Actually. Hello? The bell is now tolling. Capitalism is a stumbling zombie eating anything that's moving. In fact, it is eating itself.
A word about social democracy. It is not socialism. The reason it isn't is that it is capitalism. More of the same tweaks. Jean, you need to read up on the political roots of the social democratic movement in the US. The point to realize here is that socialist like tweaks were made to government policies in capitalist economies, implemented by left of centre capitalist political parties such as the social democratic movement is a representative of. BUT... this took place when conditions were conducive for governments to do so, and when the need was there.
Sure there is a great need now for the average joe and jane to benefit from a more caring government, and certainly social unrest is only one more 100,000 or so job cuts away in many parts of the world. But unlike every case example you can think of before now, there is no longer the means for a capitalist government anywhere in the world to do what was done, say by Roosevelt with the New Deal. Most importantly there is not the inclination!
Even in South America where so called socialist governments are springing up like proverbial mushrooms, the tendency will be toward a turning inward, which ultimately will prove to be terminal for them.
Socialism can only work when it is International, not national. Capitalism is on its deathbed. The system is broke. Actually that isn't quite accurate, it has simply run its course. To even consider that Capitalism can be somehow replanted and nurtured into a different poltical and economic system at this stage, when it has become entirely globalised, and when it can no longer harvest markets, or even make profit from production is to totally misunderstand what is actually happening right now.
The only thing that can come out of capitalism out this point is misery and war for everyone. The only clear alternative is International Socialism. That isn't an empty slogan by the way, it is just a fact.
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It is a depression.
Recessions are short lived and are considered to form part of a cyclical pattern, and tend to be geographically confined to a particular, or several. nation states. Depressions last a long time, generally have a far wider impact. and completely change the political and social landscape for everybody. Well. that's my own rule of thumb assessment.
What can be said for certain at this point, is that right around the globe governments and corporations through the media are working hard to convince the populations that this will blow over tomorrow, or at least by the end of next year. Clearly though, it won't. The immediate need is to stifle protest and panic, to protect the banks, and allow the wealthy to profit healthily from the premium lows stocks have fallen to all around the globe.
Actually, no one knows for sure what will happen next, except that is for those who have always taken an honest look at history. Past history shows that there is nothing that the ruling classes or the federal banks can do to fix capitalism at this point. It is for real an historical moment that we are witnessing. This is not an episode in the ongoing ever developing success story of global capitalism, it is in fact the moment when things change forever. Fundamentally, this financial crises is far more serious than the one that occurred just prior to the 2nd World War, i.e. the Great Depression. This one cannot be fixed, things have vastly changed. Resources all around the world have greatly diminished, the environmental damage wrought by the pure human greed of vast corporations has massively worsened the situation. All markets have been over developed and the 'great powers' have exported virtually their entire productive capabilities to places where labour has been cheap, focusing on financial wizardry instead of producing anything of any REAL value (such as food). The capitalists have in effect eaten their young and are now eating themselves.
Which takes us to the question above. What are your worst fears if mass layoffs? I would suggest above all, hunger! Food is already expensive, consider how much more difficult it will be to feed yourself and your family when your government lets loose the policies under legislation right now, or about to be, that make the working class pay for this financial crises. The working class make up the mass of the population in most countries at this point. And even in Japan, you can see as you can elsewhere how those only yesterday 'secure' in their middle class jobs and homes now live in tents, cars, or on park benches. Not really even the working class anymore. Its a drop straight to the bottom.
Yes, hunger will likely be the biggest fear of all.
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Smoke and mirrors economy. Smoke gone and the mirrors are all cracked. US is not far behind.
Do you men the smoke is gone and mirrors all cracked in the US as well?
What happened to the Zurcronium attitude of 'once we get rid of George W. Bush and a Democrat president is elected the US will be back on track'? Have you suffered a sudden revelation?
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I just laugh at the opponents of capitalism, using the internet - as fine an example of 'the invisible hand' and the genius of free markets as could be found - to propagate their ludicrous fantasies of 'international' socialism
An example of the 'invisible hand'? The free market?
Actually none of this relates to how the Internet came about. Its roots lie in the rigidly controlled environment, of top down management you might know as the American military. The next major creator of the Internet as a means of mass communication for the general public was a direct result of developments from that one traditionally free-market free environment of the 1970's and 1980's inhabited by academic researchers, i.e. western universities.
You know what? Today the Internet exists as the most democratic tool of mass communication in existence, it has global reach and the ability to link every individual able to access a terminal, and the terminals come in many forms. As such the Internet is not only the number one way for people to 'break through the matrix', but also offers a very good approximation of what international socialism represents! Good eh!
