The REDSTAR2000 Papers

Listen to the worm of doubt, for it speaks truth. - Leftist Discussion

The "Mind" of the Capitalist December 26, 2003 by RedStar2000

By and large, it is admittedly pointless to "debate" with least the ones who find their way to internet message boards. I suspect this is because real conservatives are active in "the real world"...making deals, giving and taking bribes, maneuvering for political advantages, running corporations, stealing from the shareholders, lying on their tax returns, planning imperialist wars, etc., etc., etc. They don't have time to argue with lefties.

So we get the "losers"...the ones who want to do all that fun stuff that real conservatives get to do, but who are not smart enough to manage it. I suspect each of them fantisizes that he will be "the next Rush Limbaugh"--fat, stupid, rich.

Funny thing can't rule out the possibility.


It's the central premise that's wrong, of course.

Communism is presented as a "gift" from three "benevolent capitalists".

What does any sensible worker do when--on those incredibly rare occasions--s/he receives an unexpected "gift" from capitalists? You grab it and run like hell before they get a chance to take it back.

The workers in Rand's scenario did not struggle for and win fact, they still lived in an otherwise capitalist environment.

In Rand's world-view, workers are fundamentally incapable of "running things"...she regards capitalists in almost the same way as the Nazis regarded Aryans--as "naturally superior" and to all intents and purposes "a master race".

Thus, her lengthy "critique" of communist practice "works" only if you accept her premise...that "inferior" people will always seize the chance to be "parasites" on "superior people".

(Guess which category she thinks she's in?)

Rand, by the way, was a refugee from the USSR and really hated it there. She assumed it was an accurate representation of Marx's ideas...never bothering to read Marx or any other communist theoretician. Anarchist theory was a "closed book" to her.

Consequently, most intelligent lefties consider her a scribbler of bourgeois fiction...unworthy of being considered a serious opponent of communist or anarchist ideas. She did have a cult of followers back in the 60s (Alan Greenspan was one of her disciples), but it splintered apart after her death--accompanied by the usual accusations of theft, misappropriation of funds for personal use, etc., etc.

I suppose, in a sense, she could be considered one of the philosophical pioneers of the Libertarian Party (USA)...but as this group seems very unlikely to ever amount to anything of significance, it hardly matters. Modern capitalism needs a bigger, more powerful state to contain its internal contradictions and keep its restless proletariat under control...thus "Randianism" is pretty much a "dead end".

A kind of historical footnote to late capitalism.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 14, 2003


In a communist society, are people free to leave the country and go elsewhere?

Change of subject, eh?

Ok, first of all, there won't be "countries" in the sense that you're thinking of them...nation-states with borders, closed economies, customs agents, etc. People might indeed move around quite a bit and tend to gravitate towards the more pleasant parts of the planet.

But it won't have anything to do with "reward differentials"...because "to each according to his needs" means that rewards will be pretty much the same everywhere.

There might indeed be a "brain drain" from the Arctic Circle to the South Pacific...but it will be because most sensible people would prefer a tropical paradise to a freezing desert.


If so, all the people with ability will flee to the freest country available to them, because that's where they will be rewarded most for their efforts.

That's the capitalist error: "freedom = wealth". It is only under capitalism itself that the equation is valid. It is historically specific...not a "general truth" valid at all times in all places.


It is not primarily an issue of practicality, but an issue of morality.

And another typical capitalist dogma: "morality = wealth". You (and Rand) have an extraordinarily narrow view of human possibilities. To put it crudely, you look about you and say: "this is all there is, all there ever was, and all there ever will be".

Even a nodding acquaintance with history would teach you otherwise...if you made the effort to learn.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 15, 2003


But to achieve wealth (monetary or intellectual) an individual needs to be free (from coercion). If an individual is free then he can chose himself how to achieve his ends, all based on voluntary cooperation.

Believe it or not, that is what both real communists and anarchists seek to achieve.

But, in my view, you must understand that "ends" are not some abstract, Platonic entity...they are also historically specific.

