Category Archives: Socialism

China is a Communist Country, Not a Capitalist Country

US rightwingers keep saying that China is a capitalist country or it is the most capitalist country on Earth.

China is one of the most Communist or socialist states on Earth today. Fully 45% of the Chinese economy is publicly owned, and it does extremely well. Much of the very high economic growth has come from the public sector. How on Earth can China be capitalist when 45% of the economy is state-owned?

But realize that all public firms in China operate on the profit model. They all compete with each other, so you have a steel mill run by one city competing with a steel mill run by another city. Many of the fastest growing industries are run at the municipality level. Also, China’s fully state-owned firms do very well. In fact, Republicans say that China’s public firms are “not fair” because American capitalist corporations can’t compete against them. The reason is that China’s firms get subsidies from the state. Poor capitalist corporations! They’re too inefficient to compete against Communist state owned firms. Poor babies.

You realize that the state owns every single inch of land in China? How is that possible in a capitalist country? Capitalism is primarily based on the private ownership of land. No private ownership of land, no capitalism. Real simple.

I would also point out that the Chinese state spends a tremendous amount of money on its people. Since 45% of the whole economy goes directly to the state, they have a lot of money to spend. And they spend it very wisely too. They mostly spend it on their own people in one way or another.

As I understand it, US capitalists believe in a minimal state, and there is nothing they hate more than state spending. Huge state spending is seen as wasteful tax and spend policies by all capitalists everywhere. Wherever you have massive state spending, you do not have a capitalist system.

But I would like to thank US rightwingers for praising China, the finest example of modern Communism.

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The (((Cartoon Version of the Lebanese Civil War))) Most Americans Have Heard Is Wrong

Sisera: And naturally Hezbollah was arch rivals of Israel, who was defending the Christians.

But now the tides have turned because Israel’s pet Jihadis genocide Christians.

Israel didn’t invade to rescue any Christians and they were not defending any Christians. They didn’t participate in the Civil War much. They invaded to conquer the PLO in Lebanon.

This is a cartoon (((evil Muslim Islamist Christian haters trying to genocide good Christians minding their own business version of the Civil War))). This version that most Americans believe was concocted in Israel. So the knowledge most Americans have about that war is just Israeli propaganda.

The war was pretty much rightwing or fascist Maronite Christian groups versus Leftist and Arab nationalist secular Palestinians. That was the war in a nutshell. Later others allied with one side or the other. Most of the groups who allied with the Palestinians were secular. Religious Muslims were mostly not involved in the war.

There was no Hezbollah until 1985. They were caused by the Israeli invasion. And you have it backwards. When Israel invaded, the Shia in the South (Hezbollah’s territory) welcomed them with flowers. They turned on them when the Israelis started being shits like they always do.There was no Hezbollah until 1985. They were caused by the Israeli invasion. And you have it backwards. When Israel invaded, the Shia in the South (Hezbollah’s territory) welcomed them with flowers. They turned on them when the Israelis started being shits like they always do.

The Christians didn’t need any rescuing. They started the Civil War in the first place. They stopped buses full of Palestinians and ordered everyone out and shot everyone in the head.  They did this a few times and the PLO took up arms. But left-wingers were on the side of the PLO too, and the Greek Orthodox were always fighting with the Muslims, etc. against the Maronites. And the leftwing movement of the Druze, a non-Christian, non-Muslim religion, fought alongside the Muslims. Socialists, Communists and Arab nationalists all fought with the Muslims.

The Maronites were sick and tired of the Palestinians living in their country. That’s why they started the war.

The Christians have always run Lebanon. They’re no poor victims. More like minority rule thugs.

The war started with Leftists, Syrian nationalists and Arab nationalists against the Phalange fascist Christian militia modeled after the Nazi party (your heroes). None of the former were very religious. Those were secular groups. Sunni Muslims and Armenian Christians sat out the war. The people who took up arms against the Maronites were secular Arab nationalist types. The Shia sat out the war for a very long time. They did not want to get involved. But they had sympathies with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians set up refugee cams all over Southern Lebanon to attack Israel. During this time, the Shia hated them. The Palestinians ruled like thugs and the religious Shia saw them as a bunch of Commies. They were so sick of Palestinian rule that they welcomed conquering Israelis with flowers as I mentioned.

