Home > Oz Politics, World Events > The culture wars are over. They lost.

The culture wars are over. They lost.

November 8th, 2012


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  1. Jim Rose
    November 11th, 2012 at 18:44 | #1

    As usual, the conspiracy theories on campaign finance are undisciplined by theory or fact. Obama’s 2:1 financial advantage on McCain did little to increase his majority in 2008.

    There is not much evidence that big war chests make much of a difference. Millionaires have had little success at buying election for them to office.

  2. November 11th, 2012 at 18:46 | #2

    Sancho :@rog
    Australia is much more sclerotic but also much more stable, so we’re not likely to see the same overwhelming rejection of neoconservatism

    The ALP is so neo-con that this proposition is moot.

  3. Katz
    November 11th, 2012 at 18:55 | #3

    Neoconservatism never captured the imagination of Australians as it did in the US.

    Opposition to WorkChoices would never have caused the downfall of a government in the US.

    The religious Right is vanishingly small in Australia.

    While climate denialism grows, Australians are more accepting of mainstream science.

    The Right in America is bankrolled by tycoons. Australia is experiencing a little of this, the party system still imposes discipline upon would-be political adventurers.

  4. Jim Rose
    November 11th, 2012 at 19:17 | #4

    @Katz do you have any evidence that the Right in America is bankrolled by tycoons?

  5. Katz
    November 11th, 2012 at 19:54 | #5

    Here’s a test for you JR.

    Instead of asking clumsily disingenuous questions, try googling

    Right wing tycoon funding

    Then find a name and quote it here. Then I’ll assess your ability to extract accurate and relevant information.

    As JFK said, give a man a fish and you feed him once. Give a man a fishing pole and you feed him forever.

  6. Sancho
    November 11th, 2012 at 20:09 | #6


    Precisely. As I said upthread, Obama’s overwhelming victory means that we don’t need to make long arguments in favour of basic, easily-established facts any more.

    It’s now up to conservatives to prove that they’re not simply spouting convenient propaganda for the upper class, while the rest of us get on with discussing what the future should look like.

  7. Katz
    November 11th, 2012 at 20:31 | #7

    JFK also said this about the RWDBs of his day. He nails precisely the looney paranoid fantasies of the Right.

    He is also optimistic about the good sense of Americans.

    The victory of Obama tends to confirm JFK’s optimism. 

    In recent months I have spoken many times about how difficult and dangerous a period it is through which we now move. I would like to take this opportunity to say a word about the American spirit in this time of trial.

    In the most critical periods of our nation’s history, there have always been those fringes of our society who have sought to escape their own responsibility by finding a simple solution, an appealing slogan, or a convenient scapegoat.

    Financial crises could be explained by the presence of too many immigrants or too few greenbacks.
    War could be attributed to munitions makers or international bankers.
    Peace conferences failed because we were duped by the British or tricked by the French or deceived by the Russians.

    It was not the presence of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe that drove it to communism, it was the sell-out at Yalta. It was not a civil war that removed China from the free world, it was treason in high places. At times these fanatics have achieved a temporary success among those who lack the will or the vision to face unpleasant tasks or unsolved problems.

    But in time the basic good sense and stability of the great American consensus has always prevailed.


    Today’s RWDB’s should be able to perceive their 1960s counterparts.

    If they have any insight and conscience, they ought to feel deep embarrassment.

    Everyone should do themselves a favour and read the entire speech.

  8. November 11th, 2012 at 20:37 | #8

    Hard to work out which is weirder, the content of this report – or the fact that a company has official “prayers” at work:

    “A US coal company headed by a Mitt Romney donor has laid off more than 160 workers in response to President Obama’s election victory.

    Murray Energy said Friday that it had been “forced” to make the layoffs in response to the bleak prospects for the coal industry during Obama’s second term.

    In a prayer circulated by the company, CEO Robert Murray said Americans had voted “in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom.”

    “The American people have made their choice. They have decided that America must change its course, away from the principals of our Founders,” Mr. Murray said in the prayer, which was delivered in a meeting with staff members earlier this week.

    “Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corporation for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build.”

  9. November 11th, 2012 at 20:42 | #9


    This is the same Murray Energy that killed a handful of workers resulting in a recent payment of about $1.5million in safety and criminal fines.

  10. Katz
    November 11th, 2012 at 20:46 | #10

    Praise the Lord and pass the pink slips!

  11. Sancho
    November 11th, 2012 at 20:49 | #11


    I’m sure the Lord will forgive them for sacking people they planned to sack in any case, all because Romney wasn’t elected to implement economic reforms he wouldn’t describe unless he got elected.

  12. Jim Rose
    November 11th, 2012 at 21:28 | #12

    @Katz so you have no evidence then.

