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Tags Venezuela incidents , Venezuela issues , Venezuela politics

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Old 6th February 2019, 12:30 PM   #561
Mycroft
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
What in particular do you think makes that a good read?
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Old 6th February 2019, 12:41 PM   #562
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
What in particular do you think makes that a good read?
Gosh, I have trouble getting through the second paragraph.
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Old 6th February 2019, 01:10 PM   #563
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Gosh, I have trouble getting through the second paragraph.
Yeah, I expected from the headline, "Tyrants Don’t Have Free Elections" to see something claiming the last election was free. I guess they want to put the idea out there without making an actual claim to be defended.
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Old 6th February 2019, 01:13 PM   #564
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Anyway I'm surprised it wasn't an RT article.
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Old 6th February 2019, 01:24 PM   #565
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Anyway I'm surprised it wasn't an RT article.
It links to a Sputnik news page, so pretty close?

Interestingly, it's pushing a book where the basic premise is that western media acts as propaganda outlets for state/corporate power. An idea eerily similar to a trumptards "fake news" mantra.
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Old 6th February 2019, 02:08 PM   #566
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
What in particular do you think makes that a good read?

It provides evidence for some circumstances people I target as an audience might need a bit more evidence for to wrap their heads around. What makes you think your ancient "nothing to see here" / blame the messenger stunts will prevent anyone from reading it?
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Old 6th February 2019, 02:44 PM   #567
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
She's never repudiated those views.
https://web.archive.org/web/20140322...remlin-ukraine
Quote:
She once protested with the 9/11 Truth movement, which alleges that U.S. government officials might have been complicit in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — a theory to which Martin says she no longer subscribes.
Quote:
I don't recall that 40% of Democrats were ever truthers. Please give your evidence for that.
https://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2...-compared.html

More like 45%.

Quote:
Reviewing Abby Martin's work demonstrates she shares that bias. For example, her show "The Empire Files" has a lot to criticize about the US and allies, but nothing at all about other super-powers that could also be called empires.
The US has been THE sole superpower for her entire career. There's more to criticize there. She's also an American herself.


Quote:
She doesn't need to makes things up. She just needs to use that particular filter that excludes any wrong-doing of Maduro, while also seeing any connection to the US as proof of CIA involvement.

Religious people are believers, and Marxism is a religion.
Absolutely everyone has bias.

Marxism is not usually a religion.
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Old 6th February 2019, 02:58 PM   #568
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Did you ever read Capital, Vol. 2 (Wikipedia)?




This one was Engels: The Condition of the Working Class in England (Wikipedia)
Yes, I've read them. He was not a fan of the merchants:

Quote:
Merchants' capital in its supremacy everywhere stands for a system of robbery, and its development, among the trading nations of old and new times, is always connected with plundering, piracy, snatching of slaves, conquest of colonies.

Which kind of brings us back to Venezuela.

http://time.com/5516920/inside-john-...as-government/
Quote:
Perhaps most brazenly, Bolton appeared in an interview on Fox Business and disclosed that the U.S. government was in talks with American corporations on how to capitalize on Venezuela’s oil reserves, which are proven to be the world’s largest.

“We’re in conversation with major American companies now,” he said. “I think we’re trying to get to the same end result here
. … It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a7859771.html
Quote:
The head of the CIA has suggested the agency is working to change the elected government of Venezuela and is collaborating with two countries in the region to do so.

In one of the clearest clues yet about Washington’s latest meddling in the politics of Latin America, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was “hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there”.

He added: “I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota a week before last talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.”
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Last edited by kellyb; 6th February 2019 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 6th February 2019, 03:07 PM   #569
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Yeah, I expected from the headline, "Tyrants Don’t Have Free Elections" to see something claiming the last election was free. I guess they want to put the idea out there without making an actual claim to be defended.
And staging a phony election to prove your legitimacy is SOP for any dictator nowdays. God, even Hitler did that with his phony referendums.
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Old 6th February 2019, 03:12 PM   #570
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And why anybody would be proud to the follower of a movement that killed tens of milliions of people in the last century, and, which, without exception, every time it has gained power has tried to set up a dictatorship is beyond me.
And, yeah, Marxism is a "secular" religion.
Blind belief in a infallible source of knowledge (Karl Marx) rituals, persecution of Heretics and non believers...yes it's all there.
Most Progressives have the intelligence to distance themselves from Marxism;they know it's pretty much political poison in a functioning democracy to embrace it.
But you have people who simply refuse to see evil on their side of the polirical spectrum.
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Last edited by dudalb; 6th February 2019 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 6th February 2019, 03:36 PM   #571
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Don't forget that Marxism is also economic poison.
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Old 6th February 2019, 03:43 PM   #572
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We must go back to the quote attributed to Karl Rove in a book by Ron Suskind:

Originally Posted by Ron Suskind
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Pompeo, when he was still CIA boss, ranted about how the agency must become more "vicious" and "aggressive" in these days. Days where every media with a significant audience is considered a grave threat, and why would that be? Is the truth afraid of the lie? Or the other way around?

The "Lima Group" (which is a construct around the few still anti-imperialist countries in the Americas) had their meeting lately where they banned both Sputnik and teleSUR from merely reporting. In Canada.

