Alt Left: Rural Land Reforms: An Overview

What’s odd is that imperialism went along with land reforms in a lot of other places such as Europe and the Middle East. All of the Middle East has done a land reform.

That was one thing the wave of Arab nationalist leaders who came to power in 1950-1970 did right away, including the Baath in Iraq and Syria, Yemen, Nasser in Egypt, the FLN in Algeria, Tunisia, and Qaddafi in Libya.

I believe there was some type of land reform done in Palestine too. If you read Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian Leftist, in the 1930’s, he talked about how terribly exploited the Arab fellahin or peasants were in Palestine.

If you went to Yemen in the 1960’s, there was a portrait of Nasser in every house.

I’m not sure if a land reform was ever done in Morocco. It’s been ruled by a fairly rightwing king for a long time.

A land reform was probably done in Lebanon, but I don’t have details. Likewise with Jordan.

Nothing grows in the Gulf anyway, so there’s no need for a reform.

I’m not sure about Sudan or Mauritania, but I doubt much grows in Mauritania except date palms.

In all of these places, land reform was a very easy sell for whatever reason, probably because neoliberal capitalism seems to be antithetical to Islam itself. The feudal lords of the former Ottoman Empire had tried to justify feudalism on the basis that in the Koran it says something like, “Some are rich and some are poor, and this is a natural thing” but that never went over too well.

The idea that in an Islamic country, the rich Muslims were viciously exploit the poor Muslims is nearly haram on its face. You just can’t do that. All Muslims are part of the ummah. All the Muslim men are your brothers and all the Muslim women are your sisters. Also individualism never made it to any part of the Muslim World other than the Hindu variety in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but that’s not really the same radical individualism that we have in the West. It’s just an ancient caste based system.

The first thing the Communists did in Eastern Europe was to do a land reform. You will never hear it here in the West, but until 1960, the Communist regimes in the East were very popular with industrial workers and also with the peasants.

In most of the world, peasants and rural dwellers are leftwingers. This is even the case in Western Europe in France.

The US is odd in that it’s farmers are so reactionary. That goes against the usual trend.

Yes, farmers are said to be conservatives, but that usually just means social conservatism. In most of the world, peasants are literally Alt Left: left on economics and right on social and cultural issues.

A land reform was definitely done in Iran.

Obviously one was done in the USSR, and the large landowners have not yet consolidated themselves in the former USSR, mostly because everybody hates them. Large landowners have taken over some of the state farms in Russia, but for whatever reason, they are not very productive. In fact, many of the state farms are still in existence. I am not sure what sort of arrangement they have now.

50% of the food in the Russia comes from small farms, typically grown on dachas. Dachas were vacation homes that were given to all Soviet workers. They were also given a bit of land, enough to grow some crops on. After 1991, all workers were allowed to keep their dachas and small plots. This was a great idea because most of the produce in Russia is coming right off of these farms.

After World War 2, the US supported land reforms in some places as a way of heading off a Communist threat. This is one great thing about the Communists. So many great steps of social progress were only done out of fear or terror that if these were not done, the Communists would take over. Now that that threat is gone, one wonders what motivation the oligarchs have to give up anything.

In particular, land reforms were done in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. They went over very easily. And in fact, the subsequent economic growth occurred right on the back of these reforms. There is a good argument that you can never develop a proper economy without first doing a land reform.

First of all, you need to get rid of the problem of rural poverty.

Second of all, you need to feed your own people. Large landowners in these countries typically grow food for export or simply fallow the land and keep it as an income base or a source of wealth.

When crops are grown for export, there is a problem in that the nation does not grow enough food to feed its people. This is a problem in Cuba and Venezuela right now, and it should not be. These are very fertile countries and there is no need to import food, but they have gotten hooked on some sort of “crack” of importing their food for whatever reason, possibly because most of their farmland was being used to grow crops for export.

When a nation can feed itself, this means it can feed its urban workers. This is extremely important and it is part of the reason that Stalin went at such breakneck speed in his collectivization. He had to feed his urban workers so he could industrialize because even back then, he was looking into the future and seeing that he was going to have to fight Hitler.

I’m not quite sure why, but no country seems to be able to properly industrialize and develop as long as the problem of rural poverty exists.

And once you are feeding your own people, you have solved a lot of other problems. Money that would be wasted importing inferior food from the West, especially the US, can now be spent on actual development of a national economy. The elimination of rural poverty gets rid of a constant revolutionary bur in the side of the state.

The US has always opposed land reform in Latin America because large US corporations are usually involved in growing foods for export down there. See Dole Pineapple in Guatemala. We want all of their agricultural land to go for export crops so US corporations can grow those crops or make money importing them. And we do not want them to grow their own food. That way there won’t be so much land for export crops which we need to make money off of.

Also, we want them to spend all of their food money importing lousy processed food from the US. So we make money on food both ways – importing food from crops grown for export to the US and in exporting processed food to the Latin America. This processed food is not very good for you and it is implicated in a lot of health problems in these places.

This is why the US opposes most efforts at land reform in the Americas.

An exception was made in El Salvador. After 200,000 people died, the US and the Salvadoran oligarchs were forced to the negotiating table and a land reform was one of the first things they pushed. I recall a piece written soon afterwards where the reporter went out to the rural areas and interviewed recipients of the land reform. They basically said, “Well, at least we can eat now. It wasn’t like that before.”

In semi-feudal countries, there is debt bondage whereby large landowners rent out their land to sharecroppers or peasants who never seem to get out of debt. This is a very primitive form of development.

The Philippines is notable that there has never been a land reform. And of course they have a vicious Communist insurgency.

Nor has there been one in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Honduras, or Argentina. The first five countries are horribly screwed up. Colombia and Paraguay have active armed leftwing guerrillas, and Guatemala did for many years. Haiti is a disaster. Honduras has a vicious rightwing dictatorship that has murdered over 1,000 people.

Argentina is mostly urbanized, but the landed rural elite still runs the country. Any talk at all of land reform or even taxation of large estates as was done recently under Christine Fernandez, and the ruling class starts making ominous threats of a coup. I assume something similar is going on in Uruguay. Those countries are urbanized though, so large landownership is not such a problem.

I’m not sure if there has ever been a land reform in Brazil, but there is no dearth of large landowners.

The fact that Colombia, Guatemala, and Haiti are so backwards is largely because there has never been a land reform.

The land reform was incomplete in Venezuela.

It is interesting that every country that fails to do a land reform seems to end up with a Communist or Leftist insurgency at some point or another. It’s almost without fail. This goes to show you that most Communist insurgencies in the Third World are over the most basic things dating all the way back to French Revolution: land and bread (food).

As far as land reforms go, they were done in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Peru.

I’m not sure about Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama, Jamaica, Belize, the Guyanas, Chile, and most of the Caribbean.

And I’m not sure if one ever got done in the Dominican Republic after Bosch.

In El Salvador, 200,000 had to die in order for a land reform to take place. Roberto D’Aubission, the godfather of the Salvadoran death squads and the most favored visitor at the US Embassy, once said that “We will have to kill 200,000 people in order to prevent socialism in El Salvador.” What he meant by socialism was land reform.

It is notable that no land reform was ever done in India, nor in Pakistan or even Bangladesh. I had a friend whose parents were large feudal landowners in Pakistan who rented out land to farmers who ended up in debt peonage. In 1986, 14 million people a year were dying of starvation related diseases in the capitalist world. Most of that was in South Asia in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Most of these deaths were attributed to the problem of the private ownership of land.

There is a problem with the private ownership of land. In the US, we think this is sacrosanct, but on a worldwide basis, it doesn’t work very well. What do you need all that land for? What do you need more than, say, an acre and a house? Nothing, unless you are a farmer.

In China, all land is owned by the state. All homeowners lease the land, often on 100 year leases. I’m not sure how it works in the countryside.

In Mexico, much of the land is owned by the state also, a product of the land reform that occurred after the Revolution. One of the major demands of the Revolution was land reform. Pre-revolution, most peasants usually lived like serfs. The state land in Mexico is called ejidos.

If you ever can’t make it in the city, if you become unemployed or homeless, you can always go out to the countryside and take up residence in an ejido, which are something like communal lands that are formed by the group that makes up the ejido. You join this group, work the land, and get a share of the crop. At least you have enough food to eat. So in Mexico the ejidos are a stopgap measure.

In China too, if you can’t make it in the city, you can always go back to the rural areas, take up residence, and work the land. At least you will have enough to food to eat. It is illegal to be homeless in China. If you are homeless, the police pick you up and put you in shelters, which are something like college dorms. They also encourage you to go back to the countryside if you have relatives back there. In recent years, many people have moved from the countryside to the cities to make more money. Those that don’t make it can always move back to the farm.

