Sunday, July 2, 2017

Jon Hellevig — Russia: An Industrial Powerhouse With Nukes

In the recently published Russia Insider special economic report on Russia commissioned from Awara Accounting, we reported about the surprising strength of Russia’s economy as it recovered from three years of sanctions and the oil price shock.
The really devastating news for the typical Russia bashing bigot must have been the extraordinary decrease in the share of oil & gas revenue in Russia’s GDP, which had dropped below 10% according to World Bank data for 2015.
This data spectacularly proves wrong the charade that Russia has supposedly failed to diversify its economy. The report further corroborated this by showing that oil and gas generated only 17% of the country’s budget revenue. The last bastion in the line of arguments maintaining that Russia remained a backward country with no modern manufacturing is the fact that its exports are dominated by oil and gas. That is admittedly true, but for some reason the experts that claim so have ignored the data about Russia’s imports and domestic production. Russia’s imports are the lowest among major countries, and that demonstrates that its domestic industry is highly diversified and self-sufficient as it produces almost everything the country needs....
Good antidote to the standard fare about Russia being just a gas station (McCain) that doesn't make anything (Obama).

Russia Insider
Russia: An Industrial Powerhouse With Nukes
Jon Hellevig

88 comments:

Bob said...

Russia produces some damn fine hockey players. That's about it ;)

Jefferson said...

Why has Mike Norman allowed this blog to become a Russian propaganda outlet?

Dan Lynch said...

I wish someone would slap sanctions on the U.S. so our manufacturing sector could become a powerhouse again.

Tom Hickey said...

I wish someone would slap sanctions on the U.S. so our manufacturing sector could become a powerhouse again.

Actually all they have to do is slap sanctions (or tariffs) on the net exporters like China, Japan, and Germany. :)

Tom Hickey said...

Russia produces some damn fine hockey players. That's about it ;)

Russia"s New Weapons: Aircraft Carriers No Longer Rule the SeasRussia"s New Weapons: Aircraft Carriers No Longer Rule the Seas

related

China builds new military facilities on South China Sea islandsChina builds new military facilities on South China Sea islands

The push is on for the capability to take out carriers.

Bob said...

Russians are good at making tanks. Even their automobiles sound, feel and drive like tanks ;)

Salsabob said...

Russia has 2% of world gdp, us 25% - surely we should be in awe of putinland?
This Putin propaganda outlet is embarrassing to mmt.

MRW said...

Why has Mike Norman allowed this blog to become a Russian propaganda outlet? Maybe because it's more realistic and informed.

Ben Johannson said...

Why has Mike Norman allowed this blog to become a Russian propaganda outlet?

Why does your profile indicate you're a one-day old bot account?

Auburn Parks said...

Why has this site become such a Russian & chinese sycophant? One thing is that Kaivey has posting privileges now and he has really turned up the volume with conspiracy nutter anti-American posts. And Tom has always posted links from the ideologues over at Sic Temper Tyrannis, ZeroHedge, Fabius Maximus, The Duran, Moon of Alabama, etc. So when you combine these two link sources and just a few from Norman, Franko, or annyone else (myself included), this is what you get. And if its not nutter geo-politics, its many anti-capitalist ideologues or zocialists posts. I think it has a lot to do with the utter lack of quality information and writing out their on these subjects either in the mainstream on any of these subjects or their unorthodox antagonists.

Dan Lynch said...

@Auburn, Moon of Alabama is an ideologue?

I can't speak for Tom but my view is that people have lost faith in the establishment -- in the government, in the mainstream media, in the churches, etc. -- and are looking for alternatives.

Are you suggesting that we should believe the government that assured us Saddam had WMD's, that there was light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam, and that JFK was killed by a lone gunman? Should we believe the New York times? Should we place our faith in the child raping priests of the Catholic church? Should we support an economic system that favors the rich?

Just as there was a healthy debate on alternative systems during the Great Depression, we are living in another era where many people recognize that the system is a fraud and seek out alternatives.

Let me guess -- you are doing well under the current system? Petite bourgeoisie much?

Auburn Parks said...

"@Auburn, Moon of Alabama is an ideologue?"

Under my colloquial usage of the word, yes he is. My colloquial definition goes something like this....ANyone who only ever analyzes events through a one sided prism. In my view, the Moon of Alabama prism is Anti-americanism. Now sure, you could make the argument that he is only anti-the way America currently operates and not anti-america per se. Presumably, if we followed all of his personally preferred policies he would not be anti-american as I've used the word above. But this itself I would claim is the pov of an ideologue. You cant judge the world based solely off your personal preferences. There are many different points of view, the answers to the same question change depending on the scale of abstraction you use to look at the event through.

Gravity is an extremely weak force at the macro scale, but at the sub-atomic level its force is larger then either of the nuclear forces for example.

Or Gravity is downright tyrannical at the scale of humans and planets but for ants, friction and adhesion are far stronger.

What is the operative principle for deciding if the US should be involved in syria\iraq right now against ISIS?
Never interfere in another countries affairs?
Spreading liberal institutions and representative Govt?
Fight terrorism?
Its ok to interfere only if the UN recognized Govt requests it? (which totally ignores the obvious problems this principle is presented with by rebellions and civil wars)


Depending on which of these values or principles one puts first, the decisions that look "correct" change.

You cant fight terrorism abroad if you're committed to never interfering in another country's affairs, same with spreading liberal institutions and representative govt.
For the ideologue, for examle. All the logic and analysis that follows downstream from their preferred principle or value is legitimate, and logic or analysis that naturally follows from an alternative principle is wrong or illegitimate. For the non-ideologue, one is obligated to acknowledge that there is no single "right" answer for most if not all political or social questions. There are mostly just answers that naturally follow from your starting principles.

The other key component of an ideologue is hypocrisy. This is by far the most prevalent and obvious character trait of an ideologue. If I saw Moon of Alabama write as frequently and vehemently about the ways that China and Russia interfere in other country's for their own selfish interests then I would take his honesty more seriously. But all I ever see is him writing to make excuses for why its ok for China or Russia to do what they are doing because its always an appropriate response to the evil things that the US is doing or something like that. Or course, I have to admit that I dont read any of these people daily, so they very well may write a reasonable amount on those subjects, Im only commenting here from my POV of what I see Tom post at MNE. So if Moon does write these articles at a reasonable rate and I just dont know about them, then my criticism might be wrong and Id freely admit that I spoke ignorantly and I retract what I said. Thats how to be a non-ideologue.

Auburn Parks said...

Either you have a principle that you believe in and can cohernetly explain and defend, then you maintain that principle in all cases even when your "side" is directly involved and wrong, or you are a hypocrite.

