Prosthetic Conscience wrote:Yes, really. Spending on elections in Europe is a fraction of that in the USA.
That just means the influence of corporations happens in other ways. Otherwise, you don't really end up electing Emmanuel Macron or Angela Merkel again and again.
Prosthetic Conscience wrote:That makes a huge difference.
Yes, but you don't have a 1st Amendment guaranteeing political speech nor a 14th Amendment making all persons equal--including corporations. So in the United States, corporations have free speech rights.
QatzelOk wrote:For me, Marx was the one who best expressed the importance of an economy based on respecting each human beings sovereignty, rather than "giving" most people's sovereignty to a Master figure. He was not the first to describe what a moral economy might look like, but he was the most succinct and thorough in his day (and ours).
I wouldn't disparage all of his analysis. I would disparage so many other problems he ignored, his myopia, and I would disparage his prescriptions.
Ckaihatsu wrote:Why don't you apply this personalist kind of analysis to *Trump*, whose *politics* itself are personalist -- ?
What makes you think I don't. I pretty much said that many leaders are psychopaths (as distinguished from sociopaths). I'm fine characterizing Trump as a narcissist. I think Obama is too.
Ckaihatsu wrote:What is society *for*, except for *people*, of all kinds, ultimately -- ?
Marxism oversimplifies. Marx ignored other significant problems that can wax and wane as well. In fact, another significant left winger came to power in Germany--Adolf Hitler--who also despised individualism, capitalism, and democracy. However, he was at war with an aspect of capitalism that Marx hadn't dealt with--massive unemployment. Marx was dealing with much of the early industrial revolution--the rapid move of the population from rural areas to cities, poor living conditions in hastily built urban slums, and industrialists pocketing profits rather than improving the wages of low-skilled workers. So the class divide was rather stark--physically, much more so than today. How much better off physically is Jeff Bezos than a typical middle class person? He eats much finer foods, but better? He lives in a much finer house, but heat, AC, running water and sewage are again universal in the 80/20 sense of the word. A poor person back then didn't have enough to eat, was over worked and underpaid. A poor person in 1932 was unemployed and getting hungry and had cash that became worthless. A chronically poor person today is unemployed, and drug/alcohol addicted, mentally ill, an anti-social personality, or fairly low IQ. What good do billions of dollars do for Steve Jobs and his pancreatic cancer, or Paul Allen and his cancer? It helped doctors offering snake oil at best. It's not entirely an issue of a monetary-based class divide. There are other significant attendant factors.
Boring. Pitting races against each other is a classic divide and conquer strategy. So is calling people racist.
Ckaihatsu wrote:It's called 'Google Translate', and 'Wikipedia' -- look into it:
That's like Biden telling people to "learn to code," when there is no way he'd be able to do so himself. So why not take this stance with the poor? "It's called a job. Look into it."
QatzelOk wrote:The reason Marxism seemed (and seems) "revolutinary" is because of the deep hole that revolutionary capitalism, monarchy, and other elitisms had dug for the human race by the 19th Century. He describes the damage that greed-bag slave-owner "revolutionaries" (that includes Christopher Columbus and Bill Gates) had had on human lives.
Christopher Columbus and Bill Gates are hardly comparable. Columbus was looking for an untaxed route to the West Indies, because Islam had taken over the Silk Road and the route across Suez and they figured there was a cheaper route than going completely around the Cape of Africa. The discovery of natives and subsequent enslavement of peoples is essentially incidental to what the explorers were initially trying to do.
Bill Gates simply got control of a computer operating system that became dominant. He's known for minting many, many, many millionaires and perhaps unfair competition practices against other capitalists. He's not known for running sweat shops and grossly underpaying people.
QatzelOk wrote:He could see the damage by looking at the British working class and its Dickensian hellscape.
Yes, but that's my point about Gates, Jobs, Bezos, et. al. They can certainly be characterized as assholes to at least some people, but they weren't known for running Dickensian hell scapes. The kind of work they employed people doing didn't even really requires workers compensation and disability insurance, because it was completely non-dangerous--except maybe repetitive stress/carpal tunnel syndrome in some cases.
QatzelOk wrote:Do you think the Covid-reset-Internet-isolation "4th Industrial revolution" will be any kinder to its slave classes than British capitalism was to its own citizens?
No, but it is not being pushed by a run-of-the-mill business owner. It's being pushed by communists and neoliberals.
QatzelOk wrote:And didn't we get - over the course of a few centures of slavery and genocide - to smartphone-slavery via well-marketed revolutions that concentrated wealth?
Smart phone slavery? This is a very different issue. The only economic argument that works here is that firms like Google and Apple control the App stores and who can and who cannot participate, including creating their own app stores. That's where anti-trust needs to focus in the smart phone world. The rest of it is about gathering information on customers and selling it to businesses. When you are using free stuff on the internet, you're not the consumer; you're the product.
