Room No. 15
SOCIALISM vs. CAPITALISM. WHAT FOR FUTURE SECURITY?
A DEFINITION OF SECURITY BASED UPON WHAT?
(C-I) (C-III) (C-V)
To begin : In what is a very much changing world there is a new paradigm for how the world is going to work; a consensus mode – global government, nations who agree, inter-connectivity, the ability to reel economic change, these combined with appropriate robust and sustainable economic moves.
Might the apparatus of government, owned by the controlling corporate elite, be hostile to genuine reform or change? If the answer is in the affirmative, then arguably optimism emerges from the attempts at dismantling the protectionist system of corporate capitalism and not the attempts to accommodate it. But who exactly is accommodating it, how and why? Are they the ones trained in western business schools and managerial programs and who maintain at any cost the systems of protectionist capitalism? Those who know best how to serve a system at home and in the process, amass and covet unthinkable sums of monetary wealth for themselves? What is the long term consequence? If it is system collapse, then what facets might this collapse be attributable to?
Might the post WWII mentality which views a dichotomy between socialism and capitalism be well out of date? What is there to replace? If the opposite is the case what is the true picture of capitalism?
Generally speaking : “The disenfranchisement of a class of people from the structures of society produces a state of ‘anomy’ – a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals. Those trapped in this ‘anomy’, are easy prey to propaganda, to emotionally driven mass movements. As long as there are elites who oversee the disemboweling of a country on behalf of corporations and remain in charge, the worse it will become.”
Emile Durkheim. (1858 – 1917)
“There is no other definition of socialism valid for us than that of the abolition of the exploitation of man by man.”
Ernesto Che Guevara. (1928 – 1967)
Worth repeating : The U.K’s relations with The People’s Republic of China
Some in the U.K. are making the charge that China is defending globalization. A distinction however must be made between neo-liberal capitalist globalization – which is a major component of predatory imperialism, and China’s socialist globalization – which is >>a major component of an internationalist policy of growth, development and co-prosperity.<<
The best way to discuss the topic is for us to take sides. Ordinarily we are neutral, but engaging this way requires that we understand things from more than one perspective. I’ll be the Marxist (C-I). You both can be global capitalists (C-III and C-V)
(C-I) So, firstly, let’s explore a little.
Consumer goods, are taken as being something natural, emanating from the external world when in fact the entire industry is highly devoted to consciously creating consumer culture.
Capitalism is to most people about consumption – mass produced consumer products – cars, houses, clothes, electronics, process foods.
Capitalism is an ideology, the power of this ideology is so very fierce that most do envisage a collapse of the ecosystem itself, before envisioning the collapse of capitalism.
Capitalism brings with it other products, which are; dying oceans – global warming, polluted air and water, corporate controlled systems of governance and power, dislocations of communities, absolutely massive levels of income inequality.
For example : In the USA, and during the 1930’s, new programs were introduced such as social security, the welfare state trend – However, in this contemporary and new round of capitalism the resources of the government have been used not to address the suffering, but to reviving Wall Street – ie. financial firms which have been directly responsible for the global meltdown.
How might political solutions emerge in such a closed system? One designed to serve Wall Street? How to find a way out from the capitalist labyrinth?
Huge disparities of wealth define the system of neo-feudalism.
The ‘American Dream’ – displayed by middle class income. The numbers however show the dream to be a fantasy.
The middle class is shrinking quickly. Over the past three decades the share of working age households earning a middle class income in the USA has declined significantly. From 56 per cent in 1979, to 48 per cent in 2012. 2015 figures, lower still.
It is not as though the middle class is somehow mysteriously disappearing, ie. because the USA is not rich anymore, moreover the wealth is not flowing to the middle class. This year 2016 a Pew research study of 29 Metropolitan Areas found that since the turn of the century the percentage of Americans earning middle class wages fell in 203 areas. Those making lower income grew in 150 areas. Those making upper income grew in 172 areas.
In other words, if the middle class is participating in the United States, then class divides are strengthening.
What is middle class?
According to Pew, a single American who makes as low as 24,ooo dollars up to 72,000 is middle class. For a family of four – 48,000 dollars to 144,000 dollars
Is the USA not producing? America not growing?
This is not the case. Over the same period of time, the middle class has declined, productivity has increased. As a result the average income of 1 percent has hit the roof. Meanwhile for all, wages have stagnated.
The economy is working the way it is supposed. But if the result is a decaying middle class, the intensification of class divides, who exactly is it designed to work for?
Are the systems in place capable of solving the problems which are being faced, or will these systems make the situation worse? More likely the latter.
Will a fundamentally different approach be built, or will the citizens become victims of capitalism?
Capitalism (Marx) as ideology.
Capitalism is a particular type of ideology – hegemony, a deeply buried ideology of the supports of the dominant interests of a society. One of the reasons why capitalism has been so successful is because it is an instantiated ideology – people take it as a natural way of being in the world, and a natural way of relating, and take consumption, particularly American type of consumption which is spreading the globe as a ”natural way”.
But is it natural at all? One has to be conditioned – economic woman, economic man, ie. ”economic people”
This is a major point; (there are many ideas around this – eg. ‘Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media’. Noam Chomsky. 1988).
Basically, consumer culture has been created. People take consumer culture and their desire for consumer goods as something natural, as something arising from outside of themselves, when in fact there is an entire industry devoted to creating consumer culture – that is, consciously creating it. Essentially, this is an American phenomena. The integration of psychology with corporate desire.
Are the values American at all, is a good question? Crowd psychology, across global collectives, to make consumption into an inner compulsion – overturning of traditional values of thrift, self-effacement and quite effectively replacing them with hedonism, with the cult of the self, and of alienation.
This can be deeper still, corporations use psychology to create consumer culture, but not apart from traditional thrift- incorporate religious threads of Protestantism (Weber).
If one looks at the 1970s, one can see very few people owning credit cards, hire purchase agreements, these being somewhat taboo. There has been a conditioning in dept peonage. Economic people – the aforementioned are unnatural profiles of human beings, created in order to force them to fit into a system. More, a system engineered, the idea of man’s nature, what’s natural, unnatural, is not easy to unpack. This is because here we all are and our ways of being in the world are essentially natural in the various incarnations, but it is an engineered way of relating to the world and to each other. This goes back to early ideas of capitalism. How do we get from there to here? What deep philosophy and ideology would contribute to making the modern understanding of the world, modern consumer culture feasible and rational? One can go through the philosophical history that contributes to this radical alienation. One can define success and achievements of capitalism based upon certain products – but on all? In the regarding of certain consequences, and not on others?
What is essential to understanding capitalism? When people look at capitalism and conceive it from their inner selves what they are looking at are the bright shiny objects – vehicles, flat screen TVs, cell phones and their attached contrived ‘plastic’ values – essentially, the obvious stuff of capitalism. What is not being said is that these objects, these consumer goods are not dis-sociable from the environmental crises they are actually causing, and the approach to the world – the way of relating to the world that this radical alienation, ties capital and capitalist production to WMD (specifically nuclear weapons) and/or to imperialism itself. So there is a distance created through the approach to the world that is capitalism, and there is in addition, a part that keeps people apart from each other, leading to the inability to rectify the excesses of capitalism.
Alienation is the bedrock of consumer culture.
Capitalism / scientific production : People tend to view economics, political philosophy and science as being separate ways of seeing and understanding the world. All of these disciplines can and are tied capitalism, science is tied to capitalism being an efficient way in theory of producing consumer goods.
Is the discipline of science, in essence, morally neutral? It serves interests. Most scientists work for corporations, or the defense industry and in a sense this is what science serves.
The approach to the world that is science comes from the same approach to the world that is capitalism – something to be acted upon the world rather than be a participant in – a difference is created. The same distance behind economic people and the approach to the world that is termed ”consumer society”. Behind science, in that it’s a way of looking at the world from outside it. – science has been harnessed by capitalism in a very self-destructive way, whether that is – creation of WMD as said, the sophisticated techniques of fracking, etc. by which diminishing resources are extracted and which as a consequence accelerate the assault upon the environment.
Climate change – is intimately tied now to this self-destructive quality, which is endemic to capitalism.
How is it possible to resolve global warming, climate change? Without fundamentally reconsidering the way that people relate to the world and which would be reconsideration of capitalism and in effect,of modern/contemporary life?
Life has an intrinsic value that cannot be measured in monetary terms – 99 percent of world history is about relating to the world without the medium of money in between people and the world, and if one looks at where the environmental destruction from which global warming is coming from, one will see it is very specifically industrial capitalism.
