Another Lie About Communism Bites the Dust


Even I believed this one for a long time. Everyone knows that the Communism failed because no one wants to wear Bulgarian shoes, right?

The lie, best stated, is that Communist products are all crap.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of truth to this – look at the East German car the Trabant. But in the case of this fair in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), apparently it’s not so. People are flocking here to sample products from the old GDR. Food, toys, clothing, furniture, it was all made better in East Germany than the mass produced, planned obsolescent, consumerist crap on sale in Germany today.

This complaint is commonly heard in former East, not just in this video. Other former East Germans also say that the stuff on sale now is more expensive, and it’s a poorer product. If anyone could make good products under Communism, it would have to be the Germans. They generally make good stuff.

Abiezer Coppe told me that he had a radio from the old USSR. I assumed it was a piece of garbage, but he said it was the best radio he ever had, lasted for many years and ran perfectly. Let’s get real here. Under capitalism, the profit motive often gets in the way of making a decent product. You make the product as cheaply as possible and as crappy as you can get away with, because that way you make more money.

We used to make some pretty good products here in the US, back in the 1970’s and before. Firms were often family-owned, and there was often a, “We take pride in the fact that our American firm makes a quality product.” Toaster ovens and microwaves from this period were excellent. Nowadays you have to spend some money to get a comparable one. The standard models are complete crap. I can’t get over how poor your average coffee maker is. In general, if you want a good toaster oven, microwave or coffee maker, buy one made in Europe. Everything else is garbage.

The “We take pride in the fact that our American firm makes a quality product” era is gone. America hardly makes anything anymore anyway, and firms have all merged and are all on Wall Street, with stockholders clamoring for an ever-increasing bottom line. The result is what you see today – I call it World O’ Crap.

Customer service is gone too, especially on the Internet. Everything’s been replaced by endless voicemail mazes where  you talk to idiot machines that don’t understand you. When you finally get a human, they’re at a call center in India or Philippines and they can’t even help you. Worse, you can’t even understand them. Even customer service is just another lousy product in World O’ Crap anymore.

The modern model of capitalism is really shit in so many ways.

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83 thoughts on “Another Lie About Communism Bites the Dust”

  1. Russian cameras were topnotch too. I owned a Leica. There’s a very funny book – also full of astute political observations – by two British comedians who are also socialists called Is it just me or is everything shit? It’s a grumpy old man’s guide on everything from call centres in Bangalore (if I get a girl from Bangalore on the phone she can’t do her job as I always chat her up!) to mobile phones and mp3 players. I look back on the 1970s as the last decent decade of capitalism. In the 1980s the music turned to shit, unemployment went over 10%, and we had a petit bourgeois harridan with a face like a hawk and a horrible voice at no. 10 reminding us all of small town values. Then we went to war over a windy scrap of empire in South Atlantic with a thousand Brits on them and more than ten thousand sheep. As unemployment hit an all time high, riots broke out in the major cities, Liverpool, London and Manchester. The new underclass was born – beggars started appearing in number on the streets, and they’ve never gone away. Yes, it was the start of a great decade.
    Gang of Four were about the last decent British punk band. The Bob Marley died, in ’82. I saw him live in Paris in ’81 and danced with a girl from New York State.

      1. I agree, 1980 was a cursed year.

        Agreed. That’s the year that we got Reagan, Mugabe, and a whole bunch of other garbage.

        While Paul Craig Roberts is one of my favorite thinkers, he does have a lot of splainin’ to do over his role in the Reagan Revolution.

        Although as Lafleur’s pointed out, he does seem to recognize his past mistakes.

    1. I totally agree. Life before 1980 was better in every way. My family did great from the New Deal until that fucker Reagan came along. It’s been all downhill from there.

      1. Don’t you think the shit started going bad before 1980, perhaps starting in 1974, with that stooge Ford becoming President?

        1. Hmm, that’s hard to say.

          But I do think that shit really started to go downhill with Reagan and deregulation of the banks, overall economy, etc.

        2. You see, that’s the problem with economically progressive white nationalists like me.

          There really is no good candidate for me to vote for.

          Of course, I cannot vote for the democrats, because they promote open borders, diversity, and other policies that are destructive towards whites.

          (even though I did vote for Obama in 2008, but I wasn’t quite a white nationalist back then, and I had had it up to here with Republicans)

          I cannot vote for Republicans, because they’re a bunch of greedy, neocon imperialists who have destroyed the economy and engendered anti-American hatred around the world. Oh, and did I mention that they’re open borders?

          I also cannot support Libertarians such as Ron Paul (unlike many other white nationalists), because his economic views are backwards and don’t help the average white person.

          So what’s someone like me to do come 2012?

        3. I think American political culture is simply unsuited for an authoritarian, National Bolshevik-type alternative to the current neoliberal, imperialist establishment. The Tea Party people are fucking retards! It’s a shame that libertarianism is actually considered a viable alternative to the current rotten system.

        4. The turning point I always think about is
          Reagan firing the air traffic controllers in 1981. Here’s that asshole Alan Greenspan about it:

          Perhaps the most important, and then highly controversial, domestic initiative was the firing of the air traffic controllers in August 1981. The President invoked the law that striking government employees forfeit their jobs, an action that unsettled those who cynically believed no President would ever uphold that law. President Reagan prevailed, as you know, but far more importantly his action gave weight to the legal right of private employers, previously not fully exercised, to use their own discretion to both hire and discharge workers.

          Reagan actually banned the PATCO strikers from federal service for life! What a scumbag. Clinton rescinded the ban, but many of the air traffic controllers were never rehired:

          I’ve wondered if any of the idiot Reagan Democrats realize how badly they fucked up, but they’re all probably in the Tea Party now.

