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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: August 31 18, 8:47 am 
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ghostrunner wrote:
Well, it starts out pretty good.




At the end he says "big corporations are the backbone of the left". I wonder if his sponsors realize this?

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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: August 31 18, 10:36 am 
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greenback44 wrote:
Sometimes I think Trump is just a performance artist, a vastly more successful Sacha Baron Cohen. On June 6, 2019, he'll get everybody in the 101st Airborne to run around doing the "Heil Hitler" salute.



It's interesting how he localizes it. "I don't think INDIANA wants to be Venezuela." He's a moron and he's got no real strategy, but he's got instincts.


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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: August 31 18, 10:47 am 
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greenback44 wrote:
Sometimes I think Trump is just a performance artist, a vastly more successful Sacha Baron Cohen. On June 6, 2019, he'll get everybody in the 101st Airborne to run around doing the "Heil Hitler" salute.


I agree. Every gesture, every facial expression is purposeful and seems to evoke a response from the crowd.


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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: August 31 18, 11:52 am 
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MAGA wrote:
greenback44 wrote:
Sometimes I think Trump is just a performance artist, a vastly more successful Sacha Baron Cohen. On June 6, 2019, he'll get everybody in the 101st Airborne to run around doing the "Heil Hitler" salute.


I agree. Every gesture, every facial expression is purposeful and seems to evoke a response from the crowd.


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To understand the rapid mainstreaming of white supremacism in English-speaking liberal democracies today, we must examine the experience of unprecedented global migration and racial mixing in the Anglosphere in the late 19th century: countries such as the United States and Australia where, as Roosevelt wrote admiringly in 1897, “democracy, with the clear instinct of race selfishness, saw the race foe, and kept out the dangerous alien.” It is in the motherlands of democracy rather than in fascist Europe that racial hierarchies first defined the modern world. It is also where a last-ditch and potentially calamitous battle to preserve them is being fought today.

This “race selfishness” was sharpened in the late 19th century, as the elites of the “higher races” struggled to contain mass disaffection generated by the traumatic change of globalization: loss of jobs and livelihoods amid rapid economic growth and intensified movements of capital, goods and labor. For fearful ruling classes, political order depended on their ability to forge an alliance between, as Hannah Arendt wrote, “capital and mob,” between rich and powerful whites and those rendered superfluous by industrial capitalism. Exclusion or degradation of nonwhite peoples seemed one way of securing dignity for those marginalized by economic and technological shifts.


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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: September 26 18, 8:35 am 
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Rich people are literally turning into vampires.

A controversial startup that charges $8,000 to fill your veins with young blood is opening its first clinic


Side tangent: This reminds me of that book Racecraft (this post). One section of Racecraft talks about the history of blood transfusions with respect to racism. It's because of the expression "pure blood", as in "a pure blooded white man". This idea that blood is passed down the generations goes back thousands of years. In today's language and understanding, most of us would say that the expression "pure blooded white man" means 100% European ancestry. The book goes on to explain that literally no one has 100% European genes. IIRC, the highest anyone would ever have is somewhere between 90% and 95%. We are all a mixture.

But back in the late 1600s when doctors first started tinkering with blood transfusions, they did not yet have an understanding of genes, or even blood types. They still believed the idea that blood was passed down from ancestors. So they were faced with the question: if a white man gets blood from a black man, is he now partially black? So they kept black and white blood separate. Even though we now know that it is blood *type* that matters, and that all races share all the same blood types....and today we also know that children do not necessarily have the same blood type as either of their parents. Meaning: blood is totally NOT passed down from ancestors...and yet, even today, there is lingering racism with respect to blood. Scientists and doctors have tried to prove it is still bad to mix black blood with white blood due to certain diseases (like anemia) being more prevalent among black people...even though according to other scientists diseases that are more common in certain races appears to be correlation without causation. Anyway, I found it fascinating that an old weird superstition like "blood is passed down to us from ancestors" still has a lingering presence in our culture today, even among some doctors and scientists who are supposed to be our smartest and least-biased people.

So I fully expect these rich people buying blood will also want to verify that the blood came from a nice, beautiful young white girl. Full vampire.


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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: September 27 18, 12:47 pm 
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What History Books Left Out About Depression Era Co-ops
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The mood at kitchen tables in California in the early 1930s was as bleak as it was elsewhere in the United States. Factories were closed. More than a quarter of the breadwinners in the state were out of work. There were no federal or state relief programs, nothing but some local charity—in Los Angeles County, a family of four got about 50 cents a day, and only 1 in 10 got even that.

