Are the bad guys on the move again?

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:33 am

Bgile,

Thanks, not a problem. Just that I go nuts when hear these "social theories" spoken with such a calm irresponsability. Of course, Europe is irresponsible in several ways: they let the US to defend them whilst the Soviets had some three or four shock armies awaiting a good time to invade. I read, once, about a major in Holand that, during his campaign, began speaking about the horrible and terrible US interventions everywhere in the world. The idiot forgot that it was a US intervention and the death of thousands of US troops that led his tiny country free from the Germans, that otherwise, would have stayed there having a pic nic and looking for nice ladies willing to be with a "winner".
I love these talks of the leftists in Europe, with their intelectual calm, saying every harsh thing they can think of the US whilst they sit and see how Milosevik and his thugs commit genocide, how they wait until the US commits themselves to fight "others´" wars. Of course, the US fights, finances and takes cares of the dam place so Spain´s Zapatero or Venezuela´s Chavez or the United Nations bums launch their poisonous speeches and then go to a Central Park fancy restaurant to waste US money they never earned.
And, let´s face it: Bush was an idiot... both of them. Bush father by not firing that lousy general Colin Powell and hearing his advice of stopping short the war when the world was in the verge of a New World Order that never came. Stopping short was a serious mistake that everybody is paying now because of Bush Jr. that invaded the damn wrong country! What an idiot! Iran, not Iraq, has ALWAYS been the country supporting terrorists. And they deserve a little bit more than "Enduring Freedom" which is a deceiving and misleading concept. You don´t invade a country for them go and buy a coke at McDonnals. You invade upon more serious arguments and, if clear enough, you will not have Jane Fonda or Teddy Kennedy (the dirty one) addressing rallies with Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon shouting about the rights of some war criminals that deserve to be in a gulag instead of caring for the 9/11 victims or the London and Spain bombings. Obama is doing OK by pulling out of Iraq, only if he is planing to give a good kicking to Iran, North Korea and sending the right message to the Beijing dictators, Putin and the islamic criminals.
And neither of this is a bloody "social test", an exercise. Words and rethoric are the weapons of the enemy in useful fools mouths. And there will always be useful fools that cry "warmonger" to the Churchills whilst say that Chamberlain (and now Obama) are the right leaders the world needs, only to discover one day at breaking dawn that Poland has been invaded.

Best regards,
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Vic Dale » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:05 pm

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

Sorry for the language but the feelings are true.
To Karl

I am not and have never been a communist or a member of the communist party. I am a long time Marxist member of the British Labour party.

I deplored the suppression of the Hungarian and Czechoslovak uprisings and the suppression of the Tiananmen square movement, plus the aggression in Afghanistan by the Russian state. My political allegiance is to the the labour and trade union movement and for my political guide to theory I look to Lenin and Trotsky, the ones who put Marx's theories into practice.

I have never supported Mao either and the atrocities of which you speak were apparently carried out by Maoists.

Stalin did not understand the marxist method of anlyisis and through his blunders stifled and paralysed the workers internationally' in every revolutionary movement after he took power in Russia. By the time of the Spanish revolution he was actively planning to destroy the independent workers movement there for fear that they would show the world his own short comings. Stalin had ruined the name of "communism" long before I was even born.

Stalin had no faith in the people, unlike Lenin and Trotsly. They grouped together to try and defeat Stalin and hand power back to the working masses, when it was seen what he was up to, but by then it was too late. When asked why he did not use the Red Army, which he had built to defend the revolution against the Vietnam-style "invasion from without" he said that he could have stopped him gaining power, but all he would acheive would be to change the name of the dictator. Russia had degenrated into counter- revolution and dictatorship, not because of the revolution, but despite it and because of isolation and the ravages of the civil war, unleashed by the white forces (Landed peasants) and aided by the armies of 16 nations.

Your attitude to me is a disgrace and emulates some of what I have suffered at the hands of communists. You probably didn't know that I had fought against the communists and Maoists in the British labour movement and internationally. They blocked and stifled the demands of the workers in the unions and crushed democracy, so that the unions which they controlled were laid prostrate and the bosses walked all over them. They also encourage unltra-left adventures which also led to defeat. It was communist influence which helped defeat the miners in 1984-5. The marxist organisation to which I have aligned, actively campaigned in the most dangerous areas of the Stalinist states to organise the overthrow of the dictators and the capitalist state equally.

