherever you don’t explain a reason, you are simply making up whatever you want reality to be. Or do you expect me to accept this: It can’t be done, because Glenn says it can’t, and after all Glenn is an expert, he said so himself.

    I mean if you aren’t going to present why something can’t be done, what do I have to argue with? I’d have nothing, but some unfounded and undefended assertion. And so I won’t argue with it. You can have your opinion.

    I’ve already addressed everything you said using the same depth of reasoning you did. Even with my limited understanding of military matters. You’ve made no point.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark,

    Israel is based on the theft of land, a basic ‘means of production’. That Arabs want it back is hardly a surprise. And that the land was underutilized at the time of the grab doesn’t change things. Try not to get too pissed at my expression of this simple truth.

    I’m not pissed off at this repetition of a simple lie. At present, I do not have time to respond to it, except to say this.

    A friend of mine who lives in the “mixed” neighborhood of Abu Tor in J-lem once told an Arab that the time when “Sheikh Da’úd el-Nébi” would rule was approaching. This is a translation into Arabic for “King David the Prophet”. The Arab did not argue. He simply asked, “when?”, looking forward to this time as much as I and my friend do.

    Bottom line – Moslems who are not poisoned by the false religion of the Wahhabi (or their branch organization the “Moslem” Brotherhood) realize that Allah gave us – Bani Yisraíl – the right to rule this land forever. It’s in their own holy book, the Qur’an.

    So there has been no land theft. Arabs know they are Walids-come-lately in this part of the world, and we, the Children of Israel are the rightful rulers. They know this no matter what they tell you, Mark.

    That doesn’t mean they like it.

    Actually, that is the entire response – all that is needed.

    Jews kept their brethren in line in the camps. Jews loaded the ovens. Jews sorted the possessions. Jews ground the bones. All of this for what they hoped would be special consideration for their lives.

    It does not surprise me that this finally is your rendition of capitalist society. It almost looks good – until you ralize that Nazism was based on a religious outlook that turned the Kabbala on its head – and attempting to apply a “marxist” analysis their barbarity to it is worse than obscene.

    Were they any less Jews?

    I am grateful for not having to judge such a question, Mark.

    Finally, the point you raise is that folks will come to see themselves as proletarians as your economy tanks? Keep dreaming as you play “The Internationale” on that 78 RPM record. There is no “proletarian awareness” anymore and sudden poverty will not cause what is not there to exist. We’re not dealing with “ex nihilo” creation here, Mark.

    People in America will feel that they have been cheated and will demand vengeance on those they feel have cheated them. I don’t think that they are so smart as to realize that it has been the Protestant aristocracy that has cheated them. Not when there are people with names like Greenspan, Volcker, Emanuel and Lieberman to blame….

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark,

    How are your family’s holdings doing?

    We got out of the market a long time ago. We had to – we needed the cash. But just for curiosity’s sake I checked the stock we used to hold, a good cash cow (that’s why we held it). It’s at its lowest level at a long time – in fact I never saw it so low. Nevertheless it still pays 8% on a share per annum.

    I don’t ask my father-in-law how he is doing. I suspect he would rather not answer….

    In this market, would you?

  • Mark Eden

    Ruvy, I guess that it’s necessary that I respond that I find apologia for barbarity of capitalism which has caused far more death and destruction than the Nazis (capitalists by the way) more obscene than my analysis.

    We do agree that a wave of antisemitism is right around the corner. We can only hope that class consciousness will trump it.

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    (‘…any apologia for the barbarity of capitalists who have caused…’ – better)

  • Mark Eden

    Ruvy, your religious analysis is a dead end requiring that a god take charge. I think it’s foolish to wait.

    Mark

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark, you can call murder based on the concept of sterilizing the world of a Gegenrasse capitalism if you like. In that case, the apologia should come from you.

    I find such comparisons obscene – not because I apologize in any way for what capitalism may have done, but because capitalism is simply a method of exploitation. It can be cruel or murderous or it can be humane – but it is simply a method of organiazing wealth based on exploitation.

    The actions of the Nazis pretended to be murder for a sacred cause (later to be echoed by ben-Gurion in his defense of Rabin shooting at Jews during the Altalena incident) within the Nazi party, and a way for the local Germans (and others) to get back at the evil Jews outside of the Nazi party. The two cannot be compared.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    zing – “still, glen, why do we have to provide the “arsenal of democracy?”

    I think STM answered your question better than I could have…but I would like to add that we happened to wind up in that position during WWII, and there’s no one to take our place. If you can point out a country that can relieve us from the duty it has become, then by all means please do so!

    But as with any other position of great responsibility, whether it’s the staff resident doctor or the police chief or a captain of a naval ship, the one on watch cannot leave until properly relieved.

  • Mark Eden

    Well then Ruvy, I’ll just have to live with your (and others whom I have offended) condemnation of my comparison as obscene – which, of course, was pretty much the point. I make no claim to political correctness. Genocide is an economic act first and foremost; the crazy rationalizations are fluff.

    Perhaps I should have discussed how Kansans act against their own interests and then have asked if they are not still from Kansas.

    Mark

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D –

    I can refute you all day long. I can point out example after example (which I HAVE done). But you’ve made up your mind that anarchism will do what I’m telling you it can’t do…

    …but everybody is wrong sometimes. I’m wrong more often than I like – but I’m not afraid to admit it when the preponderance of evidence is against me. I have pride, yes – but I refuse to allow my personal pride to override the facts. If I’m wrong about something, then pride be damned! I’ll take my lumps, eat the required crow, and admit that I was wrong…and THANK the person who proved me wrong, because I’ve actually gained something from the experience!

    You see, Cindy – to me, these online debates are NOT a “win-lose” game, but an attempt to learn and to share my own learning with others, that everyone can gain. You won’t see me gloat – the only time I win is when I learn something…and people only learn by seeing something they don’t already know.

    In this particular debate, Cindy, the evidence is strongly against anarchism. Hopefully you gained by learning something you didn’t know…but IMO it’s time to let it go, and move on to the next subject.

    I’m not asking you to admit you were wrong…but let me tell you my experience about admitting error in public. The first time a person has to admit error in public, it hurts…but after doing so a few times, you start seeing who has the courage to admit error…and who is too proud – and too afraid – to admit when they are wrong, and you’ll see how they hang on to any scrap of hope as ‘proof’ that they’re right.

    Cindy, you’ve got the intelligence to see exactly what I’m talking about here. In my experience online is any indication, you’ll most likely ignore all this and castigate me once again.

    So if you insist on doing so, I’ll continue with simple examples – starting with the collection of hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue required to do what America must do. That in and of itself is impossible with the anarchism you propose. But I’d rather not do that – I’ve got more important things to do, and I suspect that you do, too.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle


    You are basically saying here–a society with rules cannot be Anarchistic. What leads you to that conclusion? It’s a wrong one.

    Reading anarchist writers and studying the subject for years leads me to the conclusion and it’s not wrong. The level of anarchism in a society is inversely proportional to the level of law and rules in the society. That’s a basic tenet of anarchism. You can’t just deny it away.


    Again, you define Anarchism in your own eccentric way. Are you rewriting history or playing with semantics? Are you saying that what Anarchists call Anarchism isn’t simply because it doesn’t fit into your own narrow definition? What exactly is that definition you are using then, Dave? How are you going to be able to speak to other people if you decide to redefine the things they say so that they don’t exist?

    Cindy, I’d submit that you’re attempting to redefine anarchism, perhaps based on the efforts of past groups you admire to do the same thing. As I said before, the more people organize and the more rules they establish to run their society the less anarchistic it is. That’s just a basic truth.

    If you want to call that government, fine call it government. Just give me the word you’d like to use for this hypothetical set-up: A non-bureaucratic, non-hierarchical, non-authoritarian system, whose policies and decisions are decided at the lowest levels via direct input from all members, and whose directly elected delegates are mandated to represent those decisions and have no personal authority to determine policies or rules independently. Then put government on the end.

    I’d call it a period of pre-authoritarian populism.


    Why shouldn’t a tradesman be allowed to work? Why are his competitors (the collective, say, in this case) going to burn down his shop? In another circumstance each shop may have been independent from the other (like factories might be–see Argentina), yet still run like collectives individually.

    Because the capitalist shop owner will pay a higher wage to hire the best workers and produce a superior product with which the collective cannot compete effectively and as has been demonstrated again and again they will then resort to violence and oppression to destroy him.

    More realistically, he is going to be working with no employees. Who would want to work for him?

    Everyone, because he will offer a higher wage to get the best people. Exceptionalism and entrepreneurism must be crushed because the collective demands conformity.

    In the illustration above of the hairdressing shops, the point was that under Capitalism 1,100 shops created a situation where everyone starved. The solution to collectivize helped everyone. The number was reduced to 200+ shops. Everyone had a right to work. Everyone got to eat. They were able to design better shops, which meant better working conditions. They all joined because it made sense to join. No one forced them to join.

    I missed this illustration. It’s certainly not a real world illustration. In the real world capitalists would force non-competitive shops out of business and hire their employees and expand, not produce an excess of shops.

