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Old 02-14-2018, 11:43 AM   #821
rupertramjet
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Well, let's see if I understand you correctly.

US citizens are turning to GoFundMe for their medical bills because the American health care system is in principle a prime example of Marxist mismanagement. And if it were only operated according to purely capitalist standards, then they would enjoy free market prices, an effective allocation of resources and results-oriented work, not evaluated according to input.

I learn something new every day.
I believe there was a recent US president, who tried to introduce a nationwide system of free health care for all, whereby no American need worry about being made homeless by the need for medical treatment, a system where the elderly would not need to fret and worry about finding the money to pay for medications deemed necessary by their doctor. I recall this man being ridiculed and attacked for doing what in my country we did seventy years ago!

This scheme would have provided medical care for the homeless, many of whom have served their country, put the expensive medical insurance companies and even more expensive care providers into a position that they had to provide care at a competitive price, and cost the US tax payer, via taxation, a damn site less than they currently pay for medical insurance. Strangely the people of the US did not want it! Strangely too, the people of Britain would kill anyone who tried to stop our own NHS!

The NHS has problems, huge problems, many caused by the illogical adoption of PFI, were private investors paid for infrastructure and new hospital projects, massively under the Blair/Brown dictatorship, and at the same time got the right to manage those projects for up to fifty years! The same by the way in education, police and local authorities, all of whom are now in deep shit! But talk about doing away with the NHS and you would face political suicide!
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:01 PM   #822
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I spend much time laughing at the 80% approval rating claimed by the Putin! Is it not strange that our biggest music, TV, media and other stars would not rate that high a rating, yet millions love them, and yet many Russians are unable to see how odd this might appear in the West!

That leaders of any credible, and sometimes not so credible, opposition parties get arrested fo speaking out? Would be like Vince Cable or the bizarre Corbyn being locked up for arguing with the Government! What Russians do not seem to get, is that oppositions and opposition views are what forms a democracy, and of course they think we in the West are stupid, because we question what they accept, because we are allowed to!
I was used to watch NHL during 7 years and always was surprised to see that NHL Russian superstar hockey players, like Kovalchuk, Oveshkin, Datsuyk, etc... are proud to play for Russia, return to play to the KHL (the Russian league) or return to live in Russia, when they are retired, but they very rarely stay in Canada or USA.
Even the ex-USSR Olympic champions Slava Bykov or Khomuthov who played in Switzerland during the 90's returned to Russia. Bykov, who took the Swiss nationality but still is Russian, sometimes come back in Switzerland because his son was raised and decided to stay here.

If Russia would be a dictatorship and USA or Switzerland such marvelous countries, would these Russian hockey players come back in their homeland?
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:19 PM   #823
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Being a rich famous Russian is vastly different from being a poor one!
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:33 PM   #824
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I do not totally agree with you.
Marx explained, demonstrated and quoted other economists, that the prices given by the market are arbitrary and absolutely do not reflect the reality.
Market prices in their purest form are determined by supply and demand, provided there is a willing buyer and a willing seller. Where arbitariness enters the equation is in deciding what the buyer is willing to pay, which is a key reason why speculative bubbles arise. But Communist countries will experience market distortions from shortage of supply. What often happens is that the price is kept artificially low and the suppliers will refuse to supply if they cannot break even on the official price. Then the black market comes into play.

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Today you can tell me what you want, but that's not normal that a liter of gasoline is cheaper than a liter of red wine. It's not normal to see the price of the gasoline that cheap. We burn important gasoline... to have fun.
At 1.20 or 1,40 a litre, petrol is not cheap and we are not being encouraged to squander it thoughtlessly.

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Value of gold or silver are cultural, but not real.
When the conquistadors arrived in South America, Azteks and Mayas were surprised about the gold addiction of European invaders.
South American cultures were well developped without thinking that gold was a financial reference.
One has to remember that the Aztecs would sacrifice you to Quetzalcoatl at the drop of a hat. I feel reserved about the superiority of their culture.


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Why do we destroy environment for diamonds, or in stocking gold or silver, when we could perfectly live without them?
We destroy areas in extracting gold that we burry again in strong safes.
That's pure absurdities.
This is not a specifically capitalist issue. If Marxism were a safeguard of good environmental practise, then where has the Aral Sea gone?

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That's all these kind of absurdities that were revealed by Marx and today environmentalists.
See above.

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I've to thank Brecht, deepsepia and a friend of mine thanks to debate, in pushing me to read Marx and anarchists after all these years, because 150 years ago Marx put on paper an analysis of our today problems far before that he had faced.
He faced social problems that we clearly see coming back but didn't face the environmental problems that are caused by the operation of Capitalism that push enterprises to make always more money to.... survive. But he was aware about environmental problems.
Karl Marx did not foresee Chernobyl of course. But he might have foreseen how a centrally planned economy would lack environmental protection or law enforcement, might not be economically stable and worst of all, would be above being held accountable.

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That's all the problem. Capitalism doesn't know how to create a virtuous circulation of money. Capitalism need to destroy the environment to survive. It's a real dramatic system in front of which people daily are confronted and stay paralized because they learned it was the only solution.
The record of state communism is very much worse than the record of free market capitalism. But what makes both systems fail is how averse they are to effective government regulation of environmental and safety standards.

I have always argued for a mixed economy in which both the state and the free market have key roles.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:45 PM   #825
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Of course not palo she is not Putin and can not control the "independent" polling agency.
Honestly my friendly comrade if you did not go so far to defend Russia and denigrate all other nations and non-Russian opinions I would hold your positions in a much higher regard. I just don't recall any post you have made where you said yes Russia in some form or the other was culpable at least to some extent. Of course I have not read all you posts, sooooo
After 1990 I didn't see any poll with results which does not give advantage to ordering side in some way. That's how Western-type democracy works, I suppose.

