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The Vengeance of the Left is Relentless and Merciless

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In reading the news today I was reminded of what a good thing it was for the fledgling United States that our differences with Britain were mainly differences over policy, rather than ideology. This meant that when the war was over, both sides soon realized that mending fences and working together for mutual benefit was better than holding a grudge and keeping hostilities going to everyone's detriment down through the years.

It's different when dealing with differences which are fundamentally ideological, especially when the enemy is bureaucratic socialism and the transnational socialist elites. When you struggle agains them, lose or win, they will come back after you again and again, down through the generations, until they wear you down, defeat and eventually destroy you. Their fervor is always strong because it is ideological and old grudges never fade because they are held by the institution rather than individuals. This is why a conflict with the radical left must end in victory and be followed by their ideological eradication and continued vigilance lest they rise up again.

The case of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori brought this to mind. Fujimori saved Peru from economic devastation and made it one of the most vibrant economies in the world, with capitalist reforms which led to a boom which actually carried on for more than a decade after he left office, despite the disastrous policies of the presidency of Alan Garcia of the ARPA. Fujimori also brought about the end of the 15-year reign of terror of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and brought Peru peace for the first time in generations. But Fujimori became a target of the international socialists for his opposition to marxism and support of capitalism, and the basic ideology of the Shining Path was mainstreamed into the APRA party with support from anti-capitalists in other South American countries. In 2000, the APRA forced Fujimori to step down as president after a legitimate election had put him in office.

To avoid persecution by the regime of President Alan Garcia, Fujimori had to flee his native Peru, but he returned to face trial in 2007 and was sentenced to 25 years on a variety of corruption, bribery and abuse of power charges. Now Fujimori's daughter is running for president against Garcia, and more charges have been brought against the jailed 71 year old former president, clearly intended to taint his daughter's campaign.

Fujimori's political career and personal conduct have mostly shown that he was scrupulously honest in most ways, really remarkably so for the leader of a South American country like Peru. He even removed himself from office twice to reassert popular rule and hold elections to validate his legitimacy with a vote of the people. Most of the charges against Fujimori basically stem from allowing too much latitude to his head of National Security, Vladimiro Montesinos, and thus making himself guilty by association. Montesinos was instrumental in crushing the Marxist guerillas in Peru, for which Fujimori allowed him too much power and required too little accountability.

As soon as he left power, the transnational socialist elite began calling for Fujimori's head, with Marxist dictators like Hugo Chavez leading the mob. Garcia is a weak moderate at the head of a radical party which is under the sway of the socialist international and they are determined to get their revenge on Fujimori for the worst of all sins, proving that capitalism works.

In many ways, this situation is reminiscent of the extended persecution of former President Augusto Pinochet of neighboring Chile, who also faced imprisonment and was hounded to death by the international socialist elite for having the gall to raise his country up out of poverty and years of socialist incompetence, proving that capitalism could succeed and bring a failed country to prosperity. Admittedly, Pinochet's route to capitalism was bloodier and harsher, but there is no question that the benefits of his reforms far outweighed any harm he did. All meaningless, because there are no breaks given for the good works of capitalists when Marxists get in power.

Fujimori is certainly a victim, but the ultimate losers will be the Peruvian people as what was a brilliant example of the success of capitalism and representative government takes its first steps towards socialist, bureaucratic statism under the malevolent guiding hand of the transnational socialist elite.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not another one, Dave. And it’s all in the title. Oh, well!

    But since this is directed at the Peruvian situation, it must be OK. As long as not all of us are indicted – all of you, Communists, Socialists and Leftist, you know who you are! – we can breathe freely.

    Carry on.

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

    Montesinos was caught red-handed, but it turned out that he was just the tip of an iceberg of endemic rottenness in Fujimori’s Peru. That shouldn’t surprise anyone – it’s the way things are done in South America.

    It is ironic that Fujimori, having been run out of office for corruption, has been replaced by an even more bent and devious bugger in Garcia.

    Now then. Peru is one of the poorest countries on the continent, has barely any infrastructure, no welfare state – and I mean none, whatsoever – and contains the largest shanty town in South America: Villa el Salvador, just outside Lima.

    Like much of South America, there is affluence – for a few. There is grinding poverty for many.

    Whatever Fujimori’s accomplishments, I’d hardly be touting the country as a capitalist success story.

    And considering Dave’s clarion calls for us to destroy ACORN over a few dodgy voter registrations, it’s a bit rich of him to ask us to overlook Pinochet’s atrocities on the grounds that Chile enjoys a more stable economy than it used to have.

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

    Dr. D., except for 2 years under Garcia’s first administration, Peru has averaged over 6% GDP growth since the start of Fujimori’s first term. No other country in S. America can match that sustained record of growth. Wan’t to bet how long that’s going to last with Garcia and the APRA back in power?

    And yes, Dr. D., it’s all about the economy. If a country is rich, that wealth brings freedom and opportunity. Oppressive, socialist governments destroy wealth and opportunity by their very nature.

    But since this is directed at the Peruvian situation, it must be OK. As long as not all of us are indicted – all of you, Communists, Socialists and Leftist, you know who you are! – we can breathe freely.

    I certainly hope not. I think every single person who subscribes to these philosophies is a potential tyrant looking for an opportunity.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Gee,Dave,

    Good thng that the coup in Chile was not in Washington instead. Otherwise my birthday (11 September) would have been ruined when I was 16. Do you really have to defend Pinochet? The guy was murder on Chile.

  • Clavos

    It is ironic that Fujimori, having been run out of office for corruption, has been replaced by an even more bent and devious bugger in Garcia.

    No real irony, Doc, just SOP for LatAm.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dave,

    What the hell kind of person for liberty thinks like this, Dave? You have been supporting dictatorships and totalitarian regimes in service of your beliefs all along. Every time I have called you out on some US-friendly dictator being installed by the US, in place of democratically chosen leaders, you’ve handed me some trumped up rubbish about people not being ready for democracy. You support child slavery, sweatshops, and abuse of human beings by corporations. Because they’re the good guys! You make claims like legalized prostitution works, when you’ve never investigated your claims.

    Pinochet, was a murderous torturing dictator! A Chilean Dictator’s Dark Legacy. (That’s from the anti-Capitalist Washington Post, btw).

    This is from the Commie rag the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

    “[Fujimori’s] populist rhetoric, includ[ed] criticism of the economic shock tactics advocated by the conservative candidate, novelist Mario Vargas Llosa. In June 1990 Fujimori defeated Vargas Llosa in a runoff election with 56.5 percent of the vote. However, on August 8, less than two weeks after taking office, Fujimori instituted austerity measures as harsh as those he earlier had decried, including raising the price of gasoline by 3,000 percent. The policy–popularly known as “Fujishock–wiped out inflation but caused immediate layoffs and hardships among the poor.

    In April 1992, increasingly frustrated with the legislature, which supported few of his programs, Fujimori staged an autogolpe (“self-administered coup”) with military support, declaring a state of emergency, dissolving Congress, and calling for a new constitution (promulgated in 1993). Fujimori’s political allies subsequently won a majority of legislative seats, which allowed the president to rule nearly unopposed. On the economic front, he carried out neoliberal policies such as privatizing state-owned mines and utility companies. Fujimori’s government also prosecuted an anti-insurgency campaign on various fronts, including arming villagers and conducting secretive military trials of suspected terrorists.