What's up with that? Why are they so afraid of voices busting their imperialist filter bubble?

Could it be that we are watching desperate scumbags thinking they still have enough control to fool everybody? Or at least that "forward defending" is the best strategy?
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Old 6th February 2019, 03:57 PM   #573
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Working class Venezuelans need to work more hours to put food in their bellies, clothes on their backs, and to have shelter above above them.
The system is hard on the environment too: it requires more natural resources like land to produce the same amount of food.
Of the millions of people who died of starvation last century, roughly 80% was a direct result of forced agricultural collectivization.

“The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.” --Engels
that quote is apocalyptic religious zealotry.
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Old 6th February 2019, 04:05 PM   #574
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
Working class Venezuelans need to work more hours to put food in their bellies, clothes on their backs, and to have shelter above above them.
The system is hard on the environment too: it requires more natural resources like land to produce the same amount of food.
Of the millions of people who died of starvation last century, roughly 80% was a direct result of forced agricultural collectivization.

“The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.” --Engels
that quote is apocalyptic religious zealotry.

You're obviously confused. I'd advise you actually read the 1999 Venezuelan Constitution legitimized by popular vote in the first act after Chavez won the presidential elections.

Originally Posted by Preamble
The people of Venezuela, exercising their powers of creation and invoking the
protection of God, the historic example of our Liberator Simon Bolivar and the
heroism and sacrifice of our aboriginal ancestors and the forerunners and founders
of a free and sovereign nation; to the supreme end of reshaping the Republic to
establish a democratic, participatory and self-reliant, multiethnic and multicultural
society in a just, federal and decentralized State that embodies the values of
freedom, independence, peace, solidarity, the common good, the nation’s territorial
integrity, comity and the rule of law for this and future generations; guarantees the
right to life, work, learning, education, social justice and equality, without
discrimination or subordination of any kind; promotes peaceful cooperation among
nations and furthers and strengthens Latin American integration in accordance with
the principle of nonintervention and national self-determination of the people, the
universal and indivisible guarantee of human rights, the democratization of
imitational society, nuclear disarmament, ecological balance and environmental
resources as the common and inalienable heritage of humanity; exercising their
innate power through their representatives comprising the National Constituent
Assembly, by their freely cast vote and in a democratic Referendum, hereby ordain
the following:
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Old 6th February 2019, 04:36 PM   #575
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
You're obviously confused. I'd advise you actually read the 1999 Venezuelan Constitution legitimized by popular vote in the first act after Chavez won the presidential elections.
Their constitution sounds even better than the brochure for the Fyre Festival
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Old 6th February 2019, 04:45 PM   #576
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I consider myself "a Marxist" because of this: right after the financial crash of 2007/2008, I set out to discover if all of the profession of economics was woo/pseudoscience, or if some economists out there saw the crash coming.

I discovered that there were some economists who saw it coming, but they were all "heterodox" economists of some sort - primarily "far left", and also some "Austrian" "far right". After watching the various QE1 and QE2 predictions either be confirmed or debunked (the left winger economists were correct, and the right wing ones predicted hyperinflaton and were debunked by reality), I dug into the economics of the American left.

The clearest pre-crash expose on the coming real estate collapse I found was this, written in 2006:
https://michael-hudson.com/2006/04/t...tate-collapse/

I've been following that author for a decade now, and he is on point. He has yet to get anything totally wrong to my knowledge.
And this (turn out - I had no idea about his history till relatively recently) is him:

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/02/h...-the-ancients/

Quote:
I was born in Minneapolis, which is the only city in the world that was a Trotskyist city. During the 1930s it was a center of Trotskyism and my parents worked with Leon Trotsky in Mexico. When I was 3 years old my father was put in jail under the Smith Act as a political prisoner for having the works of Lenin and Marx on his shelves and for being one of the leaders of the Minneapolis general strikes from 1934 to 1936.
Quote:
When I graduated in 1959 from the University of Chicago where my degree was in Germanic philology and history of culture but while I was there I was also studying full-time music primarily the series of Heinrich Schenker the German music theorist. In 1960 when Leon Trotsky’s widow Natalia died, the executor of his estate Max Schachtman assigned me the copyrights, saying that since I was Trotsky’s godson, I should do a publishing company.
Quote:
In one evening we talked about changes in the water level in America. The sunspot cycle and the water level would go up and down, causing a crop failure that would lead to an autumnal drain of money from the stock and bond market, causing a periodic financial crisis. To me, that was so beautiful, so aesthetic, that I decided on the spot to become an economist and Terence said that he would become my mentor if I would read all of the bibliography of Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value.
Quote:
So I did that for a little bit and then I decided to enroll in an economics course and get a master’s degree at New York University.
Quote:
The advantage of New York University was the teachers were all part-time, they didn’t want my mind, all they wanted was my money. That was fine with me. I got to keep my mind and not be brainwashed. They said, “Do you have any background in economics?” I said, “No, my background’s in music and cultural history.
LOL!

