Are the bad guys on the move again?

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RF
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby RF » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:06 pm

As usual with marxist polemics we get bogged down with semantics.

Discussion over whether a person is a ''worker'' or ''intellectual'' is frankly pointless. And no I am not attacking Vic, I am criticising the polemic he offers.

Marxist theory was constantly revised by its adherents over the decades to suit them. So I don't see any point in discussing whether Castro was a true revolutionary.

As for freedom of expression in a workers state - I don't think so. The marxist-leninist concept of the ''dictatorship of the proletariat'' says it all. And it is the proletariat that is dictated to in reality.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby lwd » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:39 pm

Vic Dale wrote:...There is no false dichotomy in exposing the malicious lie that class and social strata are one and the same.

No that's simply a matter of you insisting that everyone use your defintion of a word when the most comonly accepted defintions differ. The false dicotomy is in saying you are either a worker or an employer. In reality, especially in the US, most people are a mix and some aren't either. Furthermore this changes with time.

...In the present crisis, social strata will hold less and less importance, because those near the top may well not be there for much longer and as general earning power declines the bench marks will have to be redrawn.

In recent years just the opposite is happening. The wage differential is growing rapidly and even the recent crisis has done little to slow it and may even have accelerated it.
What will stand out most starkly is the difference between the working class and the ruling class.

Interesting now it's working class and ruling class. But still not convincing.

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby lwd » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:45 pm

Vic Dale wrote:... History has proved that the only body capable of wresting society from the madness which prevails at the present time is the industrial working class...

Has it? Care to state a few examples? Of course there are also the examples of where the working class attempts to do so resulted in even worse madness. Indeed these seem to be the norm.
...
The biggest travesty in world history, the greatest unstoppable madness was brought to a halt by the will of the masses in Russia, who simply said "Enough!" That word found an echo in other war-bound nations and the effect threatened the very fabric of the old orders. Monarchs were brought down and nations teetered on the brink of revolution.

If it was unstoppable how did they stop it? Oh I know they produced and even greater madness.
The situation today is likely to get far worse before it can improve.

Or not.
...the USA's incursion into the Middle East has every possibility of developing into a bloodbath of major proportions as the economic crisis bites deeper and old antagonisms rise once again to the surface.

Or not.

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Bgile » Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:26 pm

Vic,

I'm a fairly simple man. When someone kills 3,000 of my countrymen, I want to kill him. If I could shoot him myself I would gladly do so. If someone provides infrastructure for this person to train and equip his zealots to come hurt me, I will try to kill him too. I will do whatever I can to make an object lesson of these people in the hope that they will tire of attacking me and find something else to do with their zealots.

It is truly unfortunate that innocent people are killed by our military in this process, but I too can learn to hate when someone attacks me. It is an inescapable result of retaliation against our enemies, and it does create more enemies sometimes, but I refuse to sit by while they attack my homeland.

For me this is not about nation building. I believe there are large numbers of people in the USA who feel as I do, and some of them joined our military for that reason. We feel we need to strike out at something, and Bin Laden and his ilk are the focus of our anger. I realize some of our actions are counterproductive, but I don't know what else to do.

In this country, common use of the noun "Intellectual" refers to someone who reads a lot and thinks a lot, and often writes about his ideas. I'm sorry that for you it has become a part of your class struggle.

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Vic Dale » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:30 pm

To Bgile.

Bin Laden and his cronies can only feed on hatred of the USA and Britain. The Taliban, bad as they are at public relations have never attacked the USA and nor did Saddam Hussein. I have nothing in my heart for any of the above but it amazes me that, when it becomes obvious that you are playing into Al-Queada's hands, by launching attacks against them and killing innocents, that the US and British administrations can think of nothing better than "more of the same." It is moronic the way those whom we trust with leadership fall into the same old traps and cannot get out.

Imagine the $billions spent on these wars and campaigns, over the years which have murdered and maimed millions of innocent bystanders and enraged countless millions more - from among whom Al-queada does it's recruiting - then think of the result if those $billions had been given to those countries with no strings attached. With no meddling. Al-queada would have no base of support.

