So, are you a closet communist?

This is sure to uncover the commies amongst us.

I think Marx was right about the inherent flaws in financial capitalism and wrong about communism:

“Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.”

– Karl Marx, 1867, Das Kapital

Soros’s view is much more accurate:

Open Society – Reforming Global Capitalism

“Communism sought to abolish the market mechanism and to impose collective control over all economic activities. Market fundamentalism seeks to abolish collective decision-making and to impose the supremacy of market values over all political and social values. Both extremes are wrong. We need to recognise that all human constructs are flawed. Perfection is beyond our reach. We must content ourselves with the second-best; an imperfect society that opens itself open to improvement. Global capitalism is badly in need of improvement.

And my mate Hyman!

Perspective: Why ‘Market Fundamentalism’ Has Failed

Minsky argued that the Great Depression represented a failure of the small government, laissez-faire economic model, while the New Deal promoted a highly successful Big Government/Big Bank model for financial capitalism.

The current crisis just as convincingly represents a failure of the Big Government/Neoconservative (or, outside the United States, what is called“neoliberal”) model that promotes deregulation, reduced supervision and oversight, privatization, and consolidation of market power in the hands of money manager capitalists.

So are you a closet communist?

Advertisements

55 Responses

  1. Come out you commie bastards!

  2. I represented the Victoria Teachers’ Union and we won the right for females to be able to wear trouser suits in classes (as long as the tops and trousers matched) Also that females who married during their training did not have to resign. Does this count?

  3. There’s only one other commenter here who’s been seen quoting Marx recently (Karl, not Groucho), and his name starts with N’.

  4. Min

    You’re a communist simply because you belonged to a union (wink)

    This quote has allegedly been doing the rounds so I thought I’d strike first before Malcolm T (or was that X) got a hold of it and started his own campaign. I can see it now ‘if you’re not for free-market capitalism, then you’re a commie’ Lol “Kevin your a commie’ etc

  5. Far from it Tony…not a commie…tho I respect some of Marx’s ideas, ability to analyse the political economy…same goes for a number of Liberals & Libertarians & others of different political persuasions.. I think you’re being myopic.

    See for yourself:

    https://blogocrats.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/unsustainable-election-numbers/#comment-23900

    N’

  6. Min

    Remember when Mal said “Those people who say, oh this was caused by an excess of capitalistic free-market activity are quite wrong”. So, I wonder what caused it, China?

    Believe it or not, more than a few have pointed the finger in that direction as well.

  7. Fair enough, Nasking. No offence intended.

  8. I think the rightoids would consider any mention of inequality and social welfare as a call back to communism or socialism.

    This is where the whole debate will no doubt get heated.

  9. Tony, on February 24th, 2009 at 4:39 pm Said:

    Fair enough, Nasking. No offence intended.”

    Phew! I thought we were about to go on a witchhunt (wink)

    Not my mate N’ he can’t be a commie!

  10. John, is being a commie supposed to be an insult of some sort?

    My granny Emma Mary Jenkins who passed away a week short of her 103rd birthday used to attend all of the May Day Marches.

    I can imagine her laughter if someone called her a commie. She would have probably agreed.

  11. Comrade Min

    Is your other half a commie? (lol)

  12. What does Marx say of Communism, not Soros’ strawman version of it? My understanding was that Communism grew out of a transformed Capitalism; a Capitalism wherein society itself, from first to last person, held property notionally in common, or on trust, as part of a common democratic and socially-aware markets-based enterprise, involving neither ectopic command by the State nor ectopic individuals acting contrary to community interests.

  13. “Min, on February 24th, 2009 at 4:42 pm Said:

    John, is being a commie supposed to be an insult of some sort?”

    It’s a redneck thing Min. (extreme rightoids, I think we call them). I’m taking the piss out of extreme positions.

  14. Marx had many dimensions. He was a philosopher, a revolutionary, a social scientist, and a historian to name but some. Underpinning these endeavours was a well developed concept of ‘man’.

    One wonders where the social sciences would be without his contribution. Probably ‘alienated’. Lol.

  15. Legion,

    Typically commie questions Legion (wink)

  16. Nature 5, on February 24th, 2009 at 4:46 pm Said:

    Marx had many dimensions.

    Very true Nature5.

  17. What’s a closet?

  18. Nature5

    .. we do have a tendency to try and throw away the baby with the bath water, especially where people like Marx’s are concerned.