There was debate a while back about privatizing state land, but it ran aground on the idea that the state ownership of land was necessary as a stopgap measure in the event of urban poverty. In addition, state ownership of land has prevented the development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been adamant that the  development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy must be prevented at all costs. Once they develop, they are sort of like an infection in that they soon spread and take over society. The CCP has billionaire party members who are members of the People’s Assembly.

Guess what these “Communists” are advocating for? Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy. I think this goes to show you that billionaires are the same everywhere. Whether in a Communist or capitalist country, a rightwing or leftwing country, billionaires always have precisely the same class interests that barely vary at all. It’s usually something like this:

Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy.

This goes to show that class interests of various classes are nearly a  law in a mathematical sense and not even a theory of social science. This was what Marx was getting at when he spoke of the laws of economics. They are so predictable that we can almost class them with the laws, theorems, and corollaries of mathematics instead of the typical “true for now” theories of most of the sciences.

I have a feeling that a Hell of a lot more things are laws, too, especially in terms of basic human behavior. So many of these things seem almost unchangeable. Of course they would never apply to everyone, but it’s pretty obvious that they are general tendencies.

“Oranges and Lemons,” by Alpha Unit

Humans are among the few mammal species unable to synthesize Vitamin C from glucose. All of our Vitamin C has to come from our diets. If you were somehow to end up with no Vitamin C in your diet whatsoever for a prolonged time – say, three or four months and counting, indefinitely – it is no exaggeration to say that the repercussions could be dire.

Without Vitamin C we can’t make collagen, and without collagen your body can’t repair your skin, bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons, blood vessel walls, and teeth. You need fresh food in your diet, either from plant or animal sources, to get this done.

Wherever you find people going without fresh food for long periods, you’ll find Vitamin C deficiency, or scurvy.

Scurvy has been prevalent throughout much of human history. It likely began to occur in humans during the development of agriculture. According to biologist Thomas Jukes, once people in temperate zones adopted an agrarian lifestyle they were able to store grains for use during winter. They were also able to spread into other temperate regions previously uninhabitable due to the lack of food supply during winters.

But because stored grains are extremely low in Vitamin C, it is likely that these ancient peoples developed scurvy during the long winter months because grain dominated their diets.

During long journeys or overland campaigns, such as the Crusades, scurvy inevitably appeared.

The first written account of a disease likely to be scurvy comes from the Eber Papyrus of ancient Egypt, dated to 1550 BC. The Papyrus not only diagnosed scurvy but prescribed that its victims be given onions, which contain Vitamin C.

Throughout maritime history, people had to figure out not only how to transport themselves across seas and oceans but how to stay healthy along the way. They were clearly relatively successful at both. Millennia ago, Austronesians were the first humans to invent oceangoing vessels; they colonized a large part of the Indo-Pacific region. Early Polynesians were superb seafarers and traveled thousands of miles exploring and settling the region we know as the Polynesian Triangle (drawn by connecting the points of Hawaii, New Zealand, and Easter Island).

Somali seafarers developed extensive trade networks, and Somali merchants at one time led commerce between Asia and Africa. Chinese merchants sailed the Indian Ocean and traded throughout Southeast Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and East Africa.

How did ancient seafaring peoples deal with scurvy?

Stefan Slater writes that Polynesian seafarers relied on freshly caught fish, crustaceans, and octopi, and would sometimes slaughter some of the animals they were transporting for breeding stock. Jin Ding, Chaojan Shi, and Adam Weintrit report that the diet on Chinese sailing ships included green tea, which contains more Vitamin C than black tea. They also say that Chinese ships began to carry gardens with them, growing soybean sprouts, which are high in Vitamin C.

So there is some evidence that ancient seafarers knew the importance of keeping fresh vegetables and meat in their diets on long voyages.

For Europeans, it wasn’t until the Age of Sail that the problem of scurvy truly came into focus. Wealth and national interest were at stake in ways they hadn’t been before.

Advances in naval technology and a rush for exploration and conquest brought Europeans the “plague of the sea.” Scurvy was the main occupational disease of what historians call the European Age of Exploration. More sailors died of scurvy than all other causes combined, including battles, storms, and other diseases.

Jason A. Mayberry makes the case that a unique confluence of conditions made scurvy and seafaring a deadly combination for Europeans. In his essay “Scurvy and Vitamin C,” he draws upon the work of Stephen Bown, author of Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner, and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail.

First, countries had difficulty maintaining sufficient crews for their naval vessels, so they relied on impressment: the taking of men into the military by compulsion, with or without notice. It had been legally sanctioned in Britain since the time of Edward I.

It was basically kidnapping. Gangs of men would go into port towns looking for “recruits.” They would club a man and drag him back to the ship. The man’s family might have no idea what happened to him, and many of the men never made it back home.

Some had experience at sea, some didn’t. Some were in poor health to begin with, being homeless, convicts, or elderly. On average a third of a ship’s crew was made up of impressed men.

Even the men who volunteered for naval service were often in poor health. Many would volunteer in order to secure a place to sleep and get regular meals. Sometimes boys who were orphans or runaways would join.

A second reason that Vitamin C deficiency was hastened during this period were the working conditions on ships. Discipline was harsh and included flogging, keelhauling, and starvation. The body needs more Vitamin C when it is under stress, and sailors had heightened stress in the form of physical exertion, exposure to the elements, fear of battle, and sleep deprivation.

The third and main factor in the development of scurvy was clearly the diet onboard ships. What mattered most for food supplies was that the food be storable for long periods without spoiling. The nutritional content of the food was of little concern for those in charge. What was most important to them was to maintain a suitable labor force at the least possible cost.

A typical weekly ration for a sailor, according to Bown:

  • 1 lb. hardtack (biscuit) daily
  • 2 lbs. salted beef twice weekly
  • 1 lb. salted pork twice weekly
  • 2 oz. salted fish 3 times weekly
  • 2 oz. butter 3 times weekly
  • 4 oz. cheese 3 times weekly
  • 8 oz. dried peas 4 times weekly
  • 1 gal. beer daily

Sometimes the rations included dried fruit or barley meal. But the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables left the diet almost completely devoid of Vitamin C.

Compounding this problem was that even the food sailors had access to wasn’t always fit to eat. Spoilage was a huge problem on ships. Ships were a dark, damp, and sometimes waterlogged environment for sailors and their food, and this led to moldy, worm-eaten bread, or other dried foods. Meat would begin spoiling almost as soon as it left port, no matter how salt-laden it was.

European navies did provide surgeons and surgeon’s mates on ships, but most of a surgeon’s time was spent caring for battle wounds instead of focusing on the treatment and prevention of disease.

All of these factors made scurvy the leading cause of death during the Age of Sail.

The onset of scurvy is a slow progression, Bown and others inform us, usually appearing after 60 to 90 days of a Vitamin C-deficient diet. This is when the body’s lingering stores of Vitamin C are depleted. The initial symptoms are fatigue and muscle aches. Upon waking, a scurvy victim’s joints will ache.

During the second stage, his gums begin to swell and will bleed with slight pressure. The teeth become loose at the roots. He also feels pain throughout his joints and muscles.

During the third stage, the gums begin to rot. They also bleed profusely. The victim’s flesh becomes gangrenous and will spontaneously hemorrhage. His skin, especially on the legs and feet, develop ulcers that turn gangrenous. As connective tissue fails, long-healed broken bones begin to refracture, and long-healed wounds begin to reopen. The legs cramp so severely that the person cannot walk.

At this point the person is in excruciating pain.

In the final stage of scurvy, the person gets a high fever. His skin develops black spots and he begins having tremors. He will drift in and out of consciousness for a while, and then he dies.

An estimated two million sailors died of scurvy between the 15th and 18th centuries. The science at the time was of very little use in treating them – even though various people throughout European history had made the connection between citrus fruits and the prevention of scurvy.

On July 8, 1497, Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, in search of a passage to India. On January 11, 1498, the fleet anchored off Mozambique. After five weeks at sea, the crew began showing the symptoms of scurvy.

Fortunately, some weeks later, they arrived at Mombasa, on the coast of Kenya, where they met local traders who traded them oranges. Within six days of eating them, the crew recovered. Da Gama left Africa and began his voyage across the Indian Ocean to Kozhikode (or Calicut to Westerners).

After staying in India for four months, da Gama left for a three-month journey at sea in which scurvy killed many of his sailors. On January 7, 1499, the ships anchored at Malindi, Kenya, where the sailors, remembering their previous cure in Mombasa, asked for oranges. Still, more sailors died of the disease “which started in the mouth.” Six months later the survivors made it back to Lisbon.

Did Vasco da Gama alert any ship owners or controlling authorities of what he had discovered about treating scurvy? No one knows.

