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#15088801
Julian658 wrote:
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.



Okay, again I have to object to your particular choice of *perspective*. I don't disagree with your *empirical* assessment, but what I'm trying to relate is that, given a large-enough grouping, any given individual contribution is *less individualized*.

While this *sounds* inhumane and abhorrent, it *isn't*, depending on the particular *project* involved -- let me take Wikipedia as an example. Many people, including myself, *use* Wikipedia without regard to the details of *who* exactly contributed, and what the *issues* were in getting that content out to the public as a cohesive whole.

Yet people *did* contribute themselves to it, and mostly without recognition by the Wikipedia-using public. So how does your conception of 'human nature', or the 'human condition', account for *this* social phenomenon, that of *voluntarism*, basically -- ?

*Politically*, this translates to a logistically *small* shift (though a socio-politically *big* shift) in how society *could* do things -- where people simply do some 'paying-it-forward' to the public commons (which have to be 100% collectivized), and then they can *take* from the commons for their personal (non-private-accumulation) needs. Whatever relative *size*, large or small, that this resulting 'gift-economy' becomes as a result of this balance of give-and-take, on the whole, is what it is. If people want a *larger*, more-complex, more-sophisticated kind of economy, then more people would have to contribute more higher-skilled kinds of liberated-labor to make that happen, otherwise it won't happen.

At least there'd be no more economic and political *commodification* of personhood / the person, no more labor exploitation, no more class divide, no more endlessly-ballooning private accumulations, bureaucratic elitism, etc.


Julian658 wrote:
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.



Okay, thanks -- so you're saying nature-nurture might be about 50/50, and the person's own self-motivation obviously is the make-or-break variable involved. You obviously *want* to play guitar, and so you work hard at it. (I'm like that with my 3D graphics skills -- I like the *result* more than anything else.) Some people are so "genetically" / innately talented at some things that they can become good at them without really trying -- but if they ultimately didn't *want* to do it, they wouldn't (assuming personal autonomy over such), and so they wouldn't do it. (This 'political' / sociological stuff comes fairly easily to me, plus I really like the subject matter, and I haven't given *that* much effort to it, though I guess I have over the years.)

So you're definitely *not* a genetic-determinist.


Julian658 wrote:
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.



Okay, cool, thanks -- I guess I'd find it better for this quality of conscientiousness (*not* merely pop-psychology) to be *included* within the nature-nurture framework, especially at the scale of the individual.


Julian658 wrote:
I agree, I don't know if it will be useful or not.


Julian658 wrote:
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, if I may, I'd like to take a look at, and consider, *warfare* -- in the 20th century this has actually been a *large-scale* kind of coordination, taken generically, and so we've seen it 'work' at the scale of tens of thousands, and greater, numbers, as an 'enterprise', to varying degrees. The point being that such is *possible*, and the respective bourgeois governments had plenty of *motivation* for it, and so it got done at such realities of mass scale.

So, since socialism is all about a particular type of *social organization*, to address *basic needs*, I think we can use bourgeois warfare social-organization as a *precedent*, to say that such large-scale-type operations, not to mention present-day *corporations*, have shown such to be feasible and even successful, in structure.

Perhaps under present conditions people just haven't been *motivated* enough to begin to consider collectivist-type strategizing and organizing -- revolutionaries would generally say that some capitalist *crisis*, like the COVID-19 pandemic, would have to happen for people's social consciousness to be *forced* to change.


Anatomy of a Platform

Spoiler: show
Image



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ckaihatsu wrote:
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.



Julian658 wrote:
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?



Okay, there are *two* points in-motion here -- [1] individual work-inputs don't necessarily have to be rewarded with increased social-status, recognition, and notoreity for the contributor, depending on how the political-economics works, as a system. Under capitalism wage-labor is *commodified*, so workers are treated economically as fully fungible 'parts' in the whole machinery, and there's *zero* democracy in the workplace, over workers' own working conditions.

Under *socialism* (_The Communist Manifesto_), workers would be *in control* of their own collective labor -- liberated-labor might not take on the celebrity that a successful *golfer* (athlete, etc.) may have, but at least there'd no longer be any *uncertainty* day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year regarding the quality-of-life that the liberated-worker would have social access to.

[2] I'll suggest that perhaps a country like Cuba is materially *poorer* due to its relative *independence* from the world-bourgeois prevailing social *norms*, or 'scene', if-you-will. I think it's a relative trade-off, at *any* scale -- does one want to be more 'oneself', or does one want to be more with the *in-crowd*? Under capitalism this is an inherent *trade-off*, due to the hierarchical structure of commodified society, but it *wouldn't* have to be a trade-off within post-capitalist, *socialist*-type relations, since there would be no class hierarchy.

(Other, more-*informal* social hierarchies may still exist within socialism, as within workplace environments, or in social scenes -- alluding to your 'talent' argument -- but these wouldn't be *formalized*, state-enforced, and *class* based.)


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ckaihatsu wrote:
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).



CORRECTION: Also *audio*.


Julian658 wrote:
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.



My *professional* opinion -- my Bachelor's is in Education, and I've taught history at the secondary level for a few years -- is that the problem is with how we, as a society, have (mis-)*organized* the realm of knowledge. My major was 'sociology with history' (about 2:1), and my impetus for doing all of the sociological-type graphic frameworks that I have has been to offer better realistic *structures* for knowledge, and to depict how society is empirically structured.

I think most people can learn, even without guidance, if they can be confident that they know the overall 'bigger picture' to be valid and worth 'growing-into'.


Photoillustrations, Political Diagrams by Chris Kaihatsu
postimage.org/ckaihatsu


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Julian658 wrote:
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.



Yes, AI / neural networks are best-termed 'expert systems', since they are circumscribed to a particular *domain* of knowledge / information, like for playing chess.

I'll take your *genetics*-oriented perspective in-stride, but will proffer that, instead of free-will / individuality / self-determination being mitigated by *genetics* / predispositions, we're more 'programmed', or conditioned, by the overall, sociological-type structure of *society*, as in the 'politics - logistics - lifestyle' framework I developed, or in the 'base-and-superstructure' model, from Marxism.


History, Macro-Micro -- politics-logistics-lifestyle

Spoiler: show
Image



Many people prefer to see life, and life-choices as *open-ended*, which is fine, to some extent, but I think ultimately there *are* objective empirical *limitations*, such as not being able to travel to Mars on a whim.


Julian658 wrote:
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.



Hopefully it *does*. (grin)

I do *agree* with this description, and the phenomenon (which we happen to be *partaking* in) is actually already *theoretically* described, by Trotsky:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uneven_an ... evelopment


Also:



Is this Utopian? A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.



https://www.marxists.org/reference/arch ... /soul-man/



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Julian658 wrote:
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.



Or, since you're acknowledging it, anyway, it's better to *distribute* the excess food to those who need it, instead of sticking to capitalism, which does *this*:


Anarchy of capitalist food production exposed as dairy farmers ordered to dump milk

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/0 ... k-a06.html


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Julian658 wrote:
Marx said history is a series of thesis and antithesis creating a new thesis. We are changing. But, changes tend to develop naturally.



I'm sorry, Julian, but this statement just doesn't have much *explanatory power* -- 'changes develop naturally' -- ?

