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Tags Venezuela incidents , Venezuela issues , Venezuela politics

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Old 7th February 2019, 03:14 PM   #601
kellyb
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
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.
Analyzation is a necessary prerequisite for accurate and thorough description.
He analyzed in his mind and then described it to the masses.

Quote:
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.
He explained things in a way which was and is useful for the laboring class.

Quote:
At one point, Engels defended Marx against his own son-in-law, who had praised Marx as a man of high ideals. He wrote:
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."
No argument from me.
To re-quote my favorite modern Marxist thinker and economist:

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."


Quote:
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.
I absolutely agree.
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Old 7th February 2019, 03:23 PM   #602
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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?
You need to read my post again.

The goals of "Marxism" can be achieved through a variety of systems. Norway is very "socialist" compared to the US, arguable the most socialist country on Earth. Do you consider the Norwegian system the worst system?
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Old 7th February 2019, 03:25 PM   #603
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
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!
Yeah, it's real. It is indeed one hell of a mind-bogglingly amazing life story.
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Old 7th February 2019, 03:31 PM   #604
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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.
Most of the US's "humanitarian aid" historically has been weapons. That might or might not be the case here.

If we want to alleviate the food shortages, why not lift the sanctions causing them?
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Old 7th February 2019, 03:43 PM   #605
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
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......
You just hold a strawman, boogeyman version of socialism in your mind.

But you're free to believe whatever you want.

Here's what Marxists of my variety think:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017...ared-1917.html

Quote:
Marx was by no means alone in expecting a widening range of economic activity to be shifted away from the market to the public sector. State socialism (basically, state-sponsored capitalism) subsidized pensions and public health, education and other basic needs so as to save industrial enterprise from having to bear these charges.

In the United States, Simon Patten – the first economics professor at the new Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania – defined public infrastructure as a “fourth factor of production” alongside labor, capital and land. The aim of public investment was not to make a profit, but to lower the cost of living and doing business so as to minimize industry’s wage and infrastructure bill. Public health, pensions, roads and other transportation, education, research and development were subsidized or provided freely.[1]

The most advanced industrial economies seemed to be evolving toward some kind of socialism. Marx shared a Progressive Era optimism that expected industrial capitalism to evolve in the most logical way, by freeing economies from the landlordship and predatory banking inherited from Europe’s feudal era. That was above all the classical reform program of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the intellectual mainstream.

But the aftermath of World War I saw the vested interests mount a Counter-Enlightenment.
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Old 7th February 2019, 03:45 PM   #606
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
You need to read my post again.

The goals of "Marxism" can be achieved through a variety of systems. Norway is very "socialist" compared to the US, arguable the most socialist country on Earth. Do you consider the Norwegian system the worst system?
Social democracy is very different from Marxism.
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Old 7th February 2019, 03:48 PM   #607
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Social democracy is very different from Marxism.
No, it's based in large part on the works of Marx, who simply expounded on the classical economists who predated him, including Adam Smith, John Stuart Mills, etc.
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Old 7th February 2019, 04:15 PM   #608
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
You need to read my post again.

The goals of "Marxism" can be achieved through a variety of systems. Norway is very "socialist" compared to the US, arguable the most socialist country on Earth. Do you consider the Norwegian system the worst system?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom

Denmark 76.6
Sweden 76.3
Netherlands 76.2
US 75.7
Norway 74.3
Finland 74.1
China 57.4
Cuba 31.9
Venezuela 25.2
North Korea 5.8

Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands are more capitalist than the US (and the US is just barely more so than Norway) if "economic freedom" is a good proxy of "capitalism". But what they have is much more social spending than the United States. Social spending isn't the same thing as SocialISM.

Marx predicted Socialism would happen first in the most industrialized countries. It didn't. He also predicted that without the parasitism of capitalism exploiting the workers, they wouldn't have to labor as much to provide for themselves, also a prediction that failed miserably in my opinion.