The main Shia movement, the Amal, fought against the Palestinians alongside the Maronites at the start of the war. The Shia only turned against Israel due to Israeli abuses. They formed Hezbollah, but they spent most of their time fighting Israel. An Armenian Communist organization fought the Maronites for most of the war. These were Christians.

The war actually started when the Maronite President of Lebanon tried to force a fishing monopoly for his group along the coast. Fishermen in Sidon objected and there were popular demonstrations. Palestinians joined these demos. A sniper killed the former mayor of Sidon. To this day no one knows who killed him or why. The sniper fired at the  end of a demonstration and appeared to try to start a conflagration. The situation soon spiraled out of control and the Maronite government lost control of the situation.

The actual beginning of the war was fighting versus Maronite and Palestinian militias. The Maronite government was not involved.
You are going by the (((officially narrative))) of the war of evil Muslim Islamist Christian haters trying to genocide the good Christians of Lebanon. Except most of the “Muslims” were not even religious and the Christian militias were objectively fascist and in particular opposed to democratic rule via a census which would have made them a minority.

The war was secular Palestinians versus fascist Maronite Christians. Most religious Muslims sat out the war. There was no “evil Muslims trying to exterminate good Christians out of religious hatred” bullshit. Hezbollah never took part in the civil war itself. All they did was fight against Israel and its puppet Maronite army in the south. However, most of the soldiers in this “Maronite” army were Shia Muslims! So the war in the South was Shia Muslims in the SLA versus Shia Muslims in Hezbollah. Also there were many Palestinian Christians in the PLO fighting against the Maronites.

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Socialism, Populism, and Neoliberalism in the Arab World

Sisera: The CIA’s coups have been out of control for decades, agreed.

But you support minority rule governments in the Middle East (Saddam Hussein, certainly and possibly Assad who is at least an ethnic minority. Hezbollah operated for years in a largely Christian country, etc.) because the alternative would mean Americans die in terror attacks from those countries becoming terror bases.

I don’t know that you could argue any Latin American oligarchy was more brutal than Saddam Hussein.

So you just value certain American interests that are different than his.

Saddam was brutal but he was a populist. He just didn’t tolerate any minority rebellions or opposition really. But in return for that he was a great socialist and populist leader who did great things for his people. Saddam’s rule was not oligarchic rule by a ruling class. Actually when the Ba’ath took power, they took out the local oligarchs, confiscated their land, imposed heavy taxation, nationalized many industries, etc.

Saddam was a man of the people. He was for the little guy, the average Joe Iraqi Workingman. You could also argue that Stalin and Mao were brutal in similar ways. Leftwing regimes can be pretty brutal. I am not one to dismiss that. But leftist and Communist regimes are not cases of ruling class rule or the rule by a small group of rich and capitalists over everyone else.

The whole time Hezbollah was around, Lebanon was a minority Christian country. It hasn’t been majority Christian since the 1960’s or maybe 1970’s. Anyway the Christians are not in opposition to Hezbollah. One of the Maronite leaders, Aoun, is in an alliance with Hezbollah. Hezbollah has Christian and Sunni militias in Christian and Sunni areas. The Greek Orthodox have always supported Hezbollah. It’s a populist movement. Hezbollah only came into existence because of the Israeli invasion.

You may be correct about Syria. Democracy may well vote in radical Islamists, and that would not be a pretty picture. The Syrian rebels give you a taste of what life would be like without Assad.  We already know what life in Iraq was like post-Saddam. A sheer Hell of a charnelhouse. Surely Saddam was better than what came after.

Assad is a populist. He works for everyone. It’s not a matter of the rich running the place and fucking everyone over. They just had elections for Parliament and 85% of the seats were run by Sunnis. The Sunnis run the business community. The army is full of Sunni generals. The minority rule thing is sort of dumb. Assad cuts everyone in because he has to. Anyway, if you go the democratic route in the Middle East, you end up with Islamists.