If we allow the *market* system to handle things *for* us -- the 'invisible hand' -- then we get catastrophes of overproduction, like with the example above.

What the world *needs* is a way to *collectively consciously plan production*, and that's called *socialism*. Also, there's this framework model for it that I developed, in the pursuit of a greater *specificity*:


Emergent Central Planning

Spoiler: show
Image



labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'

Spoiler: show
Image


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


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Julian658 wrote:
The status quo has been generous with me.



Well, congrats, and good-for-you. Now what about the rest of the world?


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ckaihatsu wrote:
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?



Julian658 wrote:
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.



No, there's no 'progress' anymore when all countries' GDPs are *sinking*, and people are *dying* by the thousands due to some virus. Civilization has been at a standstill for decades now, and I think it's now even beginning to tangibly *ebb*.


Julian658 wrote:
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!



Fun, and thanks, but my interest here in participating on this board is *not* with the topic of myself.


Julian658 wrote:
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.
[img]https://image.slidesharecdn.com/the-matthew-effects-by-tamar-1196036027419226-5/95/the-matthew-effects-by-tamar-2-728.jpg?cb=1196007228[img]



Yup, acknowledged / agreed -- if anything, this is an argument *for* socialism. Why should we be content to let this kind of *accelerated inequality* fester, when it's in-fact *preventable*?


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



You've noted that you're basically circumscribed to your own life, family, and personal interests. There's nothing *wrong* with that, exactly, but you *have* to at least admit / acknowledge that there's a *larger world* outside your front door, and that *some* people, myself included, are *concerned* about that larger world.

Civilization / society.


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ckaihatsu wrote:
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.



Julian658 wrote:
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.



It's for exactly this kind of reservation that I created the framework model that I did:


Emergent Central Planning

Spoiler: show
Image



labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'

Spoiler: show
Image


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


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ckaihatsu wrote:
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.')



CORRECTION:

Voltaire, not Balzac:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candide


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Julian658 wrote:
I will continue later tonight. Sorry for the typos



No prob. Take care.
#15088839
As the conclusion of a 1000-word run-on post, wat0n wrote:the capitalist world has gradually become more sustainable during the last decades


As proof of this, he wrote:Guatemala: 1.23 ton per capita
Honduras: 1.15 ton per capita
El Salvador: 1.1 ton per capita
Nicaragua: 0.87 ton per capita
Haiti: 0.27 ton per capita


This is why I am against long-winded posts that are based on poor interpretations of limited information.

You know who you are. :eh:
#15088869
Pants-of-dog wrote:How was Cuba a satellite of the Soviets?


1. Cuba was overly dependent on Soviet aid
2. Cuba was almost completely aligned with Soviet foreign policy
3. Cuba was almost completely aligned ideologically with the Soviets, including helping to spread their ideology and culture in the Hispanic-American world

Pants-of-dog wrote: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.


It is, but it's only because they didn't manage to succeed. Cuba went as far as to send troops to Angola back in the '80s.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Can you please elaborate?


I can think of a few ways in which measures are taken against the opposition:

1. Civil Rights: Censorship of opposing media, no permission for assembly for opponents, no permission for people who aren't members of the Party to compete in elections, longer processing to get permits to move to other parts of the country and to perform tasks like getting married
2. Economic Rights: Firing of people who protest the regime, limitations on what kind of jobs political opponents can do within the civilian economy
3. Social Rights: Limitations to access higher education and other social services

Pants-of-dog wrote:I explained why this is not a sign of over investment.


I don't find it credible to say that public funding for studying medicine for a decade to end up as a taxi driver is not a form of public overinvestment. Surely in this situation it would make more sense to have less people going to med school and have them get other degrees instead?

@QatzelOk: You are free to check the per capita emissions for a few large capitalist economies over time to see if they are going up or not. The US in particular has been gradually decreasing its per capita emissions since reaching its peak in the '80s. Interestingly, Cuba's emissions have been flat after increasing for a few years after 2000 to reach levels comparable to those it had during the 80s.
#15088879
wat0n wrote:1. Cuba was overly dependent on Soviet aid
2. Cuba was almost completely aligned with Soviet foreign policy
3. Cuba was almost completely aligned ideologically with the Soviets, including helping to spread their ideology and culture in the Hispanic-American world


Cuba definitely benefited from Soviet aid, but the last three decades have shown that it was not reliant on it and could maintain the revolution without it. As it has.

As for foreign policy, Cuba and the USSR often had ideological goals that were similar, but had different goals on a more practical level.

For example, Castro supported Allende, while the Soviets never significantly supported him.

It is, but it's only because they didn't manage to succeed. Cuba went as far as to send troops to Angola back in the '80s.


Can you show that the MPLA then used their power to benefit Cuba at the expense of Angolans?

I can think of a few ways in which measures are taken against the opposition:

1. Civil Rights: Censorship of opposing media, no permission for assembly for opponents, no permission for people who aren't members of the Party to compete in elections, longer processing to get permits to move to other parts of the country and to perform tasks like getting married
2. Economic Rights: Firing of people who protest the regime, limitations on what kind of jobs political opponents can do within the civilian economy
3. Social Rights: Limitations to access higher education and other social services


First of all, 2 and 3 are also common in capitalist countries including the USA. Cuba probably provides better access to PSE than many developed countries and its neighbours.

The first one is more problematic because of continued US interventions. It would be difficult to allow a free press when the CIA is known for making deals with newspapers to help overthrow local governments. Like El Mercurio.

The same with multi-party elections. Classic regime change tool for the CIA.

I don't find it credible to say that public funding for studying medicine for a decade to end up as a taxi driver is not a form of public overinvestment. Surely in this situation it would make more sense to have less people going to med school and have them get other degrees instead?
.


Again, the relative pay between taxi drivers and doctors in Cuba has to do with access to foreign dollars and is not about how much or how little the Cuban government invests in healthcare.
#15088907
Pants-of-dog wrote:Cuba definitely benefited from Soviet aid, but the last three decades have shown that it was not reliant on it and could maintain the revolution without it. As it has.


Maintain is probably a strong term. They had to substantially reduce the consumption levels of regular Cubans to be able to maintain a comatose economy.

Pants-of-dog wrote:As for foreign policy, Cuba and the USSR often had ideological goals that were similar, but had different goals on a more practical level.

For example, Castro supported Allende, while the Soviets never significantly supported him.


Just a matter of tactical differences

Pants-of-dog wrote:Can you show that the MPLA then used their power to benefit Cuba at the expense of Angolans?