    Vladimiro Montesinos, head of the country’s secret police and Fujimori’s closest adviser, increased his influence in the military and used the country’s secret police to infiltrate opposition political parties, bribe legislators and electoral officials, muzzle the media, embezzle and redirect government funds, and carry out human rights abuses, including illegal arrests and torture. Many Peruvians subsequently accused Fujimori of condoning those acts and of destroying relevant evidence, though he denied the charges.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Here’s another good source on South American politics, Chilean in particular:

    Isabel Allende.

    I believe that she and her family have personally experienced the beneficent rule of our Señor Pinochet.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    An excerpt from the link above:

    “In 1981, when Allende learned that her grandfather, aged 99, was on his deathbed, she started writing him a letter that later evolved into a book manuscript, The House of the Spirits (1982); the intent of this work was to exorcise the ghosts of the Pinochet dictatorship.”

  • Clavos

    I believe that she and her family have personally experienced the beneficent rule of our Señor Pinochet.

    How was Chile under her spouse, Salvador, Roger? Especially as regards her economy under his Marxist vision? What about labor relations during his regime? The military?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dave is completely prepared to sacrifice blood, sweat, tears–even life itself (of other people, of course). It’s for a good cause–freedom and liberty!

    In Dave’s world there is nothing that can’t be viewed as a commodity.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not a happy chapter either – I presume.

    Salvador.

    So I had better read up on it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #10:

    Do you mean it’s a fetish with him?

  • Clavos

    Correction, Roger, my bad. Isabel is Salvador’s cousin, not his wife.

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

    Regarding Allende, it’s a classic logical fallacy of the ad hominem, where the left assumes that anything Allende did is automatically excused and he is a de-facto saint, because he was overthrown by the US (who are always automatically wrong) or because the alternative was Pinochet (despite the huge improvements Pinochet made in liberty, opportunity and wealth during his rule) and Pinochet is evil because he was a capitalist and a dictator.

    And yes, everything IS a commodity, Cindy. It’s all weighed in the balance. The 3000 killed by Pinochet are weighed against the hundreds of thousands suffering in poverty and despair under Marxist rule over the years in Chile and you have to ask which way the scale tips. Is enormous and widespread suffering and enslavement better or worse than a few thousand deaths? Is having underpaid jobs and opportunity better or worse than having no jobs and no liberty and being supported by the state?

    Sometimes you have to make these choices and set priorities. I put the premium on liberty. Cindy presumably puts it on safety, security and the all-healing embrace of the state.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s a mixed bad, Clavos, as best I can tell, riddled with the complexity of South American politics, US intervention, you name it.

    One needs to be an expert on the region to really understand the dynamics. He seemed like a good, honest man.

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

    and Pinochet is evil because he was a capitalist and a dictator.

    No, he was evil because he was a murdering sonofabitch.

    despite the huge improvements Pinochet made in liberty, opportunity and wealth during his rule

    Did he make the trains run on time too?

    The 3000 killed by Pinochet…

    …and the 80,000 imprisoned without trial, the 30,000 tortured, the 200,000 exiled…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, why should he be overthrown by the US? You mean because we had the interest of the Chilean people at heart? I don’t think you’re going to go as far as say that, Dave.

    And who knows the extent to which the US boycotts haven’t contributed to the deterioration of the Chilean economy.

    Furthermore, it’s not all that apparent that the Chilean people were deprived of their freedoms under Allende. Unless you mean of course the freedom of the rich landowners and the business class to do what they do best. So yes, certain economic freedoms were “taken away,” if you like – as is always the case under the socialist regime. But what of the freedom of the rest not to starve – and for a while, their life situation was greatly improved.

    Of course, it wasn’t a success story, so it’s easy to affix the blame.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I know that the source is going to be discredited by some, but the idea of privatizing Social Security that for a while was a hot item during the first term of Bush Administration was taken directly from Mr. Pinochet’s playbook:

    LaRouche.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another “questionable” publication, but it looks like the US mainstream press shies away from this issue.

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

    Dave has said more than once that democracy is a bad idea. Capitalizm and free enterprise always trumps every other concern. Dave is the champion of the small businessman no matter where he lives and no matter what the cost. He has shown repeatedly that the bottom line is all that matters. He wrongheadedly believes that profit excuses all and heals all.

    It frankly pisses me off that he so often charges everyone on the left with pretty much every kind of heinous crime and that we should, at all costs be defeated for once and for all. What he is advocating is war, and I don’t believe that is limited to ideology.

    Any acts of violence from the right are apparently, in Dave’s mind, justified so long as the bottom line remains in the black. What’s a few thousand murders so long as entrepreneurs remain profitable.

    As I see it, ideology has little to do with success or failure of Latin American regimes. Regimes in many Central and South American countries from both the left and right have proven to be equally murderous and corrupt.

    B

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And that’s a very unfortunate thing, B-man. It’s as if all of Latin America was still in the grip of feudal relations – almost like Russia prior to the Bolshevik Revolution.

    And that’s perhaps why they’re all so prone to revolutions, military dictatorships and foreign interventions. And the West still thinks of the region as one big colony.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But you’re right about one thing, Dave, when you say that “it’s different when dealing with differences which are fundamentally ideological” (rather than practical).

    Because when it comes to ideology, especially left ideology, no one is above suspicion. Which explains the reign of Thermidor.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I’ll go with what Dr.D already said, plus:

    Sometimes you have to make these choices and set priorities. I put the premium on liberty.

    Me too Dave, I put a premium on liberty. Yet, I don’t have to make choices to support things like that. That is your choice. Of course, I see, your plan is working out great. Tell that to the dead. Where’s their liberty?

    Cindy presumably puts it on safety, security and the all-healing embrace of the state.

    No Dave. Don’t be silly. I put the interests of human beings first not corporations or governments. No one requires the right to abuse other people and wreck up the world competing to make 1000 of the same thing. People have brains, markets don’t. People can plan what they need. Markets are inefficient. Wasting everything from the world to human beings.

    And this is your best idea for liberty.

    Go to sleep and have a nice dream. Maybe you’ll wake up with some love in your heart.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This is a great line:

    “the right to abuse other people and wreck up the world competing to make 1000 of the same thing.”

    Reminds me of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps Dave should see this classic and he just wake up with a changed heart.

  • Clavos

    Furthermore, it’s not all that apparent that the Chilean people were deprived of their freedoms under Allende. Unless you mean of course the freedom of the rich landowners and the business class to do what they do best.

    Why were the union workers, usually the strongest supporters (except for the apparatchik) of Marxism/socialism, against Allende?

  • pablo

    Cindy 6 you said:

    “Dave,

    What the hell kind of person for liberty thinks like this, Dave? You have been supporting dictatorships and totalitarian regimes in service of your beliefs all along. Every time I have called you out on some US-friendly dictator being installed by the US, in place of democratically chosen leaders, you’ve handed me some trumped up rubbish about people not being ready for democracy. You support child slavery, sweatshops, and abuse of human beings by corporations. Because they’re the good guys! You make claims like legalized prostitution works, when you’ve never investigated your claims.”

    You have hit the nail on the head here regarding Nalle. His libertarian is fake, as is the so called liberty group that he chairs. He is nothing more than an apologist for tyranny, despotism, and genocide, all while hiding under his so called libertarianism. I saw through his guise several years ago, and it is refreshing to see you call a spade a spade Cindy.

  • Clavos

    Regimes in many Central and South American countries from both the left and right have proven to be equally murderous and corrupt.

    This is true. latino societies are for the most part corrupt and murderous.

    There’s something in the water.

    That’s a joke, but we ARE a murderous corrupt bunch.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Clavos. I read the little Wiki article, I’m certain not the most accurate or sufficiently penetrating, and it’s kind of hard to say. Plenty of factors – the plummeting economy being the main reason, I suspect. Do you have a clearer idea?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    C’mon Clavos. Be serious.

