Category Archives: Capitalism

US Style Conservatism Is Hated All over the Planet

Tulio: The Philippines sounds more rightwing than the US right now. Their bloodthirsty, murderous ultra-nationalist despot is rather popular.

Middle East countries are conservative.

I don’t think Americans themselves are nearly as rightwing as the government. When they are polled, they seemed to be more center-left. From what I understand, most Americans support gay marriage, most believe climate change is a real threat, most support increasing the minimum wage, most believe in upholding Roe v Wade, most want to protect the environment, most now want marijuana legalized, I’ve even heard that most believe in universal health care now.

On the actual issues when polled a la carte, most people aren’t rightwing. Many Republicans however have been brainwashed into thinking that any Democratic president will turn America into Venezuela under Chavez. They bring up Venezuelan socialism all the time and accuse the Democratic party of wanting to be like Latin American socialism, which is bullshit of course. The progressives in the Democratic party look at European social democracy as a model, not Venezuela or Cuba.

Show me anywhere on Earth where US Republican Party style conservatism is popular. Duterte says he is socialist, and he got elected President. Sound like a Republican to you. He has a good relationship with the New People’s Army, an armed Maoist revolutionary group. He had an excellent relationship with them when in government in Mindanao. Still think Duterte is a Republican.

Yes, Middle Eastern countries are conservative (as are many countries), but that is just social conservatism. Social conservatism barely matters. Conservatism is only important in economics and in nothing else. Show me one Middle Eastern country anywhere where US-style conservatism is popular. One, one, one.

Venezuela is just a case where they tried to put in European social democracy, but the elite down there is so fanatically reactionary that they fought it at every turn, mostly recently completely blowing up the whole economy via sabotage, which their leaders have even confessed to. So Venezuela is what happens when the capitalist opposition opposes social democratic reforms with all their weight. I don’t see how Chavez was trying to do anything different than say Norway for instance. That seemed to be his model.

Social democracy or democratic socialism in one form or another is simply the way of almost the entire world. The whole planet runs on variations of this system or in some cases such as China, even further Left than that. China is far to the Left of social democracy.

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A Look at the Cooperative Mode of Development

Juanny Boy: Robert – I have a question about this.

What’s the benefit of Centrally planning industries that are largely not predatory like clothing, computers, etc.?

It seems they are produced less efficiently under Marxism.

But in industries like health care, water, it is a necessity because of the potential for abuse.

One thing we could do is to have firms owned by their workers. This is called the Cooperative Mode of Development and I think this is a great model. Many say it is a non-capitalist mode of development. For instance, in this model there is no exploitation of workers, no labor theory of value, etc.

In capitalist firms, workers and management and ownership are enemies. The management and owners are always trying to abuse the workers more and more because the worse they abuse the workers, the more money they make.

But when workers own enterprises, there is no incentive to reduce worker pay and benefits, force longer work hours, skip on regulations, disallow sick and vacation time or to abuse workers at all. Why would the workers who own firm vote to lower their salaries, reduce their benefits, make their working conditions worse, deregulate the firm, disallow vacation and sick time, or raid worker pensions. There is no incentive to do any of these things.

Further in capitalism, there is a tremendous incentive to replace workers with machines. But if workers owned the company, why would workers vote to replace themselves with machines? Which workers would be so stupid as to say, “Please fire me and replace me with a machine. I will just gladly become poor, broke and unemployed?” No one will say that.

One problem is that workers cannot be counted on to run their own plants. They tried this in Yugoslavia and it did not work. The revenue from the firm could either be taken home as profit or reinvested in  the firm. Workers generally chose to give themselves large paychecks and to underinvest in the firm. This eventually caused the collapse of the enterprise because if you stop sinking money back into your firm, eventually your enterprise falls apart from lack of internal investment.

The Mondragon cooperatives in the Basque Country of Spain have solved this. All the plants are worker owned and controlled, however the workers do not have the right to decide how much of the revenue to take home as pay and how much to reinvest in the firm. These decisions are made at the highest level. All of the co-ops are ultimately owned by several large regional banks. It is here that the decisions about how to allocate revenues are made. Workers cannot be relied upon to make these decisions because they consistently choose to take home too much as pay and to not reinvest enough in the firm.