Many of the finest minds of the "Middle Ages" were preoccupied with the goal of "salvation". In our era, they are preoccupied with the goal of accumulating wealth. In communist/anarchist society, they will have still other goals in mind.


Yet if freedom from coercion or association exist[s], you can do whatever you like with whomever you like.

Again, it seems to me that you are raising an abstract formula to the level of "universal truth". The fact that we grow up in a specific historical era and learn the ideas that happen to prevail in that era means that we are "coerced", like it or not. History itself "coerces" us.

The "universal truth" that you endorse does not, like "god", really exist.


Therefore, I do not understand why so many people on this forum constantly disregard morality as irrelevant to the discussion. Whether a political system is moral or not is the only important factor in whether it is suitable for man.

I disregard "morality" because of its metaphysical's based on someone's unproven assertions that this or that is "right" or "wrong".

And, of course, real practical "morality" mostly reflects the interests of the ruling class of any particular era. You think that capitalist morality is "universal"...because you are either born to the ruling class or have a sufficiently enhanced opinion of yourself that you think you'll end up there. Go back two or three centuries and you'll find that your "universal morality" would be almost unanimously condemned as "the work of the Devil".

Go forward two or three centuries, and your "universal morality" will have the same status as cannibalism or witch-burning.

Times change.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 16, 2003


But then I do not know how a purely anarchistic society can be achieved.

In a way, that controversy is the key to "understanding" this board.

It's widely asserted that the failures of 20th century "communism" (really Leninism) mean that we have reached "the end of history"...what exists now is what will always exist in the future.

Obviously, that's foolishness.

What we really argue about here more than anything else is the shape of post-capitalist society and the best way to get there from here.


But you cannot base an ideology on pragmatism.

No you cannot...but it's an extraordinarily useful tool to rid your ideology of overt nonsense. I think, for example, that it's a very good supplement to Marxism--far superior to "dialectics" and other Hegalianisms.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 16, 2003


The major problem with communism is that the proletariat does know what freedom is-- the freedom to own property and to pursue happiness through consumerism as well as through free expression.

Yeah, they're so "happy" that what they "consume" mostly is anti-depressants and marijuana. And their "freedom of expression" is limited to agreeing with Rush Limbaugh.

Sounds really "great".


In modern times, human identity is inherently connected to capitalist consumerism. Take away the ability to freely choose products with which to buy and thus assert identity, and humanity will be lost and faceless.

In plain words: "you are what you buy".

That's a "truly inspiring" vision of the human species.


But just capitalist societies a) provide equal treatment to all classes and b) allow social mobility based on merit between classes.

Too funny for words.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 16, 2003


Human rationality is based on the premise that we are inherently self-interested. Thus, acting rationally entails acting with self-interest in mind, and so the rational action to take under a communist government is to free-ride.

Actually, the opposite is true...the rational act under capitalism is to "free-ride" whenever possible.

Any effort you make in a capitalist society will simply serve to further enrich an already fabulously wealthy elite...the working class never keeps "the fruits of their labors".

In a communist society free of "material incentives", the self-interested motive to "make an effort" is because it is intrinsically enjoyable to perform interesting and useful work.

Bourgeois ideology posits the assumption that work "for its own sake" (like wealth) is a privilege "properly limited" to an elite of "superior beings".

Communism posits the opposite: that every normal human being is capable of doing interesting work "for its own sake".

Because of your unsound premise, the rest of your arguments are irrelevant.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 16, 2003


We consume to assert our individualism to the world.

I'm sorry and don't wish to hurt your feelings, but that is an idiotic statement.


Consumerism is not just "what you wear"; it's also the music you choose to identify yourself with, and all of your hobbies and interests.

Maybe you "identify" with music...I just listen to it, myself.

When you get into "hobbies and interests", you're getting closer to some kind of meaning for what being an individual is.

Now how about this one: what defines an individual is what they freely choose to work at, for what purposes and who they freely choose to relate to and why.

