Cuba has proven that capitalism and technology are failures - Page 75 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15088435
skinster wrote:It was the U.S. govt that demanded a private doctor.

Anyway, not sure what that has to do with you being wrong about Cubans being able to travel, but perhaps you being wrong will give you some humility so you can think twice about demonising Cuba like you do.


Nice way to evade. We'll talk about this when Cuba starts issuing passports to law abiding citizens, regardless of the economic demands from the state :)
#15088589
wat0n wrote:And Cuba doesn't...? Nowadays it's not as centralized as it used to be, but the country falls rather squarely into the authoritarian sphere.


No, not as far as I can tell.

Indeed, you shouldn't need healthcare ever - and that's precisely my point. Some sectors of the population (e.g. young adults) may have different views on how much healthcare, or health insurance, they want. I find it likely that most would rather have a slightly worse healthcare system in exchange for more of almost everything else.

One might also wonder if healthcare would realistically become worse if Cuba went for a more explicitly mixed system, if such system fostered more economic growth.


Regardless of whether or not someone should need healthcare is unimportant. The fact is that we all need it and we do not know when or how we will need it.

That's usually not the case, except when regulations are poor or almost non-existent.

https://economics.mit.edu/files/2093
https://blogs.worldbank.org/development ... -end-users

But when a government is having trouble to organize a stable supply, I'd say it's adequate to begin thinking about using the private sector for it. Maybe governments will have an easier time as regulators rather than producers.


I read the first source, and while it provides examples of countries that experienced some benefits of privatisation of electrical services, it does not provide a comparison showing that private sector electricity works better.

True, although it would be greater than places like Puerto Rico.


PR, as a territory of the USA, should have an infant mortality rate as good as any developed country.

If you wish to compare Cuba to the developed world instead of the developing world, you are implicitly arguing that Cuba’s healthcare system is comparable to the developed world.

The problem with that is that you can find countries that have demographics that are not massively different from those of France, Italy or Spain that have been able to manage the situation much better. Some of those have Beveridge systems, others have more decentralized Bismarckian systems.

Likewise, outside Europe countries with more privatized healthcare systems are also being more effective at containing the virus, while others that have healthcare systems that are more similar to the French, Spanish or Italian systems are also doing better than they are.

The main difference, by far, is that countries that have a lower bodycount reacted more swiftly. Which makes a lot of sense since an epidemic will show an exponential-like expansion in cases in the early stages.


How is Cuba doing in comparison to Caribbean and Central American countries?
#15088612
Julian658 wrote:
Besides believing in equality this is the other hole with many on the left. They think that if they apply equal nurturing to all they can produce similar results in all. The good old blank slate (tabula rasa) theory. Do you have children? Brothers? Sisters? Family? Humans inherit personality traits, ability to learn, athletic talent, height, eye color, etc, ect. Why would they only inherit physical traits and not behavior traits? This does not mean that every gifted athlete has a gifted son or that a genius has a genius for a son. There is always a tendency for the mean or average when it comes to talent. I could spend a lifetime practicing golf and I will never be a pro. I simply was not born with the gifts needed to be that good.



Hmmmm, I think this is rather *obsessive* with *personal ability* -- as I mentioned already, in any real-world *workplace* situation, the individual's talents / skills / role is rapidly *reduced* in relative significance, especially under the modern assembly-line method, so this concern / line of yours is quite *circumscribed* and misplaced -- I think it only applies to sporting tournaments, and the like.


Julian658 wrote:
I have five children and I worked real hard to gave them the best opportunities. They all came out different despite similar conditions at home. I studied them and could see members of my family and my wife's family on them. I don't want to sound like I am gleeful about this. I would start here:

[img]https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41k43T6FjAL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg[img]

Steve Pinker is a renowned Harvard professor and a lefty, not on the right. I suspect that if you assimilate this new knowledge it could create faults in your marxist worldview. No worries, just recalibrate.



Well, since we're on a *discussion board*, why don't *you* explain the point that you're trying to get across? It sounds like the *genetic*-determinist line, which I just heard from TTP over at the 'mingy' thread. I'll ask the same thing of you that I asked of TTP, which is what do you think the *proportion* of determination is, between genetics ('nature'), and upbringing ('nurture')? Is it 60/40? 70/30?

I'll add, that, with the addition of life-experience since my past experience of *schooling*, I myself would *add* another component to this nature-nurture balance, that of *individual self-determination*, or 'free will', or 'problem solving'. With hindsight I find it incredible that the individual's own *agency* isn't included in this nature-nurture formulation of personhood -- offhand maybe the disinclusion is an artifact of the adolescent-oriented schooling setting itself (?).