Not long before, America had been a farming nation. When times were tough, there was still the land. But the country was becoming increasingly urban. People were dependent on this thing called “the economy” and the financial casino to which it was yoked. When the casino crashed, there was no fallback, just destitution. Except for one thing: The real economy was still there—paralyzed but still there. Farmers still were producing, more than they could sell. Fruit rotted on trees, vegetables in the fields. In January 1933, dairymen poured more than 12,000 gallons of milk into the Los Angeles city sewers every day.

The factories were there, too. Machinery was idle. Old trucks were in side lots, needing only a little repair. All that capacity, on the one hand, legions of idle men and women on the other. It was the financial casino that had failed, not the workers and machines. On street corners and around bare kitchen tables, people started to put two and two together. More precisely, they thought about new ways of putting two and two together.

In the spring of 1932, in Compton, California, an unemployed World War I veteran walked out to the farms that still ringed Los Angeles. He offered his labor in return for a sack of vegetables, and that evening he returned with more than his family needed. The next day a neighbor went out with him to the fields. Within two months 500 families were members of the Unemployed Cooperative Relief Organization.

That group became one of 45 units in an organization that served the needs of some 150,000 people.

It operated a large warehouse, a distribution center, a gas and service station, a refrigeration facility, a sewing shop, a shoe shop, even medical services, all on cooperative principles. Members were expected to work two days a week, and benefits were allocated according to need. A member with a wife and two kids got four times as much food as someone living alone. The organization was run democratically, and social support was as important as material support. Members helped one another resist evictions; sometimes they moved a family back in after a landlord had put them out. Unemployed utility workers turned on gas and electricity for families that had been cut off.


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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: October 2 18, 9:14 am 
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A History of Landlords: Rent & the Feudal Origins of a Non-Working Class
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In 2015, studies estimate that US renters paid $535 billion to landlords in residential rents. To put this in perspective, $535 billion is about enough to give $15,000 to every human being in the US state of California. It would also be enough to replace every page of every book in the US Library of Congress¹ with $100 bills. And if a person stood outside of Walt Disney World every day from open to close, handing $30,000 in cash to each individual visitor, it would take a year to hand out $535 billion. But what exactly did this massive sum of money actually pay for? Why did people start paying landlords in the first place? And do lands really need lords?

Long before the blossoming of modern technology and the dawn of the industrial era, humanity occupied only a fraction of the lands it does today. Between the hubs of ancient commerce, an immense wilderness existed that (legally speaking) was the property of no one and even land that had already been settled was likely to be managed communally. In parts of West Europe, wild and communal lands were (and are still) called “commons” and those who could not or did not wish to make a living in the town often had the option to subsist by farming common land or to join a communal farming-village that was already established. Similar forms of non-private, custom-based and communal systems of land-use existed across the globe in the pre-industrial ages for tens-of-thousands of years — until a few centuries ago.


There is a long section that explains how we gradually shifted from feudalism to "leaseholds" under capitalism over centuries. Rent really does have roots in feudalism.

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The absurdity of entitlements to rent is clearest in cases of unimproved land with no structures, utilities, or other bells and whistles added. Extracting rent for the use of idle soil and empty living-spaces is nothing but a legalized act of extortion. Since the basis of society (and human survival) is availability of living-space and cultivation of land, to keep others from occupying living space or using land productively is not just violent but anti-social in the most literal sense of the word.

In cases of improved land, rent collection seems more defensible at first. It may be argued, for instance, that a landlord who buys an apartment complex and pays for its upkeep has a right to collect rents to recover his investment and in reward for assuming the risk. But this accounts only for the landlord’s personal interest without considering the deficit to society overall. After the costs to build the complex, the only real costs left are to maintain it. Since these costs must be less than a landlord’s revenue to create income, rents must always exceed the real cost to maintain the property and rent collectors must always be less efficient than if tenants had simply paid such costs directly.

The real cost to build and maintain housing is unavoidable because society depends on housing to exist and, while small-time landlords often provide at least some real labor and materials, rent collection in itself contributes nothing to this endeavor. If small-time landlords who maintain properties are considered as workers like the grounds-keepers and other workers who are paid for similar labor, the remaining landlords’ only labor is to manage the rent-collecting business. And business is booming.


