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Postby 198d__ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:21 pm

Why do liberals hate the poor and uneducated so much? Why are the bad decisions of some poor people understandable, but the actions and behaviors of others are acts of intentional self-sabotage to these people?

Why is a class-based, dialectical analysis only valid when talking about people of color to liberals?
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Postby 198d__ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:22 pm

I already know why. It's because liberals don't give a fuck about consistency in their politics. They just need to make sure they don't seem racist and they're all good.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:30 pm

immortalrites wrote:
martelsobieski wrote:It just seems like the market is a better mechanism in determining how to allocate resources.


Who is it better for, though?


Everyone. The poorest people in market-based economies live infinitely better than the poorest in planned economies. It's far more effective to design a safety net to fill the gaps in a market economy than to try to design an efficient planned economy, which has never been achieved on a large scale.
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Postby 198d__ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:41 pm

Sorley Boy wrote:
immortalrites wrote:
martelsobieski wrote:It just seems like the market is a better mechanism in determining how to allocate resources.


Who is it better for, though?


Everyone. The poorest people in market-based economies live infinitely better than the poorest in planned economies. It's far more effective to design a safety net to fill the gaps in a market economy than to try to design an efficient planned economy, which has never been achieved on a large scale.

Provide proof.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:49 pm

Living standards in the OECD vs. living standards in the USSR.
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Postby 198d__ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:53 pm

Sorley Boy wrote:Living standards in the OECD vs. living standards in the USSR.

lol
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Postby Lobsterdog » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:56 pm

Its impossible to provide any concrete proof to that given the constant USA interference in every socialist country ever
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Postby 198d__ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:00 pm

I guess some people will never fully grasp concepts like imperialism, colonialism, primitive accumulation, or comprador capitalism. I can't help you understand context.

Comparing countries like the U.S., Britain, and France to anyone is a fool's errand. You can't make imperialism/colonialism not exist. Those two things are the sole reason why the West is the West and why the global south is the global south.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:00 pm

Assuming for argument's sake that the USA is so influential that it can derail entire economies the size of the USSR or pre-capitalist China, truly planned economies don't work in theory either. They haven't been part of academic economic discussion for the better part of century.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:05 pm

198d__ wrote:I guess some people will never fully grasp concepts like imperialism, colonialism, primitive accumulation, or comprador capitalism. I can't help you understand context.

Comparing countries like the U.S., Britain, and France to anyone is a fool's errand. You can't make imperialism/colonialism not exist. Those two things are the sole reason why the West is the West and why the global south is the global south.


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Postby 198d__ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:11 pm

Europe and America have been raping the world for centuries, but the reason why millions of people starve to this day must be because the country's leaders are too dumb to figure out free market economics. Okay.

Most of the world is capitalist. There are like 3 countries practicing a version of socialism right now. The "planned" economies of the African republics don't count because they're ruled by comprador thugs who sell out their labor and resources to the West. If you weren't concerned solely with Western perspectives, you'd understand that the poorest countries in the world are capitalist too, they're what capitalism looks like without primitive accumulation and imperialist power. Cuba is paradise compared to the third-world slums where the West does its dirty work.
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Postby trentxedge » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:11 pm

Sorley Boy wrote:Living standards in the OECD vs. living standards in the USSR.


I'm not trying to be a tankie but following the collapse of the Soviet union and the implementation of free market policies, birth rates plummeted, life expectancy dropped along with the gdp in Russia.

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Postby 198d__ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:14 pm

Sorley Boy wrote:Assuming for argument's sake that the USA is so influential that it can derail entire economies the size of the USSR or pre-capitalist China, truly planned economies don't work in theory either. They haven't been part of academic economic discussion for the better part of century.

Uh, it definitely can.
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Postby 198d__ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:17 pm

trentxedge wrote:
Sorley Boy wrote:Living standards in the OECD vs. living standards in the USSR.


I'm not trying to be a tankie but following the collapse of the Soviet union and the implementation of free market policies, birth rates plummeted, life expectancy dropped along with the gdp in Russia.

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Stop apologizing for your politics, my dude. You aren't a "tankie" for saying something that is true.

It's insane that communists have to carry the death toll calculated in the Black Book of Communism around their neck whenever they defend their politics. Yet whenever free-market advocates shoot the shit no one makes them acknowledge the millions who still suffer under capitalism to this day.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:20 pm

trentxedge wrote:
Sorley Boy wrote:Living standards in the OECD vs. living standards in the USSR.


I'm not trying to be a tankie but following the collapse of the Soviet union and the implementation of free market policies, birth rates plummeted, life expectancy dropped along with the gdp in Russia.

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Because it transformed into a dysfunctional kleptocracy controlled by gangsters and oligarchs, not into a functional modern economy. Living standards China and Vietnam have improved exponentially since markets were liberalized.
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Postby trentxedge » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:28 pm

198d__ wrote:
trentxedge wrote:
Sorley Boy wrote:Living standards in the OECD vs. living standards in the USSR.


I'm not trying to be a tankie but following the collapse of the Soviet union and the implementation of free market policies, birth rates plummeted, life expectancy dropped along with the gdp in Russia.

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Stop apologizing for your politics, my dude. You aren't a "tankie" for saying something that is true.

It's insane that communists have to carry the death toll calculated in the Black Book of Communism around their neck whenever they defend their politics. Yet whenever free-market advocates shoot the shit no one makes them acknowledge the millions who still suffer under capitalism to this day.


I feel ya but we should acknowledge that the USSR did oppressive things at least, granted a lot of the people who bring up communist democide conveniently dodge death tolls from western nations and colonialism. I am not completely on board with the Soviet union and their politics because I believe that Rojava and Catalonia are the better examples of the successes of the far left.

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Postby spsp » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:44 pm

Central planning was only ever supposed to be a means to an end.
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Postby xcolepx » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:40 am

It’s so unbelievable that the most powerful country in the world and others along side it could destabilize younger more unstable economies... this is what you are arguing.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:28 am

That's not what I said. The West can destabilize an economy. It can't create disparities in living standards of the kind that existed in the USSR, China, etc. And again, you're ignoring that fact that planned economies aren't efficient in theory either.
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Postby xcolepx » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:26 pm

Oh, it can’t, okay.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:57 pm

You didn't provide any evidence that Western interference is the reason the USSR didn't achieve OECD living standards. Neither did anyone making the same argument above. If you want to provide it, great.

But whatever, I don't expect you to since that's the American mindset now. Some political position is so central to my identity that I'm going defend ideas which are totally contrary to the academic consensus, and I'm not going to get a degree in the subject, I'm not going to work in the field, I'm not going to listen to the 99% of experts who say I'm wrong. I'm going to dismiss any facts which contradict my worldview and work in some other field so I don't have to defend my silly conspiracy theories with evidence and be accountable for them.
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Postby 198d__ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:04 pm

People give you good answers (better than you deserve) you just don't argue in good faith. I used like 5 different sociological concepts above to supplement my position, you just ignore them. Western sabotage is just one of the contributing factors, not the only one. You know this, you're just willfully ignorant and you only come in here to be a pest.

There are literally thousands of variables that contribute to any given situation, imperialist intervention is just a big one so it gets talked about a lot.
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Postby dogdicksummer3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:12 pm

It'd take quite a lengthy post detailing different factors such as different eras, demographics or the fact USSR countries weren't even part of OECD, etc. and quality data is difficult to come across. But you'd have to go into different planned economies, the fact all these places were mostly illiterate rural peasant classes and how that factors in to Marxist theory.

It's good to have discussions if they're serious and people are willing to read or respond in kind. I posted a response this morning but deleted because this place is repellent and anything serious is just a big want fest.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:27 pm

198d__ wrote:People give you good answers (better than you deserve) you just don't argue in good faith. I used like 5 different sociological concepts above to supplement my position, you just ignore them. Western sabotage is just one of the contributing factors, not the only one. You know this, you're just willfully ignorant and you only come in here to be a pest.

There are literally thousands of variables that contribute to any given situation, imperialist intervention is just a big one so it gets talked about a lot.


I'm talking about signaling and the efficiency of markets. "Imperialism" is not an answer in that context. There's consensus that planned economies are not efficient in theory, and they've shown themselves to be inefficient in practice. I'm not saying Western interference wasn't a factor, of course it was. I'm saying there's no evidence Western interference or colonialism were determinative in preventing planned economies like the USSR from equaling the living standards created by comparatively open markets.
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Postby dogdicksummer3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:21 pm

I'll just say 20th century socialist projects were catastrophies and the only benefits of reading Marx is to understand capitalism. It's worth looking into why these revoltuions took place where they did, when they did and truly grasp how ambitious the project was. Even Smith was naive about human nature, so let's be honest.

There really isn't much good data on USSR standards of living outside of CIA that was actually used for honest reasons to understand and not just counter propaganda. There were massive successes at staggering human, ecological, etc. costs but so much efficiency and inability to subsidize almost everything while supporting dozens of satellite states.

I think it's pointless to debate that history and the left will be haunted by it until we can just admit it failed, horribly.

All the criticism of capitalism won't amount to much if there is no viable option provided or we don't move on from defending the indefensible. Understanding is one thing and it isn't so cut and dry but it's hard to defend.

We now live in a global capitalist society that is completely unsustainable. With everything wrong with command economies from price setting to resource allocation, the very concept of infinite growth is unsustainable. It is going to require collective action and responsibility to tackle the serious material problems of poverty, population, climate change, food, water scarcity, etc. as well as losing the moral and virtue ground to ethnic nationalism, neofascism, etc. which to my understanding, can't be solved by any amount of market liberalization. I'm more scared of the unimaginable body count and destruction at the end of this century than I am with the last.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:12 pm

I think all of that is true, although I would say that the progress achieved in the USSR and China (in literacy rates, healthcare improvements) can also be achieved by a managed capitalist economy, without equivalent costs.

The problem with a lot of the thinking in this thread is that people identify problems without identifying reasonable, practical, evidence-based solutions. The world has functional, stable social democracies that are based around capitalist markets and which are far more successful than any "free" or planned economy in meeting their citizens' needs. So to propose implementing a centralized economy as a solution, when it doesn't work in theory or in practice and we have successful alternatives, and to have this kind of snide attitude and willful ignorance behind it, is bizarre and unhelpful.
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Postby 198d__ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:19 pm

Sorley Boy wrote:I think all of that is true, although I would say that the progress achieved in the USSR and China (in literacy rates, healthcare improvements) can also be achieved by a managed capitalist economy, without equivalent costs.

The problem with a lot of the thinking in this thread is that people identify problems without identifying reasonable, practical, evidence-based solutions. The world has functional, stable social democracies that are based around capitalist markets and which are far more successful than any "free" or planned economy in meeting their citizens' needs. So to propose implementing a centralized economy as a solution, when it doesn't work in theory or in practice and we have successful alternatives, and to have this kind of snide attitude and willful ignorance behind it, is bizarre and unhelpful.

These magical places you speak of don't exist. I'm gonna need you to name one nation that meets your standards that doesn't benefit from neo-imperialism.

Every Western country is dependent on proletariat labor. Every. Single. One.
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Postby 198d__ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:20 pm

Your luxuries are given to you at the expense of the freedom of millions. Who do you think makes our fucking clothes and builds our washing machines?
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Postby refill » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:25 pm

Reading Iris Murdoch's Under the Net right now. I found this excerpt pretty funny...

Spoiler: show
‘It’s the whole framework that’s at stake. What’s the use of preventing a man from stumbling when he’s on a sinking ship?’
‘Because if he breaks his ankle he won’t be able to swim,’ I suggested.
‘But why try to save him from breaking his ankle if you can try to save him from losing his life?’
‘Because I know how to do the former but not the latter,’ I told him rather testily.
‘Well, let’s see, shall we?’ said Lefty, who had lost none of his eagerness.
He opened a brief-case and-produced a pile of pamphlets which he flicked through rapidly.
‘This is the one for you,’ he said, and held it up in front of me as if it were a mirror. In large letters on the cover was the question: Why have you LEFT POLITICS? and underneath: LEFT POLITICS needs you! At the bottom it said: price 6d. I began to fumble in my pocket.
‘No, you take it away, it’s a present,’ said Lefty; ‘in fact, we never sell these things. But if there’s a price on it people feel they’ve made a good bargain, and they read it. You look it over when you’ve got a quiet time tomorrow.’ And he thrust it inside my coat.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:30 pm

198d__ wrote:
Sorley Boy wrote:I think all of that is true, although I would say that the progress achieved in the USSR and China (in literacy rates, healthcare improvements) can also be achieved by a managed capitalist economy, without equivalent costs.

The problem with a lot of the thinking in this thread is that people identify problems without identifying reasonable, practical, evidence-based solutions. The world has functional, stable social democracies that are based around capitalist markets and which are far more successful than any "free" or planned economy in meeting their citizens' needs. So to propose implementing a centralized economy as a solution, when it doesn't work in theory or in practice and we have successful alternatives, and to have this kind of snide attitude and willful ignorance behind it, is bizarre and unhelpful.

These magical places you speak of don't exist. I'm gonna need you to name one nation that meets your standards that doesn't benefit from neo-imperialism.

Every Western country is dependent on proletariat labor. Every. Single. One.


I'm not sure what point you're making. That developed countries benefit from cheap labor? No shit. Again, don't just stomp your feet and identify a problem. You're not making economic arguments and you're not talking achievable solutions. Provide a viable, practical alternative that works in practice.
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Postby miketrout » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:31 pm

198d__ wrote:Your luxuries are given to you at the expense of the freedom of millions. Who do you think makes our fucking clothes and builds our washing machines?

Which makes his constant use of the OECD, an organization of euro/capitalist countries that’s built upon the exploitation of developing countries (of which have vehemently criticized th OECD), totally absurd.

Liberals don’t give a flying fuck about imperialism. It’s always obvious. To them it’s some millennial catch phrase grown out of community colleges (god forbid), all while ignoring voices from developing countries.

also, it’s another conversation to have, but the USSR also did some things right, and to call it a complete failure is nonsense.
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Postby 198d__ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:31 pm

It's adorable that you think social democracy has solved all class contradictions. You are incapable of thinking about the conditions of anyone but people who look like you. Scandinavian corporations utilize global south labor too, bud. Please remember THESE are the real victims of capitalism. Not you. Not me. I am concerned about the liberation of these people and I take their struggle for self-determination seriously. As long as the West exists in the capacity it does right now, that is impossible.
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Postby 198d__ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:37 pm

miketrout wrote:
198d__ wrote:Your luxuries are given to you at the expense of the freedom of millions. Who do you think makes our fucking clothes and builds our washing machines?

Which makes his constant use of the OECD, an organization of euro/capitalist countries that’s built upon the exploitation of developing countries (of which have vehemently criticized th OECD), totally absurd.

Liberals don’t give a flying fuck about imperialism. It’s always obvious. To them it’s some millennial catch phrase grown out of community colleges (god forbid), all while ignoring voices from developing countries.

also, it’s another conversation to have, but the USSR also did some things right, and to call it a complete failure is nonsense.

Straight the fuck up.
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Postby blackapache » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:39 pm

You're still kind of evading Sorley's line of questioning and being really adversarial about it.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:47 pm

198d__ wrote:It's adorable that you think social democracy has solved all class contradictions. You are incapable of thinking about the conditions of anyone but people who look like you. Scandinavian corporations utilize global south labor too, bud. Please remember THESE are the real victims of capitalism. Not you. Not me. I am concerned about the liberation of these people and I take their struggle for self-determination seriously. As long as the West exists in the capacity it does right now, that is impossible.


Ok man. But you're still not talking about economics. Maybe you have a study or a model showing, for instance, that reducing imperialism would have produced an improvement in Vietnamese living standards equivalent to the Doi Moi.
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Postby 198d__ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:54 pm

blackapache wrote:You're still kind of evading Sorley's line of questioning and being really adversarial about it.

Because he's assuming that I have the time or ability to lay out the "alternative." Whatever that means. I don't know, man. Read about these struggles from the people who actually experience them. I don't have all the answers, I'm just another American douche. I can recognize why problems exist, this doesn't mean I know what the developing world needs to do to change it. I don't think it's a coincidence that many have attempted a form of socialism, though. These are smart people and I can't speak on their behalf.

Like, he keeps saying "planned economies don't work in theory." Uh, do free-market economics "work?" What the fuck does that even mean? It's definitely not working for a lot of people.

I have no interest in talking about how great he thinks Finland is or whatever. It just doesn't matter all that much to me if he can't first acknowledge that the places he cites as "successful" are also imperialist and would not have the wealth they've accumulated without mass-exploitation. If we can't even agree on that, I can't humor any further discussion. I'm sorry.
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Postby dogdicksummer3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:56 pm

I think outside of historical educational purposes it's basically useless unless you use it towards building some foundation of idealism and as a way to exercise political power to make real material changes in the conditions of others lives. When people can't manage change in their local communities or organize effectively at a micro level, it's just fever dreams to conjure up ideas of global revolution.

I'd also just respond to that by saying that liberal democracies are fragile. They had played the role of barriers to the contemporary return of "free market" fundamentalism during our Keynesian years which are over. States are pretty quick to start abandoning human rights and social safety nets and our standard of living has mostly stagnated. People had to fight and die for half the shit we take for granted and are seeing stripped away. I don't think the current model is to be taken as the final step or what Fukuyama called "The End of History". We're seeing some major threats to them now between the varied serious economic and social factors we always talk about.

I'd like to know what you see capitalist markets on their current trajectory doing for reasonable and practical solutions to climate, automation, biogenetics, water scarcity, population, inequality, etc? We're on the cusp of radical transformations in global society and I think it will take some heavy collective responsibility to take these problems seriously before we can do anything about it. Strong educated electorates and a return to organized collective responsibility are the only way out in my mind. Otherwise I think we run the risk of conceding and give up any prospect of having any say in how society should be operated of it's major problems addressed. I'm for the intelligentsia, experts and elites to actually have sway on public opinion, inform and direct, but that's threatened now too. It's going to take people getting serious...

I'll toss in a favorite graph for fun. It's actually getting a better a bit while western populations recede but still the same scenario.

Image
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Postby 198d__ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:59 pm

Sorley Boy wrote:
198d__ wrote:It's adorable that you think social democracy has solved all class contradictions. You are incapable of thinking about the conditions of anyone but people who look like you. Scandinavian corporations utilize global south labor too, bud. Please remember THESE are the real victims of capitalism. Not you. Not me. I am concerned about the liberation of these people and I take their struggle for self-determination seriously. As long as the West exists in the capacity it does right now, that is impossible.


Ok man. But you're still not talking about economics. Maybe you have a study or a model showing, for instance, that reducing imperialism would have produced an improvement in Vietnamese living standards equivalent to the Doi Moi.

I'm not concerned about things that didn't actually happen. Imperialism exists and I analyze the world based on that. But if we're just bullshitting? Yeah I think the world would be a better place had imperialism not been a thing.

Okay Sorely Boy. Lay out your brilliant economic model that's going to end exploitation and world suffering. We're ready!
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Postby dogdicksummer3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:06 pm

It became a concern to liberals when we figured out the world is at stake when the rest of the world wants to drive cars, eat meat three meals a day and enjoy our standard of living..
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Postby 198d__ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:18 pm

I think I've found the major roadblock here.