In addition, at Mondragon, the workers hire and fire their own management. You would think that workers would abuse this also as they would hire the managers that let them slack off the most and did not force them to work hard or be responsible. However, there has been no such abuse. Workers make good choices for management – firm but fair managers. The important point is if the management becomes abusive, they can be fired by the workers.

This Cooperative Mode of Development works very well in  my opinion.

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Europe, Labor, Left, Regional, Socialism, Spain, Yugoslavia

Discussion: Are the Riots Helping or Hurting Our Cause?

Discuss.

Ryan England: The antics of antifa and the black-bloc are a concern of mine. My issue with them isn’t so much their ideology – the endgame for the kind of society and world I’d like to see looks very much like something out of anarchist and communist theory. This has been the case for me for decades now. But going out and smashing windows and lighting trashcans on fire isn’t going to result in the democratization of capital or even garner popular support for anti-capitalist ideals.

Leftwing politics have been struggling with a serious image problem for years now. We need to think in terms of how the moderates see us. We have to stop LARPing and beware the tendency to descend into an ideological purity spiral. This has been a concern of mine going back to the 1990’s, and with the rise of the Social Justice Warrior as the Internet’s favorite punching bag, it’s only gotten worse. Shit, the annoyance they’ve caused for so many people recently is a contributing factor to Trump getting in the White House.

The Left fails because it’s an insular little clique with its own lingo and its own little subcultures, and the bulk of the population – the people who most need to know what we have to say – are put off by it. On top of that, people get expelled from Leftist circles for the most frivolous and stupid of deviations from the ideological line – the big Alt-Left groups on Facebook are constantly getting posts from newbies talking about the stupid shit they get banned from anarchist and communist groups for.

We can’t riot. We can’t smash windows. We can’t shut down campus speakers we don’t like. That’s what Milo Yiannopoulos and his ilk want us to do. Did you all know that sales of his books SKYROCKETED since the Berkeley riots? He’s laughing all the way to the bank because of what happened, and many thousands – hundreds of thousands – more people who otherwise wouldn’t have otherwise have become interested in and even sympathetic with Milo’s thought. Goading dumb Leftists into doing dumb stuff is Milo’s whole business model. Why would we want to feed it?

We can’t sucker punch Nazis – not unless it’s clear that they’re out to cause trouble, and they were at one time. I remember Nazi skinhead gangs. They were bad news. You need antifa to deal with that. But socking a goofy civvy in the face, even one who has Nazi views, might make us feel good but also makes us look bad. Maybe not bad in our own books, but bad to the Average Joe whose long-term decision on whether to go Right or Left may ultimately hinge on which faction abstains from needless violence. Notice that the rightwingers stand off or even retreat when the shit hits the fan now and let the Left make asses of themselves? They’ve learned their lessons and are playing a long game here.

If Leftists keep rioting, we’ll burn not just our colleges and neighborhoods to the ground. We’ll burn our futures to the ground as well. We have to stop it. We have to stop LARPing, we have to present ourselves in a calm and rational manner so that our critiques of Trump and the deeper historical materialist ideas that our critiques are rooted in get taken seriously.

I am unsure.  The peaceful protests and even the property-destroying riots and Trumpster-assaulting riots are not increasing Trump’s popularity or decreasing the popularity of our side.

Yes, there are posts on Trump groups by people saying, “I am on your side now!” but most of them we don’t want on our side anyway. I am inclined to say, “Go vote for the Right!” for these people. A lot of these people call themselves moderates, but in the US, that means, “Trump and the Republicans are right 50% of the time.” That’s not moderate.

Since January 26, support for our side has gone up 3 points and support for Trump has fallen by 7 points. So even the violent riots are not hurting us yet. As long as they are not hurting us, I’m not inclined to support the argument that we need to stop this stuff because we are turning people off. In fact, we may even be converting some people. Antifas went to the Women’s March and tries to explain why they were rioting in DC on Jan. 20 (mostly property damage) and they said some of the liberal women were saying, “Well, maybe so. Maybe it needs to come to that.”

A lot of others on the Left, not just Leftists but often regular liberals, are acting nuts now too.

Sarah Silverman called for a military coup to oust Trump.

Kaine just told Americans to “take it to the streets.” This is being framed by the Opposition as a call for street violence.