  • Clavos

    I am, Roger.

  • Clavos

    Going all the way back to the Aztecas yanking the hearts out of living people…

    Read Inca history.

    On up to modern times.

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

    Ah, Cindy and Pablo, the dynamic duo of delusional self-deception. So convinced that their absolutist beliefs are the only way to achieve liberty that they’re perfectly willing to let the entire world go down in flames rather than make any reasonable compromise.

    In some ways they’re worse than the usual lefties on here, because at least those on the left are honestly devoted to a failed ideology which they think will actually do good, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Cindy and Pablo, on the other hand, see that statism is the problem, but are unable to overcome their ideological fanaticism long enough to work towards any rational solution.

    To those who say I have no “heart” I reply where is your heart when millions suffer at the hands of despots whose ideology you happen to agree with or whose rights, lives and property are taken from them by the force of mob rule?

    I find it incomprehensible that some of you can dismiss massive society-wide oppression and exploitation and yet blame me for accepting that there are costs to progress and that liberty sometimes has to be paid for in blood.

    Some people value liberty as an idea, but value the reality so cheaply that they are willing to talk and talk and talk about it, but not willing to pay any real price for it as individuals or as a nation. That’s the real shame here.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #34.

    I’ve heard the same said of the Anglo-Saxon heart – there isn’t a day when there isn’t murder in his heart.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dave,

    I’m certain that neither Cindy or Pablo condone ruthlessness and tyranny – whether it issues from whatever political quarter or ideology. They just don’t believe in your notion of human progress, or in costs involved.

    And I haven’t accused you of any lack of heart – spoke only metaphorically. Certainly not in any personal kind of sense but only in terms of how lightly at times you seem to speak of the human costs involved.

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

    Roger, whether they choose actively to promote these things, or just passively encourage them through their refusal to be realistic, the result is the same. If they don’t believe that progress can be made towards liberty and are unwilling to pay to achieve liberty, then every time they bitch about the state they are lying, because they really don’t care.

    As for human costs, I’ve just accepted that there will be a price paid for ANY action. That being the case, I’d prefer that the end result be something desirable.

    Dave

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    …they’re perfectly willing to let the entire world go down in flames rather than make any reasonable compromise.

    No problem, Dave. I’ll start by being willing to sacrifice you and everyone you care about. How’s that? Now you can’t say I’m not willing to make any sacrifices or be realistic. If ideas based on love don’t work, then I’ll be wrong and you’ll be my sacrifice. But, if they do, then we can clean up this pile of shit, you and people like you have turned the place into. Turning people into commodities, violence, murder, crime, self-loathing, fear.

    To those who say I have no “heart” I reply where is your heart when millions suffer at the hands of despots whose ideology you happen to agree with or whose rights, lives and property are taken from them by the force of mob rule?

    The only people suffering at the hands of despots are the one’s you’re killing off in some noble sacrifice. I don’t see any murderous dead Zapatistas yet. I don’t see the Argentina worker run factory movement stalling because people can’t cooperate. On the contrary, it’s growing and spreading. And the community likes it. They’re supporting it. People like to have a say. They get used to cooperating and not being bossed around. They like to count, even if they just sweep the floor. People seem to like acting like real human beings. One rule Dave–no one rules! That’s it. Everyone can understand that rule and know exactly how not to break it.

    And let’s face it, if Clav is right, if those Latin American folks are as he said–that’s even all the more reason us ‘civil’ white folks can make it work. If they can do it.

    Some people value liberty as an idea, but value the reality so cheaply that they are willing to talk and talk and talk about it, but not willing to pay any real price for it as individuals or as a nation. That’s the real shame here.

    Real price? Sacrificing the lives of other people is what you call your payment of a real price?

    I find it incomprehensible that some of you can dismiss massive society-wide oppression and exploitation and yet blame me for accepting that there are costs to progress and that liberty sometimes has to be paid for in blood.

    No problem. Try using your own blood though, cowboy.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I like the title of your article too Dave. As long as you’re ruthless, we’ll have to be relentless.

    By the way, while I was attending the worker-run movement panel in NYC, we thought we’d eat at the worker-run restaurant despite that it was very expensive and posh. But, when we got there, they were closing. Without the need to make unlimited money for some non-worker’s profitable pleasure, they could actually run it like human beings and go home to their families at a reasonable hour.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Except that –

    “you and people like you have turned the place into. Turning people into commodities, violence, murder, crime, self-loathing, fear.”

    I wouldn’t blame Dave for this state of affairs. It had come about without his active doing/participation – by the actions of others.

    I’d like to believe there is a difference between what (some) people post on BC and what they do in their real life.

    I don’t think you believe, Cindy, that Dave is a slave trader, owns a sweat shop, or holds a majority stock in Hershey enterprises. He probably doesn’t even beat his wife, most likely is kind to children and feeds the animals.

    So there is this gentle Dave that somehow we’re all losing sight of, or who get lost in the shuffle in the course of these diatribes. Let none of us ever forget that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Except that –

    “you and people like you have turned the place into. Turning people into commodities, violence, murder, crime, self-loathing, fear.”

    I wouldn’t blame Dave for this state of affairs. It had come about without his active doing/participation – by the actions of others.

    I’d like to believe there is a difference between what (some) people post on BC and what they do in their real life.

    I don’t think you believe, Cindy, that Dave is a slave trader, owns a sweat shop, or holds a majority stock in Hershey enterprises. He probably doesn’t even beat his wife, most likely is kind to children and feeds the animals.

    So there is this gentle Dave that somehow we’re all losing sight of, or who get lost in the shuffle in the course of these diatribes. Let none of us ever forget that.

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

    I am neither a socialist nor a capitalist. I believe that there are good things to be had from both systems, just as there is a lot of bad.

    Neither the good nor the bad spring from the respective ideologies, but rather from their practitioners – mainly the people in charge and/or those few who manage to wield power by whatever means. It is, therefore, not a failure of ideology – neither socialism nor capitalism are inherently good nor evil. It has far more to do with those who discover the means to use and abuse whatever system they live under to gain for themselves power and riches. All political/economic systems can be and usually are corrupted to one degree or another. It is human failure – the old power/corruption thingy.

    Socialism is no more a failure than is capitalism. Pure socialism could in fact prove to be quite utopian if people were mature and wise enough to make it work for all. I suppose the same could be said for capitalism, though, frankly, I don’t see that so clearly. Capitalism, by its very nature, implies winners and losers.

    Our government, our economy and our society as a whole are, as we know, currently a mixture of both systems. As we continue onward, that mixture is likely to list from one side to another, but never wholly in one direction or the other. It’s simply a matter of what works best in any particular point in our history.

    There are always alarmists who look upon change with fear and dread – expecting the worst – when such eventuality is rarely the case. But in the process of change, its proponents are invaribly demonized owing to that fear being disproportionately inflamed by the opposition.

    B

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I know, I know.

    Now you’re gonna say that so they argued on behalf of all the Nazis – that they’d come home after day’s work at Auschwitz, patted their children, ate their dinner and watched TV.

    But that’s where you’re wrong. We don’t have any concentration camps in Texas, and certainly nowhere near Austin.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger,

    I wouldn’t blame Dave for this state of affairs. It had come about without his active doing/participation – by the actions of others.

    Yes, through the ideas of people who think just like Dave.