If one looks now at the wrecking of the earth – if one were to draw a map of this wreckage, one will see that it completely replicates imperialistic structures.
One of the problems of economics – it places economic theory in the ever present where the historical relationships are persistent, embedded, and people with their own live through them. Economic theory cannot count what is taken away, such as indigenous ways of relating and economies tied in a sense with the fact that there is a direct relation between people and each other and a direct relation between people and the way that they get by in the world which has developed with history.
The mechanisms by which capitalism once regulated itself – the example of the 1930s where capitalism did so, is the most dramatic example, but now essentially this regulation has been lost.
Older people are more capable of seeing the world in different ways because they have lived through changes.
Coming out from the crisis of 2008 – 2009 we were going to reconsider what capitalism is and employ a number of strategies which worked in bringing the West out from the Great Depression. So we would not go into these catastrophic social dysfunctions which the 20th century saw so much of. We truly have moved past our understanding of history – the methods and modes of resolving these problems, and therefore what has emerged from this is the most radical version of capitalism seen since before the Great Depression.
Neo-liberalism – is completely utopian, because it is not connected to our economic reality in any way. It is a philosophy of the ruling elite – some say pre Great Depression economics , some argue it’s a completely new thing.
There are a number of issues here : The government’s incapacity for one – We have a ruling elite and there is this self-justification which comes through societal rewards – who is connected and who is not this. Upper ruling class leaders can say that through the logic of capitalism they have earned what they get , they deserve it etc. so it is a self-legitimating aspect of capitalism which is socially catastrophic. Everything about the world is perfectly ordered and everyone in the world is in their place. This is more a Victorian view. ‘Everyone gets what they deserve.’
We have an integrated state of ruling class relationships where pharmaceutical companies, military companies, oil and gas companies depend on their relationship with the government and the leaders therein depend upon their relations with these specific industries. Superficially speaking; a revolving door between government and industry, but it was fairly well explained in the book, ‘State and Revolution’ by Vladimir Lenin (1917). – played out well over a century ago now, and how this relationship of state and capitalism has become the case today. What is bizarre is that the ideology that government is the problem.
Loss of credibility that the government has eg. in the USA, the Vietnam War, or the series of laws passed by Bill Clinton which essentially declared war on the underclass – which this erosion in confidence that people had in the government allowed certain ideologues to tarnish the role of government within a society.
What people point to when they want to discredit government is this govt/corporate nexus that looks at the corruption of government, ie. saying that govt is intrinsically corrupt.
As repugnant and vile as leaders of nations might be it still won’t make any difference because they are not where the center of power lies.
We are not going to create an alternative to neo-liberalism and global capitalism until the breakdown of capitalism itself, because the ideology is so very ingrained, so very embedded within a public consciousness, within every institution from academia to the press.
A path to a different way of relating to the world.
The problem is trying to attack capitalism – in that we are a century into the consumer culture and people take their ways of seeing the world as being self-generated – if so, why do so many people think the same things? Why do what most people believe most of the time coincide?
This ideology is so very dominant essentially it has shut down the ability to think in alternative forms. However the ability is indeed, still there – many are thrown outside of their place in capitalist culture.
Civilizations moving toward collapse create ever more complex structures and more intricate specializations to exploit diminishing resources. Eventually the resources are destroyed or exhausted. The systems and technologies which are designed to exploit these resources become useless. The result is systemic collapse. The capitalist elites are trained in business schools and managerial programs not to solve real problems, but to maintain at any cost the systems of global capitalism. They are systems managers knowing only how to serve a system, amass inconceivable sums of money wealth by their victims, the underclass around the globe are thrust into increasing distress from global warming, poverty and societal breakdown.
Is the apparatus of government owned by the corporate cabal hostile to genuine reform or change? If the answer is in the affirmative, then optimism emerges from the attempts at dismantling the system of corporate capitalism and not the attempts to accommodate it. But who exactly is accommodating it? Those trained in business schools and managerial programs and who maintain at any cost the systems of global capitalism? Those who know only how to serve a system and in the process, amass unthinkable sums of monetary wealth? What is the consequence? If it is system collapse, then it what form this collapse?
Let’s look at things in a different way
“Might the fundamental point be that in the United Kingdom we live in a democracy and within the parameters of which are certain intrinsic values which are upheld, whether there is a socialist or a capitalist government in power? These values precious felt, while at their core is freedom? We can discuss the differences between socialism and capitalism with regard to security (ideas are always a good to explore, as an academic exercise), but there is still that fundamental stage of democracy which is protected, irrespective of political orientation of government. What else is there to this view?”
Which means and because we are looking at it from a different perspective;
“The twisted narratives of extremism, which are twisted with regard to ours, cannot be just ignored or wished away. This government will challenge those who seek to spread hatred and intolerance by forming a new partnership of every person and organization in this country and abroad that wants to defeat extremists.”
Home Secretary, Theresa May. 2016
For example; the new Counter-Extremism Bill includes plans for extremism disruption orders designed to restrict those trying to radicalize young people and was included in the Queen’s speech.
The measures will provide the police powers to apply to the High Court for an order to limit the “harmful activities” of an extremist individual. The definition of ‘harmful’ is to include a risk of public disorder, a risk of harassment, alarm or distress, and creating a “threat to the functioning of democracy”.
The aim of the Bill is to prevent not just those who spread or incite hatred on the grounds of gender, race or religion, but also those who undertake harmful activities for the “purpose of overthrowing democracy”.
HOLD ON !
(C-III) HOLD ON, would you! In some respects, and I must say you are shifting too quickly, what you said last does not tally with where you began.
If the issue is that the collective mind and collective worth is fashioned via capitalism, then it’s an ingrained sensory world built on the perceived value of consumer goods which we are referring to. This is the case whether we (the UK) are a democracy, or we are not. It does tally in that we are a democracy and we are also a Welfare State, which is the bedrock of socialism, as was intended at the outset for social security, and not privy to the profit machine. But given this, and in a wider sense, we are also a consumer culture too and one where there exists the same ruling elite and the same or similar major companies who reinforce this consumer culture, this consumer identity, the two (major companies and the ruling elite) being inseparable. The very same wealth disparity applies here too, in that most of the wealth is owned by few people, the reason why being the same as anywhere else that it applies.
Within this capitalist system (ours) does reside very specific strands of socialism and the latter is fundamental in our difference here with the example of the USA, which you cited.
In addition, you omitted the fact that the sensory identity of the capitalist collective which is the USA, is made so via a system of production which is altogether a Communist model, in essence. Most of the goods and accompanying narratives, if not all, which form US consumer identity and dependency are produced in a Communist system.
(C-III) While we were out I jotted down a few issues :
(I) Briefly and it might be relevant, or not, regarding the writer DH Lawrence, and his attitude toward the change from what he saw as being predominantly agrarian life to one of the masses becoming servers of the industrialization/machine – all that this change, ie, into the coal mines, steelworks and textile mills, what it meant in a ‘thinking way’ for the newly required ‘machine people’. Of course this could be argued as a redundant comparison.
(II) What essentially are the mental constituents – within industrialized societies that make the ”consumer psyche”? As opposed to being what exactly?
(II) What is alienation manifest?
(IV) It is useful to consider alienation with regard to the upsurge in extremism (as you introduced it). Namely, how the narratives and the ‘living within’ of consumer culture might or actually do reinforce extremist concepts of ‘self worth’ and ‘utopia’ – these concepts being relentlessly fed into the psyche of the masses via the same processes, and why these concepts are unequivocally so very seductive? The Counter-Extremism Bill you mentioned is a necessary rule of law, which is not the same root case identifying and strategy building for dealing with what we are looking at here.
(V) Patronage of the arts – to what extent does this exist in the USA, as opposed to the UK – its contribution accepted, understood and shared, its importance valued? How do we compare with other global economies?
(VI) Patronage and the reviving of extremely valuable relationships – for example; is Chinese culture being viewed in terms of self-defeating suspicions and attitudes (peddled by the few) which, if China was incorporated into our own model the result would herald a very profound, precious and deep mix of extremely valuable attributes? These attributes working to create a more complex and rich society of the future?
I mentioned powerful attributes because as you have said before, quote; “If we continue on this present path of consumer, object-related lunacy in the world, and the plastic, worthless and pathetic ‘Real Housewives of Cloud Cuckoo Land’ preoccupation, this, in league with suspicion and lack of openness to what is new and profound in all its facets, the result is that we will eventually lose the war with extremist propaganda and as a consequence, against the caliphate itself.”
(VII) Regarding diminishing resources; the need to take them, often by force – This need is not served in the way the ideal is perceived and while being sold as being something else. The use of the armed forces falls into this paradigm.
