Category Archives: Belarus

Anti-Communist Lies about Vietnam, Belarus and Ukraine

Actually Pretty Funny: The problem is the middle of the city was originally designed by Frenchies, and it had never been flooded. I heard your argument too. Let me clarify, since there was no regulation for 30 years, people built, and built and built with permission from their political connections, until there is no more more land left for the water to reach the water-table. Moreover, the water for that is lackluster. And since everyone has political connections, everyone has built, except my family who was kinda…samurai.

People endure, of course, pretending that’s life is beautiful in that wretched condition. Until the infrastructure collapses totally, and then the political chaos comes like in East Europe and Russia of the 1990s. And then depressed and enraged people kill each other heartily, like in Russia.
The middle of the city:

Funds for Water drainage is lackluster

You are quite unreasonable.

In Vietnam, the Vietcong had to scare the Indians, the Chinese to quit the country to somewhat make it work. See photo.

Saigon under the rain.

Of course people live to, Socialists have roads too, but…A large chunk of the money was cut before being pumped into the economy.

Ok so a crappy Communist government that wasn’t even Communist because it was corrupt and didn’t even put any regulations on anyone like a Communist government is supposed to screwed up and left the situation totally unregulated and let people do whatever they wanted to and it fucked up everything.

In other words, a totally free market situation with no government oversight which is typical of 3rd World countries screwed up everything.

You know what 3rd world capitalist countries are like? Even worse. They have no regulations on anything ever because that’s the way capitalism often works in the 3rd World. Everyone gets to do what they want.

Also it quite common in former colonies that the stuff that the colonial power built was very made but the stuff that the newly decolonized independent government made is junk. This is typical, even in 3rd world capitalist countries.

I have known people in the Philippines and those roads flood all the time. So capitalist Philippines is better than Communist Vietnam?

I will tell you one more thing. Capitalists do not believe in flood control or roads or any of that. They always starve the government of money because they don’t want to pay taxes or out of anti-government or small government ideology. The only people who believe in spending lots of money on public works are leftwingers, socialists, Communists and even liberals. They believe in Big Government. The only way to get all those roads and public works done is to have Big Government.

Actually Pretty Funny: I don’t hate Lukashenko, but you need to know that Socialism only works in very, very, rare cases. And you don’t even know what like underneath. Do Belarus have road problems, of course you don’t know. You need photo for it to work.

You lied again. I Googled “roads Belarus.” I found nothing remarkable that said there  were any  road problems in Belarus. I saw photos and videos of roads in Belarus and frankly, they could have been driving in the US. The roads look and feel exactly like our roads.

In the video above, the videographer is apparently going from Russia to Belarus. The road in Russia is completely terrible  –  the worst you can imagine. They go over the border to Belarus and the road suddenly becomes fantastic. So it seems like you are just lying.

Actually Pretty Funny: Since East Ukrainians were quite tired of the own industry, when people of other regions rose up, they didn’t even lift their hands. Being privileged with useless industry is not very fun, people still had to pay for the old (mis)management Soviet class. Of course they would have fought tooth and nail to protect the system 20 years ago, since the industry was still quite new by Soviet standards back then.

I caught you in another lie. You said that Ukraine had not grown like Belarus because it retained Soviet industry. In fact, the place that retained Soviet industry was Belarus! The place that privatization failed was Ukraine. Ukraine failed horribly in privatization because for 25 years they have been electing thieves who have been stealing every nickel in the place. Going from Communism to capitalism was a disaster for Ukraine. That is why the people in the East are so nostalgic for the USSR.

Actually Pretty Funny: But time changes, and people evolve. I mean Poland has evolved and has become a role model. People tend to look around and up.

https://www.reinisfischer.com/img/ukrainevspolandgdp.png

You are lying again. You are comparing two countries that both did Shock Therapy and completely privatized. In one, Poland, it worked very well. In Ukraine, another, it was a failure. You are trying to say that Poland is capitalist while Ukraine is still Communist, but that’s not true. I don’t know how you make an anti-Communist point by comparing two capitalist countries that privatized.

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Countering Some Anti-Communist Lies

Actually Pretty Funny: I mean, damn it, you only want everyone to be dirt poor. You only care for the dirt poor, and treat everyone the same like you treat the dirt poor. Affluent Soviet citizens need ten years to afford a car, with all the paperwork. And crappy cars indeed. Your homeless man doesn’t even have the patience to wait in a line without drinking, why do you force Soviet people who can afford cars to wait 10 years?

And since the Soviets gave undesirable people too much money and power and installed them in position of power and management, the people who could efficiently ran the country secretly quit.

Your Communism only works in very homogeneous and secluded societies or else it would fail hilariously. Belarus is landlocked and the people are mostly Belorussians, so it couldn’t break free away from Russia and indeed now depends partly on military/ intelligence/ security know-how and support from Russia. And the dictator there routinely puts  people into jail because he needs to keep people homogeneous in their thinking. But Ukraine isn’t homogeneous, so they fled. They have their own seaports to export their goods.

One good attribute of the Socialist Man is that he doesn’t complain or protest much. So you don’t hear much about the problems of countries like that.

In this day and age, no one really starves to death anymore. Obesity is now an epidemic. All thanks to tech from the capitalistic West. The Chinese literally sold Chinese made Iphones at 100 USD, so I am not surprised that Belarussians could afford Belorussian cars. Those are cheaper than, say, German imported cars, but they work anyway so why not. But the technology for those cars were imported directly from Italy or Germany, and those cars were older models.