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ckaihatsu wrote:
Beyond that, in more of a *political* context, it really *shouldn't matter* what any one person knows or doesn't-know at any given instant of time, because if society were fully collectivized, as with socialism, then cooperation and coordination would be *boundless*, and it would be the realtime *situation* that would be the socially organizing dynamic, pulling people together without regard to geography (or private or state interest), thus *collectivizing knowledge*, if Wikipedia or its successors (the written record) happened to be insufficient at that point.



Julian658 wrote:
No big deal to me. I believe in the not so distant future humans may have implants with all the world knowledge at their fingertips. However, your words gave me a flashback of the Borg.



I don't think that *realtime* access to entries of knowledge is so crucial -- the *real world* certainly doesn't play-out in realtime. Doubtlessly this kind of technology would be available -- if it isn't already -- in the future, and some people may choose to use it, but for what realistic ends I can't imagine.

You're only looking at it *technologically*, though, and not in terms of *social organization*, which is more-to-the-point. I would use our common discussion-board experience here at PoFo as a prototypical example of what I'm talking about.


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ckaihatsu wrote:
The way things are now people often have to *specialize* in their knowledge, for their careers (academia, etc.), so they / we often become like *living institutions*, unfortunately, all for the purpose of perceived job security. (See the novel 'Fahrenheit 451' for a dystopian extension of this.)



Julian658 wrote:
There is saying: Specialists do it better. But, in any event AI will take care of that.



Well, this is precisely where we have differences of opinion and approach -- it's only because of *capitalism* that 'knowledge' and 'skill' is formally socially individuated into individuals, treated as living commodities in the labor market.

A simple counter-example to this individuated approach would simply be *any book*, website, or *Wikipedia*, in which certain knowledge, information, and even wisdom, is *abstracted* into the written word, image, and video, no longer requiring any living person for its propagation (arguably).

AI, basically being a hyper-powered *statistical analysis*, is still just a *tool*, and can be considered to be an extension of any given abstracted information, or data. AI systems *don't* have to be treated socially as being self-aware -- they're not -- and even if someone *does* simulate self-awareness in such a system, the rest of humanity is in no way *obligated* to treat such a simulation as *being* self-aware and as an individual person-like entity with civil rights, etc.

Bourgeois culture, though, has already done this for *corporations*, 'corporate personhood', which is problematic enough in and of itself.


Julian658 wrote:
The culmination of capitalism is socialism. However, it happens differently and not as you envision it.



You have a *crystal ball*?? Please tell us how this all plays out, and also, you got any hot stock picks?


= D


Julian658 wrote:
This is already been done by capitalism. For the first time in world history the poor have an obesity problem. I know it sounds callous, but certainly represents excess calories which was never the hallmark of poverty.



You're acting as though there's no more starvation, anywhere in the world, and yet it still exists, despite all of capitalism's overproduction, and your condescending attitude towards the poor. The reason isn't a lack of the *bulk availability* of commodity production, but rather it's the market mechanism's lack of *equitable distribution*, especially according to human need. The poor are less able to participate in the economy as consumers, and so they don't. That's the problem with capitalism.


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ckaihatsu wrote:
I can't agree, though, that the (emergent) 'hierarchy' of talent is 'natural'. Yes, it's real, if you'd like to conceive of it that way, but on the *mass* scale it really *doesn't have to be* a hierarchy at all -- it could be more like that 'great message board' for the whole world, to effect real-world social production on fully-collectivized / mass public productive implements (factories / workplaces)



Julian658 wrote:
We are animals. Just watch animals in the jungle on th TV. However, we have added another layer in the hierarchy. Once agriculture was discovered the leaderless small group of hunter gatherers disappeared. The humans did not have to spend all day hunting and had free time to be creative. Agriculture is just 10-12k years old, and launched human civilization. Agriculture created a large component of the hierarchy. Some men remain nothing more than gatherers whereas others used the free time afforded by agriculture to climb the hierarchy.



So you're of the same mindset as others here at PoFo who think that the way that history plays out is the way that society *should* be, correct?

You're content with the status-quo, aren't you, thinking that whatever the trajectory happens to be, everything is for the best, right?

This is called *Panglossian*, after the 'Pangloss' character in 'Candide', by Balzac. ('This is the best of all possible worlds.')

