What would it take for Russia to be #1?
Posted 17 July 2003 - 05:15 PM
and done all the work. Some have paid for it with their lives.
Such as Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy.>
Exactly. That's why it's important not to build upon a strong leader but upon an idea owned by many people.
<It would great to see the Russian arive there first after what they have been put through. I have yet to hear anyone say anything
that would suggest they deserved that. ( I haven't opened a can of worms here have ?)>
I did the other day...
<Don, good buddy,
I feel like you are almost family.>
Likewise Beat. We are a little happy Pravda family. Pravda is doing a very cool job is allowing us to meet and even discuss the future of Russia.
I'm currently watching the documentary 'Blood Upon the Snow," based on Stalin's rule. How much the Russian people have suffered is beyond words. If she haven't had a lion, she could have gone like her neighbors the Scandinavian countries. She still can...
<The wiser choice I beleive is an independant financial authority
that Gov can't control (some reserve banks are thus) that is
accountable to the public as much as gov. Now this is empowering the people when the money system is of service to them and not an elite. You can forget the poor v. the rich.
The rich can go through the roof and not deprive anyone else if honest and the poor are only poor because they waste it.>
I believe it. Actually, and jumping to another subject, the same goes for the media. It should be independent. The BBC, though imperfect, presents such an option, politically and culturally. Only 14% of American TV programs make it to the BBC. Would you favor it guys?
"Karl Marx held that history is shaped by control of the means of production. In our times history is shaped by control of the means of communication" -A. Schlesinger, Jr.
Posted 17 July 2003 - 05:38 PM
indeed, so bad that the nazis were welcomed as liberators in ukraine and that a famous poet remarked at the height of the siege of leningrad that the citizens, at least, found a certain wonderful freedom in being cut off from the rest of the USSR.
Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:04 PM
Whatever became of the cowboys. Nightline showed the other day they can't even sustain themselves, and must take part times. It has become a factory job...
AMERICA'S HEARTLAND BECOMES A FACTORY
Source: book 'Fast Food Nation,' by Eric Schlosser
(The emphasis in capital letter is mine)
Over the last twenty-five years, Idaho has lost about half of its potato farmers. During the same period, the amount of land devoted to potatoes has increased. Family farms are giving way to corporate farms that stretch for thousands of acres. These immense corporate farms are divided into smaller holdings for administrative purposes, and farmers who've been driven off the land are often hired to manage them. The patterns of land ownership in the American West more and more resemble those of rural England. "We've come full circle," says Paul Patterson. "You increasingly find two classes of people in rural Idaho: the people who run the farms and the people who own them."
Moulton [a staff member of the Potato Growers of Idaho] thinks some sort of COOPERATIVE, an organization to coordinate marketing and production levels, may be the last hope for Idaho's potato farmers... "Some of them are independent to the point of poverty," he says.
Since the end of World War II, farmers in the US have been persuaded to adopt one new technology after another, hoping to improve their yields, reduce their costs, and outsell their neighbors. By embracing this industrial model of agriculture --one that focuses narrowly on the level of inputs and outputs, that encourages specialization in just one crop, that relies heavily on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, advanced harvesting and irrigation equipment-- American farmers have become the most productive farmers on earth. Every increase in productivity, however, has driven more American farmers off the land. And it has left those who remain beholden to the companies that supply the inputs and the processors that buy the outputs.
The suicide rate among ranchers and farmers in the US is now about three times higher than the national average. The issue briefly received attention during the 1980s farm crisis, but has been pretty much ignored ever since. Meahwhile, across rural America, a slow and steady death toll mounts. As the rancher's traditional way of life is distroyed, so are many beliefs that go with it. The code of the rancher could hardly could hardly be more out of step with America's state of mind. As Osha Gray Davidson observes in his book 'Broken Heartland,' "To fail generations of relatives... to see yourself as the weak link in a strong chain... is a terrible, and for some, unbearable burden."
Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:13 PM
It's so pitiful. This people dying for a cause which at worst brought them the Gulag and at best a dictatorship. Meanwhile Stalin got the all the credits...