There's actually very little genuine individualism in capitalism...and the total is declining, if anything. People feel compelled by economic necessity to "take any job they can get" and "hold onto it for as long as possible". People "choose" their "friendships" and even "lovers" on the basis of "what that person can do to enhance my survival or advancement".

The whip of the market falls on nearly every back; only those who are independently (and securely) wealthy can ignore such matters and make their choices freely. And of course, they can only associate with others of the same class...for they can never "trust" that someone from "the lower orders" is not simply cultivating them because of their money.

Communist society says that everyone will live as freely as the wealthy do now. Not that they will "consume" as much; but that their choices will be as free from economic constraint.

They will be humans--not workers or consumers or, for that matter, exploiters. Those are roles created by capitalism...and will disappear with it.


Not all work is interesting and useful-- an economy cannot survive without a labor/production base.

That's self-contradictory. If it's not useful, then the economy doesn't need it "to survive" and no one will do it unless they find it interesting.

If it is useful but boring...then it will have to be shared equally, replaced by technology, or a useful and interesting substitute must be found.

It's rather clear that you like the idea of a society where other people clean up your shit for you--perform the "dirty work" that is "unfit" for a "superior" person like yourself.

Hee hee. Nice try.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 17, 2003

quote: identify with a quixotic and unrealistic socio-political movement.

Now, now, calm down. There's no reason to get abusive.

If communism is "quixotic" and "unrealistic", then you have "nothing to fear"...we won't ever amount to a puddle of warm spit and you can go on "identifying" with whatever crap you like to consume until you die of terminal boredom.


Every communist leader has relied heavily on force...blah, blah, blah

Actually, that's Leninism that you're pissing and moaning about...I know Marxism is a difficult and complex subject for you to try and understand, but you should at least make an effort to get beyond silly conservative clichés.


You consume communist culture in order to create a self image; even your user name fits that model.

At least I get a good "price"'s free.

But I don't think "consume" is the right word in this context--communist ideas "make sense" to me and the struggle for communism seems like a good way to have spent my life's energies.

I have, at least in my view, actively engaged Marxist ideas...not just "swallowed them whole" like a chain-store pizza.

Indeed, if anyone has "consumed" an ideology, that description would seem to apply to you much more than me. I have the impression that you have scarfed up a lot of Randian nonsense without really thinking about it much at all. Indeed, Randianism is even more "quixotic" and "unrealistic" than have no political clout at all, anywhere.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that real ruling class capitalists think of you Rand-cultists as "useful idiots".
First posted at Che-Lives on December 20, 2003

What your post illustrates is the extremely limited utility of all "body count" arguments--I've been against them since I came to this board and saw them for the first time.

Somebody makes "an estimate". Somebody else makes a different "estimate". Somebody else adds the two numbers and divides the total by two, creating yet another "estimate".

Blah, blah, blah.

Assessing responsibility is a different matter. The official policy of the German Government from 1940-45 was to murder as many Jews as they could...the evidence for this is incontrovertible. Whether it was 5 million or 6 million does not matter.

Now look at some of the items in your list...

What is a famine "associated with communist mis-management"? How would that be determined? If weather conditions cause wide-spread crop failures, is "communism" responsible? If peasants slaughter their farm animals to keep them out of the hands of collective farms, who is to "blame"?

What's the difference between "communist-inspired" war and just ordinary war? Do "communists" get the "blame" if they "participate"?

Most of the deaths in the Russian and Chinese civil wars were almost certainly the result of malnutrition and disease, not directly inflicted by military action from either side. Are the "communists" responsible?

On the other hand, who is directly responsible for the deaths in IndoChina? The people who lived there and wished their colonial masters to depart at once or the colonial powers--France and America--who slaughtered large numbers of people in the vain attempt to hold on to their dominance?

The "rape of Nanking" was clearly official Japanese Government policy...and was even celebrated in Japanese newspapers while it was happening. The mass bombings of German and Japanese cities were likewise deliberate and conscious efforts by the Americans and the British to maximize civilian deaths. (I'm told that even when bombing Berlin, they did their best to target working class neighborhoods while leaving wealthy neighborhoods inhabited by the Nazi elite relatively untouched.) The Turkish massacre of Armenians was also a matter of official government policy...there is no doubt about this.

