Sandpit

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on. Unless directly responding to the OP, all discussions of nuclear power, MMT and conspiracy theories should be directed to sandpits (or, if none is open, message boards).

47 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. @Ivor

    Ah yes, the issue of market socialism which issue I have only recently begun to think about. Even among Marxists, as I am sure you will know, there are widely diverging opinions on market socialism.

    Market socialism appears as a possible waypoint or a possible final point on the journey to “true socialism” (whatever that is and whether it is possible) depending on how one views matters. I have written before on how I find nationalisation of natural monopolies and worker “co-operativeisation” of all non-state enterprises as both theoretically and very probably practically feasible and even desirable. However, reflection suggested to me that certain problems still would not be solved.

    Full co-operatives would still remain in essentially capitalist competition with each other. Large co-operative corporations for example could and would replace large oligarchic corporations. Whilst “socialist” internally, the large “perfect” co-operative would still function like a capitalist firm in competition with other co-operatives (firms) in the market place. Essentially, just the stockholders have changed. The workers are now workers, stockholders and managers in a large worker co-operative. The impetus or pressure for capital accumulation remains, if not the same, still very significant. Co-operatives which showed self-imposed wage restraint could underproce and/or make larger capital investments and out-compete those co-ops which more socialistically distributed more of the profits as wages.

    Under market socialism, I cannot see how the dynamic of capital accumulation, competition and tendency to monopoly is done away with. It might be ameliorated and it might be more controlled by more state intervention but it is not done away with. I think ultimately the intrinsic problems of capitalism (along with its intrinsic strengths) are related not just to ownership of the means of production but to the issue of the market itself and how markets facilitate and even mandate certain systemic behaviours. Could markets be done away with entirely? Would it be helpful or damaging to do away with markets entirely? These are big questions I don’t feel I can answer properly yet.

    This is a very good article and raises many of the problems I began to discover for myself simply by following through market socialism as a thought experiment. I have not posted it as an actual link due to the moderation hurdle.

    http://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/docs/market_mystification.php

    I would say my final feeling at this point is that market socialism is not and cannot be true socialism or true communism. At the same time, I do not know if true socialism or true communism could ever exist for a large, complex modern society nor if they could exist whether they would be desirable and better alternatives say to a 1960s style mixed economy or to a market socialist economy.

  2. I’ve just watched the most disturbing and disgusting video of the injuries of bashed refugees in Lorengau prison (where they were taken as punishment for defying the fascist dictates of the corporations running Australia’s Manus Island concentration camp).

    The ALP created this concentration camp and put these people there.

    I defy any of you ALP luvvies here to defend what we are doing to these people, thanks to your party’s policies.

    And don’t you dare blame the Murdoch media, the LNP or “rednecks” for making you become such heartless fascists.

    I hope Howard, Gillard, Rudd, Abbott, Morrison and Dutton all end up on trial at the Hague.

  3. Sadly, the Greens have decided to become a junior coalition partner to the terminally corrupt and fascist ALP.

    They presumably believe they can get away with that and still retain their core voters. Maybe they should have a look at the arc of electoral “success” of the Democrats. It grew in line with its perceived integrity and plummeted in line with its abandonment of its “principles” (i.e. it stopped keeping them honest and decided to join them at the trough).

    I personally experienced this at the 2012 Qld elections. The Greens candidate was on very cosy and collusive terms with the ALP candidate.

    Today an ALP candidate was filmed handing out “how to votes” for the ALP and Greens – very apt, since they are just ALP stooges now.

  4. @Megan

    “the Greens have decided to become a junior coalition partner to the terminally corrupt and fascist ALP.”

    I can’t find any news story which says this. What are your sources? Now I admit the fact that I can’t find any stories is not a refutation. The last news I heard on anything approaching this topic was Anna Palaszczuk claiming Labor would never enter a coalition or do a deal with anyone else to govern (or words to that effect). Of course, I don’t believe anything a politician says so I place no credence in that statement. However, I still lack firm evidence that Labor and/or Greens have officially agreed to a coalition or are unofficially operating to form a coalition. All firm evidence one way or the other will be appreciated.

    More generally, the Labor Party are terminally morally corrupt. I agree with that. Are they fascist yet? Not strictly speaking or not completely, but they are certainly dishonest, anti-democratic, selling or willing to sell influence as access to possible ministers and part of a machine which treats refugees in an inhumane and yes a fascist manner.