  2. It’s impossible to communicate to young people the drastic decline in the quality of products and services in the US since 1980. The elites try to sell us on the variety of things we’re offered today, but the quality is shit.

    I used to receive a great catalog called Sovietski. They sold a lot of Soviet-era products, like border guard binoculars and those cool looking metal windup toys. I think they went out of business. Maybe they ran out of surplus stuff to sell.

    I wish I could have gone to Hungary during the goulash communism days. Here’s a Hungarian woman reminiscing about growing up in Hungary in the 70s and 80s:

    When people ask me what it was like growing up behind the Iron Curtain in Hungary in the Seventies and Eighties, most expect to hear tales of secret police, bread queues and other nasty manifestations of life in a one-party state.

    They are invariably disappointed when I explain that the reality was quite different, and communist Hungary, far from being hell on earth, was in fact, rather a fun place to live.

    The communists provided everyone with guaranteed employment, good education and free healthcare. Violent crime was virtually non-existent.

    But perhaps the best thing of all was the overriding sense of camaraderie, a spirit lacking in my adopted Britain and, indeed, whenever I go back to Hungary today. People trusted one another, and what we had we shared.

    She was from a working class family, and thanks to communism had a quality of life she wouldn’t otherwise have been able to enjoy:

    When communism in Hungary ended in 1989, I was not only surprised, but saddened, as were many others. Yes, there were people marching against the government, but the majority of ordinary people – me and my family included – did not take part in the protests.

    Our voice – the voice of those whose lives were improved by communism – is seldom heard when it comes to discussions of what life was like behind the Iron Curtain.

    Instead, the accounts we hear in the West are nearly always from the perspectives of wealthy emigrés or anti-communist dissidents with an axe to grind.

    I spoke to a Polish guy on another forum who missed the higher quality of education and community life during 70s and 80s Poland.

    1. “It’s impossible to communicate to young people the drastic decline in the quality of products and services in the US since 1980. The elites try to sell us on the variety of things we’re offered today, but the quality is shit.”

      What? Who are these elites? LOL. Who are these elites that are “selling us on the variety of things”. I’d like to meet one, because I’ve never met one. Not even a jew. I’ve met jew storeowners who pitch the variety of their merchandise- shoes, TVs, etc. But never have I met a Jew who has sold me on America because of her variety of merchandise.
      You got the economics and the politics all messed up, La Fleur. It’s a ghastly, decadent, sexy mess.

      1. What are you talking about? What is this bullshit about Jews? I never said anything about them and have nothing against them.

        I must admit you are starting to sound like a troll.

        By elites I mean the corporatocracy, the relatively small group of corporations who own most of the wealth and own all politicians through their campaign contributions. This includes the nine or so corporations who control virtually all media in this country.

        Who are these elites that are “selling us on the variety of things”.

        Have you ever watched television? Have you ever read a column by Thomas Friedman or David Brooks? I’ve heard plenty of TV bobbleheads from CNBC to CNN sing the praises of globalism and its role in filling every WalMart with a previously unknown variety of crap. Shit, I’ve worked for plenty of b-school assholes who have marveled over the unprecedented variety of toys available today.

        Is it that hard to figure out?

        “A ghastly, decadent, sexy mess?” Thank God I got out of school before they ate my brain. What do you do for a living?

        I asked you what your political stance was,
        but you didn’t say. I’d really like to know what you stand for, outside of being “not necessarily pro-mega-capitalist”.

      2. La Fleur,

        Holy shit. Lighten up a little, you self important bitch. Holy cow.

        Call me a troll all day. I know who I am.
        Do you know who you are?

      3. La Fleur,

        “I asked you what your political stance”…

        Pro-good people. I like Chinese philosophy. I regard Confucius as the only true conservative philosopher of planet Earth. All western philosophers it seems to me are either madmen or madmen creating (Nietszche, Plato, Spencer, etc.) or rationalist, have no brakes, liberals (Kant, Marx, Locke) . Big respect for Western birthed science though. Now a true global phenomena for good.

        I think the age of religion is coming to a close. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism are gone. I think the last drops of Saudi oil could mean the end of Islam. We’re headed for a more Eastern contextual based spiritual understanding- Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism
        Anyway, I’d like to think this is where we’re headed.

        There is some vengeance politics in me. Vengeance is sometimes another word for justice. And justice should be practical. This means there will be some racial conflict. Righting of historical wrongs. And the righting will project forward. So race matters, as does sex. Anyone concerned with questions of justice must be racially and sexually aware. This is one reason I stay with this blog. Robert has an uncommon understanding of these issues and is about the fairest commentator I’ve seen on the net. We’re both Californians, too. High five. LOL.
        I’m a globalist because globalism increases the enlightenment of humanity in net. Not just little,
        or even by a large sum. It does so in completely new and surprising ways. Maybe even metaphysical ways. For example, as much as I look down on Christianity, laugh at it, scoff at the primitiveness of it all, scorn the loving idiots, I know it has had a profoundly happy effect on Korea. HAPPY. LOL. Do whites benefit from globalism too? Hell yes, and again hell yes. At the very least, get on board with it because this is like Noah’s flood. You’re either on the boat or you’re drowning.

        1. I think the age of religion is coming to a close. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism are gone. I think the last drops of Saudi oil could mean the end of Islam. We’re headed for a more Eastern contextual based spiritual understanding- Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism

          You make a good point. It may also help to explain the uptick in “Sufism” I’ve noticed amongst the followers of Islam, as an example. It ties into the esoteric Eastern thought systems much better(It in fact is considered “Eastern” by most academics).