Do you claim to be in the tradition of The Enlightenment, with concerted efforts from humanity being the leading force for humanity's destiny, or are you so blase, and 'hands-off', that you'd prefer to think of all lives as being religiously 'predetermined' from forces from without?


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ckaihatsu wrote:
Socialism is *not* Stalinism, so there shouldn't be any *constraints* on its geography -- no location on earth should be socialist while other locations *aren't*. In that way there's no localist-type *favoritism* over the doing of anything, as we're so used to conceiving-of, due to the historical accident of Stalinism, or bureaucratic-elitism / the state.



Julian658 wrote:
We are not there yet. Perhaps in another 1000 years. Humans evolved in tribes. You do not change a million years of evolution in a decade.



This is your *genetics* / biological-determinism talking -- and, if it happened to be true, which it isn't, then this wouldn't even be *you* talking at all, but would be your *genes* talking.

Either way you're wrong, because you're not recognizing that human society / civilization takes on its own life, quite separately from any *genetic* predispositions on the part of its individuals -- you're missing the forest for the trees, in other words.


Julian658 wrote:
Obviously, a business that does not have a profit or create wealth is nothing. Wealth needs to be created at all times whether the system is socialist or capitalist. The essence of wealth is human productivity. In your socialist utopia someone will have to create wealth. BTW, another erroneous concept on the left is that wealth is finite.



You're forgetting that there *are no* exchange values, much less wealth, in socialism -- it's *superfluous* at that point because of collective production and direct-distribution based on human need.

I'm finding that many self-proclaimed 'socialists', and even anarchists, not to mention liberatarians / left-nationalists, are basically *utopian socialists* (like from the 1800s), because they can only conceive of the localist 'commune', and nothing else. By default, all commune-to-commune economic transactions would be *market-based*, then, and *not* socialist, due to the lack of any conscious political-economy-type *intentional relations* intercommunally, meaning that barter-type exchanges would *implicitly* have exchange values on them (Commune 'A' might hold-off on trade with Commune 'B', and instead go with what's being offered by Commune 'C', since it's a better offer than that from Commune 'B'.)

Here's my *own* position on this issue, in diagram form:


Emergent Central Planning

Spoiler: show
Image



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Julian658 wrote:
Sure, capitalism is after all conducted by humans that evolved to gain advantage over others. The most greedy primitive human had a much better chance to pass DNA to the next generation. The reason human males are larger than females is because they had to battle each other for the opportunity to mate.
---Blame the human condition. And this human condition will exist in socialist nations.



It's not the social-Darwinist 'survival of the fittest' dynamic that brought us to where we are today, it's been the *primitive accumulation of capital* that's done it. You're *acknowledging* that humanity has lived in a pre-capital, pre-class hunter-gatherer mode of existence for the vast bulk of our species' existence, so the modern life that we take for granted today isn't based on *genetics*, it's based on *capitalist economics*.


Julian658 wrote:
Not new to me.


Julian658 wrote:
This is true, we are slaves. However, the liberation comes through capitalism and AI.



You *don't* have a crystal ball, so maybe you should stop pretending that you 'know' the future.


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ckaihatsu wrote:
With workers in *collective* control of social production, worldwide, humanity as a whole would, for the first time ever, be entirely self-determining, while everyone would also be *individually* self-determining, at the individual scale, as well. (No more kowtowing to *private* interests, or to the state, regarding destiny.)



Julian658 wrote:
The average human needs direction to function. A collection of workers cannot make an apple computer. They need that rare leader to organize them, design the computer, and deal with the concept of developing plans, hardware, tools, ect to make a product. The reason you enjoy posting is because a capitalist had a vision that was taken all the way to reality. And he provided this convenience to you not because he liked you or had fuzzy feelings of kindness. The maker of the computer was looking out for his own interest. And he had to compete with others! His challenge was to make a better product,



I won't argue against capitalist material development, to-date, but that's all beside the point -- given a proletarian revolution and collective, post-class production, workers can decide *themselves* how to organize production at the workplace level, without opinionating from either you or me.


Julian658 wrote:
The last state of communism is a nirvana or valhalla. It can only happen if we achieve redundant near infinite wealth and only capitalism can do that.



We *don't need* wealth -- what *matters* is productive capacity, as from factories / machinery, and the collective workers' social organization, without private ownership of mass industrial production, to make that happen, to supply for human need.


Julian658 wrote:
It cannot happen without redundant wealth. It is like trying to drive a car with no gas in the tank.