    The decline of our politics into corruption and inhumanity has much to do with the corrupting influences of late stage capitalism. Until we radically reform capitalism and the inequality it produces nothing will change. Indeed, matters will only get worse.

  5. The “Rally against Newman” is being held 10am this Saturday, 24 January, at Queens Park.

    The Cloudland Collective needs help handing out 2 leaflets.

    One leaflet advertises a meeting featuring Quentin Dempster as the main speaker. A draft of the leaflet is attached.

    The second leaflet is called “Declaration for a Just Society”. The text of the leaflet is below.

    All help would be appreciated. Just turn up on the day or phone

    Greg on 0409 877 528 or email

    gregory_brown@optusnet.com.au

    for more details.

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Declaration for a Just Society

    Why a declaration?

    Many believe that this election now gives us the opportunity to have our say about the Newman government. However, the truth is that ever since the Newman government launched its assault on the public sector, we have always had the opportunity influence politics in Queensland.

    It is time to move well beyond an understanding of politics that only consists of a three year electoral cycle. This election matters enormously but we need more profound social change than is possible through parliament.

    Parliamentary democracy in Queensland is fatally damaged by mining companies and business interests that routinely exercise a corrupting influence on government processes. It is possible in Queensland for the corporate elite to purchase policy outcomes. As mere voters we cannot effectively oppose corporate power. Collectively however, on the streets, in workplaces, in communities we have considerable power to shape political and economic decision making. This declaration has been written to help rebuild mass democratic politics in Queensland.

    Land rights.

    The creation of the modern world economy, a system that has generated poverty and grotesque inequality, required the dispossession of indigenous land. This has especially been the case in Queensland. Dispossession was and remains an act of deception and violence. Before the arrival of fences, mines and grazing animals, the land was at the heart of successful Indigenous communities. Indigenous people should remain custodians of their land.

    Freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

    Residents of the city have had to fight for space to assemble and debate important issues. It often seems like every square inch of the city belongs to a corporation or a government body committed to protecting corporate interests. Year by year civil rights are eroded as more glittering malls are built. The battle for free speech and the right to demonstrate must be won.

    The public sector and neo-liberalism.

    The rise of neo-liberal economic and social policies seriously threatens the public sector. Politicians such as Thatcher, Reagan, Blair, Keating and Howard have argued that the market is the best vehicle for allocating resources and instilling each citizen with sense of responsibility. Poverty is depicted as something that people bring upon themselves by making the “wrong choices” rather than being the result of deep seated economic problems. This rhetoric has been accompanied by the transfer of resources from social services to projects that exclusively benefit the corporate sector. The transfer has been achieved through outsourcing, competition and corporatisation.

    a) We will not allow the public health and education to become thoroughly marginal, cash starved relics only for the truly poor. Public hospitals and schools are far better at educating citizens and keeping them healthy than the private alternatives.

    b) Scientific research is best conducted by the public sector. Organisations such as CSIRO are well placed to concentrate the best scientific minds on a project and curb the impact of corporate interests on the direction and perceived value of the research. Funding to CSIRO should be immediately restored.

    c) The public service should be strengthened so that it can effectively deliver social infrastructure programs. Public servants should be respected by government and “frank and fearless” advice should be highly valued.

    d) Corporate taxes should be massively increased in order to fund public services.

    Workers’ rights.

    The riches we see in the world today have been created by working people. Even though we work incredibly hard and possess a deep understanding of how to do things better we are paid only a fraction of what we are worth and our creative input is not valued.

    a) We demand that the minimum wage be significantly increased so that all workers experience a standard of living well above the poverty line.

    b) Every worker should have right to join a union and take strike action to improve their wages and conditions.

    c) Every worker should have the ability to engage in solidarity action to support other workers without fear of prosecution. Employers have at their disposal the immense powers of the police and the courts to help them protect their interests. We have solidarity to defend ours.

    Women.

    There is still a long way to go to achieve women’s liberation. Every victory has been hard fought for and these gains need to be defended each day. The neo liberal assault on employment and services disproportionately affects women. Accompanying women’s precarious position in the economy are the deeply shocking levels of domestic violence experienced by women.

    a) Access to legal and free abortion on demand.

    b) Women must receive shelter and support when they leave a violent and abusive partner and not face homelessness.

    c) Women should receive equal pay.

    d) Women must be supported to participate and play leading roles in civil society. Men will do the ironing.