F.A. Hayek (economist) on socialism:
"Socialism assumes that all the available knowledge can be used for a single, central authority. It overlooks that the modern society which I would prefer to call the "extended order" which exceeds the perception of any individual man is based on the utilization of widely dispersed knowledge.
And once you are aware that we can achieve that great utilization of available resources only because we utilize the knowledge of millions of men it becomes clearer that the assumption of socialism that a central authority is in command of this knowledge is just not correct."

Rewording the above statement somewhat differently and from my own perspective: Some see the flaws of socialism as mankind's own flaws: our
greed, our selfishness, our sloth. I don't see it that way at all, I simply see it as a high entropy environment as Hayek described.
Central planners, no matter how benevolent, democratic, and wise simply don't have access to the information that a market possesses. Markets contain information and that information is an emergent phenomenon like evolution, consciousness, human languages, and ant colony behavior are emergent. Markets can make mistakes and so can centralized planners.

That is "bottom-up" design but I also see the value of "top-down" design. Of zoning laws, urban planning, building codes and all kinds of other top-down design but when and where these things go wrong, is when they try to out smart the market itself (like protectionism)

Just like good software development, a modern economy requires both bottom-up and top-down design.

Norway does a great job because it embraces both economic freedom and social spending, Venezuela is a nightmare.
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Old 7th February 2019, 04:27 PM   #609
kellyb
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom



Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands are more capitalist than the US (and the US is just barely more so than Norway) if "economic freedom" is a good proxy of "capitalism".
I don't consider the Heritage Foundation's anything a useful measure of anything at all. The Foundation exists to mislead people.
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Old 7th February 2019, 04:30 PM   #610
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Most of the US's "humanitarian aid" historically has been weapons. That might or might not be the case here.
I see no evidence of weapons among this aid.

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
If we want to alleviate the food shortages, why not lift the sanctions causing them?
I've spent the last couple of years reading articles about Venezuelan farmers who have stopped producing food because they are required to sell it for less than the cost to produce it, which is unsustainable.

Your question presumes that US sanctions and not price controls are behind Venezuelan shortages. I'd like to see your evidence for that.
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Old 7th February 2019, 04:46 PM   #611
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I repeat when Kellyb calls herself a Marxist, it's a case of that word does not mean what she thinks it means.
Social Democracy is NOT Marxist,period. And I think most Social Democrats would cringe at being called Marxists.
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Old 7th February 2019, 05:03 PM   #612
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
Marx predicted Socialism would happen first in the most industrialized countries. It didn't. He also predicted that without the parasitism of capitalism exploiting the workers, they wouldn't have to labor as much to provide for themselves, also a prediction that failed miserably in my opinion.
He was a great economist, but a terrible futurist.

Quote:
Markets can make mistakes and so can centralized planners.
Only things which have agency can "make mistakes".

The Hayek view, that markets are "rational", is what causes has caused everything from the Great Depression, to to the dot com bubble, to the housing crash.

I agree that humans engaging in central planning (or any other sort of planning for that matter) can make mistakes, too.

Quote:
I also see the value of "top-down" design. Of zoning laws, urban planning, building codes and all kinds of other top-down design but when and where these things go wrong, is when they try to out smart the market itself (like protectionism)
There's a time and a place for protectionism. If you have a country where (hypothetically) 90% of the country is comprised of people making their money via farming exports, allowing the country to be flooded with lower cost food from a more technologically developed nation will result in devastating economic upheaval and (almost paradoxically) starvation.

Quote:
Just like good software development, a modern economy requires both bottom-up and top-down design.
I completely agree.

Quote:
Norway does a great job because it embraces both economic freedom and social spending, Venezuela is a nightmare.


Venezuela has never banned free enterprise like NK does and the USSR did. This is why Venezuela is a nightmare and what should be done:

Quote:
Venezuela was an oil monoculture. Its export revenue was spent largely on importing food and other necessities that it could have produced at home.

Quote:
Chavez sought to restore a mixed economy to Venezuela, using its government revenue – mainly from oil, of course – to develop infrastructure and domestic spending on health care, education, employment to raise living standards and productivity for his electoral constituency.
Quote:
By imposing sanctions that prevent Venezuela from gaining access to its U.S. bank deposits and the assets of its state-owned Citco, the United States is making it impossible for Venezuela to pay its foreign debt. This is forcing it into default, which U.S. diplomats hope to use as an excuse to foreclose on Venezuela’s oil resources and seize its foreign assets much as Paul Singer’s hedge fund sought to do with Argentina’s foreign assets.

Just as U.S. policy under Kissinger was to make Chile’s “economy scream,” so the U.S. is following the same path against Venezuela. It is using that country as a “demonstration effect” to warn other countries not to act in their self-interest in any way that prevents their economic surplus from being siphoned off by U.S. investors.
Quote:
Over the longer run, Maduro also must develop Venezuelan agriculture, along much the same lines that the United States protected and developed its agriculture under the New Deal legislation of the 1930s – rural extension services, rural credit, seed advice, state marketing organizations for crop purchase and supply of mechanization, and the same kind of price supports that the United States has long used to subsidize domestic farm investment to increase productivity.
To back up the "make the economy scream" claim about the quote:

See:
https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/...ports-1/chile/
Quote:
According to the Church Committee report, in their meeting with CIA Director Richard Helms and Attorney General John Mitchell on 15 September 1970 President Nixon and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, directed the CIA to prevent Allende from taking power. They were “not concerned [about the] risks involved,” according to Helms’ notes. In addition to political action, Nixon and Kissinger, according to Helms’s notes, ordered steps to “make the economy scream.”
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Last edited by kellyb; 7th February 2019 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 7th February 2019, 05:14 PM   #613
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I repeat when Kellyb calls herself a Marxist, it's a case of that word does not mean what she thinks it means.
Social Democracy is NOT Marxist,period. And I think most Social Democrats would cringe at being called Marxists.
Do you think when Michael Hudson, the godson of Leon Trotsky, calls himself a Marxist, that word does not mean what he thinks it means?
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Old 7th February 2019, 05:33 PM   #614
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Do you think when Michael Hudson, the godson of Leon Trotsky, calls himself a Marxist, that word does not mean what he thinks it means?
<shrug> His wikipedia page does say his interpretation of Marxism is unique to him.
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Old 7th February 2019, 05:36 PM   #615
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I've spent the last couple of years reading articles about Venezuelan farmers who have stopped producing food because they are required to sell it for less than the cost to produce it, which is unsustainable.

Your question presumes that US sanctions and not price controls are behind Venezuelan shortages. I'd like to see your evidence for that.
When did the "forced to sell it even when that meant they were operating in the red" stuff begin? I'm genuinely curious to see your articles, and not just in some "So I can try to debunk/discredit them" sort of way.

There's this:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8748201.html
Quote:
The first UN rapporteur to visit Venezuela for 21 years has told The Independent the US sanctions on the country are illegal and could amount to “crimes against humanity” under international law.
Quote:
Former special rapporteur Alfred de Zayas, who finished his term at the UN in March, has criticized the US for engaging in “economic warfare” against Venezuela which he said is hurting the economy and killing Venezuelans.
Quote:
Mr De Zayas, a former secretary of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and an expert in international law, spoke to The Independent following the presentation of his Venezuela report to the HRC in September. He said that since its presentation the report has been ignored by the UN and has not sparked the public debate he believes it deserves.

“Sanctions kill,” he told The Independent, adding that they fall most heavily on the poorest people in society, demonstrably cause death through food and medicine shortages, lead to violations of human rights and are aimed at coercing economic change in a “sister democracy”
.



Quote:
The US imposed new sanctions against Venezuela on 9 March 2015, when President Barack Obama issued executive order 13692, declaring the country a threat to national security.


Quote:
When I come and I say the emigration is partly attributable to the economic war waged against Venezuela and is partly attributable to the sanctions, people don’t like to hear that. They just want the simple narrative that socialism failed and it failed the Venezuelan people,” Mr de Zayas told The Independent.
This is very important, IMO:

Quote:
Eugenia Russian, president of FUNDALATIN, one of the oldest human rights NGOs in Venezuela, founded in 1978 before the Chavez and Maduro governments and with special consultative status at the UN, spoke to The Independent on the significance of the sanctions.

“In contact with the popular communities, we consider that one of the fundamental causes of the economic crisis in the country is the effect that the unilateral coercive sanctions that are applied in the economy, especially by the government of the United States,” Ms Russian said.
Quote:
The sanctions are part of a US effort to overthrow the Venezuelan government and instal a more business friendly regime, as was done in Chile in 1973 and elsewhere in the region, Mr de Zayas said.
Quote:
“What’s at stake is the enormous, enormous natural resources of Venezuela. And I sense that if Venezuela had no natural resources no one would give a damn about Chavez or Maduro or anybody else there,” Mr de Zayas added.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and an abundance of other natural resources including gold, bauxite and coltan. But under the Maduro government they’re not easily accessible to US and transnational corporations.

US oil companies had large investments in Venezuela in the early 20th century but were locked out after Venezuelans voted to nationalise the industry in 1973.
Quote:
“Only the Venezuelans have a right to decide, not the United States, not the United Kingdom … We do not want a repetition of the Pinochet putsch in 1973 … What is urgent is to help the Venezuelan people through international solidarity – genuine humanitarian aid and a lifting of the financial blockade so that Venezuela can buy and sell like any other country in the world – the problems can be solved with good faith and common sense.”

Mr De Zayas has since signed an open letter with Noam Chomsky and over 70 other academics and experts, condemning the US-backed coup attempt against the Venezuelan government.

He called the recent developments “totally surreal”.
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Old 7th February 2019, 05:42 PM   #616
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
<shrug> His wikipedia page does say his interpretation of Marxism is unique to him.
He has an enormous readership, both in the US and abroad. He is the most influential self-identifying Marxist alive today, probably.

"Marxism" has always changed over time, and there are and have always been a lot of schools of Marxist thought.
So...
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Old 7th February 2019, 06:09 PM   #617
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
He is the most influential self-identifying Marxist alive today, probably.

Don't let Yanis Varoufakis hear that!

I also think there could be some Chinese gentlemen we never heard about who might rightfully object.

Anyway, another interesting US Marxist economist is Richard Wolff, who's also a very entertaining speaker:

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Old 7th February 2019, 06:11 PM   #618
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Also, this started around 2013/2014:
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fe...236836920.html
Quote:
Is hoarding causing Venezuela food shortages?
As bizarre as it may seem in a country with the world's largest oil reserves, all agree food hoarding is a real problem.
Quote:
Economic war

Drinking cold beers with a group of mates under a midday sun in his working-class neighbourhood, Francisco Luzon blames the country's entrenched elite for the problems. "There is some truth about the economic war from private entities, as they want to increase profits," he said.

"Distributors buy large quantities of products here and sell them in Colombia," said Luzon, who runs a business producing iron gates for houses. "Selling contraband is a serious problem. People here are taking large quantities of products meant for Venezuelans and selling them in Colombia."
Quote:
Venezuela subsidises basic food products, making them cheap when they are available. State support for basic products, coupled with exchange-rate issues, entices black-marketers and hoarders to sell food outside the country.

An investigation by Reuters confirmed the beer-fuelled Friday morning allegations; residents of border states in Venezuela drive subsidised local food into Colombia to sell for a quick profit, exacerbating domestic shortages.

Despite talk about shortages, outright hunger is not considered an issue in today's Venezuela.
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Old 7th February 2019, 06:17 PM   #619
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Don't let Yanis Varoufakis hear that!