Sir Richard Hawkins had discovered a cure for scurvy in 1593 when it appeared in his crew in southern Brazil. He reported that oranges and lemons had been a remedy for his men. To whom did he report this? What did they do with the information?

The Dutch had known about the value of citrus fruits since at least the late 16th century. According to J. Burnby and A. Bierman, who wrote “The Incidence of Scurvy at Sea and Its Treatment,” the Dutch East India Company bartered for lemons in Africa and also established vegetable gardens and orchards in their colonies to provide fresh citrus to their ships. How did the Dutch manage to keep this knowledge to themselves? Was that their intention?

Burnby and Bierman also write about an Elizabethan merchant, Sir Hugh Plat, who had an interest in botany and gave bottled lemon juice to the commander of the first fleet of the English East India Company. It was only the crew of the flagship, Red Dragon, which received a daily allowance of lemon juice. It was also the only crew that remained relatively free of scurvy. What did the English East India Company do with this information?

In the early 1600s John Woodall, a surgeon for the same East India Company, described the symptoms of scurvy and recommended that ships’ surgeons inform Governors of “all places they touch in the Indies” that the juices of oranges, lemons, limes, and tamarinds be used as medicine for scurvy.

The East India Company actually supplied “lemon water,” as it was called, for its ships until 1625, when the Company chose not to provide it because “the woman supplying it wanted 12d. a gallon above the usual price.” The return voyage of 1626 was badly afflicted with scurvy because they had bought tamarinds in the East Indies which they presumed to be as effective as lemons. All sour fruits and even acids such as vinegar were erroneously thought to be cures for scurvy.

J. F. Bachstrom, a Lutheran theologian and physician, wrote in 1734 that there was only one cause of scurvy – the absence of fresh fruits and vegetables for a long period. No drugs would help, nor would mineral acids. Were any companies or government entities aware of his findings? If so, did they take them seriously?

Europe was slowly making headway against this problem nevertheless. In 1739 James Lind, a former physician’s apprentice, volunteered for the Royal Navy and was designated a surgeon’s mate. After seven years in that position, he was promoted to surgeon on HMS Salisbury. It was on this ship that he performed his famous scurvy experiment.

Lind showed an insight ahead of his time by understanding that, to develop a cure, treatments must be compared simultaneously in similar patients. He had envisioned the concept of clinical trials, as rudimentary as his idea might have been.

After eight weeks at sea, and when scurvy was beginning to take its toll on the crew, Lind decided to test his idea that the putrefaction of the body caused by the disease could be prevented with acids. He divided 12 sick patients into six pairs, and provided each pair with a different supplement to their diet: cider, vitriolic acid (diluted sulfuric acid), vinegar, sea water, two oranges and one lemon, or a purgative mixture.

Only the pair who took the oranges and lemons improved.

You would think that Lind had established a clear connection between citrus and scurvy and that the Navy would have taken immediate action. But neither happened.

Lind continued to believe that there were multiple causes of scurvy. He also advocated a method of preserving the virtues of oranges and lemons that involved boiling the juices. Unbeknownst to Lind, boiling destroyed the active ingredient in citrus juices – Vitamin C. When the boiled juice was tried on ships as a preventative measure and found lacking, people began to dismiss the whole idea that citrus fruits were effective against scurvy!

In 1753 Lind published his Treatise on the Scurvy, considered a classic of medical science. But it took the Royal Navy over 40 years to adopt Lind’s recommendations. This happened under the direction of Sir Gilbert Blane, who had been appointed Physician to the Fleet.

Blane was familiar with Lind’s work and had the power and initiative to bring about change, Mayberry states. He organized an experiment on HMS Suffolk on a 23-week trip to India. The sailors were given a mixture of rum, water, sugar, and lemon juice. A few sailors developed a slight case of scurvy. They were given additional rations of lemon juice and the scurvy was quickly cured.

With the results from the HMS Suffolk and the power of his position, Blane was able to ensure that fresh citrus juice became a staple in the British Navy. For the British, scurvy had finally been conquered.

The question remains: why did it take so long, when so many had found the cure time and time again?

Burnby and Bierman note that there was the view among ship owners and government authorities that seamen were expendable. They also suggest that seamen themselves might have been reluctant to take part in experiments that might have settled the issue. But they mention other considerations, mainly the problem of “sheer impracticability.”

How does one store many thousands of oranges and lemons on an overcrowded man-of-war laden with guns, gunpowder, and shot? Using the juice of citrus fruits was certainly a space saver but it readily became moldy, especially under poor storage conditions, which were usually the case.

Speaking of practical considerations, how long can it be practical to treat your work force as if they are expendable? There were no sailors’ advocates at the time to make it impractical for businessmen and governments to do so. Nothing stopped or even slowed Europe’s exploration and colonization, so losing sailors to scurvy was just one of the costs of doing business.

Alt Left: Repost: An Easy Way to Raise the IQ’s of 100’s of Millions

Repost from the old site.

Get rid of iodine deficiency.

Amazingly, even moderate iodine deficiency causes IQ declines of 10-15 points if it’s in a pregnant woman or an infant. It looks like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Ethiopia, Sudan, Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone all have moderate to severe deficiency.

It would be interesting to see a better rundown of the severity of the deficiency in each place so we could figure out how much collective IQ could go up with iodine supplementation. In India, 500 million (50% of the population) get too little iodine, 54 million have goiter (severe deficiency) and 2 million are cretins due to extreme deficiency.

Yet another failure of Indian capitalism to provide for the very basics in human needs in India, and one more reason I support the Maoist revolutionaries in that country.

Many other nations have mild deficiencies. I don’t know what a mild deficiency does to your IQ, if anything. 16% of the world’s population has goiters, which are apparently caused only by iodine deficiency. That’s ridiculous. 1/6 of the world’s population.

Alt Left: Repost: Flynn Effect in North Africans/Turks Migrated To West Europe

From an article by Philippe Rushton, hereditarian, a revelation about yet another instance of skyrocketing IQ increases in the second generation born in the West after migrating from the less developed areas.

Previously, we noted that the children Jamaican immigrants to the UK (IQ = 71) have IQ’s of 85-86, typically within a single generation. That is a gain of 14.5 IQ points merely by being raised in the West. Hereditarians have offered many rationales for this. The usual is that the Jamaican immigrants were already very bright anyway (as we will see with Moroccans and Turks in Netherlands, this is not true).

Another is that Jamaicans in the UK are very heavily bred in with Whites to the point where they may be only 1/2 White. This is not true – UK Jamaicans are only 12% White (Jamaicans in Jamaica are 9% White).

The children of Indian and Pakistani immigrants to the UK (IQ = 81.5) have IQ’s ranging from 92 (Rushton) to 96 (a figure I prefer). Call it 94. This is a gain of 12.5 IQ points merely by being raised in the West. The counter-argument here once again is that this group is self-selected.

Taken together, the children of Jamaican and East Indian immigrants see rises of 13.5 IQ points merely by being raised in the West. It is true that beyond the initial jump, we are not seeing more rises.

However, a strong initial jump is perfectly consonant with a hyperinjection of massive intellectual stimulation, good health care, proper diet, etc. This is probably all related to a higher standard of living. Higher standards of living seem to be somehow translating into long-term rises in IQ. The mechanisms can be debated, and we have done so on this blog.

Education, a massively-stimulating environment (computers, cell phones, TV, movies), proper nutrition, good health care, and myriad other things have been suggested, but the mechanisms for the rises are still somewhat mysterious.

Now, via Rushton, we have yet more evidence of a Flynn Effect in immigrants to the West. First generation Moroccans and Turks in Netherlands had IQ’s of 81. This is low. The Moroccan norm IQ is 84 and the Turkish norm IQ is 90. So, contrary to the argument that only the very brightest immigrants are going to the West, it seems instead that the less bright immigrants are arriving instead.

The second generation has IQ’s of 89. 89 is around the Turkish average, but it is 5 points above the Moroccan average. At any rate, it shows a Flynn gain of 8 points simply by migrating to the West. Rushton tries to explain this away somehow, but he doesn’t do a good job of it.

The evidence for massive IQ gains in second generation immigrants to the West is now becoming overwhelming and it is going to be harder and harder for hereditarians to explain this stuff away.

Comparison of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants to the West and the resulting Flynn Effect gains, apparently solely by being born and raised in the West. The common factor behind rising IQ’s in the West may be related to rising standards of living.

                   1st     2nd     Gain
UK Jamaicans       71      85.5    14.5
UK East Indians    81.5    94      12.5
ND Moroccans/Turks 81      88      7
Average            78      89      11.5

Alt Left:Massive Fail: India Is Actually More Messed Up Than Sub-Saharan Africa!

You don’t actually believe that Africa is somehow better off than India?