SO thats how I generally view the sources that I listed in my comment. Which is of course not to say that any other sources (certainly not mainstreeam corporate ones) arent equally guilty, but we are all comfortable criticizing them so its not a divisive issue at MNE. But hardly anyone but me or Franko ever criticizes the posts that Tom or Kaivey link to. Thats probably just a natural result of the ideological disposition of the group here.

Here's a good example of what I would call a good, honest, fair analysis article:

https://warontherocks.com/2017/06/how-the-international-system-shapes-the-character-of-war-order-geography-and-networks/

Auburn Parks said...

"I can't speak for Tom but my view is that people have lost faith in the establishment -- in the government, in the mainstream media, in the churches, etc. -- and are looking for alternatives."

I am certainly not schilling for the establishment. People are right or wrong based on their arguments not on what group they belong to. Just because the status quo is bad, doesnt mean that any alternative is good. There are many good reasons for the way things are the way they are, many bad ones too :)

"Are you suggesting that we should believe the government that assured us Saddam had WMD's, that there was light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam, and that JFK was killed by a lone gunman?"

Govt's make thousands maybe millions of claims and statements per year, they are neither right nor wrong just because its the Govt that says it. In fact attributing anything in particular to "the govt" is probably bad analysis given how complex and large a social institution it is. HUmans lie for their own benefit or the benefit of their group, what does the Govt have to do with it? Statements are true or false independent of who is making them, however who is making the staetements can of course have a good deal to say about the intentions and reliability of the person\insittution.

"Should we believe the New York times? Should we place our faith in the child raping priests of the Catholic church? Should we support an economic system that favors the rich?"

You should believe people when you have a good reason to do so. The NYT says many true things, same thing for the church and even ISIS or AL Qaeda.

"Just as there was a healthy debate on alternative systems during the Great Depression, we are living in another era where many people recognize that the system is a fraud and seek out alternatives."

I love healthy debate. Helathy debate requires honest, objective analysis and an ability to distinguish between it and all the ideological bullshit out there.

Dan Lynch said...

@Auburn, I can't find the link on short notice but someone once asked Noam Chomsky why he is always criticizing America. He replied that, as an American citizen, he felt more responsible for his country's misbehavior than for other countries'. And as a practical matter America has far more impact on the world than say. Liechtenstein.

There is no anti-Liechtenstein movement because Liechtenstein doesn't invade other countries. Leichtenstein doesn't have 1000 foreign military bases. You don't hear about Liechtenstein propping up Israel or funding ISIS.

We at MNE do criticize other countries besides the U.S. for their meddling. For example, we criticize Germany for the suffering it inflicts on the rest of Europe.

Russia has never done anything to harm me. China, on the other hand, is America's economic competitor, pursuing a mercantilist policy, and I regard them accordingly. Mercantilism usually does not end well.

In general, I am fine with countries that mind their own business, even if I disagree with some of their domestic policies. I'm not fine with meddling or with aggression.

Russia is walking a fine line in Syria -- they don't want to get bogged down in a quagmire. They also risk blowback, just as we do. They sometimes kill innocent civilians, just as we do (though generally less often because they have better intelligence on the ground). But the difference is that Russia was invited to participate in the Syrian war by a legitimate government. The difference is that the Syrian war is a defensive war against an invasion of foreign mercenaries. That Russia's parliament voted to approve a limited participation in Syria. That Russia has repeatedly invited the U.S. to participate in Syria as equals. That unlike the U.S., Russia never supported ISIS or Al-Qaeda.

In general, Russia believes in the rule of law and honors its agreements, while the U.S. behaves as a rogue state that thinks it is above the law. Russia believes in a multi-polar world while America believes in American exceptionalism. Russian culture dislikes war, while America's culture worships war. That doesn't mean that Russia is perfect, just that there are fundamental differences between Russia and the U.S..

Auburn Parks said...

I agree with your first two paragraphs.

I never said that MNE never criticizes other countries. I was commenting on the links that Tom and kaivey provide and the people that write.that stuff up.

How one defines meddling and aggression and the context within which it happens determine whether or not meddling or aggression are appropriate.

I.disagree with the principle that only UN recognized governtments are legitimate. Assad killed many peaceful protesters at the beginning of the civil.war and the Syrian people have a right in my mind to not just fight the state but also to ally with foreign powers to.further their ends just like the USA did w. France Spain and the rest during the revolutionary war.

So.that's my principle in the matter of.involvement in other country's civil.wars.

You make a bunch of.other claims about Russia that are wrong or misleading or irrelevant to.the matter of legitimate involvement in Syria and that I neither have the desire or.time to.answer.and.rebut directly.

Tom Hickey said...

I think it has a lot to do with the utter lack of quality information and writing out their on these subjects either in the mainstream on any of these subjects or their unorthodox antagonists.

If the MSM only publishes the "narrative of the day," it's left to the alternative media to offer balance.

I do my best to select from a wide range of stuff that is posted to the Internet, from fake news to actual experts.

Sic Temper Tyrannis, Fabius Maximus, The Saker, and Moon of Alabama are either ex-military or ex-intel. SouthFront is excellent on military affairs. Consortium News and The Duran are also aggregations of high quality reporting much by disillusioned experts in their fields or top investigative reporters like Robert Parry. Seymour Hersh is the successor to I. F. Stone. Pepe Escobar is in the running. Larry Wilkerson was Colin Powell's CoS.

Zero Hedge is an aggregator and some of the things that appear there are of high quality.

RT, Sputnik, Russia Insider, and Fort Russ present the Russian side of the story, which never appears in the MSM.

If the MSM did its job instead of acting as stenographers for the the daily narrative, people like us would not have too, and I would save a lot of time.

No one is forcing anyone to come here or to read any particular posts anyway.

Auburn Parks said...

But just so readers don't think I'm only being flippant wrt my last line, I'll do one.

The part about Russia believing in a multi polar world. What does this mean and what does if have to.do.with Syria? What separates someone who believes in a united polar world opposed to a multi polar one?

If I acknowledge that there are many different countries with various interest groups, who.seek to further their interests in various ways and have various methods of achieving their goals depending on their level of.influence and power.... am I a multi or uni polar person?

If I believe the above but think the us is the most powerful and influential due to its size wealth and cultural appeal does that make unipolar?

Is the difference between unioolar and multi polar simply that China and Russia get.to.do.whatever.they want in their direct geographical neighborhood and the us just stays exckusively in the western hemisphere?

I ask because I hear.this.phrase thrown around often as if the distinctions and relative goodness of.one over.the others are.clear true and obvious. Maybe they are to.other people but not to me. So hopefully you can help unravel the mystery for me by explaining it to me or answering my above questions

Tom Hickey said...