I consider myself a Trotskyist, though I am not involved with any of the ultra-left parties which bear his name. Trotsky's crime was oposition to Stalin and in calling for a political revolution in Russia to throw out the dictators and the bureaucracy. He has not been properly thanked for his tireless work in that respect, despite the fact that the battle cost him his sons and daughters and untlimately his own life. Trotsky's fight for democracy has not even been recognised by the new Russian democracy, which is supposed to have permeated Russia. He wrote reams of theory, propaganda and agitation against Stalin and likened the dictatorship of Russia to that of Germany under Hitler, though with a "planned" rather than a "market" economy.

It you have ever actually read the "Communist Manifesto" (written long before Stalin's madness and when the word had some credibility) you would have noted that the first pages are a call for democracy. I believe it was Lenin himself who said; "The revolution is democratic or it is nothing."

Vic Dale

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:43 pm

Vic,

I don´t want to talk to you at all.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by RF » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:29 pm

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

Bush Sr. had no plans to invade Iraq. The operation was planned and executed successfully. The terrible mistake was in encouraging the Shiites to revolt, thinking we would help them when we had no plans to do so. Another terrible blunder on the part of the Bush I administration, and then Bush II thought he needed to "fix" something that wasn't worth the sacrifice in men and materials and the real result of which we won't know for years.
I don't disagree with the first paragraph. All I would say is that if the job had been completed in 1991 then there would be no 2003 war AND no Saddam.

With respect to the second paragraph, in Desert Storm US, British and French forces did invade southern Iraq and occupy parts of it to destroy the main Republican Guard divisions which had not been deployed in Kuwait. This operation was completed in a matter of days and these forces withdrew as soon as Kuwait had been cleared and most of the Iraqi armour was destroyed. This is why I am appalled that the job was not, in my view, properly finished then. The second sentence of the second paragraph refers to a terrible mistake, I would describe it as a criminal betrayal. In war you cannot afford to pussyfoot around or let your crucial allies down, you must finish it. Or pay the horrible consequences of not finishing it. Otherwise don't fight a war in the first place.

Much the same from my last sentence can be said for the current conflict in Afghanistan. This is a campaign that in my view should never have been started. Now it is a never ending war, and President Obama recognises that we are not winning it.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by RF » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:36 pm

Vic Dale wrote:
I am not and have never been a communist or a member of the communist party. I am a long time Marxist member of the British Labour party.

Vic Dale
Without wishing to be uncharitable or overly sarcastic I don't think it would make any difference if you were a marxist member of the Conservative Party. If you avoided mentioning marxism, trotskyism and class conflict some of your views would have reasonance in the Tory Party although the labels would be very different.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by RF » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:39 pm

Incidently I have a copy of the Communist Manifesto. I had to read it as part of my degree studies. Yes, is says democracy, but as with all political causes it is on its own terms. And remember that Lenin was a bolshevik and not a menshavick.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Vic Dale » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:30 pm

Well of course Lenin was a Bolshevik. which means "man of the majority." Majority means most of those entiteld to vote. Surely we support democracy where majorities carry against minorities (mensheviks).

The actual terms relate to a conflict within the Russian Social democratic Labout Party (RSDLP) in 1903, when Lenin put forward ideas for changing the programme and some of the demands of the RSDLP. He also proposed organisational changes too and his idea carried the majority of support. It is true we are talking about a relatively small party at that time, but it was still democratically run in it's internal affairs. The minority (menshviks) didn't like some of the changes, because they opened organisational positions up to the youth dislodging some of the old and well established members of the central commitee.

In anger at the democratic decsisions of the party, the minority split away and the RSDLP now had two antagonistic factions. Sadly Trostky being young and inexperienced took sides with the mensheviks saying they had been badly treated and did not rejoin the majority until just after the February revolution in 1917, though by his words and actions it could be seen that politically he was still with Lenin - if not organisationally.

The menshviks never succeeeded in becoming the majority, because they did not have the ability and energy to recruit the youth and were content to sit around pontificating. So by the time of the revolution they were in no position to have any great influence in leading the workers and went over almost to a man to the side of Kerensky and his new capitalist government. Many Bolsheviks also supported Kerensky, Stalin and Kamenev among them, but Lenin booted their arses with sound reasoning and turned the Bolsheviks around to opposition to Kerensky and support for the Proletarian masses to seek power.