    The whole point is freedom and non-domination. If mob-rule became a problem then it would need to be dealt with Dave.

    It’s generally dealt with by evolving into an authoritarian society.

    There are principles involved. A certain amount of trust in those principles is needed to even make a start. Mob-rule is not desirable, but abhorrent. It couldn’t be tolerated.

    The most important principle for maintaining freedom is not to trust in the goodness of people or the rule of the mob.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    You made a blanket statement, several times (and there, look you made it again):

    …starting with the collection of hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue required to do what America must do. That in and of itself is impossible with the anarchism you propose.

    I made two blanket statements back (probably several times by now):

    One being on the topic of increased efficiency (i.e. lower cost), etc.: “Efficiency, morale, a supportive network, no need to have standing military in foreign countries.”

    The other being on the topic of funding: “People are often extremely generous in voluntarily supporting what they feel they need…The only reason one needs taxation is to support things no one in their right mind would ever support unless they were forced.”

    In this particular debate, Cindy, the evidence is strongly against anarchism.

    Unfortunately for me I can’t see the evidence. I don’t happen to have any mind-reading skills.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Well said. Thanks.

  • Mark Eden

    Ruvy, you say, “Merely from a philosophical standpoint, one needs a point of view that allows for this basic element of human nature – the fact that people to do what they damned well please if they are able.”

    But everyone that I know (with the exception of a few sociopaths that I have worked with in residential treatment) acts and thinks within pretty rigid social parameters; I’m not clear on what you are claiming. Also note that Marx and his followers spent considerable effort explaining why society doesn’t degenerate into chaos.

    Mark

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark,

    There is an old Yiddish joke. It goes this way.

    Haim: Come the revolution, everyone will have peaches and cream.

    Yankel: What if I don’t like peaches and cream?

    Haim: Come the revolution, you’ll LIKE peaches and cream.

    I’m not clear on what you are claiming

    What this joke is all about explains what I’m claiming. I hope you are sharp enough to see it…. You can’t force likes, dislikes, consciousnesses or anything else upon people without brute force or something that one normally reserves to call extraordinary religious experience. Bottom line: people tend to do what they damned well please irrespective of the “party line”.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D –

    “One being on the topic of increased efficiency (i.e. lower cost), etc.: “Efficiency, morale, a supportive network, no need to have standing military in foreign countries.”

    WHAT, exactly, do you suppose would have happened in the Cold War if America would not have had troops in South Korea, Germany, and dozens of other places?

    DETAILS, Cindy – not “efficiency, morale, and a supportive network”. DETAILS. I want to see how you would raise the five billion dollars that it took ten years ago to build an aircraft carrier. Are you just going to ‘pass the hat’ and since we’ve got ‘high morale’ we’ll be able to afford to build it, and maintain it, and most of all have the five thousand sailors to operate it day in, day out, for the decades of its service life? DETAILS, Cindy. How ya gonna convince people to just DONATE a few billion here and there?

    And what about the people who build the factories to build the carrier, its equipment and aircraft – how are you going to pay them? Are they going to be doing all that PROFESSIONAL work for free? It takes a huge amount of money, raw material and manpower to build even a factory, Cindy…and the people who do this can’t be farmers – they MUST be people who do this for an entire career, and they must be able to support themselves and their families all the while. How ya gonna pay for all this?

  • Mark Eden

    Ruvy, here’s my favorite from my father that might give you a clue about where I’m coming from:

    Haim: Ah Yankel, we’re getting old.

    Yankel: True, true old friend and what are the chances that we’ll live forever.

    Haim: ……..one in a million?

    Mark

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Reading anarchist writers and studying the subject for years…

    There are admittedly many views in Anarchism. Could you give me some examples of some Anarchist writers who support that view then? If you would be so kind.

    Cindy, I’d submit that you’re attempting to redefine anarchism, perhaps based on the efforts of past groups you admire to do the same thing.

    Okay, please show me the Anarchist writers who are using your definition.

    RE: “the illustration above of the hairdressing shops” See the post #317 which I addressed to you. It’s the example I quoted. The one Clav was commenting on.

    It is a real world example from the link that detailed the list of some of the achievements of the Anarchists in Barcelona. In this real world example, Capitalism had succeeded in leaving people poor, without healthcare, unemployed. As it has in Argentina. As it has been doing for the marginalized and is now beginning to do for the middle class in the United States.

    I’ll repost the link: Sampler of some successes of the Anarchists in Spain.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    First of all who do you think manufactures things now? People manufacture things. What do you mean by suggesting “the people who do this can’t be farmers”. This is sort of funny. What do you think Anarchists are going to do, kill off everyone with skills in those areas and make everyone become farmers?

    What kind of idea can you have? Anarchism will blast people back to the stone age? Who do you think paid the Anarchists in Barcelona to create hospitals in bourgeois hotels and offer free healthcare for everyone? Who paid them to build an optical factory and begin manufacturing opera glasses and other things?

    Are they going to be doing all that PROFESSIONAL work for free?

    Work is work. No one works for free.

    It takes a huge amount of money, raw material and manpower to build even a factory…

    We are “America”, we have a huge amount of money, raw material and manpower.

    I really don’t understand what you can possibly be thinking Anarchism is? Everyone running around growing pot? It’s civilization Glenn. The same civilization we have now. Medicine, art, literature, automobiles, etc.

    You didn’t get The Take I see.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    If the situation had produced enormously more hairdressers than the market would allow then I would submit that there were factors other than capitalism at work. My first guess would be either some sort of post-mercantilist guild system or some functionally similar form of socialism. Proliferation of superfluous jobs and businesses is fundamentally uncharacteristic of capitalism. Your mistake is in assuming that Spain had ever practiced any form of relatively unrestricted market capitalism.

    There are admittedly many views in Anarchism. Could you give me some examples of some Anarchist writers who support that view then? If you would be so kind.

    What you’re promoting is essentially a form of revolutionary anarchism called anarcho-syndicalism. It makes the compromise between pure anarchism (in which there is no law, government, society or structure beyond he individual) and reality by admitting to mutualism and the creation of collectives and associations. This form of anarchism originates with Proudhon and reached its clearest definition with Bakunin.

    The alternative is individualist anarchism which solves the problem of pure anarchism not really working by accepting the idea that law must exist to protect the rights of individuals and minorities so that they can exercise those rights. Instead of collectivism it ultimately embraces individual enterprise and market capitalism as ways of getting things done in cooperation with others. I’d trace this tradition back to Frederic Bastiat, but most people start with William Godwin and Max Stirner and then include Herbert Spencer, Lysander Spooner and F. A. Hayek as good sources to read.

    As you’ve probably heard me say before the ultimate division between these two political traditions is whether you believe that rights are individual or collective.

    Dave

  • Mark Eden

    As I’m repeating myself, I say one more time and then bugger off: the ‘individual’ that Dave posits and showers rights on doesn’t exist. The individual isn’t simply a member of a collective, he is the collective.

    Mark

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    What on earth does jargon like this mean?

    The individual isn’t simply a member of a collective, he is the collective.

    You can be an individual and you can also be PART of a group, but one person cannot BE a group.

    And if individuals did not exist, we would not have the word ‘I’ in almost every language and we would not need names.

    Mark has a particular issue with the existence of individuals because only with the existence of individuals can you have individual property ownership, which he basically sees as the source of all evil.

    Sadly his fervent desire for us all to be part of one big hive is entirely contradicted by the basic nature of human existence.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Then tell me, Cindy –

    How exactly will the money be collected?

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Money, what money? In our anarchist paradise it will all be barter.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    glenn: “If you can point out a country that can relieve us from the duty it has become, then by all means please do so!”

    but it’s not really our duty. it’s one we’ve assumed, but that assumption has caused us and others as much grief as it has been a force for good in the world. we’re well beyond the point where we need to be doing this, and the world would probably agree.

    we have an organization out there, the u.n., which was built, in some ways, to relieve us of that duty. i’m not sure that the u.n. is quite capable yet of doing it, but there’s nothing like taking away the safety net (that would be us) to push someone (like the u.n.) into accepting the responsibility they have.

    i know that a lot of people see the u.n. as ineffective because they can’t seem to agree on what to do. that’s true. but when no one agrees with our ideas on what to do, we just go gung-ho unilateral into it anyway, and it nearly always seems to backfire. then we blame the u.n. when there’s a situation that needs taking care of, but we’re just too damn busy to take care of it. see darfur.

    we’re in a no-win situation continuing as the police of the world. it’s time to let it go. when something is really worth taking care of, the u.n. WILL have to respond if they know we WON’T (on our own). then again, see darfur.

  • Mark Eden

    And Dave, desperate to justify the expropriation of surplus value for private ends, denies the existence of the collective unconscious.