I actually do not mind popular or populist dictatorships that serve the people. That’s fine. Assad appears to have majority support too. It’s not like the majority want Assad gone and he just usurped them.

Saddam was difficult, but there were 1 million Shia Ba’ath Party members. Shia were persecuted not for being Shia but for being Islamists. Anyway, Saddam was the best choice. Look what happened when he was gone.

For whatever reason, the rich and the capitalists in the Arab World are not evil like in Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc. Everyone wants socialism in the Arab world. But Arab socialism allows businessmen to earn money, so everyone gets cut in. You don’t have hard-line socialism or Communism because you don’t have diabolical ruling classes like you have in Latin America. If the rich and the capitalists are willing to go along with a socialist or populist project, why can’t they have full rights?

Hezbollah does not control Lebanon. Anyway, Lebanon is minority rule and has been forever. Christians are guaranteed 50% of seats in Parliament but are only 30% of the population. Hezbollah is not a ruling class group. They are basically socialists like most Islamists.

You see, radical neoliberalism, Latin American style economic conservatism, Republican Party politics, etc. is a no seller in the Arab World. Literally nobody but nobody but nobody wants it. The only people proposing it are Lebanese Maronites because they are close to Europe and they are trying to distinguish themselves from Arabs by being individualists and different.

You can’t sell any sort of oligarchic rule, ruling class rule, economic conservatism of any of that in most Muslim countries. Because Mohammad, if you read him closely, was a pretty socialist fellow. Now the ruling classes in the Arab world used to be feudalists who worked the fellahin like serfs.

But the Arab nationalist revolutions that rocked the Arab world got rid of all of that. All rulers wiped out the feudal holdings and liberated the peasants. The large landowners tried to justify their rule by saying that Mohammad said there are rich and there are poor and that is fine. They got corrupt Muslims clergy to go along with this, similar to how the ruling classes get the Catholic Church to go along with the project of the rich.

This alliance was most notable in Iraq, but it existed in other places like Palestine. Egypt was largely feudal before Nasser. Nasser was not only an Arab nationalist but also a working class hero. Leftists all over the Arab World used to have pictures of Nasser on the walls. He too liberated the Muslim peasants. Feudal rule ended in Palestine in the 1930’s in the midst of an Arab nationalist revolution there.

Getting rid of oligarchic and feudal rule was easy in the Arab World because the masses never supported the oligarchs or feudalists. Rather, they hated them. So Arab socialism was an easy fit all over the region. Even the business communities gladly went along.

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The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.

Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.

I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).

As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.

I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.

So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)

You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?

Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.

A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.

So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”

The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.

The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.

Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.

Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.

And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.

I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.

The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.

So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.

Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.

The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.

Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.

I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.

Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.

The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.

The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?

The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.

Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.

After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.

As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.

After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.

The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

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Mao Was Right

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

I dunno. There are some North Koreans worth up to $100,000. The party doesn’t seem to care much. There are many rich Chavistas and the Ortegas have plenty of money. There are some Cubans who are living quite well now – marble counter-tops and floors, etc. The state doesn’t care.

I suppose a good CP would just argue that moneyed people can be kept around as long as they support the party and the basic socialist nature of the system. Progressive rich people are not unknown. The father of the famous terrorist Carlos was a life member of the Venezuelan Communist Party and a millionaire.

Do the Chinese Communists (Chicoms) believe that the rich are inherently oppressive? I doubt it as the party is full of millionaires. There is even a billionaire in the party now pushing the rightwing politics of all billionaires everywhere. I think they ought to throw him out of the party.

Mao said reactionary and capitalist elements would be springing up in the party all the time, and you to wage more or less constant cultural revolution to keep the rightwingers from taking over the party. That’s one of the pillars of Maoism that distinguishes it from other Marxisms.

Then Deng came along, aaand…

Mao was right.

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Why Do Some Countries Lack a Class Conscious Working Class?

John Engelman: Contrary to what Karl Marx said, for most people most of the time loyalties of nation, race and ethnicity are stronger than loyalties of class. The working class in the United States has always been more diverse than the working class in European countries. It is becoming more diverse with the influx of non whites.