    Welfare.

    The true measure of a compassionate society is the quality of support it offers those citizens who struggle to obtain a decent standard of living.

    a) People with disabilities should be generously supported by the government and presented with opportunities to engage in meaningful work for which they would receive a just wage. They should not be subjected to humiliating “reviews” of their disability.

    b) Economic turmoil frequently locks millions out of work. When people experience unemployment they should be adequately supported by the government.

    Climate justice.

    We are rapidly approaching dangerous tipping points which may very well result in the release of vast quantities of devastating emissions from the arctic tundra and the ocean floor. To prevent global catastrophe a number of measures need to be implemented.

    a) Governments should back and invest in renewable energy. This would create millions of green jobs.

    b) Public transport systems should be extended and made free to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home.

    c) Government should stop subsidizing carbon polluters. Big polluters and carbon extractors should be made responsible for all damage, waste, and other harmful effects of their extraction, consumption and production.

    No borders.

    One of the truly remarkable things about a globalised world is the existence of culturally diverse communities. People flee economic turmoil and war to start a new life in vibrant multi-ethnic communities. Political leaders divert attention away from the hardship many experience and the profound challenges facing our planet by directing anger towards refugees and migrants.

    a) We defend the right of people across the world to cross borders to seek a better life.

    b) We demand that all people being held in detention, both on the Australian mainland and in the Pacific, be immediately released into communities here.

    c) We condemn those politicians and media outlets who demonise some of the most desperate and vulnerable people in the world.

    Housing.

    Every citizen should have affordable housing. Government policy encourages speculation in property inflating property values and driving up rent. This has created a housing crisis. In 1985 a home cost 3.2 times the average income whereas today it costs 6.5 times. Workers are nearing retirement still owing money on a mortgage.

    a) The government must significantly boost spending on social housing. Rent should not exceed 10% of a tenant’s income.

    b) Quality emergency housing needs to be instantly available.

    Democracy.

    Parliamentary democracy and the vote are the result of a significant historic compromise. Around the world citizens have fought for genuine participation in politics, at times forcing limited concessions from their rulers. The result of this contest has often been parliamentary democracy.

    a) For the majority of people parliament is the most important site of politics. Candidates who campaign around human rights and strong redistributive measures should be supported. If such candidates can be elected they can help use their position to help legitimatise democratic demands.

    b) Genuine democracy goes beyond the parliamentary democracy framework. Genuine democracy involves citizens participating in democratic decision making. Broad mass meetings can be convened to resolve political and economic issues. Delegates can be elected to represent that meeting at central meetings. Crucially local forums have the capacity to recall their delegates at any time.

    c) Democracy is not real if economic matters are not subject to democratic processes. Decisions about how resources are allocated and what services and goods should be produced should be made by the workers involved in their production with the citizens who the products affect.

  6. @Ikonoclast

    Under market socialism, I cannot see how the dynamic of capital accumulation, competition and tendency to monopoly is done away with.

    There will be no Capital so no Capital accumulation. However investment can still occur through saved wages (not capital) and credit that is not based on (and does not create) a capital social relationship.

    Monopolies would probably still exist. This will enable some workers to get higher incomes than other workers in the same occupation. However this will not lead to a structural crisis, will be transparent, and may be more efficient.

    Competition will still exist and cooperatives can still become bankrupt.

    Admittedly – more work needs to be done on cooperatives and market socialism.

  7. @Ivor

    I wouldn’t want to exaggerate our practical differences. I would certainly support a transition back to more state enterprises (re-nationalisation of all enterprises that were traditionally so in Australia). I would also support step by step transitioning to market s*o*c*i*a*l*i*s*m.

    However, on a global scale such steps probably cannot happen while the US is an extreme capitalist oligarchy. They will likely use force on any country (outside of Russia and China and their spheres of influence) to prevent real democracy or real s*o*c*i*a*l*i*s*m. This indicates to me that revolutionary changes have to occur in the US before such changes have a chance elsewhere. Then again, I could be wrong. It depends on how much hegemony the US can maintain outside of the Russia-China orbit.

    Greece might be a litmus test. If Syriza wins the election we must see if they have the vision and courage to;

    (1) Take Greece out of the Euro;
    (2) Refloat their own currency;
    (3) Repudiate all debt they owe; and
    (4) Implement democratic s*o*c*i*a*l*i*s*t policies in Greece.

    If they do not do ALL these things then their courage has failed and Greece will continue failing too.

  8. @Ikonoclast

    …I still lack firm evidence that Labor and/or Greens have officially agreed to a coalition or are unofficially operating to form a coalition.

    Neither do I.

    There certainly is no “official” agreement, and I have no “firm evidence” of any “unofficial” agreement.

    I do have my observations of the interactions between Greens and ALPs at the Queensland level which leads me to the view expressed. Even though I support Green in the federal senate, at the state level everything I’ve directly experienced of them (including handing out ‘how to votes’) supports my conclusion.

  9. @Ikonoclast

    Rather than “neither” I should have said “so” in my reply above.

    On Greece, I think it’s important to remember that when we had Whitlam the Greeks had a US backed fascist dictatorship. It wasn’t that long ago and the Greek people have suffered enormously from the latest form of US imposed fascism (neo-liberalism).

    From the Wikipedia entry “Greek military junta 1967-74”:

    In 1947, the United States formulated the Truman Doctrine, and began to actively support a series of authoritarian governments in Greece, Turkey, and Iran in order to ensure that these states did not fall under Soviet influence.[1] With American and British aid, the civil war ended with the military defeat of the communists in 1949. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) was outlawed, and many Communists either fled the country or faced persecution.[citation needed] The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Greek military began to work closely, especially after Greece joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952. This included notable CIA officers Gust Avrakotos and Clair George. Avrakotos maintained a close relationship with the colonels who would figure in the later coup.[2]

    Greece was a vital link in the NATO defense arc which extended from the eastern border of Iran to the northernmost point in Norway. Greece in particular was seen as being at risk, having experienced a communist insurgency. In particular, the newly founded Hellenic National Intelligence Service (EYP) and the Mountain Raiding Companies (LOK) maintained a very close liaison with their American counterparts. In addition to preparing for a Soviet invasion, they agreed to guard against a left-wing coup. The LOK in particular were integrated into the Gladio European stay-behind network.[3] Although there have been persistent rumors about an active support of the coup by the U.S. government, there is no evidence to support such claims.[4][5] The timing of the coup apparently caught the CIA by surprise.[6]

    Comes with the usual “Wiki-Caveat”, but that’s a pretty good background.

    I’d put my money on the “leftists” winning on Sunday AND carrying out their plans, (I think they’re only proposing a 50% ‘haircut’ for creditors rather than a full default).

  10. @Megan

    I suspect that the Chinese (and belatedly the Russians) have realised that the way to defeat the capitalist US is to become “more capitalist than the capitalists” at least for a time.* Whereas the Americans believe that capitalism is the end point of history, the more pragmatic Chinese take the view (IMO) that “it might be but it might not be”. China has deeper levels of philosophical scholarship and tradition than the USA. Confucian and Marxist thinking influence Chinese conceptions of the “state” and of a “civilization culture” in ways which leave US thinking bereft by comparison.

    The US elite now see the purpose of the state as being solely to serve the oligarchic class. Under this view, the rest of their national fabric is being left to crumble away. Essentially, they think an elite superstructure can thrive on a starving, crumbling base. I can’t see the Chinese making this basic and simple error: one based on rampant greed, arrogance and blindness. Chinese civilisational experience is much greater. They have far more accumulated wisdom than the Americans.

    * Note: The Chinese (and Russian) adoption of capitalism is essentially an opting for symmetric geostrategic economic war. I think the Russians stumbled into this stance but the Chinese knew exactly what they were doing. Remember that asymmetry is a strategy of the weak against the strong. Thus a choice for symmetric economic war (capitalism vs. capitalism) indicates a self-assessment of Chinese strength and the conviction that the US can ultimately be defeated in this manner. Asymmetric war can defeat expeditionary force (witness all the US defeats abroad since and including Vietnam. However, to defeat a powerful enemy’s nation-base, symmetric war must eventually be embraced. I mean economic war in this case.

    The USA’s nation-base (and imperialist empire) are quintessentially underpinned by capitalism. To defeat it during late stage capitalism requires symmetrical economic war. China (and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) will wage this symmetric economic war by setting up parallel economic, financial and imperial structures which will go toe to toe with the American imperial structures. Thus parallel structures to the IMF, SWIFT and so on are in the process of being set up by the SCO and will be applied to and through SCO and BRIC capitalism. The US dollar will also be replaced by a new reserve currency. There is plenty of evidence that China is winning the cyber war and can employ this advantage for economic war as well as conventional war.