Here -- take a look at the post-capitalist framework model I developed. It's an *alternative* to your stuck-in-the-mud, exchange-values-determined approach to material economics:


labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'

Spoiler: show
Image


https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... ost2889338


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Julian658 wrote:
You did not create it. It was never yours. Perhaps the person that created that was looking for his own interest. If you take away the motivation (self interest) then why would they create?



Craft. Social consciousness. Wanting to see the end product. Experimentation. Wanting to provide for others. Escaping boredom. Pushing the envelope. Personal goals. Wanting to be self-sufficient. Social networking. Mixing work with pleasure. Being productive. Being creative. Access to social leadership. Wanting to be a part of collective self-determination. Stewardship over the earth's resources. Wanting consumption of a very specific kind of product. Hobbyism.

The 'dead labor' (results of past labor efforts) all over the world should be controlled by laborers *collectively*, going-forward. There's no objective empirical need for private-property-type 'ownership' anymore.


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ckaihatsu wrote:
what could society potentially develop *even more* if it wasn't pressed into the development of technology strictly for those who can *afford* it, for the profits for elites?



Julian658 wrote:
Eventually what was once only available to the rich becomes available to all. Just look around. This is the most prosperous time in world history.



This is that 'trickle-down' mantra bullshit that was discredited back in the days of Reagan -- the erroneous notion that if society gives more to the *supply*-side, meaning the already-wealthy, that they'll then have the 'incentive' to somehow not-keep the free funds, but instead use it to invest in new production, to boost the economy. This is a *fiction*, a *mythos*, and yet people keep touting it.


Julian658 wrote:
I hope you are correct, but it will take a couple of centuries, perhaps more.



Stop pretending that you know the future 200 years out.


Julian658 wrote:
That is another topic. Do you ever wonder where you fall in the five major personality traits. Could you look that up and tell me which of the five traits represent you the most. I predict you are massively open to experience.



What is your *problem*?

Take your pop-psychology to the pop-psychology message board.


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ckaihatsu wrote:
The best way to get rid of victimhood is to make sure that no one else becomes a *victim*, from now on -- maybe *that* should be the priority of the public and private sectors.



Julian658 wrote:
That is impossible. Living on earth is not heaven.



Look -- I never voted you into any position of authority, so stop with the bombast.

Pretending to be an authority figure does not *make* you an authority figure.
#15088626
Pants-of-dog wrote:No, not as far as I can tell.


Would you please elaborate? Can a non-communist opposition compete in Cuban elections? Can Cubans openly and freely criticize the government without fear of any negative consequences?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Regardless of whether or not someone should need healthcare is unimportant. The fact is that we all need it and we do not know when or how we will need it.


Right, but it's not at all clear this means one can't overinvest in healthcare.

Pants-of-dog wrote:I read the first source, and while it provides examples of countries that experienced some benefits of privatisation of electrical services, it does not provide a comparison showing that private sector electricity works better.


Nope, it deals with the condition I mentioned - it depends on regulation. The second one though would suggest that the public sector is essentially as good as the private one, at least in developed countries which have decent regulation and also acceptably working governments.

Pants-of-dog wrote:PR, as a territory of the USA, should have an infant mortality rate as good as any developed country.

If you wish to compare Cuba to the developed world instead of the developing world, you are implicitly arguing that Cuba’s healthcare system is comparable to the developed world.


Well, I can also compare Ethiopian healthcare with that of the developed world depending on the case - for example, to illustrate the importance of GDP per capita as a measure of welfare. It is Cuba itself that often tries to compare itself with the developed countries in this regard.

And, I think it's important. Why? Because then we may want to consider whether Cuba is generating enough economic growth and development in general when evaluating its healthcare outcomes.

Namely, if I want to live in a place with good healthcare outcomes, I would probably not go to Cuba but to developed countries instead. If I'm restricted to living in Central America and the Caribbean, well, I may then just go to Cuba - although personally I would not, because even though I care about having access to a good healthcare system, I also have other concerns in mind when deciding where to live.

Pants-of-dog wrote:How is Cuba doing in comparison to Caribbean and Central American countries?


Probably better, but not because of its healthcare system. It's probably doing better because it's an island with tight migratory controls - which makes it easier to deal with situations like this, where human contact can represent a public health threat (even if relatively free migration in general is better in the long run).

Cuba doesn't have a porous border like countries like Honduras or Guatemala do - geography helps a lot in this.