Beyond this, matters get "fuzzier". The American sanctions against Iraq resulted in the collapse of modern sanitation and medical care in that country...causing a substantial rise in infant and childhood mortality. Who is to "blame"?

Anti-communists often claim that World War II was "Stalin's fault" and add the entire number of casualties to his "total". Does this not overlook the fact that Germany and Japan (both capitalist countries) diligently planned and initiated wars of conquest?

As it happens, I find the "revisionist" argument on the origins of World War I compelling; what should have been a "small" war between Austro-Hungary and Serbia turned into World War I because France and Russia had that as their goal. To put it crudely, France suckered England into it...and England suckered the U.S. into it. But whoever you hold responsible for the great slaughter, it can't be the "communists".

A note on two of your sources. Zbigniew Brzezinski is an infamous war-criminal in his own was during his tenure in the Carter administration that the U.S. first began military training in the Egyptian desert in preparation for the imperial wars of our own time. He's also well-known as a passionate advocate of American global hegemony.

And the World Christian Encyclopedia? Why would it be thought that they would tell the truth about anything except by accident?
First posted at Che-Lives on December 19, 2003


I bet most here blame the USA for the 2nd World War...

You'd lose the bet. Japan and Germany deserve the "credit", such as it is.


this is the problem with people on this board, they think that the rich are to blame for everything.

The capitalist ruling class and its lackeys make the decisions in our society. They set the priorities, establish the alternatives, conduct the discussions, write the agendas, fund the "think tanks", etc., etc., etc.

To the extent that human responsibility can be established at all...there's usually one or more rich sonsofbitches at the bottom of it.

Why do you have a "problem" with that?


...but they don't stop and think that some of those very rich people...were once poor and worked their way out of poverty, and people hate them for that, mostly because they are jealous.

Yes, a few "worked their way out of poverty"...usually by some form of thinly disguised piracy or gangsterism.

In general, the reason people "hate them" is for what they did after they got rich.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 19, 2003

Perhaps you should take up seem to have a "head" for numbers.

You clearly lack an understanding of anything does your massive compilation answer my question?

Who was responsible for the two wars in IndoChina?

Are not France and the United States directly accountable for the casualties of those wars? In the exact same sense as Germany and Japan were directly accountable for all the casualties of World War II?

France "could" have recognized Vietnamese independence in 1945. The United States "could" have recognized Vietnamese independence in 1963. Neither chose to do so; both insisted on a fight "to the bitter end" hold onto a colonial "possession".

Do you deny these plain historical facts? Do you want to still hide behind "body count" arguments?

Or do you wish to argue that "some" imperialist wars are "ok"? Somehow, I have this feeling that such is exactly what you really think.

If the U.S. invades Cuba, I'm betting that you'd be volunteering to "get in on the action"...dreaming of riding into Havana on top of a U.S. tank.

A pleasant daydream for you, right?
First posted at Che-Lives on December 19, 2003


If my facts are correct, didn't the USA occupy Japan and Germany, but 5 or so years later gave Japan back its country and I think they gave West Germany back to the Germans.

Not exactly.

The United States retained military bases in both West Germany and Japan and still has to this day large numbers of troops in both countries.

However, it's possible the German bases might be shut down in favor of new bases in eastern Europe...Poland is eager for U.S. occupation, just to name one.

Secondly, the reason that nominal autonomy was restored to those countries had to do with American "cold war" was intended all along that the new regimes would be servile allies of U.S. imperialism. Even now, serious governmental opposition to America's wars of conquest are more verbal than practical. The degree of genuine independence is problematical.

The politicians that the U.S. installed in West Germany and Japan, by the way, included huge numbers of ex-Nazis and supporters of Japanese imperialism, many in prominent positions. The leaders of major corporations in Germany and Japan during World War II mostly got away with their crimes...and their profits.