          The rise of Eastern thought seems to be a global trend, starting in the 60’s.

        2. I think the age of religion is coming to a close. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism are gone.

          That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.

        3. Do you know who you are?

          Yes. I am stardust, I am golden, I’m better than a white line, I’m tired of payin’ dues, done said goodbye to all my blues, so I’m gonna get on my bad motor scooter and ride, because I’m bad, I’m nationwide, and like Kawasaki I’m gonna let the good times roll, because all we are is dust in the wind.

          I’ve given your post some thought, my man, and dude, thanks to you i am so totally zen now, no worries. I just gave the old prayer wheel a spin, and my desk fan is trained on some prayer flags. I am ready for Armageddon now, with popcorn in one hand and a cold Sierra Nevada in the other. Viva globalism! In the absence of cheap oil the bringers of vengeance politics will have to come to us on pirate ships, or donkeys or something, but whatevs, bro. Hoka hey!

        4. “I’m better than a white line”

          White lines…connected to my mind…
          Something like a phenomenon…


          LOL. I thought you were Harley all the way.
          But those are kind of pricey. Oh well. But you do stay away from Walmart? Oh, the temptation.

          “I am ready for Armageddon now, with popcorn in one hand and a cold Sierra Nevada in the other.”

          Hmm. That’s a good attitude to have for Armageddon. Me, I’ve got a ladyboy on one arm, and a Schlitz in the other. LOL.

  3. If there was a problem in the GDR it was that the surveillance of the population was so intense that if you farted too loudly a government seismograph would pick up the vibration. The German film “The Lives of Others”, which is about the GDR, catches this aspect of life quite well, and it’s a great film. One of the reasons Communist bloc jokes are so brilliant is they operated as a safety valve for expressing all sorts of politically incorrect frustrations.

    Q: Could ticks have a revolution of their own?
    A: Basically, yes, because the blood of the working class runs through them.

    A favourite joke of Stalin’s:

    Stalin has a visit from a Georgian farmer’s delegation: They are introduced, they talk to Stalin, and then they go, heading off down the Kremlin’s corridors. Stalin starts looking for his pipe. He can’t find it. He calls in Beria, the diabolical head of his secret police.
    “Go after the delegation, and find out which one took my pipe,” he says. Beria scuttles off down the corridor with 20 KGB thugs in tow. Five minutes later Stalin finds his pipe under a pile of papers. He calls Beria—”Look, I’ve found my pipe.” “It’s too late,” Beria says, “half the delegation admitted they took your pipe, and the other half died during questioning.”

    1. That is really why the Communist countries become police states is because massive US lead terrorist campaign and subversion inside these countries.

      Since Castro came to power and overthrow the mafia state there the US started and massive sabotage and terrorist campaign against the country.

      Part of the propaganda campaign launched by US and Britain first by Trotskyites like Orwell then by British and US intelligence during Stalin’s reign and especially after WW2 besiege countries then when they enforce security measures call them totalitarian.

  4. You know, I highly recommend reading up on Soviet and Eastern bloc personal home computers.

    Fascinating stuff.

    Like most kids of the 80’s, tinkering away on Atari and Apple systems, we were all told the Russians simply “had” no computers. Such technology did not exist in the Soviet Union.


    I now know better now.

    They were behind the U.S in silicon based integrated circuitry technology, and it’s mass production. As a result, their home systems were on average half a decade behind the U.S. They also suffered from lack of innovation, and generally ripped-off western designs.

    They made some seriously bad-ass mainframes, though. They had computer tech. Just for very different needs.

    1. @Cyrus

      Because the Soviet economy collapse during the mid to late 70’s for about a decade it was kept afloat by the black market organised crime with Jewish immigration with the Jackson-Vanik amendment Jewish international network running the operation counterfeit goods flooded into the USSR including knock off versions of games systems/consoles like Nintendo.

        1. Imported by the “Jews” on the black-market?

          Shit. In winter of 1989, all a Jewish guy had to do was smuggle Nintendos in the U.S to get rich. There weren’t enough available. I remember. I was a kid who really wanted one!

        2. @Cyrus

          The entire Soviet economy by the 80’s was run by the black market virtually.

          It was called Dendy and was a Nintendo clone.

          Here’s a short video retrospective.


        3. I am aware of a lot the Eastern block systems, and yes, they were near knock-offs of Western, namely American made, computers. They didn’t have to be smuggled in, since they were being made in the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, East Germany, etc. The problem was, they were years behind the competition. They even ran western ripped software.

  5. Dear Robert
    Believe it or not, when the now much-maligned Trabant first came out, it was considered a highly sophisticated car, a communist Volkswagen beetle. It was very light, very fuel-efficient and very easy to repair.
    One serious drawback of many Soviet products was their lack of energy efficiency. Recently, Cuba changed all its Soviet fridges, not because they were falling apart but because they were consuming too much electricity. The Soviet airplanes and air conditioners were also energy-guzzling products. Energy-efficient the Soviet Union was not.

    Cheers. James

  6. Well it was a good camera. However you throw the baby out with the bathwater a d. Having been to Communist Eastern Europe I have never been remotely nostalgic about Communism. I supported the Left Opposition in Poland – Michnik and Co – throughout the 80s. I supported a Soviet Leninist, Pyotr Grigorenko, in the 1970s (he went to the US and must have gone senile, because he thought the US was the communism he’d been looking for all along…). Practically no-one in Eastern Europe wanted Communism in the form it was imposed on them, the One Party police state.