I also think there could be some Chinese gentlemen we never heard about who might rightfully object.

Anyway, another interesting US Marxist economist is Richard Wolff, who's also a very entertaining speaker:

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I read a lot of Yanis, but I have a hard time following him a lot of the time. Richard Wolff just sorta doesn't do it for me.

I think Hudson's "used to be the economist for the CIA's covert "revenue generation" projects" and "used to do money laundering for Big Oil" experience gives him a unique "big picture" perspective I find...truly enlightening. That, and his "really long arc of history" perspective, with him being quasi-obsessed with the economic systems of ancient Sumeria and Babylonia and all.
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Old 7th February 2019, 06:24 PM   #620
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
I also think there could be some Chinese gentlemen we never heard about who might rightfully object.
It's also worth knowing that, according to Hudson, the Chinese economists have never even read Marx. Like, none of them. They send their economics students to the US to study at the Chicago School of Economics.

eta:
https://michael-hudson.com/2018/06/c...o-be-this-way/
Quote:
Unfortunately, his talk and mine were almost the only economic talks at the meeting in Peking. As one of the Russian attendees pointed out to me, “Marxism” is the Chinese word for politics. “Marxism with Chinese characteristics” means to doing what they want politically. But economically they’ve sent their students to the United States, to attend business schools to learn how U.S. financial engineering practices.

Shanghai is where Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys came in the 1970s and early 80s, because the Chinese government worried that if western Marxists came over, they would tend to interfere with domestic Chinese politics. So actually, China had less exposure to foreign Marxian economics than to U.S.-style neoliberal teaching
.
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Old 7th February 2019, 07:41 PM   #621
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Hard to not remember the past with "humanitarian aid" coming from a country actively engaging in a regime change operation using economic warfare...

Quote:
"The official who headed the United States humanitarian aid program for
the rebels in Nicaragua said today that he twice ordered his planes to
shuffle weapons for the contras
in Central America at the direction of
Elliott Abrams"; AP, NYT, Aug. 15, 1987, a brief item that passed
without comment
Quote:
...the head of the CIA’s Central American task force, Alan
Piers, testified that he had arranged for military equipment to be shipped
to the contras on planes designated for "humanitarian aid
; Adam
Pertman, BG, Aug. 26, 1987.
Quote:
On September 17, Congress turned down the request for an
immediate increase in military support for the proxy army, choosing
instead to provide several million dollars in "humanitarian" aid— while
acknowledging that there are substantial unspent funds in the contra
pipeline (and, as usual, disregarding the fact that t
Quote:
he administration will
use the "humanitarian" aid for any purpose it wishes, and will persist in
funding its mercenary forces in other ways
,
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 8.42.51 PM.jpg (53.3 KB, 1 views)
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Old 7th February 2019, 07:52 PM   #622
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Hard to not remember the past with "humanitarian aid" coming from a source actively engaging in a regime change operation using economic warfare...
That door swings both ways. For decades the US used every clean and dirty trick to prevent communism from gaining a foothold in the new world. Then the Cold War ends, and the US relaxes its vigilance.

What happens next? Communism takes hold of a sovereign state and a functioning economy, and plows it right the **** into the ground.

Seems like Venezuela could have used some good old fashioned "humanitarian aid" sometime in the past ten years.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:01 PM   #623
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So, this, from above?

Quote:
"The official who headed the United States humanitarian aid program for
the rebels in Nicaragua said today that he twice ordered his planes to
shuffle weapons for the contras in Central America at the direction of
Elliott Abrams";
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-v...-idUSKCN1PV229
Quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, will testify in the Democratic-led House of Representatives next week, as Washington presses for a change of government in the South American nation.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:03 PM   #624
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That door swings both ways. For decades the US used every clean and dirty trick to prevent communism from gaining a foothold in the new world. Then the Cold War ends, and the US relaxes its vigilance.