The main reason that it was "better" to be an American satellite than a Russian satellite is that Americans paid for your servility with large aid programs. The Russians, having had most of their assets destroyed in the war, had little choice but to use force to keep their "allies" in line.

It's "amazing" the "friends" you can make and the "elections" you can "win"...if you just spread enough money around.

(Massive bribery is the key to the effective occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq...but, so far, the U.S. has been too "cheap" to use that tool.)
First posted at Che-Lives on December 20, 2003


Was Stalin a mass murderer? Just yes or no.

Why "just yes or no"? Do you get your notions of history from comic books?

So, let's try to put your question in some kind of coherent form: is there any evidence to suggest that Stalin or the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ever deliberately and consciously decided on and implemented a policy of indiscriminate mass murder?

I know of no such evidence...though it is possible that Stalin and the CPSU were guilty of "criminal negligence" with regard to the Ukrainian famine in the early 1930s.

The people who were executed in the 1930s (or who died in the labor camps of that era) were regarded, rightly or wrongly, as class enemies of the Soviet regime. The secret police didn't, as far as I know, just grab random people off the street and shoot them or send them to labor camps.

I'm not, in any sense, a "Stalinist" you would know if you had read a few pieces from my website. Indeed, I view the entire Leninist paradigm as a deviation from the central ideas of Marx and Engels...and have no wish to emulate "Stalin's example".

But the spectacle of capitalist apologists pointing their own very bloody fingers at Stalin is unacceptable to me. The Stalinists, for all their many shortcomings, were actually trying to "build a new world".

The capitalists have always murdered for profit and only for profit. Except for the Nazis, of course. (!)


and did the USSR have a right to keep all those countries after WWII? yes or no.

In their own eyes, they certainly least as long as there were massive numbers of U.S. troops in Europe. You will recall that the victors of World War I (the U.S., France, England, and Japan) decided to "cap" their win with a simultaneous invasion of the young USSR in 1919-21.

You could hardly blame Stalin for being suitably prepared to meet a "2nd edition" of those invasions.

Well, maybe you'd blame him, but I don't.

If you really want to understand history and not just repeat mindless clichés, you have to study it. You have to learn the complexities of how the USSR came into existence, what its material conditions were, etc.

It's not a matter of "justifying" or "condemning" Stalin...but understanding what Stalin and the USSR actually were. They weren't communists even though they sincerely thought they were.

As a rule, conservatives are not very good at getting past a theological conception of politics--to them, it's a matter of "good" (profitable) and "evil" (unprofitable). Naturally they regard the old USSR as "evil"...they couldn't make any money there. They see the "new Russia" as "good"...meaning vast opportunities for loot and plunder.

If you make the effort to actually dig into this stuff, you will learn a lot. But if you're content with the comic-book "thinking" of the Rush Limbaugh/William F. Buckley/George W. Bush "school"...then there's really not much hope that you'll ever understand anything.

As the saying has it: a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 21, 2003


Did you see the link to No evidence?

I went to that link and see that it asserts that the USSR apparently killed "an estimated" 50,000 Chechens in the period 1947-1953.

But it provides no evidence for that. I don't find it "out of the question" "could" have happened. Can you find something from the USSR that could be interpreted as direct evidence for the intent to kill Chechens simply because they were Chechens?

The atrocities of the "new capitalist Russia" in Chechnya have been extensively documented, of course.


So if a religious person or a capitalist civilian is seen as a class enemy, he is executed; how did they decide who is a class enemy?

I don't know; I wasn't there.

Neither were you.


I was not asking in their eyes. I was asking you; so please answer the question. Yes or no.

Well, if Stalin had asked my advice, I would have said "I wanna cookie." You understand I was 3 years old in 1945.

Now, looking back, I would have told "Uncle Joe" to hold onto Germany and the portion of Austria that the USSR occupied (including Vienna)...and let the rest go back to being capitalist countries (by the way, Czechoslovakia might have "gone communist" anyway...they had a lot of support there). Of course, before Joe did that, he should be sure and shoot all the people in those countries that actively supported the Nazis or who were active fascists in their own right.