    I don’t think you believe, Cindy, that Dave is a slave trader, owns a sweat shop, or holds a majority stock in Hershey enterprises. He probably doesn’t even beat his wife, most likely is kind to children and feeds the animals.

    Dave doesn’t have to be a slavetrader or run a sweatshop. It’s Dave’s ideas that create those things. It’s Dave who is willing to sacrifice other people.

    Now that may sound to some like a meaningless statement. How can Dave sacrifice anyone. Roger pay very close attention to what we’ve been reading. My opinions: Those inculcated ideas are what IS the problem with the world. Accepting them IS the problem. Each person who accepts and promotes them is causing the problem. Dave x millions = the problem that other people have to die and suffer for. They change their minds? There is no problem. It’s really that simple.

    So there is this gentle Dave that somehow we’re all losing sight of, or who get lost in the shuffle in the course of these diatribes. Let none of us ever forget that.

    I won’t forget that. I see that. But, I can’t any longer pretend that this is all some big mistake, he knows not what he does and all that. He is intentionally turning off empathy toward other human beings and justifying it. I don’t think it serves Dave even to pretend that’s okay.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I understand, Cindy. I just don’t want to break anybody’s spirit.

    Could you check out my last comment in culture. Tried to introduce some of the new ideas into general conversation. Not certain, of course, of the kind of reception it will get.

    Let me know what you think.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    …the Nazis – that they’d come home after day’s work at Auschwitz, patted their children, ate their dinner and watched TV.

    Not just the Nazis. They took Traces of the Trade down. If you ever get to see it. These were people who were lauded in their communities as the very best citizens. Look at them: “…they were known as ‘the great folk’ in Bristol. They were professors and writers, artists and architects…”

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    People look at Nazis and slave traders as though they would be some kinds of demons with horns. They were a mostly just average people. The same as now. Just like the Milgram study. It showed then that 75% of people would electrocute a person to death then and as replicated recently, it shows that 75% would now.

    All they need is cultural approval. And they have had it. Look what they’ve done. People don’t think much about the state of war. It’s ‘normal’. (that word)

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

    I don’t think there is any chance that any of us here can “break Dave’s spirit.”

    But I think Cindy has a valid point. It is Dave, afterall, who published at least one or perhaps two articles here at BC in which he promoted the idea of reinstituting workhouses. It is Dave who sincerely believes that most of the world’s poor prefer to be poor. It is Dave who believes that the right to vote should be restricted.
    It is such ideas that are to my mind antithetical to a free society, of which Dave is supposedly the champion.

    Dave, and those who share his perspective, at least as considered from our perspective, serve as the seed from which such ideas may flourish.

    B

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy/B-man

    Of course Nazis didn’t have horns. And yes, after a while, it was “normal.”
    I just don’t believe in demonizing anyone. Not only it doesn’t serve any purpose; the ways of power, remember, are subtle and sublime. We’re not dealing with principalities, and powers and dominions in high places and low but with ordinary human beings. So I haven’t lost sight of the fact.

    As long as you confront him and his ideas with yours, you’re doing your job; all I’m saying, there are many ways of doing so, and in some cases direct response may not be the best.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It should be: “principalities, and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    (The inversion of Eph 6:12)

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

    No problem, Dave. I’ll start by being willing to sacrifice you and everyone you care about. How’s that?

    Lovely, but that’s not your choice, is it?

    Now you can’t say I’m not willing to make any sacrifices or be realistic. If ideas based on love don’t work, then I’ll be wrong and you’ll be my sacrifice.

    But this is not the actual choice which you face. The choice is not between sacrificing me and ideas based on love, it’s between ideas based on love which are exploited by despots and tyrants and opposing that tyranny at the possible cost of some of those lovely pipe dreams.

    But, if they do, then we can clean up this pile of shit, you and people like you have turned the place into. Turning people into commodities, violence, murder, crime, self-loathing, fear.

    People like me didn’t turn the world the way it is today. People like me provided the one source of hope for people dragged into all those dark things you revile by oppressive and exploitative states and their allies and minions.

    The only people suffering at the hands of despots are the one’s you’re killing off in some noble sacrifice. I don’t see any murderous dead Zapatistas yet.

    These movements look all cuddly and heroic when they are out of power, but inevitably the ideology which drives them becomes the source of tyranny when they win power. Happens every time.

    I don’t see the Argentina worker run factory movement stalling because people can’t cooperate. On the contrary, it’s growing and spreading. And the community likes it. They’re supporting it. People like to have a say. They get used to cooperating and not being bossed around. They like to count, even if they just sweep the floor. People seem to like acting like real human beings.

    Why would I have anything against this? Sounds great to me. How long do you think it will be before the Marxist regime in Argentina finds it threatening and cracks down on it just as the Bolsheviks did on the anarchists and collectivists in Russia.

    One rule Dave–no one rules! That’s it. Everyone can understand that rule and know exactly how not to break it.

    Except that this does not equip them to deal effectively with established governments and outside opposition.

    By the way, while I was attending the worker-run movement panel in NYC, we thought we’d eat at the worker-run restaurant despite that it was very expensive and posh. But, when we got there, they were closing. Without the need to make unlimited money for some non-worker’s profitable pleasure, they could actually run it like human beings and go home to their families at a reasonable hour.

    And where did you go to eat? And where would you have eaten if ALL the restaurants were run on that basis?

    Dave

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

    Capitalism, by its very nature, implies winners and losers.

    And what’s wrong with that? Socialism’s answer to this is to make everyone a loser. That’s not acceptable.

    Dave

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

    But I think Cindy has a valid point. It is Dave, afterall, who published at least one or perhaps two articles here at BC in which he promoted the idea of reinstituting workhouses.

    Just one, and if you read the article, you’ll see that it’s a pretty pratical reimagining of what was a very positive idea in its time. In fact, the workhouse fits in very much with the kind of utopian anarchism which Cindy espouses.

    It is Dave who sincerely believes that most of the world’s poor prefer to be poor.

    When on earth did I say that? I believe that the world’s poor are happy to have opportunities to advance themselves. I certainly don’t think anyone likes being poor.

    It is Dave who believes that the right to vote should be restricted.

    Not the right to vote, necessarily, but the right to rule based solely on a vote, certainly.

    It is such ideas that are to my mind antithetical to a free society, of which Dave is supposedly the champion.

    This is because you believe that the goal is a “free society” which is an oxymoron (Cindy might even agree on that), while I believe in a society of free individuals, which is entirely different.

    Dave

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

    Dave doesn’t have to be a slavetrader or run a sweatshop. It’s Dave’s ideas that create those things. It’s Dave who is willing to sacrifice other people.

    No, Cindy. It is YOUR ideas which create such things by disempowering the people and serving them up as victims to the state.

    Each person who accepts and promotes them is causing the problem.

    So to accept and promote the idea of universal rights for individuals is to promote slavery and sweatshops? Utter nonsense.

    Dave x millions = the problem that other people have to die and suffer for. They change their minds? There is no problem. It’s really that simple.

    No, Cindy. It is people like you who deny responsibility and don’t look forward to consider the consequences of your beliefs who create the situation which others have to suffer and die for. It is the willingness of people to give up their rights to the state or to an ideology which is the source of the problems which need to be addressed.

    But, I can’t any longer pretend that this is all some big mistake, he knows not what he does and all that. He is intentionally turning off empathy toward other human beings and justifying it. I don’t think it serves Dave even to pretend that’s okay.