    Mark

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I’m an atheist, Mark. I don’t believe in the ‘collective unconscious’ or other gods.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    ex-fish: “Oh, and Zing, there are no ‘devil’s advocates’ in a firefight. You might keep that in mind.”

    thing is, i ain’t taking part in your “firefight.” i’m not really arguing about anarchism, just the way we use our army.

    but if you insist, the idea of anarchism in america is pretty far-fetched. it may be an easy thing to say if you’re living in the back woods somewhere, but i live in new york, and this place would grind to a halt so fast, it’s not even laughable. it’s just not an option here.

    i like the IDEA of anarchism about as much as i like the idea of communism. a beautiful dream… but it just doesn’t work in reality. i have no idea where cindy lives. but it’s certainly not here.

  • Mark Eden

    How about the second order number class? Just getting there is half the fun.

    And what’s your take on serendipity?

    There are numerous intersubjective phenomena that lend credence to Jung’s notions about how human thought is organized.

    The ‘atheism’ and denial that you claim to cling to — which I actually don’t believe for a second that you do — is one dimensional and ‘in the box’. The basis for good engineering.

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    (that last to Dave)

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Mark, being an atheist is only an outcome of being a rationalist and an empiricist. Until I see positive evidence of a god I’m going to remain skeptical. Same for any of your other fuzzy hypothetical fantasies.

    But you know, I’m moderate too. I’m perfectly willing to accept the idea that god or oversouls or telepathy or whatever is possible. I just see no reason to believe any of it without definitive proof.

    Dave

  • STM

    I’ve always believed that models for the coming global economy should be modelled on the 1936 Hairdresser’s Uprising in Barcelona.

    Geez, we’ve got some stuff to learn here.

    And I’ve always said: “what the world needs is more radical hairdressers”.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I’ve always been fascinated by the economics of barbershops myself. They’re pure entrpreneurial collectivism in action. Everyone is an independent contractor works on a percentage and pays a portion to the ‘house’ and somehow they manage to make a decent living doing it. Most have a boss of some sort who put up the initial capital and manages things, but realistically he’s almost unnecessary.

    In fact, if there’s a single profession more ideally suited to Cindy’s anarcho-syndicalist worldview I can’t think of it.

    Dave

  • STM

    Mate, barbers are different to hairdressers though … you must know that.

    Barbers get through more haircuts per day with far less hot air (literally) and WAY less mincing in the case of blokes, but of course at far lower cost per cut, while haidressers tend to need three or four people for the one job: the apprentice doing the wash; the senior cutter; the colourist, and then the junior (sweeping up).

    Mate, it’s not as simple as everyone thinks, this stuff.

    Nevertheless, I have read the stuff on the Great Barcelona Hairdresser’s Uprising of 1936, and must say I’m impressed.

  • STM

    Of course, the above reason is why my haircuts cost $15, and my wife and daughter have to get a quote for theirs first in case they need a colourist.

    Last time, my daughter’s hairdo cost me – wait for it – the best part of $350.

    My son doesn’t bother too much. He just spends an hour trying to make his hair look like he hasn’t done anything to it.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I have a teenage daughter too. I’ve paid about $350 for a cut, style and highlight. But if you think that’s scary, wait until they want to go to spa and get a facial and other beautification treatments. It makes the hairdo look cheap.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    So let’s go ahead and bring our forces back from all our overseas bases, cut the military down to a purely defensive force, and use the money for more sensible purposes.

    What do you think would happen? Do you really think the U.N. would be able to stop either Russia or China? If China decided to assimilate Taiwan, do you really think the U.N. would even try to stop them? If China decided to colonize the long-disputed oil fields of the Spratly Islands, do you really think the U.N. could stop them?

    I hate to use a comic book for a reference, but Spiderman’s uncle put it best: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Regardless of the source, that is a true statement. We are the most powerful country on the planet (despite Bush’s efforts), and so we carry the greatest responsibility of the nations.

    Like it or not, that’s the position we’re in, and we will not get out of it until someone else can take our place. Nature abhors a vacuum, remember?

  • zingzing

    are you saying we would try to take on china right now?

    it’s not our army that keeps china at bay. it’s our money. (and even that’s slipping away.)

    if you can think of some better examples than china… you might have a point.

    and the u.n. should take our place. they’re just too damn lazy.

  • bliffle

    Glenn asks:

    “So let’s go ahead and bring our forces back from all our overseas bases, cut the military down to a purely defensive force, and use the money for more sensible purposes.

    What do you think would happen? ”

    Apparently, we’d give the money to our richest citizens, and/or bailout our biggest most inept businesses.

    Damn welfare queens!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    The U.S. could get out of lots of places now, and leave other countries to look after themselves. It would save the U.S. lots of money and other resources, not to mention stimulating more self reliance on the part of our “allies;” probably a good thing.

    Mothballing existing military equipment should not be a major problem (aside from the probably resultant disinclination to produce updated military equipment). If we could simply bring our troops home, freeze dry them, put them (and their families) on no-pay status, and then immediately reconstitute them when needed, this might work. However, the freeze drying technology does not seem to be available yet, and I suspect that some of the troops might object even if it were.

    When the Korean Conflict broke out in June of 1950 — quite unexpectedly, it seems — U.S. active duty forces had been cut well below normal peacetime strength. President Truman had even been giving some thought to getting rid of the Marines altogether. His Secretary of Defense, Louis A. Johnson, had, in support of President Truman’s policies, “cut military spending to the bone and then through the bone.” It was a big mess, and Johnson “resigned” in September 1950, three months after South Korea had been invaded.

    Despite this, it was thought (and I agree with the thought) necessary to keep the North Koreans, assisted by their Chinese and Russian friends, from successfully taking over South Korea. A substantial military build-up, including massive call-ups of reserves, was needed. It took longer than if the U.S. had had an adequate freeze dried military force to reconstitute. I don’t know what the numbers are now, but suspect that the reserves available for immediate recall to active duty may well be fewer in number than in 1950.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    No, it’s NOT our army that keeps China from taking over Taiwan. It’s our NAVY. I can personally remember more than once during my Naval career that China started making threatening noises and massing forces in ‘exercises’ on the part of their coast closest to Taiwan.

    And what did we do? “Where’s the nearest carrier?” Our carrier battle groups – even by just doing circles in the water a thousand miles away – are a very effective deterrent, because the Chinese Navy – subs or surface – cannot compare with our own.

    zing, the two most important missions of the Navy (1) to fight and win, and (2) to prevent armed conflict by showing the flag, just like last month when U.S. Navy vessels pulled into the Republic of Georgia in order to show our implicit support. Do you really think China laughs when they see a carrier in Hong Kong harbor? Do you really think Russia wants to become aggressive once more in the Indian Ocean so long as our ships are there?

    In other words, zing, without the U.S. the total combined might of the U.N. would be insufficient to stop either Russia or China…and they all know it.

    Like it or not, we’re the only ones who can do it…and if we put ourselves in a position where we can’t, then as I said earlier, Nature abhors a vacuum.

  • Clavos

    Neither our army nor our navy are keeping the Chinese at bay these days.

    Our dollars are.

  • zingzing

    glenn, i’ll have to agree with clavos agreeing with me. if china was hellbent on getting taiwan, even if they knew we’d stick our nose in, they’d just do it. the time’s coming when they’ll be able to do that without a second thought. even now, the idea of what would happen to their economy weighs more heavily than a spoonful or a ton.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos and zing –

    For the moment, you’re right – it is our dollars keeping them at bay.

    But not so long ago, that wasn’t the case, was it? It would be a grave mistake to think that can’t be the case again.

    And whatever you may say about China, such certainly doesn’t apply to Russia.

    Again, like it or not, it’s on us.

  • zingzing

    the only reason we have this “power” or “responsibility” is because we’ve poured so much cash into it. if we can do it, anyone (within reason) can. i’d bet you that if the u.n. were in the position that we are in, a lot of americans would be screaming junk about a world government, etc. “the tyranny of the powerful,” etc.

    we aren’t the world’s protectors. we just keep things the way we want them. you may call it a “responsibility,” but i’m not so sure it’s even our “right.”

  • bliffle

    Yes, we keep things the way we want them. It’s a preemptive strategy: by volunteering to be the worlds policemen we are able to control police policy. It’s a strategy we’ve been following for 60 years, at great cost. It works pretty good as long as we align our policies somewhat with general approval.

    But policemen, seemingly, always make the same mistake: they think they can end crime Once And For All with some big push against “Mister Big”, who is seen as the source of all evil. Once we get Mr. Big, the theory seems to go, crime will wither away.

    But it never seems to work: knock off Mr. Big and a new volunteer jumps up to create an Evil Empire.

    Maybe we should be satisfied with just confining crime, rather than eradicating it.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    No, you’re wrong on that one. The reason why we became the ‘arsenal of democracy’ is because we’re the only one that COULD. The Soviets might still have defeated Nazi Germany if we’d never joined in…but maybe they wouldn’t have, either. The U.N. certainly didn’t have the wherewithal to protect South Korea, and NOBODY else could have hoped to stand against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

    We were the only one that COULD, and that’s why we DID.

    China seems to have gotten a clue about aggressive wars…but even in 2004 China was threatening war against Taiwan by 2008; and can anyone doubt that Russia is becoming like her old incarnation of the Soviet Union?