It is a legitimate question as to why so much politics and geopolitics is posted at an economics and financial blog based on MMT. I have attempted to provide the answer by showing how economic and finance are embedded in societies and are influenced by their cultures and institutions. I have also argued how the conventional approaches to economics and finance base on nations need to be modified owing to (neoliberal) globalization and the rise of a global economy that is increasingly dominated by transnational corporations and institutions.

I consider Jayati Ghosh to be one of the top non-MMT economists in the world. She has an excellent series explaining this in terms of neoliberalism, neo-imperialism and neocolonialism. It was cited here previously. While it is three part interview, it is a relatively short read. I rate it a must-read. If you missed it when it was linked to, here is the link.

Jayati Ghosh On Imperialism in the 21st Century

Auburn Parks said...

Tom just because someone is ex military or ex intelligence doesn't mean they are right nor honest nor whether they are ideolgoues or not.

Auburn Parks said...

For what its worth I enjoy the geopolitical discussion and it is intrinsically tied to economics so its definitely relevant

Dan Lynch said...

Economics plays a role in just about everything. For example, racial resentment is linked to economic inequality and economic insecurity. One researcher claims that Trump was elected on a wave of racial resentment, not on economic dissatisfaction. To which I reply, where does the racial resentment come from in the first place, if not from economic inequality and economic insecurity?

The link between economic inequality and just about everything wrong with society is documented in The Spirit Level.

Tom Hickey said...

Under my colloquial usage of the word, yes he is. My colloquial definition goes something like this....ANyone who only ever analyzes events through a one sided prism.

However, it is material that people that are not "anti-American" like Col. Pat Lang, often agree with him. He comments at SST.

On can agree or disagree a country's policy, strategy and tactics as whole without being against that country. One can also agree with the a policy but not a strategy, or a strategy but not the tactics.

It's complicated. And these people know that because they are actually experts in the field rather than pretend experts or propagandists.

Even though they are experts, they can be still wrong, but that needs to be argued based on evidence.

Kaivey said...

When I joined I felt a bit overwhelmed and told Mike Norman that I won't be putting out much economics. He said that's fine, put out the politics as we have plenty of economics. I showed my debates with libertarians on line and the liked it.

Tom Hickey said...

Either you have a principle that you believe in and can cohernetly explain and defend, then you maintain that principle in all cases even when your "side" is directly involved and wrong, or you are a hypocrite.

Pragmatists don't start with a principle. They examine situations in terms of action and consequences.

Ideologues start with a principle and fit the explanation to it.

Auburn Parks said...

All people have principles Tom. That's not what separates ideologues from pragmatists. You and I disagree about us foreign policy because we have different principles and put different weights on different values not because you are an ideolglogue and I am not or vice versa. It is this logical contradiction tthat drives my perspective that any useful distinction bettween an ideologue and non ideologue must have do with how someone analyzes a situation and not what their specific position of claim is.

Auburn Parks said...

Kaivey

I was certainly not attempting to criticize your beliefs or positions I'm only saying that many of the links that you provide as well as Tom are written by people that are often just as dishonest and ideological as the mainstream hacks we.all criticize.

But please note that this does not mean those people or you or tom are.wrong about everything or any specific thing. Claims stand on their and are not dependent on the person making them hence the argument from authority fallacy.

Like the claim tgat Russia today is simply an honest objective news source with no.agenda would be just as dishonest a statement as if I inserted WAPO or NYT instead of Russia today or TASS etc.

Bob said...

A multi-polar world is one where several countries maintain their own spheres of influence. It's not a matter of belief, it's an accurate description of planet Earth in the year 2017.

Kaivey said...

I don't think anyone would invite Deash in to fight for them, and I doubt if the Syrians wanted a civil war either. I read that the Muslim Brotherhood starting shooting at police during the peaceful demonstration and the police shot back. Who knows, but the idea that police shot at peaceful demonstrators seems far fetched.

In Venezuela the old guard start violent uprisings to gain power and to try to discredit the government when its police naturally shoot back. The British and French shoot at terrorists too. We know the US, or CIA, has some involvement in the Venezuelan opposition as US corporations want control of its oil fields. This isn't a conspiracy theory, the US is always toppling governments and supporting dictatorships in the Latin America. It also brought in the Shah and then Khomeini in Iran.

Was Smedley Butler a conspiracy theorist when be came to the conclusion he was just a high class muscleman for US corporations? What's changed today?

It's not just the US, all empires tend to be brutal. The British and French Empires where, and do was the Roman Empire. I'm just as critical of the British ruling class.

All is not bad with the American Empire, it has kept the peace in Europe, and kept Japan under control, which has been particularly nasty imperialist nation, like the US and Britain.

Kaivey said...

What I find interesting about RT, Sputnik, Strategic Cultures, is that they are manned by liberals, but Putin is not a liberal, and Russia tends to be conservative. Is it that these liberals are very anti the western establishment, but there are plenty of people on the right who are anti the establishment too? Ron Paul and the libertarians, Alex Jones. Putin is popular with the alt right.

Auburn Parks said...

Bob

All countries have a sphere of influence not just some so how can that be the operative difference between someone who is uni polar vs multi polar?

Auburn Parks said...

Bob

Or are you saying that the difference between a uni and multi polarist is that multis accept the reality that all countries have a sphere of influence and the uni s don't?

Tom Hickey said...

Tom just because someone is ex military or ex intelligence doesn't mean they are right nor honest nor whether they are ideolgoues or not.

Auburn, go over to SST and argue with Pat Lang about his area of expertise and see how that goes for you.

Warning: Col Lang doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

Tom Hickey said...

Tom just because someone is ex military or ex intelligence doesn't mean they are right nor honest nor whether they are ideolgoues or not.

Absolutely true. All one has to do is watch the MSM for the views of their experts.

The impression is that all experts agree on such things. They don't. And those that disagree are shut out from the MSM and other points of influence. We air some of them here.

Tom Hickey said...

The link between economic inequality and just about everything wrong with society is documented in The Spirit Level.

http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/The-Spirit-Level-Why-Greater-Equality-Makes-Societies-Stronger-Kate-Pickett-400p_1608193411.pdf

Auburn Parks said...

Tom

I've read.through the comment section over there plenty of times, hes not special, his arguments are all standard for his camp. Since I'm not in his and your camp on international politics, I find his arguments one sided and unconvincing.

Auburn Parks said...

At the beginning of.Isis plenty of Sunnis welcomed.them to protect them.from what the Shiites were.doing to.them in revenge for.what the Sunnis did to.the shia in revenge for.what the shia did to.the Sunnis in revenge for.what the ..... you get the point.