To get class consciousness you really need a homogeneous working class. It helps if the working class is ethnically distinct from the upper class. In Scotland the upper class is English, or Anglicized Scottish. That is to say Scottish, but educated in England, and often speaking with English accents.

The clear majority of Scots vote for the British Labour Party. English workers are more likely to vote for the British Conservative Party.

The argument is circular in a sense because as you look around the world, generally what you see in most cases is an ethnically homogenous working class.

Would you describe the working classes of Latin America as homogeneous or diverse? They seem to be a mixture of White, Indian and Black and the mestizo, mulatto and Zambo mixtures, correct? Yet the diverse working classes down there have high working class consciousness despite their diverse nature.

Aren’t North African and Gulf countries fairly mixed between Blacks and Arabs?

Certainly in Arabia, lands with diverse working classes of Kurds, Arabs and Iranian working classes are all very left.

I believe Sri Lanka even with the vicious Tamil versus Sinhalese war, the diverse working class is leftwing. In Burma the working class is very left although there have been wild ethnic wars sputtering on for decades.

In Russia and other nations of the former USSR, there are many ethnic minorities, but the workers are still working class.

A recent exception is Ukraine where workers have gone radical Right. The former Yugoslavia is still very leftwing even after all of the ethnic conflict and even slaughter of past years. Spain’s working class is very radical despite an armed conflict in the Basque region and separatists in Catalonia. The different religions hate each other in North Ireland, but the Scottish Protestant workers are as class conscious as the Irish Catholic ones. Switzerland is divided between three ethnic groups – French, Germans, and Italians – yet it is a very leftwing country.

The extreme tribalism in Africa has not prevented the working classes from being class conscious.

Is the working class of England voting Tory yet? Or do you just mean that they are more likely to vote Tory than the Scots are?

Most workers in Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Africa, the former USSR, China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal are the same ethnicity as the ruling classes of those places, yet workers have a high degree of class consciousness in all of those places.

The places where working class consciousness has been harder to develop were those that had a Chinese ruling class as in Philippines and Indonesia.

I think we need to come up with some better theories about the poor class consciousness of the US working class. If you are looking for examples elsewhere, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, the Baltics and Colombia are places with quite poor working class consciousness.

In Australia it is recent as US style conservatism is imported.

A similar trend is underway in Canada and has been since Thatcher in the UK. But the UK is in nearly a revolutionary situation. A lot of the working classes are militant and radicalized, while a lot of the country has at the same time gone Tory. When Thatcher died, there were anti-rich riots in housing estates across the land. Thatcher was burned in effigy in the streets. Can you imagine that happening in the US?

The recent riots in the UK also had a class undercurrent. I was dating a British woman at the time, and she told me that local storeowners who treated the community well were spared by rioters. Rioters focused on stores selling upscale goods to the rich. Many corporate outlets were also smashed.

She told me that a number of those outlets had a reputation for not paying taxes to the UK by hiding money offshore. She said the rioters knew who those companies were, and they were brutally singled out. Many outlets were burned to the ground. Can you imagine heavily Black rioters in the US having class consciousness like that?

The Baltics are a case of entire nations full of complete idiots who hate Communism so much that they went into an extreme overreaction against Communism and turned against anything socialist, left, liberal or mildly progressive. Fascist heroes including many Nazis with a lot of Jewish blood on their hands were celebrated. Communist parties were outlawed, and Russian minorities were viciously maltreated.

Radical rightwingers were elected in all of these lands, and Chicago Boys Friedmanite experiments were undertaken. The results were predictable. In the recent economic crash, the most neoliberal European countries were the most devastated of all. Estonia was eviscerated, and Latvia was almost wiped off the map. 1/3 of the Latvian population left the country, including almost all of the educated people.

The Philippines and Indonesian cases are up for discussion, but these are Latin American situations of a ruling class of a different ethnicity than the working classes holding forth brutally and anti-democratically over the people. In addition, the workers have little consciousness.