    So SURE, zing, you can go bury your head in the sand, but this particular bleeding-heart liberal knows that we’re the only one who can truly stand up to either China or Russia if push comes to shove.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    bliffle – Some people think that it would be a more productive, if less headline grabbing, approach if there was an effort to deal with the causes of crime rather than the symptoms.

    As to Russia and China, sure a big stick is necessary but keeping meaningful lines of communication open is just as important.

  • zingzing

    but glenn, you must admit that we certainly gained by taking on the ussr. certainly, we were one of the most powerful nations in the world following ww1. and following ww2, the u.n. was either so young or so devastated by the war that of course they had no hope of taking on the ussr. we stepped in, and a battle between the u.s. and ussr produced two superpowers, who’s arsenal and willingness to spend on military was unmatched around the world. europe faded into our spheres of influence on the east/west divide, while the rest of the world was either begging at one of our doorsteps or was left to rot.

    now why did we bother with vietnam and korea, while leaving china alone? i don’t really know, but if you had to choose your battles, i guess i can see the logic. and what of cuba and south america? why did we put so little effort into our own back yard?

    i’m one to bet that yes, we did want to contain the ussr, but not for any humanitarian reason. we wanted our influence to spread so that our coffers would grow. and they did. and then we did nothing but spend the ussr into the grave, thereby becoming the only true superpower.

    of course, life at the top unopposed led to some floundering, and that’s where we find ourselves today, with an armed forced stretched to the breaking point by our hubris, hundreds of billions of dollars pissed into the wind, and with our stock in the world at an all-time low.

    when we became this superpower, was there even a fax machine? even when we became the only superpower, was news and opinion so instant? today, communication makes this world a much smaller, more interconnected place. no one person or country has to get anything done by themselves. we can become a part of that world, with its shared responsibility, or we can continue down this path of unilateral gung-ho nonsense that has gotten us into this mess.

    it makes sense for our economy, for our standing in the world and for the world itself. we aren’t their masters. in fact, we’re barely our own masters anymore. the nations of the world depend upon each other to get things done in nearly every sense.

    so, no, i don’t have my head in the sand. i took my head out of the sand and saw the changing tide. or something like that.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Chris – “As to Russia and China, sure a big stick is necessary but keeping meaningful lines of communication open is just as important.”

    PRECISELY!

    zing – Please excuse me – I think I may have sounded pompous but that wasn’t my intention. I apologize.

    Yes, we DID spend the Soviet Union into the dustbin of history…but is there any doubt that if we hadn’t done so, if we hadn’t built and maintained our military, that the Soviets wouldn’t have decided to ‘unify’ Germany by force, and to continue westward from there?

    And as you point out, the world is now much more interdependent than ever before – but this has not removed and will not remove the threat of aggressive war and tyranny. Even though it starting to look as if Russia’s invasion of Georgia may very well have been Georgia’s fault, it was still an invasion, an aggressive war. China’s threat against Taiwan was only four years ago. Tensions are still mounting between Thailand and Malaysia. And then there’s the small matter of protecting the flow of much of the world’s oil supply coming through the Strait of Hormuz…not so far from the nuclear-armed states of Pakistan and India (who hate each other and fight the occasional war)…and let’s not forget Shi’a Iran and their nuclear ambition next door to Sunni Pakistan and not far from Wahhabi-Sunni Saudi Arabia.

    zing, as I’ve said several times, nature abhors a vacuum. If we pull back, who takes our place? And would the new power have America’s best interests at heart?

    Hey – I think we could cut the military budget by a full third, perhaps more – there’s lots of major items we simply don’t need (starting with my beloved carrier battle groups), whose missions can be accomplished by other means…but we must not abandon our forward-deployed posture.

  • zingzing

    “If we pull back, who takes our place?”

    that, of course, would be the u.n., which we would be a part of. we just need to convince them that we aren’t going to do it alone anymore. they’re pissed off when we go off by ourselves, and they’ll be pissed off by us entering the fold. but it’s their choice, which is the only thing they’ll like about it.

    and we don’t do it all at once… we (hopefully) can do this over a number of (peaceful?) years. announce our intention to do so, then slowly start cutting military funds for unnecessary items.

    “And would the new power have America’s best interests at heart?”

    like hell they would. but america’s best interests ride on the world’s best interests these days. and if we fully integrate ourselves into that world, that statement will be even more true. sharing the risk of our world economy means that we will really all be in this together. like us, the rest of the world really doesn’t give a shit if it doesn’t hurt their wallet. so if our wallets are all interconnected, then so are our intentions.

    and the world rings in true harmony.

    mhmm. not even i believe that’s totally true. but, it’s certainly better than the crap we have now.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    “america’s best interests ride on the world’s best interests these days”

    You and I are in full agreement on that one. I wish that the Republicans could get a clue and understand that, too.

    And I could agree that if we told the U.N. that we’re going to lower our military assistance to them, that the other nations MIGHT bulk up their own military might…but I doubt it.

    zing, any fight by the U.N. becomes a war led by committee. Sure, there’s always one leader, but the politics involved in holding it together must be hideous.

    I believe that for our own sakes we must (among other things) slash the military budget…but we MUST not fritter away our ability to project (non-nuclear) power overseas now or in the future as long as America is a superpower…and this includes keeping many of our overseas bases.

    Picture tomorrow’s headlines: Vladimir Putin dissolves the Duma and resumes the presidency of Russia, and there is no apparent expiration date set on his presidency. He declares that (in addition to the missiles that are even NOW being placed close to the Polish border), he’s going to rebuild their military to the level of professionalism it once knew.

    Could even the potential combined might of the U.N. (without the U.S.) hope to stand against a truly resurgent Russia? How many would desert the U.N. to be on Russia’s side? And do NOT underestimate the Russians – after all, it was the RUSSIANS that came up with stealth technology, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and a host of other weapons systems that we’ve since copied and improved upon.

    So what’s wiser – to stay on top, or to back down and hope that the other U.N. nations step up to the plate?

    Sorry, zing, but as I keep saying, it’s on us. We’re the only one that can.

  • zingzing

    “Could even the potential combined might of the U.N. (without the U.S.) hope to stand against a truly resurgent Russia?”

    when did we leave the u.n.?

    and do you think russia’s economy could support the type of buildup you’re talking about?

    “as long as America is a superpower…”

    i see the end of that (or at least of us being the only one) coming really fast.

    “So what’s wiser – to stay on top, or to back down and hope that the other U.N. nations step up to the plate?”

    for right now, i can see the logic of what you are saying. but the future is changing rapidly, and has been for some time. in a long term view, i (obviously) see the second option as the only logical choice.

    “any fight by the U.N. becomes a war led by committee. Sure, there’s always one leader, but the politics involved in holding it together must be hideous.”

    and what of the politics holding our unilateral decisions? it’s hideous already. like i said earlier, the u.n. will only come together over money. let the world economy point the way.

  • bliffle

    I agree with Christopher: “Some people think that it would be a more productive, if less headline grabbing, approach if there was an effort to deal with the causes of crime rather than the symptoms.”.

    Probably we need both police and social reform. It just seems (to warriors) that warfare is cheaper and more conclusive, but the last 50 years it’s becoming apparent that warfare continues forever. There is seldom a conclusive victorious end.

  • STM

    Glenn: “the nuclear-armed states of Pakistan and India (who hate each other and fight the occasional war)…”

    Not much chance of that happening again in the immediate future. They’ve only recently started playing Test cricket against each other again, and that’s WAY more important than war.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    STM –

    When the U.S. and the Soviet Union played hockey in the ’78 Olympics – was it in ’78? – we hated each other. We played hockey…but our armed forces still played chicken, armed to the teeth and spoiling for a fight….

    But I have to admit that cricket – like real football (not the American kind) – is certainly more important than shooting guns at each other.

    Now if Bush, Cheney and Rove had understood that….

  • STM

    Seriously Glenn, it’s quite true. You have to understand their passion for the game. It’s insane. I’ve never seen anything like it. Every street corner on the subcontinent has a bunch of kids with a cricket bat, belting a ball around. We love the game here to the point where it can be all-consuming, but they take it to another level completely.

    The fact they’d stopped playing against each other because of the ill feeling was one of the reasons that sparked a softening of their respective stances, because it brought them to their senses.

    It was almost like, “Well, is this how far we’ve come?” Simply, they couldn’t stand not playing cricket against each other.

    Obviously, there’s way, way, way, more to it than that …. but on the subcontinent, cricket is an issue of national importance.

    Among the ordinary people, even more important than the global economy, the US election, nuclear weapons, etc.

  • zingzing

    glenn, that would be 1980. the miracle on ice. i’ve seen a couple of documentaries on it, and every time i watch one, i cry like a damn baby. dunno why. the end of purple rain has the same effect.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    STM –

    Y’know, I think this might be one of those times that I am so unfamiliar with the overall picture – in this case, that of the effect of sports passions on a nation’s international relations – that I will have to defer to you. If your other posts are any indication, you’re straightforward and truthful. I hope you’re right…and you may well be.

    zing –

    Doggone it – I should have known 1980! I can still remember the precise moment the news came over the airwaves and I yelled like a f***ing idiot with joy and pride. Of course, according to many I haven’t changed since that moment.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    First two questions: 1) If you had no taxes, would you, personally, voluntarily support a military that could defend your country? 2) How does PBS work?