Actually, they did pay Cuba for their intervention although the amount is disputed:

George (2005) wrote: Charges for the Cuban internationalist mission

The issue of who paid for Cuba’s military and civilian operation in Angola
is still hotly disputed. According to the Cuban government, all military aid
was given to Angola free of charge, the Cubans providing the manpower
while the Soviets supplied all the weaponry, supplies and equipment for
the FAPLA and the Cuban troops posted there.25 Humanitarian aid was
initially free too but, in 1977, Luanda committed to paying the living
expenses of the civilian contingent (around 5,000 strong) with an addi-
tional increase scheduled for 1978.26 The decision to charge the MPLA was
taken because Angola was an oil-exporting country, but the exact amount
of money paid to Cuba is still contested.27 In 1989, Castro declared that
Angola paid Cuba $20 million per year for its humanitarian operation, a
‘modest fee’ given that any other country would have charged four to five
times that amount.28 Other sources, however, allege that Cuba was making
between $300m and $700m per year from the difference between the fee
paid by Angola and the salary paid to internationalists back in Cuba.29 But
whatever the financial arrangement between Luanda and Havana, it was
short-lived as, by the early 1980s – with the Angolan economy imploding
under UNITA’s onslaught and a mushrooming foreign debt – the MPLA
was unable to meet its commitments. After a visit to Havana by Dos
Santos in March 1984, Havana agreed that Angola would no longer have
to pay for humanitarian assistance, and it was provided free of charge for
the remainder of the Cuban operation.30


Of course, this little investment didn't quite pan out in the end (the MPLA eventually won several years after Cuba left, and then took a neoliberal turn). But it seems Cuba wasn't acting just out of pure disinterest, just like the MPLA didn't pay them for their civilian help out of pure goodwill.

Pants-of-dog wrote:First of all, 2 and 3 are also common in capitalist countries including the USA. Cuba probably provides better access to PSE than many developed countries and its neighbours.


So getting fired for criticizing the government is common in capitalist democracies then? The denial of access to higher education for this specific reason is common too?

Pants-of-dog wrote:The first one is more problematic because of continued US interventions. It would be difficult to allow a free press when the CIA is known for making deals with newspapers to help overthrow local governments. Like El Mercurio.


This is not different from saying that it would be difficult to allow a free press because of the propaganda bodies funded by Venezuela. Of course, it's just nonsense and indeed just like El Mercurio engaged in propaganda back in the '70s, so did the left-wing press back in the same years. A great example lies in how they covered protests against Allende's government during those years. The press in general was rather partisan and not too concerned about getting funded by whoever was willing to do so, particularly when governments would crack down on them (including El Mercurio itself).

Pants-of-dog wrote:The same with multi-party elections. Classic regime change tool for the CIA.


Indeed, Chavez's election in 1999 (or Allende's for that matter) were excellent examples of that. Interestingly it has happened more than once that when far leftists are elected and allowed access to power unchecked that multiparty elections, along with democracy itself, end. Ever since 1946.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Again, the relative pay between taxi drivers and doctors in Cuba has to do with access to foreign dollars and is not about how much or how little the Cuban government invests in healthcare.


That differential arises because the Cuban government makes sure to get as many students as possible to earn their medical degrees as a way to keep their monopsony power in that labor market and depress wages as a result, on top of the repression of overt dissidence. It thus becomes more profitable and feasible for doctors to work as taxi drivers for foreigners than to set an union up.
#15088922
wat0n wrote:Maintain is probably a strong term. They had to substantially reduce the consumption levels of regular Cubans to be able to maintain a comatose economy.


Even if that were true, Cuba did not stop being socialist once the Soviets fell. Thus, Cuba was no dependent on the Soviets.

Just a matter of tactical differences


Not really.

The USSR refused to support Allende because of Allende’s refusal to use authoritarian measures against his opposition. Castro, on the other hand, wanted to support socialist movements abroad even if they were not authoritarian.

Actually, they did pay Cuba for their intervention although the amount is disputed:

Of course, this little investment didn't quite pan out in the end (the MPLA eventually won several years after Cuba left, and then took a neoliberal turn). But it seems Cuba wasn't acting just out of pure disinterest, just like the MPLA didn't pay them for their civilian help out of pure goodwill.


The original claim you made was that US foreign policy and Cuban foreign policy were only different in the degree of power they could hold over other countries. This evidence you cite shows that Cuba acted in a manner that was decidedly different from US foreign policy.

So getting fired for criticizing the government is common in capitalist democracies then? The denial of access to higher education for this specific reason is common too?


Maybe you can specify exactly how this works in Cuba and we can see if the same works in other countries.

This is not different from saying that it would be difficult to allow a free press because of the propaganda bodies funded by Venezuela. Of course, it's just nonsense and indeed just like El Mercurio engaged in propaganda back in the '70s, so did the left-wing press back in the same years. A great example lies in how they covered protests against Allende's government during those years. The press in general was rather partisan and not too concerned about getting funded by whoever was willing to do so, particularly when governments would crack down on them (including El Mercurio itself).


Feel free to show how leftist press worked with foreign governments to overthrow democracies.

But this is a whataboutism. You are implicitly agreeing that CIA involvement with a capitalist press would endanger Cuban sovereignty, but you are arguing that this is morally justified because leftist papers also get involved in politics.

Indeed, Chavez's election in 1999 (or Allende's for that matter) were excellent examples of that. Interestingly it has happened more than once that when far leftists are elected and allowed access to power unchecked that multiparty elections, along with democracy itself, end. Ever since 1946.


This is the usual accusation by the right.

That differential arises because the Cuban government makes sure to get as many students as possible to earn their medical degrees as a way to keep their monopsony power in that labor market and depress wages as a result, on top of the repression of overt dissidence. It thus becomes more profitable and feasible for doctors to work as taxi drivers for foreigners than to set an union up.


You seem to be changing your argument.

Before you said it was about over investment.

Now it seems to be an effect of repression.
#15088927
Pants-of-dog wrote:Even if that were true, Cuba did not stop being socialist once the Soviets fell. Thus, Cuba was no dependent on the Soviets.


It is true. And of course they were dependent on the Soviets: Without the Soviets, the appeal of their scheme essentially evaporated and indeed it lead to a migration crisis in the 90s.

If they were able to survive, it was because they were able to maintain their repressive apparatus. It's quite similar to why Pinochet managed to survive the 1982 crisis.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Not really.

The USSR refused to support Allende because of Allende’s refusal to use authoritarian measures against his opposition. Castro, on the other hand, wanted to support socialist movements abroad even if they were not authoritarian.


That's a tactical difference, not a fundamental one. Also, the Soviets had no problem supporting socialist movements that would take part into the democratic process, also as a tactical move.

I would also say the non-authoritarian credentials of the UP are highly questionable, but that falls outside the scope of this thread.

Pants-of-dog wrote:The original claim you made was that US foreign policy and Cuban foreign policy were only different in the degree of power they could hold over other countries. This evidence you cite shows that Cuba acted in a manner that was decidedly different from US foreign policy.


In what sense?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Maybe you can specify exactly how this works in Cuba and we can see if the same works in other countries.


Sure:

HRW wrote:The Cuban government continues to repress and punish dissent and public criticism. The number of short-term arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and others was significantly less in 2018 than in 2017, but still remained high, with more than 2,000 reports of arbitrary detentions between January and August. The government continues to use other repressive tactics, including beatings, public shaming, travel restrictions, and termination of employment against critics.


This is also interesting:

HRW wrote:Labor Rights
Despite updating its Labor Code in 2014, Cuba continues to violate conventions of the International Labour Organization that it ratified, specifically regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining. While the law technically allows the formation of independent unions, in practice Cuba only permits one confederation of state-controlled unions, the Workers’ Central Union of Cuba.


Pants-of-dog wrote:Feel free to show how leftist press worked with foreign governments to overthrow democracies.