Meanwhile Trotsky had not actively done anything with the mensheviks, but had still not rejoined Lenin and wrote some pretty stinging articles against him at times. To cut a long story short, Trotsky returned from exile in the spring of 1917 to a Russia which had thrown out the czar and his feudal empire, but which could not go forward, because it could not establish an independent capitalism - could not throw off the yoke of imperial control and that is one of the reasons Kerensky could not take Russia out of the war.

Trotsky saw that his predictions in his now infamous work; "The Permanent Revolution" had been born out; that whilst a democratic revolution against feudalism and landlordism might pave the way for the establishment of capitalism, the fact that the insipient capitalist class would have insufficient power and cohesion to lead the country forward, it would remain tied to the dictat of the imperial powers. He saw that only socialism could solve the pressing need for; "Land, Peace and Freedom" - Lenin's own demands.

The fact that a revolution which simply threw out the old feudal leaders, but could not solve the country's economic problems, meant that a further revolution to establish the masses in control would be necessary and thereby the revolution would become "permanent" until the masses gained that control and would be the only way to acheive true national Liberation.

The peasntry, a class which formed the vast majority of Russians could not hope to build capitalism in the way that Britain and France had done and Russia would remain enslaved under imperial influence. Only the workers have the economic independence, to be able to shake off the dominance of the big powers. They have nothing to lose, whereas landed peasants and the middle class have their economic interests tied to the continuance of imperial domination. Kerensky in fact would have become simply a "comprodore" and agent of imperialism who would give his nation's wealth away in retrun for a cosy relationship. This is the nature of most puppet governments which are fostered by imperialism in the underdeveloped world.

Trotsky forge an alliance with Lenin in organising the workers against the Kerensky government which had failed to even begin to process of distributing land so the economy could grow. People were still without sufficient food depite there being hoards of food in private hands and Kerensky had still not got Russia out of that ruinous war which had cost the lives of 5 million young men.

Lenin said that since coming back to Russia there had been no better bolshevik than Trotsky and made him his right hand man, over the heads of "old bolsheviks" like Stalin, Kamenev, Zinoviev and others. This was because they lacked vison and the ability to organise the workers to carry the fight to the class enemy - who were now Kerensky and the capitalists.

It was Lenin who suggested changing the party's name to the "communist party" despite the fact that communism per se was not possible in Russia at that time. The country was backward and long before the aim of communism could be relised, the means of production would have to be massivley geared up and developed to a point where all economic needs were met by "super-abundance". Super-Abundance has never been achieved in any country so any suggestion that communism has been achieved anywhere is and empty boast.

To gain an idea of what super abundance means, consider water in an advanced nation. We don't have a tap or fawcet in every room and we don't carry buckets of it about to show how wealthy we are. It is just water, a basic need in plentiful supply, we use it daily, but mainly disregard it. Nor is it something we hoard as a cache to enslave others. That degree of abundance is possible in any commodity you care to name. The only problem is the profit motive which will not allow us to produce at the required rate to acheive abundance.

A very old statistic showed that in 1935, the then German economy could produce for the needs of the whole of the western world if supplied with the necessary raw materials. That was the sort of capacity that Germany had and it owed nothing to Adlof Hitler either He had not worked on the economy and the vast bulk of what was capable of producing in 1935 had been in place before he came to power. This is an example of how much reserve capacity exists in any advanced nation. Just imagine how much could be produced if the brakes supplied by the market economy could be removed.

If the Capitalist class could be got out of industry and industry relieved of the need to produce for market limitations, it could flood a market. The price of goods would tumble and very soon those cars and computers would be considered valueless, as would every commodity. Very quickly the scramble for commodities would end and human beings would be able to live and produce for need not greed. It wouldn't matter that Africa, Asia and South America were able to trade on even terms with the advanced world, because the advanced world would no longer be hoarding it's wealth.

What I am suggesting here is simply a planned economy. We more or less had one during the war and see how arms development and production soared then. Instead of applying the plan of production to arms, let us build worthwhile things, things the masses need like food and shelter and distribute them cheaply, so that the young do not have to wait before they are middle age before they acheive comfort. Let young families enjoy the fat of the land.