    The jokes tell their own story – Hammer And Tickle: A History Of Communism Told Through Communist Jokes by Ben Lewis, and novels like The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, by Milos Kundera, or The Captive Mind (my personal favourite – an individualist’s critique from within of communism, written in the 1950s), by Czeslaw Milosz. It was not a happy experience. Nostalgia for communism is part based on selective memory…this is from a review of The Lost World of Communism: An Oral History of Daily life Behind the Iron Curtain: “Many look back and find those years much more normal than the dizzying whirlwinds of incomprehensible changes that arrived after those regimes ended. The selective amnesia leads then to many voting back into power former ‘known faces’ simply because they remind the people of some superficial stability that was there before the inflation, the economic insecurity, the employment and housing problems. This selective amnesia makes many people suppress many memories of the total lack of freedom of speech & thought that they endured during those years…” Oral history gets close to the texture of people’s lives. I got a lot of shit from fellow Communists for pointing out that the model of actually existing communism was defective, and probably wouldn’t last, but I was right!

    In one party communism the ruling elite tells even more lies, and gets away with it, than in a democratic capitalist state! That can’t be good…

    There was only one country where there was a considerable parliamentary presence for socialism, and that was Czechoslovakia, which experienced a Stalinist coup in 1948.

    The whole experience of Communism in Eastern Europe was, truth be told, miserable from many points of view, and that was why for most people 1989 – which was also an occasion of national liberation – was a liberatory moment for the peoples. The Communist Parties melted away in 1990 because they had no democratic legitimacy in the first place, or they formed parts of the new elites.

    It’s interesting however that some of the countries with the lowest Gini coefficients (which measures social inequality – the lower it is the less wealth inequality there is in a country in the world today, namely the Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia Herzogovina, Croatia, Slovenia, the Ukraine are the ex Communist states. None of these states, even after 20 years of capitalism, have opted for the private affluence and public squalor of neoliberal capitalism along the lines of the US or Brazil.

    Truth is, the unhappy East Europeans first had communism imposed on them, and then in the 1990s they had neoliberal crash course in capitalism imposed on them. Michael Parenti tells the story very well. We all know where that led to, and many ex Communist countries are rejecting it. Hungary, where I went last summer, consistently has Left majorities ruling the country, at least according to Hungarians I spoke to.

    We’re in new era accidental dissent. Those are old battles. Old style communism was rotten to the core in many ways, but so is capitalism, which staggers on from one ghastly crisis and one ghastly war, to the next. Go and see South of the Border, the new documentary by Oliver Stone, and open your mind a bit. 21st century socialism doesn’t have to be Cuban style; it’s being reinvented in Latin America, and thus time Uncle Sam can’t stop it, because Uncle Sam’s already indebted to the hilt in some grisly, ugly wars elsewhere, and can’t afford another Nicaragua.

    1. It’s not as if neoliberal capitalism is synonymous with freedom. In America today, more and more surveillance technologies are being funded by the same corporations that fleece and loot the workers.

    2. Um, silver? The unregulated market does not create equitable market outcomes. Only a very heavily state regulated market can do that. State-regulated market economics is a form of socialism. You know, the thing you hate, socialism?

      Silver’s tirades against Commies stem from his class values. Silver is a bourgeois White man from Australia who has so much spare cash that he spends a good part of his time out of the country living in exotic locales. I’m told that he has a very high paying job in the corporate sector.

      He also has standard bourgeois values. He decides how worthy of a human being you are based on how much money you have, at least if you are a man. If you are a man, and you do not make a lot of money, according to Silver, you’re a loser. In Silver’s world, it’s all about the cash pile. Of course, these are the typical values of the US middle class+, but they aren’t exactly human values.

      Perhaps silver can explain to us how, considering that only 20% of us can become the upper middle class winners we much be and 80% of us must become less than upper middle class losers, how it is that everyone can possibly be a winner in Silver’s world.

      Economics is like a race, Silver. If you have 100 runners, only 20 get to win the top 20 places and become upper middle class. 80% of runners will get the bottom 80% of places and automatically become losers. Since winners and losers are mandated by capitalist economics and there is no way for everyone to become a winner, how can you possibly demand that everyone be a winner in SilverWorld?

  7. It’s not often I agree with you fpy3p, but I do here.
    I should have added “another Nicaragua style SLAUGHTER” because that’s what Uncle Sam did in Nicaragua, slaughtered and slaughtered until the Sandinista movement was destroyed. Good job, Uncle Sam. However the Sandinistas are back…

  8. Sorry about the gibe accidental dissent…I completely misunderstood the intent behind your booklist.

    I’m not an anti-semite, by the way.

    “Yes, I was aware of those impressive Ginis and have often held them up as examples of…brace yourself…equitable market outcomes!”

    Yeah, regulated market capitalism is a whole lot better than either neoliberal capitalism or old style communism. It’s just unstable longterm, and unsustainable, because it needs 3% compound growth to carry on: (great animation, 11 minutes) and here on BBC Hardtalk (3 parts). And there aren’t enough planets for that to happen on.

    Neoliberalism in China is going to crash, because the environmental disasters are piling up (see & If we allow capitalism to continue, we’re fucked (Minqi Li: The Rise of China and the Demise of the World Capitalist System).

    So I’d like to see market socialism in its place, with a place for small and medium enterprises, a place for profit and innovation, and democratic planning with maybe 80% of the economy in the state sector, but also much more decentralisation than we’ve seen anywhere in the world. Not a strong state, but a small localised state. We don’t want the puritanical attitude of the Communist countries back either, their anti Gay politics, for example.

    Some industries do better under public ownership. Railways, for example. The French railway system is the envy of the UK, and it’s publicly owned.

    “Of course, troubling (I’m guessing) for you is that those outcomes are as much the result of heredity as they are policy. The data is in and genes clearly matter. Face it: The Ginis look better because those countries relatively much smaller proportions of the uneducable and intemperate.”

    It’s possible. It doesn’t really trouble me. I live in a (still) overwhelmingly white country, and race relations are pretty good, and that’s probably why.
    I’m learning about race. It’s never impacted my life in any way.

    The fact that you’ve closed your blog down and are back here – after being banned on this blog for race hate – disputing with Robert the race realist and Communist, shows that you are evolving, I guess.

    Modern communists are not about hatred. Where did you get that idea? From the old Communists, no doubt, who did a lot of hateful things. Modern communists are survivalists. We’re in favour of human survival. The bourgeois are quite happy to continue raping the planet for a long as they can, providing they reap the short term benefits of luxury condos and big yachts and extended stays in foreign countries.

    Capitalism isn’t doing it, it isn’t pro-survival: see here: by Utah economist Minqi Li. Capitalism isn’t pro human survival. It’s ecocidal.

    Are you a survivalist too a d? Or just another guy who’s doing well out of the system and will defend his position to the uttermost? D’you think we’ll get through this period of aggravating crises with no end in sight? It ain’t lookin’ good….

    1. Do you think China should go back to Maoism to solve its environmental woes and eliminate wealth and income inequalities?

      1. @fpy3p

        Why would China go back to Maoism when its economy is doing relatively good, developing hi-tech markets and major infrastructure projects.

        Environmental issues are a result of rapid industrial growth and over population which they are trying to fix which is not helped by western backed Islamic terrorism and terrorism in Tibet organising massacres and pogroms against the Han Chinese.

        The so called “Uprising” in Xinjing in 09 was organised by western intelligence lead by Germany and Turkey with German Turks Islamic terrorist brought in from Germany organising the attacks and massacre against the local Han community and businesses initiated by spreading of rumour of a murdered Uigher by an ethnic Han. They did the same thing in Kosovo in 2004 which was pre organised which Italian police wire tapping Albania criminal gangs discussing the engineered pogrom before it happened.

        1. Why should we on the Left support this horribly abusive “socialism” in China. It kills 600,000 Chinese every single year through overwork alone. In the multinational firms that the entire West swoons about, workers experience nightmarish and horrific abuse. What kind of socialist state subjects its workers to horrifying abuse similar to the worst of capitalist countries?

          Millions of Chinese are dying from lack of health care, since health care is for pay only anymore. Most people can’t afford health care, so if you get sick and can’t afford health care or meds, you may simply die.

          Since 1980, many 1000’s of schools have been shut down, primary schools, middle schools and high schools. The suggestion is that there are many places where there are simply no schools available for children. Many of these schools were built during the “evil” Cultural Revolution.

          China’s Gini Coefficient is worse than neoliberal America’s! It’s much worse than the UK or even the horrible Third World Indonesia. What kind of socialism is that? It’s way more unequal than the capitalist West.

          This move towards capitalism has gone too far. Time to pull back somewhat.

        2. @fpy3p

          They could build a water purification plant which they probably are already doing along with new nuclear plants and maglev rail system.

          They are working on the 3 Gorges Dam project to create a hydro power source and stop constant flooding

          Biggest problem is that there are just to many people in China which the population should be reduced from 1.5 billion to 300 million which is the biggest environmental and economic problem.

          I don’t understand what you mean by “Who are you?”

          @Robert Lindsay

          That is the fault of multi-national firms not China.

          If China imposed such work and safety laws the multi-national companies would take their factories to some other third world country collapsing the Chinese and by extension US economy.

          The fact that rural Chinese choose to work in such factories speaks for itself the quality of undeveloped regions.

          Perhaps you would prefer China to be link Pakistan or India with child labour and mafia rule in some provinces.

          All the Middle East states apart from Israel have imported slave labour.

          The US like every other country had slave labour economy even before blacks with a policy of white serfdom.

  9. That’s a big question isn’t it? That is what the Left Opposition in the Chinese Communist Party think.
    They’re Maoists. I support them. I was and am a big Mao fan. And a fan of Ho Chih Minh.

    1. What would you say were the real differences between Stalin’s industrialization programs from 1928-1953, and Mao’s from 1949-1976? Was there a more agrarian component to Mao’s?

  10. Go and research that one fyp3p…you’re a great one for questions but sometimes you need to go and look for your own answers…it’s an interesting question but I don’t know the answer!

      1. Yes, I’ve been a Communist. Still am, but there are now so many Communist parties to choose from, and they all attack each other! So I’ve done the pragmatic thing, which is to support the political organisation closest to my own beliefs.

        Communist parties these days are all caught up in defending this or that regime from the past, and in some cases the present. The UK CPGB(ML) defend the People’s republic of North Korea, for example, when clearly there are problems there (check the Amnesty report). Would we want the DPRK regime in the United Kingdom? NO WAY. But the past is gone. Or the CPs can’t see what is in front of their eyes because of dogma: the case of China and illegal immigration in the US. I’ve had it with dogma.

        No to your second question. That’s a subject for a PhD, it’s so big. I’m just interested in the world, just like you.

        1. Would we want the DPRK regime here in the UK?

          Here’s your answer: an extraordinary glimpse of life in North Korea, here, from the lying running dogs of the bourgeois capitalist propaganda machine the BBC:

          and here:

          Not a model to follow, to it very mildly. With one of the worst human rights records in the world, North Korea does have a lot in common with fascism, but economically it seems a complete failure. They have a secular religion of the dead leader Kim Il-Sung. Not a mere cult of the personality but a secular religion. A North Korean woman is interviewed and says that she believes Kim Il-Jung is immortal!