Overthrow democracies? I don't think I said that. I said leftist press, and particularly Chilean leftist press, worked hard to do propaganda for the government. The example of the expropriation of CMPC is a great example, as leftist media would misrepresent the opinion of the company's union on expropriation.

Pants-of-dog wrote:But this is a whataboutism. You are implicitly agreeing that CIA involvement with a capitalist press would endanger Cuban sovereignty, but you are arguing that this is morally justified because leftist papers also get involved in politics.


Not quite. What I'm saying is that your argument is no different from those said by supporters of other dictatorships' attempts to silence the opposition.

Free press should be supported because it would give more options for other Cubans to learn about the world, to make it easier to hold the government accountable to the public and also to just express their opinions.

Pants-of-dog wrote:This is the usual accusation by the right.


CIA intervention? Weren't the chavistas elected within a multiparty system? Weren't the Czech communists elected within another multiparty system (also meaning that Allende was the first democratically elected socialist head of government is a myth)?

Pants-of-dog wrote:You seem to be changing your argument.

Before you said it was about over investment.

Now it seems to be an effect of repression.


Both are linked: Overinvesting in healthcare provision, in this case educating doctors, makes it easier for the government to exert monopsony power by having an excess supply of medics. Banning competing unions also helps.
#15088929
wat0n wrote:It is true. And of course they were dependent on the Soviets: Without the Soviets, the appeal of their scheme essentially evaporated and indeed it lead to a migration crisis in the 90s.

If they were able to survive, it was because they were able to maintain their repressive apparatus. It's quite similar to why Pinochet managed to survive the 1982 crisis.


This is a shifting of the goalposts.

While it is true that the Cuban economy was dealt a significant blow with the collapse of the Soviet Union, that still does not show that it was dependent on Soviet aid.

That's a tactical difference, not a fundamental one. Also, the Soviets had no problem supporting socialist movements that would take part into the democratic process, also as a tactical move.

I would also say the non-authoritarian credentials of the UP are highly questionable, but that falls outside the scope of this thread.


Can you provide examples of Soviet support for democratic socialist movements?

In what sense?


Cuban foreign policy was not about neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism the way that US foreign policy is.

Sure:

This is also interesting:


I was hoping for something more specific.

Overthrow democracies? I don't think I said that. I said leftist press, and particularly Chilean leftist press, worked hard to do propaganda for the government. The example of the expropriation of CMPC is a great example, as leftist media would misrepresent the opinion of the company's union on expropriation.


The original topic was how Cuba needed to limit capitalist press CiA uses them as tools to overthrow foreign (including democratic) governments.

Yes, leftist media also get involved in politics, but in terms of the history of Cuba and the rest of Latin America, it is the right that gets in bed with foreign powers.

Not quite. What I'm saying is that your argument is no different from those said by supporters of other dictatorships' attempts to silence the opposition.

Free press should be supported because it would give more options for other Cubans to learn about the world, to make it easier to hold the government accountable to the public and also to just express their opinions.


I completely agree.

And as soon as you can explain how Cubans can do that without risking a loss of national sovereignty, we can have that discussion within a realistic comtext.

CIA intervention? Weren't the chavistas elected within a multiparty system? Weren't the Czech communists elected within another multiparty system (also meaning that Allende was the first democratically elected socialist head of government is a myth)?


Multiparty systems are awesome and they definitely help democratic socialists move forward.

This is not logically or historically inconsistent with the fact that in Latin America, the right wing party has almost always had help from the USA as part of a longstanding campaign to ensure inexpensive access to our resources.

Both are linked: Overinvesting in healthcare provision, in this case educating doctors, makes it easier for the government to exert monopsony power by having an excess supply of medics. Banning competing unions also helps.


Then all developed nations that have single buyer health care programs should also do this. It would strengthen public healthcare systems, reduce the insanely high wages some doctors get, improve access, and allow us to help other countries during these times of international health crises.
#15088938
Pants-of-dog wrote:This is a shifting of the goalposts.

While it is true that the Cuban economy was dealt a significant blow with the collapse of the Soviet Union, that still does not show that it was dependent on Soviet aid.


How would you describe Cubans being unable to sustain their living standards after the Soviet Union was unable to keep funding the Cuban government?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Can you provide examples of Soviet support for democratic socialist movements?


Do you mean Soviet support for truly, ideologically liberal democratic movements? Do you mean Soviet support for political parties willing to respect the democratic multiparty system as means to be in a position to ultimately access to power? Or you mean Soviet support for parties standing for that other kind of "democracy" as practiced by themselves and Cuba?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Cuban foreign policy was not about neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism the way that US foreign policy is.


How so? Isn't extracting payments and other types of rents for helping their allies abroad win civil wars quite similar to what the US did several times in the Cold War?

Pants-of-dog wrote:I was hoping for something more specific.


As in the case of a particular Cuban exonerado?

Pants-of-dog wrote:The original topic was how Cuba needed to limit capitalist press CiA uses them as tools to overthrow foreign (including democratic) governments.

Yes, leftist media also get involved in politics, but in terms of the history of Cuba and the rest of Latin America, it is the right that gets in bed with foreign powers.


So directly or indirectly funding the left-wing press to destabilize hostile democratically elected governments would not count? Why wouldn't I count the example of the servile left-wing press during the UP period as an example of the use of propaganda to advance the goals of the government? A government whose democratic credentials were questioned back in the day both domestically and even internationally.

Furthermore, Soviet support for the UP itself wasn't completely non-existent back then either. Cuba was more active, but the Soviets weren't completely absent. And how would they be, when one philo-Soviet party (the Chilean Communist Party) was a senior member of the coalition?

Pants-of-dog wrote:I completely agree.

And as soon as you can explain how Cubans can do that without risking a loss of national sovereignty, we can have that discussion within a realistic comtext.


Why would the existence of free press represent such a risk of losing national sovereignty? Is allowing Telesur to be accessed from outside Venezuela throughout Latin America, and even the US itself, a risk of losing national sovereignty in those countries?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Multiparty systems are awesome and they definitely help democratic socialists move forward.

This is not logically or historically inconsistent with the fact that in Latin America, the right wing party has almost always had help from the USA as part of a longstanding campaign to ensure inexpensive access to our resources.


But limiting political parties from having US-friendly platforms is inconsistent with a defense of a multiparty system. So is limiting the existence of pro-US political parties, particularly when pro-Cuban, pro-Venezuelan and, back in the day, pro-Soviet political parties existed within the same multiparty systems (and an analogous situation occurred with the press).

Pants-of-dog wrote:Then all developed nations that have single buyer health care programs should also do this. It would strengthen public healthcare systems, reduce the insanely high wages some doctors get, improve access, and allow us to help other countries during these times of international health crises.


Going as far as having so many medics around as to have them Uber is going quite far, and bound to fail since those countries don't force higher education applicants to study degrees based on the needs of the State - they decide based on their own will.

But it is in fact true that medical associations behave as cartels in those countries to some extent.
#15089038
wat0n wrote:How would you describe Cubans being unable to sustain their living standards after the Soviet Union was unable to keep funding the Cuban government?


“ the Cuban economy was dealt a significant blow with the collapse of the Soviet Union”

Do you mean Soviet support for truly, ideologically liberal democratic movements? Do you mean Soviet support for political parties willing to respect the democratic multiparty system as means to be in a position to ultimately access to power? Or you mean Soviet support for parties standing for that other kind of "democracy" as practiced by themselves and Cuba?