  13. Jim Rose
    November 11th, 2012 at 21:59 | #13

    Katz, this http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/campaign-finance/ seems to suggest that Obama was outspent by his opponents combined by $50 million, but it is late a night and there are many graphics.

  14. Sancho
    November 11th, 2012 at 21:59 | #14

    “…and because 2 + 2 = 4, we know that…”

    “It does not, leftist, and I will not allow this discussion to continue until you meet the absurd standard of proof I have set for a basic and well-known fact I could learn all about in half a second using Google!”

    “You can’t possibly be serious.”

    “Aha! You have no evidence!”

  15. Jim Rose
    November 11th, 2012 at 22:36 | #15

    @Sancho Cass Sunstein defines a conspiracy theory as: “An effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Of course some conspiracy theories turn out to be true.

    He goes on to argue that millions hold conspiracy theories – that powerful people have worked together to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event.

    Most conspiracy theories typically stem not from irrationality or mental illness of any kind but from a sharply limited number of relevant information sources.

    Cass Sunstein also argues that many extremists fall in this category; their extremism stems not from irrationality, but from the fact that they have little (relevant) information, and their extremist views are supported by what little they know:

    1. Conspiracy theories generally attribute extraordinary powers to certain agents – to plan, to control others, to maintain secrets, and so forth.

    2. Conspiracy theories overestimate the competence and discretion of officials and bureaucracies, who are assumed to be able to make and carry out sophisticated secret plans, despite abundant evidence that in open societies that government action does not usually remain secret for very long.

    3. Conspiracy theories also assume that the nefarious secret plans are easily detected by members of the public such as themselves without the need for special access to the key information or any investigative resources.

    Sunstein also argued that a distinctive feature of conspiracy theories is their self-sealing quality. Conspiracy theorists are not likely to be persuaded by an attempt to dispel their theories; they may even characterize that very attempt as further proof of the conspiracy

  16. Chris Warren
    November 12th, 2012 at 00:43 | #16

    @John Dawson

    You need to look around. Workers do not freely trade their time or talents. In the Third World workers are beaten and locked in their factories. If they protest against low wages they are arrested and loose employment. In the OECD, if they don’t work they loose their homes and financial security. In the USA they also loose their healthcare. There is no freedom on food stamps.

    You are engaging in denialism. Back in time, the original body of workers that established capitalism was created by forced expulsion of tenant farmers from their livelihoods under Enclosure Laws.

    Bill Gates has not been a billion times more productive than average workers. The capital he claims as is, has been used to sweep up massive surpluses from Microsoft workers. His billions are their missing wages.

    Laissez faire capitalism is only an attempt to guarantee capital freedom to force the rest of society to bow to its demands.

    Laissez faire capitalism is the worst of all possible worlds. it means that the foxes are in charge of the chickens.

    How do you know that people mowing lawns and etc. are not forced to do so under threat of loosing their benefits. That is what “Work for the Dole” amounts to.

    You probably pass wage slaves every day.

    Exactly how did the 25% unemployed in Greece or Spain, freely choose to be unemployed?

    How did they freely choose to have a bank kick them from their homes?

  17. Jim Rose
    November 12th, 2012 at 05:45 | #17

    @Chris Warren the poor and unemployed in the USA are eligible for medicaid, CHIPS and the CORBA subsidy of 65% to stay in their old scheme.

  18. Katz
    November 12th, 2012 at 06:12 | #18

    @Jim Rose

    Shorter JR: I don’t want a fishing pole. Give me a fish!

  19. Katz
    November 12th, 2012 at 06:49 | #19

    Steve Kates is the gift that keeps on giving. A taster from a slow motion head explosion in his demand for an apology from The Age:

    Ten, a sexist dismisses women as a lesser breed without the competencies to manage and do the things a man can do. I, on the other hand, have always welcomed women into top jobs and think it is wonderful that women are reaching such levels. As a society we are tapping a wonderful resource other societies do not, and both men and women are the better for it. I feel I shouldn’t have to explain myself, but as someone who supported to the maximum extent Margaret Thatcher (here is a Catallaxy Files post I authored on Thatcher, “The Greatest Woman of the Twentieth Century”.)
    I can hardly think of my political views as tainted with an anti-woman brush. Odd kind of sexism, isn’t it, to support a woman while being anti-woman? Supporting Margaret Thatcher may cut no ice with the left, but if you are thinking in this case about men and women and not left and right, it is hard to pin a sexist tag on someone who would be happy to be governed by a woman and who would trust their political judgment ahead of someone else just because they were a male.


    Kates appears to think that highlighting his association with the fanatics, paranoids, psychopaths and misfits on Catallaxy will somehow help to bolster his case!

    The rest is an unhinged temper tantrum. Kates should be sent to the naughty corner.