It is this free movement of ideas around the globe and a multitude of languages that now presents a threat to the various nation states. Ideas are disseminated beyond the control of governments. The response of course by governments is to attempt to control the Internet by censorship structures. The commercialization of the Internet was always inevitable under the Capitalist system and we can see how the corporate world sets about attempting to maintain markets through laws and regulations.
In reference to the JCP, one of the first policies they would action would be to censor the Internet. After all the very concept of the Internet is democratic and runs counter to the raison d'être of a nationalism and particularly one that is a dictatorship, which as I said above, would be the only possible way for a 'communism' modeled on Stalin's Russia to be enacted in Japan, or any nation. And this as I have said above would not in any way equate with what socialism is about.
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You are all over the place with this one. Your example of latino migrant workers in California is spot on as an example of the process of globalization above. Your example of educated workers in the IT industry in India is also part of the process. The two examples lie at different ends of the process. A process which is world wide, has been happening over this last century, but that accelerated quickly under the dominant free market policies actioned by the world's nations.
For several years I lived in a community which experienced the different trends evident in today's globalized economy. One was the mobility of labor, principally undocumented Latinos, who gathered in various places designated by the community to await offers of lawn and construction work. Most probably had very few years of formal education, if any. (California has the highest illiteracy rate in the USA).
Well, let's take up your example here.
The mobility of labor is a direct manifestation of the forces of globalisation. Workers move to where wages are highest. This is precisely what free market policies encouraged, no prescribed. Low wage rural contract work attracts Mexican laborers, the majority unskilled and many barely may not be literate. It is this group of workers that have been attracted into crossing the border to take up the kind of work that unskilled Americans did not For the Mexican laborers the money offered is marginally better than they could receive at home for similar work. This is a phenomenon NOT confined to California or even America, it is also typically seen throughout Northern Europe, the UK, Australasia, the Emirates in the UE, and in Japan to name just a few examples.
Actually, we should keep in mind this is largely in the past now. American unskilled labor forces faces increasingly extremely diminished employment opportunities, and of course as a result now must accept the kind of work conditions they would not have accepted prior to 2008. Recent immigrant workers legal or not are now a lot less able to find work since the face competition from the local native language speakers. Language is only one reason though that employers may now choose not to hire immigrant workers over locals given there is no shortage of supply.
What you are describing is a WORLD WIDE phenomenon, a direct result of the processes of globalization, driven over the past few decades to quicken under free market policies. The same free market policies that are at odds with globalization itself. You don't seem to understand the contradiction these two entail. At least you fail to address it, preferring instead to engage in generalizations, and now this reference to 'post industrialization'. What the heck do you mean by this precisely? Are you attempting to invoke the still born notion of 'postmodernism'. This dream child loved by self deceived academics and intellectuals, and deceiving liberal political historians, the idea that history has ended, that everything amounts to a universe of disunity where all is equal and cause has no effect.
Hey, did you realise the financial crises has beaten down the front door of just about everybody else's house bar yours? Its real, its an effect with a cause, the end result of an entire series of cause and effect.
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Your post is something of an exercise in obfuscation. You appear to construe socialism to equal those existing political parties that choose to label themselves as 'socialist parties'. All OFFICIAL political parties that are part of any so called existing democratic nation are by definition according to their policies, capitalist.
At least since Roosevelt's presidency there has been a steady progress undertaken by all political powers to bring all socialist political parties into the mainstream. The fact that any political party that has refused the status quo has meant effectively disallowed from taking part in any national election list, and in many cases made outright illegal with dire consequences for any individual found to be a member of that banned socialist political party.
The problem for the JCP is that by representing the interests of the workers, their demands may cause private enterprise to outsource jobs to low wage locales where a segment of the local populace is highly educated, such as India or China.
This statement shows a complete lack of understanding of the effects of globalization and actually of the history itself. In the past four decades the principle component of cost to a company has shifted from being the price of raw material to wages (as you yourself note above). The reason wages go up is because wage earners in those previously 'poor' countries demand it. This generally is a tendency across the working demographic, and is not an attribute solely attached to any 'segment of the local population' and certainly doesn't confine itself to the 'highly educated'.
Since when have factory workers been considered to be 'highly educated'?
It is the general manufacturing plants, the factories, that have been the source of any 'real value added products' that have led say, China and India to enrich their economies. In the case of South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan earlier in the previous century there was a shift from agricultural raw products, to value added food products, onward until they were producing most of the world's high end electronics.
Now here is the point with respect to capitalism and globalization. Thee sweep of capitalism in the last three decades has meant the pace of the process of globalization has vastly increased. Today, maintaining an acceptable rate of profit means that corporations, no matter whether they are American, Japanese, or Indian, must today look toward cutting costs. The reason is globalization has meant that local products become progressively too expensive compared to comparable imported products. Local produced goods such as American cars not produced overseas cannot compete with imports. Result, local production is virtually killed off. Consumers just prefer quality at a lower cost, particularly when they have so little money of their own to spend.