    None of this is to deny that the USA is still the most powerful nation now and by quite a long way. However, time is on the side of China, Russia and the SCO. The longer current processes continue, the more the SCO narrows the gap. The longer the USA attempts to maintain an unrealistic and definitionally impossible global hegemonic stance the more rapidly it exhausts itself. The longer that manufacture and assembly continue to relocate to Asia and China, the more the USA and the EU are hollowed out. The more that resources run out and people are reduced back to impoverished status, the more that the partially “peasant powers” get to keep a relatively sustainable though poor base (the peasantry), whilst advanced nations just crumble back to masses of urban poor with no idea how to maintain themselves.

    I think the West will lose eventually and all the peoples we oppressed for hundreds of years will not be feeling very merciful.

  11. While I agree with you about the CCP’s capacity for long term thinking and philosophically considered geopolitical positioning they have achieved their transition to industrialisation at immense and probably irrecoverable cost to the local environment. It is not merely air pollution but surface water pollution and ground water pollution so toxic that they are beyond treatment, massive long term deforestation and loss of arable land through pollution and desertification. This Pyrrhic victory over nature was inspired by the unholy combination of Confucianism’s hubris and Marxian Promethean-ism. It is becoming cleaer and clearer

  12. While I agree with you about the CCP’s capacity for long term thinking and philosophically considered geopolitical positioning they have achieved their transition to industrialisation at immense and probably irrecoverable cost to the local environment. It is not merely air pollution but surface water pollution and ground water pollution so toxic that they are beyond treatment, massive long term deforestation and loss of arable land through pollution and desertification. This Pyrrhic victory over nature was inspired by the unholy combination of Confucianism’s hubris and Marxian Promethean-ism. It is becoming clearer and clearer that there will be no winners in the current crisis.

  13. @jungney

    There may well be much in what you say. China is paying a high environmental cost. Then again, the US (and Canada) are also paying high environmental costs with fracking, shale oil and gas, tar sands etc.

    Backtracking for a moment, I don’t think it’s a big step to suggest that pragmatic Confucian-Marxists would theorise that;

    (1) late stage capitalism must spread to all corners of the globe before socialism can arise; and

    (2) capitalism’s search for low wage production is the very tendency which could be harnessed to transfer the world’s manufacturing base to China.

    The latter would be so if capitalism was deliberately chosen as a transition stage. Thus, adopt capitalism, allow capitalism’s natural tendencies to move the world’s manufacturing base to China and have this process substantially progressed, if not completed, when certain regional limits to growth are reached. Russia will be the resource hinterland China looks to when much of the rest of the world (the Americas excluded) is resource depleted. On this model, India for example can never supplant China. It will have no resource hinterland. The Middle East and Africa will be stripped too soon.

    This theory and strategy in hindsight looks both brilliant and obvious. To develop the theory and practice ahead of the game takes theoretical development and insight but is not in principle impossible for far-sighted thinkers.

    But there are many dangers including;

    (1) national environmental damage as you say; and
    (2) the corruption of The Party by capitalism.

    The latter may be occurring now as Party officials and their families amass crony capital style fortunes. Then again this may have been foreseen theoretically by an inner “Deep Party” if such exists. Allow the “poisonous flowers” to bloom and to defeat corrupt US crony capitalism by even more corrupt Chinese crony capitalism. Then at the appropriate time cut down the “poisonous flowers” who revealed themselves and restore the Confucian-Marxist civilisation-state ideal. This is speculative but still in the realms of possibility.

    The “last man standing” model of civilisational collapse would appeal to the Chinese millennial mindset. China, as the last civilization standing, would be the Middle Kingdom surrounded by barbarians. Marx’s rubric of “socialism or barbarism” gets a Confucian twist: socialism in China and collapse into barbarism everywhere else. A long bow to pull perhaps but I think the super powers have realised this planet is not big enough for two super powers. The logic from there is straightforward. There can be at most one winner. Though I agree with you that most likely there will be no winners.

  14. Great stuff.

    However, I might leaven the analysis with anecdote.

