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  #11  
Old 06-05-2017, 07:43 AM
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Douglas G. Brown Douglas G. Brown is offline
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[quote=Roger Slater;397068] I'm betting they just didn't use the sequence where a Trump-supporting skinhead with a swastika tattoo beat a Hillary supporter senseless with a Heineken bottle. QUOTE]

Roger, he would have used a Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle. Any beer in a green bottle must be made by some damn furriner.

Though up here in Maine, he would have used an Allen's Coffee Brandy bottle.
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2017, 12:00 AM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Originally Posted by Emitt Evan Baker View Post
Mr. Baurle, the combination of your focus on socialism paired with your seeming lack understanding of its actual workings and forms making your posts a bit strained.
Thank you, Emitt! I needed a good laugh tonight!

Perhaps you can tutor me as to these "actual workings" of socialism? In this thread or by private message?

And you might want to try the edit button and fix that bit I quoted? I could fix it for you if you want?

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 06-06-2017 at 12:04 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-06-2017, 12:10 AM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Originally Posted by Roger Slater View Post
I found the ad pretty silly and simplistic. I'm betting they just didn't use the sequence where a Trump-supporting skinhead with a swastika tattoo beat a Hillary supporter senseless with a Heineken bottle.
Or the sissy antifa university professor with the bicycle lock bashing the head of the Trump supporter. They left that one out, too. Oh wait, that actually happened.
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  #14  
Old 06-06-2017, 01:40 PM
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Douglas G. Brown Douglas G. Brown is offline
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Mr. Baurle, the combination of your focus on socialism paired with your seeming lack understanding of its actual workings and forms making your posts a bit strained.

My Vietnamese ex wife and her extended family of about 35 people had their fill of the "actual workings" of socialism from 1975 to the middle of 1980, when they got on a leaky boat and headed out to sea. They have since had much better lives in Canada, France, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
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  #15  
Old 06-06-2017, 04:26 PM
Emitt Evan Baker Emitt Evan Baker is offline
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Originally Posted by Douglas G. Brown View Post
Mr. Baurle, the combination of your focus on socialism paired with your seeming lack understanding of its actual workings and forms making your posts a bit strained.

My Vietnamese ex wife and her extended family of about 35 people had their fill of the "actual workings" of socialism from 1975 to the middle of 1980, when they got on a leaky boat and headed out to sea. They have since had much better lives in Canada, France, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
Your doing the same thing as Bill. Socialism has many permutations. State socialism being one of those. What discussion of Viet Nam in the late seventies can you have without examining the repercussions of the misguided domino theory and the alienation of Ho Chi Minh? Is the supposed predilection to violence of a socialist state in Asia in 1970's able to be calculated without adding the previous decade of napalm to the equation? Doubtful at best.

What Bill has spent the last months raving about are ideas in the present spectrum of US politics that have no trackable commonplace with say the Khmer Rouge or Stalinism. The murderous campaigns in those regimes have much more to do with ideas of power, purity, and the fear of counter revolution that with any desire to check the accumulation of wealth of the few. In the Khmer especially, being a regime based on a very tight cult of personality in Pol Pot and Leader Number 2 and focused on a destruction of all art and cultural experience have almost nothing in common with ideas of the so-called regressive left. Socialist experiments in Chiapas and Rojava would be just as applicable if not more so than any of the war time rampages born out of the violent nationalisms of the last century.

It is not mere lip service to say that a human socialism was betrayed by Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin in the service of the State. If you wish to make leaps like you are making then capitalism is nothing but Sinclair's Jungle or child labor of the turn of the twentieth century. The question is what is innate to the ideas and what is created by particulars of the time. A politic based in the idea of "to each according to her needs", that recognizes that all wealth in the modern world is based in an access to structures lifted up on the shoulders of others is hardly innately connected to the Killing Fields or the Gulag. Vaclav Havel, a man as aware as any body in any boat of the dangers of State socialism said in 1994:

Planetary democracy does not yet exist but our global civilization is already preparing a place for it. It is the very Earth we inhabit linked with Heaven above us. Only in this setting can the mutuality and the commonality of the human race be newly created with reverence and gratitude for that which transcends each of us and all of us together.


A disaster looms for human society and the biomes of the world. The promise that a solution to this disaster which has been brought to its peak by unfettered capitalism (among other players) will look more like that same capitalism and less like the as yet unrealized aspirations of socialist dreamers is, to me, a very strained bluster.

All that serious business aside, if you don't find conflating the women on the View, some loner adjunct goofball with a bike lock, and Stalin with the idea that we cannot allow the wealth disparity and the war on the worlds resources to go uncontested, maybe even to the point of blood, strained gobblygook then I don't know what to tell you. There is long history of many permutations of these ideas on the left.

It is no accident that when there is any real danger of a human Socialism coming to be as with Allende, Spain or now Rojava the interests of concentrated power on all sides unite against it. Bill speaks of the true left with obviously no experience wrestling with the presence of say Gramsci, or Luxemborg, or Kropotkin. I think the charge of lack of depth to his argument stands even without noticing how often his phrases and language seem parroted right out internet talking points of the far right despite their being sandwiched in constant claims of the center.

