‘The system is already killing at least 4 million and probably a lot more anyway.’  ???
‘Communist countries have done great things as far as feeding and housing people, giving them basic education and health care and putting in essential sanitation. India has failed at all of these things, mostly because they haven’t even tried.’
North Korea- questionable on health care and food sufficiency.
Cuba- I don’t know much about Cuba, but the life expectancy is slightly higher than the US and people are well fed, so it must be doing something right.
U.S.S.R.- sure it achieved those things but it was poor, and they only managed the basics. Compare it to the western half of Europe.
China- I might address that on the other post.
In any case, supposing you have a generally good point, I’d still say so what? Capitalist countries have achieved those things too. Europeans achieved all those things on both sides of the divide. The question is would a Communist government achieve them in India? India is not Europe or North East Asia. It is a tropical, caste ridden country with rampant corruption.
Oh…watch the bodies pile up as they try to stamp out caste.
‘As they became more capitalist, they became much more corrupt.’
Really? I don’t know how you would measure it or prove that but I don’t think it is controversial to say that there was plenty of corruption in Soviet Union. And do you think Indian officials/politicians/police will stop being corrupt because they are communist? Really?
“There won’t be any “economic development that will eventually lift millions of out poverty.” It’s not going to happen under neoliberalism.
Don’t you ever get tired of neoliberals telling us to wait around for the “economic development that will eventually lift millions of out poverty?” Don’t you realize that under neoliberal capitalism reduction of poverty is a goal that has zero value, and I do mean zero value.”
Economic growth is already happening in India. The economy will keep growing, as long as there isn’t a big war or global financial collapse or something. As the economy grows, the small middle class will grow and per capita incomes will rise generally.
Incomes are already higher than in sub Saharan Africa. (The malnutrition is a separate problem related to Indian culture.) Income inequality is less in India than in China or America. Why won’t the economy keep growing?
Maybe poverty reduction has no intrinsic value in capitalism but it happens anyway. It can anyway. If you are practical, the question is what will work?
Compare North Korea to South Korea, Eastern Europe to Western Europe. And look at the Chinese economic growth in the past 30 years. It has been meteoric. The fastest industrial revolution in history.
I only have to look at my own country and think of it 100 or 200 years ago. There was widespread poverty and squalor. People lived with terrible hardship. How did it get from that to this? This being high levels of development and widespread material wealth and comfort, probably unimaginable to my great great grand parents. Capitalism.
Capitalism is better for economic development, or at least a strong element of capitalism. I’m not advocating libertarianism or neoliberalism. The public sector (in health care and education for example) and government regulations (like minimum wage, working hours etc) are important and have been important to my country.
Capitalism must be harnessed. And poor countries must not be forced into structural adjustment policies. When capitalism is harnessed, it is more effective at providing economic growth and development than Communism, as it was in the 20th century. Let people get on with enterprising and they will produce growth. How big the public sector should be and what it should encompass is open for debate.
If the USSR is so poor and capitalism is so much better for Russia, why have only two republics recently surpassed the USSR in per capita income. Agricultural production is still far below the USSR. If capitalism is so much better for Russia, then why did the USSR produce more crops than Russia does now?
The problem is you are comparing socialism to socialism. They haven’t had pure capitalism is Western Europe for many decades. You are comparing state socialism of the USSR with social democracy in Europe. They are both socialism – just different kinds.
One would think that if a tropical country like China or Cuba could do great things, why wouldn’t India? India can’t even provide the basics for its people. I don’t give a flying fuck about “economic growth.” The capitalists have been saying sit back and watch the economic growth as the rising tide lifts all boats in trickle down, supply side economics forever now.
The 3rd World has always been pure capitalist or colonialist, which was a form of mercantilism. When is it supposed to start working? When is capitalism in the 3rd World supposed to start working so this rising tide can lift all boats and raise everyone out of poverty? It hasn’t happened, and a lot of us are getting tired of waiting around. Poverty in the capitalist 3rd World is horrific, and capitalism has utterly failed to alleviate the problem in any way, shape or form.
Yes, corruption skyrocketed as China, the CIS and Eastern Europe went to capitalism, and no, there was not a lot of corruption in the USSR or Eastern Europe compared to now. There is always vastly more corruption in a capitalist society than in a Communist one, and always far more crime too. Capitalism causes incredible amounts of crime and corruption.
Neoliberalism only benefits the top 20% of society and it actually harms the bottom 80%. This has been proven the world over in neoliberal experiments for the past 30 years. It worked the same way in the US. It’s just class war and all neoliberalism ever does is cause mass wealth redistribution from the bottom 80% to the top 20%.
Why is this economic growth acceptable in China? Millions of people are dying every year in China from lack of health care. That wasn’t happening under Mao. Why is this ok? Why was it ok to shut down hundreds of thousands of schools. You realize that the privatization of health care and mass shutdown of schools all over China was part of Deng’s project that you are now cheering on? Why is that ok? Was it ok to do that just to get some “economic growth?”
You know what? Fuck economic growth. If you have to kill millions every year and shut down hundreds of thousands of schools so tens of millions of children don’t even get a primary school education, why is that worth it? I say it’s not worth it!
That so many live so well in the UK now is testament to social democracy. And keep in mind that the UK was a very socialist place until recently. The state even ran mines and all sorts of “commanding heights of the economy” type things.
You argue for capitalism, but all over the world, the capitalists are all 100% behind forcing poor countries (and even rich countries like Ireland and Greece) into structural adjustment policies. Who are the only people opposing structural adjustment? Only us socialists! And increasingly, it is only us on the Hard Left, and so many social democrats in Europe now are pushing structural adjustment.
The problem is that the only people who are advocating that capitalism should be harnessed in any whatsoever area us socialists. Almost all capitalists agree that capitalism should not be harnessed in any way whatsoever. Capitalists are all radical neoliberal, neoclassical Libertarians. Almost all of them are. They all oppose regulation in any way, shape or form, and they always will. That’s why capitalism is unreformable.
Anyway, hardly anyone on the Left is advocating USSR style Communism anymore anyway.