174 thoughts on “Another sandpit

  1. @Ikonoclast The first place I would look for insight into the face of a capitalist future is the number of votes won by anti-capitalist parties.
    • The Communist Party of Australia founded in 1971 as a socialist party rejected being a left social-democratic party and pledged to be Marxist-Leninist party. It won 6,999 votes in the Senate in NSW – 1000 less votes than the climate sceptics.

    • The UK socialist workers party got 20 more votes than the monster raving loony party in their only head to head contest in East Cardiff.

    When was the last time that a socialist was elected to an Australian parliament? Entryism into the ALP does not count.

    State and federal upper houses should be the happy hunting grounds for socialists.

    Kicking in the rotten door can be instead cruel: the Christian democrats (Fred Nile) and the Shooters party still will more seats than the socialist alternative.

    the new DLP, the Family party and no pokies all showed how easy it is for ordinary people to form a new party and win upper house seats by having a message that resonates with voters rather than founders as an old echo.

    p.s. I visit the Philippines regularly. I used to be tall. No longer now because the young people are so much better feed. The shopping malls now target the local middle class peso rather than the tourist and overseas contract worker dollar as per 15 years ago.

    My in-laws live in a level 5 province – the poorest: 10 years ago, no sealed roads or telephones. Now there is cable TV under the sealed road outside, mobile phones and wireless broadband. take-aways are now common because people can afford to eat out.

  2. Uh oh, I spoke too soon. Watching Al jazeria I see that Cuba is moving towards capitalism. This leaves just North Korea as a “pure” socialist (?) state to escape to.

  3. @Jim Rose

    Sorry Jim, wrong answer. The first place you should look at is the issue of sustainability. What humans vote for (under false consciousness I might add) is irrelevant as it is now material resource limits that will determine our future. Endless growth capitalism is an unsustainable model. Indeed, the US has now “hit the wall”. The US real economy is real goods and real services excluding the parasitic and unproductive FIRE sector – Finance, Insurance, Real Estate. This real economy is now flat. The US is going nowhere but sideways now. Soon it will be declining.

    We can also see that MENA (Middle East and North Africa) has commended the process of collapse. India and China will never complete their transition to a modern economy, at least not for their entire populations, as there are not nearly enough resources left in the world for that happen.

  4. @BilB

    Actually Marx predicted that the entire globe would become capitalist first before any transition to true communism. He’s looking correct so far. He also predicted that late stage capitalism would destroy all other values other than the money relation or “cash nexus” as it was later termed. He’s looking correct on that score too.

    What Marx didn’t fully predict AFAIK is limits to growth, at least in all its ramifications.

  5. Oh Gawd, Jim Rose getting everything wrong again.

    The Communist Party of Australia was formed in the 1920’s.

    The rest of his diatribe was probably just copy writing from NCC cheat-sheets.

    The Philippine economy is fundamentally subsidised by remittances from overseas.

    Of course, under capitalism, mall will serve the local middle class. That is a problem.

    This is the Xamas gift you get if you are try to survive under Philippine capitalism:


    I cannot see any sealed roads or wireless broadband, nor trendy take-aways.

  6. We discuss the successes of capitalism in our defence of capitalism Chris. However you discuss the failures of capitalism in your defence of communism. Says it all really.

  7. @sdfc

    Who is this “we”?

    Could you indicate where I defended communism?

    So you defend the failures of capitalism with fabrication and word-games.

    Says it all really.

  8. Ikonoclast, “under false consciousness I might add…”! How did you lose your false consciousness?
    • All leading Marxists were bourgeois. How did their consciousness rise above a system so powerful that it determines the views of everyone else but them?

    • How is the consciousness breaking immiserisation of the Australian proletariat going? Rise up ye workers, rise up, for you have nothing to lose but your suburban home, I Pad and air-miles?

    False consciousness is an invisible hand explanation of social behaviour.

    False consciousness lacks:
    1. a filter (or selection mechanism) such as a profit and loss to channel desirable behaviour and eliminate undesirable behaviours not fitting a certain pattern; and
    2. an equilibrating mechanism such as relative prices to co-ordinate individual behaviour to guide them to adjust to local conditions and the environments of others close by so the sum of these millions of local adjustments against a background of constant small changes fit into the grand scheme.

    p.s. the reason so many people are still living on less than $2 a day is they live in India, China and various other former people’s republics in Africa and Russia. It is takes on long time to recover from great leap forwards and the permit Raj.

    See http://www.cato.org/policy-report/januaryfebruary-2013/how-china-became-capitalist for a summary of Coase’s recent book on China going capitalist from the bottom up. Still publishing at age 101!!

    p.p.s. your petition says that “An estimated 150,000 girls work in Angeles City, Philippines as prostitutes” and “300,000 women and children have died in the prostitution death camps of Angeles” in the last 20 years.