Unlike America, who hung a few Nazis and jailed a few others and let the rest of the bastards back into power again.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 22, 2003


Though I certainly am no expert on this subject, a planned economy cannot work and we are therefore "doomed" to capitalism.

I'm "no expert" either, to be sure, but I always chuckle when I read this kind of argument.

As I recall reading, Cuba is the 72nd largest planned economy in the world...the other 71 are huge multi-national corporations.

Whenever intelligent humans have the opportunity, they plan...on the presumption that any plan is better than no plan.

I don't see how capitalism is "the best we can ever do" when it involves supporting a parasitic class at obscene levels of wealth. How can that possibly be "efficient"?
First posted at Che-Lives on December 24, 2003

Dreary Randian cliches...

quote: defines Capitalism as being a social system based on individual rights. Capitalists advocate laissez faire.

Would you like to explain what the term "individual rights" actually means in the context of world dominated by huge multi-national corporations?

Then, you can explain about the ways in which capitalism protects your "individual right" to tell your boss that he is a pig-headed fool...while keeping your job, of course.

Under capitalism, you sign away your "bill of rights" in order to get the money to eat. Only the independently wealthy and beggars are "free"...capitalism does, in its magisterial benevolence, grant the "right to starve" and "freeze to death" on the streets of our "great nation".

That's why we call the worker's life under capitalism wage-slavery.


...a free market, based on supply and demand, will ultimately maximize consumer welfare.

True enough, as long as you realize that some "consumers" are more important than others.

Look in your daily newspaper for "apartments for rent". Notice how the alternatives and options increase as the rent increases. If you're poor, there are only a few choices...and none of them are very good (violent neighborhood, poor access to public transit and shopping, lousy schools, building in bad shape, etc.).

Ah, but if you have $1,000 to $2,000 per month to spend on rent...there is a wealth of desirable alternatives available. Peaceful neighborhoods, convenient to shopping areas and high-rated schools, many amenities included in the rent, new building in good condition, etc., etc.

The more money you have, the more capitalism "maximizes your welfare".

If you live on the minimum wage in the United States (or close to it), the best strategy is to purchase a used van and live in it.

Landlords, by the way, know that people are starting to do this...and they don't like it. Some cities have already passed ordinances making it illegal to live in a vehicle.

You were saying something about "individual rights"???


Private property, free markets, and rule of law institute and protect individual rights. Capitalism is the system of government which implements these principles. Nothing more, nothing less.

Capitalism is not "a system of government" in any sense of the word--it is an economic system that has existed under a variety of governments. As long as some people can own the means of production and legally appropriate a portion of workers' production for their own use (profit)--that's capitalism.

Capitalist thinkers after World War II decided that the "bourgeois republic" was most suited to their needs (for a variety of reasons)...but as long as they are allowed to make a profit, the "styles" of government are not that important to them.

The proof of this is that major capitalists were not only directly instrumental in bringing fascist and quasi-fascist dictators to power...but then flourished while those regimes existed.

I know of no instance in which capitalism did not emerge from the ruins of a fascist or quasi-fascist regime stronger than ever.


In Latin America we have never had Capitalism.

Chile is the most recent example of capitalism using quasi-fascist methods to prosper as never before.

Lots of "individual rights" there, eh?


Gov't Funded Social Programs such as welfare, public schools, health care, and other forms of social spending.
- Increased tax
- Not only economic, but also social implications like the reduce[d] incentive to work.

The obvious implication from this is that if you're poor: you should receive no welfare but rather beg/starve; you should receive no education; if you get sick, you should die, etc.

In late capitalism, we are on our way back to the 19th century...your "minimal government utopia". You may wish to consult Engels' The Condition of the English Working Class in 1844 as a realistic guide to the "glorious future" of capitalism.


This can be seen in Flint, Michigan with the closing of the General Motors factory that was located there. The factory gave jobs to the people of Flint. Due to Regulations and taxation, the companies moved out of Flint.