Whatever you had in mind when you said that the Soviets often supported socialist who refused to enact authoritarian measures against their opponents.

How so? Isn't extracting payments and other types of rents for helping their allies abroad win civil wars quite similar to what the US did several times in the Cold War?


No, not at all. US extraction of wealth is unilateral. Your evidence showed that money given to Cuba from Angola was part of a bilateral agreement.

As in the case of a particular Cuban exonerado?


Sure.

So directly or indirectly funding the left-wing press to destabilize hostile democratically elected governments would not count? Why wouldn't I count the example of the servile left-wing press during the UP period as an example of the use of propaganda to advance the goals of the government? A government whose democratic credentials were questioned back in the day both domestically and even internationally.

Furthermore, Soviet support for the UP itself wasn't completely non-existent back then either. Cuba was more active, but the Soviets weren't completely absent. And how would they be, when one philo-Soviet party (the Chilean Communist Party) was a senior member of the coalition?


If you can provide an example of a leftist press receiving money from abroad to help overthrow a democracy, please do so.

Why would the existence of free press represent such a risk of losing national sovereignty? Is allowing Telesur to be accessed from outside Venezuela throughout Latin America, and even the US itself, a risk of losing national sovereignty in those countries?


Again, there is no reason to assume that the CIA will not try the saem that t did with El Mercurio.

But limiting political parties from having US-friendly platforms is inconsistent with a defense of a multiparty system. So is limiting the existence of pro-US political parties, particularly when pro-Cuban, pro-Venezuelan and, back in the day, pro-Soviet political parties existed within the same multiparty systems (and an analogous situation occurred with the press).


Yes, it is a problematic inconsistency.

And as soon as you can explain how Cubans can do that without risking a loss of national sovereignty, we can have that discussion within a realistic comtext.

Going as far as having so many medics around as to have them Uber is going quite far, and bound to fail since those countries don't force higher education applicants to study degrees based on the needs of the State - they decide based on their own will.

But it is in fact true that medical associations behave as cartels in those countries to some extent.


Again, the pay for taxi drivers is not about over investment.

And if single payer health care programs act as cartels, then okay.
#15089698
Pants-of-dog wrote:“ the Cuban economy was dealt a significant blow with the collapse of the Soviet Union”


...Because it was dependent on Soviet aid to be able to afford the living standards for the population at the time.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Whatever you had in mind when you said that the Soviets often supported socialist who refused to enact authoritarian measures against their opponents.


That would then be the second one: Socialist parties would only move on to enact authoritarian measures when they were reasonably certain they would succeed or when they were left with no other options.

Pants-of-dog wrote:No, not at all. US extraction of wealth is unilateral. Your evidence showed that money given to Cuba from Angola was part of a bilateral agreement.


What are you talking about? The US would sign bilateral aid agreements with the respective country, and would also provide some measure of insurance to investors who invested in the said country. So, for example, when Allende nationalized copper (a major fiasco given that it had already been agreed to in the preceding administration) it generated an insurance liability for the US government and thus it was drawn into that quagmire.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Sure.


HRW wrote:* * *



The emergence of a nascent blogosphere has been heralded as a sign that Cuba is opening up, yet the government systematically blocks critical websites and strictly controls access, forcing bloggers to upload their posts using thumb drives and illegal back channels. Because an hour's use costs roughly one third of Cubans' monthly wages, and since there are few connections outside of cities, the average Cuban has no access to the Internet. Although Yoani Sánchez was named one of Time magazine's one hundred most influential people, most Cubans on the island have never even heard of her, let alone read her blog.[3]

The Cuban government also seeks to isolate dissidents from their communities. They are fired from their jobs and blacklisted from employment. They are subjected to public "acts of repudiation," in which mobs surround their homes, chant insults, throw stones, and sometimes assault them in plain view of their neighbors. Friends and family members are warned to keep their distance, lest they too be branded counterrevolutionaries and punished. Under the "dangerousness" provision, even spending time with someone who is considered "dangerous" is punishable, a kind of "dangerousness" by association.

"People who come to my house are immediately called by state security and reprimanded," Eduardo Pacheco Ortíz, a human rights defender and former political prisoner, told us. "Then these people—for fear of losing their jobs, for fear that [the authorities] will take it out on someone in their family—simply stop talking to me."

After Ramón Velásquez Toranzo was sentenced to four years for his silent march across the island, his son René, who had not marched with his father or considered himself "political," was fired from his longtime job without explanation, then repeatedly denied work on the grounds that he was not "trustworthy." Members of the local Revolutionary Defense Committee regularly harassed and threatened him in public. Police warned his friends that they would get in trouble if they kept hanging around him, until he had few friends left. His girlfriend was forbidden by her parents from seeing him. "Some days I wake up and I think: I have nothing. I am nobody. I have no dreams left for my future," René told us.

Some outside observers contend that the existence of around two hundred political prisoners has little impact on the lives of the 11 million other Cubans. But as the blogger Reinaldo Escobar recently wrote, "Why then does an index finger cross the lips, eyes widen, or a look of horror appear on the faces of my friends when at their houses I commit the indiscretion of making a political comment within earshot of the neighbors?"[4] The political prisoners may be small in number, but they are a chilling reminder to all Cubans of what has been a basic fact of life for half a century: to criticize the Castros is to condemn oneself to years of enforced solitude.


Pants-of-dog wrote:If you can provide an example of a leftist press receiving money from abroad to help overthrow a democracy, please do so.


That's not hard. Communist Parties across the West were funded by the Soviets - or what, you think they funded themselves using bingos? - and their press would be indirectly funded by them as a result. The one that was successful (the Czech one) thus managed to use this funding to launch a Soviet-supported coup on February, 1948 (yes, it was the Soviets who began playing that game. The Americans simply followed in kind).

Pants-of-dog wrote:Again, there is no reason to assume that the CIA will not try the saem that t did with El Mercurio.


Let's assume it did. So what? Even up to this day you can find foreign funded press in all sorts of democracies, including that funded by anti-American elements such as teleSur, Press TV, Russia Today, etc. Why would this be acceptable but not having publicly-funded American media being broadcast abroad?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Yes, it is a problematic inconsistency.

And as soon as you can explain how Cubans can do that without risking a loss of national sovereignty, we can have that discussion within a realistic comtext.


Sure: Just be competent enough so you can resist any attempts to topple your government.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Again, the pay for taxi drivers is not about over investment.


Of course it is. You are saying that medics' wages are so depressed that a foreigner needing a taxi can outbid the government to get their services.

While an excessive government investment on medical degrees isn't the only reason for this - for if this were the case it would not be able to fill all the intended med school openings in a free society -, it helps. In particular, it helps to make it harder for them to organize and try to act as a cartel to bargain with them (although even if they did, they would face repression it's easier to just make it harder for them to organize to begin with).

Pants-of-dog wrote:And if single payer health care programs act as cartels, then okay.


Medical associations are not public institutions. They are a private sector institution that pressures the Government using its cartel status to extract rents, among other things. And its cartel status is such that in countries like Chile, for example, members of the Association can't charge other members as per their ethics code.
#15089738
wat0n wrote:...Because it was dependent on Soviet aid to be able to afford the living standards for the population at the time.