Police refused to make even one arrest for the Berkeley riots. The mayor apparently gave them a stand-down order. There are photos of hundreds of police standing around doing nothing on the second floor of the Student Union while the Opposition is getting pummeled outside. They let the vandalism go on and not one person was arrested for a lot of serious assaults on Trumpsters. It sure looks like the police are implicitly saying they will not interfere when people smash stuff and beat up the Opposition. Few if any prominent liberals have even criticized the Berkeley riots, and the media is pretty much blacking them out, which is tacit acceptance at least for media cover-up.

I have not seen the Left so activated since the 1970’s. The anarchists themselves say that anarchism has never been so popular.

There are regular calls to assassinate Trump. Madonna practically threatened to blow up the White House. A BLM speaker the other day advocating “Killing people…killing the White House.”#killtrump tags have appeared in the 10,000’s on Twitter. There are so many that I am certain that the SS is hardly investigating them. There are SS agents themselves saying they will not protect him from assassin.

And Trump’s actions by themselves are quite violent. So we are comparing the structural violence of Trump with the street violence of antifa. I must say Trump’s violence is worse. Until it can be shown that these riots are objectively hurting us, I won’t agree with an argument that they are bad tactics due to decreasing our support and driving support to the Opposition.

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Are Alt-Rightists Neo-Nazis?

Tulio: Is Spencer a Neo-Nazi? I know he’s a white nationalist, but are all white nationalists Neo-Nazi?

I enjoyed watching him get punched and then scurry away like a dog with his tail between his legs. It was amusing because these alt-right types are always talking about masculinity and being an alpha male, and then Spencer didn’t even put up a fight after he was punched and then ran away. He’s probably never been in a fist fight in his life. Yet people like him will go around calling everyone beta males and cucks. That was the amusing part to me.

Most White nationalists are indeed Nazis of one sort or another. Watch his speech at NPI on Youtube and tell me he’s not a Nazi. But they vary. Spencer just wants to throw you and the rest of the non-Whites and the Jews out of the country. Others want to kill the Jews. Some want to kill you guys too. Others simply want to secede and form their own White state. But even the pure separatists are basically Nazis.

So yeah, they’re mostly Nazis, but they don’t all go along with genocidal Nazism. They differ on how to deal with the folks they do not like. Most of them want to separate from non-Whites, but a sizeable faction wants to throw non-Whites out of the country. The faction around Daily Stormer are actually out and out Nazis who call for killing the Jews in America among other things. I am not sure what the DS types want for the non-Whites.

I wrestled with this for a long time because their whole line is that only a few of them are actual Nazis, and most of them are not. After a long examination, I finally figured out that that was a lie.

There are a few Jewish Alt Rightists, and I assure you that they are not Nazis. They sort of go easy on the antisemites and Nazis though which is hard to understand.

If they are not out and out Nazis, they do want some form of National Socialism especially if they have some left economic views, which are actually not that uncommon. The DS crowd seems to want National Socialism, they are quite dubious of capitalism and it seems like they do not like the White rich at all. I hate to say it but DS is almost a pro-worker movement. Pro White workers, sure, but pro-workers nevertheless.

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Capitalism, Conservatism, Economics, Fascism, Labor, National Socialism, Nazism, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Socialism, White Nationalism, Whites

More Marxists Against the Alt Left

Well, against my Alt Left anyway.

This is from Lost Generation, a reddit purportedly about the economic troubles of the Millennial Generation, but which seems to be populated mostly by Marxists for some odd reason.

All of the usual charges that get leveled against me by the Hard Left types are here: I’m a racist, sexist, fascist, crypto-Nazi Alt Right guy masquerading as being on the Left. What’s ridiculous is that I hate all of these people and have never felt at home at any of their websites. I am usually appalled by their racism, sexism, fascism, Nazism, etc. and I really cannot stand most Alt Right sites for similar reasons.

There is just about no one I hate as much as fascists, and I’ve never found a racist website where I felt at home and was not bothered by their hard racism. I also hate Nazis. And one of the main reasons that I hate the Manosphere so much is  because it is so misogynistic and sexist. In other words, I cannot stand sexist Manosphere sites. They’re awful and it’s their misogyny that I hate so much. I love women, I don’t hate them.

All of the attacks on me and my ideology are italicized.

Here’s the critique:

digdog303: Why isn’t there any alt-left?