  19. Ross Sharp, on February 24th, 2009 at 4:50 pm Said:

    What’s a closet?”

    Only a commie would ask that question Ross (Lol)

  20. Hello John..not sure about the commie tag but he has always been a trades unionist and a shop steward. Has done some excellent stuff such as a young lad who lost a couple of fingers on site, obtaining good compensation for him. This is just one that comes to mind.

  21. “No offence intended.”

    It’s cool Tony.

    To be honest, Communist practices as they have been implemented by a number of totalitarian regimes gives me the creeps. I’m cool w/ temporary Social Democracies that provide opportunities and clean up excess and the mess leftover from rampant corporations and extreme finance-based gamblers…

    and I believe that small business & innovation must be fostered…even some corporations serve a useful purpose…but sometimes fall prey to prioritising top shareholders demands over social & environmental obligations and being responsible towards customers & treating workers w/ respect.

    I’m looking for BALANCE.

    I pay for a wee company to pick up excess palm fronds & such…the idea of big business knocking that company out due to anti-competitive practices bothers me. Or buying the company out…then cutting the workforce and their pay/conditions in order to channel money to THE FEW.

    But I also accept that sometimes a company can be absorbed…& w/ Union participation can offer a wide range of employees decent rewards for their effort. It all comes down to individual cases.

    But when I read stuff like this it makes me boil:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/23/gimme-shelter-tax-evasion_n_169084.html

    SHOW ME THE BALANCE. And FAIRNESS.

    N’

  22. Oh no – not another label for me as if I do not have enough already.

    Gay – tick.
    Geek – tick.
    Neil Diamond listener – tick.
    Branger of bad words – tick.

  23. I thought we were all now post-ideology. I used to be a Victorian Secondary Teachers Association activist. Even The Age thought we were reds. The old Victorian Socialist Left were pinkos. Today so-called progressives are all greens, at least theoretically if not necessarily politically. A fellow traveler is the person on the bicycle next to you.

  24. Well this has scared me out from under the bed.

    Now for my next act I’ll be hunting down & eating children.

  25. Terrorism is the New Communism.

  26. Legion, on February 24th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I answer to ‘social liberal’ or ‘Marxian’, John (but not Marxist…people must choose a higher path of organic relational rationality for themselves in a sustained intrinsic ‘personal revolution’, not have it thrust upon them through an ‘external revolution’, or merely because it suits a temporary selfish whim when extrinsic conditions make it seem intrinsically desirable from time to time.

  27. I think anything centralised, be it through state or corporate, is socially destructive.

  28. “I think anything centralised, be it through state or corporate, is socially destructive.”james

    When the centre is comfortably adrift from those upon whom it presides I agree james.

  29. joni, on February 24th, 2009 at 5:09 pm Said:
    Oh no – not another label for me as if I do not have enough already.

    Gay – tick.
    Geek – tick.
    Neil Diamond listener – tick.
    Branger of bad words – tick.

    Joni, you and C’ are still welcome as lodgers as long as you promise to play the Neil Diamond songs/or things ‘quietly’.

  30. Just a last note for the evening: commentator on Sky called it Up-wee…Upwey is pronounced Up-Way you goose.

  31. “Min, on February 24th, 2009 at 4:53 pm Said:

    Hello John..not sure about the commie tag but he has always been a trades unionist and a shop steward. Has done some excellent stuff such as a young lad who lost a couple of fingers on site, obtaining good compensation for him. This is just one that comes to mind.”

    I had a union leader call me ‘comrade’ once and it put the wind up me. Don’t worry, I’ve always maintained that unions are a ‘necessary evil’, I say that because most bosses view them as the enemy. Even spoke at a union conference a few years back.

  32. Hello John. I’ve never had a problem with tags, whether it be comrade or aye to matelots. It depends upon the spirit in which it’s said.

  33. “Legion, on February 24th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I answer to ’social liberal’ or ‘Marxian’, John (but not Marxist…people must choose a higher path of organic relational rationality for themselves in a sustained intrinsic ‘personal revolution’, not have it thrust upon them through an ‘external revolution’, or merely because it suits a temporary selfish whim when extrinsic conditions make it seem intrinsically desirable from time to time.”

    Legion, I dare you to say all that without taking a breath (wink)

    Did you have a read of “Perspective: Why ‘Market Fundamentalism’ Has Failed’?