What happens next? Communism takes hold of a sovereign state and a functioning economy, and plows it right the **** into the ground.

Seems like Venezuela could have used some good old fashioned "humanitarian aid" sometime in the past ten years.
Venezuela's been approximately as "communist" as Finland, overall.

Finland just lacks Venezuela's oil reserves.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:04 PM   #625
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What happens next? Communism takes hold of a sovereign state and a functioning economy, and plows it right the **** into the ground.

As people pointed out earlier, Venezuela after Chavez has always stayed capitalist. They never went further than a mixed economy with social programs financed by oil revenue, and left the oligarchy controlling the media and big business in place. Which has bit them ever since the charismatic, unifying leader who was able to balance the whole thing died.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:07 PM   #626
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
It's also worth knowing that, according to Hudson, the Chinese economists have never even read Marx. Like, none of them. They send their economics students to the US to study at the Chicago School of Economics.

That's a bit of a "red flag" for me coming from Hudson.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:07 PM   #627
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
You lost me. But whatever. My point is, you should probably start looking for a definition of Marxism that doesn't involve propping up the current Venezuelan regime.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:08 PM   #628
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Finland just lacks Venezuela's oil reserves.

While Norway has quite a bit of them.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:13 PM   #629
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You lost me..
The exact same person, Elliott Abrams, who shipped weapons illegally to the contras in the 80's as "humanitarian aid", is now Donald Trump’s special envoy for Venezuela.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:16 PM   #630
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
While Norway has quite a bit of them.
If nobody figures out how to get the US "regime change for looting optimization machine" under control, Norway will have it's day, too, eventually.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:18 PM   #631
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
The exact same person, Elliott Abrams, who shipped weapons illegally to the contras in the 80's as "humanitarian aid", is now Donald Trump’s special envoy for Venezuela.

He's also the exact same person who "gave a nod" to the failed 2002 coup attempt against Chavez under Dubya according to The Observer.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:25 PM   #632
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
The exact same person, Elliott Abrams, who shipped weapons illegally to the contras in the 80's as "humanitarian aid", is now Donald Trump’s special envoy for Venezuela.
Given that Nicaragua is not currently a failed state begging for scraps from Vladimir Putin's table, this seems like a step in the right direction. Was that your point?
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:31 PM   #633
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btw, interesting statistics: As of yesterday, 48 governments or leading politicians of such have "recognized" Chicago Boy against international law, while 141 haven't.

Among the 48 are one from Africa (Morocco), one from the Middle East (Israel) and one from Asia (Australia).

edit @kellyb: Norway isn't among them, while Finland is.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:47 PM   #634
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Given that Nicaragua is not currently a failed state begging for scraps from Vladimir Putin's table, this seems like a step in the right direction.
Glad you're a fan of...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...=.c263a13a79f9

Quote:
"a distinct pattern" of murders, kidnapings, assaults and torture of civilians.
https://aliciapatterson.org/stories/...ly-retribution
Quote:
There were murders of prisoners and recruits, murders of suspected spies and confirmed rivals, murders of rejected lovers and personal enemies.

Beyond the bloody, casual violence that surrounded the contra camps, however, rebel agents were ordered to participate in formal death squads that cooperated with Honduran authorities from 1981through 1984 in an anti-leftist extermination drive, according to a high-ranking former rebel officer who enjoyed access to rebel intelligence and counterintelligence files in a Tegucigalpa safehouse from 1981 through 1985.
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...671-story.html
Quote:
CONTRA ATROCITIES AND U.S. POLICY TOWARD NICARAGUA
'
Quote:
'The targeting of humanitarian workers in Nicaragua shows that the aim of the contras--and their American apologists--is not a free society but the destruction of self-determination and material progress.'' Said the magazine, '' `American` is becoming synonymous with `ruthless killer.`
https://www.upi.com/Archives/1986/02...1214509259600/
Quote:
In its report the Washington Office on Latin America cited 139 cases of attacks against Nicaraguan civilians last year involving assassination, kidnapping, rape, mutiliation and torture.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:53 PM   #635
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I'm not a fan of any of that.