Yes, I absolutely do. Less outdoor shitting, lower malnutrition and starvation, fewer women dying in childbirth. I was appalled. India is even more fucked up than Sub-Saharan Africa! Talk about pathetic. You need to stop defending your shithole, man. Face it, it’s a shithole. SHI is right. Embrace the fact that it’s a shithole, drop out of Indian society, and be done with it.

Many Africans haven’t even come out of the hunter gatherer lifestyle

This is absolutely false. The White Nationalists (in other words, the nigger-haters) say this all the time. I went and did some research on it, and nope, there are only a few hunter-gatherer societies left in Africa. Almost all sub-Saharan groups are agriculturalists, either tending small plots which is the norm or growing crops on large plantations.

Africans in fact may have been the first to invent agriculture 12,000 YBP in the Gambian Highlands. As with so many things human, once again, Africans did it first. Africans have had plantation agriculture since 1,100 YBP. It started in East Africa around Tanzania and places like that.

Africa overall, may also have more land but probably has less habitable land than India, so putting all these things into perspective, I don’t see how India could have a higher rate when there is no open defecation in South India, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, there may be very little in Jammu, none in Kashmir/Ladakh, and very little in Northeast (I’m assuming Assam is the only one where it may be common).

They do. 60% of Indians shit outdoors. Highest rate in the world.

Dude, stop. Defending India is a fools’ errand that leads nowhere, and you end up lying all the time because the only way to defend India is with lies. Come to think of it, that’s pretty pathetic right there.

I would also like to know where these stats are from and how did they actually manage to conclude that this number of Indians are openly defecating.

A while back when organizations were promoting the war on open defecation, I did the research. And yep, India was worst. 60%. Pakistan had 34% though, which is also pretty bad. Indonesia also had a pretty high rate, surprisingly.

And when I did my research, not only was Africa lower (I think 25-30%, though it seemed to vary), but African people and governments seemed to think that open defecation was a bad thing. The people themselves seemed embarrassed and disgusted by it. This made me think a lot of better of the Africans. At least they think it’s messed up!

In contrast when I looked into India, I found that a lot of Indians simply didn’t care or else actually preferred to be streetshitters. I don’t know what to do about India. Sometimes I think India needs Maoism. Total Cultural Revolution. Not The Cultural Revolution , which definitely had issues, but the cultural revolution that the CCP initiated as soon as they got in and which they pursue to this very day.

I am so sorry. But when you are actually more fucked up than Sub-Saharan Africa, of all places, man, you got problems. When even some of the worst failos are beating you, man, that’s fail with a capital F.

And while it may be difficult to have pride if you are a Sub-Saharan African (though I think they should anyway), Black Africans can at least take  pride in the fact that so many of the biggest milestones in the development of Homo sapiens that left us able to be this civilized were actually initiated by Africans.

All the way up to agriculture. Yep, Africans did it first once again. They started smelting iron awful early too. In fact, Africans were smelting iron even before Europeans were 2,900 YBP! Sure, Africans didn’t advance much beyond that, but still, being the first to reach so many of humanity’s milestones is pretty cool. And Africans can also be proud of the fact that they are more socially advanced than Indians!

The Care and Feeding of Your Pet Cat, Part 1

Polar Bear: My parents had a cat with wet stinky crap that could only eat canned or he’d get the squirts. Given that wet canned food is more natural and healthy, I was thinking dry food is for domesticated cats and humans while the wild cats and humans shit ponds of pudding in the wilderness.

There’s probably not a lot of dried out food in the wilds. Think about it. What food in the wilds is naturally dried out? Not much of anything. Everything in the wilds is full of some liquid or juice or whatever. Drying foods out is an artificial project and we obviously did not evolve eating dried out foods or at least I don’t think we did. Drying food is a good way to preserve it though. Dried fruit sure lasts a hell of a lot longer than fresh fruit, that’s for sure.

The wet food is better for cats. The dry food is too dry and I believe it’s bad for their kidneys somehow or other. I’m not sure exactly how that works. You can feed your cat dry food all day – no problem. But you should also feed him once or twice a day with the wet stuff. It’s more expensive but it’s good for them.

They like the wet stuff but they can get infuriatingly picky over it. My family had cats that would only eat the very most expensive varieties of wet food and refuse anything else. We had a number of cats over the years that developed this problem. They eat anything at first but then they develop these picky tastes and start refusing a lot of the different types of wet food, often settling on just one type, typically an expensive gourmet brand.

Cats do love human food more than anything else. They always walked around on our table in my family. They would come over to our plates, and we would feed them. My Dad hated it and was always demanding that cats be off the table. He thought it was unsanitary or uncouth or something. We would throw them off but they would just jump right back on.

At my Mom’s house, they hang out under your feet when you are eating meat dishes, basically begging for food. I don’t think they can see well up close because you throw them small pieces of food and it seems like they can’t see them. Instead they start sniffing around until they find the food. Sometimes you have to stick the food right in front of their stupid faces because they literally seem completely blind to the food.

Surgical Procedure Today

Hi folks, just had a surgical procedure in the hospital. Colonoscopy to be exact. Been ages since I had one and at 62, you need these things. Also I have been having rectal bleeding these days. The surgeon asked me how long I have had this bleeding, and I told him 20 years. He was a bit stunned but then he said we’ll look into it.

I never thought it was much of anything as I always just assumed it was hemorrhoids. Well, turns out I was right after all. I’ve got hemorrhoids! Piles! Or whatever you want to call those little buggers. I assume they are internal, not external. Any advice on how to get rid of these pesky critters accepted with gratitude.

I also have diverticulosis. You can look it up. Well, by age 50, 80% of Americans have this condition. These are pouches in your intestine. Probable cause is constipation and diet. A physician named Burkett went to study disease and he noted the diverticulosis, etc. was essentially absent from most populations over there. Burkett became famous for his studies which took place in the 1950’s.

But they eat a very high-fiber diet, and we eat a low-fiber, high-fat diet which leads to diverticulosis, polyps, colon cancer and other cool diseases. Also their shit isn’t hard. Ever noticed those hard shits you have? Well, that ain’t normal. Africans don’t have those. Their shits look more like tapioca pudding, albeit brown tapioca pudding to be precise.

The shit is supposed to move through your intestines pretty quickly. Meat and high fat diets slow down the intestinal freeway so you end up with an intestinal traffic jam. Result is constipation, polyps, colon cancer and other groovy stuff. Eat a lot of fiber and the shit just cruises on through 55 mph with no slowdowns.

Anyway diverticulosis is nothing, everyone has it by the time you get to middle age, and it usually has no symptoms. However, diverticula can get infected, that is, something, say a watermelon seed, gets stuck in one of those darned pouches and can’t escape or even call for help. It’s just SOL and this can result in an infection, which is called diverticulitis. This is what my 84 year old aunt has now. It’s quite painful. Not sure how it’s treated. Maybe they cut it out.

Anyway spent a fun morning in the hospital today from 5:30 AM – 10:30 AM. They gave me a shot of something and I was awake and chirping like a bird and the next thing I knew, two seconds later, it was an hour later and I was waking up for a very weird short-long sleep thing. Actually I was unconscious.

Knocked out by Fentanyl. Yes, that Fentanyl, that’s killing thousands of Americans every year. And they shot it right into my vein like any self-respecting IV drug user does. Except I’ve never done needles, drug fan that I am.

Don’t know about this Fentanyl high. Doesn’t feel like much of anything really except I am pretty calm, happy, and friendly, but that’s generally the idea with mild doses of opiates. Also a lot of my chronic pains went away. Thank you, heroin! I mean Fentanyl. Oh well, it’s all the same, trust me.

They said don’t drink for 24 hours, but you really think that is going to stop a determined drinker like me? You kidding?

Die with your boots on! That’s my attitude, baby. And live dangerously!

A little research showed me that there’s no interaction with booze and Fentanyl, so here I am, drinking Tequila like a proper roue, or aging degenerate, pick your adjective. I don’t know about this Fentanyl stuff.

Good high if you want to go to sleep so fast you don’t even  realize it when you knock out I guess. But I go to sleep most every night anyway. Why take a drug that makes you go to sleep? What’s the point? It’s like taking a drug that makes you breathe, eat, or piss. With some things in life, we don’t have much choice you know. It’s pretty much do or die.

Oh well, over and out. Sitting here wasted on Tequila and Fentanyl and not feeling much pain in either my mind or my body.

Do  you want me to write about the Iran-US war situation? I can do it if you want. I have a lot of information, along with a journalist source who is close to the top levels of the Iranian and  Iraqi governments, Hezbollah, and the Houthis. And  what he told me is pretty much the exact opposite of the crap lies that the US government and  (((media))) is feeding y’all these days.