  34. Kevin

    “I thought we were all now post-ideology. ”

    Now that’s a cool concept

  35. Great comment Kevin!

  36. Min, on February 24th, 2009 at 7:18 pm Said:

    Hello John. I’ve never had a problem with tags, whether it be comrade or aye to matelots. It depends upon the spirit in which it’s said.’

    Geez you’re response was that quick Min I almost missed it. You know what I’ve never been able to fathom is the ‘left wing, right wing’ labels. I’ve never found someone who could explain to me what they really mean and of what value they bring to anything?

    This thread is intended less serious and more about poking fun at labels than anything else Min. So, please don’t take any offense – I know you won’t.

    Psssst, did Legion just say he was a commie?

  37. Correction; Geez your response was quick Min – just in case the grammar police are watching us (wink)

  38. “Psssst, did Legion just say he was a commie?”~John

    I think he said he was a Martian.

    / explains a lot 😉

  39. Gay – tick.
    Geek – tick.
    Neil Diamond listener – tick.
    Branger of bad words – tick.

    You forgot – “short sleeve business shirt wearer – tick”

  40. Oi pinkos, be advised that Dear Leader Howard has asked the ugly one place this bloomin extemist website an yer dangerous socialist subversive posters under full-spectrum surveillance. Consider yerselves warned, cyber bludgers, OK?

  41. That Marx quote is a HOAX. He never said any such thing in Capital or anywhere else. Tip off = there was no such thing as consumer “technology” in 1867. Also, this has nothing to do with Marx’s thoughts on the transition from capitalism to socialism. That quote is a scare-mongering fraud.

  42. Anthony Williams, on February 25th, 2009 at 1:46 am Said:

    That Marx quote is a HOAX. He never said any such thing in Capital or anywhere else. Tip off = there was no such thing as consumer “technology” in 1867. Also, this has nothing to do with Marx’s thoughts on the transition from capitalism to socialism. That quote is a scare-mongering fraud.”

    That’s interesting because I’ve never come across that quote before and the language did sound very contemporary . It is interesting though how it is doing the rounds.

    Has anyone actually read ‘ Das Kapital’ ?

  43. It certainly is doing the rounds

    16 February 2009, 06:20 PM
    http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?p=880751
    Quote:
    Comment: “Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The
    unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.”

    Karl Marx, Das Kapital, 1867

    Did he actually write this in his book?

    I’m teaching Marx to my intro class right now and this does not at all sound like him. It’s my understanding that communism (or socialism) only comes about with the rising of the proletariat workers to come into conflict with those who own the means of production as a result of unfair labor practices by the bougeois.

    Socialism is not something that those in power will just switch to because socialism and communism will undermine that power. It is something that is generally fought for from the bottom up. At least in theory.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.”

  44. Whoops sorry John, that did come over sounding a wee bit twee didn’t it.

  45. Min, on February 25th, 2009 at 7:45 am Said:

    Whoops sorry John, that did come over sounding a wee bit twee didn’t it.”

    I think I missed it Min, not sure what you’re referring to? Was this you?

    Ugly BWOOCE MBA, on February 24th, 2009 at 11:29 pm Said:

    Oi pinkos, be advised that Dear Leader Howard has asked the ugly one place this bloomin extemist website an yer dangerous socialist subversive posters under full-spectrum surveillance. Consider yerselves warned, cyber bludgers, OK?”

    Lol – if it was I had a good chuckle

  46. All types of ism’s are doomed to failure because they are created by humans and influenced by one human trait that is not prevalent in the rest of natures creatures..

    Greed.

  47. Am I a closet Communist?

    Well, lemmie see…….

    I don’t sing the Internationale every night (just Sundays and Public Holidays). I don’t take orders from the dreaded Russians. I don’t belong to any collective (none of ’em would have me). I own a house, car and two plasma TVs (verrrry Bourgeois).

    I dunno.

    I guess I’m a Kulak with Lefty pretensions.

    Its the two TV’s that did me-in.

  48. Seriously “two plasma TVs”? My God! It’s you who’s been leaving your huge carbon footprint all over the joint!

    Two plasma’s? don’t worry Evan, I’m as jealous as hell.

  49. Well, they’re only small TV’s.

    Not yer 60-inch jobs.

    Even so, come the Revolution, comrade, I’m screwed.

  50. Evan

    I had visions of a big entertainment room with two huge screens. Bit of a let – down really. And still, the commies won’t differentiate between big and small. You really are screwed.