The original claim was that Cuba was a satellite of the Soviets. Since the amount of economic support was enough to improve the lifestyle of the average Cuban, but was not enough to make Cuba reliant on Soviet aid for its survival, it would be hard to argue that Cuba was not sovereign and had to do what the Soviets said.

That would then be the second one: Socialist parties would only move on to enact authoritarian measures when they were reasonably certain they would succeed or when they were left with no other options.


Can you give an example of the Soviets supporting non-authoritarian socialists?

What are you talking about? The US would sign bilateral aid agreements with the respective country, and would also provide some measure of insurance to investors who invested in the said country. So, for example, when Allende nationalized copper (a major fiasco given that it had already been agreed to in the preceding administration) it generated an insurance liability for the US government and thus it was drawn into that quagmire.


When the US imposed Pinochet in Chile, they did not ask us for our comsent.


    After Ramón Velásquez Toranzo was sentenced to four years for his silent march across the island, his son René, who had not marched with his father or considered himself "political," was fired from his longtime job without explanation, then repeatedly denied work on the grounds that he was not "trustworthy." Members of the local Revolutionary Defense Committee regularly harassed and threatened him in public. Police warned his friends that they would get in trouble if they kept hanging around him, until he had few friends left. His girlfriend was forbidden by her parents from seeing him. "Some days I wake up and I think: I have nothing. I am nobody. I have no dreams left for my future," René told us.
    ....


This is called blacklisting. While it is a problem targeting trade unionists all over the world, the most recent big example in the developed world was the ongoing scandal in the UK about the Consulting Association.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consulting_Association

That's not hard. Communist Parties across the West were funded by the Soviets - or what, you think they funded themselves using bingos? - and their press would be indirectly funded by them as a result. The one that was successful (the Czech one) thus managed to use this funding to launch a Soviet-supported coup on February, 1948 (yes, it was the Soviets who began playing that game. The Americans simply followed in kind).


Sorry, which newspaper is this?

Let's assume it did. So what? Even up to this day you can find foreign funded press in all sorts of democracies, including that funded by anti-American elements such as teleSur, Press TV, Russia Today, etc. Why would this be acceptable but not having publicly-funded American media being broadcast abroad?


Because teleSur, RT, et cetera, are not linked to a longstanding tradition to overthrow Latin American democracies.

There is a difference between parroting biased stories and actively conspiring to overthrow the government.

Sure: Just be competent enough so you can resist any attempts to topple your government.


And how should Cuba do that, in terms of dealing with the fact that a free press and a multiparty system will be used by the CIA to destroy Cuban sovereignty?

Of course it is. You are saying that medics' wages are so depressed that a foreigner needing a taxi can outbid the government to get their services.


If doctors are making such a poor salary, then that means the Cuban government is not investing enough.

While an excessive government investment on medical degrees isn't the only reason for this - for if this were the case it would not be able to fill all the intended med school openings in a free society -, it helps. In particular, it helps to make it harder for them to organize and try to act as a cartel to bargain with them (although even if they did, they would face repression it's easier to just make it harder for them to organize to begin with).


This seems to be veering off into pure speculation.

Medical associations are not public institutions. They are a private sector institution that pressures the Government using its cartel status to extract rents, among other things. And its cartel status is such that in countries like Chile, for example, members of the Association can't charge other members as per their ethics code.


I was not referring to medical associations. I was referring to the government as the single payer in a single payer healthcare system.
#15089754
Pants-of-dog wrote:The original claim was that Cuba was a satellite of the Soviets. Since the amount of economic support was enough to improve the lifestyle of the average Cuban, but was not enough to make Cuba reliant on Soviet aid for its survival, it would be hard to argue that Cuba was not sovereign and had to do what the Soviets said.


By that logic, North Korea also wasn't a Soviet satellite although it was wholly dependent on them and eventually swapped them for China (and nuclear weapons).

Interestingly, Cuba did in fact join the economic equivalent to the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet answer to the Marshall Plan and the OECD) in 1972.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Can you give an example of the Soviets supporting non-authoritarian socialists?


You mean Social Democrats?

Pants-of-dog wrote:When the US imposed Pinochet in Chile, they did not ask us for our comsent.


The US didn't impose Pinochet on Chile. The Chilean military did, the Americans actually preferred Allende to be replaced by Eduardo Frei Montalva so they would get a government they could deal with but without the political costs of siding with a dictatorship.

After they got Pinochet, however, they quickly decided it was easier to just accept it. But he was never their preference and there are primary sources that attest to this.

In any event, the Cubans most definitely tried to impose the MPLA on their opposition if we go by that logic. I do not recall anything about American boots on the ground when dealing with Allende, even if the Department of Defense actually proposed considering this option shortly after he got elected (and the option was summarily discarded).

Pants-of-dog wrote:This is called blacklisting. While it is a problem targeting trade unionists all over the world, the most recent big example in the developed world was the ongoing scandal in the UK about the Consulting Association.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consulting_Association


That's pretty bad, but not nearly as bad as having the government doing it. Indeed in that case it's the government itself which is inquiring on whatever happened in this case. You could say that they do this because they got caught, but it says a lot that the Cuban communists haven't even though they have been known to be doing it for a while.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Sorry, which newspaper is this?


Rudé Pravó and Minkás

Pants-of-dog wrote:Because teleSur, RT, et cetera, are not linked to a longstanding tradition to overthrow Latin American democracies.

There is a difference between parroting biased stories and actively conspiring to overthrow the government.


Only because they haven't been in a position to do so. El Mercurio only got into that once Allende's government was starting to get into serious economic (and a few months later, political) troubles from mid 1971 onwards.

Pants-of-dog wrote:And how should Cuba do that, in terms of dealing with the fact that a free press and a multiparty system will be used by the CIA to destroy Cuban sovereignty?


I don't know, maybe it could try reform? Just a suggestion, you know.

Pants-of-dog wrote:If doctors are making such a poor salary, then that means the Cuban government is not investing enough.


Or that it is abusing its market power.

Pants-of-dog wrote:This seems to be veering off into pure speculation.


Is it, though? This is something that someone versed into Marxian economics should recognize as analogous to creating a Reserve Army of Labor, which may not consist of unemployed people waiting to be able to offer their services but an army of chronically underemployed people who can either work in what they are trained for or find an alternative option (like driving taxis for tourists) they could have dedicated their lives for without any special training - and the corresponding costs - involved.

This can and does also happen in capitalist economies, of course, but in that case it's because there is a mismatch between the person's expectations when she decided to study a given degree and what she actually found in the job market years later, when she actually graduates. This can be somewhat improved in the long run by better informing prospective students about what kind of job market they may expect to see upon graduation, but it's a problem that cannot be fully solved since students are taking some amount of risk when they decide to enroll into an university (even if they don't charge tuition, they are investing their time on studying as well so even a "free" education isn't wholly free - and also in that case it will usually be publicly funded so society at large is investing on these students, underemployment means the investment is not panning out as well as one would have hoped).

In Cuba this seems to arise as a government policy to keep labor costs down, because it's a centrally planned economy and markets play a small role in resource allocation. Particularly, since there are no private educational institutions there either. That is, the government is essentially training its own future workers as well.