Get_Erkt: I saw some dudes using that, but they seem keen to ignore everything we’ve learned in the past 100 years about how patriarchy and white supremacy/ imperialism are more effective impediments to revolution than police repression. Like they’re mad they might have to stop macking on comrades or share the spot light with others, and they think socialism means having a PS4 pro and $4K TV.

SayingStuffOnReddit: Ugh, exactly this.

I found this guy’s WordPress blog the other day, first one I’ve seen that was an “Alt Left” blog. He regularly bans people for very petty things, and it’s always race-related. He’s always hurling racially or religiously charged insults at people who say the slightest thing that makes HIM uncomfortable, and he always points out how someone is “ARAB” or a “JEW” even if there is zero evidence of them being that, it’s like “Hey, I think you look like you’re from X, so I’m going to call you a name associated with that area of the world.”

It was fucking ridiculous. Very little discussion of actual socialist theory and a whole lot of whining about “SJWs” and “feminism” while not really putting forth anything that really distances his views from a typical Alt-Righter.

For a self proclaimed Leftist (he had pictured of Stalin and Lenin, for example) it is pretty disgusting to see this kind of crap being spread as “valid” forms of agitprop for “socialism.”

Dude identified as a “race realist” and basically spews Nazi propaganda 50% less of the time than an actual fascist would.

I mean, I hate being called a brocialist, because I’m not one, but I’ve had people irresponsibly throw this at me when I’ve tried to critique Identity Politics and such in good faith. This guy, however, totally fits the bill and totally showed me why the term exists and is used as an insult to begin with.
They want “liberation,” but just none of that icky stuff that has to do with race, gender, or anything outside of class.

It is truly strange and something I cannot remotely relate to. I can only imagine that his “activist” group (if he even has that) is just a bunch of angry White dudes, which, in spite of me being a White male, I simply can’t get down with.

I live in a predominantly Black area, and this kind of shit would never fly in public, it is the product of upper-middle class White folks playing the role of revolutionary from their gated-in communities in the ‘burbs.

I hate sounding so condescending too, because I know it isn’t helping, but sometimes people really do need to meet you half way, and this guy is one of them; he’d do better to just shut up and read a book than spew more of this incoherent “Alt Left” bullshit.

pikapizza: The double-edged sword of the Internet is that it gives any idiot or socially-marginalized weirdo a voice. Embracing the ‘brocialist’ smear (anyone to the left of Hillary = hates women and likes the KKK) because you found one such idiot or socially- marginalized weirdo is not the way to go.

SayingStuffOnReddit: I don’t embrace it as a smear, I was just saying that I now understand why people might so easily sling it around when people like that guy are basically fascists appropriating left-wing aesthetics and terminology.

pikapizza: People using that epithet aren’t thinking of this guy. The whole ‘class politics = racist and sexist’ meme only got traction because millions of young Americans weren’t doing what they were told and started voting for the evil brocialist Bernie instead of the devout feminist and anti-racist progressive Hillary.

They have in mind the 22 year-old college student who has the disgusting, privileged audacity to think economic justice might be more important than smashing the patriarchy, and insults like this are their way of telling him to fuck off, that left-wing politics are not for him, and to go vote for Trump.

SayingStuffOnReddit: I know what you’re talking about, but I’ve seen it used in many other forms than the one you just mention. I was citing one instance.

And tbf “smashing the patriarchy” and “economic justice” have to go hand in hand. I don’t see them as at odds with one another, that’s all I was saying. Hillary supporters obviously can’t make the connection there, and doubly so for the right wing. People like Robert Lindsay see them as “polar opposites” which really just shows his lack of understanding of what actual feminists (the socialist ones, at least) believe. Instead, he lambastes caricatures of what feminism actually is or just takes pot shots at random individual actors without grappling with any real ideas.

He and his ilk spend more time talking about what a woman decided to wear to a “Slut Walk” than what her views are on “patriarchy,” how she might define it, and why she came to such an event in the first place. In a way, he doesn’t “dismantle” feminist critiques of society; he inevitably proves their legitimacy.

pikapizza: But they clearly don’t go hand in hand. We’ve just witnessed an election where the self-described feminist and standard bearer for progressive Identity Politics in the US was also a multimillionaire, staunch neoliberal and hardline imperialist who openly spoke for the interests of business and the very wealthy. Her campaign overtly used gender politics to dismiss economic justice as a sideshow issue (if not a sneaky cover for the Left’s closet racism and sexism) and smear any criticism from her left as veiled misogyny.