Al-queada justified it's first terrorist attacks which were delivered simultaneaously in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, in 1998 as retaliation for US interference in Africa and the Middle East. If the USA kept it's fingers out of other people's pies, Al-queada would have a hard job fonding support and no possible justification for it's actions. To Americans and Brits it may be hard to understand this resistance to what may be well meaning actions, but it is still meddling in other people's affairs and these are very proud people. They have a right to govern their own affairs and don't need the USA or it's hangers-on.

I think the hard thing for Americans to accept is the world does not need them. We don't need their morals and we don't need their arms, though of course if our troops are working in support of US actions then it is right for them to foot the bill, not that I think our troops should be involved.

Since the end of the second world war, the USA has left a trail of partitioned states shattered cities and millions of dead - a veritable trail of destruction. By comparison, Al-queada has accounted for a tiny flea-bite in terms of numbers of deaths caused. If the US administration had been attending to business as it should and focussing it's resources on keeping the US citizen safe within his own borders, Bin Laden would not have got a look in on 9/11. The same can be said of British intelligence over the London bombings. There were so many indicators that a terrorist attack was imminent on 9/11, that it beggars belief that it happened at all.

If the advanced nations stopped their meddling in the affairs of the people of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the world would be a happier, a healthier and a safer place. The massive amounts of money squandered on arms could be set aside to pay realistic economic prices for the raw materials, instead of cheating the underdeveloped world of it's resources through corporate expansion. Of course, asking the advanced world to withdraw it's corporations and treat the under developed world as equals is to shoot for the moon - to seek utopia, so the viscious cycle will continue.

The corporations will continue to cheat the people of Africa and the Middle East of their wealth and troops will still have to be sent to protect the corporations, whilst the peoples of these nations look on and become even more angry by the day. Bin Laden is the natural consequence of this interference and it is certain that the US and British administrations see it that way. If not Bin laden, then someone or something else. On Balance I would say they prefer Bin laden to the communist threat and that probably explains why despite numerous opportunities they have not yet done away with him.

Vic Dale

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Bgile » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:35 pm

Vic,

The invasion if Iraq was a terrible idea. It took our eyes off the real problem. In fact, it may have been criminal. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and I think most people realize that now. I still have some hope that Bush and Cheney and a number of other people will be prosecuted and sent to jail. There are some investigations warming up in the Legislative branch, but at the moment it's only torture that's being investigated. Of course, they got Al Capone on tax evasion, so whatever works ...

I explained my reason for the war in Afghanistan. From your last post I don't think you read it, because you persist in absolving the Taliban of responsibility for what happened. You can take it or leave it. I would have preferred a punitive expedition, but what's done is done.

You said, "If the advanced nations stopped their meddling in the affairs of the people of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the world would be a happier, a healthier and a safer place." No, it wouldn't. They would still be controlled by greedy colonels or whatever.

The USA will always be the Great Satan. What we actually do (or don't do) is irrelevant, because hard line religious zealots and dictators will continue to blame us when they need a focus for their Holy War or the discontent of their people. We could withdraw behind our borders and hide, and we would still get the blame for everything bad in the world. I refuse to allow fear of what these people think to prevent me from taking action against their attacks.

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Vic Dale » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:35 pm

RF wrote:As usual with marxist polemics we get bogged down with semantics.

Discussion over whether a person is a ''worker'' or ''intellectual'' is frankly pointless. And no I am not attacking Vic, I am criticising the polemic he offers.

Marxist theory was constantly revised by its adherents over the decades to suit them. So I don't see any point in discussing whether Castro was a true revolutionary.

As for freedom of expression in a workers state - I don't think so. The marxist-leninist concept of the ''dictatorship of the proletariat'' says it all. And it is the proletariat that is dictated to in reality.


It is precisely revisionism which has caused most of the trouble and that is down to intellectuals trying for example to find a gap between Marx and Lenin to further their literary careers. These people were not adherents of Marxism, they were antagonistic to it and it was the likes of Lenin and Trotsky who flushed them out. Many members of the Bolshevik's central commitee got their arses booted by an irate Lenin, who on returning to Russia found that they had failed to apply the marxists method of analysis to the then current situation and could not find a way of opposing Kerensky.