Pants-of-dog wrote:I was not referring to medical associations. I was referring to the government as the single payer in a single payer healthcare system.


Sure, in that case it would depend on how that healthcare system is designed. You can have a single payer system with multiple independent providers or you can also ban private providers and have the government completely manage the system. In the latter case, the government can end up imposing its market power on healthcare personnel (i.e. pay them low wages). If it also decides how the educational and training systems are set up, it can go even farther and make sure this happens by design.
#15089813
wat0n wrote:By that logic, North Korea also wasn't a Soviet satellite although it was wholly dependent on them and eventually swapped them for China (and nuclear weapons).

Interestingly, Cuba did in fact join the economic equivalent to the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet answer to the Marshall Plan and the OECD) in 1972.


Since Cuba was never wholly dependent on the USSR, this comparison fails at that point.

You mean Social Democrats?


I had previously claimed that Castro and the Soviets had significant differences in foreign policy. Cuba supported anti-colonial socialist movements abroad, while the Soviets supported only those movements that used authoritarian measures against their opponents.

You then claimed that the Soviets also supported socialists who did not use authoritarian measures against their opponents.

Please provide an example.

The US didn't impose Pinochet on Chile. The Chilean military did, the Americans actually preferred Allende to be replaced by Eduardo Frei Montalva so they would get a government they could deal with but without the political costs of siding with a dictatorship.

After they got Pinochet, however, they quickly decided it was easier to just accept it. But he was never their preference and there are primary sources that attest to this.

In any event, the Cubans most definitely tried to impose the MPLA on their opposition if we go by that logic. I do not recall anything about American boots on the ground when dealing with Allende, even if the Department of Defense actually proposed considering this option shortly after he got elected (and the option was summarily discarded).


My point, that you seemed to have missed entirely, is that the USA never asked the Chileans what they wanted. Cuba, on the other hand, worked with Angolans to get them what they (Angolans) wanted.

That's pretty bad, but not nearly as bad as having the government doing it. Indeed in that case it's the government itself which is inquiring on whatever happened in this case. You could say that they do this because they got caught, but it says a lot that the Cuban communists haven't even though they have been known to be doing it for a while.


The blacklist in the UK served the ruling economic paradigm of capitalism.

Rudé Pravó and Minkás


And how exactly were these newspapers involved with the USSR?

Only because they haven't been in a position to do so. El Mercurio only got into that once Allende's government was starting to get into serious economic (and a few months later, political) troubles from mid 1971 onwards.


You are agreeing with me that the significant difference I mentioned (i.e. none of these have been involved in overthrowing democracies) .

I don't know, maybe it could try reform? Just a suggestion, you know.


What sort of reform?

Or that it is abusing its market power.


Whatever. The point is that this point of evidence actually contradicts your claim.

Is it, though? This is something that someone versed into Marxian economics should recognize as analogous to creating a Reserve Army of Labor, which may not consist of unemployed people waiting to be able to offer their services but an army of chronically underemployed people who can either work in what they are trained for or find an alternative option (like driving taxis for tourists) they could have dedicated their lives for without any special training - and the corresponding costs - involved.


I doubt that Cuban doctors are underemployed. At this point, they seem to be very busy saving people all around the world.

In Cuba this seems to arise as a government policy to keep labor costs down, because it's a centrally planned economy and markets play a small role in resource allocation. Particularly, since there are no private educational institutions there either. That is, the government is essentially training its own future workers as well.


Again, this is veering into speculation.

Sure, in that case it would depend on how that healthcare system is designed. You can have a single payer system with multiple independent providers or you can also ban private providers and have the government completely manage the system. In the latter case, the government can end up imposing its market power on healthcare personnel (i.e. pay them low wages). If it also decides how the educational and training systems are set up, it can go even farther and make sure this happens by design.


And?
#15089846
About a period of Cuban history, wat0n wrote:...it was dependent on Soviet aid...

Interesting that you acknowledge that "depending on" something external can be dangerous.

Image

Because currently - while Cuba has become a model of self-sufficiency out of necessity - Western countries are right now in the same predicament as Cuba was under the Soviet umbrella way back then.

In the last 40 years, our corporatist leaders have signed us all up for lots of international trade and outsourced manufacturing. Like Cuba when it was dependent on the elaborate international dealings of the Soviet Union, the West is currently dependent on an even more elaborate house of cards of international trade routes and non-stop wars.

So smearing Cuba for this previous dependence on an international network is really myopic. Instead of scapegoating, you should try to LEARN from human history through empathy.
#15089854
Pants-of-dog wrote:Since Cuba was never wholly dependent on the USSR, this comparison fails at that point.


How so? If you claim that the fact that the revolucionarios weren't toppled by the Cuban people proves so, the same can be said about North Korea.

Pants-of-dog wrote:I had previously claimed that Castro and the Soviets had significant differences in foreign policy. Cuba supported anti-colonial socialist movements abroad, while the Soviets supported only those movements that used authoritarian measures against their opponents.

You then claimed that the Soviets also supported socialists who did not use authoritarian measures against their opponents.

Please provide an example.


And that's why I was asking you about what you meant about "not using authoritarian measures against their opponents". A political party may decide not to do so out of conviction, it may decide not to do so out of convenience and it may actually decide to do so but fail at it.

If they are socialists, the first group would consist of Social Democrats. The other two, could be Marxist Leninist parties that either choose not to enact authoritarian measures because they know that it's not in their interest or try to do so but fail because they lack the military strength to do so.

Pants-of-dog wrote:My point, that you seemed to have missed entirely, is that the USA never asked the Chileans what they wanted. Cuba, on the other hand, worked with Angolans to get them what they (Angolans) wanted.


So what you are suggesting then is that the MPLA was (or perhaps is?) the representative of the Angolan people? But who voted them in to be that, and, particularly, who had done so before Cuba intervened?

Pants-of-dog wrote:The blacklist in the UK served the ruling economic paradigm of capitalism.


But under the same paradigm, it got undone as soon as it was known. Is the blacklist by the Cuban government serving the paradigm of socialism?

Pants-of-dog wrote:And how exactly were these newspapers involved with the USSR?


The Czech communists were funded by the Soviets in the same way the PDC and PN in Chile were funded by the US.

Pants-of-dog wrote:You are agreeing with me that the significant difference I mentioned (i.e. none of these have been involved in overthrowing democracies) .


Czechoslovakia was a Parliamentary democracy until the Communist coup in February 1948.

Pants-of-dog wrote:What sort of reform?


Since I doubt they would stop being a dictatorship, I would guess they'd consider copying the Chinese example of managing a State capitalist system on the ground while remaining socialists on paper. Indeed, there are already strong indications they will end up going that way, the latest and strongest one being that it decided to guarantee the right to private property in the Constitution in 2019.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Whatever. The point is that this point of evidence actually contradicts your claim.


Why?

Pants-of-dog wrote:I doubt that Cuban doctors are underemployed. At this point, they seem to be very busy saving people all around the world.


Because of a global pandemic that obliterated tourism? Maybe. But interestingly, that cooperation is not free either, and the Cuban government is pocketing the profits, with little sharing with the healthcare workers themselves.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Again, this is veering into speculation.