Rich Belarussians of course drive Germans and Italians imported from abroad. A Rolls-Royce model 2000 is a Rolls Royce too, just feels a bit weird. People in America begin to run Tesla electric cars already. Back to Belarus, they of course produce some machinery of all sort, good and bad. Just like China. But the most advanced technology always comes from the West. Belarus has lower cost.

Before China opened up to the world(the West), a Chinese household needed 800 USD to 1000 USD and political connection to set up a home telephone line, the same for North Korea for example. I bet the price in North Korea is much lower now. Mobile service providers now beg me to buy the newest(older) tech from America, I love that.

Ever wonder why Putin has been trying so hard to get sanctions lifted off? He needed tech from the West. Communism = sclerosis. And by the way, Sweden is the role model the Chinese want for themselves. Funny to see you bash it that much. You can’t have it all. Choose 2: Prosperity, Diversity, Free Speech.

Surveys across Eastern Europe repeatedly show that high percentages, often majorities, of people say that life was better under Communism that it is today under capitalism. I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds like a lot of people like Communism and even prefer it over capitalism.

Almost no one can afford to buy a car in the US. They’re too expensive, and the number of people having $20,000 sitting around to buy a new car is very low. So they borrow the money at high interest to buy the car. You miss a few payments, and they come take car away. I suppose if you want to make cars so that everyone can buy one, maybe people do have to wait in line. I mean could the US produce 230 million cars to sell them to every US adult at a price they could easily afford such as say $300-400? That’s what the USSR was doing. No wonder you had to stand in line.

I don’t agree the Communists always produce junk products.

Cubans have made many dramatic innovations in the nickel and sugar industries on their very own. Cuban cigars produced in state firms are still of excellent quality and are sought after all over the world. Cuba has a world-class biotechnology industry that must compete with capitalist firms in the international market. Hence their stuff has to be good, or it won’t be able to compete at all. Their biotech products are purchased all over the world, and they compete well with capitalist companies.

If you force state enterprises to compete in world markets, it’s sink or swim. If they produce crap, they go out. They will have to compete with capitalist firms, and that means making good stuff for competitive prices. Hence I like the idea of state firms being forced to compete on the world markets. That way they cannot produce junk.

It’s not true that Communist countries produced nothing but crap. A friend of mine has a radio made in Czechoslovakia in the 1970’s. It is of fine quality, and it still works to this very day 50 years later. It’s never broken. Chinese fans made 30 years ago still work to this very day.

The Communist attitude was that they did not want to produce crap that broke right away because that way they would spend all their time re-manufacturing the same products over and over. So with a lot of products, the attitude was “built to last.” The quality may not have been superb, but it was generally adequate. So they produced average quality products that were built to last decades.

I don’t bash Sweden. I’m not sure if Sweden is really the Chinese model.

After all, the Chinese are doing State Capitalism. 45% of the economy is made up of state firms. How is the Chinese economy booming if half the economy is state firms? Shouldn’t it be sclerotic? Shouldn’t every Chinese person be dirt poor? Shouldn’t all Chinese products be junk? The commenter says that Communism makes everyone poor, is sclerotic, and creates nothing but junk products. How come that’s not true in China?

I have a friend in Slovakia. His father told him that when Slovakia went from Communism to capitalism in the 1990’s, many of the father’s friends committed suicide in the first 10 years of capitalism. Now why was that? Did they do it too fast? How can the commenter support something that caused so many suicides? Is he happy when people die? The commenter is willing to more or less kill lots of people just so you can get he can get his cool stuff?

My friend also showed me Google Earth photo of his small town in Slovakia. It was very nice. The architecture, design and general layout was very nice, with this sort of quaint European style. I told my friend that, and he said, “Yes, and all of that layout, design and architecture was built under Communism. The capitalists are not building anything good here.”

In Slovakia, housing tracts were built consisting of family homes with small yards. They somewhat resembled a stripped down suburban tract in the US. I have seen photos of these homes. The homes and yards aren’t fantastic, but they are perfectly adequate. You probably had to wait in line, but the houses were priced at a low rate. In addition, there was really no way whatsoever that a family could lose its house. It wasn’t possible. Wouldn’t that be great to have a house where the monthly payments were quite affordable and not only that but you were guaranteed never to lose the house no matter what?

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Filed under Asia, Belarus, Capitalism, Caribbean, Cuba, Economics, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America, Left, Marxism, Regional, Russia, Socialism, Sweden, USA, USSR

Belarus, a Well-Functioning Communist Country

Actually Pretty Funny: I mean, damn it, you only want everyone to be dirt poor. You only care for the dirt poor, and treat everyone the same like you treat the dirt poor. Affluent Soviet citizens need ten years to afford a car, with all the paperwork. And crappy cars indeed. Your homeless man doesn’t even have the patience to wait in a line without drinking, why do you force Soviet people who can afford cars to wait 10 years?

And since the Soviets gave undesirable people too much money and power and installed them in position of power and management, the people who could efficiently ran the country secretly quit.

Your Communism only works in very homogeneous and secluded societies or else it would fail hilariously. Belarus is landlocked and the people are mostly Belorussians, so it couldn’t break free away from Russia and indeed now depends partly on military/ intelligence/ security know-how and support from Russia. And the dictator there routinely puts  people into jail because he needs to keep people homogeneous in their thinking. But Ukraine isn’t homogeneous, so they fled. They have their own seaports to export their goods.

One good attribute of the Socialist Man is that he doesn’t complain or protest much. So you don’t hear much about the problems of countries like that.

In this day and age, no one really starves to death anymore. Obesity is now an epidemic. All thanks to tech from the capitalistic West. The Chinese literally sold Chinese made Iphones at 100 USD, so I am not surprised that Belarussians could afford Belorussian cars. Those are cheaper than, say, German imported cars, but they work anyway so why not. But the technology for those cars were imported directly from Italy or Germany, and those cars were older models.