Alt Left: India and China: A Comparison

SHI: The Rapeublic of India is taking a leaf out of the PRC book when it detains Kashmiri politicians and opposition leaders. So every time I read about the Uyghurs in China, it rings close because the Indian fascist regime is engaged in closely similar tactics.

They’re different countries. China is a Communist dictatorship. Commies don’t mess around. They kill people, put lots of people in prisons, etc. It’s just what they do.

India is theoretically a democracy. They should not be acting like a totalitarian state. That’s way out of line.

To me, China runs on the Maoist principle of serve the people. They are also one of the countries on Earth (unlike us) who believe in the greatest good for the greatest number. They really are out to help everyone, with a special emphasis on the poor. Does India (or the US for that matter) work on the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number? Of course not.

India has utterly failed its poor. India and China were approximately equal on most social figures in 1949. Since then, China has leaped far ahead of India.

And the Indian capitalist system has resulted in 200 million excess deaths compared to China since 1949. That is, if they had followed the Chinese model, 200 million lives would have been saved. There are still 4 million excess deaths in India every year compared to China. Check out Amartya Sen’s work. That’s where I got most of these figures.

Further, at least 30 years ago, 14 million people died of malnutrition and hunger-related illnesses every year in the world. Most of those deaths were in South Asia. In my opinion, most of those deaths are tied into the private ownership of land (I am talking farmland here).

Neither India nor Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Nepal ever did a proper land reform. The issue comes up from time to time in India, but the Indian state is ruled by large landowners (instead of  corporations), so it never gets implemented. India’s going to have terrible problems until they do a proper land reform.

for Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Pakistan still has semi-feudal land relations with debt bondage and sharecropping, and it also has always been ruled by large semi-feudal landowners.

Alt Left: Labour Isn’t Working: A Radical Program for the Party to Reacquaint Itself with Victory

A most interesting text out of the UK but a group calling itself Alt Left. Though I don’t agree with them on everything, in a broad sense what they are arguing for is more or less within the broad scope of what I had in mind when I founded the Alt Left. This group calls itself Alt Left Publishing.

I had to cringe at some of the more rightwing things this group wants Labour to do, but the fact is that Labour needs to win elections, and if they have to be a bit more conservative to do that, well so be it. As long as we are not electing Blairites, Labour will always be much better than the Conservatives, and UKIP doesn’t look very good either (sort of neoliberal Trump Republicans-lite).

As usual with the Democratic Party here, the Left is shooting itself in the foot with massive overreach by being wildly SJW in ways that the majority of people do not support, and by being fantatically anti-immigration when 70% of the British public want a slow-down on immigration.

Labour is getting massacred on this issue, as many working class folks are anti-immigrant and feel that immigrants are taking their jobs and in addition, these people feel that they are losing a sense of their country.

Working class Labour voters are left on economics while being rather socially conservative, and that’s the Alt Left right there. What’s the point of alienating working class voters, screaming racist at them, shoving hundreds of thousands of unwanted immigrants down their throat, and bombarding them with SJW extremism that most of them reject as too radical?

As the piece points out all this is doing is making more and more of these socially conservative working class Labour voters defect to UKIP, mostly over the immigration issue.

Labour is also alienating people by being openly unpatriotic. I’m not a patriotard myself, but I do want the best for my country, so I suppose I love my country more than a corporate types who deliberately harm our country. I certainly don’t want to do my country any harm! I may disagree with domestic and especially foreign policy, but I’m not so angry about it that I want to screw the country over. I mean I have to live here too you know.

At any rate, the people around Corbyn are openly unpatriotic and do not pay proper deference to national symbols and institutions. Most British people are patriots, particularly socially conservative working class folks.

While I love Hezbollah myself and even have a soft spot for Irish Republicans, most British people despise both Hezbollah and in particular the IRA. The latter is heavily due to anti-Catholic sentiment in mostly Protestant UK, a tendency that goes back to at least the 19th Century to “anti-papist” and “anti-Romist” sentiment at that time. At any rate it does no good when Corbyn lauds these groups. All it does is create more UKIP voters.

What’s the point? Politics is after all the art of the possible.

While I love Jeremy Corbyn of course, most British people dislike him, and Labour has been shedding votes since he took over. It doesn’t matter whether I love Corbyn or not. What matters is that most British people hate him. And a leader hated by most of the population should definitely go in favor of someone more popular.

There are other good suggestions here about being tough on crime and the causes of crime. This is an issue near and dear to socially conservative working class voters, and Labour, like the Democratic Party, suffers from a soft on crime problem. That’s not necessary and anyway, crime hurts the working class.

This is a very long document, 12,000 words and 25 pages. I edited it quite heavily. The Alt Left Publishing website can be reached by clicking on the title below.

Happy reading!

Labour Isn’t Working: A Radical Program for the Party to Reacquaint Itself with Victory

Labour Isn’t Working in many ways lays the foundations for the Alt-Left. It establishes fundamental principles like the importance of group identity, the need to restrain the free market, and rejection of radical social justice.

It’s my view that whether your interest in politics is keen or fair-weather, you’ll be intrigued by the book, though I do recommend it particularly strongly to Labour party members and to those interested in the Alt Left and what it stands for.

The transcript can be read in full below, or alternatively downloaded for free here.

If you’d like to purchase the text in E-book format you can do so here.

T. James

Cover JPEG

Preface

The modern Labour party is out of touch with the working class whom it exists to represent, and many of whom turn increasingly to the Tories and UKIP for answers. Labour has been too scared to address immigration, too complacent to address jobs and too divided to address Europe.

The working class is dead. Long gone are the days of the Welsh miners’ choir and the workplace union meetings. The flat cap is worn now by avant-garde members of the rural middle class, men too old to shake a habit, and metropolitan hipsters.

Blackface isn’t the inevitable consequence of a day spent hewing coal from the center of the earth, but is now a racial faux pas. Where once a hard day’s work involved forging world-class steel, for many it’s now manning a call center in order to best resolve Mrs Smith’s broadband issues.

The modern economy necessitates that even the bricklayer has his own local advertising, Facebook page, and website. He doesn’t consider himself part of a homogeneous working class, but instead an entrepreneur, and rightly so.

The production and harvesting of real resources has been shamelessly outsourced to third-world countries. We allow the rest of the world to grow our food, forge our steel, and sew our shirts, and in doing so, we not only deprive our own people of work, but we impose it on others without the benefit of health and safety, a minimum wage, regulations, or any semblance of automation.

Britain’s economy is overly reliant on the financial sector, leaving us vulnerable to the next U.S.-born crash. Where people once took pride in their work as builders, now they are resigned to employment in this coffee chain or that.

Nationalism now rises in tandem with uncontrolled migration leading to names like Le Pen, Wilders, and Farage taking the establishment by storm. What appeared to be a consistently declining level of global violence has begun to reverse itself in recent years, as the wildfire of extremism continues to ravage the Middle East, prompting the worst migrant crisis yet seen in human history.

Humanity is on the precipice of upheaval, there are new questions, and few answers. Left-wing parties across the West are struggling to rally support, caught between the relentless march of globalization and the toll it takes on workers the world over.

The British Labour party is no exception to this trend, and its inability to mount a competent opposition to the government is enabling a period of unchecked Conservative rule. Exerting scrutiny on the executive is essential to ensure that its policies reflect national needs and not self-serving ends. Thus it is in the interests of both Conservative and Labour supporters that the Labour party resurface as a government in waiting and not persist as a party of protest.

In the wake of the 2015 shock general election defeat, long-time backbencher and maverick Jeremy Corbyn, assumed power in the Labour party. Propelled by an anti-establishment appeal and left-wing policies thought to have been consigned to history, he easily defeated his three opponents.

His unprecedented victory prompted a surge in party membership, from some 200,000 to over 500,000, making it notable for being the largest left-wing party in Europe. It appeared that the man to reverse Labour’s fortune had made himself known.

Yet at the time of writing, far from arresting the party’s decline, the Corbyn administration has only exacerbated it. Polling shows Labour now trail the Conservatives by as much as 18%. The 23rd of February 2017 marked a historic by-election defeat for Labour, not just because they had held the seat of Copeland since 1935, but also because it was lost to the governing party.

Owing to resignations, the shadow cabinet is more of a skeleton crew, much of it manned by newly elected and inexperienced MPs.  The vast membership, which was seen as the formation of a campaigning vanguard, has since been shown to be in large part idle, indicative of a niche opinion in the country, and a thorn in the side of the parliamentary party.

That’s not to say that Jeremy Corbyn killed the Labour party. He merely sits atop its coffin. The party has been in a state of managed decline since de-industrialization stripped it of a clear reason to exist. The program detailed herein will therefore not lay blame exclusively at Corbyn’s door, though it will do so where appropriate, but instead will lay blame where deserved, and offer remedies where needed.