How so? It's easy to tell that's exactly what the market structure is for the Cuban case.

Pants-of-dog wrote:And?


And in the latter case the government would set up a system for the exploitation of man by man, healthcare workers edition.

QatzelOk wrote:Interesting that you acknowledge that "depending on" something external can be dangerous.

Image

Because currently - while Cuba has become a model of self-sufficiency out of necessity - Western countries are right now in the same predicament as Cuba was under the Soviet umbrella way back then.

In the last 40 years, our corporatist leaders have signed us all up for lots of international trade and outsourced manufacturing. Like Cuba when it was dependent on the elaborate international dealings of the Soviet Union, the West is currently dependent on an even more elaborate house of cards of international trade routes and non-stop wars.

So smearing Cuba for this previous dependence on an international network is really myopic. Instead of scapegoating, you should try to LEARN from human history through empathy.


Is it the same, though? As far as the West goes, such dependence is circumscribed to private sector activity, not governmental aid.

Furthermore, as far as Cuba goes, Venezuela was their main aid source while oil was expensive enough, ever since losing that Cuba has been trying to integrate itself into the international economic system. And yes, I said integrate itself into the global economy since its economy was largely closed during the Cold War and the subsequent Special Period. That is, Cuba is preparing to become reliant on foreign non-governmental sources in the same way countries like China or Vietnam are.
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wat0n wrote:How so? If you claim that the fact that the revolucionarios weren't toppled by the Cuban people proves so, the same can be said about North Korea.


Because we are not discussing internal affairs of each country. We are discussing how economic dependence on another country can lead to a loss of sovereignty.

You pointed out how NK was wholly dependent on Soviet support. This total dependence makes it easy for the Soviets to control NK.

Since Cuba was not wholly dependent on Soviet support, it did not have a total dependence and therefore did not provide the Soviets with the same leverage.

And that's why I was asking you about what you meant about "not using authoritarian measures against their opponents". A political party may decide not to do so out of conviction, it may decide not to do so out of convenience and it may actually decide to do so but fail at it.

If they are socialists, the first group would consist of Social Democrats. The other two, could be Marxist Leninist parties that either choose not to enact authoritarian measures because they know that it's not in their interest or try to do so but fail because they lack the military strength to do so.


Okay, please provide an example of the Soviets supporting democratic socialist movements. Thanks.

So what you are suggesting then is that the MPLA was (or perhaps is?) the representative of the Angolan people? But who voted them in to be that, and, particularly, who had done so before Cuba intervened?


The Portuguese did not allow elections.

The MPLA did enjoy popular support, which is why the revolution was successful.

But under the same paradigm, it got undone as soon as it was known. Is the blacklist by the Cuban government serving the paradigm of socialism?


I seriously doubt that blacklisting has ended. It seems more like it was simply driven out of the public eye.

The Czech communists were funded by the Soviets in the same way the PDC and PN in Chile were funded by the US.


Okay.

But we are discussing the relationship between foreign actors and the press.

If you are arguing that the Czech papers were funded indirectly by Czech communist parties, then that is a significant difference from how the CIA interacted directly with El Mercurio.

Czechoslovakia was a Parliamentary democracy until the Communist coup in February 1948.


Okay.

But none of these leftist news outlets had anything to do with that.

Since I doubt they would stop being a dictatorship, I would guess they'd consider copying the Chinese example of managing a State capitalist system on the ground while remaining socialists on paper. Indeed, there are already strong indications they will end up going that way, the latest and strongest one being that it decided to guarantee the right to private property in the Constitution in 2019.


I was not asking what you think will happen.

I was asking how you provide a free press and a multiparty system in a context where foreign superpowers will almost certainly covertly use these institutions to undermine national sovereignty.

Why?


The relatively low pay is an indicator of under investment.

Because of a global pandemic that obliterated tourism? Maybe. But interestingly, that cooperation is not free either, and the Cuban government is pocketing the profits, with little sharing with the healthcare workers themselves.


The pandemic definitely increased demand for doctors all over the world. And since capitalist countries are not sending doctors abroad to help the world’s most needy, it would make sense for a country that has the resources to use them.

And in the latter case the government would set up a system for the exploitation of man by man, healthcare workers edition.


No. It would just mean that government controls most aspects of the industry.

If you want exploitation through health care, the easiest way is to make the individual pay for it.
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Pants-of-dog wrote:Because we are not discussing internal affairs of each country. We are discussing how economic dependence on another country can lead to a loss of sovereignty.

You pointed out how NK was wholly dependent on Soviet support. This total dependence makes it easy for the Soviets to control NK.

Since Cuba was not wholly dependent on Soviet support, it did not have a total dependence and therefore did not provide the Soviets with the same leverage.


By that reasoning, the same could be said about North Korea: The regime still exists, therefore the Soviets didn't have much leverage. I think that's fallacious, and can be seen by what happened in both countries after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Okay, please provide an example of the Soviets supporting democratic socialist movements. Thanks.


There are no examples of Soviet support for Social Democratic movements, just like there are no examples of Cuba supporting Social Democratic movements.

Pants-of-dog wrote:The Portuguese did not allow elections.

The MPLA did enjoy popular support, which is why the revolution was successful.


The MPLA was not the only armed group that participated in the revolution. Others, like UNITAS, also played a major role and the fact that they started fighting the MPLA with South African support was what led to the Cuban intervention.

Pants-of-dog wrote:I seriously doubt that blacklisting has ended. It seems more like it was simply driven out of the public eye.


Maybe, but the Cubans don't even bother to do that.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Okay.

But we are discussing the relationship between foreign actors and the press.

If you are arguing that the Czech papers were funded indirectly by Czech communist parties, then that is a significant difference from how the CIA interacted directly with El Mercurio.


Those newspapers were directly owned by the Czech Communist Party. I think it's no different from the CIA funding and indeed coordinating with Edwards in this regard: Those newspapers were part of the Party's propaganda arm after all.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Okay.

But none of these leftist news outlets had anything to do with that.


How so?

Pants-of-dog wrote:I was not asking what you think will happen.

I was asking how you provide a free press and a multiparty system in a context where foreign superpowers will almost certainly covertly use these institutions to undermine national sovereignty.


In the same way that all democratic countries do? Even in the US there was foreign intervention, as recently as in 2016.

Pants-of-dog wrote:The relatively low pay is an indicator of under investment.


Is it? They have an excess supply of doctors to the point that some just prefer to drive taxis on normal times, and this doesn't really affect the healthcare system.

Pants-of-dog wrote:The pandemic definitely increased demand for doctors all over the world. And since capitalist countries are not sending doctors abroad to help the world’s most needy, it would make sense for a country that has the resources to use them.


What do you mean that capitalist countries are not helping other countries in need? Even within Europe, where so much noise has been made about Cuban doctors going to Italy or Spain (at a fee of course), countries like Germany have had no problems in flying patients from abroad to admit them into their own healthcare system.

Pants-of-dog wrote:No. It would just mean that government controls most aspects of the industry.

If you want exploitation through health care, the easiest way is to make the individual pay for it.


So there is no exploitation of labor in the healthcare system when the government has a monopsony of their labor market and pays them so little that it is actually an option for some doctors to drive taxis for a living?
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