          Scary and sad, very sad.

  11. Rob, do you suggest Maoist autarky? That’s my solution.

    No, but this is just ridiculous. No socialist state should be tearing down schools right and left and making medical care for pay only, thereby resigning millions to disease and death. Furthermore, no socialist state would tolerate this sort of insane abuse of workers. Pull back on the radical capitalist “reforms.” They’ve gone too far.

    1. Then what’s wrong with Maoist, nationalist economics that shields China from the chaos and exploitation of the “global economy”?

      1. There are a lot of problems with a planned economy. As shitty and evil as capitalism is, a planned economy just does not seem to work very well at all. Too many problems.

        1. So what exactly do you advocate? Hitler, for instance, was economically centrist, neither
          neoliberal nor pro-central planning?

      2. Of course, one must also look at the positives in North Korea. Although most people are malnourished, and stunted growth is a common problem, over a million people are in forced labour camps, tractors are a rarity,
        and personal computers are almost unknown, NORTH KOREA IS ENTIRELY FREE OF JEWISH INFLUENCE.

        This must be the key to its success.

        It is a great shame that North Korea has developed a nuclear weapon; otherwise China could invade the country and modernise it, just as they did in Tibet.

  12. So what exactly do you advocate?

    Belarus has an excellent system. It’s 50% centrally planned and state-controlled. Working very well. Chavez is doing well in Venezuela. The rest of the countries I like are wealthy so that doesn’t translate very well. The Cuban system is not bad.

    1. As the global neoliberal order is increasingly strained and under collapse, do you China will move towards a more balanced economic system?

        1. fpy3p…this is for you. When neoliberals invoke Adam Smith these days they generally have no idea what they are talking about…far from being in agreement with Hayek and Friedman, he was actually a mixed economy man…and the book review below is about the Chinese economy. I hope Mr Lindsay is teaching you to view the German economy under the Nazis in a more critical light than hitherto. That’s the purpose of a good blogger, to educate and inform.

          Review of Arrighi’s book, Adam Smith in Beijing. Lineages of the Twenty-First Century, London, Verso, 2007, 418 pp.

          Giovanni Arrighi, a Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, has contributed significantly to our understanding of the geohistorical evolution and spatial configuration of the world-system. His current research focuses on the causes and consequences of inequalities in the wealth, status and power of nations. His work certainly deserves greater attention from geographers.

          Arrighi’s latest book is complex and highly enlightening as it offers historically and theoretically grounded insights into the current reconfiguration of the world-system. Where is the world going to? Arrighi argues that we shall concretely witness a world-system with a restored balance between east and west in the near future, as foreseen by Adam Smith more than two centuries ago – a new convergence after the nineteenth century’s great divergence.

          After decades of study on world-system, capitalist nature, capitalist cycles, and Chinese development, Arrighi explains that nowadays China claims to be an alternative development path to western capitalism with the potential to contribute towards a more balanced and peaceful world. The theory is most likely too optimistic, but it is well founded and free of uninformed prejudices against China.

          The book is structurally divided into four parts that often merge theoretical and empirical elements, though the former prevail in the first part. The book’s theoretical purpose is to rescue Adam Smith’s thought from neoliberalist and laissez-faire ideology. Arrighi deems that ‘far from theorizing a self-regulating market that would work best with a minimalist state or with no state at all … [Smith] presupposed the existence of a strong state that would create and reproduce the conditions for the existence of the market; that would use the market as an effective instrument of government; that would regulate its operation …” (pp. 42-43). He demonstrates this by adopting a critical and original reading of Adam Smith’s thought and by looking into his market-based development conceptions, comparing the said points with Marx and Schumpeter’s analyses. In this book the author offers an analysis of Smith’s idea on socio-economic development, emphasising the difference between ‘natural’ development path considered as non-capitalist market-based (from agriculture to foreign trade), and ‘unnatural’ development path reconceptualised as a capitalist one (from foreign trade to agriculture) (Chapter 2). The former is deemed to have been historically revealed in geopolitically peaceful China, whilst the latter characterised European (and North-American) capitalist expansion branded by wars issuing from the synergic interaction between capitalism, industrialism and militarism, besides the financial framework’s dominant role over production conditions.

          An empirical analysis of the book deeply backs such a difference (see also Arrighi, 1994). Specifically, the author focuses on global turbulence during the dual-phased US hegemony – the crisis in the ‘70s and ‘80s that lacked a concrete alternative, and the recent US strategies focused on ‘domination without hegemony’ (Chapter 7). The latter is characterised by US weaknesses (eg the war against Iraq), and by China’s strong points expressed in its new regional and global power. A key thesis is that by funding US wars, China is the true winner in the US war on ‘global terrorism’ – that is, in practice, a war designed to save US hegemony, which is undergoing a crisis, by countering China’s economic growth and subsequent newfound power. As occurred during the two world wars, when the USA fed European battles during its growth, China’s growth is likewise bringing about the US decline.

          In the final part, Arrighi reviews China’s ascent, considering both its historical and recent characteristics. At this point we can find a more substantial convergence between the Chinese development path and Smith’s related developmental theory, though ‘the close fit between the ongoing transformation of the Chinese political economy and Smith’s conception … does not mean that Deng’s reforms were in any way inspired by Smith’s text … those practises originated … in a pragmatic approach, inspired by Chinese traditions, to problems of governance in mid-Qing China’ (p. 368).

          Opening-up to European, American and Japanese capital, which envisaged various restrictions, has failed to yield immediate remarkable results for China. However, the country has persevered in its growth, making the most of its domestic planning skills and the role played by Chinese residing overseas. In 1990 capital flowing in from Taiwan and Hong Kong comprised 75% of China’s FDI, while Western capital only increased some years later (pp. 352, 353). The book makes many well documented examples to ensure the reader’s extensive understanding of Chinese market policies and their peculiarities.