Rich Belarussians of course drive Germans and Italians imported from abroad. A Rolls-Royce model 2000 is a Rolls Royce too, just feels a bit weird. People in America begin to run Tesla electric cars already. Back to Belarus, they of course produce some machinery of all sort, good and bad. Just like China. But the most advanced technology always comes from the West. Belarus has lower cost.

Before China opened up to the world(the West), a Chinese household needed 800 USD to 1000 USD and political connection to set up a home telephone line, the same for North Korea for example. I bet the price in North Korea is much lower now. Mobile service providers now beg me to buy the newest(older) tech from America, I love that.

Ever wonder why Putin has been trying so hard to get sanctions lifted off? He needed tech from the West. Communism= sclerosis. And by the way, Sweden is the role model the Chinese want for themselves. Funny to see you bash it that much. You can’t have it all. Choose 2: Prosperity, Diversity, Free Speech.

I’m not sure if Lukashenko is really a dictator, though some might say he was. The opposition runs against him in every election. They’re right there on the ballot. Go right ahead and tick them off and if enough people do it, they would win. I believe Lukashenko has said he would step down if the opposition wins.

The problem with the opposition is that they are tied to the US, Europe and NATO. Belorussians, like Russians, pretty much hate the US, and they are not fond of the European countries either who they correctly think are run by their enemies. Belorussians absolutely hate NATO and see it as an enemy force. So the Opposition is seen my most people as “the traitors” because they collaborate with the country’s worst enemies.

Truth is that the opposition is very unpopular. Hardly anyone likes them. They routinely get ~20% of the vote, and Lukashenko routinely gets 75-80% of the vote. More or less like Putin. But Putin also has an 87% approval rating. Lukashenko’s approval rating is not much lower than that. The vote count is apparently fair. Also the Opposition never modifies its line. The opposition is neoliberal, and they advocate the complete privatization of the economy which will then be run on free market grounds. Most people in Belarus don’t even like capitalism, and the Opposition with its talk of going full free market frightens most people.

Now it is true that Opposition people are often not allowed to campaign very much. They can be stopped from putting up billboards or posters or handing out pamphlets. The press is run by the state, and the Opposition is hardly given any coverage there. The Opposition complains it is locked out of the media and is not allowed to campaign much. This is correct. But they are still right there on the ballot. Go ahead and tick them off. Feel free. Clearly if enough people voted for them, they would win, but the truth is as noted above that the Opposition is not well liked and in fact is widely hated by Belarussians.

Now the argument is that the way Lukashenko hampers the Opposition means that he is a dictator. I am not sure if that is precisely true. Putin governs in much the same way, so if Lukashenko is a dictator, then Putin is too.

There’s no way that Belarus builds junk machinery if it’s for export. They export all over the world, especially to Europe. They make stuff like tractors. Not one person in Europe will buy a junk tractor. Not one. In order to export that machinery, they must compete with capitalist firms from all over. In Belarus, the shopping districts are nice, full of stores and look like any Western country. And the stores are all full. How could the stores be full if Communism produces nothing but shortages?

I do not know how Belarus does it, but it was said that Belarus and Ukraine were the only two republics that somehow or other figured out how to make Communism work (not an easy task). I am told that even Belarus agriculture, which is heavily state-owned, even works well, which is amazing. I thought collectivized agriculture failed everywhere. Apparently they somehow figured out a way to make collectivized agriculture work too.

There is no homelessness in Belarus. None. I mean zero. It might even be against the law to be homeless. There are some people who are more or less bums who either can’t work or refuse to work. Generally speaking these are single alcoholic men, often older. Belarus would really prefer that everyone work and pay rent, but these guys are such drunks that they’re basically unemployable. In the capitalist world, they would be the roaming homeless.

But in Belarus, they all have an apartment. At some point, the guy is such a drunk that he can’t work anymore. The state investigates and figures nothing can be done. These people are allowed to continue living in their apartments for years if not decades rent-free because really they’re not sober enough to work sufficiently to pay rent. The state does not like drunken bums living rent-free off the state, but they figure that drunk is better off in an apartment than he would be as a wandering homeless derelict. Isn’t that cool to have a country where there is no homelessness and no street bums?

Keep in mind that politically motivated sanctions have been put on Belarus by the EU for a number of years now. They say they are doing this because he is a dictator, but that’s not the real reason. The real reason is that EU countries are now run by fake social democrats who hate Communism and even socialism. They’re neoliberals with a Social Democrat label. Complete sellouts. The sanctions were put on by the EU because they hate Belarus’ economic system, and they want to take it down.

Also there have been endless attacks on the currency by money traders, mostly out of Germany. A recent attempt was very successful and caused an economic crisis. Considering the sanction  and the runs on the currency, I am amazed that Belarus is doing as well as it does.

P. S. Ukraine went to capitalism, and it was a complete failure. The economy crashed, and a bunch of (((people))) came in and stole everything that wasn’t nailed down. The economy collapsed a few years after the end of Communism. In Belarus they were starting to privatize, and their leader looked at Ukraine and was appalled. He looked around at the rest of the former USSR, and the same thing was happening.

He stopped the privatization process, and now 80% of the economy is state owned. 20% of the economy is private sector. So Belarus is not pure Communist either. Ukraine is still very free market, in fact more so than ever, and they have a per capita income of $2,125/year. Belarus’ was $5,767-8, 315. So Communist Belarus is kicking capitalist Ukraine’s ass. I am not sure if it is still true, but for a long time, Belarus was the wealthiest of the former Soviet republics. And it was also the one that stayed most Communist, I believe.

