The 'New' Communism

I saw this on another blog/board and thought it was the greatest thing I've read in years. It's a long read, but I think it's EXCELLENT!!

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http://speakeasyforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8821083241/m/2401015581

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This is a very good article, but the author (Winston Smith) makes a few assertions in his opening paragraph that I don

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

All this Communism neener neener is a bunch of crap, since in David Korten's words:

"In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy and the market economy."

The evils of Communism are well documented and acknowledged by the West. When will the West apply equal documentation and acknowledgement to the evils of Capitalism?

At any rate, you'd have to have your head examined and pharmaceuticals prescribed if you think that even outrageous Communist states like North Korea (precisely, a "Communist Dynasty") are not strongly Capitalist in their elite classes. The evils committed by these societies revolve around excessive concentration of wealth and power, which are used to attack other nations and the bulk of their own citizens. This is exactly America's problem, too. The extreme right and left are firmly allied in concentrating wealth in their own, select classes and they clearly use such powers to not only attack states in Africa and the Middle East, but they are constantly attacking us as well (too many assaults on civil liberties to count).

The man with the pen, business suit and bank backing is equally evil in line with the man with the gun, uniform and barracks backing. Let's not pretend that America's religiously-worshipped Capitalism is in any way less evil than Communism. Communist states have to clean up their act if they expect to really interact with the world community. So must we.

Let's not pretend that America's religiously-worshipped Capitalism is in any way less evil than Communism.

I agree with GZ's belief that capitalism has it's dark side, but to say it's just as evil as communism is wrong. You can't make that statement truthfully if you look at the average person living under communism to the average person living under capitalism. I have worked with people that grew up in both communist Poland and communist China (before most of their reforms) and they don't have anything good to say about it. In fact, one man was brought to tears when he was telling me about Chinese human rights violations.

Point out capitalism's flaws, but don't equate it to communism. Captialism is nowhere near communism when comparing the number of people in absolute poverty and the amount of corruption at its highest levels.

You are all very correct.

The only few points I'd nitpick about are these:

GZ is right about capitalists not always wanting to devaluate capitalists and their feelings on communism. However it Communism relies on the government having the most morals whereas capitalism relies on the consumer having the most morals. Both are conceptually flawed but I'd argue it's easier to change a person than a government.

and the other:

Madjack's assessment on dropping the bomb on Japan. As much as historians have said it was to scare Russia I actually had a teacher who taught in Missouri in the same town that Truman lived and had him come to his class and talk to the students. He heard the Prez tell the students why he made the decision.

His answer was that public opinion was starting to sway against the war, it had only recieved a "bounce" from the Iwo Jima photo. Also he knew what the stake of lives, military and civilian, would be if an advance upon mainland Japan was made. Add to the equation the rising threat of communist sympathizers in China and on the Korean peninsula and less instability in the region seemed like a good choice.

MikeyA

MikeyA

And it ends up just devolving into a generational penis-measuring rant. The author makes several incorrect assumptions:

1. Socialism is not an intermediate step between capitalism and communism, it's a distinct economic system. It also cannot be implemented over the long term due to the impossibility of calculating the future needs of an economy.

2. Restrictions on tobacco use is not a sign of socialism. If the government were to appropriate tobacco factories, then the claim of socialism would be valid. Essentially what the regulations and taxes on tobacco do is frontload the negative externalities of smoking onto those who participate in the act of smoking, instead of spreading the costs out in the future onto all citizens regardless of their use of tobacco.

3. While the US faced off against communist nations in the Cold War, we also attempted to centrally plan our economy. For example, Nixon instituted wage and price controls in 1973. Another example of central planning in the US during the Cold war can be seen in the airline industry, which was controlled by the Civil Aeronautics Board until 1978. We were not a bastion of economic freedom during the Cold War, despite what Winston Smith claims. We embraced central planning from 1932 until 1980 under the auspices of Keynesian economic policies.

4. Winston's rant about communists indoctrinating college students couldn't be further from the truth. Today's college is far less focused on liberal arts (often the center of liberal and socialist thought on a college campus) and much more industry and technology focused. An example of this is UT's push to increase their STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, & Medical) programs. The Sranahan Building is getting a new $20M annex. A new pharmacy building is going to be added to the MCO campus. A look at UT's Master Plan shows that UT has no major facility expansions or remodeling planned for the liberal arts programs. UT's focus on STEMM programs isn't unique, either. Most colleges in the country are refocusing on science and technology programs, sometimes at the expense of their liberal arts programs.

I could go on, like his incorrect theory that environmentalism is a front for communism, but I've already wasted enough time reading this guy's rant and responding to it.

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"When I say your dumb name, please stand up briefly, but then quickly drop to your knees and forsake all others before me." -Ignignokt

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

in Missouri in the same town that Truman lived

Which would be Kansas City, Missouri. Truman was elected largely due to the efforts of T.J. Pendergast, the KC version of Al Capone.

His answer was that public opinion was starting to sway against the war, it had only recieved a "bounce" from the Iwo Jima photo. Also he knew what the stake of lives, military and civilian, would be if an advance upon mainland Japan was made. Add to the equation the rising threat of communist sympathizers in China and on the Korean peninsula and less instability in the region seemed like a good choice.

According to my unscientific survey, people weren

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

All this Communism neener neener is a bunch of crap, since in David Korten's words:

"In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy and the market economy."

I don't even know where to start with this quote. Capitalism is the market economy and in the 1980s, market economies triumphed over central planning. And after reading his website, it's obvious that he's pushing for a mixed economy. It's like Korten is forgetting that the 1970s happened and that mixed economies caused stagflation and shortages.

"At any rate, you'd have to have your head examined and pharmaceuticals prescribed if you think that even outrageous Communist states like North Korea (precisely, a "Communist Dynasty") are not strongly Capitalist in their elite classes."

I don't know how you're defining capitalism, but North Korea is the prime example of a totalitarian society in the world today. Do you mean materialistic? Sure, Kim Jong Il is known to be heck of a drinker and does spend a lot of money importing luxury goods for his personal use, but the economy is still centrally planned. There are no markets in North Korea.

"The man with the pen, business suit and bank backing is equally evil in line with the man with the gun, uniform and barracks backing."

You're not serious, are you? If you anger the man in the business suit, he fires you. If you anger the man with the gun, you are labeled an enemy of the state and imprisoned or killed. Thus ends the Road to Serfdom.

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"When I say your dumb name, please stand up briefly, but then quickly drop to your knees and forsake all others before me." -Ignignokt

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted

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'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

That's a nice quote from Atlas Shrugged. I think that's about where we are now, and we're headed further along the road to oppression. I just hope I'm allowed to die with dignity.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

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