    Here is Roderick T. Long’s Funding Public Goods: Six Solutions

    Also, I can’t resist taking one more jab at you for that “farmers can’t run the military” comment. If we can’t have an IMAX, Broadway theatre, and Museums in an Anarchistic society….I’m outta there.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Glenn,

    A lot of that has to be down to the general attitude of Americans towards international sport, i.e. you don’t have one.

    In your four major sports, any international representative competition pales in significance compared to your domestic championships (a prize to anyone who can name the current world champions – the actual world champions, not the Superbowl, NBA, World Series and Stanley Cup winners! – in American football*, basketball, baseball and ice hockey without looking them up).

    The exception, of course, is the Olympics, but even there US national pride generally devolves into an I-don’t-care-what-sport-it-is-let’s-just-see-how-many-gold-medals-we-can-win gratificationfest. The fact that there are other nations competing too is by the by.

    * Yes, there IS an American football world championship, despite the fact that no-one outside the US plays the sport with any degree of competence.

  • zingzing

    dread, you’re overstating the case just a tad. in general, i’d bet the average briton couldn’t name those champions, or even the world champions in a lot of the sports you people like either.

    shit, i can only name the lastest superbowl champion because it’s the new york team. i don’t know who won the nba, or the stanley cup last year. had to think about the world series, and that was last month.

    but i do know that spain is current world champ (and that the americans beat the shit out of everyone at the olympics) in basketball. dunno why i know that. baseball is japan. (maybe korea?) (no, it’s japan.) (right?) hockey, i dunno. i’d bet it’s someone from scandinavia or eastern europe. i had no idea they held a world football championship.

    a lot of people do keep up with this stuff. i’d bet, however, that the percentage of (male) britons who pay attention to sport is much higher than the percentage of male americans. i like sports, but i’m one of the few that does so in the circles i run in.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    No, zing, the average Brit could not name the world champions in those sports either. But I guarantee you that the average British sports fan will be able to tell you the current world champs in soccer (Italy) and rugby union (South Africa). Those are the only team sports that really matter; the others are much more limited-interest.

    Fandom and needling between teams is just as important and intense (if not more so) than any over on this side of the pond; but all the rivalries go out the window when it comes to international matches. The greatest honor for a player is to represent your country: it means you’re really, really good. The greatest achievement, period, in soccer is to win the World Cup.

    i don’t know who won the nba, or the stanley cup last year.

    The current NBA champs are the Celtics. I don’t know who won the Stanley Cup either. You know, for a supposedly major sport, hockey is incredibly difficult to watch on TV. I have to go to channel 176309 or something, and even then it’s pay-per-view. I’m not crying, though. Much as I’d like to like hockey, I can’t. I’ve been to watch our local minor league team a few times, and the game just doesn’t engage me. It’s odd: it should be an exciting sport, but it isn’t.

    but i do know that spain is current world champ (and that the americans beat the shit out of everyone at the olympics) in basketball.

    Team USA finally realized at the last Olympics that they weren’t going to automatically win gold just by showing up. If they continue with that attitude, Spain won’t be world champs for long, either.

    baseball is japan. (maybe korea?) (no, it’s japan.) (right?)

    Wrong. Japan won the inaugural World Baseball Classic, an MLB-sponsored tournament. It’s not the official world championship. (Although because major league players take part, it probably will have more clout than the official one if it catches on.) The current holders of that title are, believe it or not, the United States.

    hockey, i dunno. i’d bet it’s someone from scandinavia or eastern europe.

    Russia. Good call, but I’m surprised you didn’t say Canada.

    i had no idea they held a world football championship.

    Neither did I until I looked it up while researching my previous comment. (Although I had suspected that there might be such a thing.) The USA are the current champs in that, too. Ironically, the last tournament (2007) was the first time they’d entered.

    i’d bet, however, that the percentage of (male) britons who pay attention to sport is much higher than the percentage of male americans.

    Jeez, zing, I doubt it. What I have observed, though, is that the percentage of women who watch sports seems to be higher over here than in Britain.

  • zingzing

    i always forget about canada.

  • Cindy D

    I can’t name any champions in sports. I consider myself adequately educated (if only lucky) when I can match the name of a sports team correctly with the sport they play.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    That in itself gets confusing, Cindy. When I hear a commentator mention ‘the Cardinals’, I have to stop and think ‘wait – what sport is this? Are we talking about St Louis or Arizona’? And don’t even get me started on ‘the Giants’…

    Just be thankful you’re not in England, where about 80% of all soccer teams are ‘United’, ‘Town’ or ‘City’…

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    (I have two comments for you, I’ll break them up for the sake of sensibility. Sorry the length is necessary.)

    First, that was some excellent fancy footwork. Well done.

    You begin by saying a collectivist society which has implemented policy cannot be Anarchism in #330. You say: Cindy, what you describe in #317 is NOT anarchism…

    You repeat this in various ways in #344: …even if they were claiming to be anarchists, their collective ventures had effectively become a government even if they didn’t choose to admit it., in #370: What I said is that when the collective begins to make policy it becomes a government and not anarchistic.

    In #393:

    Me: “You are basically saying here–a society with rules cannot be Anarchistic. What leads you to that conclusion? It’s a wrong one.”

    You: Reading anarchist writers and studying the subject for years leads me to the conclusion and it’s not wrong. The level of anarchism in a society is inversely proportional to the level of law and rules in the society. That’s a basic tenet of anarchism. You can’t just deny it away.

    You tell me: Cindy, I’d submit that you’re attempting to redefine anarchism…

    You say what I am describing as Anarchism is: …a period of pre-authoritarian populism.

    In #400 I ask: “Okay, please show me the Anarchist writers who are using your definition.”

    Then in # 402:

    You go on to show me that, in fact, all the Anarchists understood society needs laws. And you, almost by slight of hand (or word), reduce your assertion that laws cannot exist in Anarchistic society to something that might best be used as a philosophical opening line to a term paper: That the Anarchists have to solve the problem of “pure anarchy” and they overcome this through laws geared toward individual rights or those geared toward collective rights.

    So, in all this discussion, I am to understand that you have been defending some theoretical abstraction about “pure anarchism” (best served by being an opening remark) rather than talking about the real world discourse of the Anarchists themselves.

    The point is Dave, you’ve just done a nice run around. Anarchistic society, as I said, requires and exists with laws. All Anarchist thinkers–and I have read some of all those you listed there (more of some, less of others, except Stirner and Hayek) in addition to Kropotkin, Malatesta, some minor ones, as well as the contemporary thinkers like Chomsky and Murray Bookchin, etc.–and never did I read that Anarchism could not exist without laws.

    You also say: What you’re promoting is essentially a form of revolutionary anarchism called anarcho-syndicalism.

    Yes, that is exactly correct. That is what I am doing. It’s also called Libertarian Social_ism or simply, Anarchism.

    On another point, I have to disagree about the Individualist Anarchists and their supposed natural progression into the ideas on anarcho-Capitalism.

    I ran into a problem, when I tried to post to Clav about Individualist Anarchists. The problem was that I was reading an anarcho-Capitalist on the subject, which was equating the Individualists with the anarcho-Capitalists. My reading of Godwin, for example, and even Spooner makes me understand that they were not Capitalists. Those who wrote about markets, in no way meant what is meant by Capitalism. Godwin, for example, was against private property, he advocated the necessity of giving one’s surplus to those in need. Spooner advocated an egalitarian society and was opposed to wage slavery.

    That the anarcho-Capitalists have co-opted these Individualists, says more about their attempt to legitimize Capitalism under anarchy. That is ridiculous. Anarchists are historically anti-capitalist until you get directly to the anarcho-Capitalists and I do not consider them Anarchists.

    So, regarding this comment you made:

    Instead of collectivism it [Individualist Anarchism] ultimately embraces individual enterprise [and free (i.e. non-monopolized) markets, in some cases] and market capitalism. That would be closer.

  • Cindy D

    RE my #449 (correction)

    make that:

    –and never did I read that Anarchism could not exist with laws.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Here is my second comment.

    RE # 402:

    Regarding Spain’s economy at the time of the Revolution in 1936, I don’t have enough information to debate. But then again, neither do you. Your understanding is based on the idea–that would never happen with relatively free market Capitalism. It’s not based on evidence. But my understanding is that Mercantilism was over in Spain by the 20th century.

    Proliferation of superfluous jobs and businesses is fundamentally uncharacteristic of capitalism.

    Tell that to the main street of every town in most of the counties surrounding and including mine over the last 35 years. There are constant struggles to maintain any kind of small shop. Yet they exist and are continually replaced, if only temporarily, until the capital of the owner runs out. It’s part of the Shopping Mall and WalMart effect. I cannot imagine it is different all across the country.