    Except that this is exactly what I am not doing. I just realize that if you want to help people you have to actually help them and address their real needs on a fundamental level, and most importantly help them to help themselves, not just offer them fairycake and pretty lies and naive mantras which have failed time and time again.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “He is intentionally turning off empathy toward other human beings . . . . ” (Cindy)

    “Except that this is exactly what I am not doing.” (Dave)

    If that’s truly the case, Dave, then I commend you for your consistency and perhaps even as a human being. Perhaps even for your ends which, as you say, are “to help people to help themselves.” What I do disagree with is your means – especially insofar that the means you’re espousing you think necessary.

    You realize, of course, it’s quite the opposite of the stance that Christ took when on earth – turning off the empathy, that is, in favor of “tough love.” Not that it matters since you’re not a believer, but still . . .

    Anyways, I’ve always believed that you’re more human than most people give you credit for. So no, you haven’t disappointed me.

    It was a good conversation.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger,

    I have talked to Dave for a few years now. I have given his ideas the benefit of the doubt. He’s made it utterly clear through his conversations with me, where he stands.

    I may have a man’s mind, but it’s not a man who casually talks about human beings as necessary casualties.

    Personally I think it’s horrific. I find my reaction is pretty tempered. However, I didn’t grow up with those little soldier sets. I don’t have a little switch that lets me turn off the part where the dead people Dave is discussing aren’t actual people.

    My recommendation: every time Dave talks about blood being spilled, make sure you put your own closest loves relations in that snapshot.

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

    I may have a man’s mind, but it’s not a man who casually talks about human beings as necessary casualties.

    It’s hardly casual, it’s just realistic. You really have to be able to separate personal empathy from dispassionate objectivity to function as a rational being in a world which is sometimes quite inhumane.

    Personally I think it’s horrific. I find my reaction is pretty tempered. However, I didn’t grow up with those little soldier sets. I don’t have a little switch that lets me turn off the part where the dead people Dave is discussing aren’t actual people.

    What you didn’t do is grow up in parts of the world where human life and human suffering were valued quite a bit differently than they are in the US and where governmental oppression and brutality were commonplace. I did think you were old enough to remember Vietnam, but perhaps you took no lessons there, either.

    My recommendation: every time Dave talks about blood being spilled, make sure you put your own closest loves relations in that snapshot.

    Probably a good idea. But at the same time imagine them and their children and their friends and their children for generations bound into chains in a city of gray stone where light and hope are cut off forever, living as meaningless cogs in the machinery of the state. Then ask yourself if one person out of all those you know had to die so that all the others could be free, would it be worth it?

    Dave

  • Doug Hunter

    “Pure socialism could in fact prove to be quite utopian if people were mature and wise enough to make it work for all.”

    That is true of any system. A socialist utopia replaces forced slaves with willing slaves, the problem is that willing slaves are in short supply. Yes, if smart hard working capable people would do all the work then those in poverty in a capitalist system could set on their front porch and smoke pot while having all the necessities of life provided for them. The problem is that the former group would rather the fruits of their labor come back to their own family (greed).

    That’s one of the crazy mental gymnastics you have to go through to make the logical desire for socialism match the emotional one… you must consider it greedy and selfish to want to keep what you have earned while it is neither to expect someone else to take care of you. A very strange concept to my mind.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

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

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Thus, Libertarian Socialism.

  • Lumpy

    Oxymoron.

    I find it interesting to read the defensiveness and the personal attacks tthis piece generated from the left. Makes me wonder just how insecure some of u are about your dubious beliefs.

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

    What personal attacks? No one has attacked anyone here including Dave except with regard his ideology which is the heart of the entire article. Would you have us just say “Way to go, Dave?”

    There is no insecurity here. We believe what we chose and we will defend those choices just as all narrow sphinctered rightys do ad nauseam.

    B

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    B-man is right, Lumpy. It wasn’t Dave that was attacked but his ideology. An honest disagreement, that’s all.

    Why would you want to read insecurities into it?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    I agree with the quote…and thus has been the path of all real democracies (not the faux democracies that are only despotism in disguise) – some quickly, some more slowly, but all embrace socialism to greater or lesser extents. Is America more or less socialist than 40 years ago? More, of course. Is America more or less conservative than 40 years ago? Less, of course.

    Things are getting better – and that’s why I’m an eternal optimist.

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

    I agree, Glenn. The ultimate devolution into socialism is why democracy as a means of government is inherently tyrannical and must be opposed. As a method of resolving elections democracy works just fine, but as the primary basis for policy it is inherently dangerous outside of a larger structure which applies strict checks on its excesses.

    Representative government and government by the consent of the people are wonderful things in general. Democracy is a two-edged sword which should only be used with extreme caution.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t think that was the import of Glenn’s comment. I took it to mean that all “real” democracies eventually embrace some sort of socialist agenda, and that this is a good and a natural progression.

    I may be wrong, of course, but that’s my reading.

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

    Dave: “democracy as a means of government is inherently tyrannical and must be opposed”

    I never would’ve pegged you as a Michael Moore fan?

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

    Roger:”I may be wrong, of course” Fred Sanford staggers into the room “It’s It’s the big one ‘lizbeth! I’m commin for ya honey!”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jet,

    I do apologize for prompting you so, I had no right. I know how these threads can be annoying and nerve-wrecking. It took me close to six months to adjust to the BC climate. Now I’m having fun, keep the proper distance and emotional detachment and engage in all kinds of strategies – like in a game of chess.

    But again, I didn’t really mean to force your hand if you’re not up to it. And the reason I gave you as to why you’re needed here was on the level – we do need enlightened voices here or the site will go to hell in a handbasket.

    Just wanted to let you know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Shoot, Jet. I loved those episodes.

  • Doug Hunter

    “I took it to mean that all ‘real’ democracies eventually embrace some sort of socialist agenda, and that this is a good and a natural progression.”

    I have no argument with that precise statement. It’s the myopic view that the luxury of social spending IS the progress that I strongly disagree with. It’s sorta like assuming that buying a bigger house and fancier car will increase your ability to pay for them… not so, you must increase your earnings first or you’ll just end up bankrupt (which is incidentally exactly where we are as a country). Social spending at the expense of future economic growth and real technological progress or at the expense of our children’s future just simply is not worth it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I would have said that Glenn’s formulation took “the ability to pay” for granted. So your argument with him is not one of principle but over timing and the feasibility of having things now rather than later.

  • Doug Hunter

    “I would have said that Glenn’s formulation took ‘the ability to pay’ for granted.”

    That’s a core issue, not something to be taken for granted. Also, I’m certain we differ on how to analyze the effects of different policies although there will be much overlap.

    “So your argument with him is not one of principle”

    I think most people want the same things, security, peace of mind, 62″ Plasma screens (just kidding). You’re also looking at it a bit different than I would. I think more than a few left wing thinkers have envisioned a world where you were sort of beyond the need for the state. We have the same destination, just different paths. Plan A is to empower the state and regulate the people into the proper mindset where the state and it’s regulations are no longer needed. I think that won’t work, the state will never release it’s grip on power, and it is morally questionable to top it all off. Plan B is to allow free people to make free choices which, through our shared humanity and common goals, hopes, aspirations, and dreams will unite us for the common good. One of the biggest lies we’ve been sold is the idea that change can only come through the state and the idea of individual change, choice, and free will is something to scoff at.

    “and the feasibility of having things now rather than later.”

    Yes, the crux of the issue in many, many financial discussions. In my personal life I’m a ‘later’ kind of guy and that same value reflects in my politics.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Plan B is to allow free people to make free choices which, through our shared humanity and common goals, hopes, aspirations, and dreams will unite us for the common good. One of the biggest lies we’ve been sold is the idea that change can only come through the state and the idea of individual change, choice, and free will is something to scoff at.”