This is the new political reality. Thinking you can ignore it and keep on pandering to identitarianism with ‘oh, that’s not MY kind of feminism!’ or whatever is quite stupid.

SayingStuffOnReddit: Dude whatever i’m not gonna argue with you about the importance of gender and race and its relationship to class.

There’re books that talk about the significance of these, even when people try to insist class is some kind of “be-all” “end-all.”

If your idea of progressivism is “don’t talk about gender or race,” and you essentially equate any discussion of gender or race as “Identitarianism” then you’re just driving away people.

I feel like we’re talking about two different things, and you seem to be insisting that I’m promoting some kind of neoliberal Identity Politics. That’s not the same as taking an intersectional approach where we acknowledge that class is the key unifier of all oppressed identities.

Furthermore, Hillary isn’t nor has she ever been the “standard bearer” for progressive anything.

That is catering to and propagating neoliberal media narratives and ultimately capital interests.

There’s many different angles one can discuss gender and race, which I’m completely fine with so long as they’re rooted in anti-capitalist critiques.

Get_Erkt: Brosocialism existed before Sanders but referred to men who didn’t care about women’s issues, like whether we ought to discipline or expel men who preyed on women from socialist organizations. There were several high profile cases of rape cover-ups in Leftist organizations recently, but marginalizing women and relegating them to “women’s work” was something even the Panthers and Soviets were guilty of.

Patriarchy was the first form of economic class and exploitation, but brosocialists don’t want to hear it. Our organizations aren’t dating services, and comrades are held to a professional, disciplined standard of behavior in our personal interaction, but brosocialists don’t want to hear it.

The people who used Clinton’s gender as a lasso or whip against opponents were cynical opportunists. Clinton is no friend of women or anyone. But the Left has to struggle against internal sexism and racism nonetheless because we are products of a racist, sexist society and understanding the struggle revolving around class is only the first step to liberation. Patriarchy and White supremacy/settlerism/imperialism are manifestations of class across physical human characteristics.

pikapizza: Brocialism has been around for awhile, sure, but it’s never had that sort of narrow definition. It’s always been an ideological pejorative for any left-wing politics critical of or hostile to Identity Politics (you can be a woman and be a brocialist). So it was very much consistent and predictable that it was picked up by the Hillary campaign. The ruling class’ embrace of ‘Leftist’ Identitarian ideology and politics in support of imperialist policy, state repression, curtailing civil freedoms, divide-and-conquer political strategies et al. has been ongoing for many years.

And Clinton’s Identity Politics were only cynical opportunism if you’re still clinging to shitty and delusional assessment of Identity Politics that hasn’t moved past the 1960’s where racial and gender politics are still radical and revolutionary and haven’t been thoroughly integrated into modern bourgeois ideology and the daily functioning of big business and liberal bourgeois democracies.

It’s based on this completely unfounded premise that there is some secret and intrinsic connection between Identity Politics and the Left when the plain reality is that these are basically right-wing, anti-Marxist conceptions that dovetail perfectly with neoliberal politics and ideology. A right-wing multimillionaire shill for Wall Street like Hillary becoming the standard bearer for Identity Politics isn’t an aberration or a ploy, it’s a perfectly logical outcome.

SayingStuffOnReddit: There is an Alt Left, but it’s basically a bunch of “left” wingers in denial of their White Nationalism. They claim to be separate from the Alt Right, but it’s all propaganda that any well read socialist can point out.

An easy one is they have a distaste for “Cultural Marxism” in common with Alt-Righters.

Yet nobody seems to want to admit that “Cultural Marxism” is just a nice dog whistle for actual Nazi propaganda that was used during WWII.

It’s just that back then, it was called “Cultural Bolshevism“.

It’s funny how much this phenomenon has in common with the modern Alt-Right as well. Any symbols representing the authorities of the current prevailing order, if disrespected through art or expression bring shame and derision from the Alt-Right types, yet these are the people who are supposed to be the “revolutionaries” and “rebels” of the current time.

You’d think a bunch of revolutionaries would be more interested in disrespecting and subverting authority than supporting (let alone protecting) it.