Belarus’ per capita income may seem low, but Belarus is in the 45th percentile for PCI. That is, it is in the top 55% of countries in the world in PCI. It’s income is higher than 55% of the countries in the world. It’s in the upper half of income distribution in the world. That’s not so bad.

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Equality and Inequality under Capitalism, Socialism and Communism

Hizzle writes:

Rob,

Two honest questions:

Are there different manifestations of capitalism just as there are of communism? For instance, the kind of “Capitalism for the rich, socialism for the poor” that has afflicted us for a long time along with crony capitalism (people in Gottfried’s managerial state helping each other out with no-bid contracts and quid pro quo) is pretty sick and poisonous.

But what about my local hardware store owner whose perception of capitalism is that he works hard for his middle-class lifestyle so he should live better than someone who doesn’t work hard? Why in any moral, sane system, would all people be rewarded equally when they don’t work equally hard? I understand plenty of wealth is inherited, and the reality of capitalism doesn’t fit the model, but there’s always a gulf between model and instantiation, isn’t there, even in communism?

Other question: I think humans are generally selfish or at least somewhat obviously motivated by their own interests, so what do you think would happen tomorrow if someone poured blandishments on you, and you woke up as a billionaire on your own island with your own mansion and jet, titty-fucking the supermodel of your choice, while two concubines fed you grapes? Would you rail against capitalism? The question isn’t rhetorical because I believe some leftists (like Lukacs) came from bourgeois to upper class backgrounds.

Thanks in advance.

Sure, there are all sorts of different capitalist models.

One I like very much is called Fordism, named after Henry Ford who is often called far rightwing and racist, but he really wasn’t. He wasn’t even much of an antisemite really. The Jews acted pretty bad here back then and he was appalled by their behavior. He said they were out for themselves and not for everyone. At the end of the supposedly antisemitic The International Jew, in which he forcefully condemns pogroms, Ford writes, “Come, Jews! I call on you to come join us to build a better America!” He wanted Jews to be Americans first and Jews second but Jews don’t tend to think like that.

Anyway Ford was hardly a reactionary. At the time, cars were quite expensive and out of the reach of most people. I would argue that they still are. He looked out at his auto plant and he thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the average worker could afford to buy one of my nice cars here?” So Ford said, “You know what? I am going to pay my workers high enough wages so they can afford to buy my cars.”

So that is Fordism. Pay workers good wages so they can afford to buy the stuff you make or sell. There was a strong Fordist element to our society for many years, but that went out maybe in the 1970’s and now there is a vicious capitalism that thinks only of profits and never asks itself if people can still afford to buy their stuff. It’s all about paying your worker as little as possible to maximize profits. Hell a lot of companies outsource all their manufacturing so they don’t pay US workers one nickel to buy any of their nice products that they import back here from their plant. I guess paying the workers to buy your overseas built stuff is someone else’s job.

There are many other varieties that I need not go into here. Anyway almost all if not all countries are a mixture of capitalism and socialism in some form or another. The “capitalist” countries of the world are usually not that capitalist, but one can argue that maybe they have less socialism than other places. The socialist or Communist countries are just places that have a lot more socialism mixed in with their capitalism.

So it’s a bit retarded to talk about pure capitalism and pure socialism or Communism but everyone does it really because people are not well educated and also there is a tendency to think of things in their most stripped down, easiest to understand form, which helps neural efficiency but also leads to many concepts being poorly or falsely understood. Humans don’t like to think much. They want to think as little as possible and most do a great job of it. I think maybe your brain wants shortcuts too. Why not? Most other things do.

Rich Communists are rare indeed. Carlos the famous terrorist had a millionaire father who was a Communist, but that is an exception. The rich are almost always conservative, and rich liberals are often not all that rich. The rich generally want to keep as much of their money as possible no matter how they obtained, which is normal. The thing is, let’s face facts, wealthy socialists are working against their own economic interests. We rail against the class-cucked poor and working class who do the same thing, but it’s a bit more noble for a rich man do it as it’s more rational for a rich man to want to share with poorer people than it is for poor or working people to advocate giving lots of their money to the rich. The former seems like a saint; the latter seems like a moron.

I’ve long been in favor of small businesses. They cause very little damage to society. Cuba is full of small businesses now. However, your hardware store owner is deluded because he will claim that he works harder than some field worker or ditchdigger, but he really doesn’t. In fact, those outdoor workers probably work quite a bit harder than he does.

There’s a lot of silly self-justification going on with people who have managed to make a fair amount of money. Somehow they deserve every nickel of it because they did such and such noble thing (work, study, whatever) and others didn’t. And capitalist fanboys often say that the rich work harder than poor workers. Bull. I guess they figured out how stupid that was so the latest one is that the rich “worked harder and worked smarter” than others. There’s no answer to that because no one even knows what working smarter even means.

I have never believed that everyone should be equal. Why should a ditchdigger be paid the same as a surgeon? It’s crazy. Why would anyone be a surgeon. Also the surgeon is obviously contributing more to society and he studied for much longer to be a surgeon. Should he not be monetarily awarded for that.

The problem in capitalism is not inequality, which is fine by me, but instead it is the degree of it. The inequality under capitalism is so vast that it is preposterous. Doesn’t Bill Gates have as much money as 40% of the planet? If aliens landed tomorrow and you told them that one guy owns as much wealth as almost half the 8 billion population, they would shake their heads, say they’re insane morons here, and there’s obviously no sign of intelligent life, so we’re taking off.