    Definitely preferable, except I don’t see the possibility (a realistic possibility, that is) for the dissolution of the state – which isn’t to say individual, insulated and self-sustained communities may be not possible outside the state apparatus. So the best combination, it seems, would be Plan A, along with an enlightened, non-interfering, minimal State.

    Plan A, taken by itself, it the idea of Plato’s Republic. Not only utopian but, when it comes down to it, kind of authoritarian (even if the Philosopher-King is a benevolent despot and knows best what’s good for the rest of us). Popper criticized this vision in “The Open Society and its Enemies.”

  • Doug Hunter

    I agree with you on the feeling that there will likely always be need for small, efficient government of a sort. My mind just can’t wrap itself around the idea that the best way to a small government is a big one any more than it can the idea that the best way to move beyond race is to focus on race/racism.

    I understand the concept is to use that power and focus to retrain people into whatever you perceive is the proper state of mind and once that is done to voluntarily relinqish the power and move on.

    I might follow up on this Popper fellow it is sometimes interesting to read how other people look at these things.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Popper’s work is a classic.

    As to the earlier point, I was only talking about what’s preferable. But what I think will happen is a global government (sort of like a Federation). It may be workable as long as the individual members retain a measure of autonomy.

  • Arch Conservative

    The resident moonbats have been having a field day extolling the virtues of scoialism I see.

    Meanwhile Europe (the real socialists) is falling apart and being taken over by radical islam.

    Yay socialism.

  • Arch Conservative

    But hey who needs reality when you’ve got Cindy’s “ideas based on love.”

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    oo, ow Arch! (I’m scathed.) *gives Arch a hug*

    You know, Arch, love…like that god of yours no doubt thinks is a good thing.

  • Doug Hunter

    Arch, did your mother love you?

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

    I don’t think that was the import of Glenn’s comment. I took it to mean that all “real” democracies eventually embrace some sort of socialist agenda, and that this is a good and a natural progression.

    As Doug said, I would not consider this movement in a positive direction. It may be natural, but I would view it as a natural breakdown of essential cultural values and a descent into tyranny. Socialism IS tyranny, whether you want to admit it or not.

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    Like that god of mine? WTF you talkin bout?

    Love’s great and all but it doesn’t pay the mortgage, or the car loan, or the dr. bill……….

    After another four or five snarky remarks fromy ou Cindy…sociliast Europe will still be in the shitter [Personal attack deleted by long suffering Comments Editor]

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

    On the whole Europeans don’t consider themselves to be “in the shitter.” Hopefully, they will have the good sense to heed Arch’s words and wipe the socialist crap out of their eyes – maybe find themselves a few good right wing dictators to bring them back to their senses. What the world needs is major European countries moving to strident far right regimes so fondly reminiscent of the 1930s and 40s. Man, those were the days.

    B

  • STM

    Dave: “Socialism IS tyranny,.”

    Of course, this is a rather subjective issue, Dave, as well we know.

    It all depends on what you think is socialism, and whether you can sensibly differentiate what you might think is socialism from what could more accurately be called “community”.

    I don’t consider that I live oin a socialist country in any way, shape or form, yet I suspectyou might think part of what goes on here is socialism.

    But if it’s tyranny, how come we’re all such happy little Vegemites. None of us are knocking down the door trying to get out. It’s the other way round.

    I prefer to see it for what it is: a progressive, liberal democracy that has some aspects of community, where the greater good (or what you might wrongly call socialism) is part of “the fair go for everyone” philosophy of this joint.

    Let’s get fair dinkum here: We’ve both seen real socialism at work at its worst in the old Soviet Union, and we both know how sh.t it is.

    The road you’re going down isn’t socialism, and the dream I’m living in this workers’ paradise down here on the edge of the South Pacific rim ain’t either.

    Not even fu.king close, mate.

    Seriously not even close. But I don’t have a problem with workers sharing in the profits of large corporations, since they’re actually the ones doing all the work that makes the m oney for the large corporations.

    Provided, of course, that they are prepared to work their tits off to get that share.

    As you know, the right wing of the Labor Party to which I susbscribe could best be described conservative. And I certainly believe in free-market capitalism … but the kind that offers genuine benefits to every bastard working their rings off, not just a few members of the old boys’ club running big companies and corporations that most of the time would run themselves if some of those greedy-arse old boys’ club members weren’t fiddle-arsing around with them.

    As for Europe.

    I’ve been there recently.

    It’s far from “being in the shitter”.

  • STM

    And anyone who’se in doubt about that – like Arch – might check out the value of the Euro against the US dollar: Euro 100 = $US 147 on last night’s exchange rate.

    100 UK pounds sterling = $US 160.

    And trust, me over there, they’re earning plenty of them.

    Yes, times are tough … but they’re no more in the shitter than the US.

    As for Australia, we’re not even in recession. The economy was among the world’s strongest before the Global Financial Crisis – and has actually grown through it. Check it out on google if you don’t believe me.

    One of the reasons: Clever, sensible prudential regulation through legislation, so you can’t have people like Bernie Madoff or the other kind of shysters on Wall St or in London running riot and bringing the system down whilst pursing their main aim: lining their own pockets. Of course, there are systers everywhere – but we seem to have been spared the worst.

    (Nothing wrong with making a decent buck, of course, as long as it’s all done sensibly and not at everyone else’s expense.)

    There you go dudes, that’s a bit of socialism at work for you … and working for the ordinary bloke and blokette too.

    In most parts of Europe, they’re earning plenty of them too.

  • STM

    Rog: “I’ve heard the same said of the Anglo-Saxon heart”

    Nah, Rog, most of the time we’re more interested in beer (and about seven different codes of football, or baseball or cricket).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Stan. Perhaps the person I was talking about was an exception. I know you’re a jovial kinda fellow.

  • Cannonshop

    #80

    Dave, wasn’t there a warning by John Locke about something to the effect of what happens when the populace realizes they can vote themselves “Largesse from the Treasury”?

    People are insulated from the ‘sensation’ of Taxation, and as a consequence, they’re doing what people do-they’re demanding “Free Stuff”. (there ain’t no such thing as Free Stuff, but when you never SEE the money being taken out, you don’t psychologically make the connection.)

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

    On the whole Europeans don’t consider themselves to be “in the shitter.” Hopefully, they will have the good sense to heed Arch’s words and wipe the socialist crap out of their eyes – maybe find themselves a few good right wing dictators to bring them back to their senses. What the world needs is major European countries moving to strident far right regimes so fondly reminiscent of the 1930s and 40s. Man, those were the days.

    First off, the dictaators of the 30s and 40s – even the fascists – were either socialist/communists or at least inspired by their ideology, so a return to those bad-old-days would be a move to the left.

    In fact, the apparatchiks of the communist establishment of the 1950s in Europe and their fellow travelers are the backbone of the current EU bureaucracy. Europe is living under the next generation of the same people and ideology which almost destroyed it 60 years ago. They’ve just learned to work within the system rather than overthrow it by violence.

    And what’s needed in Europe is not right-wing government, but a return of government of some form which is answerable to the people rather than an autonomous bureaucracy (which socialism ultimately leads to) and a restoration of capitalism, which bureaucratic socialism cannot tolerate because it is competition and they want a monopoly.

    Dave

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

    I don’t consider that I live oin a socialist country in any way, shape or form, yet I suspectyou might think part of what goes on here is socialism.

    Stan, part of what goes on here in Socialism too. The problem is when socialism becomes established to the point where it feels threatened by competing ideologies and has the power to eliminate them. We can see this in Europe, but the US and Australia aren’t there yet. Some of us want to stop before we get too close.

