Posts Tagged ‘socialism’

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Responding to this. Apparently, he’s so confident that he’s hiding the comments on Medium.

The answer is in the question. Socialism is an imbalance that hands the government too much power. You mindlessly phrased it in Marxist terms, “capitalism” versus “socialism,” as if the twentieth century never happened.

The problem is ignorance, ahistorical power grabs, running the whole ship aground. Those are for starters.

You use “socialism” and “democratic socialism” interchangeably. Your adherents lack intellectual rigor and trustworthiness to tackle the complex problems, thus eroding their credibility — and odds of succeeding.

Once you demonize the freedom to trade, the government becomes an unstoppable juggernaut. If the government seizes the “means of production” then the entire society is at the mercy of the government. This is some flavor of totalitarianism or creeping totalitarianism. The government cannot be entrusted with too much power, as the American founders wisely understood and planned for.

Labels matter. You just put up the Communist red flag

View at Medium.com

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Oliver reveals that he is an imperial tool who uses his progressive credentials to attack the official enemies.

SLICK PROPAGANDA

 

 

Boston police with seized radical literature, November 1919

Boston police with seized radical literature, November 1919

 

In Trump’s rapidly descending fascist Amerika, we had better take a look at what already happened before.

When Dissent Became Treason

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It’s perfectly ordinary to be a socialist. It’s perfectly normal to be in favor of fire departments.

— Kurt Vonnegut

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By William Blum

Are you confused by the Middle East? Here are some things you should know. (But you’ll probably still be confused.)

  • The US, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the Gulf monarchies have all in the recent past supported al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State (ISIS) with arms, money, and/or manpower.
  • The first example of this was in 1979 when the United States began covert operations in Afghanistan, six months before the Russians arrived, promoting Islamic fundamentalism across the southern tier of the Soviet Union against “godless communism”. All the al-Qaeda/Taliban shit then followed.
  • In addition to Afghanistan, the United States has provided support to Islamic militants in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, the Caucasus, and Syria.
  • The United States overthrew the secular governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya and is trying to do the same with Syria, thus giving great impetus to the rise of ISIS. Said Barack Obama in March of this year: “ISIS is a direct outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion. Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”
  • More than a million refugees from these wars of Washington are currently over-running Europe and North Africa. God Bless American exceptionalism.
  • The Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish Kurds have all fought against ISIS, but Turkey – close US ally and member of NATO – has fought against each of them.
  • Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanese factions have each supported the Syrian government in various ways in Damascus’s struggle against ISIS and other terrorist groups, including the (much celebrated but seldom seen) “moderate” ones. For this all four countries have been sharply criticized by Washington.
  • The United States has bombed ISIS in Syria, but has used the same occasions to damage Syria’s infrastructure and oil-producing capacity.
  • Russia has bombed ISIS in Syria, but has used the same occasions to attack Syria’s other enemies.
  • The mainstream media almost never mentions the proposed Qatar natural-gas pipelines – whose path to Europe Syria has stood in the way of for years – as a reason for much of the hostility toward Syria. The pipelines could dethrone Russia as Europe’s dominant source of energy.
  • In Libya, during the beginning of the 2011 civil war, anti-Gaddafi rebels, many of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were protected by NATO in “no-fly zones”.
  • US policy in Syria in the years leading up to the 2011 uprising against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, which began the whole current mess, was designed to promote sectarianism, which in turn led to civil war with the goal of regime change.
  • US Secretary of State John Kerry declared on October 22 that in resolving Syria’s civil war the country “should not be broken up, that it must remain secular, and that Syrians should choose their future leader.” (All of which actually describes Syria under Assad.) Then Kerry said: “One thing stands in the way of being able to rapidly move to implement that, and it’s a person called Assad, Bashar Assad.”
Why does the government of the United States hate Syrian president Bashar al-Assad with such passion?

Is it because, as we’re told, he’s a brutal dictator? But how can that be the reason for the hatred? It would be difficult indeed to name a brutal dictatorship of the second half of the 20th Century or of the 21st century that was not supported by the United States; not only supported, but often put into power and kept in power against the wishes of the population; at present the list would include Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Indonesia, Egypt, Colombia, Qatar, and Israel.