Only in this crazy planet could there be hundreds of millions of humans who actually nod their heads like that’s normal and even stand up and cheer for it. It’s absurd the way humans think here on Earth. I doubt if it is even normal either. Earthly humans are quite idiotic. Maybe it is all down to selfishness. Humans are incredibly selfish. It’s adaptive in a sense. If you don’t put your own interests first most of the time, you will soon be dead – but it is also one of the worst traits of this supposedly highly intelligent species.

How about a pay scale? Even in Communism, pay the surgeon say eight times more than the ditchdigger. Fair? Communist societies all had pay scales. In Cuba right now the average monthly wage is ~$25. But no problem as most everything is cheap or free. For instance your rent on that salary would be $1.50/month (!) and a bowl of ice cream costs 2 cents (!). However, IT workers are being paid $2,000/month in Cuba for some reason. No idea why. Maybe to encourage people to work in the field. So you see there is fair amount of inequality in Cuba. It’s just that there people are so much more equal and less unequal there than in most places.

Communist societies need not be so poor. Belarus has an economy that is 80% Soviet style, maybe upgraded for the times. Belarus and Ukraine always had by far the highest incomes in the USSR, and it seems those are two places where Communism sort of worked. Somehow those two places figured out how to make it work. On the other hand, much of the manufacturing in the USSR was located in those two countries. The average income in what is basically Communist Belarus is $16,000/year. Almost every family has a computer and a car. Does that sound like privation to you? Communism need not lead to privation.

And Swedish society is not as equal as you think. The Swedish rich have an unbelievable amount of money. Some are among the richest people in the world. The thing about Sweden is that just about everyone is afforded a decent living. There are few very rich in Sweden, but there are also few very poor. So most everyone is somewhat more towards the middle. And Belarus and Finland have wiped out homelessness. There are zero homeless people in either country.

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Why Nations Need Currency Controls

If you don’t put in currency controls, “social democrat” and “liberal” George Soros will sweep in and speculate on your currency so as to ruin your currency and destroy your economy. He will do this if you do not do what this Jew orders you to do. Soros has already destroyed a number of economies around the world, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico.

Soros’ “social democratic” pals in Berlin recently pulled the same fast one on Belarus by speculating on its currency, ruining its value and wrecking the economy. Hence socialist Lukashenko has had to go hat in hand to the IMF and World Bank for loans. The Germans probably took out Belarus because they actually do have a socialist system in that country, and there’s nothing the EU “social democrats” want to destroy more than a socialist country in Europe.

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The Basque-Caucasian Hypothesis

I have gotten a lot of crap from my enemies for being on the Academia.edu site in the first place, but really anyone can join.

The following was posted by one of the reviewers in an Academia session by one of the leading lights of the Basque-Caucasian theory. As you can see, the mythological and multiple lines of genetic evidence are starting to pile up pretty nicely too. This is neat stuff if you are interested in the Basque-Caucasian link in addition to work going on into the remains of the Neolithic Farmers who were subsumed in the Indo-European waves. It turns out there is quite a bit left in different parts of Europe, especially in terms of Neolithic Farmer mythology.

From a discussion among academics and independent scholars on a paper on the Basque-Caucasian Theory in Historical Linguistics during a session in on Academia:

I am not a linguist but interested in the topic as it proposes a linguistic correlation between Caucasic languages and Basque, as it parallels my own current research on reconstructing European Paleolithic mythologies using ethnographic analogies constrained by on archaeogenetics and language macrofamily correlations.

Tuite (2006, 2004, 1998, 1997) has pointed out the hunter-gatherer beliefs and myth motifs shared across a ‘macro-Caucasic’ area to the Hindu Kush and into Western Europe. Basque deities Mari, Sugaar, and Ama Lurra and their associated mythologems have striking similarities to the macro-Caucasic hunter mythologies (not found in Finno-Ugric or Middle Eastern ancient mythologies.)

I am currently writing a paper identifying many examples of Southern/Western Gravettian art in Italy, Spain, southern France that appear to depict imagery only explicable by analogy to Macro-Caucasic religious myth and ritual.

With respect to mtDNA fossil genetics, three skeleton samples are from Paglicci Cave, Italy, ~25 cal BP: one is macro-N-mtDNA (homeland Caucasus/Caspian/Iran; currently highest frequencies Caucasus, Arabia), and two skeletons, RO/HV-mtDNA (homeland northern Middle East; currently highest frequencies, Basque, Syria, Gilaki, Daghestan).

During the later Magdalenian another diffusion occurs apparently by a similar route: HV4-mtDNA emerges in Belarus-Ukraine (~14±2 ka) and under Late Glacial Maximum HV4a (~13.5 ka) moves south and splits in the three refugia: southern Italy, southern Russia (HV4a1, ~10 ka), the Middle East (HV4a2, ~9 ka), and Basque area (HV4a1a, ~5 ka, suggesting full emergence of distinct Basque culture and language), (Gómez-Carballa, Olivieri et al 2012).

These studies further support the existence of a Macro-Basque-Caucasic mythological stratum as well as shared language substrate.

The cutting-edge liberal theory is that Basque (and some other odd far-flung languages) is part of the Caucasian language family. In other words, at one time, the Basques and the peoples of the Caucasus like Chechens were all one people.

What this probably represents is the ancient Neolithic farmers who covered Europe before the Indo-European invasion replaced almost all of the languages of Europe. All that is left is Basque and the peoples of the Caucasus. Everything in between got taken by IE except for some late movements by Uralic and Turkic speakers. Up in the north, the Lapp Uralic speakers are, like Basques, the last remains of the Neolithic farmers. The Sardinians also an ancient remaining group of these people, but their language has been surmounted recently by a Latinate tongue.