    You’ve got to ask yourself ‘was owning two plasmas all worth it’?

  51. Well, if I want a bit of peace with the Missus, it is.

    She likes to watch. As do I, but different stuff.

    She’s into your basic Who-Dunnits, whereas I’m more of yer basic History Channel guy.

    So, a basic incompatibility in viewing tastes. Ergo, two TVs in different rooms.

    Yep, and I’ll probably be doing penance for the carbon footprint forevermore.

  52. John McPhilbin, on February 25th, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Really? No markets? No democrats? And only a proletariat ruling class? And no peaceful, immaterial, organic transformation of the productive forces and relations of capitalism? I’m not sure I wanna be a commie, anymore, John…can I go back to being just an Earthling or a ‘social liberal’ since someone with a background in Skinnerian verbal behaviourism obviously did a number on me when signing me up to The Party?

    Legion, I dare you to say all that without taking a breath

    I have two material lungs, therefore, I must take two breaths, not no breath(s), from the airy commons, one for the right and one for the left, whilst acknowledging that the lobes are unequally distributed as between lungs, if historically unified in their oppositional processes of inspiration and expiration, if I am again to attempt such a transformative (st)utterance, possibly involving a false Hegelian dialectic concerning a Rousseauian alienation posed as an apposite negation of a Marxist negation, John.

    Mind you, I’d undoubtedly be among the first, on day one of the new, zero’th year, to feel the pointy end of the ploughshares-into-weapons revolution, as part of a declared subversive and resistant petit-bourgeoisie; and in failing to register as valuable the imaginatively materializing reciprocity of a proletariat ruling class’ one-sided social contract under conditions, ultimately, of mutual non-exchange.

    Did you have a read of “Perspective: Why ‘Market Fundamentalism’ Has Failed’?

    I did, and it reminded me of a narrative I came across on TV last week in relation to Caribbean land crabs. Apparently, they emerge en mass in spawning season, and migrate from land to sea. The bit of their journey(s) which seemed most closely related was where they seemed to just follow each other into a cul de sac, and then made a big jumble as they focused their collective-competitive wills to garner a good shore spot into a narrow space well-inland from shore, until they scaled the self-selected obstacle by scaling each other and proceeded onwards. Of course, being land crabs, they couldn’t really live in the sea, just needed to go there to reproduce the cycle, before returning from whence they came. Also, some good footage in the documentary of frigates taking twigs collected for nesting from each other mid-flight, very acrobatic; and a suspenseful moment when a hurricane almost hit, potentially taking out the frigate colony’s whole season’s reproductive labour, appropriated twigs and a new generation of twig collectors and all.

  53. …I have two material lungs, therefore, I must take two breaths, not no breath(s), from the airy commons, one for the right and one for the left, whilst acknowledging that the lobes are unequally distributed as between lungs, if historically unified in their oppositional processes of inspiration and expiration,…

    This legionese is too funny. The left and right working together. The two lungs, the right with it’s three lobes and the left with only two lobes, work together for the benefit of respiration as a whole. Very nice legion!

  54. Did you have a read of “Perspective: Why ‘Market Fundamentalism’ Has Failed’?

    Given Minsky’s ideas about there being a variety of capitalisms, and a range of virtues and flaws for them, and his ideas about ‘Big Bank’ and ‘Big Government’ acting to contain the tendencies both to stability-fragility and to instability-shatter, I’m (well my mind is, given it’s doing it in the background using slack bandwidth) presently mulling over the differences between ‘social capitalism’ and ‘capitalist socialism’, and specifically the interesting roles which State-run enterprises could play when operating in and through markets as sources for both public and private surplus creation, price-setting mechanisms, loci of competition, and opportunities for additional stabilisers. Haven’t formed any conclusions, yet, because I’m still flipping the pieces around; but, at first glance, it does raise intriguing possibilities which seem to lie outside Minsky’s conceptions of the possibilities for Western capitalism, predicated as they are on hitherto Western models of capitalism and kinds of markets; and, in part, formed as a counterpoint to those Western models. Compare Singapore’s notions of public housing with Western ideas about private developers rolling out the burbs, for instance; or, compare China’s evolving policies on SREs competing with PREs with the West’s idee fixe that Government does some things but not others, and the rest is done by ‘market players’ which cannot be Government or SREs, because government fiscality isn’t notionally that elastic. Just thoughts.

  55. Great stuff Legion!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: