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>> No. 95183 Anonymous
9th January 2022
Sunday 6:18 pm
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tl;dr rich getting richer, poor getting poorer, middle class is getting eroded, minimal hope for young generations unless they stand to inherit wealth

Is there a way out?
Expand all images.
>> No. 95184 Anonymous
9th January 2022
Sunday 6:43 pm
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I find it interesting to consider what the authors mean by "democracy", in articles like this one. Call me a cynic, but it seems apparent to me, and certainly in America's case, that what we live in is anything but democratic. In terms of living standards and social mobility, things have been in free fall since at least the crisis of 2008, if not far longer, and our freedoms have been increasingly eroded with the rise of the Internet panopticon, under a climate of post 9/11 hysteria.

Instead, "democracy" seems to stand in as an entirely nebulous but fundamental, catch all term for a certain set of relatively liberal, ostensibly meritocratic, and most importantly of all, economically free market values. When they say "democracy", it means the political consensus of The West running the world, of "nice" politicians like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, of being The Good Guys. There's a lot of worry about the "squeezed middle" in American discourse, because they're the people who "played by the rules", they did as they were told and they feel short changed that they're not getting what they were promised; but there's rarely acknowledgement of the lower rungs of society for whom the game has been rigged for decades. The bit that's going to be particularly hard to swallow for those people is when they find themselves part of the same underclass.

This quote:

>the economic legacy of the last decade is 'excessive corporate consolidation, a massive transfer of wealth to the top one per cent from the middle class.

is almost on the money, although I suspect not for the reasons it thinks. Within a handful of generations I feel we will have reached a situation where the idea of middle class as we know it, a lifestyle of relative security that is at least obtainable to your average pleb with enough hard work, will be unattainable. Obsolete. Surplus to requirement. Instead, to be middle class will be more like just the lower ranks of the elite- The outer party, if you're fond of the Orwell comparisons, while the vast majority of everyone else is a prole. The irony, of course, is that so many those turkeys applauded every step of the road that brought them to thanksgiving dinner.

In general though I agree we are at an immensely rare crossroads in history. There are a lot of technological, social, and political trends all mixing together in a very volatile pot, stoked by the impact of a global pandemic. The trouble is I don't see any of it going especially well for your average person.
>> No. 95185 Anonymous
9th January 2022
Sunday 7:55 pm
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Yes, people just have to fight for it.
>> No. 95186 Anonymous
9th January 2022
Sunday 8:46 pm
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>Is there a way out?
There is one way, but it doesn't seem to be half as popular as you'd expect.

>In general though I agree we are at an immensely rare crossroads in history.
People have been saying that since 2008. And somehow, nobody has done anything except for the people who have made things worse. I don't know how they did it, but somehow they have made uprisings obsolete. Instead, the people just go along with whatever they get. It's weird.
>> No. 95187 Anonymous
9th January 2022
Sunday 8:48 pm
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Have you read 'why liberalism failed' lad?

I think it touches on some of your points.

>> No. 95188 Anonymous
9th January 2022
Sunday 8:48 pm
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Have you read 'why liberalism failed' lad?

I think it touches on some of your points.

>> No. 95189 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 3:56 am
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The way out would seem to be obvious to me: tax hikes, nationalisations and legislation to pre-empt the drift towards a full rentier economy. (No, you can't rent people cutlery, cutlery is for owning.) You can argue that has various downsides, of course, but I'm happy to monkey's paw this because the one thing sticking to that path would do is avoid our present path.
But there's a naiveté in that suggestion, which is to imagine that the state is on 'our' side. The real change in the 1980s was that we decided it was no longer appropriate for the state to try to veto market outcomes, even though Democracy is meaningless without the ability to vote to materially change your circumstances for the better.

But as a continued belief in the idea Government might be brought back to "our" side still exists, it's odd that after lamenting the obvious misallocation of economic resources towards monopoly-tech company elites, the article should fear that
>People around the world, particularly the young, no longer embrace the basic notion of self-government. A majority of young Americans now favour large-scale government intervention in the economy; about a third call themselves socialists.
When the market itself is transparently failing, indeed when the inevitability of that failure can be explained with a simple chart showing how network effects work (more users mean a more valuable service), and when the 1990s period of freewheeling competition in Silicon Valley can be countered with a Simpsons clip of Bill Gates 'buying out' Homer Simpson. (Ah, but Microsoft was in Redmond, and this isn't a true free market.) The US government is the only thing with the heft to put a stop to it, but you can't do that - that's socialism - so I guess we're just stuck renting spoons from Tim Cook.