@Donna: Right, because criticizing the Cuban government obviously means justifying shooting its embassy up, right? Does this mean that the recent incidents involving in the American embassy in Cuba occurred because of an anti-American sentiment in the island?
#15088629
skinster wrote:I don't know what waton was talking about, anyway I posted an article in my last post about how Cubans can travel.

When will you go to Cuba, Tainari? Do they do direct flights from Merida? I can only see some with one stop.


I think they have flights leaving every Tuesday and Thursday. Direct from Merida to Havana. They last less than 20 minutes. Almost always get to Havana from here very very fast. I don't know when I will go to Cuba. I am hoping this summer. Or in the winter.

Cuba is incredibly linked to this city.

You will run across Cubans here all the time.

I am getting stir crazy. I need to get out of the house. My son doesn't want to leave the house. He is so homebound. He told me he loves his casa more than anything in the world. I am so glad to hear it. I bought the house to please him too. He gave me a list of things he wanted the house to have. And I followed them. he wanted a pool. Check. He wanted his own bedroom with a terrace that was large. Check. He wanted a staircase and a hammock in his room. Check. Now I just need to buy him a television for his room with some kind of cute stereo to play music on.

I am stuck watching kid shows forever. Hee hee.

I adore my little boy Skinster. He has this lovely pearlescent glowing skin, with these huge dark almond shaped eyes and exaggerated beautiful long long fluffy abundant eyelashes and these strong, well shaped eyebrows and a flat petite nose, and perfect bow of a mouth with a rosy tint to it and high cheekbones and thick dark brown hair. He is tall and lean and long muscled elegant. Like a ballet dancer in body. And he is warm and funny and affectionate and kind. And empathetic. Fiery and passionate too.

Such a beautiful child. Nothing I like more than watching him sleep and putting the blankets over him and saying good night. Kissing his forehead and stroking his baby soft cheek.

I don't think anything could be more precious in all the world than being able to protect your child.
#15088640
wat0n wrote:Would you please elaborate? Can a non-communist opposition compete in Cuban elections? Can Cubans openly and freely criticize the government without fear of any negative consequences?


I can elaborate.

First, we look at context. It is a given that the USA has often intervened in Latin American politics to support right wing governments, including in Cuba.

Secondly, this has not stopped, though its focus on oil has led to focusing on Venezuela and the Middle East.

Because of these two things, having a capitalist party in Cuba would inevitably attract foreign involvement. Since the Cuban socialist government is about limiting foreign (i.e. US) involvement, this would be counterproductive to national sovereignty.

And yes, I think Cubans can criticise their government. Anti-Cuban media often mentions protests.

Right, but it's not at all clear this means one can't overinvest in healthcare.


I think that investing enough to have a public system that gives everyone access and also gives results as good as any country with a similar level of economic development is not “overinvesting”.

Nope, it deals with the condition I mentioned - it depends on regulation. The second one though would suggest that the public sector is essentially as good as the private one, at least in developed countries which have decent regulation and also acceptably working governments.

Sure.

But if that is the case, then capitalist countries will not necessarily have better electric systems. A country similar to Cuba, but capitalist, would not have a better regulation system.



I think the important thing is to understand that we need to compare Cuba to other Caribbean and Central American countries when assessing how good the revolution has been for Cubans.



Yes, Cuba’s ability to control immigration is beneficial for Cubans at this time.
#15088645
Pants-of-dog wrote:I can elaborate.

First, we look at context. It is a given that the USA has often intervened in Latin American politics to support right wing governments, including in Cuba.

Secondly, this has not stopped, though its focus on oil has led to focusing on Venezuela and the Middle East.

Because of these two things, having a capitalist party in Cuba would inevitably attract foreign involvement. Since the Cuban socialist government is about limiting foreign (i.e. US) involvement, this would be counterproductive to national sovereignty.


This is an oddly economic nationalist argument. But I don't think it's true either - Cuba had plenty of Soviet involvement at the time (and also did its own share of foreign involvement at this point in time), and then went on to rely on Venezuela before the advent of shale oil.

Why is being an American satellite bad but being a Soviet one good?

Pants-of-dog wrote:And yes, I think Cubans can criticise their government. Anti-Cuban media often mentions protests.


But what's the cost of criticizing the government? Even Pinochet's regime had to face constant protests at the time (1983 onwards). Protests that were met with varying degrees of repression.

Pants-of-dog wrote:I think that investing enough to have a public system that gives everyone access and also gives results as good as any country with a similar level of economic development is not “overinvesting”.