  20. JB Cairns
    November 12th, 2012 at 07:15 | #20


    Kates is mad. He lives in a parallel universe where he makes up facts to match his theories.

  21. Katz
    November 12th, 2012 at 14:06 | #21

    Yes, Kates has a mad view of the world.

    He is correct that the gender gap defeated Romney. He ascribes the disinclination of white women to vote as their male relatives did to being “damaged”.

    Kate’s declined to consider that it is as arguable that white men failed to vote like white women because they are the damaged sex. And here is the root of Kates’ deep-seated sexism (and racism). In Kates’ weird universe, white men are the norm against which the world is measured. This is breathtaking cultural and sexual arrogance.

    And Kates asks why these “damaged” women have not found life partners. Well, lookit, Steve, their only realistic option here is to marry a Republican-voting white man. And he is likely to be narrow, selfish, greedy, emotionally crippled and adhering to as set of values and behaviours inimical to the interests and desires of the Democratic woman. She looks at such a man and recoils. A single life is preferable to being shackled to such a monster.

    And she is right.

  22. November 12th, 2012 at 14:58 | #22

    QED. What a bunch of losers. You cling to the marxists’ hatred of capitalism and regurgitate their straw white man prejudices but without their hope of utopia. Your opponents can lose, but you can never win anything but destruction.

  23. Sancho
    November 12th, 2012 at 15:00 | #23

    @John Dawson

    Now there’s the constructive intellectualism and reasonable spirit of enquiry that served Mitt Romney so well last week.

  24. Katz
    November 12th, 2012 at 16:37 | #24

    @John Dawson

    Oh c’mon JD, rise above your emotional inarticulacy and tell us what you really think about white women who refuse to vote the same way as their menfolk.

  25. November 12th, 2012 at 17:22 | #25

    @Katz I don’t think of white women as having “menfolk” Katz, any more than I think of men as having “womenfolk”. And I wouldn’t insult half the voting population by assuming that they only just figured out that their ballot was secret.

  26. MG42
    November 12th, 2012 at 17:33 | #26

    John Dawson :
    QED. What a bunch of losers. You cling to the marxists’ hatred of capitalism and regurgitate their straw white man prejudices but without their hope of utopia. Your opponents can lose, but you can never win anything but destruction.

    Ugh, sometimes you think that maybe the right-wing isn’t so bad, then from out of the blue they do something crazy like launch into a self-righteous hyperbolic tirade, state that women are inferior to men or compare homosexuality to bestiality.

  27. Katz
    November 12th, 2012 at 17:33 | #27

    Do you acknowledge the existence of a gender gap in white votes in the recent US election?

  28. November 12th, 2012 at 18:08 | #28

    If Obama did better with women voters than with men voters, so what? I guess if he promised to put an extra tax on igloos in order to fund zoroastrian temples his eskimo vote might go down and zoroastrian vote might go up. Independent minded eskimos and zoroastrians, however, might decide that for a government to take wealth from those who produced it and give it (less the cost of their bureaucratic waste) to those who didn’t is a destructive injustice and vote for the candidate who promised to reduce taxes and handouts. I know, I know, that didn’t happen, so enjoy your moment, your welcome to it.

  29. Katz
    November 12th, 2012 at 18:21 | #29

    So why didn’t white women reward Romney for promising to encourage the most economically productive, i.e., white men?

  30. November 12th, 2012 at 19:02 | #30

    @Katz I’ve answered that Katz. But try imagining a world inhabited by adults who want the freedom to look after themselves, rather than a world of children crying for nanny state to look after their tribe more than the other tribe.

  31. Katz
    November 12th, 2012 at 19:06 | #31

    Where have you answered it? What is that answer?

  32. November 12th, 2012 at 21:01 | #32

    It’s not a matter of the government encouraging any gender or racial group Katz, it’s a matter of the government getting out of the way so people of any gender or race can produce as much as they can and want to. The staggering life giving productivity of the US has been the result of its government doing the best job of getting out of its citizens way. It looks like a majority of Americans have decided they’d rather be like Europeans. If you consider that a victory, enjoy it while you can.

  33. Katz
    November 12th, 2012 at 21:26 | #33

    I wasn’t asking for a précis of Randian polemic.

    I was asking about the reasons for actual behaviour. After all, I am not aware of a gender gap in any other ethno-cultural group.

  34. November 12th, 2012 at 21:50 | #34

    The hypothetical person you describe is selfish in a very small-minded way.

