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good diary, important issues discussed.

European Tribune - Obama, The Nation, WSWS & "What Is To Be Done"

Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia.

if obama reined in the arms merchants from his own country, who export so many arms to these hotspots, then i'd listen to his ideas about using force to depose tyrannical governments abroad, until then, i believe this rhetoric to be deeply disingenuous, and destructive to the world peace he talks about espousing.

as for capitalism becoming completely superfluous under a pure form of socialism, there is room for more modern approaches to distribute wealth more fairly that are much less ideologically extreme than trotsky-ism, such as the energy pools advocated by chris cook.
 these do not undermine the benign aspects of capitalism, but are highly subversive just the same, imo, when it comes to turning around the concept of capitalism as blunt instrument or worse, imperially speaking, as one sees with the IMF et al.

i guess what i'm trying to say is that capitalism can be seen as a form of steel, which can then be turned into swords or ploughshares, it's not the iron's fault if it's turned into a killing machine, instead of a tool for making survival more efficient and productive of public happiness.

so far it's 'shiny toy' novelty these last centuries has spellbound the thinking public into ignoring its abuse, preferring to believe that let alone, it will continue the social improvements it made in history, empowering middle classes, and diminishing the totalitarian control of the aristocracy by shifting power to those who who were not 'to the manor born'.

and not seeing that it has now become another class of godmen ruling the little pawns from above, just with lower profiles and less ermine, just bonuses and bailouts instead...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Dec 16th, 2009 at 09:50:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All forms of economic organization should be looked at as tools through which an uncorrupted representative democracy can best manage a society's political and economic life. We have enough experience to know, with absolute certainty, that the best way to organize our economies is not with 'pure capitalism' or 'pure socialism' (whatever those two phrases mean).

The public needs to emphatically reject, NOW, the either/or approaches that the Trotskyists and laissez-faire-ists are associated with. But we haven't, in fact the laissez-faire ideologues decisively dominate both the Democratic and Republican parties here in the States, as well as virtually all economics departments (where the common sense I've outlined in the preceding paragraph is often outright banned as 'un-economic'). This nightmare reality is not nearly enough different in Europe.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Dec 17th, 2009 at 01:29:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody actually believes in laissez-faire - least of all the tenured professors who live on government grants. The spectacle of American right wingers demanding the government stay away from medicare (a government program) this summer is hard to incorporate in any coherent political model.
by rootless2 on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 07:57:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rigfht-wingers very much do believe in laissez-faire.

They don't need to believe in a coherent model. Like NCE - the model doesn't have to be coherent, it just has to be a useful excuse for greed, violence, xenophobia and stupidity, which are the right's core values.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 09:17:35 AM EST
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I'm not sure that incoherence is the problem with NCE: I suspect it follows quite coherently from its assumptions.

The problem is that NCE is based upon the complete bollocks assumptions necessary to lead to policy outcomes which suit those who fund NCE.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 05:13:24 PM EST
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I think TGB's point would have been clearer had he said that NCE does not have to be congruent with reality. That is the real problem, not that it is incoherent, though much of it is, but that it is incongruent with the way things actually work.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 10:17:51 PM EST
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