But Cuba has, on paper, a better healthcare system than countries with a similar level of development. I would also say there's an overinvestment if you have people studying several years to be doctors, just to end up as taxi drivers, or if healthcare investment crowds out other forms of productive investment (particularly if you can't crowd any more private consumption out).

Regarding the electric service, it may work differently in less developed countries. There's an interesting paper/book about privatizations in general (including electricity) [url="https://publications.iadb.org/publications/english/document/Privatization-in-Latin-America-Myths-and-Reality.pdf"]here[/url], although it's a bit old (maybe things have changed since then - maybe governments themselves have become more efficient for example).

As to whether the revolution has really been good for Cubans, I guess we should try to estimate a counterfactual with no revolution to tell. I don't know if other countries in the region would be the best one, since IIRC Cuba had one of the highest living standards in Latin America before the revolution.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Yes, Cuba’s ability to control immigration is beneficial for Cubans at this time.


Indeed, it's one of those situations where a good system of surveillance (on migration and beyond) can be quite useful :hmm:
#15088671
ckaihatsu wrote:Hmmmm, I think this is rather *obsessive* with *personal ability* -- as I mentioned already, in any real-world *workplace* situation, the individual's talents / skills / role is rapidly *reduced* in relative significance, especially under the modern assembly-line method, so this concern / line of yours is quite *circumscribed* and misplaced -- I think it only applies to sporting tournaments, and the like.


I disagree. In most work places there is a small fraction that seems to be more productive than their peers. This is observable and is often described as the 20/80 effect. In other words 20% produces 80% of the effect. It is rare to see a 1:1 correlation between effort and results when dealing with a group. Sure, at the end it is a team effort, but some team members may be more special. Here comes the broken record: THERE IS NO EQUALITY.



Well, since we're on a *discussion board*, why don't *you* explain the point that you're trying to get across? It sounds like the *genetic*-determinist line, which I just heard from TTP over at the 'mingy' thread. I'll ask the same thing of you that I asked of TTP, which is what do you think the *proportion* of determination is, between genetics ('nature'), and upbringing ('nurture')? Is it 60/40? 70/30?


I am no expert on the subject, but innate talent is important. You could probably research this and find a range between 50 to 80%. I suspect is closer to 50/50. This is a very complex issue but from personal observation it is easy to determine innate talent is important. I worked hard at playing the guitar and I am quite average. I know others that are much better with minimal effort. By the same token some people are incapable of doing any music.

I'll add, that, with the addition of life-experience since my past experience of *schooling*, I myself would *add* another component to this nature-nurture balance, that of *individual self-determination*, or 'free will', or 'problem solving'. With hindsight I find it incredible that the individual's own *agency* isn't included in this nature-nurture formulation of personhood -- offhand maybe the disinclusion is an artifact of the adolescent-oriented schooling setting itself (?).


Actually, this has been studied extensively. It goes back to what you call pop psychology, but it is much more than that. Among the 5 most prominent personality traits there is something called "conscientiousness.

Conscientiousness is the personality trait of a person who shows an awareness of the impact that their own behavior has on those around them. Conscientious people are generally more goal-oriented in their motives, ambitious in their academic efforts and at work, and feel more comfortable when they are well-prepared and organized. I suggest you google this. In any event you are correct in the above statement.


I don't think that *realtime* access to entries of knowledge is so crucial -- the *real world* certainly doesn't play-out in realtime. Doubtlessly this kind of technology would be available -- if it isn't already -- in the future, and some people may choose to use it, but for what realistic ends I can't imagine.


I agree, I don't know if it will be useful or not.

You're only looking at it *technologically*, though, and not in terms of *social organization*, which is more-to-the-point. I would use our common discussion-board experience here at PoFo as a prototypical example of what I'm talking about.


By nature I am an individualist, so I have a blind spot for collectivism. Nevertheless, humans are wired to form groups with common goals and this can unite people. In my experience this works well when the group is small. In fact, socialism works extremely well in small groups where there are clear common goals and kinship.


Well, this is precisely where we have differences of opinion and approach -- it's only because of *capitalism* that 'knowledge' and 'skill' is formally socially individuated into individuals, treated as living commodities in the labor market.


Capitalism is sometimes knowledge. With knowledge an idea can become reality. However, anyone can do this. Cuba has more doctors per capita than any nation on earth. They also have a lot of engineers. But, something is missing and I cannot put my finger on it. This always goes back to my original broken record theme. Why is Cuba a poor nation?