    Years ago, when a member of the CPA, I had the advantage of mixing with older comrades who had experienced a long term residential school courtesy of internationalism. The man who spent time in China (a seaman and local trades union official) was full of warmth for the Chinese people and profoundly impressed by their intellectuals; the man who spent time in the USSR was a lachrymose drunkard, apparently like most citizens of the USSR; the man who spent time in North Korea would occasionally say, apropos of nothing, “keep your eyes on North Korea”. This (deceased) comrade was a man who went to sea at fourteen, in the merchant navy. When he chose to speak about North Korea, which moments were apparently involuntary, it was always presaged by a widening of the eyes the like of which I’ve never seen before or since.

    It appears that the CCP can carry forward the hopes of ‘actually existing socialism’ but perhaps not the hopes of humanity. But they are a good chance, for sure. The infrastructure deals they have done with the Russians are phenomenal and may position them as a decent society while Europe and the rest of the West become captives to global corporate fascism delivered by international trade agreements designed to smash the last vestiges of national sovereignty.

    Sigh.

  15. I don’t have details to hand, but I have heard quite a bit (certainly NOT from our corrupt propaganda machinery called the Australian Media – which couldn’t find its ar5e with both hands) about China’s activity in Africa.

    In short, where the US Empire uses AFRICOM, corruption, military muscle and political intervention and supports vile dictatorships, China tends to build hospitals, roads schools etc.. and then seeks co-operative mutually beneficial business deals for resources etc… . No wonder the US feels so threatened by China.

  16. @Megan

    Yes, China is outsmarting the US at every turn. China has a profoundly different approach to empire and hegemonic power than does the US. The US and Europe are conditioned to and employ the “expeditionary model” of empire. This requires the use of expeditionary armies and the assertion of imperial power abroad, often at great distances.

    The above model worked in the era of asymmetric power when European industrial-military power dominated backward nations. Although notably it did not work for Napoleon when he took on a power, Russia, (and allies) which could muster a symmetric military and even greater manpower (whilst also possessing the advantages of defence in depth and the ability to trade space for time). In the modern era, superpowers are essentially symmetric. China has even adopted symmetric economic war, by strategically becoming capitalist for an indefinite duration, as I outlined in an above post.

    Due to its history, China has come to understand the failings of the expeditionary model of power. China now emphasises the unity and impregnability of the heartland combined with incremental expansion at its borders. A rising lake fills the valley. A river flowing away is lost in foreign lands.

  17. @jungney

    People expect too much of socialism.

    Socialism only achieves economic rationality and stability.

    All the corruption and other forms of exploitation will probably continue.

    But there will be the potential to take society to higher levels.

  18. Ivor, I think that you are right about humans having placed too much of a burden on social structures like the state under socialism to create “socialist man”. At this point I’d settle for sustaining and expanding the Oz social welfare state as socialist enough. I once had a yarn to a Californian farmer at his usual back country eatery, over lunch, who, on discerning that I am Australian, asked what it was like living under democratic socialism. Without hostility, genuinely inquisitive. He was specially interested in what he saw as our ‘socialist’ health insurance scheme; he told me that he’d be able to travel if he didn’t pay health insurance. That’s an interesting contrast in quality of life experience.

    I doubt there are too many socialist objectives that we can attain through a society founded on the extension of democracy to all spheres of life. One of the roles of the state ought to be to actively pursue social policies that extend both democracy and our capacity for democracy though multiple pathways rather than through ideological urging: startup funding and support for worker’s co-ops; a taxation system that reflects that priority; universal and affordable child care; an environmental repair program with the emphasis on local participation; local economies rather than national and international.

    That reads like a bit of a wish list but the point is that people don’t acquire the necessary skills to ‘do’ democracy except by doing it. Engagement with these kinds of initiatives structures would be much more likely to produce citizens with the necessary virtues to fill the social spaces. Could it be worse than the stupour that currently appears to afflict the majority, even in Australia?

  19. Correction:

    I doubt there are too many socialist objectives that we can attain …

    Should read can’t attain.

  20. rog: yes, even here Santa Maria’s mob were into every bucket of agrarian socialism they could by way of subsidies.

  21. @Ivor

    You are still, regrettably, experiencing confusion between this and that.

    If you ask me to justify my assertion of this, which I did assert, I will do my best to respond; but if you ask me to justify my assertion of that, when I never did assert that, I can only repeat that that is not my assertion.

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