          Arrighi invites us to keep our distance from interpretations proposed by David Harvey (‘Neoliberalism “with Chinese characteristics” ’) and others, who are inclined to associate China with neoliberalism (pp. 353-354). It is dutiful to reject the idea – Arrighi deems – that development guided by Beijing can be associated with the adoption of typical neoliberal principles. Chinese transformations have been based on highly effective agricultural reforms. They have been led by a relatively egalitarian distribution of land, which, for instance, replaces the forms of accumulation by dispossession (Harvey, 2005, 2006) with decentralised agricultural and industrial developments – that are forms ofaccumulation without dispossession (Arrighi, p. 361-367). The land was redistributed, thus enabling farmers not to lose control of their means of production and to be involved in other non-agricultural rural activities. Further, recent Chinese developments were not guided by foreign capital, which only intervened at a subsequent stage, but rather by the happy convergence of the internal market’s expansion and the productive mobilisation of quality work force (in terms of health, education and self-management skills).

          This is also confirmed by the current financial crisis and the various structural conditions implemented in the geo-economic and geopolitical space. In this case we can easily notice that, despite the degree of interdependence, western countries are more vulnerable to the current crisis than China, which has maintained a state-controlled banking system, strong monetary policies and a very low level of speculative activities. Quite the opposite, or quasi, of IMF ‘suggestions’, The Economist’s analysis, western economic policies and so on.

          Fabio Massimo Parenti is a professor of The Global Political Economy at the International Private School for Foreign Students ‘Lorenzo de’ Medici’, Rome, and Academic Advisor in Political Geography at the University of Molise, Isernia.

    2. Belarus is a good example, but Robert’s public ownership figure is far too low. It’s 80%, not 50%.

      80% of the Belorussian economy remains in state hands…see here:

      – and that’s my figure for a successful “mixed” economy – 80% in public ownership, but democratically controlled, and no more than 20% in private hands. And the Belorussian economy is doing extremely well, while most of Europe, and Russia, as well as the USA, is in serious and longterm economic trouble, with absolutely no end in sight.

      I doubt democratic control of the means of production exists in Belarus, as that hasn’t happened anywhere yet apart from in Cuba, where there are worker co-operatives, and on a small scale so far in Venezuela, which is not yet 80/20 public/private, but more like 20% publicly owned and 80% privately owned, so very much a capitalist country still (correct me if I’m wrong, I’m winging it here like Robert without checking the figure, but a US government source puts Venezuelan public sector employment at 20% of the labour force). The capitalist class still have a lot of powerin Venezuela, and they still own the press and the media. Chavez has just nationalised the third largest Venezuelan bank, so it’s going in the right direction, but the capitalist class has not been dispossessed, and therein lies the real danger for the Chavistas. The Venezuelan Gini coefficient is 41, but coming down, and they’ve a long way to go compared with Belarus at 27.9 (CIA figures for both countries).

      80/20 seems to be working well for Belarus.

      In addition, with the 80/20 public/private mix there needs to be very tight regulation on the size of enterprises – once they go over a certain number of employees, they have to pass into public ownership – so capitalists will have to think very differently to now, or they’ll just get expropriated by the workers’ state.

      Capital tends to push down barriers to its own expansion – that’s the story of economic imperialism around the world – so it needs to be tightly controlled or it gets out of hand, and you end up with a barbaric situation like modern Brazil, shooting the poor and homeless children on the streets, and trading their body parts on the international black market for organs.

      Barbarism. Unregulated capitalism goes in the direction of barbarism. That’s what accidental dissent is pushing, apparently. That’s what we have in most of the world, 2 billion people out of 7 billion living on less than $2 a day.

      Yeah, sure, capitalism works – with riches for the few and economic genocide on a global scale ( = ACTUAL GENOCIDE, check this for the US – and for the many, though it’s never talked about except by American Maoists. MIM and RAIL did some good stuff; check out Gideon Polya as well: I’m not sure about his methodology though.

      At least 100 million dead every ten years by starvation and preventable diseases. That’s under capitalism.

      What a shining future!

      And all we hear is how many Communism killed…gimme a break!

      Gimme some truth! as John Lennon sang.

  13. Hitler, for instance, was economically centrist, neither neoliberal nor pro-central planning?

    Hitler’s national socialism was 100% pro-capitalist and 100% anti-worker and anti-labor. Workers were abused in the most horrible ways. In many cases, they were simply worked to death. Workers had no rights whatsoever and employers had total rights over workers, including virtually the right to decide life or death. Uncooperative workers could be sent to concentration or labor camps where they might die.

    1. What about restrictions on foreign trade and Hitler’s striving for autarkic self-sufficiency, along with his sovereign credit system whereby Germany was freed from Rothschild bankers’ debt and usury?

      1. Well, he did develop the economy, I will grant him that, but at incredible cost.

        I don’t know the slightest thing about this sovereign credit system you are talking about. He replaced Jewish bankers with German bankers. What’s so good about that? Bankers are bankers.

  14. What about the banker’s loyalty to Germany rather than to international parasites?

    I don’t know. Were the German bankers who took over for the Jewish bankers required to be loyal to Germany somehow? Explain.

    1. Well the whole point of National Socialism was that in order to create a healthy society, all the economic institutions and actors would be required to put the Fatherland first. Jewish bankers would be very dubious in that regard.

  15. Do you mean the “indigenous innovation” policy that US corporations are bitching about?

    I don’t know what indigenous innovation even is.