Manufacturers find they can only put up their prices so far, in effect, globalization means the capitalist requirement of ever increasing profit is no longer a possibility. When consumers refuse to buy products at higher prices, no matter the bells and whistles added, or the choice of flavors offered, corporations cut wages! This cut in wages has a direct effect both on what consumers within an economy spend (they have less spending power). Meanwhile back in the once 'poor' economy where all the factories are now producing goods once made in the rich economies, workers demand higher wages NOT because they are 'highly educated' but simply because increasing production requires more labour, i.e. they are in demand and so they are now a valuable quantity and can demand increased wages!
Whether the JCP gets into power or not will not change one iota what happens outside of Japan. Point of fact, the JCP have a nationalist agenda, as does every single OFFICIAL and LEGAL communist political party existing in the world at present. Which means if the JCP took control of Japan they would just replicate the problems suffered by any other country in the past that labeled itself communist. Of course, the JCP has itself a conundrum. To be effectively communist, they must control all facets of the economy, including as you point out private ownership, and this would mean they would have to effect a dictatorship.
Socialism and nationalism are oxymorons. The nation state is a product of capitalism itself. But socialism to work at all requires the dissolution of nation states. And by the way, the dissolution of nation states is absolutely the only way to avoid the world returning to medieval times. International socialism is the true form supported by the Fourth International, it is the only workable form, and it is true democracy.
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Socialism is working fine. Look at many of the European countries not to mention the Nordic countries who all have socialist governments they all do fine and enjoy a high standard and quality of life which most Americans can only dream of.
Roger, I'd like to make two points here for you to consider. I am taking for granted your post is not being ahem, ironic.
Firstly, there are no Nordic countries that are presently "doing fine", and secondly no none of them actually governments that fulfil the basic criteria of what it means to be socialist. The last of course hinges on just whether we are using the phrase 'socialist' government to refer to one that is to some degree 'left leaning', or whether we are actually mistaking what the term 'socialist' in fact means.
Messing about with the meaning of the terms we use is really the critical point here, because as you may appreciate this is one trait of political leaders and corporate directors that recently the majority of us have grown exceedingly wary of.
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Sarge at 07:17 AM JST - 23rd January "He assembled his cabinet in record time" He should have taken more time. Some of his choices are not the best. For example, couldn't he have picked a treasury secretary who pays his taxes on time, or a secretary of state who knows what sniper fire is, or a commerce secretary not embroiled in scandals, or...
Hmmm, for treasury secretary we have Timothy Geithner. One of three proteges of the Clinton administration given top economic and budget positions by Obama, he was appointed by President Bush to his current position as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which conducts the day-to-day operations of the Fed on Wall Street. Geithner's first big task is to hand out $350 billion, the 2nd half of the bailout to the major surviving banks. He is also currently busy planning further bank bailouts.
Question: Since the US coffers are already hopelessly buried in debt, who ultimately will be paying for this when Asia decides it can no longer foot the bill? Answer: The American working class, the average Joes and Jaynes. Social services are soon to be put through the shredder.
Look at all the main administration jobs handed out by Obama and you will see those directly responsible for the rapidity of the inevitable financial collapse have been placed in the top jobs.
Lawrence Summers is the new director of the White House National Economic Council. It was Summer and the Clinton administration that backed the deregulation of financial markets (i.e the Republican legislation adopted during Clinton's presidency which repealed the New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act. Summers is the likely candidate to succeed Bernanke should the latter not be reappointed as Fed Chairman.
"Change...", I don't think so.
Paul Volcker nominated as chairman of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, at 82 years of age (nothing wrong with experience in itself) is a former investment banker. He was also the key figure from the Reagan administration that led the onslaught against the working class, destroying the unions as a significant force in the US. Those interested in history will remember the mass firing of striking air traffic controllers and the complete crushing of the PATCO union. The aim was to bring inflation under control, the outcome was a Volker induced recession, when in 1982-83 the US rate of unemployment approached 10%. That was the highest then, since WW2.
Think Volcker is planning a different route this time around? I don't.
Well, that sums up the general approach this new administration intends to take to address economic and budget issues. Can't see "change" in anything substantial. Can you?