As it turns out, the Basques and Caucasians also share a number of cultural similarities. There are also some similar placenames. And there is some good genetic evidence connecting the Basques with the Caucasian speakers.

It’s all there, but the conservatives are balking, to put it mildly, about linking Basque with the Caucasian languages.

I have long believed in this theory.

I read a book over 20 years ago comparing Basque to the Caucasian languages and a few other distant tongues and thought the case was proved even via overkill by the book. And recent work is so super that one wonders why the conservatives are still winning. I feel that the link between Basque and the Caucasus languages is now proven to an obvious and detailed degree.

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Check Out Belarussian

Here is a sample of the Belarussian language from a Belarussian TV commercial. For those of you who speak a Slavic language, I would like you to listen to this clip and tell me how much you can understand of it.

I decided to post my section on Belarussian from a recent paper of mine. My charming critics say that I am “promoting misinformation,” and have banned all links to me. They also say that everyone should ignore every single word that I write because nothing that I say is true, not even one sentence. However, some averred that in an entire paper, I might state one or two true things.

If any of you know anything about the subject below, tell me if they are right. Tell me if every single sentence below is true or false. In fact, tell me if you can find one false sentence below.

Here.

Belarussian is one of the most recent East Slavic lects to come into existence, as the earliest Belarussian texts are from only the 1500’s. So the split between Belarussian and Ukrainian and Russian is shallower than that between Spanish and Portuguese.

Belarussian intelligibility with both Ukrainian and Russian is a source of controversy. On the one hand, Belarussian has dialects that are intelligible with dialects of both Russian and Ukrainian.

Reports of the endangerment or looming death of Belarussian are usually politically motivated attacks on President Lukashenko accusing him of killing the language.

On the contrary, Belarussian, while in a disappointing situation, is very much alive. Almost all Belarussians can speak the language, but only 15% do so in day to day conversation. Most of the rest more often play the role of passive speakers although they can speak the language if they need to (Mezentseva 2014).

Belarussian knowledge of their language benefits them because it gives them a head start on learning other Slavic languages (Mezentseva 2014).
Belarus was actually part of Poland at one time, as was Western Ukraine. Belarussians see themselves as a different people from Russians.

For centuries, they called themselves Tutejshiya “our people” (Mezentseva 2015).

Part of the blame for the decline of Belarussian lies with Belarussians themselves because despite the statements in the paragraph above, Belarussians have a very strong attachment to Russia and only a weak attachment to their own land (Mezentseva 2014). The result of this is that although 85% of Belarussians can speak Belarussian, and Russian is the preferred language in the country (Pavlenko 2006).

In 1991, Belarus only had one official language, Belarussian, though Russian was in wide use. In 1994, the people voted to have two official languages, Belarussian and Russian. Russian-language media and politicians quickly took advantage of the situation and used to opportunity to make Russian the dominant language in the country (Mezentseva 2014).

Lukashenko regularly wins elections by 75-80% margins, and polls show about the same support. The very unpopular opposition are regarded by most Belarussians as traitors and anti-Russian, pro-US tools of the West out to destroy the country.

One major problem for the language is that Belarussian is now associated with the opposition in the country. This association of the language with the unpopular opposition has hurt the language and is a major reason why state support for Belarussian has been lukewarm at best (Mezentseva 2014).
However, the linguistic situation in the country is complicated, and there are Belarussian-language TV stations and a number of daily newspapers (Mezentseva 2014).

The Western media reports that Belarussian is dying, but this is politicized discourse.

The truth is that Belarussian is becoming more and more popular these days, as it is coming to be seen as the prestigious “language of the intelligentsia” as opposed to the Soviet era in the 1970’s and 80’s when it was regarded as a “village language.” Belarussian language advocates say that they are not pessimistic at all about the state of the language and in fact they are optimistic. Belarussian is used in the educational system, and advocates expect its use there to expand. Independent Belarussian classes have been springing up to assist Belarussians who want to promote the language and culture. (Mezentseva 2014).

Russian nationalists often state that Belarussian is a dialect of Russian. However, this judgement is based more on national chauvinism than linguistics (Mezentseva 2014), as Russian lacks full intelligibility of Belarussian.

However, the statement is partly true if we are discussing Trasianka and Russian. Trasianka is Belarussian dialect based on a a mix of Russian and Belarussian that arose during the Sovietization of Belarus. It resembles Russian spoken with a Belarussian accent and is spoken mainly by rural dwellers who moved to towns and started to watch a lot of Russian TV. It is also widely spoken in Eastern Belarus near the Russian border (Mezentseva 2014).

West Polesian or West Palesian is a transitional Belarussian dialect to Ukrainian. Some think that West Polesian is a microlanguage, but the majority of Belarussian linguists say it is a dialect of Belarussian (Mezentseva 2014). But see the analysis of Polesian in the Ukrainian section above under Ukraine for a fuller account of this very confusing lect. Belarussian and Ukrainian have 84% lexical similarity.

Pronunciation is also very similar between the two languages. Some of the grammatical categories do differ. Belarussian intelligibility of Ukrainian is high at 80% (Mezentseva 2014).

Belarussian has many Polish borrowings, hence Belarussian has a fairly high intelligibility of Polish at 29%. Written intelligibility is higher at 67% (Mezentseva 2015).

Although Polish is notorious for being one of the hardest languages in Europe for foreigners to learn, Belarussians can actually learn it fairly easily due to the similarities between the two languages (Mezentseva 2014).