It’s not enough to insist that the electorate are deficient or suffering from a false consciousness when they reject you time after time. Nor is it good enough to abandon the values upon which the party was founded in order to pursue public opinion at the expense of all else.

Instead the party must align its core principles with the will of the people, conceding ground on either side where necessary. It’s essential that in order to recover, the party enter a period of reflection, and in doing so it must produce a meaningful answer to the question so many are asking: “Just what is the Labour party for?”.

If it’s to defend the NHS, then that’s an insufficient reason for the electorate to eject a sitting government. No doubt the creation of the NHS was Labour’s finest hour, but to relentlessly invoke its name at every public rally like a war cry is to cement in the mind of the public the idea of Labour as a one-trick pony.

If it’s to be a nicer version of the Tories, this too is inadequate. Aside from the fact that the Liberal Democrats already occupy that ground, the public at large will always opt for competency over compassion.

It’s vital that should Labour ever seek to win again, it must first rediscover its identity. It should reforge its raison d’être from an anti-Tory think tank to a government in waiting, able to steady the nation through what promises to be a turbulent future. Drawing from various tendencies within the party, significant research, personal experience, and observable reality, what follows is a detailed roadmap for Labour’s return to government.

Chapter I – The New Working Class

Labour once had a core demographic on which they could rely: the working class – a monolithic block who worked almost entirely in heavy industry. Commonly united in tight-knit communities centered on a factory or pit, they were class conscious and proudly so.

To inherit one’s father’s job was not just an expectation but a de facto right. The membership of the Labour party and consequently its leadership still holds to these antiquated views of what it means to be a worker. So long as they fail to recognize the nature and needs of modern workers, they will fail to produce policies that appeal to them.

This isn’t a failure exclusive to the left of the party. After all, Blair did once assert that, “We’re all middle class now”, a view still manifest among those of his ilk who exist in substantial number within the parliamentary party.

It’s not so much that this view denies the existence of the poverty-stricken or the manual worker but that it sidelines them. It relies on those people to vote for Labour consistently and is unconcerned when they stay at home, since most such people live within Labour safe seats won on a minimal turnout.

This leads us to a divergence in approach: one that caters to a romanticized and now largely deceased working class and the other which overlooks it entirely. To portray the party as these two schools of thought and nothing but would be disingenuous, but they do have the most to say on the subject. The so-called ‘soft left’ offers little thought on the matter, and the Kendallites have been too preoccupied with plots in recent times to set out any clear views at all.

In order to identify those whom Labour must bring into the fold, we must first establish those who vote for it currently:

Old Labourites. Blue-collar chaps for whom the memories of Thatcherism are still all too vivid. Formerly miners and manufacturers, many now live in the deprived post-industrial communities of Wales, the Midlands, the North, and Scotland. Increasingly, their inherent social conservatism and skepticism regarding immigration has led them to vote Conservative and UKIP in increasing numbers.

Londoners. Labour enjoys ever-growing support within London, a crowd often misidentified as being part of the ‘metropolitan elite’. While much of this demographic could be characterized by the sort of person who hangs a picture of Marx in their parents’ Kensington 4-bed, such people are a minority. Labour’s London support base can be differentiated by its social liberalism, particularly in its concern for LGBT rights, feminism, and police practices.

Public sector workers. Over 56.5% are unionized and the Tories have been slashing their wages for 7 years. They vote Labour consistently, although they do so in worryingly declining numbers. Guarantee a wage rise above inflation and increased expenditure on our public services, and these voters are locked down.

Ethnic minorities. This demographic can be more or less divided between those of African and Asian descent. The black British demographic is concentrated predominantly in London and Birmingham, the product of a generation who were invited to the UK to rebuild in the wake of the Second World War.

Now living in overwhelmingly deprived communities, over 70% vote Labour. Similarly, Asians of both Islamic and Sikh denominations vote by a substantial margin in favor of Labour[i],  despite having (in common with the Black British community) a deep social conservatism and entrepreneurial spirit that would perhaps more naturally put them in the Conservative camp.

As these groups continue to move out into the suburbs and expand their businesses, it’s likely their transition from being staunch Labourites to reliably Conservative will only accelerate.

Entryists. Often hailing from Trotskyist outfits, their influence is at a peak within the Labour party since the days of militant expulsions. Such people are self-professed associates of groups such as the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Socialist Workers Party. Though not great in number, it seems Tom Watson had it right when he suggested there are some “old hands twisting young wrists”.

This coalition cannot win elections; it lost in 2010, 2015, and it will do so again in 2020, if not before. Where previously Labour had a clear platform that spoke directly to workers the country over, they have so far failed to adapt to the new nature of work in the 21st century.

Talk of workers’ rights to the 4.6 million self-employed[ii] means precisely nothing. When Jeremy Corbyn gives speeches about Keir Hardy, he might as well be reading from Istanbul’s phonebook for all the relevance it has to the voters he’s attempting to reach.

This sort of rhetoric would suggest that Labour now stands on a platform of reviving heavy industry when in fact no such plans exist. It’s evident that such populist polices are not incompatible with electoral success in modern times.

We can look to Donald Trump’s rise to power as evidence of this. A campaign punctuated with the cry – “We’re gonna put the miners back to work!” – roars which carried the rust belt states and Trump himself to an electoral college victory.

While such an agenda should never constitute the headline of a Labour campaign, there is room for it to form a fractional element of a wider economic plan. With the benefits of automation and clean coal, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t create new jobs in coal, steel and manufacturing: industries whose revival would be predicated on a new regime of tariffs and public infrastructure spending.

Though Labour are often happy to ingratiate themselves with the attendees of events like the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival and the Durham Miners’ Gala, they have nothing substantial to offer on the issue of heavy industry yet are content to bask in the romanticism of it.

While the decline of the British steel industry predates recent governments, it now faces a crisis that threatens to end its very existence. The proximate cause of this crisis is China dumping its own steel at below cost price on the world market. This is comparable to a supermarket opening next to a corner shop and offering loaves of bread for 10p.

Inevitably, the former will put the latter out of business, and then, when it’s free of competition, it is able to raise its prices with impunity. Similarly, if we surrender ourselves to a reliance on Chinese steel, we’ll face higher prices in the long run. Failing to protect them would deliver a coup de grâce to the last bastions of our national manufacturing industries, prompting the decline of communities and our capacity for self-sufficiency.

It’s for these reasons Labour would do well to adopt policies to the effect of the following:

  • Introduce tariffs on Chinese steel to such a point that it becomes unaffordable in the UK.
  • Lobby other European nations to form a steel block, not dissimilar from the Common Agricultural Policy, which will allow for free trade in steel amongst nations with comparable wage levels and health and safety standards.
  • Legislate that all public works must use British steel with appropriate caveats (e.g. certain types of steel are not produced in the UK).
  • Cut the disproportionately large foreign aid budget from 0.7% and put some of that money into retraining post-steel communities and investing in new technology for existing plants

As the supply of steel drops, the free market will necessitate investment leading to the construction of new steel plants, not only in the UK but across Europe. It’s an excellent example of triangulating socialism with capitalism and reaping the rewards of the free market in the 21st century.

Now, I don’t suggest that such policies should be the focal point of a Labour manifesto by any means, on the contrary, they should be towards the bottom of the list, but they most certainly should be on that list.

Such a policy, though necessary, is not an election winner, and speaks only to a specific group of people. It should be brought about in tandem with policies that resonate with the 4.6 million self-employed individuals who are in dire need of strong representation.

These people are more inclined to identify as entrepreneurs than as part of the working class. Mechanics and carpenters are now business people not proles. They don’t care about the history of struggle, or talk of how the EU is essential because it ‘protects workers’ rights’ which is nonsense in its own right, but they do want to have constant work with good pay and little else.

Indeed, until pressure from the Tory-supporting press prompted a u-turn, the Chancellor meant to levy upon self-employed people an even higher tax rate. In the wake of such a clear display of contempt towards the self-employed by the Conservatives, no better opportunity exists for Labour to launch an appeal to white van men the country over.

So, what problems do self-employed people face, and what policy platforms can appeal to them?

By definition they don’t have an employer from whom they can claim sick, maternity, or paternity pay, their work can be inconsistent, and they must continually reinvest their earnings to facilitate the survival of their trade or business.

Such policies should include:

  • Cutting taxes for the self-employed, allowing them to free up income they can use to cover the cost of sick pay and other work-related benefits (alternatively, introduce self-employment working tax credits where feasible).
  • Lowering VAT so that consumer spending increases, thus pushing up demand for new wardrobes, landscaped gardens, vehicle modifications, and so on.
  • Forcing the banks that we taxpayers bailed out to provide loans where feasible to self-employed individuals at a special low interest rate for the purpose of buying tools, refurbishing workshops, or taking on trainees.
  • Sending apprentices to work with the self-employed rather than with huge multinational chains, where they exist as little more than wage slaves.