    RE # 375:

    As far as Catalonia being radically different from what we have here, that’s true. Anarchism has arisen in places (usually places with some history of people having accepted anarchist thought, like Paris, Spain, and Argentina) when there is a revolution in place or, in Argentina’s case, when simply faced with the utter failure of Capitalism. However, the failure of Capitalism in Argentina is not so different from what will likely happen here if we head toward a second great depression. If owners start closing down factories I expect that the same model being used in Argentina will flourish here.

    Anarchism seems to begin quite fairly. In Argentina, for example, the Capitalists abandon the factories leaving the workers with sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid labor. The Capitalists then try to sneak back into the factory and remove anything of value so they won’t have to sell it to pay the workers back pay. The workers can go through the court to take over the factory based on the money they are owed. They can also negotiate directly with a reasonable owner.

    By the way, in the Paris Commune when workers took over businesses they also were required to pay the owner. The same is true for Argentina, I read an article (can’t find it) that suggested trouble for some businesses in Argentina that had not paid the owner.

    As a pacifist, the idea of non-violent change appeals to me. I limit my help for the cause to sabotage and peaceful advocacy rather than violence. So, a natural failure of Capitalism is what I prefer to a revolution.

    Anyway: so much for your theory of Anarchists unjustly ripping the means of production from the Capitalist’s hands Dave.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Cindy, I’m not going to respond to you point by point because your argument is essentially circular and pointless. I’m just going to make a couple of clear statements for you.

    First, anarchism ceases to be anarchism when you impose a system of law. It becomes anarchism with some sort of hyphenated modifier or some different system altogether because laws imply a structure which is inherently non anarchic. Anarchism cannot BE anarchism in any pure sense in a system where structures exist which are larger or more enduring than immediate relationships between individuals. If you have collective agreements or systems of law, you may still have some anarchist ideas in your system, but it is no longer definable solely as anarchism.

    never did I read that Anarchism could not exist with laws.

    Start at the most basic level. Anarchism means ‘without strucutre’. Laws exist to impose structure. Therefore laws are contrary to anarchism. A society may have anarchism as its gaol, but if it is practicing something else which is 80% some other structure and 20% anarchism then how can you define it as anarchism?

    Proliferation of superfluous jobs and businesses is fundamentally uncharacteristic of capitalism.

    Tell that to the main street of every town in most of the counties surrounding and including mine over the last 35 years. There are constant struggles to maintain any kind of small shop.

    Exactly. Capitalism dictates that those superfluous businesses will be eliminated by the force of the market when there is more efficient competition.

    Regarding Spain’s economy at the time of the Revolution in 1936, I don’t have enough information to debate. But then again, neither do you. Your understanding is based on the idea–that would never happen with relatively free market Capitalism. It’s not based on evidence. But my understanding is that Mercantilism was over in Spain by the 20th century.

    Except that I have read plenty of history on Spain and it had one of the most backwards economies in Europe, based on patronage and paternalism and anything but capitalist in character. It had been kept in a just post-medieval status deliberately by the monarchy through the end of the 19th century. It was the country in western Europe most similar economically to eastern European countries like Russia.

    My reading of Godwin, for example, and even Spooner makes me understand that they were not Capitalists. Those who wrote about markets, in no way meant what is meant by Capitalism. Godwin, for example, was against private property, he advocated the necessity of giving one’s surplus to those in need. Spooner advocated an egalitarian society and was opposed to wage slavery.

    Capitalism does NOT mean wage slavery. Wage slavery is a product of social imbalances which are not created by capitalism. At heart, a capitalist society IS egalitarian. Who can you point to who was in favor of wage slavery except maybe David Ricardo?

    As for Godwin, he believed in private property, but he believed that the established structures of property ownership were unfair and thought that property ought to be distributed based on ability to use it productively. Obviously he was highly influenced by the utilitarians.

    I wonder if when you talk about capitalism you are thinking about the subset of capitalism which I’d call corporatism, where the accumulation of capital is distorted by the pooling of resources in the form of corporations? Corporate capitalism has proven to be very productive and competitive, but it can become a problem when government begins to act to serve and promote business rather than regulating it.

    If owners start closing down factories I expect that the same model being used in Argentina will flourish here.

    Chances are that if owners start shutting down factories it’s because they cannot be run competitively and unless the factor making those factories unprofitable are eliminated (unions) no one will be able to reopen them.

    And do stop talking about Argentina. Nothing which has ever happened in the Argentinian economy has EVER worked for any extended period of time. They just go from disaster to disaster.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Concerning what you said about the “general attitude of Americans towards international sport”, that we simply don’t have one.

    Yes, you’re right. America has focused so much on itself that it often simply doesn’t acknowledge the rest of the world. This is one reason why we can’t seem to learn the same lessons that ALL the rest of the industrialized democracies have learned about Universal Health Care.

    When I was growing up, it was almost unthinkable that a REAL American might consider living in another country – after all, what could be the possible benefit in that?

    But after joining the Navy and seeing the world, it became fairly obvious that America – as much as I love her and would still defend her to my dying breath – is not the best or safest or happiest place to live.

    I mean, we’re the only country where it’s considered patriotic to only know how to speak one language! Good grief!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And do stop talking about Argentina. Nothing which has ever happened in the Argentinian economy has EVER worked for any extended period of time. They just go from disaster to disaster.

    Except that Argentina, despite all its economic troubles, is now one of the most prosperous and stable countries in South America. They must be doing something right.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    “1) If you had no taxes, would you, personally, voluntarily support a military that could defend your country? 2) How does PBS work?”

    You’re trying to get me to prove your point for you. Uh-uh. Old sayings become old sayings for a reason, Cindy – and here’s one for you: “Nothing is as sure as death and taxes”.

    There are only two possibilities, Cindy – taxes…or voluntary contributions that are NOT required and NOT forced in any way, shape, or form. All else are pipe dreams – they might work on small scales, but NOT on a truly national scale.

    And you’re telling us that voluntary contributions would pay the hundreds of billions not only for defense, but hundreds of billions more for our national road system (Billions for pavement! Not one penny for a politician!), tens of billions for our schools…the list goes on.

    And you REALLY think these sums can be raised through voluntary contributions? FYI, according to the Wikipedia, PBS gets 40-49% of its funding from…TAXES!

    NOTHING is as sure as death and taxes, Cindy. Sorry, but THAT is reality.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Correction to my #445:

    I forgot about cricket, although the World Cup in that sport is not as important as the annual Test Match series between the major cricket-playing nations. Nevertheless, the average Brit who’s up on his or her sports should be able to tell you that the current world champions are – surprise, surprise – Australia.

    And to my #448:

    Actually, it’s more like 40%. I tallied them up (yes, I really am that tragic). Of the 92 senior professional football clubs in England (what you’d call major league), 28 of them don’t have second names – they just go by the name of the town or suburb they represent (except for one, which is named after the place of work of those who founded it, and another which bears the name of a now-defunct Victorian theme park). There are 14 Citys (should that be Cities?), 13 Uniteds, 11 Towns, 4 Rovers, 3 Athletics, 3 Countys, 3 Wanderers, 2 Albions and 11 assorted others.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    My reasoning cannot be circular because it consisted of a single simple assertion, thus: All Anarchist thinkers through time hold that Anarchist society is not inconsistent with laws. Period. No circles.

    You are apparently thinking of your own logic. Which runs around in circles discussing “pure anarchy” as a means of back-peddling to cover your earlier position. I cannot think of a single Anarchist who would run me around in these circles by telling me Anarchism (the political state thereof) cannot have laws. It has accepted precepts. I can only think of one person who is going to discount 250 years of accepted thought by suggesting a well-known philosophy ought best be first run through the dictionary definition, and then having done so, announce that isn’t what it is. That person is you Dave.

    Except that I have read plenty of history on Spain and it had one of the most backwards economies in Europe, based on patronage and paternalism and anything but capitalist in character. It had been kept in a just post-medieval status deliberately by the monarchy through the end of the 19th century.

    Can you give me a reference? Because I have been reading and can find no such information.

    Capitalism dictates that those superfluous businesses will be eliminated by the force of the market when there is more efficient competition are giant monopolies. Monopolies, for example, that would give Lysander Spooner a stroke!

    Capitalism does NOT mean wage slavery. Wage slavery is a product of social imbalances which are not created by capitalism. At heart, a capitalist society IS egalitarian.

    What then are millions of United States citizens doing going to work unless it is for wages. Wage slavery is inherent in Capitalism.

    Chances are that if owners start shutting down factories it’s because they cannot be run competitively and unless the factor making those factories unprofitable are eliminated (unions) no one will be able to reopen them.

    They are doing just that in Argentina.

    I chose this quote last as it is a good sight to see you say anything even remotely like this.

    I wonder if when you talk about capitalism you are thinking about the subset of capitalism which I’d call corporatism, where the accumulation of capital is distorted by the pooling of resources in the form of corporations? Corporate capitalism has proven to be very productive and competitive, but it can become a problem when government begins to act to serve and promote business rather than regulating it.

    I am wondering what you mean when you speak of Capitalism.

    It would be interesting to know.