    Dave

  • STM

    Cannon: “A warning by John Locke”.

    The only problem is, mate, the world’s changed in the few hundred years since Locke was putting pen to paper.

    It’s not unreasonable for a government taxing the sh.t out of us to give us something decent in return that doesn’t only involve stuff useful for blowing sh.t up.

    Universal health care, for instance, is a wonderful thing … provided it’s done properly and that people can get their heads around the notion that it’s about community not socialism … and that people pay in proportion to their earnings for the same (good) quality care everyone gets.

    In my view, in the (very, very long) time since Locke and the founding fathers and the whigs and tories of the British parliament were talking about what was important, universal health care for citizens has become the the hallmark of a nation that has fully matured.

    You’re on the path over there, why fight it??. Once you get it, you’ll be scratching your heads wondering you didn’t do it earlier.

    Which is exactly what happened down here in the Great Southern Land. Everyone thought the sky would fall in. It didn’t … now it’s the the third rail of politics and disaster at the ballot box for any government of either right or left persuasion trying to fiddle-arse around with it too much.

    If I’m paying those bastards tax every week, I want something good in return. Hell, it’s our country, not theirs. We just asked them with our pencils to represent us in Parliament.

  • Deano

    “First off, the dictaators of the 30s and 40s – even the fascists – were either socialist/communists or at least inspired by their ideology, so a return to those bad-old-days would be a move to the left.”

    So explain to me how the fascists which, if memory serves, were hanging out on the far, far right end of the political spectrum are/were actually socialist/communists (who, again, if and basic political science serves) tend to hang out at the far left-side of the spectrum?

    I think you trying to square a circle again Dave….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s called blurring the line. And our Dave is an expert in all manner of rhetorical devices.

  • Kleptocrat

    In my experience if you go far enough to thej right you end up on the left again. It’s a continuum – a big donut.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    In your experience??? You mean you actually walked from the right and ended up on the left??? Amazing!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Isn’t it called going in circles?

    Just kidding.

  • Cannonshop

    I think Kleptocrat’s talking about the continuum model based on the clock-face, as opposed to the linear graph most people assume it to be.

    At six, you’ve got anarchy, at 12, Totalitarian Tyranny. at 11:55, you’ve got Stalinist Communism or Maoism, at 12:05 you’ve got Fascism and Fascist totalitarianism.

    Right about 3 and 9, you’ve got a ‘balanced’ status-enough freedom for the individuals, enough power for the state to protect that freedom.

    Conservatives want the clock to be between 2 and 4, American Leftists seem to desire somewhere between 9:45 and 11:30-about where Europe tends to hang.

  • STM

    How about 1pm: Australia … free, stable democracy, AND a workers’ paradise.

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

    Although all the flora and fauna – and sometimes the climate too – is trying to kill you! ;-)

  • STM

    No problem: Just go to the pub or the beach … sorry, there are sharks about lately – make that the pool.

    But at least The Left ain’t trying to get us!!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You mean the sharks in the pub?

  • Cannonshop

    Like every other attempt to graph it, the clock-face is utterly wrong, though, Stan. The only bit that it gets RIGHT is that there’s little to no practical difference between Totalitarian Left and Totalitarian Right-they’re both oppressive examples of Extremist Statism, and neither one can tolerate Liberty.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s totalitarianism that makes them the same, the overriding feature.

  • Deano

    There are a number of other facets that make socialism and fascism extremely different beasts beyond just sharing a totalitarian perspective. It is dangerously disingeous, shallow and incorrect to treat them as equivalent. It is an attempt to equate all totalitarianism and evil to left-leaning views and all liberty-lovin’ goodness to the right, which is mostly a steaming pile of horsecrap…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I wasn’t trying to make that kind of identification, Deano. I hope you’re aware of that.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Cannon,

    What time is anarchy, 6 a.m. or 6 p.m.? I want to set my clock so I don’t sleep through it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s funny.

    Let me know so I, too, can set my alarm clock.

  • Deano

    Sorry Roger, I actually wasn’t actually commenting on your specific comment.

  • Irene Wagner

    Anarchy is the delicate interplay of the air displaced by the second and minute hands.

    The hour hand, too important or maybe just too slow to be involved, has all the time in the world to observe in every numeral a potential paradise or hell.

  • Irene Wagner

    Hi Cindy — I missed the end of summer and twitter. I’m exhausted so I can’t stay to chat, but am wishing all of you well.

  • STM

    Rog:”You mean the sharks in the pub?”

    Yep, plenty of those. It’s why I never play pool anymore at the pub.

  • STM

    And all I know about that clockface is that if Australia is at 1pm, it’s also lunchtime.

    Pub time!!

    Then again, whatever time’s on the clockface – it’s always the right time for the high stool.

    Beer has no concept of time.

  • STM

    And it only cares about politics AFTER some bastard has druink it.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Hiya Irene,

    It’s not even November yet! I like it when you cheat. :-)

  • STM

    WTF are you guys talking about??? Summer’s just starting!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Shoot, STM. You’re a continent apart. How long are your summers anyway? Like winters in Alaska?

    And what’s that business about beer and politics? You must be doing well if it takes a few pints to embark on a political debate.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Bastid. :-)

  • Zedd

    Poorly thought out, light article.

  • http://mizbviewsfromthetower.blogspot.com Jeanne Browne

    Dave, what I find most interesting and revealing about your post is that you apparently believe that socialism/Marxism/communism exists in the US in the same way and to the same extent that it used to (and in some instances still does) in South America. That is patently ridiculous. There IS no functioning, vocal Left remaining in our country; if there were, the very vocal and highly populated Right would have a real fight on its hands — but you don’t. You also don’t seem to realize that Pres. Obama is not only not a socialist/Marxist/communist, he isn’t even a genuine, functioning liberal — much to the consternation of the liberals who support him. Except for knowing that to praise Pinochet is essentially a cheer for fascism, I don’t know enough about South American politics and history to dispute you point by point. But I do know enough about this country to recognize that the Right doesn’t know how to make the necessary distinction between capitalism and communism: the first is an economic system; the latter is an oppressive view of how to govern people. The best current example of capitalism & communism in tandem is modern China (remember them, the nation about which America can now sing …”I owe my soul to the company store”?). Democracy and capitalism combined used to be a good idea until the capitalists from the 1980s onward turned into unprecedentedly greedy pigs and threw true democracy under the bus. The enemy that confronts and confuses America today is not some old-school reincarnation of Cold War-style communism, but a New Millennium disregard for human rights, civil rights, social welfare, secular governance, and common sense. I know you disagree with me completely and I’m under no illusion that there is ANYTHING I could say that would encourage you to even examine an opposing point of view as an intellectual exercise. I’m just adding my two cents here while it’s still possible to do so, before the Army of Social Decency (aka the radically conservative Right) manages to gag the Internet in the name of protecting children and respecting God. We have become a nation of disturbingly polar opposites, and everyone seems to have discovered a new style of stupid. As Bob Dylan sang in “Idiot Wind,” “it’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.”

  • Cannonshop

    115: Alcohol’s just a Lubricant, dissolving people’s inhibitions so that the political arguments can become really FUN…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Great point, Jeanne, about American political landscape, characterized mostly by lack of brain cells from both sides.

    The Left has long been reduced to mouthing off an emotional response rather than developing a coherent ideology to deal with the problems of the 21st century. And the Right, in addition to not having been challenged, hadn’t had an original idea in two hundred years and keeps on running on empty and long-defunct slogans of the Revolutionary era.