This is, if you'll pardon the expression, bullshit! The main and nearly the only reason corporations close plants in one area and build new plants in another is in order to pay sharply lower wages, period. "Regulations" and "taxes" are trivial concerns by comparison.


Capitalism is against much Gov’t intervention in the economy.

Unless it benefits them, of course. It almost always does. The "wet dream" of every capitalist is a government sanctioned monopoly.

Ideological conservatives claim to be "against" such a violation of the "free market" in "principle". Real capitalists have an entirely different view.

If Bill Gates could get away with making it illegal to use anything but Windows(c), you think he wouldn't love it?

It's hard to "justify" such a naked and shameless grab for total market dominance, but there are many ways to "legally" achieve the same effect...and capitalists are well aware of those ways and use them constantly.


It promotes ownership of private property, the most important being the mind and body.

Yes, you "own" your mind and body under capitalism...but, if you like to eat regular meals and live indoors, you must rent yourself to some rich bastard at once.

Capitalism makes prostitutes of us all...or tries to!


Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to do whatever you feel like doing. Freedom to make your own choices. Economic freedom.

Freedom for the rich; despotism and misery for the poor.


With Capitalism people are constantly trying to improve, being their work skills, education, production process, etc.

For the majority of people, I think "skills" and "education" are measurably declining.

Here's an example from personal experience. Back in the 1960s, Time magazine was, then as now, a leading organ of capitalist opinion in the United States. But if you looked at the content, you'd see a huge is hardly more than a comic book now--as opposed to the more serious journal that it was then.

In order to retain "market share", the editors of Time had to "dumb it down".

Now, if you want to read serious capitalist opinion, you have to read The Economist...there's simply nothing else out there. (!)

Another example: what do small and medium-sized capitalists constantly piss and moan about (at least in public)? They "can't find" workers who are "literate"!

It's "so bad" that if you go into a fast food restaurant and look at the cash register, you'll see that the numbers are over in one corner of a large keyboard--the rest of the keyboard is taken up with pictures of the various the picture and that automatically rings up the price.

McWages are not high enough to hire anyone who can read and write.

Is this your idea of "improvement"?


Capitalism promotes creativity which results in technological advances.

Sometimes...and only if it is immediately profitable or promises to be so.

The foundations of the internet, for example, were laid by the U.S. Department of Defense and a number of university research units.

Had it been up to capitalism, the internet would exist (if at all) as a monopoly privilege for the wealthy.

Capitalist economists blather a great deal about "risk"--but the truth of the matter is that real capitalists are most attracted to the sure bet.

Human creativity exists in all social systems. The use of it to "make money" is specific to capitalism.


Capitalism looks to get people out of poverty.

Or kill them...whichever looks to offer the best "return on investment" in the short run.

The Nazi "gas chambers" were designed by a private company--they even applied for a patent...and got one in 1947!


With capitalistic competition firms compete for the best employees, so they raise wages and increase employee benefits.

Some of them used to do that; now, they shut down the operation and open a new plant in Shitholia--where women and children will bust their asses 16 hours a day for 10 cents/hour. They are far less "productive" than western workers...but they are so damn cheap that the move pays for itself in the first six months.

In Shitholia, by the way, it's perfectly legal to hire private thugs to kill those pesky union organizers.

Just another one of those precious "individual rights".


With Capitalism everything is a chain of improvement.

Well, I'll agree that it's a chain alright. Lots of chains under capitalism...unless you're one of the "big dogs".


Capitalism allows adaptation to a changing environment.

Too bad for those who "can't adapt" the social darwinists said, they should just die and "get out of the way".


Now just imagine how things would be if we had Capitalism with minimum Gov’t intervention.

We don't have to "imagine"--we have many competent historians that can tell us what "unregulated" capitalism was like, including Marx and Engels, of course.

It was hell!

And, as Marx predicted, we're on our way back.
First posted at Che-Lives on December 26, 2003
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