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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: October 2 18, 9:20 am 
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After settling property taxes (coincidentally also $1,906 per unit on average), the landlord is essentially siphoning $7,420 from the wages of each of their tenants. For $11,232, a US tenant can expect $1,906 in maintenance and landscaping services on average, in addition to not having to pay the property tax — and that’s it. In return for arranging those services, the average landlord can expect to be free from the kinds of wage-labor that most renters have no choice but to perform if they wish to enjoy the privilege of a roof over their heads.


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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: October 23 18, 11:04 am 
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The White House, definitely not scared of socialism, issues report on why socialism is bad
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The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is normally one of the most cautious, academically oriented parts of the White House. Staffed and headed by professional economists, the CEA tends to issue serious academic explorations of problems in the economy, like market concentration and poor land use policy, with the occasional politically useful report (such as one showing the stimulus bill worked under Obama).

Under the Trump administration and chair Kevin Hassett, it has embraced a new goal: owning the socialists.

“The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,” a report released by the CEA on Tuesday, is a truly bizarre document. Its bibliography is a mix of books about mass atrocities in Communist regimes, economics papers on the distortionary effects of taxation, and works by socialists, like the essay Vox published by Jacobin staff writer Meagan Day defending democratic socialism.

The main task of the document is to draw a precise line between modern democratic socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and socialist authoritarians like Lenin, Mao, and Stalin. While offering periodic concessions that modern socialists “denounce state brutality and would allow individuals to privately own the means of production in many industries,” the report nonetheless insists that the similarities overwhelm the differences.

“We find that historical proponents of socialist policies and those in the contemporary United States share some of their visions and intents,” the report states. “They both characterize the distribution of income in market economies as the unjust result of ‘exploitation,’ which should be rectified by extensive state control.”

The comparisons only get more explicit from there, drawing a link between Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mao Zedong because they both used the word “exploit”


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 Post subject: Re: The Socialism Thread
PostPosted: January 29 19, 8:53 am 
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Toward the Wiki Society
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Let’s consider the radicalism of the Wikipedia model. It’s a “free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” as we know. It has well over 5 million articles in English (40 million total in 301 languages), all of which are put together through the collective effort of volunteers. Readers write a paragraph here, fix a date there, add a citation or two, and over time a vast compendium of human knowledge emerges. It has been stunningly successful, and is one of the most visited sites on the web, with over 18 billion page views.

But Wikipedia is not just edited by users. Its policies themselves are stored in wiki pages, and can be modified and updated by user-editors. The governance of the site itself, the processes that determine what you see, are open to revision by the Wikipedia community, a community that anyone can join. Not only that, but every change to Wikipedia is transparent: Its changes, and the debates over them, are fully available in a public record.

One of Wikipedia’s core rules is: “Wikipedia has no firm rules.” That does not mean “anything goes.” It means “the rules are principles, not laws” and they “exist only as rough approximations of their underlying principles.” But the ethic of Wikipedia is that everything is subject to revision, open to discussion, and that anyone can discuss it.

This has meant that Wikipedians have had to, over time, figure out how to govern themselves. Political philosophers have long been infatuated with the concept of the “state of nature,” the condition humankind would find itself in before it had designed governing institutions, and much political theory is concerned with examining how the people in this hypothetical world should construct a state. Or, if humankind suddenly finds itself stranded on a desert island, what procedures ought we to set up to keep everybody from eating each other? The course of Wikipedia’s development has been one of the few real-world examples of such a scenario.

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Wikipedia’s unique participatory model has actually allowed it to escape the kinds of scandals that have eroded public confidence in other platforms. Whereas Twitter and Facebook have been criticized for allowing “fake news” to proliferate, and for poor decisions in deciding which content to remove, Wikipedia hasn’t had major public embarrassments for a long time. Facebook has run into trouble for decisions like removing breastfeeding pictures and war photography as part of its “anti-nudity” policy, and has only reversed course after significant public pressure. Wikipedia, too, makes content moderation decisions on a daily basis, but the reason you don’t hear about them is that the arguments are resolved through the site’s own processes.

If you object to something Facebook does, you cannot change it yourself. You cannot even ask Facebook to change it; they’re very unlikely to amend corporate policy on the basis of what one person tells them. You will have to, instead, publicly campaign about the change, and hope Facebook listens. If your campaign gets enough attention—as the outrage over breastfeeding photos did—then the company may be sufficiently embarrassed and reverse course. But you will never know what went into the decision one way or the other. It will all be opaque. Nothing is opaque on Wikipedia. There are transcripts. Records. Everything is hashed out in the “public square.”


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