Quote:
I registered at NYU and got a job with the Savings Banks Trust Company, which was the one commercial bank that all the savings banks put their own reserves in...The chart of these deposits was like a heartbeat. The deposits in savings banks would grow every quarter when the dividends were paid. So I saw basically that people left their savings in the bank to grow automatically, exponentially by interest. I saw that this recycling of interest-bearing debt was pushed back into the housing market to bid up housing prices.

Real estate is something that is not taught in any course in the United States economics. 80 percent of bank loans in America, England and much of Europe are real estate loans, but in the textbooks that students learn economics from, it is as if banks lend money to industry.
Quote:
So that I realized that in the textbooks, picture of how finance works were completely different from what I was taught at NYU. I had to take a money and banking course taught by an ideological Greek professor Stephen Rousseas, who had never worked in a bank in his life — none of my professors had ever worked in a bank, everything they know from the textbooks — and he had an article by a man who subsequently became a friend of mine, Hyman Minsky, who thought that the business cycle could be explained by savings banks putting their reserves in the commercial banking system that would be lent out to the economy. I said, “Look, what you called a commercial banking system is one bank, the bank I work for and we don’t make any loans at all to the economy. We buy bonds.”

So I got a C-plus in the course, he said I didn’t understand textbook economics. I realized that there was an absolute contradiction between how the real economy worked and what was in the textbooks. After I worked for the Savings Banks Trust for three years,
in December 1964, I finished all my coursework and went to work as a balance of payments economist for the Chase Manhattan Bank.
Quote:
I finished all my coursework and went to work as a balance of payments economist for the Chase Manhattan Bank. That was the most formative employment I ever had, because the balance of payments is also a topic that is not taught in any university. I taught it at the New School later, but universities don’t teach about the balance of payments. It’s all a simplistic monetary theory.
Quote:
There was a professor at the New York University, Solomon Fabricant, as in the word “fabricate”. He was the head of the National Bureau of Economic Research. I went into his office he said, “The first thing I want you to do, I want you to join the CIA. I’m recruiting.” He showed me a copy of the CIA’s first published report in America, when the CIA first went public. It was on Russia’s gold stock, saying that it didn’t have enough native gold in its rivers or mines to be credit-worthy. I looked at it and said, “You must know that this is all a lie. I work for the Chase Manhattan Bank. Our customer is Anaconda Copper Co. Anaconda has bought gold bars from the Soviet Union and the gold bars are not made from gold they pan out of the river. They’re made as an electrolytic by-product of copper refining. What you should do is forecast the copper output of Russia, when you electrolytically refine copper, gold and silver fall to the bottom and it’s the residue that is responsible for most of the gold stock, not only of Russia but for other copper producers such as Chile.”

He said, “well okay you’re not good at joining the CIA”. I couldn’t believe he didn’t know about my background, but that didn’t matter. I told him I wanted to write my dissertation about concepts of productivity, as I was interested in classical economics. As a Marxist I’d seen how Marxism grew out of classical economics, grew out of the economics of the French Physiocrats, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and so forth. The concept of circular flow was always critical to me, the concept of economics is a systems and systems analysis, which was just becoming popular in the 1960s. Fabricant said, “These theories are worthless. If these theories would have been relevant, then they would have been successful and remained in the textbooks. If a theory is no longer held it’s because it’s died out in a Darwinian struggle for existence and is irrelevant.”
Quote:
I passed all the orals of all the professors I’d studied with, economic history, third world development, but the money and banking man said I knew nothing about banking, that my idea of how banking worked was not at all what was in the textbooks and I had to retake the orals after reading about a fictitious world. So I became aware of the fact that academic economics is very fictitious. It has nothing to do about the real world. It was really a parallel universe theory, to say that if the world worked this way, then the existing distribution of income would be fair, everybody would get what they deserve, there’s no income that’s unearned, everything is fair, and you have to accept the world the way it is. And I never accepted the way the world as it was, because of the way I grew up. As I mentioned, when I grew up in Chicago I thought that the years of World War Two were when everybody was drafted into jail because everybody who would be at the house was in jail during the war for trying to lead strikes or being political or being left-wing, and only later did I realize there was actual fighting going on and they weren’t just putting in people who read Marx and radical leadership there.
Quote:
At Chase I had become the specialist in the oil industry’s balance of payments. When the Vietnam War began and escalated, President Johnson in January 1965, right after I joined the bank in December 1964, passed the voluntary – in reality, compulsory – foreign investment rules blocking American companies from investing more than 5% of the growth of the previous year’s investment. The oil industry objected to that. They came to David Rockefeller and said we’ve got to convince the government that we’re ripping off other countries so fast, we’re able to exploit them so rapidly, that it really helps the US balance of payments to let us continue investing more abroad. Can you help us show this statistically?

So David Rockefeller asked me to do a study of the balance of payments of the oil industry. Rockefeller said, “We don’t want to have Chase’s oil and gas department do it, because they would be thought of as lobbyists. Nobody knows who you are, so you’re neutral.
Quote:
The report that I wrote was put on the desk of every senator and every representative in the United States and I was celebrated for being the economist of the oil industry. So this taught me everything about the balance of payments which, as I said, is a topic that’s not taught in any university.
Quote:
In the last few months that I worked for Chase Manhattan in 1967, I was going up to my office on the ninth floor and a man got on the elevator and said, “I was just coming to your office, Michael. Here is a report. I’m from the State Department (I assumed that this meant CIA). “We want to calculate how much money the US could get if we set up bank branches and became the bank for all the criminal capital in the world.” He said, “We figured out we can finance, (and he said this in an elevator), we can finance the Vietnam War with all the drug money coming into America, all of the criminal money. Can you make a calculation of how much that might be?”