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Part two from taniwha with fewer typos
The reality in the end is that all of this is nothing less than a symptom of the final convulsions of capitalism. There are no more markets to divide, and if there were no way to divide them outside of war between nations. There is no way for American production to manufacture goods enough to pay off its debt even if there were the consumers with money enough to buy them. Successive administrations have hollowed out American production turning to financial products over real ones, financial wizardry and now the genie, if you like is well and truly out of the bottle and cannot be put back in. In any event, the forces of globalization, an inevitable development, have meant that other economies developed by America after the 2nd world war to create markets for American capitalism to harvest, now 'own' America. The very fact that America was the agent of this global economic collapse is due only to the fact that nation became at the apex of world capitalism, the king maker if you like, and now it has been usurped by a part of the world that has not developed a middle class enough to develop itself into a new capitalist economic powerhouse.
Capitalism equals the power of greed, and it has consumed all about it. It now stands a hungry and mean monster that rationality no longer constrains. Anything can happen. Obama is a product of these developments. He has risen out of a system that before him placed George Bush in office. The American people have no say in real change, they are blinded by desperation now. The two party fraud has probably played its penultimate hand in placing a minority representative in office, and this could only happen now, after decades of preparation playing up minority politics over the reality of the class system capitalism depends on.
I'm not intending to suggest Obama is in any way another intellectual midget and a sadist as was his predecessor, but he is no more and no less than a product of this system. As such then, he represents and serves those who control America and indeed their like is in place in every nation state in the world, in similar fraudulent political structures pretending to be democratic. So don’t expect real change from the course America has been on these past several decades (not just the last 8 years). Unfortunately the domestic situation will turn ugly, and it is likely social services will be severely cut back, the police will become increasingly militarized, and there is the likelihood as I posted last year, America will become a military dictatorship in the near future. Unbelievable perhaps to the majority just a year ago.
The alternative though is real democracy. The kind that can only be achieved by a world acting together from the ground up rather than from the top down and in power blocks as it presently consists of. The alternative is to move on from the degrading hell of nation states, capitalism and war, toward a truly democratic system that unites us all.
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A two parter post again from taniwha
The right wingers here are grabbing at any tiny straw they can to indict a man they don't yet know and who they have judged before giving him a fair chance to show the measure of his character
There is hypocrisy in Obama's inauguration that no hyperbole from any amount of over-excited media talking heads can hide. The expense of the show flies in the face of Obama's call for austerity. Is such a comment mean spirited? When Obama uses his inauguration speech to underline his message that all American's must now act with responsibility his words are rendered hollow. When people get over their excitement at seeing George Bush off finally, what will be left will be the harsh reality of just what Obama has been talking about in this speech.
It was not ordinary Amerian's who were to blame for the insane government policies that allowed greedy CEOs and the financial elite in general to lay waste to the financial system of America. Ordinary men and women were encouraged over successive administrations to spend, not to save, and they were given no rights at all to have a say in what kind of regulations should be in place to regulate the irrational greed of the most unrestrained capitalists in control of the natio gurgler n's industry.
Yet Obama lays the blame squarely at the feet of the American people. He didn't even attempt to assert the reality, that it was the utterly reckless policies of successive administrations that allowed this inevitable financial crises to become so all encompassing that America takes the world down the along with its own people.
I posted here previously over the past two years that the draft will be re-instated, and just last year I posted Obama in a speech in front of military cadets suggested the draft should be re-instated. You can be sure it will be. When Obama turns his inaugurations speech into a textbook definition of modern day militarism after declaring America will fight on against all its foes and come out victorious, that this war on terror is not only going to carry on but will be significantly widened.
With regard to America's turn to military might as THE tool of choice to render its foreign policies onto an unwilling world, the Obama administration will match the Bush administration, and in all likelihood the carnage that results will be far more terrible than anything that occurred while Bush sat in the oval room.
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Cut and past, cut and past, that's no way to debate a point. It suffices as troll behavior though. Wonder why you even bother to cut and paste. You could make your one liners fine without needing to include any actual substance, from my posts.
The great thing about having a charming and charismatic president, such as Obama is that when the not so very well hidden agenda really kicks in, people realize who and what all those presidents including Obama and back at least as far as Franklin D. collectively represent. It actually won't take long.
The speech content as I present it in my two posts above serves to underline the fact that this administration will carry out business as usual. The only thing different will be the posture and the face, and the eloquence of the president.
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Good points all, well observed. The amount of money that has been sunk into this inauguration, apparently the largest for any inauguration, given the economic situation soon to be faced by all Americans, seems to demonstrate nothing less than an amazing degree of arrogance by the financial elite in Washington.
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And what was missed out in the new president’s inauguration speech?
He missed out any reference to the real reason behind the financial crises. He did not once nail the blame on those who allowed the greed of bankers and their institutions on Wall Street to sell off the wealth of Americans and undermine the entire banking system throughout the world in one blow. Not one mention of the insanely irresponsible legislations passed through the senate over several of the most recent administrations, notably both Republican AND Democrat.