The old works are just fine, as long as it is understood that they were written during and for a particular time. The polemics against the mensheviks (the minority who would not accept the policy of the bolsheviks - the majority) would not apply in Britain and they would not apply today, though certain characteristics of the menshevik can be seen in many modern politicians.

"Das Kapital" by Karl marx is the most vigorously attacked of his works and it is usually attacked by those who have never read it - or more correctly - studied it. It is not "a good read", but it is a valuable text book for the understanding of exactly how the capitalist economy works. It cannot be faulted and especially by buffoons such as Harold Wilson, who confessed that he could never stay awake past the footnote on page one!!! If he never read it how can he criticise?

If "Das Kapital" is studied and understood, the current economic crisis holds no mystery, since it's roots are founded in the same clay as the economic rises of the past;

The creation of value is soley the result of labour time, spent in efficient production. Price can fluctuate above and below value, according to market forces which are governed by supply and demand. In taking profit from the sale of the finished goods the capitalist has failed to pay the worker for the value he has created. If the capitalist did pay the worker the full value of what he created, there would be nothing in it for the capitalist and he would be unikely to repeat the exercise.

In the world economy the mass consumer on which trade relies is the worker, the capitalist class actually consumes very little of the wealth of society even though they dispose of most of it in the form of capital. So if trade relies on the worker for it's market and he has not been paid the true value of his labour, he can never buy the product at it's value. It is here that the banks step in and advance the capitalist money to tide him over until the product has sold, so that he does not have to drop the price. The worker buys the product with next week's money, or perhaps on credit so the whole thing keeps rolling, with credit oiling the wheels.

Now, if the banks gave credit without charging interest there would be no problem, but sadly they don't and it is this credit bubble which keeps growing and which ultimately causes the ensuing crisis. Credit builds up to the point that some industrialists can no longer service the debt and they go bankrupt. Of course if a bank allows their debtors to go bankrupt they lose their investment, so to prevent this the banks may ease things for a time and perhaps they may be able to cover the delay by encouraging others to borrow. The risk then is the banker may go bust if he does not have the assets to back the loans.

It is important to realise that language has moved on since Lenin's time when the word "dictatorship" meant simply "sovereign rule" Hilter and Mussolini had not shown at that time and it is their examples of government as ruthless "Dictators" which have altered the perception of what dictatorship means. Lenin then, spoke of the "Sovereign rule of the proletariat." In other words it is the proletariat who would be the sovereign rulers, not as has been suggested "the proletariat under the rule of a dictator."

Lenin's formulation meant that the whole of the proletariat would be the sovereign rulers and that their leaders would be democratically elected and subject to short term recall (they could be got out quickly if they were no good).

If the whole fo the proletariat was to be the soverign ruler, what then was the point of this postulation? If everyone is a ruler, then no one is a ruler.

Russia at the time of the revolution had a population of some 180 million people, the vast majority of whom were peasants. The proletariat are the industrial workers and they numbered just 2 million. The experience of the 1905 and the two 1917 revolutions (February and October)showed that it was the industrial workers alone - the proletariat - who had the organisation to remove the old order and it was also seen that the peasants could only follow. The reason for this is the heterogeneous nature of the peasantry, in that it comprised rich and poor peasants, landed and landless. Because of this rich and poor mix the peasantry could not move in a uniform manner as a classs and would remain paralysed in the face of crushing social pressure.

The division of labour necessary for industrial production created uniformity for the proletariat and from which the workers councils readily sprang (the Russian word is Soviet) they would be like trade unions in Europe and the USA today. The organisation for industrial production is the model for trade union organisation and their work in cooperation meant a very strong bond between workers who lived under uniform conditions regardless of where they worked.

Prior to 1905 Lenin postulated the movement of revolutionary workers and peasants, but the experience of the 1905 revolution which ended in failure showed that the peasants themselves could play no leadership role in the revolution, but that they would follow the lead given by the proletariat. Revolution then, would depend on the class consciousness of the proletariat - the industrial working class.