So I spent three months figuring out how much money goes to Switzerland, from drug dealings, what’s the dollar volume of drug dealings. They helped me with all sorts of statistics on that, and said, “We can become the criminal capital of the world and it’ll finance the dollar and this will enable us to afford the spending to defeat communism in Vietnam and elsewhere. If we don’t do that, the bomb throwers will come to New York.”
So I became a specialist in money laundering!
Somebody has GOT to make a movie about Michael Hudson's life...

Quote:
Nothing could have better prepared me to understand how the global economy works! I had all the statistics, I had the help of the government people explaining to me how the CIA worked with drug dealing and other criminals and kidnappers to raise the money so it would be off the balance sheet funding and Congress didn’t have to approve it when they would kill people and sponsor revolutions. They were completely open with me about this. I realized they’d never done a security check on me.
LOL!

Quote:
So I wanted to do a study of the balance of payments of the whole United States. I went to work for Arthur Andersen, which was at that time was one of the Big Five accounting firms in the United States. Later it was convicted of fraud when it got involved in the Enron scandal and was closed down. But I was working before the other people went to jail, before they closed down Arthur Andersen. So I spent a year applying my balance of payments analysis to the US balance of payments. When I finally finished, I found that the entire US balance of payments deficit in the 1960s, since the Vietnam War, the entire balance of payments deficit was military spending abroad. The private sector’s trade and investment was exactly in balance; tourism, trade and investment were exactly in balance. All the deficit was military.

So I turned in my statistics. My boss Mr. Barsanti, came in to me three days later and he said, “I’m afraid we have to fire you.” I asked, “What happened?” He said, “Well, we sent it to Robert McNamara.” (who was the Secretary of Defense and then became an even more dangerous person with the World Bank, which probably is more dangerous to the world than the American military. But that’s another story). Mr. Barsanti said that McNamara said that Arthur Andersen would never get another government contract if it published my report.
Quote:
In all of the Pentagon Papers that later came out of McNamara’s regime, there’s no discussion at all of the balance-of-payments cost of the Vietnam War. This is what was driving America off gold.
Quote:
My first article that I wrote for publish was at Ramparts Magazine, called “The Sieve of Gold,” about how the Vietnam War was going to force America off gold, which it did, of course, in 1971 when President Nixon in August stopped the gold. Meanwhile, I took my balance of payments study to New York University’s Business School and they said, “Oh this is great! We’ll publish it.” So I was able to immediately get it published.
Quote:
I ended up working for a while for Continental Oil as their economist, and then while I was doing it, they bought the Baghdad copper company at my recommendation because I could see the war was going to go on for a while. They also got into real estate. Well then they moved up to Connecticut and I decided to become a professor at the New School, because I never had a course in trade theory and the only way to learn about a topic is to teach it. So I gave the course in trade theory, and then was hired as a full-time faculty member in 1970 and taught national income analysis, using Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value as my textbook. This infuriated the department head, Robert Heilbroner, whose idea of Marx was what he had for breakfast and how he felt later, and did he really have an affair with his maid.
Quote:
I never once discussed politics at the New School. I realized that Heilbroner’s idea of Marxism was Stalinism, as a very crude idea. He brought in a Stalinist, Steve Hymer, ostensibly to teach trade theory, and I said, “That’s fine, I’ll teach monetary theory and banking theory.

Hymer was a proselytizer for LSD. He would tell the students to take LSD and then listen to his course. About a year after he joined, he went to the American Economic Association meeting in Montreal, had students take LSD and stand on their head. On the way back to New York he drove his car into a truck and his group died. It’s really dangerous to take LSD when you’re driving.

The foreign students were coming into my office and saying, “Is this man CIA? Why would he want us to take LSD unless he wants to, you know, deport us or arrest us or make us into a spy?” So I was the guy they would come to and that made Heilbroner think all the more that I must be a Wall Street plant.
LOL!!!!

Quote:
One day after we came back, we had to go to the White House for a meeting on oil and the balance of payments. And who should be the Undersecretary of the Treasury but my old mentor from Standard Oil who had explained to me how offshore banking centers worked. He explained to Herman and me that he told the Saudi Arabians, “You can charge whatever you want for oil.” This was right after America quadrupled the price of grain to finance the Vietnam War in 1972-73, and OPEC
responded by quadrupling the price of oil. The Undersecretary of the Treasury explained to me that they could charge whatever they wanted for oil. He knew that the higher they charged, the more the American companies would be able to charge on domestic oil. But the Saudis had to recycle all of their dollars into the United States, into Treasury bonds or the stock market. “You can’t buy American companies, you can only buy stocks or bonds, and you have to price your oil in dollars. If you don’t, we’ll consider that an act of war.”