A comparison here is needed. Franklin D. Roosevelt in his inaugural speech sought to give Americans "the whole truth" and did indeed lay the blame for the deep recession at that time on the policy makers. Roosevelt declared in his speech; "the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence... Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men." By comparison Obama laid the blame on the American people themselves. Obama even started his speech with this: "Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age..."
Once the celebration has died down and the cold sets in the reality of just who the new president and his administration is there to serve will eventually hit home to American people. Really, it is only a matter of time now before the reality of this fraudulent two party system is exposed and with that realization will come the understanding that the kind of change we all really need is to move on from a decaying capitalist system that is wreaking havoc equally now across the world and on to a truely democratic system based on modern scientific principles, and that my friends is international socialism.
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So its off to war America. Or to be more precise, its 'war as usual'.
The subterfuge that is the war on terror continues, will continue under the Obama administration. And just like before you will continue to see the democratic rights of American citizens chipped away one by one as the economy deteriorates. The ruling class in its panic to profit by any means and in their fear of a working class struggle will resort to ever increasing militarization of the police.
This all has already been hinted at by the policy outlines put forward by Obama, the people he has put in key administration roles, and by the general flavor of his recent speeches particularly as I note above in his inauguration speech.
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Actually, Helter Skelter, no. You can cross off 'International Socialists', from your list. So far as celebrating this inauguration speech goes at least. Obama's speech was disappointing not only for what it omitted but also for what it included.
I will deal with the points many people anticipated hearing him mention but which were left at first. Black Americans might have been left wondering why on the day after the national holiday celebrating Martin Luther King's epic leadership for civil rights, Obama made not a mention of the struggle. Point of fact, America's first non-white president did not mention any social struggle at all. You might wonder why not? Many will be wondering. Consider this, with the threat of a the recently immense sudden growth in the size of the American working class, the ruling class long held fear of a social struggle is foremost on the president's mind when it concentrates on issues domestic. There is also the undeniable fact that this president has the support of large numbers of the most right wing sections of the ruling establishment not least the military, and including the majority of the corporate world and really their is nothing more reactionary than those groups. It was to be expected he would not be willing to offend them in any way. As my recent posts prior to the election pointed out, it is these groups who were demonstrating their support for Obama over any other candidate for a long while before election day.
Considering things military, the jingoistic nature of Obama's speech was actually quite startling. Remember that a large number of the population earlier expressed their wish for America to end its war in Iraq, and that Obama had for a while before his elected peppered his speeches with mentions of how he would fight to end that war. Instead of reassuring those who hated America's recent war mongering in the Middle East with Blitzkrieg attacks that opened the way for Israel's horrific demolition from air and ground on the citizens of Gaza city. In this inauguration, Obama simply restated the Bush administration mantra. ""We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense" and his chastisement of foreign leaders--presumably in the historically oppressed countries of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America--who "blame their society's ills on the West... We will defeat you." And this last just days after the sickening assault by America's proxy in the Middle East.
Actually, Obama celebrated militerism itself calling the nation to set as an example for themselves the fighting warriors of the US marine corp; ""who at this very hour patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains," declaring "their spirit of service" to be "precisely [the] spirit that must inhabit us all."
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The cease fire may be in place but the damage done has been immense, and the seeds for further and wider conflict most certainly have been sewn by this murderous assault on humanity.
Just as a wrap up of the type of military assault the city of Gaza was subject to go here. Hospital medical staff in Gaza report the kinds of injuries seen were horrific in not only nature but in scale. Reports have been gathered from interviews conducted by The Financial Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, as well as from the Associated Press, and from Rueters. Fascist inspired slogans painted on the walls of bombed buildings by departing troops are reported also. News reports are that chemical weapons had been used on a school, with accusations by several civilians that contradict the official Israeli statements that troops responded to being under fire from the school zone. However, it is one particular weapon used reported in this article by hospital staff that is the most profoundly disturbing, and that is the one known as Dime.
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there is no ideology be it Capitalism or Communism, that is a fix for the issues present today or in the future.
Capitalism is the economic and political system in place throughout the entire world. But this was not the case in the middle of the last century. I am saying capitalism is the root cause of the where the world is at present. From your comment above it looks like you don't think the 'issues' we are discussing involve an ideology to begin with? Actually they do.
How else do you think the line of decisions that bought the financial crises upon America first and then the entire world the next day came about? Through adherrance to an ideology, firstly capitalism and secondly Monetarism. The latter, to the masses, amounts to having blind faith in the markets, to those who actually control the means to production (i.e. corporations, Wall Street financiers, the 'royal families' of industry etc) this means manipulation of markets through legislation to further generate enormous profits into their own coffers.