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The “Jews Help Fund the Bolshevik Revolution” Canard

From the comments:

While it’s true that wealthy interests from America and Western Europe helped fund the Russian Revolution, this was not the BOLSHEVIK Revolution. True, Bolsheviks fought in the initial revolution to overthrow the Czar (the February Revolution), but after that the (Pro-Western) Provisional Government was set up (which is what the wealthy interests such as Jacob Schiff wanted), so the Bolsheviks initiated a second revolution (the October Revolution) against the Provisional Government.

Western forces from 21 different nations then invaded Russia to protect the Provisional Government but ultimately failed (to the Bolsheviks’ credit). If the Western elites wanted the Bolsheviks in power, why would they support such an invasion of Russia? Again, they funded the February Revolution to get rid of the Czar and open up Russia’s resources to Western capitalists, but the October (Bolshevik) Revolution was not at all part of the plan.

I always wondered about this odd charge which seemed so nonsensical to me. Why would very rich Jews want to fund a Communist revolution which was going to do away with most of their wealth? It never made any sense. Nevertheless, this has always been a favorite of rightwing antisemites, including Nazi types. This ties into the whole “Jews are Communists” thing which was one of the main reasons that Hitler wanted to kill them in first place. He was fighting a war against “Jewish Communism” remember?

The canard continues long past WW2, when Jews are charged with being behind every Communist movement that arose on Earth, including the Chinese one I suppose. “Jews are Communists”, “Jews push Communism”, “Jews push Leftism”, and “Jews are behind the Western Left.” It goes on and on. According to the Nazi types, this is one of the main reasons why Jews need to be killed – because they were and are behind Leftism in the West which is seen as corrosive.

\This Jewish-sponsored Leftism is purportedly a plot to destroy the White race in various ways, including by subverting the traditional institutions of the West and therefore undermining out moral culture and causing the decline of our civilization. This is what is behind the whole Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism Theory, which I find a bit silly, though I would like to look  into it a lot deeper. A bunch of Jews screaming “conspiracy theory” and “It’s a lie – an anti-Semitic!” just doesn’t cut it for me as it does for most people. If it’s a big lie, how about proving it?

Now we have the answer to the riddle. The Jews only funded the initial revolution to get rid of the Czar because they hated the Royals so much. And this was not a Communist revolution in any way, shape or form. It was a democratic revolution, and it had some progressive and even socialist elements about it, but this government did not want to seize private property or anything like that. Another one of the reasons behind it of course was the desire of these very rich Jews to open up Russia’s resources to these capitalists so they could make money off of them.

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How Trump-Era Trade Policy Threatens to Send up the Prices You See on Store Shelves

Here.

Fine with me!

Actually, I think it is a hollow argument. Remember those Nike and other fancy sneakers you used to buy for $70-80? Well some dirtball who was head of Nike was manufacturing those shoes in Indonesia for $7 a shoe. Furthermore, he paid his workers so little that many Nike workers in that land were suffering from malnutrition because they didn’t even have enough food to eat. Import them for $7, sell them for $70. Quite a profit margin for the head of Nike.

I always wondered about how outrageous that was until I went to buy shoes recently. The same sneakers that I had always paid $75 for were now available for $30. I assume they still cost $7 to make in wherever. It’s just that Joe Shoe Company is now making $23 profit instead of $67 profit. I think that’s basically what’s going to happen when we put tariffs on this stuff. They are probably already totally ripping us on most of this stuff anyway, so I figure with the tariffs, they will just make $300% profit instead of $1,000% profit. Oh no, they’ll have to raise prices! Bull.

Anyway I would be perfectly happy to pay higher prices for some stuff, which I doubt are even economically justified. Price competition seems so vicious in retail nowadays that I gather that if tariffs make Joe Ripoff Capitalist feel he has to raise his prices probably for no good reason, I assume that there will be all sorts of cut-rate guys out there just waiting to undercut him. I doubt if it is economically justified in most cases.

And if it means I buy less from China, that’s fine with me. Every single item I have ever bought made in China has been a complete piece of garbage. That includes two floor lamps that each cost me $100. They both lasted a couple of years before they broke. Back in the 1970’s, you bought a lamp and it lasted forever. There was no such thing as “the lamp broke and we had to buy a new one.” It never happened. I do not believe we ever replaced one lamp in my parental home. And I believe my mother still has a lamp that she got from her mother, no doubt purchased sometime between 1920 and 1935. Here it is 80-90 years later, and the damned thing still works. I doubt if it has broken one time. This junk coming out of China must be built with planned obsolescence in mind. I am sure of it.