To what extent does the export of ”American exceptionalism” serve the purpose of the few? How is this fed into the masses?
Regarding diminishing resources; this is an important issue for security – especially in the US. If the system falters, chaos is a potential follow on, and very obviously how to deal with chaos is the issue.
(VIII) The patronage of the arts, again – the mind that creates alternative forms covers a great deal of ground and arguably is perpetual in its essence, all other things are not perpetual at all, they become obsolete almost immediately, ie. consumer goods define onward movement, ie. define time in collective consciousness. The more recent, the more attributed monetary (only) value attached, via those who can only see and attach meaning things in such terms.
The argument that the Arts as a discipline is useful only if commandeered by the capitalist machine, otherwise being relegated to eccentricity. What is it that predominates in its place? What images, what mentors bear these images and with their very specific and ”made valuable” more ‘phony” reason attached? Where is this phenomenon most concentrated?
(IX) Education – to what extent racketeering? It costs little here, and astronomical amounts in the US.
(X) Religion – to what extent racketeering? The ideal vehicle for thought and behavior within defined and controlled parameters.
Again, if ”things”, whatever they are, eg. the notion of human transcendence in whatever form only of credible contribution when holding monetary value and wielded as a powerful weapon.
(XI) Regarding the splendid notion of SINGULARITY which you talk about (Mental and Physical Section) set upon the socialist stage, whereby actualization toward shared higher order interests can be actualized. Basic needs being satisfied. “I am more than the objects I own, the work I do, know me for my passion for the history of art, the representation of artistic/creative impulse, my passion for the natural world.” – This is appreciated here, but not so much in the US, if at all, unless its profit is churning in the machine. It’s more often the ones already put in the machine who have the opportunity to indulge in this.
note that responses are in edit
(1a) To be inadequately brief, Lawrence was introspective by nature. He saw this uniquely personal and intimate capacity as being absent (wrenched from), in what to him was a forced dictate of the new modes of mass (industrial) production. The latter was incapacitating of any input from the person, rather was a monotony requiring of only a person’s labor. Further, such an emotional import of a system designed to manage people on the basis of what they did, as opposed to what they were capable of imagining, was inherently evil. The Masters, the mine owners for example, didn’t give a hoot because they, the entrepreneurs, basically used up men, women and children until they were useless (sick, incapable) and then discarded them. The opportunity for huge monetary reward for some came with industrialization, effectively setting apace a shifting of people from the rural areas to the towns, burgeoning under the weight of the changing times.
(2a) What are the constituents of the consumer psyche? Wow, this requires much. The sensible presence of ‘’things’’ and these ‘’ things’’ (artifacts) hold all purpose in life. Meaning is bound with the inner constituents of a life world, and from wherein contained; all external relating is initiated, that is, on the basis of the meaning of these ‘’things’’ – consumer items. What alternative? Well, to either be able to see and understand this and as a consequence hold meaning and value in what is other than the ‘’things’’ of the consumer culture. The natural world as you said is not purchased; it has no attributed value or sameness to all and sundry. The experiential relationship one can own there within and to foster it while genuinely cultivating its meaning within oneself, irrespective of who else in the world does not because they simply cannot.
The point being; the contents of the inner world are not dictated, are a process of discovery and remain personal. This is possible because the facility is nurtured, even though we too are bombarded by the products of capitalism.
Consumerism is bound with the expectation of monetary reward. This expectation is ingrained. I, mean, “if there is no money attached, then it’s not worthy of thought and action,” – this attitude appears to prevail.
(3a) I see alienation as being a perceived/profound sense of unworthiness, because of for example; not being able to facilitate what the consumer culture demands. The usual is the lack of means. This feeling is not able to be subsumed by what I just said (a contrary inner status which holds value by appeal to personal worth criteria, not economic). The feeling of unworthiness persists because of the ingrained, the programming – reinforcement via environmental dictate that one is wholly incapable of changing.
However and conversely, innovative and global economies are bound with the trading power of consumer goods. The idea that there is an alternative to a consumer society can only be one which includes patronage of the introspective and personal, such as typified by the Arts. An artless society is defective, one where expectations are wholly created via patterns of work, the environments of work, and so on.
Equally, the ghettoization which ensues when capitalism discards and there is no argument to the contrary that this is altogether very typical of the US. – It is better that the socialist model be incorporated into that of the capitalist juggernaut. If government refuses to invest inwardly, refuses to recognize human rights to basic needs and dignity, all that will result is stagnation, poverty and despair. Soft socialism to lift and keep people in ‘prosperity’ (adequacy, equal opportunity), versus a type of greedy, fat ****, full of BS, exploitative capitalist orgy that keeps only the rich rich and the poor poor as shit. That’s my noise. Har. Har.
I have this photograph for you; Capitalism and Alienation
The history of the American family Chalifuchs, in one photo.
In 1948 in Illinois, unemployed husband and wife Chalifuchs put up for sale, together with all their belongings and their four children – three girls and one boy. The photo was captured the moment of the sale itself, when the children’s mother – Lucille Chalifuchs hides her face in shame.
Mr. and Mrs. Chalifuchs, were dismissed from their jobs, and then evicted from the apartment. All charities in the United States refused to help them. Then, an unemployed truck driver and his wife decided to sell four of his children.
On the top step is sitting Lana (6 years) and Ray (5 years). Below – Milton (4 years) and Sue Ellen (2 years).
Who has found a new family? Lana died of cancer in 1998. Ray Ann was sold for $ 2 along with his brother Milton, in a dysfunctional family. Sue Ellen was adopted. David, who at the time the picture was still in the womb, was also subsequently sold to a new family.
(C-III) I must interject. The example is rather extreme, my girl, though it does work to illustrate your point. which is; that capitalism discards. I really don’t think that this would happen because of the safeguards in place. The social security/welfare safeguards effectively being an intrinsic element of the UK consumer culture. I don’t think it would be the case in the US either now, – where it was taken, but I’m not American, so unfamiliar in this respect. Over to you.
(4a) OK. Regarding diminishing resources; the need to take them, often by force. This is competition gone berserk, a use of power to dominate over another so to take what is absolutely vital to the consumer culture in operation. Whether the outcome is worth the ****** effort is questionable, if history is anything to go by and of course, past examples of such will not deter future ones. The reality of having a target on one’s back quite literally is overlooked, for the promised value on the activity. Inherent is the raping and pillaging of a ”host” nation’s natural resources. Renewables are abundant, cheap, environmentally friendly and focusing on their utilization, I mean on; Hydro, Onshore wind, Offshore wind, Marine, Biomass, Solar/Photovoltaics and Hydrogen, is wise, if not for the sake of the future of the earth itself, let alone aiding and abetting conflict in the present. Huh.
You know, we could discuss the extent to which renewable energy sources are, or are not, the target of shitty propaganda put out by the corporate cabal who own the fossil fuel industries, namely oil. I mean, how the alternative (sensible and environmentally safe) sources of energy are identified with weirdos who live alone, don’t work and write poetry, and are usually leftist/anarchist folk- socialists? With rampant lesbians who wear men’s clothes, camp out in tents and don’t much care for WMD, most notably nuclear bombs, plastic carrier bags either. With gay men who prefer electric cars and like the idea of being shunted from behind by a big he-man truck, who don’t want stinking carbon monoxide from polluting old cronks in their houses. With hippies, who wear tie and die and eat vegetarian, the accusation of anti-meat and hippy wind farm are synonymous apparently, whereas in reality, anyone properly informed and with a working brain cell would reject, genetically modified, hormone splattered, fast food utter shit anyway, and so on. Gorillas are vegetarians and do nothing to **** up the planet or attack each other’s stash, but the fact is ignored. So there.
(5a) Patronage of the Arts, you say? Yes, there are strands of what is uniquely ours running through all that we do and everyone can take and relate to it in their own personal way. We have created a world which is meaningful and versatile in that there is the opportunity to creatively experiment with novel ideas. You see the evidence of this in our new cities, so its not just idle talk.
The pewky alternative is that of building an infrastructure around the defense (offense) industry, so that the only signs of innovation and knock-on effect commerce stem from that. In such a system that takes all the money and tells the populace to go suck it, I mean; “if you are not with us, you are against us” – this ends in some pretty comical Walt Disney like circumstances, most of them with their logic residing in fantasy land. I can hear the cuckoos, ‘cuckoooooooo’. Seriously, art – emotion – should not only fit into the scheme of things as a response to what presents as the inane and its symptom, after all, art and culture exist without boundaries.