At the time of the Russian revolution the classes were established thus; a "ruling class" of aristocracy and capitalists, the "peasantry" who worked the land, the "middle class" who owned the shops, farriers laundries etc and the "proletariat" who worked in industry. In Britain during the early part of the century the peasantry had withered to very small numbers and was eventually wiped out completely. Britain still relied of agriculture for a portion of it's wealth, but it's farms were now run on the basis of industrial production. The peasaant had become a proletarian. The same has occurred in the USA.

Along with the dissolution of the peasantry went the bankruptcy of the middle class. As wealth was concentrated in fewer and fewer hands the middle class as a mass-force were swallowed up by large corporations. So, as Lenin would have said that the middle class should be on the side of the Proletariat in the heat of the revolution or at least unbiased, in Britain today it would be true to say it does not matter what they do, though as they are at the mercy of the monopolies for their supplies and the banks for their credit, it is likely that they would be against the capitalists during an unsurrection.

The class forces in Britain today which will play the major roles in reshaping society or maintaining the status quo are the proletariat and the bourgeoise - the workers and the capitalists. There is little else of consequence to consider.

The economic crisis will lay bare the basic and time-honoured antagonsim between worker and boss, the question of wages and profit. In the selling price of any commodity, after the cost of raw materials, machinery and other consumables have been accounted for, we are left with the workers wages and the boss's profit. The boss wants to maximise his profits and as the market governs selling price, he can only do so by cutting the workers wages. The worker on the other hand cannot better himself, except by pushing for a bigger share of the selling price and there lies the basic antagonism and the means by which the class struggle will sharpen and become more clearly defined as the crisis worsens.

Vic Dale

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Vic Dale » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:28 am

To Bgile.

The Taliban were being exposed as a bad lot well in advance of the discovery that Al-qeada had bases in their areas and I was expecting action of some sort against them. The propaganda was along the same lines as that directed against Milosevik in relation to the Ethnic Albanians and we saw how quickly the US and Britain were in going in. The Albanians were cynically used as a justification for war and a war wage by the USA on European soil.

The real reason for the war in Afghanistan has nothing to do with Al-queada, or even the Taliban, it is simply to acheive what the Russians could not acheive, the dominance and suppression of that nation and the installation of a comprodore governemnt who will do service to US interests. The Taliban were in the cities not the hills and the hills of Afghanistan are notroiously difficult to police. If Bin laden was in those hills there was no way that the Taliban would have been able to get at them, so the demand by Bush for Al-queada to be handed over was devoid of any realistic expectation of compliance. Bush was going in there whatever answer he got and the Taliban - fools that they are - thumbed their nose at Bush. That was asking for trouble and played into Bush's (or rather Cheney's) hands .

If Bin Laden was the target, why didn't the US attack Pakistan? The military dictatorship of Musharaf was known to be harbouring Al-qeada and even permited Bin laden to have intestinal surgery there - with an armed guard. This was shortly after the debacle at Tora Bora when the Taliban and Al-queada were surrounded, but myseriously managed to escape through a mountain pass and enter Pakistan. Al-quaeda were even offered a tract of land in the north by Musharaf to use as a safe haven if they stopped fighting. The emphasis has shifted day to day and this has given rise to questions about whose side Bin laden is really on and if Al-Quaeda is being used simply to frighten US and British citizens into maintaining the war on terror.

There is a lot that has yet to be revealed about this war. Meanwhile Afghanis continue to die needlessly.

Vic Dale

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby RF » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:18 pm

Bgile wrote:Vic,

The invasion if Iraq was a terrible idea. It took our eyes off the real problem. In fact, it may have been criminal.


Excuse me for butting in, but I thought we invaded Iraq to free Kuwait.... and John Major and George Bush senior turned military victory into political defeat so we had to invade Iraq again to topple Saddam Hussein. That is why I supported the 2003 invasion, nothing to do with Al Qaeada.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby RF » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:30 pm

Vic Dale wrote:
The class forces in Britain today which will play the major roles in reshaping society or maintaining the status quo are the proletariat and the bourgeoise - the workers and the capitalists. There is little else of consequence to consider.