Ckaihatsu wrote:Point taken, but obviously what's happening right now, with the prolonged economic stagnation (GDP) and coronavirus pandemic, is that the ruling class is having to *simplify* and *needs time* -- the world situation is becoming *too complex* for them to handle with the typical U.S.-empire-and-international-patchwork approach, and 'autopilot' isn't a solution either (risk-death-at-work-for-our-profits).
Well, I can certainly agree that they are obsolete and it is obvious. I just don't see socialism being able to replace any of it. It's mostly a problem of a hivemind/oligarchy we can call neoliberalism. You are pretty well indoctrinated into some of its tropes in calling me racist. The elite have tried to prevent a competition for power and a competition for ideas.
Is it a horrible idea for European and North American populations to travel among themselves? It's not so bad. Yet, we've learned a horrible lesson from China, and this isn't the first time. Even the Black Death came out of there. We've seen big Ebola outbreaks in Africa. China can declare itself a super power, but that's just a lie they are telling themselves. They can't even run a country that doesn't spread infectious diseases to the entire world, so they can hardly be called a first world nation.
America is too religious? Try the Middle East. The West was pretty religious itself until it's belief in God was destroyed by two world wars.
I'm not sure I agree with annatar1914 that revolutionaries are strictly nihilists. Old orders die and they get replaced by new ones. However, that's often because of technological changes. The American revolution was possible in part because of a nascent industrial revolution and the enlightenment, but also because there was more real estate and resources to exploit than people to exploit it. The industrial revolution catapulted that rise in living standards forward, and continues to do so for most people. Now we are in an information revolution.
I distinctly remember telling a now very wealthy boss that Global Crossing meant outsourcing of call centers and customer service. He looked me dead in the eye and said, "that'll never happen." It did. That was in the late 1990s. Industrial workers were told that some jobs would be lost, but others would replace them. That didn't happen for a lot of people both in North America and in Europe. Nationalism is very much the antidote to that problem.
Ckaihatsu wrote:Those in the tech faction see 'AI' as being a direction for *streamlining* -- which is what technology *does* -- so as to lighten the management load (supply chains), but I'm questioning whether it's really a *logistics* issue, or if it's really a *social organization* issue, meaning balkanized private interests (company-by-company, in any given industry), in which case all the tech options in the world *won't* have any impact, because it won't relieve the *political* standoffs (like U.S. vs. Iran, etc.).
Well, it can create social stratifications with hiveminds and groupthink on a class level ("Racist!"). So I think you have a point, but again socialism isn't the answer.
Last night, I watched The Outpost
about a combat outpost in Afghanistan. The disconnects between soldiers on the ground and senior officers was astonishing. Of course, I read the book and it was naturally better than the movie. However, the neoliberals like the marxists only see the world filtered through an ideology. So you've probably heard former General Mattis counsel Joe Biden to get rid of "American first" in the US national security strategy. What kind of moronic idea is that? Well, it's not unlike the leadership that put combat outposts at the bottom of ravines, ceding the tactical high ground to the enemy and leaving soldiers in a completely indefensible position in order to "win hearts and minds" in a country where killing a woman, and blaming it on American soldiers so you can try to get some money out of them is socially acceptable, because women are worth less than farm animals.
The so-called elite are not elite. They are out of touch. Abstraction is a controlled form of ignorance. Elitism is just plain ignorance.
Looked at from a supply chain issue, if you only look at things from the standpoint of profit margins, it might make sense to outsource ALL of your antibiotics manufacturing to China. It might make sense to outsource all of your binding agent manufacturing to China, like hydrochloride for example. Yet, it looks pretty fucking moronic when coronavirus hits--ironically from China--and all of your medical supply chain is over there. What if Covid killed all the Chinese workers and those supply chains completely stopped. We saw the hording behavior for PPE.
Yet, comparative advantage is well known and has been well understood for a very long time. So has risk diversification. Yet, these so-called elites thought it was a good idea to move all of that stuff to China.
Why are drug and vaccine lifecycles so long? Is it all about public safety? No. It's about raising barriers to entry too. In that sense, Trump's efforts to cut regulations to expedite vaccine delivery has been nothing short of miraculous; yet, the same establishment that put so little protection on the spread of communicable diseases and put so many regulations in place to protect their market positions ultimately blamed Trump as though he was somehow responsible for covid.
Covid is going to change many things. Very soon, you will no longer see toll takers on bridges or toll roads. That's one of those jobs featherbedding things that could have been done away with by technology 15-20 years ago. Yet, those are all high-paying, low skill political patronage jobs. California is talking about implementing a per-mile tax, because gas tax revenues have collapsed and will likely stay collapsed for the foreseeable future.
The governor of California has implemented a curfew in areas from like 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. as though covid likes to spread more in those hours. There is just very clearly a lack of a strong scientific foundation for the decisions made by our ruling class. Since the echo chamber of the media only reflects what they say, they seem to have no clue that people increasingly hate them. So I do see revolutionary forces brewing. It's just not going to be a communist revolution.
"We have put together the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics."
-- Joe Biden