So yes, recognizing that this disaster is a result of a systemic failure of belief - actually pure greed - is essential to finding away to address the problem.
By the way, socialism is science, not mysticism, it is not ideology in the sense that capitalism remains, because unlike capitalism, socialism is based on historical materialist reasoning. Capitalism in the later twentieth century justified itself increasingly on the mythical governance of Adam Smith's invisible hand, and underlying that ideology is the myth that human kind are basically disinterested in helping each other, greedy bastards in effect. The last however, is just not true, any knowledge of the histories of peoples around the world teaches us that entire communities address the survival by staying together and sharing their resources, and all of these societies prior to the arrival of dominant capitalist economy and politics were, naturally, not capitalist societies!
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Any serious discussion can be scary to some degree or another, but does that mean we simply avoid the discussion? The results of refusing to discuss alternatives, and simply allowing 'things' to happen can be far scarier with permanent and far reaching damaging effect. Don't you think this financial crises is scary?
I would vouch that every leader in the world whether in the political or corporate world are right now extremely scared. The reason being there simply is NO solution to the situation that could be deemed by the marijority of any population to be rational and reasonable. The truth is the situation we are now in was foreseeable and was written about in considerable detail, by Karl Marx, Engles, Trotsky et al. The only thing they did not get right were the exact dates. Ask yourself why the average Joe and Jane no nothing about these writings, and attach the names to some reprehensible chapter in history when the good capitalist world was under threat by some evil known as communism.
It is far better for us all to be aware of the alternatives and to be part of honest and open debate, than it is to hide from a subject because it looks scary.
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The kind of socialism envisaged by the JCP is Stalinist communism, nationalistic and so inward looking and doomed to failure. Socialism is not the same as communism. The steps are from a capitalist system to a socialist system to a communist system. And NO, Stalism and Maoism et al were not communism, as envisaged by all the great socialist thinkers from Marx on down, nor by the famous supporters of socialism such as Albert Einstein, Charles Chaplin and so on.
A nationalist form socialist state is by definition a dictatorship, and arguably Castro's Cuba apart the end result is a bloody tyranny.
Socialism to be successful entails necessarily internationalism, i.e. all countries become socialist. Is this a utopian notion? Well, at this present time it sure looks like it. But then again, if capitalism stays in place the free world expires. And by the way, Socialism necessarily entails democracy. Dictators like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, ruled over a political and economic system that was socialist in name only, and as such proved to be a gift to the capitalist leaders worldwide who held up those tyrannies to be proof that socialism itself was actually an 'evil'.
If there is an evil system at all, it is that which we witness in place right now. Capitalism in its dying stages will kill a very large portion of the world's population if it is allowed to continue.
Capitalism more than two hundred years ago created the nation state system we have in place today. This was a necessary development, and so too has been the process of globalization. But the two things capitalism and nation states cannot co-exist forever. They are fundamentally in contradiction with one another. Now, as the world economy caves in on itself, the end result of the dying stages of capitalism when all means of production has been gathered in the hands of a few (read corporations and ruling families), and there are no more markets that can be developed, capitalism is left with one terrible solution to save itself.
That solution entails killing off it is estimated something like half the world's population. The vehicle by which this killing is done is likely to be a world war. This is the only way left for the great powers to redivide the pie. This is not the answer.
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Yep, Obama is a moderate. And I'm going to enjoy the dropped jaws from the left and far left when they finally realize that. But I'll always thank them for helping him get elected. Besides, they'll always have Bush to talk about.
A moderate captain at the helm of a destroyer still has the mission to complete.
May make no difference at all to those who think this financial crises will blow over in a couple of years or even in ten years. If you think this then you do not understand just how f****d the world economic system is at this point, and just how inadequate the measures taken so far are in being able to deal with the root cause.
Go watch a video of Peter Schiff on Youtube to get a picture of what is happening and what the future holds, for the US at least. Of course I don't follow Schiff's solution, principally because his medicine would be poison to the entire working class, and ultimately to the world as a whole. Nevertheless he does has the ability to describe lucidly the reality you and millions of deluded Americans, are simply not facing up to. There seems to be about umpteen dozen videos on Youtube focusing on him - including one remarkable one where CNN apparently cuts off the video link as he is in mid prediction on the US economy.
Obama will be at the helm when the new administration slices and dices all social welfare services, including medicare and medibank, education, and the care of veterans.
Obama will also as I imply here be at the helm of new major wars which were already planned by the hawks in the US war wings well prior to the Bush administration coming into power. Obama despite his pre-election promises will not be ending the war in Iraq, in fact it will likely blow up again very soon, will be fanning the war in Afghanistan into something far bigger, likely sucking in Pakistan, and of course Obama speeches have recently made it clear a direct military strike upon Iran has not been taken off the list of things-to-do before Christmas 2010.