Posted 17 July 2003 - 08:37 PM
War in Iraq brings peace.
<Orwell assigned the role of war to not only destroy the surplus, but also to destroy wants, material wants etc.>
War is good for the GNP though right?
<But it doesn't lie with the proles alone. Without outside help they would slumber on for milenia, not and again wakened with nationalism nothing more. >
Yeah, but he also warned about the middle class wanting to become upper class and using the lower class toward that end. We must be wary...
Posted 17 July 2003 - 11:50 PM
Thanks for the remarks. You pointed out some failures of the current capitalistic systems, and I would like to throw my two cents in:
"capitalism is also failing, among others, at the following levels:
- Environment. It's so obvious--except for a few countries, most notably Scandinavia--is causing a major catastrophe. Our lands and oceans are being preyed upon with no mercy. Like Jacques Cousteau said, "Living like rats is not my idea of life."
my response: In my mind this is not attribuable to capitalism, but to consumerism. Capitalism doesn't say, "destroy the environment", rather it says, "make a bunch of money." Consumerism and blind greed on the part of ALL industrialized nations, and TOTAL BLINDNESS on the part of the former Iron Curtain countries, have caused most of the calamities decried these days.
With proper regulation by individual countries as well as international organizations such as the UN, we can start eliminating the catastrophe we created, but we may already be too late. Don't forget, Chernobyl didn't happen in the US.
"- Conflict. Never, ever has the word "save" has been uttered by this administration before going to war with oil-rich Iraq. An SUV is a sign of "prestige," I in my little bike am at the wrong end of the food chain."
my response: I feel here again it's consumerism that's to blame. Whether you are talking about "conflict" or not "saving", the blame lies on the part of the people and institutions of a given country. We Americans don't have to pay as much for gasoline and other natural resources, therefore we tend to frivolize their importance. If we had to pay US$5.00 for a gallon of gas, you'd see a lot less SUVs on the road - nothing to do with capitalism.
"- Poverty. The poor, the homeless got no hope. The whole society pays the price in the form of crime, litter and blight."
my response: here I would tend to agree with you. I don't blame Capitalism in general, rather our current interpretation of it. I don't see the concept of "making money is a good thing" as being a direct cause of poverty. Capitalism doesn't exclude any particular class, race, creed, or other distinction in society. It merely rewards those who can create wealth. But we have pushed away a large sector of society which produces, in and of itself, very little wealth. Capitalism doesn't punish these people necessarily, but under current interpretation, it also affords very little possibility of changing the situation.
By using the Swiss model of apprenticeship, we can give the necessary education and skills to many underprivileged citizens, especially the young, and destroy the hereditary poverty that has resulted up to now.
"- Culture. The garbage--talk shows, violent programs--the people get is at the level of the roman circus, with even less quality."
my response: I watch very little American TV. You've pointed out some of my main reasons for not wasting my time. However, please understand that TV programs have to do more with the culture of a country, not it's form of economy. Government regulates news and official business, it generally stays away from other types of programs.
Case in point, when I visited Thailand in 1979, everytime I happened to be in front of a TV (either at friends' homes, or hotels, etc.) I would see either Thai boxing or Thai soap operas. That's what the public in Thailand at that time wanted. YUUCCH.
As far as culture in general, that has nothing to do with economies. The fact that we don't have any in the US has nothing to do with our economy.
"- Food. Our food supply is fully manipulated into plastic stuff, our children particularly being preyed upon by junk food multinationals."
my response: only in the US. In other countries the are not as obsessed with eating rapidly, not as obese and are much more aware of good nutritional foods.
"- Hunger. 800 million people--300 million of them children--go hungry as we speak."
my response: you are obviously using world-wide statistics on this one. Though this has nothing to do with Capitalism per se, it is a blight on ALL industrialized nations to allow this condition to continue and worsen over time. I blame Republicans, Democrats, Social Democrats, Conservatives, Radicals, and all other parties currently enjoying the fruits of being in power in their country while ignoring this horrible situation.