The experience of the EEC in the 1970s showed how food production could go if the brakes were taken off. That is what gave birth to the butter and beef mountains and sadly because of the market which needed to keep the price up to maintain profits, those mountains of food became an embarrassment.

That is the planned economy and it requires not one gram of political ideology.

How you would go about organising it is going to be a political matter, because it would require decentralised democracy, not the narrow "praesidium" model which ruined Russia and the other planned economies of the world and the current parliamentary democracies which elect a narrow government every four or five years will not do either.

Vic Dale

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:21 pm

Useful fools are despictable. We got many of them in the 80ies in Central America: long hair filthy self proclaimed "intelectuals" singing the greatness of the Soviet Union and their thugs. I face them not in a "civilized" 90ies or XXI Century "discussions" but in the streets and in the field. The only language they achieved to understand was 5,56 mm or it´s transalation to 7,62 mm. And the nicaraguans were the only ones that fought back: the "intelectuals" simply run away to their moms...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Vic Dale » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:05 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Useful fools are despictable. We got many of them in the 80ies in Central America: long hair filthy self proclaimed "intelectuals" singing the greatness of the Soviet Union and their thugs. I face them not in a "civilized" 90ies or XXI Century "discussions" but in the streets and in the field. The only language they achieved to understand was 5,56 mm or it´s transalation to 7,62 mm. And the nicaraguans were the only ones that fought back: the "intelectuals" simply run away to their moms...
So who supported their actions? Certainly not me.

I have never been unwashed and long haired and I also reject the notion of Intellectual. By a mans "Work" shall he be known. I was an industrial "worker" until I became a full time revolutionary after which I looked for work once more. The strength of our international was against the Bureaucrats of the USSR and in China and trying to educate people away from the nonsensical arrogance of the maoists of Central and Southern America.

Basically we looked upon these petty bourgeois loonies with contempt, We were very serious about workers and their organisations, reasonable people who have had enough of capitalism and the murderous rape of under developed countries.

I think it's worth being realistic about the national liberation battles and the periodic outbreaks of industrial action. People are discontent and the sooner the mass of people take control of the economies of the world and take matters into their own hands the sooner the bloodshed and mass starvation will end.

Vic Dale

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Bgile » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:36 pm

I believe the reason a planned economy works during wartime is that the population is concerned that if they don't give their all they will lose the war. It can't be sustained indefinitely because it runs up a huge national debt in the process, both financially and with respect to the population eventually questioning whether their labor is worth it.

People won't in general produce more than they need unless there is value in doing so. That's where the market economy comes in. The market also allows countries which have resources someone else needs a chance to sell it to them thousands of miles away.

Planned economies fall apart because they remove the incentive for workers to produce more than they need. I always go back to the saying from the days of the Soviet attempt at a planned economy: "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.". Planned economies sometimes sound good, but don't do well in the end because people aren't automatons and need to be rewarded for doing things they don't inherently like to do. Most people aren't lucky enough to be doing what they love to do and getting paid to do it.

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by skipper » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:18 am

The Soviets murdered 20 million people. Lenin, himself, signed off on the deaths of thousands of Russians after the Bolshevik Revolution. And Stalin made Hitler look like statesman. One of my favorite books concerning the truth about communism is called "The Cancer Ward." The author compares his life in the Soviet Union to the life he lived in a Soviet Gulag.
I know that there is a huge difference between Karl Marx - and the Russian Revolution that used his ideas as an excuse to build a 'real - life' human government. But the great lesson of the Twentieth Century is that utopia is not applicable to human nature. Human beings are by nature competitiveand free. A truly humane system of ruling people is "to intefere with their nature as least bit as possible: "government that governs least governs best." A free market system brings out the greatest spirit in man. Marx was right in his concern over the downtrodden worker. But when a man labors away in a factory all day there is all but one kind and just item to hand him and that is: a paycheck. In the Soviet Union; "what incentive was there for man to work hard, when at the end of the week all he received was: a laborer receipt to collect free lettuce balls and bread in the park on Saturday.
In the end, the beautiful ideas of marxism end in an evil awkwardness.
Take the laborer that was given the receipt for free lttuce balls, for example. He quietly accepts his due. For if he complains; he risks being taken from his apartment in the middle of the night by the scret police.
A Soviet gulag was a "re-educational center for the "unwilling.