    If they were to get this government service-less, dog-eat-dog, each-person-for-themself nirvana they imagine, they would quickly find themselves in a society with a lot of poor, sick, uneducated and desperate individuals who don’t fully appreciate the fine nuance between being free to ‘produce’ as much as they want free of hindrance and the labour-intensive extractive enterprise often referred to using terms along the lines of: assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, murder, armed robbery with aggravated violence etc…

    After a while that person might come to the conclusion (as people just like that did, in this country more than 100 years ago) that being surrounded by poor, sick, stupid, violent, desperate people was not only unpleasant, unhealthy, dangerous and bothersome but also ultimately quite expensive for them and their friends.

    Then they might come up with the idea that it would be a far more pleasant, healthy, productive etc… place for THEM if these people could have some basics in life such as health, education and a minimum social safety net of some sort to save them from the worst desperation. They might conclude (again, it’s been done before) that a reasonably healthy, disease free workforce with a functioning grasp on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic and a desire to earn more than subsistance handouts would be of, collective, benefit to that person and their “productive” friends.

    Unfortunately, both ‘sides’ of US, UK & Aus politics are determined to pursue the free-market fundamentalist ideology instead.

  35. Sancho
    November 12th, 2012 at 21:50 | #35


    Don’t know why you bother.

    The Republicans managed to turn a huge number of default GOP voters against them and revealed that the developed world considers their social views anachronistic at best, and all John saw was people done goed and voted for freebies.

    It’s a stunningly ignorant line of reasoning even for an American conservative, let alone an Australian who no doubt goes to the polls every few years and votes for a coalition of middle-class welfare dispensers and outright rural socialists.

    Meanwhile, here’s something relevant which simply doesn’t exist on John’s planet:


  36. Chris Warren
    November 12th, 2012 at 23:56 | #36

    @Jim Rose

    So naturally you’ll be able to provide a link showing how many food-stampers actually use

  37. Chris Warren
    November 12th, 2012 at 23:58 | #37

    @Jim Rose

    the poor and unemployed in the USA are eligible for medicaid, CHIPS and the CORBA subsidy of 65% to stay in their old scheme.

    So naturally you’ll be able to provide a link showing how many food-stampers actually use
    these schemes.

  38. Chris Warren
    November 13th, 2012 at 00:00 | #38

    John Dawson :
    QED. What a bunch of losers. You cling to the marxists’ hatred of capitalism and … [more twaddle deleted]

    It seems you have a pathological hatred of social justice. Or is it a ‘learned instinct’?

  39. November 13th, 2012 at 02:20 | #39

    @Megan But you see Megan, contrary to your Marxist mantra, it was precisely those benighted countries like “US, UK & Aus” that raised everyones standard of living including the poorest of its citizens, while every country that decided to do away with those “exploiting” capitalist who owned factories or cows or other such means of production consigned their populations to famines, drudgery, gulags and misery. That’s why semi-capitalist countries needed barbwire to keep people out while socialist countries need it to keep people in.

  40. November 13th, 2012 at 03:14 | #40

    @Chris Warren Your diatribes are too full of nonsensical prejudice to do much with Chris, but a couple of points for the record.

    When you say “Laissez faire capitalism is the worst of all possible worlds. it means that the foxes are in charge of the chickens” you are wrong in theory and historical fact. Capitalism is precisely the system that bans the initiation of force, be it by criminals or governments. Consequently it is the system that released the power of free minds to produce and trade on free markets. It worked because humans are not foxes or chickens, we don’t live by instinct and force but by reason and trade. It was this that lifted the world out of medieval stagnation to the wonders of the world you take for granted.

    You ask “How do you know that people mowing lawns and etc. are not forced to do so under threat of loosing their benefits.” The “threat” of not giving you something is not force. You say I “probably pass wage slaves every day.” Most people I pass every day are what you call “wage slaves” be they lawnmower boys or bank managers, because they trade their work for a wage. But despite what your postmodern professors may have taught you, there is a difference between an Orwellian narrative and reality. If you doubt that you can go live in a place where “wage slavery” under the lash of exploiting capitalists has been expunged: North Korea.

  41. BilB
    November 13th, 2012 at 05:45 | #41

    John Dawson,

    Your #39 is indeed the case. But Capitalism is simple a method of operation, a means to an end. Capitlaism is not an end in itself. When it becomes that it is every bit the failure that International Communism is, and for all of the same reasons.

    You move, in #40, to waxing lyrical and conclude with an example which is the exact opposite to your meaning. North Korea…is…the Capitalist end game where the people are the capital servicing the whims of an entirely seperated and privileged elite.

  42. rog
    November 13th, 2012 at 05:54 | #42

    @John Dawson To be fair those that choose to use North Korea as an example of socialism should also supply an example of laissez faire capitalism. Currently the only country that fits the description is Somalia.

  43. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 05:55 | #43


    I bother because I enjoy showing how the simple truth destroys elaborate ideology.

  44. MG42
    November 13th, 2012 at 06:14 | #44

    When will the RW noise machine learn that calling their opponents “Marxists” (like they know what that means despite the frightening aura) and repeating stale slogans asserting their morality does not an argument make?