Why would the Syrian regime murdering its subjects be unbelievable to.you? Haven't you read anything about the horrors.of.what the Assad family has done to syrians over.the years?

Wrt your Venezuelan comment I don't believe you know.anything about what's really going on down there and certainly not.because you read some article.somewhere. yes the USA has done.lots of.regime change and even decades later we barely have the full.story on.every event even after most stuff has been.declassified. so.the idea that you as a casual reader or just about any individual writer actually.knows what's going on is laughable.

Bob said...

A uni-polarist is an American who believes that the USA rules the world. Some of these loons are ex-Trotskyists.

Bob said...

If it weren't for their nuclear arsenal, Russia would be on par with Brazil on the "importance scale".

Kaivey said...

So what your saying then, Auburn, is that we can't have any real opinions on anything because we cannot really know the truth. I've been aware for some time that when I read articles I'm in agreement with I have to take what the journalist is saying on trust. When it comes to Putin where I have no idea what he is really like or what he has done. I like what he says and I like RT, Sputnik, etc., so I tend to like him, so does Paul Craig Roberts and Stephen Lendman, but I'm not sure about his crack down in Chechnya which may have been brutal and that disturbs me. But I put out a video of a Georgian woman and her daughter who praised the Russians but there is also many people who take the opposite view obviously.

In the end I have to make a choice and Smedley Butler I believe got it right about the US. What is sad is that many well meaning conservatives support the ruling elite not knowing that many of them are really criminals and thugs. They believe the narrative that the US fought communism and so killing 20 million people was justified. But these so called communists were only trying to get western imperialists out of there country and were fighting for better rights for workers. This happened in the West and unions gained much for their workers until neoliberalism came along.

I read some of Noam Chomsky books and it really disturbed me. The elite were in a minority in Nicaragua so they used terror to suppress the villagers. One woman came home to find her family sitting at a table all dead set up as if they were having a meal. I can't mention the other horrors. How do we know it happened? We can only go by Chomsky's sources, and we do know the Contra rebel leader did say he went over the top in his terrors tactics at times. Chomsky documented many terrible crimes by the US backed Contra Rebels. Then there is Blowtorch Bob who the US backed who got his name by the torture method he used. Colonel James Steel was the guy who set up the Contra Rebel terror groups, and in Iraq he used the same torture tactics.

Sorry, I don't have much time for US foreign Policy and perhaps I do hold a bit of a conspiracy theory because I believe the whole Western media says nothing about US crimes. It's Orwellian. All the good reporters never got the jobs or were forced out now they write for alternative news outlets but the MSM call it fake news. I think our media is as controlled as much as Russia's, although POCR says it is more free but I can only go by his word.

So we will have to agree to differ on whether the US has been a force for good in the World. They dropped two H-bombs on Japan, but I have read the Japanese were about to surrender, the bombs were dropped to stop Russia taking japan. But I'm not a historian and I am not privy to US intelligence, so I can only go by what Chomsky and many others say.

Auburn Parks said...

Someone who.actually believes the US runs the.world or someone who.thinks the US should?

How.do.we.define "runs"? Has the.most influence? or.literally is.the party making the executive.decision like direct colonial.style?

So if.someone actually believes that the us.runs (colony style) the world that person is an idiot and wrong.
If someone just believes that the us should run the world (colony style) then they are still wrong and idiotic because.that's impossible just from a practical reality standpoint let.alone the morality of.the idea but at least we.could.then agree that there never has been.a unipolar world to pivot away from. Personally I don't think there is.anybody alive who.actual believes either of these two things when the word "runs" is meant to imply direct executive control

But if you are.using the.word.run to.simply imply the country with the.most.influence well then the US has indeed.had the most.influence since about 1943 and will more.than likely continue to.have the most influence for.the rest.of.the.ccentury. and furthermore if unipolarist simply describes.someone who.believes.the US should.actively.try and maintain the.most influence vs a mutipolarist who doesn't want the US to maintain its relative.level of influence then I would be proud to.call myself one.

Bob said...

Someone who.actually believes the US runs the.world or someone who.thinks the US should

Both.

How.do.we.define "runs"? Has the.most influence? or.literally is.the party making the executive.decision like direct colonial.style?

Through the usual quest for military and economic superiority.

The development of nuclear weapons and growth in human population put an end to unipolarism decades ago. What has to be pivoted away from is the delusion that China, Russia and their allies can be brought to heel through military or economic means.

Auburn Parks said...

Kaivey

"So what your saying then, Auburn, is that we can't have any real opinions on anything because we cannot really know the truth."

No Im definitely not saying that as a rule of thumb, although it is useful to remember just how difficult it can be to ever really know the truth about an event, especially when it involves humans. Even people who were actully at a particular event misremember things often, or try to distort events to justify their own actions. Thats why witness testimony is becoming less and less relevant in court proceedings. SO humility is in order for all of us.

Now with all that said, when I said the line I presume you are referring to:

"I don't believe you know.anything about what's really going on down there and certainly not.because you read some article.somewhere. yes the USA has done.lots of.regime change and even decades later we barely have the full.story on.every event even after most stuff has been.declassified. so.the idea that you as a casual reader or just about any individual writer actually.knows what's going on is laughable."

it was in response to your comment :

"We know the US, or CIA, has some involvement in the Venezuelan opposition as US corporations want control of its oil fields. This isn't a conspiracy theory, the US is always toppling governments and supporting dictatorships in the Latin America. It also brought in the Shah and then Khomeini in Iran."

So re-reading your comment, I can see your point. You didnt make any extravagant claims in this particular instance and my comment (while still true in the general sense) is not relevant as a direct criticism of your comment here. I apologize for over-reacting to your comment. The CIA most definitely has some involvement, at least I would hope so, their job is to collect intelligence after all. And its safe to assume that rich oil me want to get richer by selling more oil.

"They believe the narrative that the US fought communism and so killing 20 million people was justified. But these so called communists were only trying to get western imperialists out of there country and were fighting for better rights for workers. This happened in the West and unions gained much for their workers until neoliberalism came along. "

The US did fight Communism. Thats not just a narrative. The 20 million people number is obviously bullshit. No North Korea wasnt just trying to fight for better rights for workers, they wanted to impose their terrible dictatorship on south Korea, thank God we fought and defeated them, because 50 million south Koreans are better off because we did. Same for Vietnam, the NVA killed millions of south vietnamese after the US pull out and just like in South Korea, Vietnam would have been much better under the US umbrella than the communists.

The Soviets and the communist CHinese were two of the worst regimes in all of human history (true just on a numbers basis, no historical regime ever controlled as many people as these two). We were right to confront them, authoritarian Communism (the only realistic type of communism) is a horrible system for the people who live under it. Thankfully its mostly gone now.