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Vic Dale » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:16 am

To Bgile.

The reason the planned economies of China the USSR and it's satellites came to grief, is the Bureaucracy, a tiny praesidium at the top of the tree had to justify it's own position, by drawing all control into it's own hands.

The bureaucrats actually contributed nothing to the economy themsleves, but made access to the wealth for themselves so they could help themsleves. They actually disposed of more wealth and displayed more opulence than even the richest members of the capitalist class. We can see even today that the oil and gas-rich oligarchs who have replaced the top bureaucrats still cling to their love of wealth. So little has changed in Russia.

When Russia was developing, the economy expanded at a year on year rate of 12.5% from the first world war to 1965 and Russia rose from the poor man of Europe in 1917, with an economy comparable to that of Ethiopia 1985, to the second most powerful economy in the world in just 30 years. The Russian people rose from mere surfdom when they barely knew where the next meal was coming from, to a standard of living which was unimaginable for most before the revolution. Although living standards were well below that of us here in Western Europe, they are well above average living standards in Africa today, which is about where Russia was in 1917. By the 1960s the average Russian lived as well as the avergae Brit did pre-war - just 20 years behind an advanced nation and when you think of the size of that nation and the expanse of land which it covers, it is not bad going.

If we look at china we can see the same. Life for the average coolie before 1949 was one long round of drudgery and they had to live with foreigners pillaging their lands of raw materials and crops, whist the Hong Kong Hilton carried a notice; "No dogs or Chinese Allowed Here." Today, China is a very powerful nation which participates in the world market on very competetive terms, but with it's heart still run to a central plan. China's social structure is a hideous dictatorship, but one which is ripe for revolution - a political revolution to oust the bureaucrats and place the economy in the hands of the masses. It nearly happened at Tianenmen square, not to establish capitalism but to democrtise the economy. The attempt was drowned in blood.

The planned economies of the east came to grief not beacuse of planning and running up national debts, but simply because a praesidium of a handleful of thinkers cannot possibly plan the production of more than a million individual commodities and the workd of many millions of workers. When all the economy required was the hammer and chisel it could perhaps be made to work, but with it' own machine-tool industry, computer control and an expanding bill of fare at the supermarkets and demand for white goods and stylish clothing, the bureaucrats actually become a block on production, simply beacuse they lack the fluidity of democratic planning.

Instead of a central plan, the planned economy requires de-centraliastion whereby each individual factory in conjunction with the community in which it sits, plus representatives from potential cutsomers, would work out a plan of production. This is the way it is done in the capitalist world, only there they plan for a market which is limited and productive capacity is only partially used. In a planned economy it is only necessary to produce. In the event of heavy over production which caused serious blocking of storage facilities, democratically elected central planners would issue requests for production to switch to something else.

The expansion of national debt during wartime planned economies, was due to those economies having to look abroad for supplies and finished goods. With limitless demand due to war credits, prices shot up. The arms manufacturers - mostly American - became super rich on these inflated prices whilst Britain ran up huge debts, losing her place as the leading empire of the world and having to accept American air bases on her soil just like the vassal states which Britain had dominated in the past.

Russia had the right idea about repayment to the US monoploies. They counted up their war dead, added to the fact that it was by their efforts that the Germans were defeated. A fact, when you consider that Hitler's armies had been beaten and driven back into Poland before any allied soldier set foot in France. They counted this cost and applied a counter charge which effectively anulled the money they owed.

If you were building a house and you built it to a blue print which had been drawn incorrectly, it would hardly be fair to say that house building is impossible that it doesn't work. The same goes for the planned economy. If it is structured correctly ie democratically it will work, because many more eyes and brains will be on the product. Far and away the greatest number of new ideas for better production and improved products comes from the factory floor and never think that workers in general will not take pride in what they produce. that btw is under capitalism or the bureaucrats. Imagine how much better things would be if the workers themsleves felt they had a real stake in their line of production. If they felt that they owned it themselves and that the product they produced had a direct impact on their living standards by reducing the selling price of all commodities, they would innovate and improve the product even more.