Truth is I am no anything-ist myself. I think these categories are way past obsolete. But I respect their arguments and find nothing remotely resembling the actual Left in the windmills Bill is charging at. Stupid internet-filled fans rooting for the Blue Jersies, maybe. But no one I hear speaking at any meetings where serious tactics are being discussed.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:31 PM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Originally Posted by Douglas G. Brown View Post
Mr. Baurle, the combination of your focus on socialism paired with your seeming lack understanding of its actual workings and forms making your posts a bit strained.

My Vietnamese ex wife and her extended family of about 35 people had their fill of the "actual workings" of socialism from 1975 to the middle of 1980, when they got on a leaky boat and headed out to sea. They have since had much better lives in Canada, France, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
Exactly.

Emitt,

I think socialism can work on a small scale, as in tribal societies, and in things like work farms and communes, but it has been proven to fail time and time again when tried in large, industrialized populations. It has cost millions and millions of lives, and has caused untold suffering and deprivation. It isn't that it's good in theory, but hasn't been put into practice correctly. It is rotten in theory, which is why it fails in practice.

And hey, I'm not exactly the first guy to have noticed this! Hello!

Von Mises predicted that Marxism would be a total disaster, in 1922.
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  #17  
Old 06-07-2017, 02:17 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Mao and Stalin proudly referred to their politics as communist. Americans find it convenient to refer to it as socialist, thus blanketing everything to the left of capitalism as of a piece with those blood-soaked tyrants. I will go further and say that Ho Chi Minh and the state he created were also communist.
Western Europe has been running what are in essence social democracies for several decades - for instance, with universal healthcare. Anyone is of course welcome to refer to this as failed socialist experiments, but I see value there which the United States - with, for instance, its crap healthcare statistics and extreme wealth inequalities - does not match.
OK, that's my 2c.
Oh - I'll just add, with Orwell, that language matters.
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  #18  
Old 06-07-2017, 03:35 AM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
Mao and Stalin proudly referred to their politics as communist. Americans find it convenient to refer to it as socialist, thus blanketing everything to the left of capitalism as of a piece with those blood-soaked tyrants. I will go further and say that Ho Chi Minh and the state he created were also communist.
Western Europe has been running what are in essence social democracies for several decades - for instance, with universal healthcare. Anyone is of course welcome to refer to this as failed socialist experiments, but I see value there which the United States - with, for instance, its crap healthcare statistics and extreme wealth inequalities - does not match.
OK, that's my 2c.
Oh - I'll just add, with Orwell, that language matters.
As I said in my prior post, socialist systems can work, on smaller scales, and are even what I would call necessary, for tribal communities in particular, where there is no such thing as rich and poor.

But it's been proven not to work on a very large, industrial scale.

As for healthcare: there are still, state by state, systems in place to provide care for people under a certain income. In Arizona, people who have no income, or too little income, apply here and usually will meet criteria and receive care:

https://www.azahcccs.gov/

And, of course, that's just one state, and the most notoriously conservative state, at that. Every state has the same programs which provide low or no-cost healthcare to those who cannot pay.

I worked in a hospital for six years, and I've been a low-income wage earner since 2012, when I quit that job. I know of literally no-one, and I mean no-one, who cannot receive at least emergency and/or urgent care, even if they haven't got a cent.

Sure, millions of people owe thousands and thousands of dollars to various hospitals. But the collection agencies are not that aggressive, and most people can ignore those debts indefinitely.

**I'm one dem peeple! Yessiree Bob! Hell yeeah.

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 06-07-2017 at 03:53 AM.
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  #19  
Old 06-07-2017, 05:51 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Good morning Bill,

Western Europe to my mind is not a tribal community...
I volunteered for nine years at a homeless day shelter in Indiana. Yes, our clients got emergency healthcare, by going to the ER, waiting several hours, and being seen by an MD for any ailment they had. They would then discard the bill when it arrived. This does not seem to me an ideal system, not least in economic terms. The cost (MDs cost money) is of course spread out onto the taxpaying and insurance-paying community, it is not magically eaten by mysterious forces.
As for outcomes, I am sure you are familiar with how US life expectancy, etc., rank in world terms. Not well.

Cheers,
John

We might also review the American prison system, in which unfettered capitalism plays I believe an important role. To name but one other example. It is sui generis; perhaps China is the closest large-scale equivalent.

Last edited by John Isbell; 06-07-2017 at 05:56 AM.
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  #20  
Old 06-07-2017, 06:04 AM
Emitt Evan Baker Emitt Evan Baker is offline
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Originally Posted by William A. Baurle View Post
Von Mises predicted that Marxism would be a total disaster, in 1922.
Bakunin, the socialist, predicted the same in 1848.

One of the strengths of the present form of capitalism is its ability to export the suffering in such a way that you can write post number 16 without feeling any sense of hypocrisy. It called the Pinochet Syndrome.

The incongruity of socialist ideas with the scale of the nation-state is similar to the incongruity of most dreams of decency and compassion with that same life-threatening scale. John's points in his last post are well taken but the real trauma unfolding is across lines of species. Big agriculture is the Rosetta stone for translating Capital's actual promise. Go behind the closed doors and look it in the eye.
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