I'm also not a fan of what the current regime has been up to in Venezuela. Are you?
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:55 PM   #636
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
edit @kellyb: Norway isn't among them, while Finland is.
In all seriousness, I don't think that's a coincidence.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:57 PM   #637
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm not a fan of any of that.
If you think making "the economy scream" and sneaking in weapons under the guise of "humanitarian aid" in the name of regime change is (your words), "a step in the right direction", you find all the accompanying horrors acceptable, at least.
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Old 7th February 2019, 09:00 PM   #638
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm also not a fan of what the current regime has been up to in Venezuela. Are you?
There's not a whole lot they could have done differently that I can see after the global drop in oil prices began making things really, really financially tight.

I guess once the hoarding and re-selling of food began, they could have taken stronger measures to stop that illegal activity.
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Old 7th February 2019, 09:23 PM   #639
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More interesting history on Venezuela and Nicaragua:
https://theconversation.com/venezuel...-regime-100507
Quote:
“Oil diplomacy” was standard practice in Venezuela at the time. In the early 2000s, Venezuela was one of Latin America’s richest countries. Chávez used his economic brawn to support allies in Cuba, Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil by sending them financial aid and cheap crude.
Quote:
Between 2007 and 2016, Ortega’s government spent nearly 40 percent of oil proceeds to bolster ambitious social welfare programs, including micro-financing for small businesses, food for the hungry and subsidized housing for the poor.

These initiatives contributed to significant poverty reductions across Nicaragua, earning Ortega and his Sandinista party widespread popular support.
Quote:
In late 2015, plummeting global oil prices sent Venezuela’s mismanaged economy into recession, and then into a full-on collapse.

Chávez’s successor, President Nicolás Maduro, was forced to cut back on oil diplomacy. As a result, in 2017 and 2018 his government sent no oil shipments at all to Nicaragua.

In effect, Ortega had to cut his landmark anti-poverty programs, eliminate subsidies on public utilities and raise gas prices at the pump.

Support for his regime eroded quickly after that
.
Now:
https://www.cfr.org/article/nicaragua-crisis-what-know
Quote:
Not long ago Nicaragua seemed to be an island of calm in an otherwise turbulent corner of the world. The country was one of the poorest in the hemisphere and long ruled by a leftist autocrat and his wife, but its economy was plugging along and its streets were peaceable, particularly in comparison to its Northern Triangle neighbors—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. But now it is coping with its own political and economic crisis.
Quote:
The spark that lit the fuse came this April, when Ortega, a former Marxist revolutionary now in his fourth term, announced he would slash social security benefits as a cost-cutting measure. Backed by business leaders, an outraged public took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to demand Ortega’s resignation, which prompted a crackdown by government and paramilitary forces that has left hundreds dead and many more injured.
Quote:
The instability has rocked Nicaragua’s developing market, which is now expected to contract by 6 percent this year. The workforce has shrunk by 10 percent, and panicky investors have pulled out some $1 billion in capital.

The tourism sector, once a pillar of growth, has been particularly hard hit, with many hotels and restaurants closing or cutting back service. The U.S. State Department continues to discourage Americans from traveling to Nicaragua because of violent crime and civil unrest.
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Old 7th February 2019, 09:28 PM   #640
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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'm not sure what you are trying to say here. The sub-prime lending crisis and it's implications for the US economy was a near daily discussion on financial channels for years prior to the crisis. Failure to predict how bad things could ultimately get wasn't a failure of economic theory it was an absence of data on just how leveraged and dependent on low quality assets the banking system had become.

Once this information was in hand most economists quickly assessed the potential danger from an economics standpoint, what they could not assess was the ideologically based mismanagement of the crisis first by the President and then by a congress that was overly concerned with moral hazard and insufficiently concerned with liquidity crisis and deflation.
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