(C-III) Quite. You do have a way of expressing yourself.
note that further responses are in edit
Note : The People’s Republic of China. 600 million people lifted from poverty. Arguably in the example of the USA, it can be argued that the reverse is the case, other than for the ones who control capitalist enterprise.
(C-I) This is a complicated topic and I think we should approach it from the experience of the UK and use this as a pivot if we can, so to compare our understanding with what we know of others. Remember; it is in the definition of security that we are looking at, both ideologies are at work, not only at home but elsewhere too.
Importantly, what do we understand by the term ‘security’? Might ‘security’ be a convenience ushered in so to wield an ideology more suited to free enterprise?
Is it necessary to state what the intrinsic differences are between socialist systems and those deemed capitalist? Perhaps we can do this without just blurting out definitions?
It’s not so simple a dichotomy because these two ‘camps’ do not gather and share the reality of all the differences that exist in practice, I mean the multifaceted extent that we perceive, again not only here, but especially in regard to other / different nations. What is the case for a capitalist system here is not the case elsewhere, though arguably the underlying (undying) elemental does endure.
There are a couple of points;
Our remaining un-corrupted by those who are not democracies or anything like.
Media propaganda which tries to humanize tyrants in the minds of the naive.
I thought we could begin by just talking about Albert Einstein’s experience, I mean what he said regarding his living in a capitalist system, which is that of the USA. I chose him because of his unequaled contribution to posterity and which assumes massive insight and authenticity of understanding. Of course, it is not necessary that we agree or disagree with what he said. Here it is;
Albert Einstein on Lenin
“I honor Lenin, who with full self-sacrifice gave all his strength to the implementation of social justice. I think it is expedient in method. But one thing is certain: People as he, are the keepers and renovators of the conscience of mankind.”
The greatest thinker of the last century, the American magazine “Time” thought physicist Albert Einstein. And it was Einstein, perhaps who gave the best rating to Lenin, calling him “the keeper of the conscience of mankind”. Einstein lived a long life (he died in 1955.). He knew what was going on in Russia, about the civil war and the Stalin era, but did not change his opinion.
The great physicist evaluated Lenin and his work in the context of world history from the standpoint of his personal political experience.
For thousands of years mankind has been striving for a just social system, a society free from oppression. Such a society – is the greatest goal.
In the 19th century way of building a just society we have been interpreted in a socialist doctrine, and many European intellectuals, including Einstein, were under the influence of this doctrine.
During World War I, Einstein went not only against official authorities, but also against many personal friends among the German scientists openly opposing the nationalist hysteria, and he supported Lenin in his condemnation of the imperialist slaughter.
Thus they both did the right thing in those very difficult times?
from The St. Petersburg Gazette January 24, 2004 :
Lenin, as the head of one of the Russian political parties, did everything possible to make the socialist revolution triumph in Russia. The victory went to a high price, but it ushered in a new era in the history of mankind. Einstein did not idealize the Russian revolution, he called it “an experiment, from poorly equipped laboratories”, but nevertheless did not doubt that the October Revolution was the most important breakthrough in the future and in this respect, the main event of the 20th century.
“Why, in fact do people always talk about my theory of relativity? I’m not done yet, and there are other useful things, maybe even better things.”
Einstein was one of the first and most active members of the “Society of Friends of the New Russia” which was founded in 1923. An organization that set itself the objective of achieving mutual understanding between the German people and the peoples of the Soviet Union, and the promotion of cultural relations between the two countries.
Einstein established contacts with Soviet scientists and politicians and, in particular, the People’s Commissar AV Lunacharsky.
During one of these meetings, Einstein said he admired the building of socialism in the Soviet Union, and called the construction of socialism in Russia “a great experience“.
In the early twenties against Einstein with his special scientific and political views developed this persecution. The persecution was carried out under the slogan of the “criticism” of his teachings One nationalist student hysterically screaming in the hall of the Berlin Philharmonic, seeing Einstein; “This is a lousy Jew, we should grab him by the throat.” Such bullying appeared in the newspapers, which together with the polemical notes were printed calls to kill. Einstein’s view was that there was not a single prosecutor who would have taken steps to curb these incitements to murder in the Weimar republic.
In their attempts to soothe Einstein, his friends and colleagues said that they were of the opinion that people who unleashed persecution, deserved only contempt.
In the early thirties under nationalist slogans to power in Germany, the Nazism began to break out. To remain in Germany, Einstein, a Jew, who performed with pacifist slogans, was far from safe.
First, Einstein advocated the unconditional refusal of military service. However, he changed his position after the coming to power in Germany, of the Nazis.
Einstein, nicknamed “Communist”, had problems with obtaining visas. So the American Women’s League had publicly protested in 1932 so to grant Einstein the right to enter the United States.
After the Second World War, Einstein strongly opposed American “atomic diplomacy” based on US temporary monopoly in the field of nuclear weapons and expressed an attempt to blackmail, which were characteristic of US policy at the time.
He condemned the United States for what he saw as the link to international control over the use of atomic energy supply, along with political conditions that were unacceptable to the Soviet Union and therefore he rejected them.
In particular, he wrote that we should not blame the Russian for not actively participating in international monitoring, because the United States did not deny the right to use nuclear weapons.
In 1946, he accused the US government that it had not made any serious attempt to achieve a “fundamental understanding with Russia”, while, on the other hand, had done much to worsen the political relations with the Soviet Union. As an example, he pointed out that the US-UN pressure, despite the opposition of the USSR adopted in into its membership fascist Argentina and deferred the instigation of sanctions against Franco’s Spain.
It was Einstein’s experience in the US, that ‘behind the statement of the Statue of Liberty’, he found the orders, in many ways reminiscent of those of whom he was forced to leave behind. The United States, a bourgeois democracy, which seemed attractive to him at first, turned out to be hostile to what he saw as the state of peace and progress.
In 1949, Einstein spoke of the need to establish a socialist order of society. In the article “Why Socialism?”, Einstein outlined his views on capitalism and socialism. Einstein’s criticism was directed against the very foundations of the capitalist economic system. It is recognized that as a result of a long and stubborn struggle of the working class was the ability to improve position, but on the whole, however, , the current capitalist economy wass not so very different from the “pure capitalism”.
On the role of the peoples of the USSR in 1948, Einstein wrote :
“Sure, someday the day will come when all the nations (where there will be more) will be grateful to Russia for what it is, in spite of the greatest difficulties, demonstrated the feasibility of the planned economy.”
April 18, 1955, Einstein died. His stepdaughter, Margot told said: “He spoke with a deep tranquility – even with a touch of humor – about the doctors who treated him and waited for his end as an inevitable natural event. As far as he was fearless in his life, so quiet and quietly he met his death. The world he left without sentimentality and without regret. “
Soviet Academicians Joffe and Kapitsa in his obituary of the USSR Academy of Sciences pointed out that Einstein should be considered not only as the most outstanding theoretical physicist in human history, but should be commended equally and as a person of high moral ideals, as a passionate fighter against the war and against the use of atomic/nuclear weapons to destroy people and ultimately civilization.
Einstein’s activism was the same “service to society” in which the great physicist saw the true meaning of human life.
Literature: F. Gernek “Albert Einstein” Moscow 1979.
Einstein on education and upbringing.
“When it comes to truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems. Whoever in small matters relates to the truth is not serious, and can not be trusted in large affairs.”
October 1, 1940, Einstein became an American citizen. But he was a US citizen only legally because he could not get used to the American way of life and did not want to adapt to it. In December 1950 he wrote to his old friend in Switzerland; “For seventeen years I am in America, but psychologically this country is alien to me and it is necessary to avoid the risk of being superficial in thoughts and feelings that seem to be spilled into the atmosphere of this country the most.”
The highest capitalism evil Einstein believed was the degradation of the individual. He was convinced that there is only one way to remedy this “grave situation”; the establishment of a socialist form of economic management. Under such a system of education, which in the first place to put forward public purposes. “In this form of managing the means of production belong to society, which uses them according to a plan” – he wrote in the article “Why Socialism?”. – “As for education, it is necessary to ensure that, in order to develop a sense of responsibility in each individual with respect to his family, to put an end to the glorification of power and success, observed in modern bourgeois society.”
(C-I) So what do you think?
(C-III) I want to use your quote, specifically the second part : “Importantly, what do we understand by the term ‘security’? Might ‘security’ be a convenience ushered in so to wield an ideology more suited to free enterprise?”