"They dropped two H-bombs on Japan, but I have read the Japanese were about to surrender, the bombs were dropped to stop Russia taking japan. But I'm not a historian and I am not privy to US intelligence, so I can only go by what Chomsky and many others say.
"

You have never read from any historian that the Japanese were about to surrender before Hiroshima as there is zero evidence that this true. And dropping those bombs is not at all a clearly evil act. At least not in the context of the civilian bombing that was going on at the time and the potential dangers of a land invasion.

Auburn Parks said...

Tom

I've given more thought about your response to my anti-american framing early on in thread and I think you're right. Criticism itself is not evidence of.anti Americanism. Even if it were true, I am far too.ignorant about the history of writing of any of.those individuals to.justify such a claim and I could obviously never truly know.their motives. So.if I could.go.back and re-write that earlier comment I would not.use that framing again.

The parts about ideologues and one sided analysis I still stand by but I. Was wrong about the anti American part.

Tom Hickey said...

Unipolarity came into force with the collapse the Soviet Union and the dominance of the post-WWII Western liberal order under the leadership of the US.

Unipolarity is the view that only one system is possible in a globalized world and the collapse of socialism/communism determined that this one system would be the Western liberal order based on capitalism and democratic republicanism through transnational institutions under Western liberal leadership.

This was to replace the previous order since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th century that established the sovereignty of nation states and spheres of influence as a multipolar order. This was a Western order, since imperialism and colonialism prevailed wrt the rest of the world. What would subsequently become the US and Canada was a group of British, French and Spanish colonies at that time, and the Western order was combination of feudalism and incipient capitalism, with most Western countries being hereditary monarchies and aristocracies.

That order developed through the rise of liberal republics and capitalism replacing feudalism as the dominant system. The Russian and Chinese revolutions divided the world into capitalist and socialistic economic blocs and liberal and communist blocs politically. These later divisions ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union and China adopting market socialism.

Since then the American project is to install a Western liberal order under the leadership of the US as the exceptional people and indispensable nation, in which "the West" makes the rules and comprador elites follow. For example, the Washington Consensus that established a paradigm for transnational globalization under Western neoliberal leadership.

The unipolar position under American hegemony was formulated as the Wolfowitz Doctrine that declared permanent US hegemony and implemented by the Bush Doctrine that declared US unilateral action in international relations, foreign policy and military activity.

Multi-polarists, including Russia and China, claim that the the UN was established as a multipolar international institution based on the international order established by the Peace of Westphalia among sovereign nation states with their national interests and their spheres of influence. They are demanding that the world order be based on a traditional understanding of international law and recognition of national sovereignty. They reject liberal interventionism as a violation of the principles of the UN and international law post WWII.

Auburn Parks said...

"Unipolarity is the view that only one system is possible in a globalized world and the collapse of socialism/communism determined that this one system would be the Western liberal order based on capitalism and democratic republicanism through transnational institutions under Western liberal leadership."

I like this definition. Its actually useful. Of course being that Im me and not you Tom I would phrase it more appropriately as

"Unipolarity is the view that the best system humans have developed in a globalized world is a liberal order with guaranteed human rights and democratic republican nation states embedded in voluntary transnational institutions."

We dont need to mention capitalism since its the system that naturally exists under the conditions described above combined of course with socialism for some public goods and basic necessities.

Thanks for the great answer Tom. If this is the definition of a unipolar system then Im definitely on board.

"That order developed through the rise of liberal republics and capitalism replacing feudalism as the dominant system. "

I take issue with this characterization. Feudalism is a system of personal obligation based on land that developed because money was not widespread. Capitalism is just a description of private human commercial activity, we've had capitalism for as long as we've had an agricultural society. There is no period of time in modern human history where we did not have private property, exchange things in a "market" for a profit, and generally employ people for some type of compensation. Thats all capitalism is and there is no getting around it in human nature. Which is why communism was such an epic failure and we have entered the unipolar world.

Auburn Parks said...

Tom the wolfowitz doctrine was more than a decade ago, dont you think its time you stop writing as if that was still the de facto postion of the US GOvt or the US public in general. The country going a little crazy after 9\11 is not at all the same thing as the US permanently undergoing a dramatic shift to a period of active imperalism and global domination.

Tom Hickey said...

The parts about ideologues and one sided analysis I still stand by but I.

It's a matter of applying critical thinking.

Everyone necessarily operates in terms of a frame of reference that is impossible to to become aware of completely, or stand outside o, because it is embedded in our software (acquired) and hardware (innate).

But it is possible to approach knowledge critically.

This distinguishes critical thinkers from ideologues.

Ideologues in the pejorative sense are fixed in their thinking and assume that their assumptions are self-evident principles.

Critical thinkers realize that some framework is required as a platform for thinking, and they view theirs instrumentally rather than given as an absolute.

There is also creative thinking in addition to critical thinking. Creative thinking is evinced by curiosity and an ability to think outside the box, as well as out-of-the-box thinking v. hacking.

Generally speaking, the difference between ideological thought and critical and creative through is that between rigidity and flexibility.

It's often pretty easy to tell the ratio of rigidity/flexibility in particular cases in a few paragraphs. Ideologues write to persuade and convince where as critical thinkers are interested in unbiased inquiry, let the chips fall where they may.

And there is a big difference between genuinely creative thinking and making stuff up.

Auburn Parks said...

Tom

That is all well and good but I think you are seriously understating the importance of principles and values to those "frameworks". And how things logically follow from a given principle.

Like I said before "You and I disagree about us foreign policy because we have different principles and put different weights on different values".

If non-intervention is your guiding principle then none of the foreign policy actions that involve intervention are worth considering. For ex. for someone without a non-intervention principle, going back to Iraq to destroy ISIS is easily justifiable, but no matter how bad ISIS is, for a non-interventionist, there can be no option of doing anything about them.

Religion is another example, if you start with the principle that martyrs go to heaven for dying in jihad, or that takfiris and infidels deserve to die, then blowing yourself up in a market is a logical conclusion. Or if you think abortion is murdering innocent babies, then killing the baby murderers isnt illogical.

SO maybe Im using principle in the same fashion as you are using framework. Either way, we're close.

Bob said...

"Unipolarity is the view that the best system humans have developed in a globalized world is a liberal order with guaranteed human rights and democratic republican nation states embedded in voluntary transnational institutions."

That is the definition of liberalism, pushed by advocates of liberalism. It doesn't square with the fact that we live in a multipolar world.