On that conception of Democracy there's a Peter Mandelson quote
>No serious challenge on the Left exists to Third Way thinking anywhere in the world. This is hardly surprising as globalisation punishes hard any country that tries to run its economy by ignoring the realities of the market or prudent public finances. In this strictly narrow sense, and in the urgent need to remove rigidities and incorporate flexibility in capital, product and labour markets, we are all "Thatcherite" now.
Which always leaves me wondering: Then what is the point of Democracy? Is it just to have a fun little opinion poll on social issues every now and then? To split the difference on administrative disputes between public-private partnerships and private-public partnerships? Just a legitimation ritual for a set of practically identical enlightened philosopher-kings?
It seems incredible to me that it comes so naturally to accept that it's legitimate that a vote to "ignore the realities of the Market" will be punished when practically all serious politics involves meddling in market outcomes. But it's very ideologically revealing - it doesn't take too much staring to realise that a trade union isn't a legitimate free market entity like a company taking advantage of a natural monopoly, a trade union is a "labour market rigidity"...
>> No. 95190 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 8:50 am
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The world's pre-eminent economic superpower is communist. Leftists in the west refuse to even acknowledge this, because it doesn't resemble their imagined communist utopia where The Noble Proletariat have eliminated all problems through sheer force of solidarity.

Unless we're willing to learn from the successes of China, we're doomed to failure. They provide a clear path for a credible left-wing alternative - a modern left based on national ambition, engineering-centric leadership and the will to build. They've established an effective social contract between government and business, with rights and responsibilities on both sides. China turned half-derelict fishing villages into global economic hubs and we can do it too, but only if we have the gumption to try.
>> No. 95191 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 1:06 pm
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You have failed to understand why uprisings happen. And therefore assume they can't. You can bleed people into absolute misery and distort ideals from their original intent to mean the exact opposite as long as you do it over a prolonged period to normalise it. As long as there is bread and circus the status quo is fine. You want a revolution, shut down Tesco's for a week.

All of the revolutionary rhetoric is co-opted by people completely divorced from actual needs, they don't care about the fact that we are being bleed dry by vampiric overlords all they care about is that the vampire has a nice pair of tits and a natural tan.

You'd be hard pressed to find any got honest socialism in a left wing activism group now.
>> No. 95192 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 1:57 pm
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>Leftists in the west refuse to even acknowledge this, because it doesn't resemble their imagined communist utopia

No lad. It's because if I started calling my car a boat, that wouldn't change the fact it's a fucking car, would it.
>> No. 95193 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 2:05 pm
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Yet if a dog is born in a stable we call it a horse.
>> No. 95194 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 2:31 pm
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"It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, if it catches mice it is a good cat."
>> No. 95195 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 2:54 pm
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All cats are bastards. Mice of all nations, unite!
>> No. 95196 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 3:26 pm
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I am willing to suggest that nobody really wants a Soviet-style communist state. What most people want is a Scandinavian "OMG you can't do that it's communism!!!" state. But even that seems to be unattainable through democratic means, which certainly feels suspicious at times.
>> No. 95197 Anonymous
10th January 2022
Monday 4:12 pm
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If you want an unorthodox angle on it, you're just talking about "old Labour" - the old Labour that actually existed, rather than the kindly welfarist one we "remember". The export-oriented industrial economy advocates who had to build a national economy in the aftermath of WW2, the ones who tried to find a way to have government push some initiative onto lazy old-boy-network British capitalism. The ones who oversaw an economy where the army still got more money than Education. And of course, the ones who oversaw a firmly capitalist economy. (Little remembered that the reason we nationalised Steel wasn't a Leninist belief in workers owning the means of production, it was a belief that the private owners made terrible managers - better to just pay them the fair market value of their industry to twiddle their thumbs...)
The path to get there is a bit different - China was clearly looking to Singapore, Taiwan and Japan rather than to Britain, and they actually succeeded where we tripped up. (In part because they set realistic goals, starting with a backwater and advancing - while we started from an advanced economy and felt bad that other advanced economies were catching up.) But the end results are similar enough, the only stand-out difference being their position on manipulating the value of the currency.
>> No. 95198 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 2:56 pm
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Being wilfully wrong about something doesn't make it right.
>> No. 95199 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 3:39 pm
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To the gulag with you!
>> No. 95200 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 5:16 pm
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Deng Xiaoping obviously can't be a communist. He improved the lives of hundreds of millions of ordinary people through state action, that's the literal opposite of communism.
>> No. 95201 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 5:30 pm
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It's really not that hard, thicklads.

The Chinese Communist Party was communist up until what, the late 70s? Large scale industrialisation did a lot to improve people's lives, and also things like the purges and mental stuff like those radicalised schoolkids also happened. After that, however, it pivoted to state capitalism, and it's literally just an extremely authoritarian capitalist state.

Look at the difference in rivalry between the USA and China, versus the rivalry between the USA and the Soviet Union. On face value it appears similar, but under the surface it's much worse for the Yanks regarding China than it ever was with the So-vee-yets- China is beating them at their own game. America thought it was the dom, but it turns out China is a dom breaker in the process of pulling a reversal, and America was a paper tiger all along.