    For now, I am off overnight. If I made any mistakes I’ve no time to look.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    I’ll get back tomorrow.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Except that Argentina, despite all its economic troubles, is now one of the most prosperous and stable countries in South America. They must be doing something right.

    Come again? They’ve been all over the news for leading the way into worldwide economic disaster. They’re the country that just this evening confirmed that they actually are going to seize private pension funds as they previously discussed. Plus they’re about to nationalize the airlines and I’m sure it will go on and on. Oh, and they’re buddying up to the Chinese. All signs of a good, stable country, right?

    Maybe you’re confusing their political and economic situation with their success in soccer? Or maybe you confused Argentina with Brazil?

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m just going by what I actually observed on the ground when I was there, Dave. Especially in comparison with Peru, where one gets the impression that there could be a revolution at any minute. There are armored cars stationed all around the main square in front of the presidential palace in Lima, which isn’t something you’ll see outside the Casa Rosada.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I’ll grant you that Peru isn’t winning any prizes for lack of chaos, but they do have an active, ongoing rebellion in the country, which means security is likely to be heightened. Still, I’d take Brazil or Chile over Argentina any day.

    Dave

  • STM

    Zing: “in general, i’d bet the average briton couldn’t name those champions, or even the world champions in a lot of the sports you people like either”.

    Actually, as Doc well knows, most Britons know that they would get a pass on that question a lot of the time if they just wrote down “Australia” in the world champions category for a whole range of sports.

    Hate blowing my own trumpet (well, not really :), but in this case I’m being serious for once.

    I don’t quite know why this is the case, but I suspect it’s got a lot to do with a) the outdoors lifestyle and the desire of Australians to participate in sports rather than watch them, and b) an inbuilt genetic need to beat the Poms, which has since flowed out to a genetic inbuilt need to beat every other bastard, too.

    I have to say, though, that our manic win-at-all-costs attitude does become tedious at times.

    Even soccer is growing as a sport in this country after our showing at the last world cup, and belting the shit out of England in one of the Autumn-tour rugby Tests at Twickenham (world headquarters of evil) last week has brightened the sombre and shamed mood brought on by our recent cricket series loss to India.

    Sporting defeats in this country bring on periods of national mourning. For a few days, anyhow, until we win at something else.

  • Cindy D

    Argentina is the poster child today for the problems inherent in completely implementing Chicago School style Capitalism. Along with the mistake of arbitrarily tying the currency to the U.S. currency.

    It is an economic disaster. But it is bringing about the wonderful freedom and equality found only in Anarchism.

    Stay tuned, you may yet get to see this first hand.

  • Cindy D

    If you’re lucky!

  • Clavos

    Economically, Argentina has been a basket case beginning as far back as the first of the numerous Perón regimes, and it has nothing to do with economic schools of thought, Chicago or otherwise.

    Though adored by the Argentine public, Juan Perón, and later, his wife, Evita, wrought mayhem on the country. The country still struggles with that legacy.

    I did a lot of business in Argentina in the seventies, and the combination of red tape and corruption made it extremely difficult to get anything accomplished.

    These days, I have a client in Buenos Aires who is in the finance business, and his tales of of the trials and tribulations he faces (mostly at the hands of the government) on a daily basis are truly impressive.

    And it’s a shame. I’ve traveled there a number of times — it’s easily one of the most (if not THE most) cultured and sophisticated countries in Latin America, and although its citizens are the butt of jokes in virtually every other LatAm country because of their perceived arrogance and hubris, they are actually a very warm and friendly people.

    But its troubles, past and present are, as they are and have been throughout LatAm, the result of corruption and inept government/leadership.

    As to the “pernicious” Chicago School: one of the strongest economies in LatAm is Chile’s. It was structured in part under the tutelage of Milton Friedman, who was invited by a private foundation to lecture at the University of Chile in 1975. Contrary to popular myth, Friedman did not work for the Pinochet government, but he was a strong influence on a number of Chilean economists (many of whom studied in Chicago), and he was instrumental in designing the current Chilean economy.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    For a ‘basket case’ of an economy, Argentina certainly doesn’t seem to be driving too many of its people into penury.

    I saw one slum in Buenos Aires, and it took up half a city block. In Rio and Saõ Paulo, they’re everywhere. Same goes for Lima, which has South America’s largest shanty town, Villa El Salvador, home to half a million people.

  • Cindy D

    RE: #455

    Glenn,

    Simply because you are happy living in a country that bullies and warmongers doesn’t mean there is no other choice.

    “1) If you had no taxes, would you, personally, voluntarily support a military that could defend your country?”

    You’re trying to get me to prove your point for you. Uh-uh. Old sayings become old sayings for a reason, Cindy – and here’s one for you: “Nothing is as sure as death and taxes”.

    On the contrary, I am trying to get you to understand that people will pay for what they need. I will take the answer as a definitive yes. Yes you would voluntarily support a military.

    Now Glenn, try to imagine yourself as being a human being among other human beings, a social creature, whose ideas and beliefs are not so different from your countrymen. Point: So will other people voluntarily give.

    There are only two possibilities, Cindy – taxes…or voluntary contributions that are NOT required and NOT forced in any way, shape, or form. All else are pipe dreams…

    But, I presented other choices in Long’s 6 ways. One of my favorites:

    COCA-COLA: WE DEFEND AMERICA!

    But alas, Glenn says there are only two…he says this with nothing more than expelled hot air, but who am I to argue…he is a self-proclaimed expert. He doesn’t need any proof.

    And you’re telling us that voluntary contributions would pay the hundreds of billions not only for defense…

    What is China’s defense budget for a population 4 times our size? You simply can’t use our current budget. Why do we need such a big budget when we won’t be the world police?

    …but hundreds of billions more for our national road system (Billions for pavement! Not one penny for a politician!), tens of billions for our schools…the list goes on.

    What is your point? No one will want roads and schools? Look at all the money saved on not paying salaries to politicians.

    And you REALLY think these sums can be raised through voluntary contributions? FYI, according to the Wikipedia, PBS gets 40-49% of its funding from…TAXES!

    Right, I remember now actually having to do some work because Bush wanted to cut that.

    NOTHING is as sure as death and taxes, Cindy. Sorry, but THAT is reality.

    Glenn, I am currently learning some things about the Cold War from Gore Vidal. Some other things I am reading are suggesting we caused most of the problems to begin with. I’ll get back to you.

    Simply because you are stubborn Glenn and you like an authoritarian society and being the police (being very bad cops at that who end up damaging other countries) of the world-read here being able to crow about being the “super power” of the world as if we are in some football league, doesn’t mean nothing else will work.

    It may mean that you personally won’t like it. Too bad. Ten thousand children in this country go to bed hungry every night. That is because people like you can’t get over being the king of the hill.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    What ‘whole range’ of sports, Stan? Cricket, rugby league (probably… have they played the final yet? Isn’t it Australia v. thirteen ants?), and… what else?

    For a sport-crazy nation where every third person is an Olympic medallist, your haul of championships is pretty desultory right now.

  • STM

    I said most of the time, Doc, not ths year.

    A few years back some pommy journo wrote a story about it.

    It was: rugby, rugby league (which means beating your mob and the kiwis, which is no mean feat), cricket, netball, women’s hockey, men’s hockey, women’s surfing, men’s surfing, a whole bunch of swimming titles, lifesaving, etc etc

    This list was published in 2007, and the writer expressed concern that we were losing the plot because it wasn’t that impressive compared to the list that could have been compiled in 2003. Now you’d have to factor in some more gold medallists from the Beijing Games, take some away and the whole thing will be different now.

    (To be honest, I couldn’t give a rat’s as long as we’ve got some rugby silverware in the cabinet. And right now all we’ve got is bragging rights over England. I get really sick of how insane this country is about sport, but since you asked, the list foloows)

    Australian cricket team – Test and one-day internationals
    Australian rugby league team – from 2000 world cup
    Opals – women’s basketball
    Libby Lenton – 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly
    Leisel Jones – 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke
    Jessicah Schipper – 200m butterfly
    Australian women – 4×100m freestyle
    Australian women – 4×100m medley relay
    Australian men – 4×100m medley relay
    Casey Stoner – motorcycle GP
    Jana Rawlinson – women’s 400m hurdles
    Nathan Deakes – 50km walk
    Kate Bates – women’s point race cycling
    Anna Meares – 500m time trial cycling
    Sam Hill – men’s downhill mountain bike
    Tom Slingsby – Laser class sailing
    Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page – men’s 470 sailing
    Drew Ginn and Duncan Free – coxless pairs rowing
    Amber Halliday and Marguerite Houston – lightweight double sculls rowing
    Anthony Mundine – WBA super middleweight
    Michael Katsidis – WBO interim lightweight
    Sharon Anyos – WBC women’s featherweight
    Layne Beachley – women’s surfing
    Mick Fanning – men’s surfing
    Damien King – men’s bodyboarding
    Dale Begg-Smith – dual moguls skiing
    Torah Bright – superpipe snowboarding
    Kurt Fearnley – wheelchair marathon

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Bloody hell, Stan – the ants beat you!