So here I was right in the middle of understanding how imperialism really worked.
Quote:
This was not what is in most textbooks. Most don’t talk about the balance of payments, but the key to financial imperialism is the balance of payments. The United States fights to prevent other countries from going back to the gold standard, because at the time America went off gold in August 1971, every American dollar bill was backed 25% by gold at $35 an ounce. Well, finally there was no more surplus gold, and that’s what forced America off gold. Its price immediately went way up. As an American citizen, I wasn’t allowed to buy gold. So I knew it was coming but I couldn’t make any money off it. Instead I bought Tibetan and Indian art, Asian art primarily.

To make a long story short, I became a financial advisor to the Canadian government as a result of the stock brokerage work in Montreal. They said, “We need somebody who knows the American stock and bond market”. I was at that time the highest paid economist per diem in the United States for financial analysis
Quote:
So I wrote a study that Canada didn’t have to borrow money abroad for the provinces to invest domestically. They could create their own money. Basically, what I wrote was the first example of what’s now called Modern Monetary Theory, that governments can create their own money, their own credit. They don’t need a foreign-currency backing for it, and so all basically the same circular flow analysis that I’d developed from my history of thought.
Quote:
Around that time I also was an economic adviser to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR, writing their reports on North/South debt, the foreign debt of third world countries, denominated in dollars, and how this was deranging their economies. They had a meeting in Mexico financed by the Mexican president and I was invited down there. I gave a report saying that there was no way that the third-world debts can be paid.

My first job I worked on at Chase Manhattan was to estimate how much export revenue Argentina, Brazil and Chile could make. The idea was that all of their export earnings could enable them to pay interest on money borrowed from US banks. The idea was that the entire trade surplus should be pledged as debt service to the American banks. My job was to think how much that was, and what should Chase’s share be. So, at the Mexican UNITAR conference, I said that these debts cannot be paid, therefore they should not be paid, they should be canceled.

There was quite a stir over that. Well at the end of the conference they had the rapporteurs summarizing the papers. The US rapporteur said that Dr. Hudson has given a report saying that third-world countries should export more in order to pay their debts. I stood up slowly and said, “I must insist that the President of Mexico offer a public explanation, apology to me and the conference. This rapporteur has inverted and reversed everything I said. I believe he has a covert purpose. I’m pulling out the American delegation and I’m pulling out the Canadian delegation too. We cannot be a part of this travesty.”

Then I walked out, wondering what’s gonna happen! The Russian delegate came out laughing and said, “Ah! You’ve dominated the whole conference. You’ve made chaos out of it. You’ve embarrassed the CIA. This is fantastic. Here’s my card in New York.”

Later that evening I was told, “You know, they’re looking for you to beat you up.” Well as it happened an old girlfriend of mine was in a group who were in Mexico for an art exhibition. They were surrealist artists from Amherst, and they were also doing a surrealist ballet. So I went to the ballet with them and they said, “Look! The thugs are there.” So I hid out with them on the stage in their ballet. The goons were looking in the audience and I was on the stage and we were all just surrealistic. Nobody knew how to dance or anything, it was all just surrealistic. And they, you know, the goons all went home. I learned that if they can’t find you, they usually give up and leave you alone.
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Old 6th February 2019, 04:56 PM   #577
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"Commusism is a good idea, it's just the right people have not tried it yet."
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Old 6th February 2019, 04:58 PM   #578
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
Working class Venezuelans need to work more hours to put food in their bellies, clothes on their backs, and to have shelter above above them.
The system is hard on the environment too: it requires more natural resources like land to produce the same amount of food.
Of the millions of people who died of starvation last century, roughly 80% was a direct result of forced agricultural collectivization.

“The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.” --Engels
that quote is apocalyptic religious zealotry.
Then there was Trotsky's stament about how the triumph of Communism would cause Humanity to reach the next state of evolution and create a race of Superman....
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Old 6th February 2019, 04:59 PM   #579
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
Their constitution sounds even better than the brochure for the Fyre Festival
Bad Imitation of the Preamble to the US Constituion.
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Old 6th February 2019, 05:03 PM   #580
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Don't forget that Marxism is also economic poison.
I should have added that has also failed badly as an economic system whenever tried.
What fools some people is that some Governments, when they see that Communsim does not work, basically turn capitalist but keep the rhetoric so as to make people lose faith in the Party;that is what the Communist Party in China had pretty much done. It has gone capitalist, but does not want to say so in public out of fear of undermining the party's authority.
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Old 6th February 2019, 07:36 PM   #581
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
"Commusism is a good idea, it's just the right people have not tried it yet."
That's the way we live in family, communism with money is not really communism. Communism, you work without being paid and everything is free of charge, goods and services. Tribals live this way also.