    The Wiki puts the total population of Angeles city is 326,336. It must be a ghost town now.

    NGOs sometimes forget to check the total female population of a place before estimating the number of prostitutes working there.

    p.p.p.s Phil cleary was elected in 1994 and he said he was a socialist

  9. More errors from Rose.

    You cannot compare a measure “over twenty years” with a measure of a single year.

    The people living on less than $2 a day – was in capitalist Philippines. And the reason may be better explored by looking at the capitalist corruption since the Second World War.

  10. Chris

    Your diabtribe against capitalism suggests you think the factors of production should be owned by the state. If you’re not arguing for communism then you are giving a good impression of doing so.

  11. I have never said that factors of production should be owned by the state.

    This is entirely in your imagination.

  12. @Chris Warren
    “The problem is that eventually the Third World develops and offshore labour eventually demand the same wages and living standard as in the West.”

    That’s not actually a problem. That’s the desired result – development and higher wages. China’s wages have been averaged double-digit growth for 13 years. This is what capitalism has done for China.

    The best thing is way capitalism will allow other, poorer countries to follow suit, and for richer countries to arrest their slide into a post-manufacturing economy. We’re already seeing Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Pakistan, and even Africa benefit from China’s ascent up the economic ladder. I don’t even care about the rampant industrial espionage that is helping China grow (though may limit it in the long run), because the faster they modernise, the sooner they can get a grip on their environmental crisis.

  13. The Vietnam War Memorial in Vietnam Would Be 20 to 50 Times Larger Than Ours of 4 Feb 2013 by Lieutenant Colonel (retired) William J. Astore (USAF), Global Research News, February 04, 2013.

    Imagine if we could bridge the empathy gap that separates us from the Vietnamese and our war with them and against them.

    When I was on active duty in the Air Force, I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. I was moved to tears as I encountered the names of more than 58,000 of my fellow Americans etched in stone. What a waste, I thought, but at least they died for their country, and at least we didn’t forget their sacrifice.

    To be honest, I don’t recall thinking about the Vietnamese dead. …

  14. One for Mel.

    A while back I put up with a lot of nastiness, indeed, borderline bullying from someone who I’d probably consider myself to be, in general, reasonably politically aligned with.

    I wanted to bring this to Mel’s attention:


    In particular:

    “Take the US invasion of Iraq, for example. To everyone except a dedicated ideologue, it was pretty obvious that we invaded Iraq not because of our love of democracy but because it’s maybe the second- or third-largest source of oil in the world, and is right in the middle of the major energy-producing region. You’re not supposed to say this. It’s considered a conspiracy theory.”

    Incidentally I agree with Prof Q that the US got lousy value for money with that invasion, but that was because the neocons thought they were fighting a conventional war, not an irregular one (remember ‘Mission Accomplished’?)

    Please address any further enquiries to Professor Chomsky.

  15. Dan, that’s dopey stuff. The US established a(n imperfect) democracy in Iraq. It doesn’t “control” Iraqi oil, the Iraqi government does.

    There is no reason for any country to “control” oil since it is readily available in the market place. Oil has no value outside the marketplace, so those who have it sell. Even OPEC, which sought to control the oil supply in order to maximise profits, has much influence anymore .

    There is also no reason for a banana loving country to control banana plantations, since it is far easier and cheaper to simply buy bananas.

    Australians love technological goods. In fact it is regularly said that Australians take up new technologies faster than almost any other country. Does this mean Finland- the home of Nokia- should fear an Australian invasion? Well, yes it does, in the mind of Dan and the octogenarian Noam Chomsky, but nowhere else.

    Now I must go as I’ve run out of milk. No, I will not be kidnapping a cow from a dairy farm, instead I’ll simply head to the shops.

  16. If I thought I was an act of aggression away from controlling the milk market, I’d probably think twice about that trip to the shops.

  17. poverty is falling in many developing countries. socialism made no contribution to this progress. socialism was their main barrier to riches

    Sala-I-Martin (2006) found that for 138 countries in 2000, poverty rates and poverty head counts were between one-third and one-half of what they were in 1970 There were between 250 and 500 million fewer poor in 2000 than in 1970.

    as the world embraced free market policies and rejected socialism such as in India and China, living standards rose sharply, life expectancy improved and absolute poverty declined.

  18. @Chris Warren if you cannot compare a measure “over twenty years” with a measure of a single year, let’s compare on year

    if “300,000 women and children have died in the prostitution death camps of Angeles” in the last 20 years, and the total population of Angeles city is 326,336, then 1/10 of the female population of Angeles is dying every year.

    A pinoy senater has invited the organisers of the online petition to contact the police with the locations of these camps. they must be big enough to find on google maps. (the North Korean camps are now on google maps).

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