    Here is a koan for the irredeemable zealots:

    Your absolute rights must necessarily be infringed by living in a society among other people. From that starting point, it’s all a matter of compromise.

  45. Tom
    November 13th, 2012 at 08:45 | #45


    “JR, are you ignorant of the fact that governments both tax AND spend?

    During the 1950s and 1960s the US Govt ran large fiscal surpluses. This state of affairs changed almost permanently in 1968”

    The US government did not run budget surplus back then, they have instead behaved a bit more like Lerner’s functional finance method of reducing public debt to GDP ratio.


  46. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 11:38 | #46

    Yeah, my mistake. I misremembered.

  47. November 13th, 2012 at 12:47 | #47

    @Katz What simple truth was that Katz?

  48. November 13th, 2012 at 13:15 | #48

    @MG42 My absolute right MG42 is to be left free to live as I see fit provided I don’t infringe others’ right to do the same. There is only one way that right can be infringed, and that’s by the initiation of force to damage me or steal my property. That’s why a just government bans the initiation of force. In such a society nobody need infringe anyone’s rights, we deal with each other as traders if and when we judge it to be in our interest to do so.

  49. Sancho
    November 13th, 2012 at 13:34 | #49

    @John Dawson

    Of course, by “damage” and “steal” you mean to physically assault you specifically and take the things you have acquired over the life of a middle-class white man.

    We can assume you don’t mean systemic violence, in which a privileged class reserves rights and opportunities for themselves and prevents others from acquiring them.

    If a woman takes your wallet, that offends your principles. If you contribute to sustaining a society which discriminates against women in high-income jobs, your principles are intact.

  50. November 13th, 2012 at 13:39 | #50

    @BilB No Bilb, white is not black, slavery is not freedom, North Korea is not capitalism, it is the inevitable end game of 20th Century communism. In the face of failure after failure in country after country our Marxist professors denied and denied then blamed bad weather, bad leadership, the CIA, you name it. If they’d had their way the whole world would be like North Korea by now, but without the food and oil from semi capitalist countries to keep them alive. And it’s those professors who passed their wisdom on to the professors and teachers who teach you lot today.

  51. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 13:44 | #51

    JD, read my #33 and see if you can work it out.

  52. November 13th, 2012 at 14:20 | #52

    Perhaps I should’ve checked before engaging, but I had a look at JD’s blog – I wouldn’t recommend it. In summary: Quadrant, Ayn Rand, Libertarianism.

    I only bothered because of his weird retort to my last comment which consisted of calling me a Marxist.

    Anyway, I noticed this gem:

    “At root the AGW alarmism philosophy is: anti-liberty, anti-progress, and anti-human.”

  53. rog
    November 13th, 2012 at 14:33 | #53

    @Megan ..and the books? Where are JD’s books?

  54. Fran Barlow
    November 13th, 2012 at 15:06 | #54

    @John Dawson

    North Korea is clearly not an instance of capitalism, but neither is it any kind of instance of social|sm or working class rule. It’s a fairly primitive command economy in the hands of highly coercive dynastic rulers — a kind of mafia-like autarky with an essentially private army.

    {if} our [email protected]|st professors … had their way the whole world would be like North Korea by now. {…}And it’s those professors who passed their wisdom on to the professors and teachers who teach you lot today.

    I’m yet to meet or even read of any professor of Marxism (or even a more loosely defined egalitarianism) who has mentioned North Korea as a model that he or she would endorse. Perhaps you can find one such person teaching in western university, but even allowing for the sake of argument that there is such a person, it’s scarcely a generalisation one could support, so I’m putting that claim under the heading of angst-driven nonsense.

    You might wonder, John Dawson, why China, which is just next door, hasn’t opted for the North Korean model, despite having a clear opportunity to do so and calling itself “commun|st” and why other regimes avowing a more egalitarian-populist ethic — Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba for example — haven’t been tempted either.

    This is because North Korea was a special case — a result of the occupation by Japan and the Cold War in a ruined country, rather than something flowing from the logic of leftwing ideas. It’s not an inevitable endgame but a bizarre anomaly.

    The problem confronting humanity remains as it was for every previous generation — how to define socially necessary labour, and how to settle the burdens and benefits of socially necessary labour effectively, efficiently and equitably amongst human beings so that we may all have a maximum of effective autonomy. That is a problem that both capitalism,and previous exemplars of non-captialist collectivism or populism of one kind or another have failed to solve.

    Waving your hands about and pleading against Marxism may make you feel good but it contributes nothing to meeting that challenge.