Again, such policies won’t provoke a landslide electoral victory, but they are essential to attract to the Labour cause the sort of voters who are not only needed to win an election but whose interests lie in the Labour camp; the clue is in the name, after all.

But policy isn’t enough. We can’t expect people who work two jobs and maintain other responsibilities besides to read complex manifestos and pay attention to policy documents – to do so would be an unreasonable burden. Instead we need to talk in a language that ordinary people understand. That is to say: we should speak like normal people.

In 1917 the Bolsheviks condensed a complex economic program into three simple words: ‘PEACE, LAND, BREAD’. It was a message that was understood by every echelon of Russian society without exception. This is no means to advocate Bolshevism, but it serves to demonstrate that exactly 100 years ago, without the benefit of social media, YouTube, spin doctors, and hashtags, it was possible to create easily digestible slogans that summarize a policy platform.

Yet somehow the modern Labour party is entirely incapable of developing a slogan, sentence, paragraph, or message of any length or format that appeals even remotely to its core vote or to those it needs to incorporate into it.

In 2015 Labour produced “A Better Plan for a Better Future” as its campaign slogan. This inspired precisely nobody and means exactly nothing. Given that unemployment in 2015 was 1.9 million[iii], how about this: “Labour Will Give You a High-paying Job”. Or with a little more finesse “Higher Pay, More Jobs”.

At the end of the day, despite the Twitterati’s various obsessions, jobs are the primary concern of most voters, and they have been and should continue to be at the forefront of any Labour campaign. Moreover, nobody speaks the language of the 60’s union bosses or the Marxist Politburo; talk of ‘comrades’ and ‘struggle’ should be consigned to the dustbin of history unless in the context of a historical discussion.

This chapter has thus far dealt with the need for and the avenue by which the traditional northern post-industrial vote can be shored up, and how best the 4.6 million self-employed can begin to be brought across to Labour in greater numbers, as well as a brief mention of language and communication which will be dealt with in greater depth in a subsequent chapter.

With all that said, there remains one ever-growing and crucial voting block who cannot bring themselves to vote Labour for reasons easily condensed into one word.: Immigration.

Blue-collar blokes are sick of being called racists for daring to criticize immigration. There is nothing left wing or liberal about the free movement of people; to the contrary it’s a right–wing, neoliberal idea that disproportionately favors employers.

The Labour party has no need to become radically nationalist, but by God it should be patriotic. It should fly the Union Flag and St. George’s Cross at every speech and every office, and the same for the Welsh and Scottish flags. But above all, Labour should call for a points-based immigration system that guarantees people the world over get a fair shake at entering the country on the basis of having the skills we need in the economy.

Let’s take India’s best scientists and China’s best students and do so on the understanding that they will commit themselves to the country for a specific amount of time. Let’s not feel obliged to take unskilled workers, of which we already have a surplus, in order to further drive down the wages of construction site laborers, baristas, and private hire drivers.

So, here’s a ‘radical’ suggestion for a slogan “British Jobs for British Workers” the words of one Gordon Brown as recently as 2007. This is the sort of slogan that should be plastered so thickly on the walls that they begin to be structurally integral to the building they occupy. Like communication, immigration will be dealt with in detail in a subsequent chapter, but in relation to appealing to the forgotten working class, it must be a cornerstone.

Over 900,000 people are apprentices[iv], mostly young women – an  ideal demographic for Labour voters. Since an apprentice in their first year is entitled to a below-subsistence wage of £3.40 an hour, and those most likely to enroll in an apprenticeship are poorer to begin with, it’s a total no-brainer: Labour should be promising every apprentice in the country a pay rise.

To those who suggest this would be irresponsible spending, we’ll be enjoying the benefit within two years of not having to send the EU hundreds of millions of pounds a year, of which a fraction could be spent on improving apprentices’ pay.

Here’s another groundbreaking slogan “A Pay Rise for Apprentices”. It’s time the unions with their multi-million bound budgets and 6-figure wage packets stopped resting on their laurels and actively began unionizing young apprentices the nation over. An offer of free membership for a year would be hard to refuse.

Others talk of an ‘anti-boss’ brand of populism, but as well as being counterproductive, since we absolutely want bosses to vote for Labour, time has rendered it irrelevant. We now live in an age where peoples’ bosses are oftentimes a relative or a friend, where this isn’t the case, it’s rare that employees don’t know their manager or supervisor outside of the workplace on a casual basis, at the very least as acquaintances.

Any anti-business or anti-boss talk cannot be part of a modern Labour party’s rhetoric or policy. Where there is room for populism, it’s anti-corporate populism.

Let’s make sure Google, Starbucks, and Facebook pay the taxes they’re duty bound to, given that without a taxpayer-funded education system they would have no employees, without the NHS they would have to provide insurance, without public roads they would have no means of haulage, and without internet and phone-line infrastructure they would have no means to even exist.

From the gains made by appropriating the correct levels of tax owed by such corporations, let’s move these profits into delivering tax cuts for small business owners, incentivize them to take on new employees, and expand their trades. It’s by means such as these that Labour can successfully convert traditional Conservative voters simply by offering them a better deal.

We can also reach the middle classes. For the first time in their history, junior doctors went out on strike, and did so on several occasions in the wake of Jeremy Hunt’s punishing reform proposals. Legal professionals are in the process of a mass exodus from the legal aid program, with Scottish wages having dropped over 20% from 2007/8-2013/2014 and trainee barristers earning salaries as low as £12,000 per anum (with training costs of £17,000)[v].

While an opportunity clearly presents itself to launch an appeal to traditional middle class Conservative voters, the Labour party is too embroiled with internal affairs to mount any effective effort.

On this point of traditional Conservative voters, it’s time to speak to farmers once again. We will soon have control over farming subsidies, let’s outbid the Tories on this issue and in addition offer an innovative rural apprenticeship program in order to train future generations in the ways of agriculture, while also aiding overworked and beleaguered farmers.

Furthermore, let’s force supermarkets to pay a fair price for dairy, meat, and vegetables, while subsidizing the cost to the consumer, paid for by an equivalent tax on sugary foods in order to ensure farms thrive while still protecting consumers and simultaneously improving the health of the nation.

Once free from the Common Fisheries Policy, let’s put our fisherman back to work and become the fishing capital of Europe. It makes no sense to subsidize corporations through working tax credits. Labour should promise an increase in the minimum wage and use the welfare savings to fund new infrastructure in our now-decrepit seaside towns.

Through this dual approach, we can not only increase the quality of life of those left behind by globalism while once again making British seaside towns worthy tourist attractions, but also bring back into the fold voters who have long since deserted Labour for UKIP.

Through these methods, we can expand our ever-shrinking coalition to include people from all walks of life, while still staying true to Labour values in a modern and relevant way. Let’s go forward in lockstep with farmers, fishermen, carpenters, shopkeepers, laborers, dockers, lorry drivers, and lawyers.

Some may ponder, then, might this not alienate the metropolitan middle classes, who as of this moment form the last bastion of the Labour bloc vote? Well, the biggest genuine issue for such people is the absurdly high house prices which keep people off the property ladder to middle age, and some of the highest rents in the world.

All the while we spend £25 billion every single year on housing benefit[vi], money which goes straight into landlords’ pockets, (not that we don’t want landlords to prosper).

It’s time to announce a national house building program that takes the money straight out of the housing benefit budget and puts it into building 250,000 homes a year until the housing shortage becomes a surplus, at which point the free market will dictate rents, house prices will return to affordable levels, and the UK will once again become a home-owning democracy.

This is how we can offer concrete solutions to clear issues that will resonate with the 8 million people who live in London. Such a program would also lead to the employment of hundreds of thousands of people, prompting a higher tax revenue and increased spending in local economies throughout the country.

In summary, in order for Labour to properly construct policy that appeals to the working class, it must first understand how the working class has evolved over the past century. It should adopt a dual approach that halts the decline of traditional manufacturing and shores up our export market, while simultaneously engendering job growth in emerging markets, with an eye to appealing to those whose new nature of work leaves them without a natural party to vote for.

This program should incorporate the good work done by Ed Miliband in formulating policies to re-introduce security into the workplace, particularly in dealing with ‘zero-hour’ contracts, while also acknowledging that such policies do not have a broad enough appeal amongst swing voters. Labour must push for full, proud, and secure employment. By these means, Labour will rally all elements of the modern working class to their cause. 