I think one way of looking at it, is at what constitutes the structural component of our society, all be this complex, – what is its defining characteristic? You could look at it further and ask, who exactly is its defining characteristic and how is this made possible? It’s made possible via the controlling instruments which access to monetary resources facilitate, it’s not the culture in its multi-faceted character as this presents. The power elite are the monetary resources and the control of them, and they dictate who stays, who goes and what happens in between. It’s defined for all, via the same rules which subsume all of the characteristics of experience, whether Labour or Conservative. Therefore the security issues are not so greatly affected. I think we would still have Trident, either way and the foreign policy actions we engage would not change that much because it’s the external circumstances, the threats, that dictate.
(C-I) I do not agree. So whatever predominates, a socialist or a conservative government, it’s the controlling structure, the economic control that defines the overall ideological characteristic of our society? I do not agree because the controlling instrument, the elected government define that structural characteristic. We are not the United States, where I would argue what you say does apply. In addition, the external circumstances are affected by the political persuasion of our government. If it changes to a left wing / socialist government, the threats would still exist but their overall character would be different. In the United States there is no parallel. Labour is not democrat, whether conservative is republican is a different argument. The Thatcher government aligned itself with the Republican ideal and made attempts to apply them here and it was a complete failure because of the mass alienation and stagnation which ensued as a consequence of ignoring the proletariat in favor of the controllers of free enterprise. Look at how it’s played out in the US, which is not a Welfare State, it’s a capitalist orgy.
(C-III) The workers have no power in the US whereas here, in the present time they do and would have more if the elected party was Labour?
(C-I) Affirmative; look at how different regions within our democracy apply and live the ideology. In the socialist strongholds such as South Yorkshire and most of Scotland, there is the welfare of the working class at heart because the councils are made up of elected socialists – even given the attempts by the conservatives who at the moment control the greater system to erode this in favour of some kind of quasi-American, capitalist utopia.
(C-III) In that, resides the same perception of threat and security? An American one, is that what you are saying?
(C-I) I’m saying that the situation is precisely that. If we were altogether a socialist country, the arguments concerning threat and security would be different because they would be made different for us, vis a vis the external world. Look, you can’t spend huge amounts of money on what is the American experience with regard to the multifaceted status of the global community. You can’t take from what benefits the proletariat and use what they are denied to wield instruments of foreign policy which only benefit those who define the threats and compose the security. If you do, you have to control the proletariat too. We don’t do that, we can’t, we are a Welfare State.
(C-III) So you are saying that collective bargaining for example, has no status in the US, whereas it does here, irrespective of the government’s polarity?
(C-I) Affirmative. Trade Unionism has always been the case here, whether the conservatives try to erode their power or otherwise. We are a democracy after all. In the US – capitalist empire, I know I keep using them as an example, there is no place for bargaining on the basis of one’s selling of one’s labour. That’s not how it operates, not at all. They would descry the NHS (free health care), the many subsidies accorded citizens irrespective of monetary status, or any other status.
I have another quote :
“Marxism taught me what society is. I was like a blindfolded person in a forest, who doesn’t even know where north or south is. If you don’t eventually come to truly understand the history of the class struggle, or at least have a clear idea that society is divided between the rich and the poor, and that some people subjugate and exploit other people, you’re lost in a forest, not knowing anything at all.”
Fidel Castro, On discovering Marxism. 2009
Note what the socialists have promised to do, is buy back the privatized organizations under the conservatives for the arguably cut price they were sold for. They would all return to state ownership.
(C-III) I think you are suggesting that the designation ‘capitalist’ and ‘crony’ go hand in hand, because what blows through both (capitalist and crony) are commercial interests attired precisely as that, or as something else. Commercial interests – personal gain – power plays/control of the media.
(C-I) Am I? Gee whiz. And while democratic values are given a rough ride, specifically that the collective are never included in decisions that do affect them, for a variety of reasons, even though they are made to assume they are included, namely that the full extent of what they are facing is never divulged. I’m NOT talking about security because that’s a different consideration, but what pertains to well-being in a socially ‘fulfilling’ sense, ie. that there is genuine concern for the greater good. Not, “Hey you, you low class *****r, get the **** out the door if you don’t like it. What about the tax payer? Suck that.”
(C-III) Quite. So that’s your evaluation of capitalism?
(C-I) Profit. Give us your money, if you don’t we’ll take it, and don’t expect nothing for free cos their sure aint nothing. Socialism – services, I mean ‘citizen comforts’; education which is a right and not just for the rich or those who have to debt enslave themselves, care for the elderly and not being compelled to look after your own parents, transport systems, trade unions, healthcare, et cetera. Capitalism; lots of dosh in a foreign tax avoidance bank, jobs for the boys, kick backs from the multi-nationals/plutocrats, et cetera.
(C-III) What of security in your tenacious insight? Do you see a different conception of the reason for security, I’m referring to the United Kingdom?
(C-I) The reason for security is above whomever is elected. How security is perceived and how it is dealt with – what strategies are put into play are within the functioning democratic system. Here they are.
(C-III) Geopolitical ambitions?
(C-I Global challenges are growing. The current warring competition to get the best and screw the rest is questionable – external contributions do become questionable in this respect. Prosperity, equality and diversity, the specific issues within the latter,these being properly dealt with at home and seen as such by the global community. If we don’t have it, we cannot export it. Such and such is the case and it really is the case, not some phony ploy via control of practically everything related to information so to create one world view. It’s not the case here, is it?
(C-III) No it isn’t, but you are saying there is a leaning toward that state of affairs within right wing politic; ‘The current warring competition to get the best and screw the rest is questionable – external contributions do become questionable in this respect.” You must see that if this is the case, the implications for security are manifold. You can’t say security is above and beyond the policy makers because security is a emergent facet of whatever decisions are reached.
(C-III) What I find problematic is the perception applied. What I mean is when you see the state of affairs that prevails in other nations, you can judge that state of affairs as inadequate in varying levels of extreme because of where you are judging it from. The question is; are those who you are judging able to do the same? If they have never known anything else why would they?
(C-I) If a person has never seen a passenger train, nor a bus, a tram, a shopping mall, has no health care, lives in a dispossessed state of squalor, likely won’t because the profiteering requirement which controls free-market enterprise propaganda will see to it that there will be no capacity to compare in imagination, obviously not compare from experience. People living in first world countries who really are living in third world conditions – in all facets of experience, are prey to ideas and these ideas are whatever the control sees fit to feed them. In these circumstances if you consider defense, it is not unrealistic to expect them to become dispensable numbers of pawns, rather than enlightened, expectant, understanding and respectably questioning individuals in service. Obviously the notion of choice in the matter has to encompass the demarcation between there being no alternative but still, choosing not to is always available, and totalitarian regimes where there is no choice whatsoever. We are in neither camp though there are those who would like to see us become the latter and which the new Counter-Extremism Bill is intended to thwart.
The value of leisure vs. Monetary object relations
The onset of consumerism – the moving machine, at full tilt
(C-III) I have a few things to consider.
First. Regarding the key to understanding the revival of Marxism in the West. For young people, you could say that they do not associate it with the Stalinist gulag, though they should. Francis Fukuyama, as reflected in his 1992 book ‘The End of History’ where capitalism seems an inevitable phenomenon, and its collapse is simply impossible to imagine,
The revival of interest in Marxism – is merely trying to cram into the narrow framework of justification of Stalinist totalitarianism. In a past article on the “new communism” in World Affairs Journal, Alan Johnson, a teacher of democratic theory and practice at Lancashire University, said, “The world was recently been lead to untold suffering and misfortune, what was responsible for the deaths of more people than fascism and Nazism, is coming back again. This – a new form of totalitarianism of the left, enjoys the intellectual glory, and is aspiring to political power. ” “Neo-communism is important not because of its intellectual qualities, but because it can have an impact on entire sections of European youth in the context of the exhausted social democracy, austerity measures and intellectual culture of aversion – Johnson writes. – And because it is very tempting, we can not just shake our heads and walk past. “
The philosopher Philip Clayton has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks on updated Marxism, saying Xi’s understanding of Marxism is a light on the path toward a new global ecological civilization.
Philip Clayton was commenting on Xi’s speech about the importance of adhering to and innovating Marxism at a philosophy and social sciences symposium recently in Beijing.
“The birth of Marxism is a great event in human intellectual history, and noted the wisdom of traditional Chinese culture. These two themes coincide with the Organic Marxism theory.”
In Clayton’s book “Organic Marxism; An Alternative to Capitalism and Ecological Catastrophe” published in 2014, he wrote, “Capitalism as a social and economic system has created massive injustices and has devastated the global environment… Only a Marxism built on organic principles will be able to respond productively to these demands for new political theories and new roles for governments in an era of environmental catastrophe.”