Taiwan has a similar legacy where extreme hatred of Communism resulted in being ruled by reactionary fascist anti-Communists for decades. There is a nascent Left now, but it has little power yet. The wealth of the country seems to have gotten in the way of working class consciousness. Probably the extreme anti-Communism helped too, as any working class movement could be quickly portrayed as Communist.

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Would Anyone in the US with Normal Intelligence (98 IQ), Ambition, and Absence of Disastrous Life Choices Be Impoverished?

Answered on Quora.

Of course. I know people with IQ’s of 140–150, good education (BA to MA), good looks, good social skills, good work history, etc. who are either impoverished or have a low income.

Making money is a lot more of a crap shoot than anyone thinks, especially in capitalism because capitalism doesn’t care about utilizing every member of society to their fullest potential.

The Communist countries, no matter what you think of them (and I include China here), probably would have tested all of these people early in life, realized that their intelligence at least had to be utilized by society, and set them on some sort of a track towards putting these people’s intelligence at least in positions where they could maximally benefit society and the state. The Communists were not interested in wasting human potential. In fact, they were ideologically opposed to it.

Capitalism on the other hand claims to care about human potential but actually is neither in favor of or opposed to utilizing it. It is simply indifferent to whether the human potential of society is utilized or not. Capitalism is about maximizing profits and nothing else. If profits can still be maximized while still wasting the potential of millions, capitalism is indifferent.

Furthermore, capitalism, unlike Communism, is indifferent to maximizing human potential to better society and the state. Capitalism is hostile to the state and would just as soon almost do away with it, and capitalism cares not one whit about benefiting society as a whole. As long as high profits are being made, capitalists could care less about what state society, the nation, or the ethnic group are in because they are indifferent to the well-being of all of these things.

I am not advocating for Communism or socialism here over capitalism. There are serious benefits and drawbacks to each system. But the Communists obviously did a much better job than the capitalists at getting the maximal benefit to society and the nation out of as many individuals as possible.

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Government, Intelligence, Left, Marxism, Psychology, Regional, Social Problems, Socialism, Sociology, USA

A Chinese Man Looks at Africa

How many times have we heard this before? This video is being condemned in the comments as racist. It’s not. Anyway, how many times have you heard similar things about Africans? There’s no end to anecdotes like this.

That said, I think the Chinese will be very good for Africa. People do not understand the Chinese Communist Party. They really are Communists. I know this. There’s no need to argue about it.

This notion that they have all turned into radical neoliberal laissez faire capitalists is wishful thinking on the part of the capitalists. Their system is called Market Socialism or the Social Market, and that is exactly what it is. 88% of investment in China comes from the state. 45% of the economy is publicly owned. All of the banks are publicly owned. The private sector is severely regulated. They still have a planned economy all the way down to actually existing five-year plans. And they have admitted that they are still committed to the goal of spreading Communism around the world. They are spending a lot of money at US educational institutions to promote socialism.

The Chinese effort in Africa is not neocolonialism or imperialism. China is not an imperialist country. It can’t be. They work on the basis of solidarity, not neocolonialism and imperialism. A Communist country can’t be imperialist anyway. Social imperialism was a made up thing that never existed. Soviet imperialism was a notion invented by the Cold War.

The Chinese do and will operate in Africa on a win-win basis. We win, you win. Exactly the opposite of the way the US and other imperialist countries operate – my way or the high way, do as we say or else, we exploit you while you lie back and enjoy it, etc.

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Filed under Africa, Asia, Asians, Blacks, China, Chinese (Ethnic), Cold War, Economics, Geopolitics, Government, History, Imperialism, Left, Marxism, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Socialism, USSR

Sticky: Support Beyond Highbrow

This is not a free website. Regular commenter have to make a $10 donation in order to keep commenting. Occasional commenter do not have to donate. Regular readers do not have to donate, but they might want to consider doing so. Membership on the Delphi Murders Forum costs $20.

Reading this site is like reading a newspaper or a newsmagazine. If you give money to the site, it is like you are buying a newspaper or magazine copy or subscription. Think of it that way. Reading for free is like going over to the newspaper rack and opening up newspapers to read without paying for them. That said, no one has to donate, and people may read for free all they like, especially if they are poor. But even if you are poor, I would suggest that regular readers might want to donate $3 or so.