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Old 6th February 2019, 08:10 PM   #582
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I should have added that has also failed badly as an economic system whenever tried.
So has capitalism. Repeatedly.
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Old 6th February 2019, 08:52 PM   #583
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So has capitalism. Repeatedly.
Did any of those downturns cause the starvation of tens of millions of people immediately after some brand new "ism" was implemented? Starvation and poverty are at there lowest points in human history. So is violence, both from crime and from war, than at any point in human history, certainly less than what humans had to endure in small tribal bands. They had to deal with food insecurity, rape, violence from within their tribe, and violence from without.

mankind has always engaged in social spending: not just for our immediate tribe, but the larger community as a whole and not to just the nations state, but the planet. Our roads, our water supply, our communication systems. Our tax dollars paid for the GPS system, the human genome project, and countless things for the benefit of all.

mankind has also always engaged in voluntary exchange of goods and services between themselves in the private sector.

Neither of the above feels like an "ism" to me, only when somebody thinks either of the above is evil must be abolished totally and resolutely and mercilessly is what I find frightening.
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Old 6th February 2019, 09:03 PM   #584
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I consider myself "a Marxist" because of this: right after the financial crash of 2007/2008, I set out to discover if all of the profession of economics was woo/pseudoscience, or if some economists out there saw the crash coming.
....
I think there is selection bias going on here. "“I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.” --John Stuart Mill wrote in 1828.
Our bookshelves are filled with prophecy of doom and gloom, and optimism doesn't sell. There are countless economists, mostly anti establishment types, that are forever predicting that things are going to fall apart. Occasionally they are right.
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Old 6th February 2019, 09:42 PM   #585
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Mixed economies work best. Modern "Marxists" aren't out to kill all things free enterprise. If you want to see what modern western Marxists are actually up to and thinking, just check out Hudson's website.

Here's a recent (just from today) analysis from him on Venezuela:

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/02/v...ernationalism/
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Old 6th February 2019, 09:49 PM   #586
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I've been following that author for a decade now, and he is on point. He has yet to get anything totally wrong to my knowledge.
And this (turn out - I had no idea about his history till relatively recently) is him:

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/02/h...-the-ancients/
Quote:
“We want to calculate how much money the US could get if we set up bank branches and became the bank for all the criminal capital in the world.” He said, “We figured out we can finance, (and he said this in an elevator), we can finance the Vietnam War with all the drug money coming into America, all of the criminal money...

Nothing could have better prepared me to understand how the global economy works! I had all the statistics, I had the help of the government people explaining to me how the CIA worked with drug dealing and other criminals and kidnappers to raise the money so it would be off the balance sheet funding and Congress didn’t have to approve it when they would kill people and sponsor revolutions. They were completely open with me about this...

“You can’t buy American companies, you can only buy stocks or bonds, and you have to price your oil in dollars. If you don’t, we’ll consider that an act of war.”

So here I was right in the middle of understanding how imperialism really worked.
Michael Hudson is a crank and everything he says is a lie. These quotes about financing the Vietnam War with drug money and threatening to make war on the Saudis if they didn't trade in US dollars etc. are all pure fiction. We know this because the United States has always had pure intentions and would never stoop to such levels.

His use of Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value as a 'textbook' is laughable. There's no way this buffoon could have predicted the 2007 crash using such fantasies, so it must have been pure luck (we all know the real reason for the crash was too much regulation and a government that tried to force communism onto the marketplace). Hudson's idea that the crash was inevitable because "the miracle of compound interest will inevitably confront the s-curve of reality" is fatally flawed because it presupposes that 'reality' exists.

But the main reason we know Hudson is full of it is that he is still alive. If what he said was true then the CIA would have killed him for it. But they didn't because he is a crank with worthless ideas that nobody will listen too - and besides they don't do stuff like that.
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Old 6th February 2019, 09:54 PM   #587
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
I think there is selection bias going on here. "“I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.” --John Stuart Mill wrote in 1828.
Our bookshelves are filled with prophecy of doom and gloom, and optimism doesn't sell. There are countless economists, mostly anti establishment types, that are forever predicting that things are going to fall apart. Occasionally they are right.
Nope. Hudson sold optimism during the QE1 and QE2 "debate", when "everyone" was predicting hyperinflation. He said quantitative easing wasn't going to do a lot to help the economy, but it wasn't going to cause any inflation, much less hyperinflation, either. He said it would flood into currency speculation bubbles and stuff like that and not impact the "real economy" much at all.

He ended up being exactly correct.

eta: the housing bubble (5+ trillions of dollars) was really easy to see in retrospect, too. He wasn't literally the only one who saw it. Like I said, the goldbug libertarian economist types and other "far left" economists were screaming about it, too. It was really an enormous blindspot among those who believed (religious like) in the orthodoxy.

See: http://cepr.net/publications/op-eds-...housing-bubble
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Old 6th February 2019, 10:09 PM   #588
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
But the main reason we know Hudson is full of it is that he is still alive. If what he said was true then the CIA would have killed him for it. But they didn't because he is a crank with worthless ideas that nobody will listen too - and besides they don't do stuff like that.
He's hinted for years that his parents were a little on the pink side. I'd also heard the "Trotsky's god son" thing before and thought it was maybe a joke? lol

Part of the reason I C&Ped so much of that post is because I suspect they really might make him pull it down.
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Old 7th February 2019, 12:04 AM   #589
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
mankind has always engaged in social spending: not just for our immediate tribe, but the larger community as a whole and not to just the nations state, but the planet. Our roads, our water supply, our communication systems. Our tax dollars paid for the GPS system, the human genome project, and countless things for the benefit of all...