SanteeFats, we were on both sides - "dictarorship communism" or "people's democracy" and "Western democracy" or "dictatorship of interest groups". Both systems in both terms deserve quotation marks, for sure. But for us, Western democracy or dictatorship of interest groups was far worse.

I believed that Russians, since they lived in harder conditions (I'm Yugoslav), would worship Western system in 99% of opinions, but actually that's the case just in clear minority.

I understand when Czechs, Pols, Albanians or Hungarians talk about this with hate - they were under some sort of extremely limited-state-freedom, occupied by madman, and by someone's else decision. But that's not problem with socialism or non-Western-democracy-system as idea, that is problem with poor or misused performance/execution of it. For me... Nostalgia aside, I vote with sense of freedom, level of culture, my wallet, car I can afford, flat, quality of education, working conditions, health care, security... clean victory for people's democracy or communism dictatorship, at your will.

Putin plays under Western-democracy rules, but with idea to achieve something closer to people's democracy results - that's how I think the majority see situation. And if he here and there plays rough, they see that as side effect of rules of game itself.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:47 PM   #826
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Das Kapital is not something you can easily explain to children. It's a thorough and complex analysis of capitalism, industry, science and their historical evolution. If that were the case, the people in Poland would have been a highly educated nation. I bet your Polish colleague doesn't even know what Das Kapital is about.
We all have it in middle schools (high schools in western system). It is not so complicated, specially for students of economic schools who have whole system about economy (basis of all Marx's works was economy), and rest of us have it trough classes of Marxism.

By the way, does students of economic schools on the West read Kapital, learn about socialism, communism... ?

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Marxism also values work by inputs rather than by results. Give Estreeter and Scoundrel the same ingredients, the same time and the same oven: Estreeter might well bake an excellent loaf of bread whereas Scoundrel produces a lump of charcoal. The same effort and the same materials did not result in the same value and so were not equally worthy of reward.
That is a good thing. Some of them will do something better - so what? All we have is limited time to live, and it is fair to give fair chance to anyone to find his happines, and to spread some minimum standard to all.

Even if man X is 10 times better worker than man Y, it is wrong to give him 10 times more money - simply, he can't drive 10 cars in same time, live in 10 houses, or live 10 times longer. It's one and only life for both, and if they efforts are similar - they paychecks must be at least comparable.


That's logic of socialism... Not perfect, but best I heard for.

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Old 02-15-2018, 08:22 PM   #827
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.

The record of state communism is very much worse than the record of free market capitalism.
I am not so certain about that - the horrors and injustices of the 18th century are glossed over. If free market capitalism were actually market driven and free, but power concentrates and greed and unenlightened self-interest destroys what we think might be natural and good.

State communism dragged a feudal society from 200-300 years ago forward in 50 years. There are theocracies today which still haven't made it to 1900.

I with you on the mixed concept, but wouldn't underestimate how fragile it is.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:51 PM   #828
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I am not so certain about that - the horrors and injustices of the 18th century are glossed over. If free market capitalism were actually market driven and free, but power concentrates and greed and unenlightened self-interest destroys what we think might be natural and good.

State communism dragged a feudal society from 200-300 years ago forward in 50 years. There are theocracies today which still haven't made it to 1900.

I with you on the mixed concept, but wouldn't underestimate how fragile it is.
When you contemplate the huge number of deaths in the 1930s under Stalin and Beria, and the death toll of the so-called Cultural Revolution in China between 1962 and 1976, you have to wonder whether this was absolutely necessary, even as an antidote to feudalism and backwardness. Capitalism has inbuilt mechanisms to correct and punish economic mismanagement, whereas Communism tended to praise and reward stupidity.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:13 AM   #829
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When you contemplate the huge number of deaths in the 1930s under Stalin and Beria, and the death toll of the so-called Cultural Revolution in China between 1962 and 1976, you have to wonder whether this was absolutely necessary, even as an antidote to feudalism and backwardness.
There's not such a thing in Kapital. "Kill x million citizens", "exterminate all sparrows" or "made part of country into contrentration camp" can not be found there, as well as in Western-democracy theories you can't read "declare war to whole World", "cure AIDS by raping virgins" or, well, "made part of country into contentration camp".

Beside that, Lenin (except up to 1921) and Stalin were not communists, or at least not ever anything near to good ones. Their works qualifies them as just dictators.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:57 AM   #830
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I am not so certain about that - the horrors and injustices of the 18th century are glossed over. If free market capitalism were actually market driven and free, but power concentrates and greed and unenlightened self-interest destroys what we think might be natural and good.

State communism dragged a feudal society from 200-300 years ago forward in 50 years. There are theocracies today which still haven't made it to 1900.

I with you on the mixed concept, but wouldn't underestimate how fragile it is.
The "closing of the commons" involved ejecting the "tenants" from lands they and their ancestors had inhabited for centuries. Hence, the quote "Property is theft." Marx and Engels were reacting to the horrors and abuses of mid-19th century industrial capitalism. They pretty much predicted that workers would be replaced by machines and left to starve in the midst of plenty.

As a a philosopher, I am here to tell you that the philosophical, hence legal and moral, underpinnings of capitalism are based on very dubious assumptions. I am convinced that historically private property arose from bandit tribes divvying up the spoils of conquest.
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