Where it gets complex is if you're a hardcore tankie who defends China's idea of "communism" as a necessary step along the road to full transition or whatever. There's some merit to the argument certainly. But for me, it's pretty simple if you want to use the actual definition of the word. China isn't communist. It is ex-communist.
>> No. 95202 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 6:42 pm
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What is socialism and what is Marxism? We were not quite clear about this in the past. Marxism attaches utmost importance to developing the productive forces. We have said that socialism is the primary stage of communism and that at the advanced stage the principle of from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs will be applied. This calls for highly developed productive forces and an overwhelming abundance of material wealth. Therefore, the fundamental task for the socialist stage is to develop the productive forces. The superiority of the socialist system is demonstrated, in the final analysis, by faster and greater development of those forces than under the capitalist system. As they develop, the people's material and cultural life will constantly improve. One of our shortcomings after the founding of the People's Republic was that we didn't pay enough attention to developing the productive forces. Socialism means eliminating poverty. Pauperism is not socialism, still less communism. - Deng Xiaoping
>> No. 95203 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 7:35 pm
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Oh right sorry, I forgot Deng Xiaoping is the man who gets to decide the definitions of words. If he says it it must be true. I mean. It's not as if he's obviously going to say that because was in his interest to do so, is it.

Would you do this the other way around if Joseph Stalin had always insisted the USSR was capitalist, contrary to all evidence? You fucking nuggets.
>> No. 95204 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 8:06 pm
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Discussions about Communism always seem to come back to a language game. Communism as a state of being versus communism as an end goal. We say people were living "under communism" in the USSR, because they had a Communist party government. The Soviets themselves said "Our children will live under communism!" - a future yet to come, because the Communist party had the aim of building the conditions for communism in the long run. But it's always about words and what words really mean, and who's using words wrong. You'll never see it break down to a lawyerly discussion where everything is tortuously described in detail to avoid ambiguity, rather than just being slapped with as broad a symbol as "Communism" and then fought over when people's definition punch-cards don't line up properly.

Not a bad post, but there's still a problem of terminology. "State Capitalism" is often used to describe something more like the Soviet style command economy, the broad type that Mao oversaw when China was "actually communist" - what Deng and pals brought in is more like the mixed economy, a capitalist economy with asterisks like we've got hanging over the NHS.

Trotsky went around insisting the USSR was capitalist. Granted, Stalin evidentially didn't like that one bit. Lenin also argued positively for state capitalism in the earlier part of the USSR's existence.
>> No. 95205 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 8:42 pm
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It sounds to me like Deng Xiaoping considers capitalism a temporary stage in achieving "full communism".

1) The government owns everything, and manages it better than squabbling capitalists so the country becomes really productive
2) The country is really productive, and those profits go back into the means of production, which on some level is the people running those industries
3) Then everything is so productive that everyone has everything they need, and universal happiness is achieved

But now I guess people will argue over the differences between "full communism" and "post-scarcity replicators like in Star Trek". I don't watch Star Trek because I'm not a gaylord so I'll have to watch that bit from the sidelines.
>> No. 95206 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 8:53 pm
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>Trotsky went around insisting the USSR was capitalist. Granted, Stalin evidentially didn't like that one bit.

As far as I can tell, nobody really liked Are Leon all that much. Not sure what the beef was mind you, because I'm not enough of a nerd to have read up on him yet.

>Lenin also argued positively for state capitalism in the earlier part of the USSR's existence.

I think Lenin was more towards that OG Marxist type of sentiment that communism has to come about as the inevitable end-point transformation of capitalism itself, or else it will fail. I tend to agree with that. The trouble with most communist countries throughout history is that they forced it in too soon, when those countries were barely industrialised before it.
>> No. 95207 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 9:07 pm
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Stalin believed in "socialism in one country": if you can achieve glorious communism in your own country, all the other countries will follow suit when they see how good it is, so you don't need to go interfering in their business until then.

Trotsky preferred "permanent revolution": seize every opportunity to bring every country closer to communism, so that they eventually all become communist around the same time.


So yes, Trotsky sounds like he had the potential to have been even more of a madman than Stalin was, crazy though that seems.
>> No. 95208 Anonymous
13th January 2022
Thursday 7:27 am
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>it pivoted to state capitalism
>an extremely authoritarian capitalist state.
>China isn't communist. It is ex-communist.

State capitalism isn't a real thing though, it's a distraction. Capitalism is private ownership, communism is public ownership. State capitalism means the state (the public) in control of the capital. Essentially, when communism becomes authoritarian, call it 'state capitalism' so it doesn't look bad. As we did with that German politician from the 30s and 40s.


The randy Scandi socialism thing is a bit of a myth, in part they're currently more free market than the USA. They did have a very socialist period in the 70s or 80s.

Some of these things are cultural and the overlap is weird. Sweden's response to COVID is more like that of a red-state, but people in Sweden are more compliant and trusting of their government as they're more collective culturally.
>> No. 95226 Anonymous
14th January 2022
Friday 6:41 pm
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Somewhat ironic that this article was posted on the same week that a consortium of doctors and academics decided to try to take down Joe Rogan.
>> No. 95227 Anonymous
14th January 2022
Friday 7:01 pm
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>No no no, you see, words mean what they mean when I like what they mean, if nit then they don't.

Ah, well then that settles the issue.

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