I take issue with this characterization. Feudalism is a system of personal obligation based on land that developed because money was not widespread. Capitalism is just a description of private human commercial activity, we've had capitalism for as long as we've had an agricultural society. There is no period of time in modern human history where we did not have private property, exchange things in a "market" for a profit, and generally employ people for some type of compensation. Thats all capitalism is and there is no getting around it in human nature. Which is why communism was such an epic failure and we have entered the unipolar world.

I'm amazed you're able to type that with one hand.

Bob said...

Just in case my RSS feed was acting wonky again, I revisited the thread with Magpie's reply(ies) to Auburn:
https://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.ca/2017/06/david-fields-capitalism-is-national.html

Did my RSS feed fail to alert me to subsequent replies?
Nope. Tis the sound of crickets.

Kaivey said...

Auburn,

'We dont need to mention capitalism since its the system that naturally exists under the conditions described above combined of course with socialism for some public goods and basic necessities.'

I do agree with this, and I'm glad you believe there should be some social provision for people that lose their way or get ill, etc.. I like the Scandinavian system.

Communism was horrendous, but I'm not an expert who has studied it. Some of the early Russian communists were social democrats and it is such a shame Russia did not take that path. But I read that Stalin staged some kind of coup and got rid of them.

But I read in one of my books how slave owners who were often in a minority would use terror to control their slaves. I won't go into the details here because it is too horrible to write about. No wonder Cuba fought to get rid of the imperialist slave owners. The first Cuban government had conservatives in but when the US put sanctions on Cuba Castro turned to Russia for help.

There would never have been any communism if it wasn't for over exploitation of common people.

Now capitalism is fine but when companies become too big they can become the self perpetuating rich, so now the western elite can buy up the rest of the world. Most of western wealth came from the colonial days where Africa and India were looted. Now, with bags of money they champion capitalism and buy everything available in other countries. That's why the IMF and the World bank gets counties to open up their marketsd to western goods.

Hundreds of Indain farmers commited suicide when they were driven out of business by cheap food Imports that western companies expoterd to those countries. Massive factory farms in the West and in other third world countris where food can be produced cheaply to sent to india. Now the rural people of India are poorer. But never mind, when western companies buy up their land thay can be employed for peanuts on their factory farms, problably producer palm oil wrecking the environment.

I can't seem to do italics or put out links using my browser. How do people do it?

'Western Investors Buying Up African Farming Properties In “Land Grab”: Report'

http://www.ibtimes.com/western-investors-buying-african-farming-properties-land-grab-report-289401

So there is nothing to stop the Western super rich hovering up the whole world. Now there are Chinese, Indian, and Russian billionaires who are able to do the same thing. And chinses investors could invest heavily in MS to almost own it, if they wanted. So the rich in other continents can get a crack at the whip too. But this doesn't bother the Western elite who will have the lion share.

We can go on forever arguing and we will never see each others point of view. It's just how we're made, I guess. I think , though, the left would win the argument hands down if they could get the truth from the MSM.

Auburn Parks said...

Bob-

You mean Magpie's irrelevant commentary about neo-lithic hunter gatherers when I specifically said modern human society to distinguish between agricultural civilization and hunter gatherer civilization making her first reply in that thred wholly unnecessary to answer.

Or Bob do you mean her second commment about Greece and Rome and Slaves. As if the mere fact that societies had slaves rules out that they had systems of compensated labor. This is a comment so stupid that it doesnt require an answer. If I had ever said that humans have only ever used wage labor then she may have a point, but because I never said anything that dumb, her complaint or rejoinder is once again irrelevant.

Sorry to disappoint you Bob, but her comments werent really that inciteful or useful

Auburn Parks said...

Kaivey-


Humans do horrible things to each other, and they always have, I just dont think its useful to blame that human nature on "capitalism".

Bob said...

Auburn,

Magpie doesn't buy your definition of human nature, or your definition of capitalism. So why are you repeating them here?

Kaivey said...

The benefits of capitalism.

I can walk 15 minutes in one direction and be in miles of countryside, then I can walk 15 minutes in the other direction and be in a small town with a Tesco hypermarket. It's crammed with food which shows you the wonders of capitalism. No one best mess with this system where millions of people on it. Supermarkets only have a few days supply of food to feed everyone. I buy all my clothes from Tesco's and some kitchen stuff.

I bought a £400 washing machine from some big internet company. Colleagues told me to buy an expensive one because it will last a lot longer and give a lot less hassle. But this low to medium priced washing machine came with free delivery and with a 5 year warranty. Amazing!

I haven't been to a town centre for years because what I don't get at the supermarket I buy from Amazon and eBay. I can buy stuff from Amazon and get it the next day. If I want to watch a good film I just download it from Amazon for few quid to my tablet and then Bluetooth it to my TV. But Amazon is putting loads of small companies out of business. A dilemma.

Auburn Parks said...

Bob-

Its not my definition of capitalism its the marxist definition of capitalist production per wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalist_mode_of_production_(Marxist_theory)

Let her argue with them or provide a different definition otherwise My analysis is simply in line with their definition.

Oh and neither you nor her ever answer my question of whether or not Id be able to keep my job in your socialist utopia. Thats awfully telling and scary

Tom Hickey said...

"Unipolarity is the view that the best system humans have developed in a globalized world is a liberal order with guaranteed human rights and democratic republican nation states embedded in voluntary transnational institutions."

Yours is normative and mine is descriptive.

That's a huge difference in that the question is over the imposition of values. According to liberalism, the imposition of one party's values and norms on others that are willing is illiberal. It is also paternalistic. Furthermore, cui bono? It's is self-interested.

This is what the kerfuffle is about.

Inquiring minds wonder what gives the US the right to impose its values on others by might on the basis of "right" in the normative sense, especially when this is arguably against international law.

Tom Hickey said...

om the wolfowitz doctrine was more than a decade ago, dont you think its time you stop writing as if that was still the de facto postion of the US GOvt or the US public in general. The country going a little crazy after 9\11 is not at all the same thing as the US permanently undergoing a dramatic shift to a period of active imperalism and global domination.

The problem that Trump is having with the deep state over his "America First" policy is that the deep state is committed to the Wolfowitz doctrine and the Washington consensus.

Trump's "America First" as against foreign adventurism is means something very different from what the foreign policy and military policy establishment takes as "America first" as US global hegemony.

Bob said...

Auburn,

The Marxist definition of capitalism begins with the transition from feudalism. Systems prior to feudalism were slavery and primitive communism.

Your 'job', in being self-employed, is that you have no employees. I don't see a contradiction between that situation and socialism. JK Rowling has no employees and she's a billionaire. She did not accumulate her wealth through the exploitation of labour.

Tom,

Liberal interventionists are a minority. Unfortunately they are in positions of power.