Neither of the above feels like an "ism" to me, only when somebody thinks either of the above is evil must be abolished totally and resolutely and mercilessly is what I find frightening.
I find it frightening too. Which is why I get upset when anyone does it. Capitalism, Socialism, Marx'ism' and even Communism have their place, and none is a complete answer. But here in the US a lot of people seem to believe that anything other than unbridled capitalism is pure evil. Some may think that a certain amount of government intervention is a necessary evil, but if it ever gets labeled as 'socialist' then it's back to pure evil.

We have even fought wars to stem the tide of 'socialism' and 'communism' in foreign countries we had no right to be in - all to protect the fortunes of rich men who were scared of anyone getting their hands on their loot. How much blood has been shed to prop up this empire? Way too much - but nobody talks about that. Instead we talk whataboutisms like:-

Quote:
Did any of those downturns cause the starvation of tens of millions of people immediately after some brand new "ism" was implemented?
I presume you are referring to this:-

Great Chinese Famine
Quote:
Since the 1980s, there has been greater official Chinese recognition of the importance of policy mistakes in causing the disaster, claiming that the disaster was 30% due to natural causes and 70% by mismanagement...

These radically harmful changes in farming organization coincided with adverse weather patterns, including droughts and floods. In July 1959, the Yellow River flooded in East China. According to the Disaster Center, the flood directly killed, either through starvation from crop failure or drowning, an estimated 2 million people... In 1960, an estimated 60% of agricultural land in northern China received no rain at all...

Jiangxi encountered a situation almost opposite to that of Anhui... As the leaders worked collaboratively among themselves, they also worked with the local population as well. By being able to create an environment in which the Great Leap Forward did not become fully implemented, the Jiangxi government "did their best to minimize damage…" These findings led to the conclusion that much of the severity of the famine came down to provincial leaders and their responsibility for their regions
It wasn't communism that caused the "three years of famine" but a perfect storm of inexperience (both political and technical), bad advice, and natural disasters. Aside from this anomaly the death rate continued to drop until the 1980's when the People's communes were disbanded. So despite the famine, and other atrocities (which had nothing to with communism as an economic system), the people were still better off than before.

And it's not like their previous system was immune.

List of famines in China
Quote:
1810, 1811, 1846, 1849 45 million
1876-1879 9.5-13 million
1907, 1911 25 million
1928-1930 3 million
1936-1937 5 million
1942–1943 2-3 million

In China famines have been an ongoing problem for thousands of years. From the Shang dynasty (16th-11th century BC) until the founding of modern China, chroniclers have regularly described recurring disasters.
Curiously, 1959-1961 turned out to be the last famine noted in China, even though they continued to 'try' pure communism for the next 25 years before transitioning to a mixed economy (while retaining their communist political system). As China now has the second largest economy in the World, it could hardly be said that communism 'failed' them.

I am not going to defend the mistakes and atrocities committed by the early Chinese communist government, but it needs to be put in perspective. The former feudal system was arguably worse, and the transition was bound to be bloody (especially with the intervention of WWII). '10's of millions' sounds like a very large number, but as a proportion of the population it wasn't that much.

Nominally capitalist countries have also suffered similar disasters, despite not radically changing their economic systems. Take the other Great Famine for example:-
Quote:
Sharing much in common with the similar famines in India under British rule, the proximate cause of the famine was a natural event, a potato blight, which infected potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, precipitating some 100,000 deaths in total in the worst affected areas and among similar tenant farmers of Europe. The food crisis influenced much of the unrest in the more widespread European Revolutions of 1848. The event is sometimes referred to as the Irish Potato Famine...

The famine and its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political, and cultural landscape, producing an estimated two million refugees and spurring a century-long population decline
Oddly nobody blames this one on capitalism, even though...

Quote:
Between 1832 and 1859, 70% of Irish representatives were landowners or the sons of landowners... between 1801 and 1845, there had been 114 commissions and 61 special committees enquiring into the state of Ireland, and that "without exception their findings prophesied disaster; Ireland was on the verge of starvation, her population rapidly increasing, three-quarters of her labourers unemployed, housing conditions appalling and the standard of living unbelievably low...

During the Famine, Ireland produced enough food, flax, and wool to feed and clothe double its nine million people... There was no such export ban in the 1840s. Some historians have argued, because exports were not stopped, the famine was artificial and a consequence of the British government's failure to retain foodstuffs in the country.
Capitalism at its finest!
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Old 7th February 2019, 07:20 AM   #590
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
[...]
I've been following that author for a decade now, and he is on point. He has yet to get anything totally wrong to my knowledge.
And this (turn out - I had no idea about his history till relatively recently) is him:

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/02/h...-the-ancients/

[...]
!
Holy ****** Is this for real? I had never heard of this guy before. It´s the most amazing thing I´ve read in a long time!
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:50 AM   #591
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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...D=ansmsnnews11

Venezuelan soldiers have blocked a bridge on the border with Colombia ahead of a shipment of humanitarian aid, the opposition says.