Testing Belarussian intelligibility of Russian is not realistically possible.
The vast number of Belarussians speak Russian, and of those who do not, all or nearly all have at least passive knowledge of Russian. At the moment there are few to no Belarussian monolinguals. If they exist at all, there may be a few elderly female monolinguals in the far west of the country by the Polish border (Mezentseva 2015) , but it would be difficult to study them.

MI figures:

Belarussian: Oral intelligibility: 80% of Ukrainian and 29% of Polish.Written intelligibility: 67% of Polish.

References

Mezentseva, Inna. English teacher, Belarussian and Russian speaker, Vitebsk, Belarus. BA in Education and Linguistics. Vitebsk State University, Vitebsk, Belarus. December 2014. Personal communication.
Mezentseva, Inna. English teacher, Belarussian and Russian speaker, Vitebsk, Belarus. BA in Education and Linguistics. Vitebsk State University, Vitebsk, Belarus. May 2015. Personal communication.
Pavlenko, A. 2006. Russian as a Lingua Franca. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26: 78-99.

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Who Was a Bigger Killer – Stalin or Hitler?

Shawnomatic writes:

Serious question: Stalin killed more people & was more evil than Hitler, so why is having a “Stalin” mustache okay but a “Hitler” one is bad?

Stalin didn’t kill more people than Hitler.

For the Stalin years, the following figures are recorded for peacetime deaths:

Executions:          900,000
Deaths in the gulag: 1.2 million
Anti-kulak campaign: 390,000

Total:               2.49 million

Half of the gulag deaths occurred during World War 2 when there was also a high death rate in the general population due to food and medicine shortages.

Now those figures do not count the figures for those killed during World War 2, some of whom were civilians. They also do not include the deaths during the population transfers of entire nationalities during World War 2. But those numbers cannot possibly be very large.

Stalin killed those people over a period of 28 years, so that is 2.3 million over 28 years, or ~88,4561/year.

Hitler killed many more than that.

Hitler directly killed 15 million people during his death camp and other extermination policies. Only 6 million of those were Jews. Others were other nationalities. 3 million people, or 10% of the population of Poland, were killed. 1/3 of the population of Belarus was killed. 1/4 of the population of Ukraine was killed. 10% of the German population itself was killed due to the wars he started. 27 million Soviets were killed. Among young Soviet man aged 18-24, 95% of them were killed. Furthermore, Hitler did this in a brief period of time – 1940-1945 – 5 years. Hitler killed at least 15 million over a 5 year period, for a figure of 3 million/year.

So it is 3 million/year versus 80,000/year, so Hitler killed 37X more people per year than Stalin did. Even using conservative estimates, Hitler killed 6.52X more people than Stalin and he did it over a much shorter period, in only 20% of the time Stalin took.

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“New Cold War,” Same Old Imperialism

This guy is a Trotskyite, but I often agree with his analysis of capitalism and US imperialism, which is 100% right on.

First of all, he is correct that the US was an imperialist country long before the Cold War and even before there was a Soviet Union. The Monroe Doctrine, still in effect today, was an imperialist policy. The US was actually a formal imperialist power around the turn on the century, and in a way, it still is now as the US retains colonies and refuses to free them as the UN has demanded.

Everything else he says is also right on.

The New “Cold War” Is The Same Old U.S. Imperialist War

by Steven Argue

Cartoon depicting the brutal and murderous U.S. colonization of the Philippines long before there was a Soviet Union.

As many in the U.S. today declare that Russian opposition to U.S. aggression in Ukraine and Syria are indicators of a new “cold war”, it is important to remember what the so-called “Cold War” was in the first place during the time of the USSR. Before the so-called “war on terror” there was the Persian Gulf War, and before there even was a Soviet Union there was “the war to end all wars”, “the white man’s burden”, and “manifest destiny”.

All of these were / are to justify one of the most bloodthirsty imperialist systems that has ever existed on the face of the Earth, that of U.S. imperialism. The fact that the U.S. used the existence of the Soviet Union to justify their blood thirsty imperialist wars, coups, and dictatorships in places like Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, etc. simply had nothing to do with any reality of an actual war between the USSR of the time and the USA. The so-called “cold war” was nothing but a hot U.S. imperialist war against the people of the world, a war that continues under different names.

Today, as usual, the USA is on a drive to overthrow every independent nation in the world. This has continued under Obama with his overthrow of elected governments of Ukraine and Honduras, putting a death squad government in power in Honduras and a murderous fascist junta in power in Kiev that includes open neo-Nazis who hate Ukraine’s national minorities, including Russians.

Likewise, Obama waged a bombing and proxy war in Libya that overthrew that country’s government, a government that committed the crime of spending some its oil money on providing everyone with free housing, education, and health care. This gave the Libyan people a far higher life expectancy than other oil rich countries in Africa ruled by U.S. backed dictators.

Likewise, the United States is currently trying to overthrow the elected capitalist government of Venezuela for similar “crimes” of disrupting total capitalist profit by spending oil money on the people. In Libya, the imperialists brought to power genocidal religious fanatics who committed ethnic cleansing against Black Africans, commits rampant torture and murder, and is allowing the imperialist oil companies to rob Libya of its natural resources unhindered by pesky spending on human needs. Likewise in Syria, the United States is giving weapons to genocidal religious fanatics that have slaughtered religious and ethnic minorities.

Russia is in the cross-hairs of U.S. imperialism today, in part for strongly opposing U.S. imperialist intervention in Syria and Ukraine.