Tom Hickey said...

SO maybe Im using principle in the same fashion as you are using framework. Either way, we're close.

Frameworks are about establishing boundary conditions for one thing. Everyone has some boundary conditions. Some set more conditions than others.

Boundary conditions are determinants of scope and scale.

Boundary conditions are criteria for inclusion and exclusion from scope.

Boundary conditions also have a scale from individual to global.

Morality is key in establishing normative boundaries, and ethics as a branch of philosophy as thinking about the foundations of action is in part about justifying boundaries and criteria.

So-called principles are criteria that establish boundaries. They are either justified by appealing to more fundamental criteria or are privilege as being stipulations usually justified as "self-evident," "natural" or divinely ordained in deontological ethics, or useful, practical, or pragmatic in consequential ethical systems.

Generally speaking, positive law as an institution that is a human artifact rests on some normative framework as its construction and justification.

When different intellectual, and moral and aesthetic frameworks come in contact, especially in terms of different cultures and institutions, they often clash and if compromise cannot be agreed upon, then violence ensues to impose a desired framework. Then justification is ramped up to provide an intellectual and moral foundation to persuade that the position is "right" and to motivate to action to defend and promote it.

Dan Lynch said...

JK Rowling accumulated her wealth because she has a monopoly on popular books and movies. Her monopoly is enforced with a "violence voucher" backed up by the full authority of the state.

While some trade and some private property has always existed, modern capitalism could not exist without "violence vouchers" to enforce the property rights of the rich. There is nothing natural about capitalism, it is a creation of the state that benefits the rich.

I am not familiar with Auburn's occupation so I don't whether she would keep her job in a socialist state or not. Certainly many parasites would lose their jobs. My current occupation consisting of making specialized consumer goods for relatively affluent people would probably be eliminated under socialism. America's service economy is mostly about poor people providing services to the well-off.

I like Ian Welsh's take on capitalism vs. soviet communism where both systems rely on feedback mechanisms that can become corrupted and stop working well. At the end of the day, all economies have to be managed and are no better or worse than the humans who do the managing.


Tom Hickey said...

Auburn, you are the only person I am aware of asserting that capitalism is ancient. "Capitalism" as it is overwhelmingly used is a historical economic phenomenon that appeared in a fairly recent period of history and has certain generally agreed characteristics that can be found it dictionaries, encyclopedias and published works on economics, history, sociology, anthropology, etc.

In other words, your views are an outlier, which is a polite way of saying fringe.

Auburn Parks said...

Well Tom given the definition of capitalist production provided by Marx there really is no other.reasonable conclusion. Feel free to.actually rebut my argument instead of appeal.to.authority

Auburn Parks said...

Almost everyone believes that taxes fund spending but they are wrong.
More than 50% of people believe in apersonal God as.described by one of the major cults and they are also wrong.
I could go on andbon and on giving examples of the vast majority of people.being wrong about something so that can't be the basis of.rebuttal.

Bob said...

The history of socioeconomics is one bone of contention. What do you say to defenders of capitalism who claim that capitalism is not to blame because we don't have capitalism.

Auburn Parks said...

Dan

I have never seen anybody put forth a definition of capitalsim that hinges on complexity or technology. And given that you.are.absolutely right that trade and private property have existed.throughout modern agricultural civilization either we.have always. Had capitalism as.defined above so.its not.new or someone has to come up with a different definition.

Wrt JK Rowling. She didn't dedicate thousands of hours of.her life to.write all.the books to give them away for.free she wrote them to better her standard of living. Why would.you fault her for that.you don't work.for.free.either.

Auburn Parks said...

Bob

I'd call.those people just as deluded as.anti capitalists

Bob said...

Well, there you go. Now look in a mirror and repeat until it sinks in.

Tom Hickey said...

Well Tom given the definition of capitalist production provided by Marx there really is no other.reasonable conclusion. Feel free to.actually rebut my argument instead of appeal.to.authority

An appeal to the generally accepted use of a key term in history is not an appeal to authority.

It is simply to say that the view is fringe and just asserting it makes one look either lazy or stupid.

Fringe view are not necessarily wrong. But they require more than assertion and appeal to self-evidence to establish credibly, especially in an area in which there is a lot of controversy but almost none of it recognizing or acknowledging the fringe claim.

The fringe claim is based on a a particular view of the "essence" of capital and capitalism that is idiosyncratic in a field that is replete with historical and theoretic arguments that don't include it.

Tom Hickey said...

Almost everyone believes that taxes fund spending but they are wrong.
More than 50% of people believe in apersonal God as.described by one of the major cults and they are also wrong.
I could go on andbon and on giving examples of the vast majority of people.being wrong about something so that can't be the basis of.rebuttal.


Knowledge is broadly defined as true belief, that is, belief with compelling substantiation.

MMT economists believe the that taxes don't "pay for" spending and they have a good argument for it being true based on operational analysis. It is still a minority view, however.

On the other hand, as a matter of accounting taxes do "fund" spending as a source of funds in the flow of funds (sources and uses) report even for a currency sovereign.

More than 50% of people believe in apersonal God as.described by one of the major cults and they are also wrong.

Please supply an argument based on evidence.

This is the kind of claim that is indeterminable based on evidence.

There is a difference between believing in something that is demonstrably wrong and something that is indeterminable other than by stipulated criteria that are cannot be shown to be absolute.

Science, which is based on empirical evidence, can neither prove nor disprove transcendentals.

All one can be shown is that certain beliefs may be logically invalid, e.g., inconsistent or mutually exclusive with other beliefs.

Tom Hickey said...

The history of socioeconomics is one bone of contention. What do you say to defenders of capitalism who claim that capitalism is not to blame because we don't have capitalism.

Same goes for socialism.

Same goes for Christianity. “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried” – G. K. Chesterton

Same goes for liberalism.

Etc.

What to say? Ideals are seldom concretized in history. They are at most approximated and the range of approximation is wide.

Tom Hickey said...



There is no generally accepted definition of capitalism that is not simplistic. Arguing about definitions in search of a unique essence or single characteristic that bounds a set is a waste of time.

There are various historical descriptions of the reality of what is called capitalism in the abstract, and various historical and theoretical explanations for how and why this occurred as a historical phenomenon and economic system that is approximately congruent with the rise of political liberalism, as well as science and technology.

Auburn Parks said...

Tom

Please.describe to me how I am using the commonly used definition of capitalism (private property, exchange in markets, making a profit& compensated labor) in a fringe way.

You have failed.to make any case at all except to.repeat your fringe criticism which is invalid since.I'm only using the common definition in my analysis

Bob said...