    The Chinese have instituted a health insurance system that covers 85% of your costs, but it’s too expensive for most workers. They are spending a tremendous amount of state money developing the infrastructure of the rural areas, including roads, hospitals, schools and local economies. The rural areas have been neglected for some time.

    No capitalist state would ever do that. Capitalist states don’t spend vast amounts of $ developing national infrastructure, roads, schools, economics, etc. The corporations and the capitalists severely hate any kind of state spending like that and do everything they can to shut it down to $0.

    1. The “indigenous innovation” policy is about the government supporting and favoring Chinese developed technology from Chinese companies over foreign firms. The US plutocrats have been complaining about this for a couple months.

  16. Both terminally dissatisfied with life

    Pot, meet kettle.

    …the modern commie — whose savage hatred matches the nazi’s

    Savage hatred? You’re the miserable cunt obsessed with darkies in one of the whitest countries on earth.

    Silver is a bourgeois White man from Australia who has so much spare cash that he spends a good part of his time out of the country living in exotic locales. I’m told that he has a very high paying job in the corporate sector.

    That’s fine. His stupidity is its own punishment.

    Eat a bowl of Nubian dick, you pigfucker.

  17. robert When you finally get a human, they’re at a call center in India or Philippines and they can’t even help you. Worse, you can’t even understand them.

    Exactly Robert. It’s a darn shame these companies have outsourced customer service jobs. I wish American compaines would realize that if they keep outsoucring everything, they won’t have a market in America since most people won’t be able to afford their products.

    1. I wish American compaines would realize that if they keep outsoucring everything, they won’t have a market in America since most people won’t be able to afford their products.

      That’s the government’s job. It needs to develop and implement policies to get those companies to stay.

  18. Hacienda, great post.

    Just as Robert sometimes seems worried that race realism is fundamentally incompatible with liberalism, I’m starting to have a worry that White people are fundamentally incompatible with conservatism.

    I mean, I’m generally conservative minded but I sort of have to force myself to be so; it comes about through data and experiences pointing to the fact that like it or not, conservatism to some degree is necessary for survival. I’m naturally inclined towards extreme idealism and universalism, however, and not until age 20 or so did I even begin to start realizing the necessity of some degree of conservatism, and even then I could only take it in small doses. Actually, very often my conservatism is still a form of idealist conservatism, which if you accept Pat Buchanan’s definition of conservatism, is not really conservative

    There are even studies showing that “conservatism,” and “liberalism,” seem to be at least partly influenced by genetics and are correlated with traits like level of openness to new experiences. I’m not aware of any studies comparing interracial levels of conservatism vs. liberalism, but they could potentially be made and I wouldn’t be surprised if Whites scored the lowest on levels of conservatism.

    I don’t want to boil this down purely to genes of course, but usually even if psychic traits are reinforced and amplified by culture, the particular group said trait is highest in has a higher base genetic level.

  19. One for accidental dissent:

    Comparison of ex-Communist Poland, which has taken the capitalist path, and ex-Communist Belarus, which has taken the socialist path, clinches the argument about which economic system provides better for its people. I don’t meet Belorussians over here in the UK, but we now have 2 million Poles and rising, while Poland’s population is FALLING:

    Belarus and Poland

    ‘The example of Belarus is instructive. Since the mid-1990s it has taken a different course from the other East European countries. The country rejected the instructions of the IMF to privatise its extractive and manufacturing industries. The authors of the CIA World Factbook are clearly unhappy with the direction the country has taken:

    “[President] Lukashenko reimposed administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the state’s right to intervene in the management of private enterprises. During 2005, the government re-nationalized a number of private companies. In addition, businesses have been subject to pressure by central and local governments, e.g., arbitrary changes in regulations, numerous rigorous inspections, retroactive application of new business regulations, and arrests of “disruptive” businessmen and factory owners. A wide range of redistributive policies has helped those at the bottom of the ladder; the Gini coefficient [a measure of inequality in income] is among the lowest in the world. Because of these restrictive economic policies, Belarus has had trouble attracting foreign investment, which remains low. Growth has been strong in recent years…”

    All members of society have gained from this strong industrial growth (an increase of 10% in GDP in 2005-2006) – real incomes have been rising at an average of 15% annually and the unemployment rate is only 1.6%. Belarus has also vastly increased its spending on education and health.

    Poland, the Western neighbour of Belarus, has privatised and liberalised its economy, exactly as the IMF, the European Union and the British Government have told it to do. It has had the benefit of very substantial foreign investment, to the extent that the ‘commanding heights’ of its economy are now mainly Western-owned.
    Unemployment in Poland is at an average of 17%; for people under 25 it is 34%. Due to high emigration and a declining birth rate, Poland’s population is falling rapidly.

    Poland is regarded in the West as the most successful of all the post-socialist economies.’

  20. He’s no comrade of yours fpy3p, not until you change your fascist views. Lukashenko is no fascist: he’s a nationalist communist. Does nationalist communism have anything in common with fascism? You tell me.

    1. I like nationalist Communism. It’s cool. Maybe that’s something like what I am?

      I really dislike how he is persecuting the Belarussian language though. It’s just not right. He’s sucking up to the Russians by favoring Russian over Belarussian. And yeah, they are different languages. Close though.

  21. Me – American
    Bay Area Guy – American
    Robert – American
    Tulio – American
    fpy3p – American
    jacobbauthumley – British
    hacienda – Canadian (not sure)
    LaFleur – North American (not sure)
    guy with really long posts – Scottish

    That’s all I’m aware of. I don’t think there are any non-first world Anglosphere commenters on this blog.

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