The aid is being arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president last month.
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:18 AM   #592
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
According to Wikipedia, the population of Venezuela is thirty one and a half million. While 0.02% of the population leaving is certainly a concern, it's hardly "on the edge of ending" the country. If people leave the country at that rate for the next oooh, hundred and fifty years, then the country is likely to be on the verge of collapse.
It would not take that long. The people that are leaving are generally going to be the smarter, more productive, well off people. People that can see what's going on and can afford to leave. It doesn't take much of this kind of "brain drain" to ruin a country.

Venezuela is going Galt.
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:29 AM   #593
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
It links to a Sputnik news page, so pretty close?
Forget what I said.



Quote:
Interestingly, it's pushing a book where the basic premise is that western media acts as propaganda outlets for state/corporate power. An idea eerily similar to a trumptards "fake news" mantra.
Irony!
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:30 AM   #594
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
And, yeah, Marxism is a "secular" religion.
Blind belief in a infallible source of knowledge (Karl Marx) rituals, persecution of Heretics and non believers...yes it's all there.
To be fair, sports fans are like that too.
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:32 AM   #595
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I consider myself "a Marxist" because of this: right after the financial crash of 2007/2008, I set out to discover if all of the profession of economics was woo/pseudoscience, or if some economists out there saw the crash coming.
So because other systems are not perfect, let's go with the worst of them?
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:34 AM   #596
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Originally Posted by Gaetan View Post
That's the way we live in family, communism with money is not really communism. Communism, you work without being paid and everything is free of charge, goods and services. Tribals live this way also.
Hunter-gatherers didn't live in tribes of millions with subgroups having vastly different needs and beliefs.

Your system just cannot work.

No system lasts forever. Each has flaws. But communism has a built-in flaw that makes it fail right off the bat: it ignores human nature. That's a pretty big oops.
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Old 7th February 2019, 01:09 PM   #597
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...D=ansmsnnews11

Venezuelan soldiers have blocked a bridge on the border with Colombia ahead of a shipment of humanitarian aid, the opposition says.

The aid is being arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president last month.
Remember how Uncle Joe blocked food from being taken into the Ukraine during the famine?
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Old 7th February 2019, 01:12 PM   #598
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
So because other systems are not perfect, let's go with the worst of them?
My opinion of capitalism is like that of Winston Churchill on Democracy:
It's the worst economic system ever invented...except for all the others.
And somebody calling themselves a Marxist they saying they believe in a Mixed Economy really have their wire crossed.
I think when it come to Marxist that word does not mean what she thinks it's means......
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Old 7th February 2019, 01:14 PM   #599
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Hunter-gatherers didn't live in tribes of millions with subgroups having vastly different needs and beliefs.

Your system just cannot work.

No system lasts forever. Each has flaws. But communism has a built-in flaw that makes it fail right off the bat: it ignores human nature. That's a pretty big oops.
That the problem with Utopian Schemes:Human Nature gets in the way.
And that is why Utopians in Power scare the hell out me: when their schemes fail, they often decide the fix is to eliminate all those flawed humans which keep them from working.
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Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
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Old 7th February 2019, 01:56 PM   #600
dann
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Yes, I've read them.

Sorry, I didn't make myself clear it was meant as criticism of this:

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Most of what he (Marx) did was just describe how money and capital actually works from the perspective of the worker.

Marx did more than just describe how money and capital works. He analyzed how both money and capital come into being, and how they result in the kind of society that he lived in - and that we live in now. He did this as a researcher and didn't stop at the perspective of the worker.
My point of mentioning Volume 2 of Capital was it's obviously not written from the perspective of the worker.

At one point, Engels defended Marx against his own son-in-law, who had praised Marx as a man of high ideals. He wrote:

Quote:
Marx würde gegen das ‚politische und gesellschaftliche Ideal‘ protestieren, das Sie ihm unterstellen. Wenn schon von einem ‚Mann der Wissenschaft‘, der ökonomischen Wissenschaft die Rede ist, so darf man kein Ideal haben, man erarbeitet wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse, und wenn man darüber hinaus noch ein Mann der Partei ist, so kämpft man dafür, sie in die Praxis umzusetzen.
Wenn man aber ein Ideal hat, kann man kein Mann der Wissenschaft sein, dann hat man eine vorgefasste Meinung.
F. Engels, letter to P. Lafargue (1884), MEW 36, 198.
In my translation:
"Marx would protest against the 'political and social ideal' that you attribute to him. When we are talking about a 'man of science', the science of economy, then you can't have an ideal, you do research in order to find scientific results, and if you are also a man of the party, then you strive to implement these results.
But if you have an ideal, then you can't be a man of science, because then you have preconceived ideas."


What capitalism looks like from the perspective of the workers is something like this:
Wage labor – The competition of the workers - Class consciousness (RuthlessCriticism/GegenStandpunkt)
Venezuela never stopped being capitalist, but Chavez attempted to use the Venezuelan economy to benefit the working classes of the country. As long as there was a steady stream of money from the nationalized oil industry, they weren't doing too bad. Now that this has stopped, the country seems to be just about to collapse, which an excited audience in the USA and the EU is looking forward to while feigning concern for the poverty-stricken Venezuelans.
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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