The only jaws that will be dropping in response to Obama's leadership several months from now, will be those that remain deluded about the reality of the nature of America's fraudulent two party system, AND the reality of the state of health of capitalism itself today.
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Try reading the whole post. Capitalism was a step forward, a beneficial one initially, as I pointed out. But nothing lasts forever. To believe so is not only to delude yourself but to be a lemming in a crowd of lemmings, believing there is no other path but the one everyone is following, over the cliff. This is where we are going now. Capitalism died yesterday, it is on life support but it is virtual only. Socialism is the next step forward, but it must be international socialism and not the lie of 'socialism in one nation'.
Are you aware that the process of globalism undermines the nation state? That nation statehood and the elevation of personal profit above all other values (i.e. capitalism) is locked in contradiction, and the outcome is conflict between nations. In a situation like we have headed into, a global recession world war threatens. Another point to consider about this financial crises is that the underlying aggravating causes are intractable, far worse than those that resulted in the Great Depression. Back in the 1930's China barely suffered the kind or recession that took place in the US, the UK, and Australia. Today EVERY country is falling into recession, and EVERY economy is locked together. In other words, what is suffered by one is likely to be suffered by all. The Great Depression ended with a world war, just as did the deep recession two decades or so prior to that.
Today, with the kinds of military weapons at the disposal of the great powers, and with resources across the world vastly more diminished by comparison to all those decades ago, contemplating the outcome of the next 'solution' to a deep world recession is sobering indeed.
Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion focused on communism's appeal in Japan.
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If you saw it all coming, as you claim, and didn't invest accordingly, I would say so. Yes, bummer, man.
True very true. Not surprisingly I have indeed invested accordingly. This is the point of my posts. It is vital to understand what is happening so that one can invest their 'assets' accordingly.
In fact if anyone intent on managing their capital did pay heed to the warnings my posts drew attention to since 2002 they would have greatly benefited. But of course, I have been not been focusing on the topic of investing in stocks, properties and commodities above.
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Yeah, well, what can I say? If it helps any I wish like hell I have been entirely wrong. But since beginning my posts here in 2000 my sources have proven to be entirely correct. It is a real bummer though, isn't it?
The upside though is that there is an alternative, and the kind of portentous future I have been describing which for the most is now becoming reality, and the near more terrifying future awaiting us doesn't at all have to eventuate. But it will, if things don't change. Really change, and very quickly.
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The certainty, the faith, the tiresome persistence that certain socialists show in regard to this laughable fantasy and its supposed historical inevitability makes the most zealous Jehovah's Witness or Mormon holy-roller or celebrity "Scientologist" seem like a beacon of rationality.
Yes, it is a lot like the tiresome persistence of the belief that capitalism is the only possible option for a political and economic system. Even now as we face the unthinkable, the reality of the utter failure of capitalism to deliver its promise of erasing world poverty, of bringing peace, and even the most basic promise attended to by every libertarian of capitalism as the driving force behind democracy for all. Even as the financial crises beats its way through our collective front door there continue to be lemmings like the above poster crying out, there is no other way but over that cliff ahead of us.
Nothing equals the mysticism of religious fervour like the belief that Adam Smith's invisible hand (i.e. the free market) will make all the right decisions for us. Right, and just look at where that has bought us to today.
You know, capitalism bought us rapid industrial development, technological innovations, and intellectual creativity in a very short time. But that does not mean that what began in the West a little more than 3 centuries ago is the final statement on reality. The world changes, discoveries are made, and what is needed now to correct the extreme disfunction bought on by capitalism in its dying stages is truly a scientific approach to politics and economy, one that embraces all of the developments. This step is what socialism entails, an historical materialist approach to the reality of living together in a world of depleted and ever diminishing resources.
To continue to listen to the irrational and reactionary voices that are driven by nothing but pure greed is to give up every intellectually and spiritually to these postmodern poststructural delusions which amount to mysticism.
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Barack Obama will turn old and grey long before the US economy pulls itself back on to its feet. The root causes to the financial crises are political as well as economic, and so long as the Democrat/Republican front for the American ruling elite stays in place so too will America's nasty domestic situation.
At the risk of sounding immensely cynical this last election became an utter farce, a veritable treasure trove of minorities were proffered as Party candidates. Offered the chance to have the oldest president, to the first women president, to the first black American actually the first non-white president of America it was the representative of arguably the one group that had the longest history of shabby treatment that won the presidential race.