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Class War in Capitalist Economies: A Brief Primer

Erik: Well we are talking about right and left wing labels. I wouldn’t call him an economic conservative. Isn’t being against free trade a left wing worker thing? Either which way I’m not so much making an argument for or against Trump, but I’ll say just as I said before; he’s a nationalist, yes?

(Wall, immigration, America first blah blah blah) and he supports increasing national sovereignty by not being part of insidious trade agreements like TPP or NAFTA. It’s not necessarily “conservative” but a mixture now, hence the need for new labels? I mention this because these were the two big policies he ran on in opposition to Obama to get elected. Meanwhile I would label Obama a globalist internationalist because of his support of open borders and immigration along with supporting TPP and other multilateral trade and defense initiatives. Guess workers don’t like that right now, as they all flocked to Trump.

Yeah but workers didn’t flock to Trump. That is one of the big lies. The bottom two quintiles of the population or people making under $40K/year heavily supported Hillary. People making under $40K/year? There’s your working class right there. And probably your White working class too. The White working class did not massively flock to Trump. That’s one of the big lies

The top three quintiles or people making over $40K heavily favored Trump. So Trump won with people who had money and the more money they had, the more they voted for Trump. I was reading on the Atlantic where they were talking to people for and against Trump and everyone writing in saying they voted Trump were people who had money and seemed to be sitting pretty. There was one White who was probably Top 40% and an Hispanic Cuban who was probably top 20%. The lines that both of them kept reiterating was, “I see myself as someone making good money and Trump is good for moneyed people like us. And we don’t like Hillary supporters because those are all blue collars, poor and low income people.”

That free trade stuff is outside of left and right. You see both Trump on the far right and Sanders on the Hard Left were pushing nationalist economics and opposition to globalism and free trade. That goes to show you that the nationalist economics versus global economics and the pro and against free traders is pretty much outside of Left and Right ideology because you have folks all over the spectrum on both sides of each issue. You could boil it down to nationalists versus internationalists, but that is outside of Right and Left too.

Trump is not rightwing? Are you kidding? He’s an extreme reactionary, one of the worst in the whole party. Look at who he is appointing his Cabinet. One thing they have in common is the Republican motto: “Everything for the rich, not one nickel for anybody else.”

He’s a class warrior. He is trying to mass transfer money and goods from the working classes and middle classes to the rich and the corporations.

Man you guys are ignorant. I am going to have to do a post on what an extreme rightwing nutcase Trump is.

Being against free trade is the only good thing about him. That’s neither left nor right. Both the left and the right are gung-ho on free trade. It gives massive benefits to the top 10% of the country and everyone loses money and loses out hard, but when it comes to free trade, both parties, the left and the right of US politic, are down with everything for the rich and fuck everybody else.

That because the US left is only for the rich and upper middle class. The US “Left” is just a bunch of groovy, socially liberal upper middle class suit and tie types on both coasts. On economics they may as well be Republicans. Those “liberal” upper middle class Democrats work for their class interests too. Their project is mass transfer of wealth from the bottom 80% to the top 20%. I guess with the Republicans it is mass transfer from the bottom 95-98% to the top 2-5%.

I mean you have to be making $125-300K before Republican policies benefit you. With the democrats, I guess they are a little bit different. I suppose once you start making $75K before Democratic policies try to help you. But I would say that they are both working against lower half the population and for sure the lower $60% of the population. Under both Democrats and Republicans, everyone making under $50-60K is getting royally screwed. They are both promoting class warfare policies of transfer of wealth and goods from the everyone making under $60K to people making more than $60K or maybe the line is $75K, who knows?

That TPP was going to help only the top 10% of the US population. That’s people making over $90K/year. So the TPP was mass transfer of wealth from everyone making below $90K to everyone making above $90K.

News flash. People tend to vote and govern in their class interests. Once people get a lot of money, it’s generally class warfare of transferring wealth from less moneyed people to more moneyed people. This sort of class war over divving up resources is is often going on in many capitalist economies. The only thing that stops it is some sort of socialism or social democracy.