  • Cindy D

    RE # 465

    Clav,

    Economically, Argentina has been a basket case beginning as far back as the first of the numerous Perón regimes, and it has nothing to do with economic schools of thought, Chicago or otherwise.

    Though adored by the Argentine public, Juan Perón, and later, his wife, Evita, wrought mayhem on the country. The country still struggles with that legacy.

    As much as you would like to blame the problem on Peron, it isn’t in accord with history.

    From the late 19th century to 1929 Argentina became one of the ten richest nations in the world. The economic downturn was at the Great Depression at about 1930. Peron inherited a problematic economy and failed to improve on it. He didn’t cause the problem as he was first elected in 1946 (16 years later).

    I am going to skip ahead to where the Argentine economy again improved under a military dictatorship from 1966 to 1973. “Though repressive, this new regime continued to encourage domestic development and invested record amounts into public works; during those years the economy grew strongly and income poverty declined to 7% by 1975, still a record low.”1 Peron returned from exile was elected in 1973 and then died in 1974, Isabel Peron succeeded him and led weakly until the right-wing, military dictatorship called the National Reorganization Process took control from 1976 until 1983. This heinous military junta engaged in a persecution of its citizens through violence, torture, and genocide–known as the Dirty War.

    Argentina had experienced economic improvement 1966-1975 then. The current problems leading to the 2001 crash of the Argentine economy begin right here in 1976 with the National Reorganization Process and continue under the Menem presidency, which I support below.

    General Jorge Rafael “Videla, who had led the military junta, appointed José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz as Minister of Economy, charged with stabilizing it and privatizing state-owned companies, along what would later be known as neoliberal lines.”2 You see, the attitude of the U.S. to these bastards is summed up here in what Kissinger said to the junta:

    “Look, our basic attitude is that we would like you to succeed. I have an old-fashioned view that friends ought to be supported. What is not understood in the United States is that you have a civil war. We read about human rights problems but not the context. The quicker you succeed the better… “2

    “Many of the military leaders that took part in the Dirty War were trained in the U.S.-financed School of the Americas.”1

    The Junta began borrowing huge sums from the IMF incurring enormous interest. The IMF encouraged massive borrowing by the private sector. This would create a situation where the IMF and U.S. neoliberalism policy would dominate Argentina’s fiscal policy. More than 400,000 Argentinian businesses went bankrupt by 1983. Democracy was restored in 1983. The debt grew and in 1989 inflation reached 5000% for the year. Prices would increase in good in a single day. Menem became president in 1989.

    “Menem…[reinstituted] a plan, aligned on the neoliberal Washington consensus, of trade liberalisation, labor deregulation and privatisation of state companies…”3 Under Menem’s presidency, the Argentine peso was pegged the to the U.S. dollar instead of the currency of its trading partners, like Brazil. This gave Argentina a drastically overvalued currency and a lot of buying power worldwide. Brazil, meantime, devalued its own currency. Argentina’s exports dwindled to nothing as result of being too expensive. It’s imports from Brazil, for example, increased astronomically.

    This article, What Latin America Owes to the “Chicago Boys”, was written in 1997 and crowed about the great benefits the Chicago School economics brought to Argentina. The crowing was typical of the view neoliberals held of Argentina’s new U.S. style capitalist economy , it turns out to have been a bit premature.

    Argentina was the model for U.S. neoliberal success, until it all collapsed in the economic crisis of 1999-2002. This whole thing led to a situation of 20% unemployment with 40% of the population living below the poverty line. The wealthy lost confidence and began a run on the banks in 2001, removing their money from Argentina. Citibank trucked out its money illegally in the dead of night. Argentina defaulted on the IMF loan in 2002. By October 2002, 57% of the population was living below the poverty line.

    With the Capitalists out of the picture Argentina has been steadily improving. It repaid the IMF loans early and in full in 2006.

    Headline Oct. 7, 2008 (Press TV):
    Brazil, Argentina abandon US dollar

    Brazil and Argentina have launched a new payment system in their bilateral trade, doing away with the US dollar as a medium of exchange.

    Hey look: Headline Oct. 28, 2008 (RIA Novosti, Russia):
    PM Putin suggests Russia, China ditch dollar in trade deals

    Anybody know what happens to a currency nobody wants?


    References:

    1) Argentina – Wikipedia
    2) National Reorganization Process – Wikipedia
    3) Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002) – Wikipedia

    Juan Perón – Wikipedia
    Carlos Menem – Wikipedia
    Argentine Currency Board – Wikipedia
    Washington Consensus – Wikipedia
    Dirty War – Wikipedia

    Other References:
    Argentina: Sheer Neoliberal Lunacy
    The Take Klein Lewis Productions
    Profile: Carlos Menem – BBC

  • Cindy D

    Okay Clav, There is my rebuttal. I am out again tonight.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    So let me see if I’ve got this straight. In the entire history of Argentinian economic mismanagement, they experimented with a few superficial aspects of chicago-style economics for a few years, and that brief experiment is responsible for all their problems and somehow justifies the current rape of the middle class and workers being practiced by pseudosocia|ists?

    Oh, and Cindy likes dictators. Got it.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    …entire history of Argentinian economic mismanagement…

    I think I began by pointing out that Argentina was one of the ten richest countries in the world from about 1880 to about 1930. So, what the hell are you talking about?

    Next: Just because the economy improved when one batch of dictators was in there, doesn’t mean I like dictators. The point there was that the economy was already improved when Peron took his final office and was not sunk by Peron managing to stay alive for a year.

    They did not experiment with a few superficial aspects of chicago-style economics for a few years. I wrote that they began implementing these practices from 1976 with the Military Junta (National Reorganization Process). The IMF has admitted its complicity dave. Surely, if they can do that, you can acknowledge it.

    “It was in 2001, twenty-four years later, that Argentina erupted in protest against IMF-prescribed austerity measures and then proceeded to force out five presidents in only three weeks.” (link)

    Beginning in 1989 Menem implemented what has been called whole-hog “Cowboy Capitalism”. Argentina, for having so thoroughly followed the guidance of neoliberalism, became the poster child in praise of Chicago School economic theory.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy D –

    Simply because you are stubborn Glenn and you like an authoritarian society and being the police (being very bad cops at that who end up damaging other countries) of the world-read here being able to crow about being the “super power” of the world as if we are in some football league, doesn’t mean nothing else will work.

    1. I do NOT like an ‘authoritarian society’ – far from it! DID YOU NOT READ the original post? ‘Goldilocks freedom’ – neither too much nor too little.

    2. I do NOT like having to be the “world’s policeman” – but we’re stuck with it.

    3. I AM stubborn…when history and the available facts back me up. That’s why, even though I am a bleeding-heart liberal, I support nuclear power and the end of the tenure system for teachers. That’s why, even though I am what many would call a fundamentalist Christian (often I DO go to Church every day of the week and twice on Sunday), I strongly support gay marriage and total equal rights for GLBT…even though these are strictly verboten by the Church of which I am a true member, and I will never leave the Church. Never, period.

    Cindy, I truly try to be objective in all things. Historical fact, proper statistics, the good and bad lessons experienced by other nations, other peoples – THESE are what I use to formulate my opinions.

    What I see with you is that you’re taking a proposition, searching for facts to support that proposition…and ignoring the wealth of historical and current evidence that is against your proposition.

    I’m sorry, but you and I will have to agree to disagree. You’re quite intelligent, but let us discuss other things on which we might find more common ground.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    There is still the possibility that the “facts” you use will be found to have been significantly “interpreted facts”.

    So far, anything that disagrees with your view seems to be irrelevant. And that is my impression of YOU.

    (heh, just had to capitalize that LOL!)

    I will let you know when I finish Gore Vidal.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    Perhaps I should inform you of the Husband’s Bill of Rights:

    Rule One: The Husband is always wrong and it is always his fault.

    Rule Two: If the Husband is right or if it is not his fault, see Rule One.

    Yeah, I know that’s as old as ‘Nantucket’ limericks, but it’s true. Unfortunately, you’ll notice that there’s nothing there about WHO is right and WHO is not at fault…meaning everybody BUT me is right (except for perhaps other husbands).

    On ‘Ellen’ today, Bette Midler sang a song…and part of that song went “In love, you win a little and you lose a little”. I turned to my wife and asked her when is she gonna lose…to which she promptly replied, “Hey – I EARNED my winning!”

    No, I’m not that stubborn. Being a good husband taught me not to be too stubborn…and my wife does deserve all the credit.

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    Oh, I meant to get back to you about this. I said this likely 6 months ago. But being forgetful, I failed to counter you with one simple fact. A definition.

    Start at the most basic level. Anarchism means ‘without structure’.

    Anarchism means without rulers. Not without structure and not without rules.

    Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all compulsory government,[1] i.e. the state. The term anarchism derives from the Greek αναρχω, anarcho, meaning “without archons” or “without rulers”,[2][3] from ἀν (an, “without”) + ἄρχή (arche, “to rule”) + ισμός (from stem -ιζειν). It is defined by The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics as “the view that society can and should be organized without a coercive state.”