“President Xi did not interpret Marxism as a timeless truth, but called innovation the eternal theme of philosophy and social sciences, and also of social development.”
Based on English philosopher Alfred North Whitehead’s Process Philosophy theory, Clayton’s Organic Marxism focuses on the evolving process of Marxism and its organic integration with the needs of specific cities, countries or cultures.
“The basic principles of Marxism have to evolve to fit the concrete realities of today’s China. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is not the same as the German Marxism of the 19th century.”
“President Xi also noted the complementary relationship between Marxism and Chinese traditional culture resources,” he said. “The Chinese people have developed a deep cultural tradition over thousands of years of thought and practice. This accumulated knowledge is a wise guide to help Chinese leaders with developing socialist policies that suit China’s unique situation.”
He also said that an updated Marxism is indispensable for building an ecological civilization, which requires a social, economic and political philosophy that places the common good of humanity and of the planet above all else. “We predict that the principles of Organic Marxism will play an increasingly important role,” he said.
Clayton criticized the growing inequalities in U.S. society and damages profit-driven corporations have caused to the environment. “In America, the protesting voices against these inequities grow louder,” he said.
“China is the largest nation in the world defined by its Constitution as a Marxist state. President Xi is calling for a Marxism that evolves to address the unique challenges facing China,” he said, adding that the developments Xi is calling for would serve as a strong guide to the school of Organic Marxism.
CAPITALISM. USA STYLE
What’s it all about – UK exit from the EU? Is it a fundamental expression of a mass dissatisfaction of the global working class against what is being done via capitalism, or something else? What? Perhaps many things?
It’s really too simplistic to point at one reason which is the case everywhere including the UK. The UK has its own intrinsic characteristics, very different than is the case in the USA, and these characteristics have manifested strongly when people were asked if they wanted out of the EU. Let’s look at this issue :
The collapse of the USSR in 1989 did usher in a capitalist era – neo-liberal form of economics sweeping into the void and being left behind. After almost two decades, many say / argue that capitalism itself is in crisis and this is the underlying factor in dissatisfaction.
It is the case that the 2008 global financial crash, the draconian programs of austerity put in place and de-industrialization have shadowed the belief that ‘society should be built solely around the needs of the market’. The public good, the cornerstone of democracy abandoned, leading to breakdowns in social cohesion. Many across the world are rising up and speaking in a negative vocabulary – the capacity to say no, a refusal to cooperate in their own exploitation. They understand, as did Aristotle, that wealth is desirable, but not at the price of treason. Is this the only state of affairs?
To what extent does Brexit fit into the unraveling of global capitalism?
All three leading UK politicians (Cameron, May and Corbin actually did campaign to remain). Globally, the media, markets and politicians responded with shock, arguably proving that more than anything this vote did define the gap between the elites and the average voter.
Disintegration of global capitalism and Brexit :
The disintegration took a quantitative leap in 2008 with the collapse – the second worst since the great depression – what could be termed a very unstable system anyway. The response to that crisis is really where Brexit begins. Most notably years of a constriction of the position of the working people within a capitalism which is finding it more difficult to solve its problems. The reaction to the crisis of 2008 was to bail out the big banks, US Wall Street corporations and so on.
Bail them out, but how? Borrow a great deal of money then go to the people and say; we borrowed a great deal of money and we have to deal with this great debt, and then the austerity, not how we pay for the bail out – which is what it is, but instead how we deal with the deficit as if the deficit was the problem rather than the bail out that caused it to happen. So you have years of austerity where the real wages in the USA are lower today than they were in 2005, culminating in a decade of lost growth, lost opportunity,
USA – UK, economic systems :
In UK, under the EU, governments cannot borrow to cover deficits, which was the case in the USA.
Is supposed austerity the only story of Brexit? People in the UK, why they arrived at the voting booth – was it because of felt austerity from the Conservatives, and/ or immigration? Remember that austerity in the UK, is equivalent to mass luxury in the USA. There is an argument that it was an opportunity for the Brits to express accumulated dissatisfaction over what is being done, ie. cajoled into believing that things are getting worse, resulting in a built up angst. Have they been getting worse, if perceived that way, when as I just said, the lot of the worker in the UK is far ahead of the US counterpart because of the socialist welfare state safeguards and the money fed into the system via government for infrastructure development and services.
Therefore it is not possible to take the US model and apply it to the UK. Whatever issues that prevail, the use of words such as ‘austerity’ have different applicability in the extreme of ways. Take for example the American southern states where third world poverty is rife and so because of measures in place, that are not in place in the UK, and never have been.
Countries such as Greece and in Eastern Europe are suffering an economic contraction which is worse than in the UK.
Western capitalism, in the USA and Japan- a moving to where it’s more profitable – to China, India, Brazil, this has been going on a long time – decades in fact, and what that leaves behind is residue. No money spent on anything there, no taxes paid, couple this with a slowly emerging awareness of a mass of people (Americans) who see this being dished out to them, resulting in a search by some for how to deal with it.
A vote such as Brexit, is a sign that people are not willing any longer to believe that things are going to be all right but the reasons why is the issue. There is a rage and revulsion – expressing itself in anti-immigrant sentiment which is really a direct legacy of the endless wars waged by the USA, primarily in the middle east which has created these failed states in countries such as Libya, Iraq, Syria, coupled with this literal mass infusion of immigrants into Europe which has exacerbated economic tensions and fueled the ideology of the right wing, (Poland, Croatia which have shifted to very frightening rightist, fascist governments).
Additionally, it is difficult for masses of people to get their minds around the notion that capitalism is the system for centuries which has governed them; and yes to a degree it becomes easier to assume the problem is the immigrant thereby a scapegoat, in some respects. >>Though immigration is undeniably a very forceful factor in why many if not most chose to leave the EU. << I don’t agree with the idea that it is entirely if at all that of scapegoating and that, as some argue, it will not be overcome until the same people realize that it is really a ‘systemic problem’ – that immigration is more a fantasy for what they really have to face. On the contrary and where I stand, immigration is a very deeply felt issue, bound with feelings of loss of individual and collective identity to that which is essentially alien to them.
All Fascist movements do seek to blame problems on the vulnerable. You see this in the rise of extreme right wing politicians.
Looking at it another way, the present state of capitalism manifests itself in right wing sentiments, anti-immigrant sentiments, and authoritarian state sentiments. It’s a subordinated part of people’s consciousness, meaning there has long been an awareness on the part of the masses that the capitalist system is a system which is good for a relatively small part of the population and very costly for everyone else. As long as there is sufficient to distribute around. But when there is not, as there is certainly not in the present time in the USA, western Europe, Japan, then it becomes onerous to see the wealth concentrated the way it is. The problem now is dysfunctional capitalism leaving the masses of Americans with two choices :
To turn against the system by bringing forward criticisms which have always been in minds which now feel more urgent.
To find a scapegoat, and the powers that be have a clear preference with how this should go.
Is this happening everywhere, if so it’s important to talk about the struggles recently in Paris even though there, it’s a different matter – a labor law, making it easier for employers to hire and fire, the imposition of overtime obligations, – pitting the ruling class against the mass of people. Seeing the same phenomenon in Italy (failed banks taking its depositor’s money. 18 per cent of loans in Italian banking is non performing, – can’t pay it back. Consequently Italy is entering into a somewhat delayed decay, not as poor as Greece and Portugal – Now the big ones are falling down, Spain is already half way there. Leaving France and Germany, beginning a shrinking circle of what can survive. Capitalism circling around its strongest members and letting everyone else go. In the USA, you see downtown areas sugar coated with renovations but if you go three blocks and less you see third world poverty, the extent of which boggles the mind – the destruction of urban cultures all faked by sugar coated downtown districts of large cities.
Exceptional nation? Why? How? Says who? – In Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan Connecticut, bankers are earning astonishing amounts. Does this have anything to do with the poverty in Bridgeport, just down the freeway and a few exits away?
A few exits on I95. I’ve been there. Bridgeport area has one of the highest inequality rates in the whole US. No.2 is Hartford area (been there too) where the rest of the finance sector, the insurance sector, reigns. Here in this area the average income of the top one per cent of people in the Bridgeport / Stamford / Norwalk metropolitan area which consists of all Fairfield county plus a few towns neighboring New Haven county is 6 million dollars – 77 times the average of the bottom 99 per cent.
According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute (06/2016). This makes the area one of the most unequal in the country; nationally where the top one per cent makes 25 times more than the bottom 99 per cent. Huh.