A simple counter-example to this individuated approach would simply be *any book*, website, or *Wikipedia*, in which certain knowledge, information, and even wisdom, is *abstracted* into the written word, image, and video, no longer requiring any living person for its propagation (arguably).


Self teaching is quite possible, but some people need a flesh and bones teacher. In addition self education requires a relatively high fraction of innate talent. Bill Gates is self taught, he dropped out of Harvard to start a software company.


AI, basically being a hyper-powered *statistical analysis*, is still just a *tool*, and can be considered to be an extension of any given abstracted information, or data. AI systems *don't* have to be treated socially as being self-aware -- they're not -- and even if someone *does* simulate self-awareness in such a system, the rest of humanity is in no way *obligated* to treat such a simulation as *being* self-aware and as an individual person-like entity with civil rights, etc.


You make an excellent point. AI is easy when setting up an answering service. Beyond that the humans have a near infinite number of possible response to any situation. However the number is not infinite. At the end of the day our brain is a computer programmed by evolutionary forces. There is no such thing as free will. Yes, free will is just an illusion.


You have a *crystal ball*?? Please tell us how this all plays out, and also, you got any hot stock picks?


No one can predict the future accurately. But, I suspect socialism is the end result of capitalism. It happens without a revolution. The technology will be the equalizer. I am not the only one that thinks this way. Check this article.

Many of the substantial democratic and progressive changes Mason hopes for will most likely come from an area many on the left discuss with an unfair level of disdain: technology, in particular private sector innovation (often state-backed). Mason points to cooperatives and self-managed online spaces as quasi-socialist alternatives already becoming increasingly mainstream.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/01 ... apitalism/

I did not read the whole article. Hopefully it does not have porn.


You're acting as though there's no more starvation, anywhere in the world, and yet it still exists, despite all of capitalism's overproduction, and your condescending attitude towards the poor. The reason isn't a lack of the *bulk availability* of commodity production, but rather it's the market mechanism's lack of *equitable distribution*, especially according to human need. The poor are less able to participate in the economy as consumers, and so they don't. That's the problem with capitalism.


I knew I was condescending, but I wanted to make the point that there is excess food in many parts of the world. The issue is distribution. However, it is best to teach people to fish rather than give then fish for free.



So you're of the same mindset as others here at PoFo who think that the way that history plays out is the way that society *should* be, correct?


Marx said history is a series of thesis and antithesis creating a new thesis. We are changing. But, changes tend to develop naturally.

You're content with the status-quo, aren't you, thinking that whatever the trajectory happens to be, everything is for the best, right?


The status quo has been generous with me.

Do you claim to be in the tradition of The Enlightenment, with concerted efforts from humanity being the leading force for humanity's destiny, or are you so blase, and 'hands-off', that you'd prefer to think of all lives as being religiously 'predetermined' from forces from without?


I have no intentions to shape the world. My concerns are with may immediate family. I am a firm believer of equal opportunity for and as far as I can see we are making progress.

Back to the big five personality traits:

I doid not max in the "open to experience" trait. These are the people that crave change and despise the old order. That is not who I am. Trust me on this one, this has been well researched. I bet a case of Rum you are very open to experience and very artistic. Not afraid of the new!


This is your *genetics* / biological-determinism talking -- and, if it happened to be true, which it isn't, then this wouldn't even be *you* talking at all, but would be your *genes* talking.


Nope, the environment plays a huge role. Nevertheless I admit that an optimal genes/nurture ratio is often more available to the privileged. It is called the Matthew effect. Those that have more receive more. Those that have less receive less. The children of educated parents learn to read faster. Those with money have more options to make more money. It is truly devastating.
Image



Either way you're wrong, because you're not recognizing that human society / civilization takes on its own life, quite separately from any *genetic* predispositions on the part of its individuals -- you're missing the forest for the trees, in other words.


I don't understand what you mean by that. A collective level of intelligence? Talent? Artistry?


You're forgetting that there *are no* exchange values, much less wealth, in socialism -- it's *superfluous* at that point because of collective production and direct-distribution based on human need.


I get it, but you are just making a wish. You probably have no idea on how to implement this. As I said, easy to do in a small group. But at the global level I believe it is impossible.


I will continue later tonight. Sorry for the typos
#15088685
wat0n wrote:This is an oddly economic nationalist argument. But I don't think it's true either - Cuba had plenty of Soviet involvement at the time (and also did its own share of foreign involvement at this point in time), and then went on to rely on Venezuela before the advent of shale oil.

Why is being an American satellite bad but being a Soviet one good?