"- Serfdom. That's the only word that applies to low paying jobs, with total lack of security, not even the security to eat or have a roof, something the serfs took for granted..."
my response: this is obviously more of an American issue than any other country I know of. I am specifically talking about the lack of security for those with jobs. It's a whole other issue if you can't find work.
In other countries, workers have many more rights than we Americans. For instance, it is much harder to fire someone in other countries. Here, most are hired on an "at will" basis. In other words, If the will of the company changes (which it does often) they can severe your contract in a heartbeat - and usually on Friday.
For instance, if the US had to pay a typical severence fee (say, oh, 20 days salary for every year of service) it would be harder, and costlier, to fire someone just before they retire.
Okay, now it's my turn to be pummeled.
Posted 18 July 2003 - 07:25 AM
Posted 18 July 2003 - 05:04 PM
My use of the term 'capitalism' is loosely used in the sense of 'what they claim to be' not 'what it is.' Same thing about 'communism,' whatever they claimed to be 'communism' was a failure. Whether pure capitalism--competition--or communism--cooperation--would work in real life it remains to be seen, but probably a combination of the two is the best way to go.
What's in a name?
I rather use the word 'humanism' though, which is cleaner...
Posted 18 July 2003 - 06:17 PM
What Is Humanism?
What is humanism?
The sort of answer you will get to that question depends on what sort of humanist you ask!
The word "humanism" has a number of meanings, and because authors and speakers often don't clarify which meaning they intend, those trying to explain humanism can easily become a source of confusion. Fortunately, each meaning of the word constitutes a different type of humanism -- the different types being easily separated and defined by the use of appropriate adjectives. So, let me summarize the different varieties of humanism in this way.
Literary Humanism is a devotion to the humanities or literary culture.
Renaissance Humanism is the spirit of learning that developed at the end of the middle ages with the revival of classical letters and a renewed confidence in the ability of human beings to determine for themselves truth and falsehood.
Cultural Humanism is the rational and empirical tradition that originated largely in ancient Greece and Rome, evolved throughout European history, and now constitutes a basic part of the Western approach to science, political theory, ethics, and law.
Philosophical Humanism is any outlook or way of life centered on human need and interest. Sub-categories of this type include Christian Humanism and Modern Humanism.
Christian Humanism is defined by Webster's Third New International Dictionary as "a philosophy advocating the self-fulfillment of man within the framework of Christian principles." This more human-oriented faith is largely a product of the Renaissance and is a part of what made up Renaissance humanism.
Modern Humanism, also called Naturalistic Humanism, Scientific Humanism, Ethical Humanism and Democratic Humanism is defined by one of its leading proponents, Corliss Lamont, as "a naturalistic philosophy that rejects all supernaturalism and relies primarily upon reason and science, democracy and human compassion." Modern Humanism has a dual origin, both secular and religious, and these constitute its sub-categories.
Secular Humanism is an outgrowth of 18th century enlightenment rationalism and 19th century freethought. Many secular groups, such as the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism and the American Rationalist Federation, and many otherwise unaffiliated academic philosophers and scientists, advocate this philosophy.
Religious Humanism emerged out of Ethical Culture, Unitarianism, and Universalism. Today, many Unitarian- Universalist congregations and all Ethical Culture societies describe themselves as humanist in the modern sense.
I liked this...
Humanism teaches us that it is immoral to wait for God to act for us. We must act to stop the wars and the crimes and the brutality of this and future ages. We have powers of a remarkable kind. We have a high degree of freedom in choosing what we will do. Humanism tells us that whatever our philosophy of the universe may be, ultimately the responsibility for the kind of world in which we live rests with us.
Posted 18 July 2003 - 10:51 PM
I'm not very familiar with the usages of "humanism," and it apears to range more in the cultural and mores aspects of human life as opposed to the political and economical aspects.