  55. BilB
    November 13th, 2012 at 15:34 | #55

    John Dawson 3/50,

    My reading of North Korea suggests that 75% of North Koreans are propertyless and incomeless. This makes them human capital that is exploited for personal gain by a politically faithfull 25% demographic elite. This is functionally a Capitalist domain of the darkest kind in the guise of a communist state, which, as I said, portrays the monopoly board style capitalist end game where a few own everything and the majority starve.

  56. November 13th, 2012 at 16:23 | #56

    @BilB North Koreans are propertyless because all property in a communist country is owned by the state and they are incomeless because the communist state decides how the produce of the country is to be taken from those according to their ability and distributed according to those whose need it decides to reward. Which makes it a model Marxist society. Of course its state didn’t wither away as Marx predicted, but nothing Marx predicted worked out anywhere. But that didn’t stop the useful idiots of the West rationalizing their way around the glaring failures and rationalizing everything bad in the world as the wages of capitalism. No Fran, of course they don’t advocate North Korea as a model because the results are too horribly visible – so they take their cue from Orwell’s handbook and call it “state capitalism”. No the likes of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba never went as far as North Korea in the implementation of their creed, and so their results wern’t as bad, but they were quite bad enough as a million or two Cubans who risked their lives to get out attest. The country that implemented the creed even more thoroughly than North Korea was Kampuchea. Most communist countries were driven by despair to abandon Marxism and they have improved the lot of their citizens since doing so. But Marxism has a lingering effect, most particularly and inexcusably in Western Universities.

  57. Jim Rose
    November 13th, 2012 at 16:40 | #57

    @Chris Warren the wiki says that one-third of children and 59% of low-income children are insured through Medicaid or SCHIP. 130 percent of the federal poverty level for food stamps

  58. rog
    November 13th, 2012 at 17:43 | #58

    @John Dawson North Korea has more in common with a monarchy with all power held by the hereditary head of state. If it was a communist state property and means of production would be held the people. North Korea is not a cooperative it is a totalitarian regime.

  59. Fran Barlow
    November 13th, 2012 at 18:16 | #59

    @John Dawson

    First you say:

    our Marxist professors denied and denied then blamed bad weather, bad leadership, the CIA, you name it. If they’d had their way the whole world would be like North Korea by now {…} And it’s those professors who passed their wisdom on to the professors and teachers who teach you lot today.

    then you say:

    No Fran, of course they don’t advocate North Korea as a model because …

    Consistency isn’t your strong suit is it?

  60. November 13th, 2012 at 18:22 | #60

    @rog Yes rog North Korea is totalitarian, so were all the communist states. Yes it is similar in some respects to an absolute monarchy, in that everything and everybody is owned or controlled by the state. The main difference is that the monarch’s “right” to rule was divine, where as the politburo’s “right” to rule was the collective. As long as they could claim that the sacrifices they demanded of individuals was for the “common good” of society they could justify any injustice or atrocity. The reason the kings lasted a couple of millennia where as the communists lasted only a couple of generations is that the kings could perpetuate the myth that peoples sacrifices on earth would be rewarded after death, where as the politburo’s myth that their sacrifices would be rewarded by their grandchildren living in utopia wore thin when the comrades noticed that “wage slaves” and grandchildren in semi capitalist countries lived in a utopia beyond the wildest dreams of their central planners while they were still being called on to sacrifice their selfish individualist interests for the collective.

  61. Sancho
    November 13th, 2012 at 18:38 | #61

    No one’s asking for communism, of course.

    John’s wild-eyed and arguing that everyone to the left of Ayn Rand is just itching to live in a Stalinist dictatorship, but doesn’t realise that Australia, Canada and most Western European nations have exactly the type of social-democratic setup most leftists want.

    The premise of this thread is that the right has lost the culture war. The results of the US election, coupled with this overwrought hysterical ranting about communism and violent coercion whenever the welfare state is mentioned, suggest it’s true.

    Really, John, if you had a balanced and compelling argument to make, you wouldn’t feel the need to start channeling Joe McCarthy the moment your assertions are challenged.

  62. November 13th, 2012 at 18:43 | #62

    @Fran Barlow What I said was perfectly consistent Fran, Marxists advocated policies that consistently led to bad results but they never acknowledged those results were due to their policies. If the whole world had followed their policies it would be like North Korea but they would still be blaming the bad result on something else – CIA plots, bankers conspiracies, depletion of resources, AGW, whatever. Only a select few of them mind you, most of them would be dead or slaving in the fields.

  63. Sancho
    November 13th, 2012 at 18:53 | #63

    @John Dawson

    Policies that are drawn from Marx include the union movement, feminism, and public health.

    The hate for Marx is largely based on the huge success of his ideas. And, hey, if I were a member of a hereditary ruling class I’d hate Marx too.