It remains though. unmistakably, a standout point of where minority politics has taken America from the 1960's until now, minority rights have been all about highlighting the ability of representatives from non dominant groups in the political spectrum to be able to drink from the same trough as the dominant majority. This has meant the creation of an entire middle class of black Americans, and yet the prisons remain more than 70% full of young black Americans, the majority from the working class.
The agenda all along has been to drive class politics from the foreground, right out of the picture in fact. Reality is, Obama stands for the ruling class, his entire presidential race if not even from his initial grooming as a political footsoldier for the ruling class, was financed by the private financiers and corporations. Obama's speeches now are almost entirely devoted to wiping away any allusions his earlier presidential campaign speeches intentionally promulgated.
Obama's speeches now make clear his interests are in defending the rights of the priviliged over the rights of the working class who are and will be increasingly, those who will suffer the most as the recession deepens and lengthens. The fact is, Obama stands for the interests of the wealthy and the corporations. Any president who would be elected if it was to be other than Obama would stand exactly for the same.
So don't for one moment, think with George W Bush no longer in office everything all that was done during the past 8 years will begin to be undone. Some things will improve of course, starting with the presidential speeches themselves, but other than that things will continue to move along the path the US ruling elite decided the country to go on more than a decade ago. Wars, lots of them, the continued erosion of civil rights, the gutting of wealth from the towns and communities of the country itself. And really, it can be summed up by stating simply what American foreign policy will continue to exact on the outside world, American domestic policy will replicate on its own people.
Obama's presidency does not ensure there will be no substantial change, it simply means it will be profit making as usual, only it will be this time with a far more eloquent leader than that previous in office that is now leading the pillaging.
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The above article shares a number of quite remarkable similarities (be they only on the surface) with one article written by John Chan for the WSWS in November 2008. For those who are interested in a clearer picture on the JCP, and why its rising popularity go to this link below.
Anyway, Mesieur (Madam) Liddell, nevertheless I commend you for paying attention to one of the best researched sources I have routinely cited, and occasionally plagiarized, over the years I have posted here on JT.
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To be precise, Israel could have let up on the so called surgical air strikes which killed innocent victims along with their intended targets, could have let up on the ongoing for more than a year now, crippling sanctions on the Gaza economy, could and should have used their own land to build the dividing barrier on instead of Palestinian soil. They could have done that anytime.
In the entire history of the rocket attacks from Gaza, the numbers of Israeli killed reveals just how disproportionate has been the retribution exacted by Israel.
Since the year 2000, the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian violence according to Israeli figures, totals 1,176 people.
In just 3 weeks more than 1000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli forces. Around 50% of the dead alone were women and children, a lot of children. Literally thousands have been maimed and injured, and the injuries from both explosives and incendiaries has been horrific.
As the recent article in Israel's Haaretz noted, the responsibility ultimately for high numbers of innocent civilians killed lies with Israel. The reality is Gaza is one of the most intensely populated urban areas in the world, it is after all nothing but a strip of land, one which has been designated by Israel to be the prison for Palestinians who either refused to emigrate or simply were unlucky to be unable to do so. Look at the apartheid history of South Africa, the political 'solution' to having such a large number of non-white population, in order to understand the reality of Israel today. Hamas is no more and no less than the equivalent of the ANC, also designated a terror organisation during the apartheid era and freedom fighters to their own people. There is though a notable difference, Hamas won a democratic election. They have the support of the population of Gaza, whether Israel likes it or not. For this reason alone talk, rather than 'surgical' military strikes and murderous sanctions on water, food and medicines should have been the way for Israel to set out to resolve differences.
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From reading the mindless reactionism of some posts here it would likely stun most posters on this thread to realise that there are in fact substantial number of Jews around the world who are disgusted by the murderous assault on civilians by the Israeli government.
Even in Israel itself the level of violence and the duration of the assault has driven newspapers to publish the outrage spoken against what is happening in Gaza.
In last Thursday's edition of Haaretz correspondent Gideon Levy wrote this in an article.
" God does not show mercy on the children at Gaza's nursery schools, and neither does the Israel Defense Forces. That's how it goes when war is waged in such a densely populated area with a population so blessed with children. About half of Gaza's residents are under 15."
Levy noted that even prior to the war the IDF already had killed 952 Palestinian children and adolescents since May 2000.
"One can say Hamas hides among the civilian population, as if the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv is not located in the heart of a civilian population, as if there are places in Gaza that are not in the heart of a civilian population. One can also claim that Hamas uses children as human shields, as if in the past our own organizations fighting to establish a country did not recruit children. "A significant majority of the children killed in Gaza did not die because they were used as human shields or because they worked for Hamas. They were killed because the IDF bombed, shelled or fired at them, their families or their apartment buildings. That is why the blood of Gaza's children is on our hands, not on Hamas's hands, and we will never be able to escape that responsibility."
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