What to say? What to do?
We work on solutions to problems that have been identified as being systemic. Or we insist that an ideal has been achieved.

Tom Hickey said...

Wrt JK Rowling. She didn't dedicate thousands of hours of.her life to.write all.the books to give them away for.free she wrote them to better her standard of living.

What a crock.

JK Rowling didn't exactly write those books "to improve her standard of living." That says nothing. Everyone that is motivated economically works "to improve their standard of living." That is just a vacuous assertion.

As a matter of the record, she wrote those books because she had fallen on hard times and was living on state welfare payments. So we can think "capitalism" for relatively impoverishing her, which provided the incentive to get creative.

This is actually one of the chief justifications some make for capitalism, e.g, over socialism.

She is the "one-in-a-million" that has been able to do so.

Auburn Parks said...

Yes Tom capitalsim as an explicit concept was developed in the 18th century in the context of the scientific and industrial revolutions. However naming or recognizing a system is not the same thing as creating it. And this appears to be the case with capitalism. Adam Smith and others were trying to understand the system they were already embedded in.

There is no.reading of.history of.Rome where one can conclude they were noT practicing capitalism.

Private property
Profits
Market exchange
Compensated labor

None of these were.invented.or only started occurring in the post middle age world

Auburn Parks said...

Tom humans have always had poverty and inequality in the modern age blaming that (UK Rowling was.poor because of capitalism) is quite.frankly a.crock.

Auburn Parks said...

So she didn't write those books to make money. That's hilarous

Tom Hickey said...



Those are not definitions but characteristic is an elaborated description that include much more.

You are cherry-picking and they claiming that capitalism is ancient since instances of those can be adduced.

Sophistry.


So she didn't write those books to make money. That's hilarous

That not what you said above and not what I criticized. Your are grasping.

Auburn Parks said...

Sorry Tom but I'm just going off of the commonly held definition of.capitalism. I'm sorry that you disapprove of.where the facts lead but that is irrelevant to.the truth of the matter. Capitalism wasn't invented by the enlightenment. Rome practiced capitalism there is simply no alternative.conclusion.

I'm not grasping at any straws. I have a water tight case which has been repeatedly demonstrated by the fact that you can't produce any coherent rebuttal except first telling me I'm fringe and secondly that I'm just being a sophist. If I am so clearly wrong you should be able.to.do much better than you are doing. But ill wait.patiently for.you to.do.better

Six said...

Auburn, how does capitalism work without socialism? Can you provide examples?

Tom Hickey said...

Capitalism wasn't invented by the enlightenment. Rome practiced capitalism there is simply no alternative.conclusion

There is a certain truth to this as a precedent. The Roman republic was the paradigm that the American founding fathers drew on as well as other liberal thinkers an revolutionaries. The US Constitution that replaced the Articles of Confederation was modeled on the Roman republic and there was a lot of similarity because the Roman republic was chiefly agrarian and so was the US at its inception.

But the Roman republic was not capitalistic in the modern sense. It's not like capitalism flourished in the Roman republic and was eventually restored in the West after the Renaissance along with classical learning. Greece thought and Roman organization were influences on the development of the West, along with the Judaeo-Christian tradition (OT & NT) and the rise of science.

But modern capitalism didn't flourish until the later half of the 19th century. It was established in the West post WWI with the collapse of the monarchies/aristocracies and the close of the feudal age, although there are still some remnants.

The debate is really over whether capitalism is the natural organizational state of humanity or a historical manifestation.

Those arguing for the natural view cite examples of "capitalism" in ancient times and argue that to the degree capitalism dominated a society it was successful socially, politically and economically.

Those arguing for the historical view view that as imposing ideology on history and seeing faces in clouds.

If you wish to hold the natural POV then we can agree to disagree since I hold the historical one.

Dan Lynch said...

@Auburn said Rome practiced capitalism there is simply no alternative.conclusion.

And some Native American tribes had a largely communal economy for thousands of years.

Meanwhile, here in the beacon of capitalism, we have a failed health care system, a declining education system, 3rd world internet, 3rd world infrastructure, and a dysfunctional government. Most sectors of the economy are monopolistic. Inequality continues to worsen with no end in sight. The parasitic sectors of the economy are growing while the productive sectors of the economy are declining. Life expectancy is falling and deaths from drugs and pills are rising. If this is what success looks like I would hate to see failure.

Tom Hickey said...

@Auburn said Rome practiced capitalism there is simply no alternative.conclusion.

And some Native American tribes had a largely communal economy for thousands of years.


This gets to the crux of it.

The communal life of ancient hunter-gatherers (Algonquins) and nomadic tribes (Plains tribes), and other extant stone age peoples (Amazon forest) is no proof that humans are naturally communal (socialistic, communistic). And evidence that early people's evinced characteristics of capitalism doesn't show that capitalism is natural to the species either.

The conditions in which these types of social behavior and organization arose and operated are so different from modern times as to obviate any direct correlation. It would be a stretch to say that primitive tribes were socialistic or propertied societies capitalistic other than analogously, with the comparison being weak and the contrast strong.

Bob said...

Conditions change, species adapt. A return to an agrarian society might result in Lords (backed by religion + guns) or Warlords (backed by guns).

Depictions of the future where scarcity has been eliminated are socialistic.

So much for the claim that there is an unchanging human nature.

Matt Franko said...

Tom,

Those barbarian type peoples were more Godly than our western Greek and Roman ancestors.... this is the main distinction... Greeks and romans deified their own flesh ancestors and glorified their accomplishments...

We of the west were and are still much more vain and mankind focused ... and a lot of the vanity is related to our material systems accomplishments things we build/ construct... our institutions, etc... "Fourth of July!" etc... Darwin... the list goes on and on...

So you see the Indians going all around chasing buffalo all around the place etc living in teepees, etc.. no toilet paper or sanitation. Squatting behind a bush... .... what is to brag about with that? What have they accomplished? What have they achieved? Nothing....

If you are not vain about mankind and associated material systems oriented you don't fit in very well here... you don't do very well....

Paul explained this to our roman ancestors 2,000 years ago:

"21 because, knowing God, not as God do they glorify or thank Him, but vain were they made in their reasonings, and darkened is their unintelligent heart. 22 Alleging themselves to be wise, they are made stupid," Romans 1

Paul isnt talking to the Indians in their teepees here I can tell you that.... Indians probably thought a lot of what they saw us doing as we developed North America was stupid to them I'm sure...

Not much has changed ... these elites are still indeed vain about mankind and thus still being made morons... we can see this...

Matt Franko said...

And btw if you look at a more properly socially operated society as a goal to achieve a similar man centered accomplishment you're just as stupid as they are sorry...