But with socialism or social democracy, the rich will always rule the country and the rich always pursue policies “Everything for us and nothing for anybody else. And with no socialism barrier the rich and the upper middle classes are free to pursues class war which is nothing more than wars over how to divvy up existing resources. People don’t just make money off growth in a capitalist economy. A lot of the money and goods acquired in a capitalist economy involves various classes either taking money from classes below them and transferring it up or transferring money from classes above them and transferring it down. I can’t believe that people don’t know these basics about how capitalism works.

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Why Mao Is Still a Hero to So Many Chinese

As for your Central Planning, it led to famine, but of course Russians are basically white so the argument against Communism is universal.

Do you know how many famines China had before Mao or how often they occurred?

“Central planning” didn’t cause those famines. They did the transition to collectivized agriculture too fast and the whole thing was such a mess there was a famine for a few years. And in the USSR, a lot of the famine was due to wheat rust epidemic. Also the kulaks set their fields on fire of harvested the crops and piled them in their fields until they got rained on so they got moldy. Also the kulaks killed 50% of the livestock in the several years before the famine. So they destroyed a lot of their crops on purpose and they killed half the livestock in the country. You wonder why there was a famine?

Do you realize that even during the Great Leap in 1958-1961, the death rate in China was still lower than it was in 1949?

The death rate in China collapsed under Mao. Sure, he killed some people, but he saved way more.

Failure of central planning to feed people? China and India were at the same place in 1949. That’s how screwed up China was before Mao. It was as bad as India! Can you imagine? If it wouldn’t have been for Mao, China would be like India right now? India?! Can you visualize that?

After Mao, the malnutrition rate in China is 7%.
After Indian capitalism, the malnutrition rate in India is 51%.

If you wonder why so many Chinese still revere Mao, it’s because of things like that. Chinese people are not idiots.

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The Gains and Legacy of Maoism and the State Role in the Chinese Economy Today

TRASH: Central Planning has done no favors for the Chinese economy and that is why everyone was making The Great Leap Forward to British Hong Kong or eating their children during the famine. Mao was both an idiot and a sadistic tyrant.

True enough that China has found a form of government binding Soviet-blood Manchurian Eurasians, Uighur Turks and Tibet people into a large infrastructure.

Han Chinese seem to have born the brunt of their leaders incompetent Central Planning, Great Leaps Forward, intellectual purges during the Blue Kite horrors etc.

Do you have any idea what China was like before Mao took over? Believe me, it was way, way, way worse that it was under Mao.

Really? Mao set a world record by doubling life expectancy in in the shortest period of time. Life expectancy was doubled from 32 in 1949 to 65 in 1980. A world record! Think how many lives Mao saved! Sure he killed some people, but he saved so many other lives. This is why so many people who lived under Mao revere him to this very day, though it is admitted that he made mistakes.

Industrial production grew at about 10% per year under Mao. Agricultural production exploded under Mao. Medical care was dramatically expanded to where it served the whole population. There were vast expansions in education and after Mao, every Chinese could go to school. There was a massive expansion in housing under Mao and few Chinese lived in slums anymore. Life in countryside improved dramatically under Mao.

The state still plays a huge role in the economy and to some extent the economic progress of the nation is indeed planned or guided by the state. But the same is done in Japan and South Korea.

You realize that all land in China is owned by the state?

Do you have any idea how much money the Chinese state spends at various levels on public projects of all kinds?

Do you realize that the #2 maker of TV’s in the world is a Chinese state firm?

You realize that all Chinese publically owned firms are officially owned by their workers. This was something that Mao put in and the “reformers” have not been able to get rid of it. The more money the firm makes, the larger the workers’ paycheks are.

You realize that 45% of the economy is still publicly owned, right? The difference is now much of that is owned by municipalities and those cities actually compete against each other. Also state firms are run to make a profit, but the profit goes to the state where it is plowed right back to the people in all sorts of ways.

Even the market is under pretty serious control of the state. Private firms need to go along with the project or risk being shut down and confiscated. Much of the massive Chinese development in China is done by state firms. Many Chinese state firms now compete globally against capitalist enterprises, so it’s sink or swim. Many pro-capitalist rightwingers in the US have been complaining about having to compete with Chinese state firms because they are shored up by the Chinese state so therefore this is somehow unfair competition.

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