I don't deny that life is mostly good for people in these free market + social welfare states. That model works great for the inhabitants of those countries. But at the cost of what? Sorely seems to believe that developing nations are poor simply because they haven't implemented the correct system or governmental style. This is false.

The argument is not over whether or not Sweden is a cool place to live. It is. The argument I'm making is that it is not a realistic or attainable goal for developing nations. Both cannot exist in the same capacity at the same time because they're inherently contradictory.
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Postby immortalrites » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:25 pm

I think he's just doing the whole rising tide lifts all boats thing.
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Postby dogdicksummer3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:29 pm

Image

Correspond to my other graph. The data going back further is more revealing.
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Postby Sorley Boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:34 pm

198d__ wrote:I think I've found the major roadblock here.

I don't deny that life is mostly good for people in these free market + social welfare states. That model works great for the inhabitants of those countries. But at the cost of what? Sorely seems to believe that developing nations are poor simply because they haven't implemented the correct system or governmental style. This is false.

The argument is not over whether or not Sweden is a cool place to live. It is. The argument I'm making is that it is not a realistic or attainable goal for developing nations. Both cannot exist in the same capacity at the same time because they're inherently contradictory.


Why is it not attainable? Norway was one of the poorest countries in Europe until very recently. China and Vietnam are far wealthier than they used to be. There's nothing inherently contradictory in comparative advantage.
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Postby Ortho Stice » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:55 pm

Sorley Boy wrote:
198d__ wrote:I think I've found the major roadblock here.

I don't deny that life is mostly good for people in these free market + social welfare states. That model works great for the inhabitants of those countries. But at the cost of what? Sorely seems to believe that developing nations are poor simply because they haven't implemented the correct system or governmental style. This is false.

The argument is not over whether or not Sweden is a cool place to live. It is. The argument I'm making is that it is not a realistic or attainable goal for developing nations. Both cannot exist in the same capacity at the same time because they're inherently contradictory.


Why is it not attainable? Norway was one of the poorest countries in Europe until very recently. China and Vietnam are far wealthier than they used to be. There's nothing inherently contradictory in comparative advantage.


I wonder if that had something to do with them realizing in the 60's that they were perched atop an ocean of oil and natural gas.
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Postby spsp » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:05 pm

I'm glad this thread is back for the time being.
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Postby dogdicksummer3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:12 pm

Whatcha guys think of Xi Jinping?
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Postby Sorley Boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:22 pm

Ortho Stice wrote:
Sorley Boy wrote:
198d__ wrote:I think I've found the major roadblock here.

I don't deny that life is mostly good for people in these free market + social welfare states. That model works great for the inhabitants of those countries. But at the cost of what? Sorely seems to believe that developing nations are poor simply because they haven't implemented the correct system or governmental style. This is false.

The argument is not over whether or not Sweden is a cool place to live. It is. The argument I'm making is that it is not a realistic or attainable goal for developing nations. Both cannot exist in the same capacity at the same time because they're inherently contradictory.


Why is it not attainable? Norway was one of the poorest countries in Europe until very recently. China and Vietnam are far wealthier than they used to be. There's nothing inherently contradictory in comparative advantage.


I wonder if that had something to do with them realizing in the 60's that they were perched atop an ocean of oil and natural gas.


So is Russia. So is Venezuela. Ireland wasn't and experienced similar growth.
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Postby spsp » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:26 pm

I'd like evidence for this claim, “The poorest people in market-based economies live infinitely better than the poorest in planned economies.“ Unless I missed it.
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Postby immortalrites » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:39 pm

dogdicksummer3 wrote:Whatcha guys think of Xi Jinping?


He's an interesting figure for sure. The extreme nationalism, military expansion, imperialism etc sucks real bad though. I've seen some random folks online thinking that China as the leading superpower (as opposed to the US) will foster or at least be sympathetic toward socialist projects globally but I don't believe that at all.
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