The United States, I suggest, is hostile to the Syrian government for the same reason it has been hostile to Cuba for more than half a century; and hostile to Venezuela for the past 15 years; and earlier to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; and to Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Chile; and so on continuing through the world atlas and history books.

What these governments have had in common can be summarized in a single word – independence … independence from American foreign policy; the refusal to be a client state of Washington; the refusal to be continuously hostile to Washington’s Officially Designated Enemies; insufficient respect and zeal for the capitalist way of life.

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Debate the Democratic Party Debate with Abby Martin

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Counterpunch has been a blatherpocalypse these past few months. For and against Sanders has been the hot-button topic.

This dude, Andrew Stewart, makes a great case for Sanders by making it easy to reject the hair-brained communist-manifesto rhetoric of himself, Andrew Stewart:

“I am by choice one who describes his politics as anarcho-syndicalist, which I feel has a more tenable chance of being achieved in this country than the parliamentary road.”

So a flavor of anarchist, but he then goes on to praise the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in any number of ways, like that was a noteworthy success we might emulate, only to take it much further this time…?

Stewart says:

“The nationalization of the banks and socialization of the means of production are bare essentials of any real socialist program, regardless of ideological tendency.”

This is false, as Scandinavian countries, and most of the western world for that matter, instituted countless social assistance programs without doing either. The demand to seize the “means of production” in a sweeping totalitarian maneuver is so radical on its face, and so impossible in reality–not to mention undesirable–that it would force a society that resembles North Korea or STASI Germany in order to implement it!

Verdict: Andrew Stewart’s prescription for humanity is a kind of 19th century totalitarianism. His criticism of Sanders is that Bernie is in no position to upend the entire economy of the planet, use military force and come marching in some sort of revolution to please the handful of diehard communists (or anarchists? he seems confused) who will accept nothing less.

So, perhaps Bernie is doing something right.

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Cuban Politics & Zombies

It seems a lot of American critics saw only the surface criticisms of the film, and ignored the equally scathing critique of capitalism contained therein. US pundits, who raved about the movie, sought to use it as a propaganda piece for their own purposes, ignoring the complexity. Predictable.

The film contains an obvious set of barbs skewering the Cuban socialistic system for its shortfalls. It is cut off, with an embargo from the US for fifty years, because the US doesn’t like to have bad examples where the people get health care, for example. The Cuban economy has been hit pretty badly, but it still attracts tourists from across Europe and Latin America, as acknowledged in the film.

Juan and his gang are low level criminals, thieves, grifters, opportunists. Here’s where the unacknowledged critique of capitalism enters the story. When the zombiepocalypse hits, Juan takes it upon himself to start a Ghostbusters type zombie killing service – for a fee. He’s a mercenary, entirely in it for the money and unwilling to help others because it’s the right thing to do. Did you catch that?

He’s a criminal turned capitalist. They are closely related.

His sidekick then literally machetes a man to death, not a zombie, a man who owes him money. Driven by the desire to have money, he murders a begging neighbor in broad daylight.

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While the anachronistic Cuban state TV propaganda receives much deserved satire, so too does the mercenary ruthlessness of disaster capitalism. Both these extremes are lampooned. This also elevates the film well above and beyond the simpleminded propaganda championed by simplistic US proponents. It takes a broader view, a more mature view of economic realities and shortcomings.

Spoiler

To bring the story full circle, Juan reconsiders his own personal self-interest by film’s close. Instead of running off to America with the others, he does a 180. As a patriotic Cuban, he returns to shore to do battle with the zombie hordes and save Cuba: a selfless act in the interest of the many, not of his own skin.

The deeper message is one of sacrificing for the good of the people, the socialistic ideal. The Cuban government, while evolving from the structures of the old Soviet times, retains this sense of the good of the many over the profit desires of psychopathic billionaires from abroad. That much is reinforced in the film. It takes some knowledge of the world beyond US State Department propaganda, though.

Juan is not a great zombie film, but it is a unique one. It’s an interesting take on a part of the world we don’t see too much.

“The only practical solution”