This site is independent media. We consistently go against the entire mainstream corporate media, and we regularly expose the lies and machinations of the media and the government. We also discuss the  lies and machinations of foreign governments. The motto here is, Let the Truth Shine. We are not going to knowingly lie to you about anything here. According to readers, this is the most “uncomfortably honest site on the Internet.” That’s the purpose of the site.

Although we are on the Left, and this is a socialist website, we will also expose the lies, machinations, and falsehoods being peddled by the Left. If the Right is correct and the Left is wrong on some particular issue, we may well side with the Right, as abhorrent and wicked as they are. All controversial issues must be evaluated for their truthfulness. Truths need to be reported on even if they make my side look bad and the other side look good. All lies and misinformation needs to be called out, even if calling out the lies makes my side look bad and the other side look good.

Although this is not my only source of income, I do not have a regular job for health reasons. Nevertheless, I work for myself and earn money that way via various income streams, and this happens to be one of them. So this is one of the jobs I do in order to make money.

I don’t feel like writing for this site for free. If that’s the way it is going to be, I may well just shut down the site. If you don’t see me posting for more than a day, that means that I am on strike. On strike for more wages or any wages at all. By asking for donations from this site, I am requesting to be paid for more labor. I am a worker who is asking to be compensated for his labor and hard work. I am not a beggar. I work very hard on this site, and it’s very hard work to do.

You may worry that you are making me rich. I made ~$9,000 off this site last year and $22,000 all together. That’s lower middle class, but it’s not a very good income. I figure I got paid $5/hour at most to write for this site. That’s half of the California minimum wage. If you want to know my current financial situation and whether I am feeling flush or busted broke, email me and I will let you know what is going on. I don’t expect you to donate to a rich man, but that’s not what you are doing here.

https://robertlindsay.wordpress.com/contribute/

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Filed under Conservatism, Economics, Government, Journalism, Labor, Left, Meta, Political Science, Socialism

Why Don’t Tech Workers Form Worker-Owned Companies?

Nutella: Not only is there a class war, but it’s mostly jealous elites, “captains of industry” etc who get jealous when workers who build their companies start making “too much”. Nowhere is this more true than in IT where many workers are way smarter than bosses and execs. So bosses start to feel inferior that a worker is better or smarter or demands high pay for hard work, then the elites go into “slap down” mode and have to bring workers down.

Nowhere was this more visible than in the 90s when even greedy bankers got jealous of American tech workers. Of course almost no tech workers make $450K so we are all LOWER class according to them. Which is just what they want.

Gotta keep the slaves and ants in line, so they can make their billions off the backs of the people. In fact Apple now makes $1 million profit per year per worker.

http://www.rense.com/general75/skilled.htm

Tech workers don’t like to call themselves working class, but face it, tech workers are workers! Highly paid workers, but they are still workers. Most are not even self-employed. They are generally selling their labor time to some capitalist like any other worker.

What I think would be really cool would be tech companies that were owned by the workers. No bosses! Actually that’s not even capitalism, but it still works on the profit motive. It’s run as a worker collective and the workers run it to make a profit. They then divide the profits up among the workers and decide how much to sink back into the enterprise, etc. It works great! It’s not capitalism because there’s no exploitation. No exploitation, no capitalism. You can have a profit motive without capitalism.

And a worker run tech company would hardly be interested in hiring the cheapest possible workers or outsourcing jobs because there’s really no benefit to them in doing that. They would have to fire some of their own workers to replace them with overseas workers, and most collectives may not wish to do that. Of course there may need to be layoffs and some worker owned businesses will go out of business, and in that case you are all out of job. But hey, that’s life under the profit motive and a competitive market, right?

This is not a capitalist mode of development. It’s called the Cooperative Mode of Development and it is considered to be a non-capitalist or some would say a socialist mode of development.

I would be interested in what comrade Nutella and his fellow tech workers think about tech workers owning their own businesses.

PS We are socialists but we believe in a market. We are what’s called Market Socialists. It works great!

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Labor, Social Problems, Socialism, Sociology