Russia itself today is a weak capitalist country, but for the U.S. imperialists, it is not weak enough. An important adviser to the Obama administration is Brzezinski whose plans for Russia include economic isolation, regime change, and then breaking Russia into three pieces. Russia itself is not an imperialist power in any Marxist sense. Russia has more foreign direct investment coming into the country than going out. Likewise, Ukraine has had very little foreign direct investment from Russia and very large amounts coming in from the EU.

U.S. and EU imperialist strategy in the region has been to force a government on Ukraine that carries out IMF austerity and isolates Russia. They got this with the February coup along with a government that is likely to be friendly to imperialist exploitation of gas reserves through environmentally devastating fracking in western Ukraine.

Russia, on the other hand, is merely trying to maintain trading partners as the United States tries to isolate it and is not trying to dictate what sort of economies and austerity countries around them maintain. While United States imperialist policy is one of forcing austerity and privatization on countries, Russia has been equally capable of trading with countries that maintain planned socialist economies, to the benefit of the working class, like the planned socialist economy of Belarus. Meanwhile, such countries, like Belarus and Cuba, are under U.S.economic blockade because their planned socialist economies and independent governments prevent large amounts of foreign imperialist exploitation.

To the extent that Russia is now providing a small counterweight to blood thirsty and rapacious U.S. imperialism, the imperialists are building up NATO forces, pouring on lies similar to Bush’s lies of weapons of mass destruction, and speaking as if the so-called “cold war””is back. Yet, then and now, the so-called “cold war” has never been anything but a hot U.S. imperialist war against the people of the world.

– Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency

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The Positive Legacy of the Former Eastern Bloc

SHIH writes:

But you must understand where I’m coming from. The version of socialism you espouse is more to do with welfare economics, free medical care, free education…I guess something similar to European Union socialism. You have to get my drift here, I’m talking about something totally different.

The worst elements of Communist USSR did considerable damage to satellite countries like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Caucasus region and currently, Ukraine and Belarus. Let’s face it, it was a failed social experiment, no sane person could support Stalinism – not even Russians do it anymore. Fact remains that countries like Uzbekistan suffered worst excesses of experiments like Stalinism, forced relocation of people, internal passport controls and decades of isolation from the rest of the world.

The dictator of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, is a real tyrant who makes his own people work hard on construction projects and there’s massive corruption everywhere. It’s not a Communist government but the legacy of former USSR had a big role to play in the current mess.

I do not agree that any of those countries got damaged by Communism.

I do not agree that Uzbekistan is experiencing a current mess. I actually think they are doing pretty well. If you look around at other Central Asian Muslim states, they are all about the same as Uzbekistan or else they are worse.

I do know Karimov well, but I think that at heart he is still a Communist.

All 3rd World capitalist states are insanely corrupt, and yes, the CIS is corrupt also. It wasn’t very corrupt under the USSR, but after moving to capitalism, the CIS become incredibly corrupt. Knowing this, how is the current corruption caused by Communism?

What failed in the East Bloc was the lack of a market. All of these places have now put a market into place, but you would be surprised how much of the Communist system has been retained. Where much of the Communist system has been dismantled and privatized as in Russia, the results have been very bad. They would have been better off leaving it alone.

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Caucasus region and currently, Ukraine and Belarus – all these places did pretty well under Communism. After 1990, the Russian economy collapsed. It took fully 20 years for the Russian economy to recover to its previous pre-Communist level. This was true for almost all of the other CIS republics too. For a very long time, they were doing better under Communism than under what followed.

Belarus retained most of their socialist mode of development and they were the only former USSR republic that did not collapse after Communism. The economy is still 80% socialist, and last I heard they are doing fantastic. Belarus is a great place to live. For 29 years after 1990, Belarus was the wealthiest former USSR republic. The sole reason for that was that they retained a socialist model.

Personally I think free market capitalism is a failed social experiment. We have a lot of evidence for that.

Uzbekistan and other places were not really hurt by forced migrations. What happened was that Stalin put people like Tatars and Germans in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The new immigrants were good for those countries.

Internal passport problems were not a big deal because USSR citizens traveled all over the USSR and they even traveled all over the Eastern Bloc. It is hard to say that the Eastern Bloc was isolated from the world. They were surely not isolated from themselves. They were isolated from the West, but that was also the fault of the West since the US and its allies blockaded and embargoed the entire Eastern Bloc from Day One.

In Russia and many former Soviet republics, majorities say they liked Communism and they often say that Communism was better than whatever bullshit they have now. Communism created a very high level of social development.

There were for all intents and purposes no slums, everyone had plenty of food to eat, the health figures were great, nice cities and towns were created with adequate housing everywhere. The water was clean and there was good sewage treatment. Good roads, rail networks and even passenger jet services were created. The USSR grew most of its own food, and the truth is that Soviets ate about as well as many West Europeans. Everyone had a job and there was no unemployment. There were no homeless or bums on the streets. The Stalin Era was pretty brutal but after that, things settled down a lot. Under Gorbachev, the USSR was a fairly free place, and there were not even many political prisoners anymore.

The USSR created one thing: a fantastic base for economic development. With a great base like that, you can implement a market and you can get high level of economic activity. The insanity of the 3rd World capitalist states is that they are trying to grow an economy without developing an adequate base beforehand. As you can see, that does not work.

In the US and even in Europe, austerity is all the rage. The purpose of austerity is to decapitate the state and what follows is the dismantling of the social and infrastructural base for economic development of a market economy. It makes no sense at all, but capitalists generally speaking make no sense and have zero sense of the long run. The capitalist is focused on short term profits only and he can’t see the forest for the trees. The capitalist retard is so stupid that the can’t see that that that nice market economy he is utilizing was grown from a seedbed of a social, societal and infrastructural base of development, and that this base was laid down by the state.

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