My thoughts are, in short,
Capitalism per se, isn't bad. As it is currently interpreted, it has its shortcomings. "Make a buck," by itself shouldn't be a crime. After all, money in and of itself is nothing. It's only use is as a bartering tool for transactional purposes.
Consumerism isn't necessarily bad either, but the hyperconsumerism that exists in the US must stop. It is not only counterproductive, it is destructive. One obvious point is the meals served in most restaurants. In Europe they serve you a meal, in the US they serve you three meals. And, since people don't want to be wasteful, they eat it. Result: obesity. Not the only reason, to be sure, but a very big contributing factor.
Communism per se, isn't bad. I don't think Marx or Engels had Russia in mind when they wrote about the changes needed in the industrial world. The worker is the singlemost important element in any manufacturing enterprise. If you don't believe that, just tell all your workers to go to hell and see how well your company survives. But to translate that philosophy into general use, and you have the situation that I saw in Warsaw, Poland, in 1978, when the people there spoke to me of 30 years of vacation at work. They would do nothing until they received a work order from their boss's boss. Not very conducive to great production efforts.
A hybrid approach is probably the best. And I'm still waiting for the right one to come along.
Posted 19 July 2003 - 08:44 AM
Like HUMANISM we step around varieties of perceptions due to
different interpretations. I liked Mach-H's summary.
Regards capitalism being a good servant and bad master same goes for government and money.
Verci- welcome, you are new to me. Can I say that Yahweh's laws
and Marx's theory weren't designed with Russians in mind.
I wait for something uniquelly Russian, home grown and not a foreign wooden-horse of Troy like 1917. They don't need to kick anyone out, just stop doing what anyone else wants them to do,
and do what they want to do in their own country. This is why I
liked Putin's comments to the G8 leaders at the St P
celebrations- indication that the Euro penetration into their
affairs of past history is to be just that-past. - Well, in the brief comments by the media which may or may not be informative.
Consumerism: I cannot elevate it as you have Beat, but there certaining is over use of resources, but I think that putting away
the obsolete petro-chemical internal combustion engines is better than say a huge price rise in petrol or heavy taxes. I am also mindful of the statistics of the huge numbers on the planet who are underconsuming to the point of early retirement from the planet, together with the situation in the Japanese and US economies where there seems to be a lack of consumption
that wories the economists. Another factor, but on your side of the issue is the obsolescene built into the finished product to assist on going demand and re-producing what should last a lot longer.
Appenticeships and the like: some governments dropped these because it wasn't the business of govs to remain in what is claimed to be a private sector business, so no one did it because
it came not from private schools dying of lack of students because they were getting a free ride from the state but because of ideology on its head. This policy
like others lent itself to the mass immigration one - import skilled labour and money through foreigners ( but added to the load on the infrastructure which in turn put a huge load on the public sector again- typical free market shortsightedness) and as could be anticipated much of the theory failed. Governments are going to have to restart them or subsidise private attempts to meet demands ( here's the thin edge of the fascist wedge which is what was intended I believe- it's more about ideology than economics, ideology being a determining character and economics a serving character)
The FARMING stats from Donq are a follow on from many other countries, its seems that the problems of many nations are arriving in the top-dog country last. Family farms have been on the way out around the world for a couple of decades at least
and the suicides usually follow the free-market policies.
The list of requirments for a successful operation you listed Donq shows that it is only big business (corps) that can go
into the debt required to operate- debt drives in the direction of monopoly and global control- which is why I believe Marx never challenged the money capitalists inspite of the fact he understood how they milked society. If he was genuinely for the
masses he would have been the fireyist ( doesn't look rite does it)
monetary reformer in history.
Last point on educating everyone so they can be employed on
good wages/salaries is where are the jobs for full employment?