The USSR is the home of many fine and funny stories about cock-ups in production, but in each and every one there is a lesson which shows how it could be so much better without the bureaucrats.

Vic Dale

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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:18 am

Marxists, Leninist, Troskist, Maoists: what´s the difference? The degree of crimes they have commited? I agree with skipper: even Hitler look decent when compared with Stalin. And for Troskites the sin of Stalin was out manouver Trosky who was a war criminal anyway by what he did with the Red Army. I have seen comunism face to face, in the dark street fights or in the jungles of Central America. I have been in ditches full of muddy water expecting the bastards. I remember still the smell of oily steel of a Simonov SKS chinese rifle that the CIA sent for the Contras and that we proudly used. And I owe these memories to the commie vermin. If by killing all and every one commie in the world I can guarantee that my sons will never have to fear an animal like Ortega or Chavez I will definitely will. Talking stupid politics is one thing, specially for european yellow socialists. And having to face totalitarism is another. And I know exactly how to deal with it.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by RF » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:40 am

Vic Dale wrote:
The experience of the EEC in the 1970s showed how food production could go if the brakes were taken off. That is what gave birth to the butter and beef mountains and sadly because of the market which needed to keep the price up to maintain profits, those mountains of food became an embarrassment.

That is the planned economy and it requires not one gram of political ideology.

Vic Dale
Surely as a marxist you appreciate that nothing is value free. These food mountains were accumulated because of the agricultural food subsidies given to the producers - because the EEC wanted to be self-sufficient in food production, to demonstrate how powerful poitical as well as economic union could be. Shades here of the fascist and mercantilist concept of ''autarky'' - economic self-sufficiency.
They were an embarassment because of the waste. The profits you speak of were funded by the taxpayer.
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Re: Are the bad guys on the move again?

Post by RF » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:58 am

Vic Dale wrote: Well of course Lenin was a Bolshevik. which means "man of the majority." Majority means most of those entiteld to vote. Surely we support democracy where majorities carry against minorities (mensheviks).

The actual terms relate to a conflict within the Russian Social democratic Labout Party (RSDLP) in 1903, when Lenin put forward ideas for changing the programme and some of the demands of the RSDLP. He also proposed organisational changes too and his idea carried the majority of support. It is true we are talking about a relatively small party at that time, but it was still democratically run in it's internal affairs. The minority (menshviks) didn't like some of the changes, because they opened organisational positions up to the youth dislodging some of the old and well established members of the central commitee.

In anger at the democratic decsisions of the party, the minority split away and the RSDLP now had two antagonistic factions. Sadly Trostky being young and inexperienced took sides with the mensheviks saying they had been badly treated and did not rejoin the majority until just after the February revolution in 1917, though by his words and actions it could be seen that politically he was still with Lenin - if not organisationally.

The menshviks never succeeeded in becoming the majority, because they did not have the ability and energy to recruit the youth and were content to sit around pontificating. So by the time of the revolution they were in no position to have any great influence in leading the workers and went over almost to a man to the side of Kerensky and his new capitalist government. Many Bolsheviks also supported Kerensky, Stalin and Kamenev among them, but Lenin booted their arses with sound reasoning and turned the Bolsheviks around to opposition to Kerensky and support for the Proletarian masses to seek power.

Vic Dale
My understanding of these actual historical events is slightly different.

The claim to be the majority in the use of the name ''bolshevik'' I had thought was a legitimation tool in the context of the bolsheviks actually being the minority but the leadership ''prime movers'' of the ''socialist'' party. But there again I am not and have never been a marxist and accounts I have studied are not syumpathetic to them.

A lot is said about democracy. Apart from the 1930's style fascism all poilitcal creeds claim to be democratic, even where they patently are not. As a rather cynical observer I would ask whether it actually has any meaning in reality. For example Nick Griffin is the elected leader of the British National Party, as was John Tyndall before him. So the BNP claims to be democratic in its internal proceedures. Well it is more seemingly democratic than the NSDAP which was based on the Hitlerian concept of the ''leadership principle'' where the leader is there by force and rivals such as Rohm and the Strassers are murdered or forced into exile. But again does majority rule, as implied in the leadership vote for Griffin, mean the BNP is democratic? I use this to illustrate the type of problem I have in the bolshevik claim to be democratic by virtue of being the majority.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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