The economic crisis will lay bare the basic and time-honoured antagonsim between worker and boss, the question of wages and profit. In the selling price of any commodity, after the cost of raw materials, machinery and other consumables have been accounted for, we are left with the workers wages and the boss's profit. The boss wants to maximise his profits and as the market governs selling price, he can only do so by cutting the workers wages. The worker on the other hand cannot better himself, except by pushing for a bigger share of the selling price and there lies the basic antagonism and the means by which the class struggle will sharpen and become more clearly defined as the crisis worsens.

Vic Dale


Which brings us back to the age old question. When?

Reading all this reminded me of the Cadbury's Smash TV commercial with those martian robots having hysterics. Only instead of the martians I imagined Tony Blair splitting his sides..... With the Tony Blairs of this world there ain't gonna be any revolution. Crisis of capitalism - what crisis? The ''workers'' will carry on voting Labour. And some will vote for the Tories......
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Bgile » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:26 pm

RF wrote: Excuse me for butting in, but I thought we invaded Iraq to free Kuwait.... and John Major and George Bush senior turned military victory into political defeat so we had to invade Iraq again to topple Saddam Hussein. That is why I supported the 2003 invasion, nothing to do with Al Qaeada.


Desert Storm was a success. We freed Kuwait and punished Saddam Hussein. There was never any need to invade Iraq, and in fact the coalition members were opposed to doing so. It was never intended that we invade Iraq.

Vic, if you think Iraq's govt are US puppets, I believe you will be disabused of that idea over time. I just hope the country doesn't fall apart under sectarian strife once we leave it. That has long been my fear. If anything the eastern part may become puppets of the regime in Iran. Maybe they are too much Iraqi and too little Persian for that. I hope so.

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby RF » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:54 pm

Bgile wrote:
Desert Storm was a success. We freed Kuwait and punished Saddam Hussein. There was never any need to invade Iraq, and in fact the coalition members were opposed to doing so. It was never intended that we invade Iraq.



Desert Storm was a qualified success. It didn't remove Saddam because of the political miscalculation that the various Iraqi factions opposed to Bath'ism would do it for them. They failed and the Coalition abandoned them. Another case of political expediency overuling a military need.

Hitler was punished by October 1944. Did the Allies stop the Second World War? No they went on to finish the job, Desert Storm should have been pursued to final victory also, to lance the boil and not allow it to refester. The Allies blew it and created a whole new set of problems as a result. Not least the emergence of Al Qaeda.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Bgile » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:44 pm

The emergence of AQ had nothing whatsoever to do with Iraq of any significance. In fact, Saddam Hussein was not friendly to them. There was never any association at all until we invaded Iraq the second time, after which they established a significant presence because of our invasion. Iraq was not a problem for the West at all until we failed to make our opposition to his plan to invade Kuwait clear and unequivocal. The only thing he really had to go on was our apparent ambivalence plus our support in his war with Iran.

Bush Sr. had no plans to invade Iraq. The operation was planned and executed successfully. The terrible mistake was in encouraging the Shiites to revolt, thinking we would help them when we had no plans to do so. Another terrible blunder on the part of the Bush I administration, and then Bush II thought he needed to "fix" something that wasn't worth the sacrifice in men and materials and the real result of which we won't know for years.

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:08 pm

The worst part of this argument is that we got Vic here again which is very sad. I must say it that way. Comunists tried to invade my country, they actually killed friends so for me they were, are, and will always be, the enemy and traitors to the western democracies. I could remember the rainy nights at the North of my country and the terror of comming action, the terror to be taken prisioner by the sandinistas who were no more than comunists. That was 25 years ago. No, I don´t want to remember that. Now they are on the move again, with mobsters as Chavez and Zelaya using the Honduras crisis for a resurgence of their criminal organizations. I could see it, as they began to re surface in the political arena in my country: a nightmare I thought was buried by the Reagan Victory over that vermin. If Vic finds "intelectually excitement" in this filth then he is not more than that.

Sorry for the language but the feelings are true.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Postby Bgile » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:08 pm

Karl,

Sometimes it's easy for me to sit here at my desk and forget that this discussion is a lot more than just an intellectual exercise for you. I apologize for anything I may have said which would tend to show disregard for the very real physical threat you are feeling.


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