In this area are all the hedge funds, corporations such as General Electric, now exiting the state but who have been there since 1974, banks such as UBS – ie. the banking center is connected with CT to a great extent Might this constitute discrimination against the law abiding and the moral? Break the law and get an extra bonus. Hypocrisy on a large scale. The religious right talk about god, but don’t mind when their bankers – their bankers note, steal blind from them. Much of policy; tax policy, fiscal policy, monetary policy, govt policy, military policy, is all about collaterizing and leveraging up everything.
During 2009 to 2013 the incomes of the top one per cent in CT grew by 17.2 per cent, while incomes of everyone else dropped by 1.6 per cent. As wealth grows in CT, the states’ biggest city Bridgeport, is left behind.
The poverty rate in Bridgeport has increased from 18 per cent to 20 per cent, from 2007 to 2015, according to a report from the non profit, Connecticut Voices for Children.
The fact that finance is making a few people extremely rich is not particularly revealing. More critical is what finance is doing to everyone else, or more to the point, what it is NOT doing – ie. providing good middle – class jobs.
Financiers in recent decades have made their money by focusing on wealth creation through manipulating and timing markets, rather than by lending and creating. Investors, asset managers, traders and others have figured out how to craft financial products which can make money, but which do not result in jobs or business. Mortgage backed securities for example, which defrauded the entire pension fund industry, the entire financial sector and caused havoc across the world.
General Electric was a US company that previously manufactured refrigerators, washing machines, alarm clocks and such. GE had their base in Bridgeport CT, their headquarters in Fairfield CT. They abandoned manufacturing and became one og the biggest issuers of debt in the world – by becoming GE Capital. In true capitalist fashion, they were rewarded for this, their CEO hailed as a hero of American capitalism. What this really did was decimate the city, throw into poverty and stagnation – GE no longer produce anything. They have abandoned CT and are moving to Boston MA (they received 135 million dollar incentive to relocate there).
This is symptomatic of entire US manufacturing, which has become finance (debt enslavers) instead.
According to the Roosevelt Institute, every dollar of earnings or borrowing used to be associated with a 40 per cent increase in investment . Since the 1980s, less than 10 cents of each earned or borrowed dollar is invested. This means fewer jobs created and more money ending up as shareholder’s profits.
The US economy has a special component called imperialism, making the USA different than Europe. The US is dependent on the international connection in multiple ways and this is being stretched because if the system does not work – when production is moved massively, as over the past thirty years to China, the whole point and purpose to take advantage of lower cost conditions, ie, replacing expensive workers with less expensive, which means that the purchasing power of the working class has dramatically dropped and the wealth of the people at the top has dramatically increased.
It comes to a point when the working class can’t borrow any more, have no means, which is where things are. What way out other than those who have the will hold on tighter to what they have? When everyone else is down and sinking deeper, trying to survive, this is not a good situation especially so for a population who cannot see this as its problem.
The US is entering into a period of instability, explosive events, shifts in consciousness – you see this in economic realities all around – expressing itself in frightening circumstances.
US democratic institutions have been weakened considerably, economic inequality has gotten worse. The rights and the wages of the working class have fallen into precipitous decline. Labor regulations, the protection of the manufacturing base, as well as labor unions have been demolished. Corporations have used the destruction of trade barriers to carry out what is in essence a tax boycott. The aim of the corporate state is not to feed, clothe or house the masses, but to shift all economic and social and political power as well as wealth into the hands of a tiny corporate elite. This corporate elite achieves its aims of greater and greater profit by weakening and dismantling government agencies, taking over or destroying public instructions.
Communism in The People’s Republic of China
China was communist long before Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made it a household term. In accordance with Marxist theory, China has to be rich before it can transition into pure, wealthy communism. China is not going to give up its hard fought socialist society so to do. Thus, China will use certain aspects of capitalism to become rich enough, so eventually live in communist harmony. This is the definition of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
China has never stopped adapting to what it needs to move forward, going back to liberation in 1949. During what I call the Mao Era (1949-1978), many reforms and measures were routinely implemented to move the people forward and improve their lives, although this is often ignored or denied in the West. During the Deng Era (1978-2012), this similar notion of “continual improvement” for the people changed gears and capitalist methods were integrated into China’s economy to accumulate the wealth that the Communist Party of China feels the country needs, to realize the Marxist transition from socialism to “rich” communism. Now we are in the Xi Jinping Era (2012-present) and the government is taking great leaps to keep the Chinese constitution’s goal of achieving a communist society and economy.
It is not surprising that China and its 1.4 billion citizens are in a constant state of evolution. Not just the infrastructure and overall development of the country, but the parallel growth and sophistication of the people continues to be the greatest fascination. The Chinese are an incredibly resilient and adaptable people, which is a key reason that they possess the longest, continuously existing civilization in human history.
Since 1949, China has brought one billion citizens out of poverty and created the largest and fastest growing middle class in the world, now over 300 million and adding 10,000 citizens to this category, every day. In purchasing power parities (PPP), China well surpasses the USA, to become the world’s number one economy in 2014 and in PPP terms, will be 50% larger than is America within the coming year (2016). In classic exchange rate terms, China will leap frog the USA before 2020.
China’s President Xi Jinping calls this the “new normal”. Until 1872, when a colonized and plundered China finally fell from grace as the world’s largest economy, in the face of a rapacious, drug dealing, imperialism of others, the Middle Kingdom was always the largest country with the largest economy, going back 5,000 years. Note that at around 250 BC, the Roman Empire could boast 4,000,000 subjects, while at the same time, the Chinese nation had 35,000,000, almost nine times as many.
Thanks to an anomalous, 500-year change of fortunes between the colonial, expansionist West and China, starting in the 15th century, until now, the European races can be forgiven if they think being masters of the world’s 85% dark skinned people’s and their natural resources has always been their supposed divine right. But now, with China’s freedom and independence from Western tyranny, beginning in 1949, the West is going to have to get used to the idea of China being humanity’s leader. As long as the Communist Party remains in power, and is highly likely for the next century, China will continue to claim economic supremacy on planet Earth.
This is welcomed by the vast majority of humanity, since they are the ones who have been pillaged, raped and massacred by the West, for thousands of years, beginning with Alexander the Great, during the 4th century BC. Western wealth, all its monuments, museums, skyscrapers and broad avenues, was and is being stolen from underdeveloped countries. It is all built on the blood and bones of at least a billion souls, who have been and are continuing to be slaughtered and exterminated. Our standard of living is thanks to ongoing racism, colonialism, imperialism and war across the planet.
Not at all true for China. The Chinese have never been hegemonic, colonial, nor imperial. For thousands of years, the Chinese expanded their nation out to their natural borders. They had many opportunities and were centuries ahead in technology, to be an Asian Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Andrew Jackson or King Leopold II. However, it’s just not in their cultural and political DNA to dominate and exploit other peoples – regardless of all the Western propaganda to the contrary.
You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to see that the West’s global empire of colonialism is beginning to collapse. World War I and II were the clarion calls of decline and the hundreds of other wars and the violation, if not destruction of most of the planet’s countries and their governments, since then and ongoing, are the harbingers of doom.
China was communist long before Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made it a household term. In accordance with Marxist theory, China has to be rich before it can transition into pure, wealthy communism. China is not going to give up its hard fought socialist society so to do. Thus, China will use certain aspects of capitalism to become rich enough, so eventually live in communist harmony. This is the definition of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
CAPITALISM IN ACTION – LEGACY OF THATCHERISM
Consider that liberalism embraces political, economic, or even religious ideas. In the U.S. political liberalism has been a strategy to prevent social conflict. It is presented to poor and working people as being ‘progressive’ compared to conservative. Conservative politicians often say they hate ‘liberals’ — meaning the political type –but note that they have no real problem with ECONOMIC LIBERALISM, including NEO-LIBERALISM.
NEO means a new kind of liberalism. So what was the old kind? The liberal school of economics became famous in Europe when Adam Smith in 1776 published THE WEALTH OF NATIONS. He and others advocated the abolition of government intervention in economic matters. No restrictions on manufacturing, no barriers to commerce, no tariffs, he said; free trade was the best way for a nation’s economy to develop. Such ideas were LIBERAL in the sense of no controls. This application of individualism encouraged FREE enterprise, FREE competition — which came to mean, >>>>FREE FOR THE CAPITALISTS to amass huge profits, as they wished.<<<<<<
ECONOMIC LIBERALISM prevailed in the US through the 1800s and early 1900s. Then the Great Depression of the 1930s led the economist John Maynard Keynes to a theory that challenged liberalism as the best policy for capitalists. He said, in essence, >>>>>>that full employment is necessary for capitalism to grow and it can be achieved only if governments and central banks intervene to increase employment.<<<<< These ideas provoked influence on President Roosevelt’s New Deal — which did improve life for many people. >>>>>>The belief that government should advance the common good became widely accepted,<<<<<<<
HOWEVER, the capitalist crisis over the past 25 years, with its shrinking profit rates, has inspired the corporate elite to REVIVE ECONOMIC LIBERALISM. That’s what makes it NEO or new. In the present, with the rapid globalization of the capitalist economy, we are seeing NEO-LIBERALISM ON A GLOBAL SCALE.
THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating free enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers’ rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say ‘an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone.’ It’s akin to Reagan’s ‘supply-side’ and ‘trickle-down’ economics — but somehow the wealth has not trickled down very much.
CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES such as education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply — again in the name of reducing government’s role. Of course, they don’t oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business
DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminish profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.
PRIVATIZATION – THATCHERISM. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.
ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF PUBLIC GOOD and replacing it with'”individual responsibility.’ Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as lazy.
For example, in the U.S. neo-liberalism has destroyed welfare programs; attacked the rights of labor (including all immigrant workers); and cut social programs. >>>>>The Republican supposed ‘Contract on America’ is pure neo-liberalism. Its supporters are working hard to deny protection to children, youth, women, the planet itself — and trying to trick us into acceptance by saying this will get government off my back. >>>>>The beneficiaries of neo-liberalism are a minority of the world’s people. For the vast majority it brings even more suffering than before – suffering without the small, hard-won gains of the last 60 years, suffering without end.
Scholars have linked the rise of neoliberalism to unprecedented levels of mass incarceration marginalized poor in the United States. Loïc Wacquant – represents a neoliberal policy in dealing with social instability among poor populations following the implementation of other neoliberal policies which have allowed for the retrenchment of the social welfare state and the rise of punitive workfare, increased gentrification of urban areas, privatization of public functions, the shrinking of collective protections for the working class via economic deregulation, and the rise of underpaid, precarious wage labor is the criminalization of poverty and mass incarceration. By contrast, it is extremely lenient in dealing with those in the upper echelons of society, in particular when it comes to economic crimes of the privileged classes and corporations such as fraud, embezzlement, insider trading, credit and insurance fraud, money laundering, and violation of commerce and labor codes. According to Wacquant, neoliberalism doesn’t shrink government but instead sets up a ‘centaur state’, with little governmental oversight for those at the top and strict control of those at the bottom.
Power is organized money more than it is people. Elites on behalf of corporations have carried out a savage neo-liberal assault upon the working poor. This duplicity embodied in US politicians such as the Clintons and Barack Obama has perpetuated for decades. These elites from ivy league schools speak the language of values; servility, inclusivity, bigotry, while thrusting a knife into back of the working poor for their elite masters. In the US, such double-dealing epitomized by speaking the language of the ordinary while selling out the working poor to corporate power is for all to see.
The rise of right wing fascism is not the same thing (complete opposite) of a reintegrating of the disenfranchised back into society, into a meaningful state of affairs.
Generally speaking; “The disenfranchisement of a class of people from the structures of society produces a state of ‘anomy’ – a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals. Those trapped in this ‘anomy’, are easy prey to propaganda, to emotionally driven mass movements. As long as there are elites who oversee the disemboweling of a country on behalf of corporations and remain in charge, the worse it will become.”
Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917)
(C-I) Hey, is this why I can’t afford anywhere decent to live, or anything above basic stuff, if that even (not that I’m so bothered by my status as low level underling)? Unless I am a darling of the elite, I might as well stay in my cell and like it? That’s what it’s saying, which is why I don’t wholly agree.
(C-III) So you live in a cell?
(C-I) Sure do, about the same size. I like it.
(C-III) I know where you are going, we know well and from what you’ve said often, that one’s emancipation from those kind of imposed social limitations comes (or should) from within. Creativity knows no bounds, and I would say you epitomize an art form that completely disregards limitation.
(C-I) Does it? I suppose, well I agree. Power is money, yes, but power is also an expression, of what causes the person, irrespective of status, to swoon in their inability to deal. This is not the place to discuss that.
(C-III) Society is judged on it’s ownership of material wealth and because it counts you out of the elite, it doesn’t matter because what is much more than the material…..
(C-I) Can I just stop you there. We live in a people-centered, soft socialism which is wholly sustaining. I get everything I want and am grateful because it enables all that you said to be the case. I have the most precious mentors and colleagues who art forms to me. It’s not about nepotism, the control instruments of economic wealth, not at all, nor has it ever been.
(C-III) What do you think to C-IV’s debate (** reference to the following paper):
(C-IV) The US Election and Next Four to Eight Years
Debate Topic. 12/01/2017 Room No.15
The US Democratic Party is unseeing and note, that it is NOT a parallel the UK Labour Party. The Republican elites displayed the sheer extent of their insulation from the reality which is America in this time, the deep anger felt among the many working poor (a fact the press ignores), the legitimate anger, the sense of betrayal and the made suffering. One quarter of the children in the US now go to bed in poverty. Sixty million are claiming food stamps – a system which is not the equivalent of the UK monetary assistance programmes). The fictitious/phony statistics put out to display a nonexistent economic recovery must be understood for this and why. If one parses those numbers, the jobs are without benefits we Europeans (especially in the UK) take for granted; they are minimum wage (five pounds per hour) jobs, non-unionized, usually temporary. To make a middle class salary, to find, if possible,one has to work two to three jobs, which constitutes seventy to eighty hours per week, every week. The US electoral candidates just did not get it and this shows how unplugged they are from the rest of the country.
They have elected a figure who is a con artist, who just told them all what they wanted to hear, and now it is obvious from his appointments that he is essentially ramping up neo-liberalism, revamping Obama Care (not that it remotely compares with the NHS), and so on. The system was already deeply corrupt, specific reference being to the Clinton Foundation. Now it’s going to be a naked kleptocracy (corrupt government made up of thieves, additionally sullied by nepotism and cronyism), which is not what people voted for – they voted out of anger, out of hope, out of complete desperation. The establishment has one form of con, polite, politically correct con, and Trump has another, more a kind of naked form of con, out from the casino industry. It is tragic and sad because of the suffering (e.g. among the Deep South states and the Mid-West). Half of the US undeniably resides in poverty. The elites will not respond to what is happening there – which produced Trump, but unfortunately Trump is not going to be a solution.
What happens to neo-liberals now? See how out of touch they are? They just live in their self-created paradigms. Look how the system is made up. One per cent own ninety-nine per cent of the entire wealth. The average citizen has nothing.
It will be interesting to watch the elite, the ‘deep state’ (to use parlance) which runs it all – Lockheed, Exxon, Raytheon, Wall Street / Goldman Sachs. One can see this in terms of Trump’s appointments. Whether and when they will turn on him is the question.
Does Trump have well defined beliefs? No, therefore one can assume him malleable and easily manipulated. One sees him neither having the experience nor the fortitude to stand up to the ‘deep state’. Neither did Obama. One has to take into consideration how powerful they are and how cold blooded. All behind the veil. When you start messing around with their geopolitical, economic interests, what messages they impart in response are not to be ignored.
It will be interesting to watch how rapidly the ‘deep state’ asserts itself, most notably via hostility (even war) with Russia and China. Hundreds of billions of US dollars in profits are being engineered. They cannot bleed foreign economies dry unless Russia is deemed a dire threat. It is all corporate interest driven. Those who are deemed critics over there – allowing Democrats to concoct a reason they lost the election (not the real reason – the populace tired of the lies), allows the arms industry to expand, it allows the tarnishing, the witch hunt of their critics as being fifth columnists for foreign powers, and so on.
One needs to grasp the reality of the US security state as being unlike any other, certainly unlike our own, the militarization of their society, the incredible burden of all of this to the tax payer – One can’t talk about emancipation from the shackles because the system defines them as perpetual infants – soaking up Hollywood fantasy, the celebrity culture, the Christian right who take advantage of the many made susceptible. It looks bleak for them, in what is an engineered capacity to engage a phony reality. (C-IV)
Video : Professor Noam Chomsky. MIT. ‘The Emerging World Order’ – For our Discussion Room No. 15
Harold Wilson (1916 – 1995)
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – The Good Years
James Harold Wilson. Baron Wilson of Rievaulx. KG, OBE, PC, FRS, FSS. British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976. Interestingl,y as a socialist, was accused by some as being a Russian (communist) sympathizer, even KBG spy.
Secret Intelligence Service
This conversation is in progress
Adversitate. Custodi. Per Verum