They aren't there. We have so much technology out there doing work for us but we are working longer- hello! Can't we smell a rat? ( no, a lion)
Posted 19 July 2003 - 10:33 AM
companies are now discovering that fundamental truth you mentioned (the most vital part is the workers) and are taking steps to ensure that they get the best workers and manage to keep them. this is called competition (read: capitolism).
i visited a mercedes plant recently; the company had gone the extra mile to motivate workers (one example was constant contests between crews and shifts-best shift of the week gets a bonus etc) and keep them happy-there was even a multi-million dollar entertainment complex/gym/pool that on the grounds that the employees used.
the market is constantly undergoing self-improvement; those that are unable to do so and continue to abuse workers (as they most certainly did in marx and engels day) will die much deserved deaths and fall along the roadside.
Posted 19 July 2003 - 04:59 PM
A minor note: -ism, as we are using it here, means "the theory, school or doctrine of" and capitol means "the building in which the state or federal government meets"
I'm sure there could exist a school of thought around capitolism, but I, for one, would be hard pressed to discuss it. So let's just discuss capitalism for now.
I'm assuming that the Mercedes plant you saw was in Europe. If a plant like that exists in the US I would be shocked, but also very pleased. That would definitely not be the norm here in the US.
But there are other world-wide factors for treating the worker fairly that have yet to see the light of day here in the US - The leader in worker exploitation around the world.
The 13th month - I got it in Switzerland and Mexico, but it is unknown here in the US. It is an extra month's pay given to the workers, usually around November, as a bonus.
Severance pay - In the US this is almost unheard of at the worker level, except where Unions are present. In most of the rest of the world this is dictated by law. One example is Mexico where the company MUST give you 20 days pay for every year of service. In the US, only the highest echelons receive severance pay on a standard basis and then it is usually a ridiculously high figure that further bleeds the company dry.
Firing someone - In the US it's always same day - unless you're top echelon. In Switzerland it's 2 months notice for everyone up to 5 years of service, after that it's 3 months notice.
AND MOST IMPORTANT - Treating workers like they were part of the company's family. This one incident that I will tell here demonstrates the difference in mentality between the US and at least some of the rest of the world:
While working in Switzerland at the airport in Geneva, I heard of a worker at the Zurich airport who accidentally drove a small truck into the wing of a DC-9, causing about US$1 million damage. In the US, the verdict would be simple - FIRE HIM NOW!!! In Switzerland, they took a much more humane approach.
They interviewed him about the incident and found out that he was in the middle of a nasty divorce which had left him overly stressed and unable to function properly at work. So Swissair sent him to Ticino, the Italian canton in Switzerland, for 3 weeks of psychiatric help. He was paid his regular wages and the help was paid in full by the company.
I know of no company in the US that would even consider such a policy for a "lowly worker".
Posted 19 July 2003 - 05:41 PM
Hey CPWill, all
I assure you though those type of conditions will never be offered to the little people. It's perhaps something that at best will be available to the most qualified workers--who otherwise may go with another company, the employers not being 'good' but being 'smart'...
The only solution for the little people--say those who clean the floors at Mercedes--may be coops, at least as an option. Then they would become more valuable to the capitalist the way the skilled workers are.
Now, for the original intent of capitalism and communism it may have been good, but they deservedly have become dirty words for those who suffer from it--say the Russian people or the Argentinian people. And I don't think we should try to save the words but dump them overboard, and take the best working solutions from both.
What's the new name? I got something in mind--because I campaign with the little people--something they can relate to, eat, drink, etc. I know it works...
Well now I go to some party, reggae. I get a lot of kicks from it, not least the message. Take good care guys!
Posted 19 July 2003 - 06:10 PM
Build and sell WMD worldwide and use the funds to stimulate the economy
Legalize every sin under the sun( Like America)
Forget America's perspective of Democracy
Always keep a Big stash of deadly Nukes in case America gets any war ideals
Gain the confidence and form a alliance with the enemies of the U.S( shouldn't be hard)
Don't let the U.S just take the resources of Iraq
Crash the U.S stock market
Posted 19 July 2003 - 06:23 PM
And I believe you mean "Nukes" not "Narks." I can't imagine the purpose of having a myriad of narcotics agents ready "in case America gets any war ideals".
Otherwise, some of your proposals are indeed the way the US has generated a lot of its cash flow over the past 100 years.
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