    Obama truly, far from being a competent and worthy opponent, isn’t even a respectable liberal – just a politician (unfortunately), and not an effective one at that. And the Right’s paranoia is only an indication of its own poverty of ideas and a kind of nostalgia for the idyllic past and la la land. These are the Idiot Wars.

    So you’re spot on, Jeanne. Nothing to add.

  • Zedd

    Roger,

    Under the circumstances that we are in, how would you manage this country?

    1.We are facing one of the greatest economic crisis that this nation has ever seen.

    2.We are in two wars that have caused the entire planet to loose respect for us BUT if they are not resolved well, the safety and stability of the world as we know it could be affected.

    3. Our nation is polarized politically. The apposing side has no ideas so there is no impetus to be more innovative in coming up with solutions and bettering the country. They just appose everything vehemently and cause a great deal of dissension in the nation.

    4. The disinformation machine is well oiled. There is no shame in spreading blatantly wrong information to cause the populous to revolt. The powerful are so committed to retaining and growing their wealth and power to the extent of having no concern for how they impact our nation and it’s inhabitants.

    5. A large portion of our electorate is utterly, shockingly, and abysmally ignorant, yet they (a must see)
    are prepared to revolt. Some are threatening to take arms.

    6. You’ve only been in office for 10 months after George W. Bush’s reign.

    What would YOU do without causing even more divisiveness and confusion??

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I would say the first step would have to do with ending polarization and bringing a sense of unity to the nation. Not necessarily in terms of perhaps much needed reforms but of re-instituting a new mindset.

    You’d need charismatic leadership to accomplish that – Bobby Kennedy comes to mind.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t go away. I’ve got something for you.
    I’m certain you’ve seen it, but it’s worth re-watching:

    Shaka Zulu.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Right, Zedd. It’s the best footage I’ve seen thus far. Tells us exactly where we’re at.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s almost incredible that America has produced such an ignorant segment of the population.

    There can be no better testimony to the abject failure of our capitalist system coupled with the “ideals” of a liberal democracy. It looks like the end of the road.

  • Zedd

    Roger,

    Bobby Kennedy was never tested. We don’t know what type of leader he was. He never got a chance.

    I would say the first step would have to do with ending polarization and bringing a sense of unity to the nation. Not necessarily in terms of perhaps much needed reforms but of re-instituting a new mindset.

    Precicely! You have to be conceliatory in order to do that. You’ve got to give the other side a reason to feel as if they are still at the table.

    Remember that you are also dealing with a legislative branch that is also highly divided. The Dems have been pissed for years because of having to deal with the Reps corrosive games, religious bating and smear campaigns. You have to be a delicate tactician.

    It’s only been 10 months and he’s got a nearly impossible task. The economy is picking up, the idiots are surfacing and being outed, the world likes us a ton more than it did 10 months ago…. Things are a lot better than they could be, under the circumstances.

    By the way, who would be more charismatic?

  • Zedd

    Roger,

    How do you lead that lot (on the video)?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Bobby Kennedy is an example. He was tested, as Attorney General, and he had passion. I don’t think Obama does – except ideology.

    He had bad advisors. Buy aside from that, didn’t get the right feel for the mood/pulse of the nation. Everyone was bound to do better after the Bush era, domestically and on the foreign policy front, so that’s no argument.

    The first thing they should do is communicate and express the priorities, and economic recovery ought to have been the centerpiece. That much was obvious. Everything else should be put on the back shelf. The financial sector ought to have been identified as the main culprit, dealt with accordingly, even nationalized for the time being (if need be) rather than bailed out. All collusion between government and business should be cut at its head. The stimulus package had done nothing of the sort. It only bailed out those who were deemed too big to fail, and when it comes down to it, no one really knows what happened to the money.

    At least in FDR’s case, people were visibly put to work – if only temporarily. It created the right kind of perception. The present unemployment (though the rates are decreasing, the aggregate is rising) is a testimonial to the effect that there was no concerted effort to stop the avalanche. There is no recovery in sight, unless you want to believe the Wall Street pundits and those who have a vested interest in a volatile stock market. As far as I’m concerned, yes, it’s been only 10 months but it’s been a dismal failure. Ten months should not be enough to make this assessment, but considering the nature and the scope of the crisis, it’s more than enough. Results should be there by hook and by crook, visible results everyone could identify with.

    Hence the divisive mood of the country and bitter (if not unreasonable) opposition at every turn – because for all the words, it’s business as usual and nothing has been delivered. Campaign promises always run ahead of the reality, but in these dire times the administration couldn’t afford any kind of gap. And now they’re paying the price.

    Part of the problem was the electorate responsible for Obama’s victory. The winning party took as a mandate to effect, granted, much needed social reforms and redress a great many inequalities and injustices, but all that had to be put on the back burner: economy had to be fixed first before anything else could be made to work. So yes, I feel very strongly about that.

    I don’t get your question in #127.

  • STM

    Rog: “Shoot, STM. You’re a continent apart. How long are your summers anyway? Like winters in Alaska?”

    Pretty much, and damn, they’re hot. I like it, but not everyone does. It’s hotter up north as you head towards the tropics, and a fair chunk of Australia is in the tropic of capricorn and very close to the equator.

    My wife’s from up north, Queensland: it’s only one state away (they’re a lot bigger than Texas, though) but it might as well be another world up there.

    They’ve all had their brains fried by the heat. We call Queenslanders banana benders, and to the south of us, the Victorians are known as Mexicans.

    I went to the Grand Prix down there last year (and it was really, really HOT and DRY, like desert heat) and blokes were selling giant green or orange fluoro sombreros … and ear plugs and sunscren as part of a Grand Prix survival kit.

    Winters are really mild where I live in New South Wales. Most Aussies have never seen snow. It only really snows (a bit) in the Southern Alps, which are pretty poor compared to their northern, European cousins.

    And yes, Christmas is in the middle of summer and it is really, bloody hot usually.

    Tasmania is the only state that has a genuinely temperatte climate, and it gets hot there too in summer, but not for that long.

    Beautiful place though. I could live there. I think Hobart, the capital, while relatively small, is the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hot is bearable as long as it’s not humid. It would seem that if you live next to the ocean, it would be great. Do you? You must since you’re into surfing.

    Just like in California. Southern California can be real hot, as can be the Gold Country (the desert) which often registered the hottest temperatures, But I lived in the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland) – and that was very temperate. October and November is usually the finest time of the year.

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

    Roger, I used to think so too, but try living in a place where the temperature stays over 100 for about 30 consecutive days, as it did in Fresno this summer. It’s enough to drive you halfway crazy.

    Heat with humidity is bearable as long as you don’t mind showering and changing your clothes a few times a day!

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

    And the Bay Area has crazy weather. Gloom and fog most of the time, but then it gets sunny and warm when the rest of California is in mid-winter. Most strange.

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

    Rog, Stan lives in Sydney, which is built around its beautiful harbour and mile upon mile of picture-perfect beaches. It’s one of the world’s great metropoli but is full of wild scenery, almost as if it’s in the middle of a national park.

    I believe Stan’s pied-à-terre is in one of the inland suburbs, but nowhere in Sydney is more than a few minutes’ drive from the beach.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dreadful,

    You’ve got to get used to the Bay Area climate. Takes about a year or two. Besides, it’s a micro-climate. SF may be foggy but Oakland and Alameda quite different.

    Did you get my link, BTW, to Oscar Wilde’s play, The Last Dance of Salome, a Ken Russell flick starring Glenda Jackson?