  64. BilB
    November 13th, 2012 at 18:55 | #64

    John D,

    You don’t get it. North Korea is nothing like any other state. It is an enslaved nation, not a communist state.

    I’ve been trying to download documents on the assets of NK’s elite but there seems to be some blocking software at work.


    Give it a go see if you can download.

  65. Fran Barlow
    November 13th, 2012 at 19:20 | #65

    @John Dawson

    Marxists advocated policies that consistently led to bad results but they never acknowledged those results were due to their policies. If the whole world had followed their policies it would be like North Korea

    “Marxists” have advocated a great many things in a variety of circumstances so we’ve no way of testing the hypothesis. That said, clearly some “marxists” got their way in China and Cuba and Venezuela and Bolivia and it didn’t end up like North Korea. In Chile, when they were denied their preference, people got murdered by anti-Marxists.

    What Marxists would do today is another thing entirely. It’s not clear whom you’re referring to, so we only have your bleating to rely on.

  66. Mel
    November 13th, 2012 at 20:56 | #66

    If John Dawson wasn’t thicker than a woodchuck he would realise that his very own arguments in respect of those that adhere to the mainstream view on climate science are in themselves fundamentally Marxian. This Dawson argument, with its invocation of vested interests, favoured classes and ideology, has been practically plagiarised from the Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital and The German Ideology. http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/09/carbon-pathway-to-disaster

    Conservatism has traditionally been understood as entailing respect for “tried and true” institutions, be that religion, the current institutions of state or science and a range of personal traits including prudence and caution. This is the conservatism of Edmund Burke. In taking the advice of pretty much every major scientific establishment in the western world and acting on AGW, the Gillard Government has acted prudently and conservatively. More intelligent and better educated Australian conservatives, true conservatives that is, are well aware of this and deplore the cheap right populism of intellectual pygmies such as Dawson and squawking Galahs like Tony Abbott. Here is a splendid example of a true conservative: http://www.harryrclarke.com/

  67. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 20:57 | #67

    Here’s Romney acting like an archetypal Randian hero:

    From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself.
    Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.


    That’s economic rationality for you. 

  68. Mel
    November 13th, 2012 at 20:58 | #68

    caught in mod, john. thanks.

  69. Chris Warren
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:01 | #69

    Jim Rose :
    @Chris Warren the wiki says that one-third of children and 59% of low-income children are insured through Medicaid or SCHIP. 130 percent of the federal poverty level for food stamps

    Precisely. Would you be happy if only 59% of your socio-economic group had this access?

  70. Sancho
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:02 | #70


    Rand’s heroes are men who spy the greatest opportunities and make the most of the tools available to them. Romney is a conservative politician whose campaign paid tens of millions of dollars for software that failed from the moment it was activated, then put his preconfigured transition website up for two days, detailing how America would move smoothly into the Romney presidency and return to a golden age.

    I’m talking about the fictional heroes Ayn Rand wrote about, obviously. Her real life idol was a serial killer.

  71. November 13th, 2012 at 21:03 | #71

    And so the nonsensical rationalizations misrepresentations and ad hominem go round and round.

  72. Sancho
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:09 | #72

    @John Dawson

    There’s a predictable pattern here.

    Random poster: “The right is losing the culture war for these obvious and factual reasons.”

    John Dawson: “Fascist! Communist!”

    RP: “Here’s the evidence of my claims. Can you refute it with counter-evidence?”

    JD: “Fascist! Communist!”

    RP: “That’s pretty immature. You mean you don’t have any evidence at all to support what you’re saying?”

    JD: “Don’t attack me with ad hominem, you fascist communist!”

  73. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:14 | #73

    I’m in awe of Romney’s staggering life giving productivity. I’m sure that if he had won the election, he would have done the best job of getting the government out of its citizens way.

    But he didn’t win, and if he ever runs again, his aides will probably want to be paid in cash, in advance.

  74. Chris Warren
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:17 | #74

    @John Dawson

    You are a capitalist denialist. Capitalism was introduced only by violence and all consuming force. Peasants were ejected from their livilihoods. Lebensraum was acquired by destruction of practically every indigenous peoples within grasp of British, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and French. They also fought bloody wars among themselves killing thousands for hundreds of years, all through to 1945.

    Capitalism kills wage slaves as in Africa this month. This is the honourable tradition of capitalism. They fired at workers in Australia at Rothbery, killing one, just as they mowed-down protesting wage-slaves at Peterloo.

    Capitalism also used force to prevent democratic reforms by installing the infamous anti-conspiracy provisions and transporting Chartists to Botany Bay.

    The wealth in Australia, the base of capitalism, in the 19th century was achieved by the greatest crime against humanity ever perpetrated by a capitalist regime.

    You only have to look at any balanced documentary at working conditions in the Third World to see just how much force and violence is needed to keep the globe safe for our thieving billionaires and their denialist lackeys.