The question incorrectly assumes that Cuba was a Soviet satellite in some way that is comparable to US meddling in Cuba. That is not historically accurate.

Nor was Cuban involvement abroad comparable to US involvement abroad.

But what's the cost of criticizing the government? Even Pinochet's regime had to face constant protests at the time (1983 onwards). Protests that were met with varying degrees of repression.


What is the cost?

But Cuba has, on paper, a better healthcare system than countries with a similar level of development. I would also say there's an overinvestment if you have people studying several years to be doctors, just to end up as taxi drivers, or if healthcare investment crowds out other forms of productive investment (particularly if you can't crowd any more private consumption out).


The reason doctors work as taxi drivers is because first world tourists can pay more than the state can. It has nothing to do with over investment but has to do with the fact that the state cannot invest enough to pay doctors the same relative wages they receive in the developed world.

Regarding the electric service, it may work differently in less developed countries. There's an interesting paper/book about privatizations in general (including electricity) [url="https://publications.iadb.org/publications/english/document/Privatization-in-Latin-America-Myths-and-Reality.pdf"]here[/url], although it's a bit old (maybe things have changed since then - maybe governments themselves have become more efficient for example).

As to whether the revolution has really been good for Cubans, I guess we should try to estimate a counterfactual with no revolution to tell. I don't know if other countries in the region would be the best one, since IIRC Cuba had one of the highest living standards in Latin America before the revolution.


The only countries that have a similar history and economic context prior to 1959 are Caribbean and Central American countries.
#15088709
Pants-of-dog wrote:The question incorrectly assumes that Cuba was a Soviet satellite in some way that is comparable to US meddling in Cuba. That is not historically accurate.


How often would Cuba act against Soviet interests?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Nor was Cuban involvement abroad comparable to US involvement abroad.


No, but it's just a matter of size. Cuba did go as far as to send troops outside the American continent to pursue its foreign policy goals.

Pants-of-dog wrote:What is the cost?


I can think of a few options involving infringing on civil, economic and social rights.

Pants-of-dog wrote:The reason doctors work as taxi drivers is because first world tourists can pay more than the state can. It has nothing to do with over investment but has to do with the fact that the state cannot invest enough to pay doctors the same relative wages they receive in the developed world.


Do Jamaican doctors work as taxi drivers as well? Isn't there an overinvestment if smart Cubans are to spend several years studying medicine to end up driving taxis?

Pants-of-dog wrote:The only countries that have a similar history and economic context prior to 1959 are Caribbean and Central American countries.


Maybe. I'd need to check a few time series to tell.
If you have that, you can use statistical methods to build an acceptable counterfactual.
#15088733
Donna wrote:This is the result of the toxic anti-communist environment that people like @XogGyux and @wat0n contribute to creating in the United States.

LOL.
First, Cuba is not communist. It is a State run capitalist enterprise and a dictatorship.
Second, it is hilarious to see clueless people debating about the situation in Cuba... So out of touch. It is like a dozen of slaves owners debating how well their slaves have it (after all, their slaves don't have to worry about education, health, unemployment :lol: or food, it is all provided by the master!)... how about you ask a few of those slaves, let them taste freedom and then ask them again :lol: . Or if I start talking of how WW2 was not that bad after all... I was not there.... Only people that wants to deceive themselves willfully end up believing this farce. If the Cuban system was any decent, after 60 years they would have something to show up.

As a side not... for an economy that relies readily in tourism, including the "cuentapropistas" this pandemic has life altering consequences for Cuba and there is a good chance that the goverment will try to revert back to their more oppressive times, or maybe, hopefully this will be the sparks that ignites real change there. Anyhow, I got tired of debating nonsense with fanatics.
Have a good day.
#15088800
wat0n wrote:How often would Cuba act against Soviet interests?


How was Cuba a satellite of the Soviets?

No, but it's just a matter of size. Cuba did go as far as to send troops outside the American continent to pursue its foreign policy goals.


Can you provide an example of Cuba overthrowing a democracy to put in a dictatorship that enriches Cuba?

If not, then Cuban foreign policy is qualitatively different from US foreign policy.

I can think of a few options involving infringing on civil, economic and social rights.


Can you please elaborate?

Do Jamaican doctors work as taxi drivers as well? Isn't there an overinvestment if smart Cubans are to spend several years studying medicine to end up driving taxis?


I explained why this is not a sign of over investment.

Maybe. I'd need to check a few time series to tell.
If you have that, you can use statistical methods to build an acceptable counterfactual.


Feel free.
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