  75. Jim Rose
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:40 | #75

    @Chris Warren Many more are eligible for Medicaid and CHIPs and food stamps but do not enrol. The ratio may be 1 in 2 eligible people not enrolling for medicaid. there is also under-enrolment in CHIP. there is also wide state by state variation.

    The funding of Romney care was partly based on boosting Medicaid enrolments to increase matching federal funding flows and save on the state costs of hospital emergency room visits

  76. Jim Rose
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:46 | #76

    @Katz do former employees usually keep their business credit cards?

    the report did not say what normally happens when most of the campaign staff are redundant because an election was lost. what were they to do the next day – accounting and legal wrap-up staff aside?

  77. Sancho
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:51 | #77

    @Jim Rose

    It’s also an unusual case because everyone on the Romney team was convinced they’d throw off the socialist oppressor with ease, party for a week, and go on to be important players in the Great Neocon Revival.

    There would be genuine shock and grief issues for the campaigners to deal with, even without the sometimes excessive schadenfreude of Democrat supporters.

  78. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:51 | #78

    I guess a considerate boss explains that the cards won’t work any more BEFORE they hire a cab.

    Then again, maybe Romney did tell them on ORCA.

    Oh, I forgot. ORCA didn’t work!

    (Mitt possibibly forgot it too.)

  79. Jim Rose
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:52 | #79

    @Katz how much severance pay and out-placement assistance did the campaign staff get? what happened to his secret service detail? who drove Romney home?

  80. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:59 | #80

    Do you know?

  81. Jim Rose
    November 13th, 2012 at 22:03 | #81

    @Katz three weeks severance pay, out-placement assistance and his son drove Mitt home because the secret service had already left.

  82. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 22:06 | #82

    I guess the Secret Service reasoned that it is impossible to kill a political corpse.

  83. Jim Rose
    November 13th, 2012 at 22:07 | #83

    @Katz at least they could have driven him home.

  84. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 22:09 | #84

    Why? It’s a waste of government money.

    I’m sure that the long suffering tax payers were relieved of this unnecessary expense.

  85. Jim Rose
    November 13th, 2012 at 22:09 | #85

    see http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/11/money_has_littl.html for Money Has Little Influence on U.S. Politics. good summary with links.

  86. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 22:14 | #86

    So all those right wing tycoons whose names you couldn’t find did their dough.

    That’s very satisfying.

  87. Jim Rose
    November 13th, 2012 at 22:18 | #87

    @Katz the links says 2/3rds of them backed losers.

  88. Katz
    November 13th, 2012 at 22:20 | #88

    Then I’m 2/3s satisfied. That’s a good pass.

  89. Mel
    November 13th, 2012 at 23:10 | #89

    We haven’t finished with you yet, Dawson. Get your whiney arse back here.

  90. Julie Thomas
    November 14th, 2012 at 07:10 | #90

    Perhaps this is relevant?


    “If conservative billionaires are looking for something else to be mad about, I’d recommend the Romney campaign’s apparent habit of paying about 50 percent more for TV spots than the Obama campaign. That helped line the pockets of the consultants who both recommended the buys and got the commissions for placing the spots, but it didn’t do much to win the election.

    In the end, it turned out that one side ran its campaign like a business, while the other side ran its like a local PTA. Ironically, it was the ex-community organizer who did the former and the ex-CEO of Bain Capital who did the latter.”

  91. Jim Rose
    November 14th, 2012 at 17:54 | #91

    Julie Thomas, a local PTA? didn’t obama pioneer data mining for tailored campaigning to “recruit volunteers, buy ads, tailor emails and mailers, raise money, dispatch surrogates — and, most importantly, scour the swing states for hard-to-find voters most likely to support the president”.

    His data team of 50 plus which had polling data on 29,000 voters in Ohio. national polling samples are usualy 1,000.

    see http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-analytics-20121113,0,846342.story

  92. Sancho
    November 14th, 2012 at 17:59 | #92

    The PTA reference is about the way the Democrats built a local community awareness with voters rather than broadcasting stylised advertising from head office.

    The data resourcing is no surprise. Obama’s a technocrat through and through.

  93. Jim Rose
    November 14th, 2012 at 18:07 | #93

    @Sancho Obama outspent McCain 2:1 in 2008. The spending was about even in 2012.

    what did Obama go back on his word to limit himself to public funding for the general election?

  94. Sancho
    November 14th, 2012 at 18:09 | #94

    @Jim Rose

    Dunno. What’s that got to with the data use and campaign model?

  95. Jim Rose
    November 14th, 2012 at 18:19 | #95

    @Sancho isn’t data mining and tailored emails, mail and ads the broadcasting of stylised advertising from head office.

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