Chapter II Foreign Policy and the Military

Foreign policy is not an election winner. Even when Blair’s hated decision to invade Iraq prompted the largest marches ever seen in the UK, the Labour government comfortably held on to power in the 2005 elections.

However, it’s important to remain principled and strive always to do what is right and best, both for the people of our nation and for those abroad but never at the expense of either. Moreover, Labour faces challenges from the left, notably the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, whenever it assumes an overtly pro-war posture.

There is scarcely a sentient being on earth who still believes Iraq, Libya, or Afghanistan were successful interventions, and for all the times it’s been said, it’s clear we haven’t learnt the lessons of the past. The Labour party should make it clear that they will not involve themselves in foreign military entanglements that do not directly concern the security of the United Kingdom and its allies.

British blood should not be expended to remove a foreign dictator only for that nation’s people to find liberation give way to an unimaginably worse kind of tyranny as has happened when ISIS filled the vacuum that Western bombs created.

Having said that, it is crucial that Labour demonstrate that it does not take security lightly, and its commitment to having first-class armed forces should be clear to everyone.

We have a Conservative government that has sacked soldiers before they could claim their full pensions, moved hundreds of thousands of positions into the reserve army, has aircraft carriers that we can’t land aircraft on, and now, most bizarrely, is offering troops the option of not serving in combat zones in return for a pay cut.

In uncertain global times, Labour should put itself forward as a patriotic party committed to the primary duty of the state: the protection of its own people. It’s essential that a commitment to at least 2% of GDP on defense be made in line with NATO requirements as well as a commitment to nuclear weaponry.

The latter is contentious, particularly within Labour circles, but there are some universal truths on this matter. Firstly, Trident has been commissioned, and should Labour win power, they will inherit the system no matter what their policy is. Secondly, the majority of the population are in favor of nuclear weapons, and confusion on the issue only allows the Tories to portray Labour as a threat to national security, philosophical arguments about MAD aside.

It’s also right that we reverse the horrible mistreatment suffered by our veterans. No individual who has laid their life on the line for the nation should be allowed to sleep on the streets, and as part of the aforementioned house building program, there should be guaranteed homes for veterans with subsidized mortgages, a cost to be taken from the 2% of GDP mentioned earlier.

There should also be jobs in the public sector reserved for them, particularly in the police and border forces. It’s my view that the treatment of veterans is a legitimate use of the term ‘military spending’.

Our foreign aid spending is disproportionate, badly allocated, and unsustainable. We are running a budget deficit of £40 billion, and continue to borrow more money to spend abroad, often sponsoring foreign militaries in proxy wars, or putting money into the pocket of despots to secure exploitative trade deals.

After the United States of America, we are the second biggest foreign aid donor on the planet in real terms. We spend $18 billion compared to the U.S. spending of $31 billion[vii]. That is over half of their expenditure despite being significantly less than half the size of their economy.

There are many cases in which it is not only right but morally incumbent upon us as a nation to send funds and resources abroad, to combat Ebola as a recent example.

But setting an annual target of 0.7% of GDP and dispersing that money across the globe, borrowed money in the first place, only exacerbates the economic conditions this country currently faces, and in the long run will prevent us as a nation aiding other countries to our fullest capacity, since our economic growth is constantly hampered by this gross cost.

Foreign aid does a lot of good, and where it does so it should continue to do so, but where reasonable savings can be made, this is exactly the course of action that should be pursued. The liberal, Guardian–reading, mocha-sipping elites will tweet furiously in response to such a suggestion, as if there’s something essential about the budget being set at 0.7% rather than 0.6%.

It’s important to ignore these people, whose numbers appear  more significant online, as they represent a minority as has been shown time and time again, with only 1 in 4 supporting the current foreign aid policy[viii].

For those who suggest that giving money to space-program-pushing India will somehow engender good relations with developing countries, I’d suggest we could better build relations by ceasing to hinder their economic growth through climate regulation (with caveats) and ending the practice of Western and Chinese companies exploiting the developing countries’ natural resources.

We currently face the worst refugee crisis the world has yet known, and as a party, people, and species, we have a duty to help those in need. In the immediate future, we should accept lone child refugees and house them with willing volunteers in the UK.

Subsequent to this, we should quiz every local council in the country and see what facilities they can spare to house other refugees, prioritizing families. However, there are 60 million displaced people globally and counting. The UK cannot effectively double its population by accepting every single individual – even 5% of that number would bring the country’s infrastructure to its knees.

Thus, longer-term solutions must be found, and they begin with rich Middle Eastern countries which have so far allowed the burden to be shouldered by their neighbors like Lebanon as well as Western nations, namely Germany.

It is time we lobbied Saudi Arabia, to whom we sell jets and whose pilots we train in order to better fly them, we gave a free ride when they invaded Bahrain, and continue to do so as they fight in Yemen killing civilians with British bombs, and whose disgusting head-chopping record gives ISIS a run for their money.

This is not a suggestion to cut ties with the Saudis or the UAE, but given the support both militarily and diplomatically that we provide for them, it’s reasonable to assume we can make demands of them: and if ever there was a need to, it is now. These countries should be taking in great numbers of refugees. They have the infrastructure; they just lack the will.

Further to this, the foreign aid budget should be used to contribute to a wider transnational program to build U.N.-protected safe zones across the Middle East, to prevent refugees making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean, which in itself will save thousands of lives but also to keep them safe from terrorism and keep them fed, watered, and sheltered until such time that they can return to their country or region of origin.

The geopolitical landscape has suffered a seismic shift in the past year alone, and upcoming European elections look to continue that trend. The long and short of the matter is that we have distanced ourselves from our European neighbors so long as their current rulers last anyway, and thus we must move closer to our historic allies in the U.S.

However, Jeremy Corbyn (perhaps out of some need for the adoration of the echo chamber of his cult of no personality) is making a frequent habit of attacking President Trump vocally, viciously and publicly. He’s joined in such attacks by other high-profile liberals, notably the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

When the Cameron government shamelessly courted the Chinese into buying out our public infrastructure, John Bercow was front and center in welcoming Xi Jinping to address both houses of Parliament.

Yet in a stunningly hypocritical fashion which must require Olympic levels of mental gymnastics to justify, Bercow has come out against Trump addressing Parliament and intends to block him from doing so, all the while being supported in these efforts by the leader of the Labour party. Part of the problem is the disingenuous hysteria around Trump that you’ll find in the Guardian, Mirror or indy100.

But putting that aside, even a blind man can see that it’s absolutely within British interests to foster closer cooperation and trade with the U.S.A., the biggest economy in the world, which also has in common with us in language, culture, and history.  In fact, for anybody who considers themselves on the left, a closer relationship with Trump can only be a good thing for world peace, given his thus-far successful moves towards détente with Russia.

On this point, there’s no need to paint Putin as the eternal bogeyman. There are elements of his governance which we can all criticize from one angle or another, but to invoke the words of a separate J. C. for a moment, “Those without sin should cast the first stone”.

The domestic policies of Russia are entirely an issue for the Russian people, and continuing to burden Russia with ever worsening sanctions not only destroys diplomatic relations but is mutually harmful for both our economies. Let’s work with Trump and Putin to defeat ISIS, and in doing so we will position ourselves closer to their ears to best influence them on any human rights issues we find significant.

We claim ownership of an island over 7,000 miles away from our shores on the basis that its citizens voted in a referendum to remain British. This is no bad thing and we should continue to respect the right to self-determination.

However, when those in Crimea, who are 65% Russian by ethnicity[ix], vote overwhelmingly to join the Russian state, the Western political class sees this as grounds for a proxy war in Ukraine.

This is made even more bizarre by the fact Crimea was part of Russia as recently as 1954, when Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine, and now over 60 years on, it’s reasonable that its inhabitants would rather unite themselves to a superpower rather than a failed state.

Some will surely cry ‘appeasement’ to the idea that we should improve relations with Russia. To those people, I say: compromise is essential in international relations, we can’t preach to the world how they should live and operate, and it’s arrogant and pseudo-supremacist to try and push our liberal democratic model on every culture and people of the earth.

That’s not to mention that Putin did little when we invaded Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, supported French action in Mali, and imposed sanctions against their Iranian allies, yet liberals appear indignant at any suggestion that the Russians be allowed the same freedom in their international actions.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t assume a strong posture – we absolutely should – which is one of the reasons this text has hitherto advocated the maintenance of Trident and spending of 2% of GDP on defense.

Working closely with our American allies, we should aim to maintain peace through strength, but this is by no means mutually exclusive with closer cooperation with Russia, with whom we should be seeking to strike trade deals, closer ties, and better relations. In short, we should make allies, not enemies, wherever possible.

Most people aren’t concerned with international relations. They want food on their table, a roof over their heads, and enough disposable income to live a good life. However, it will never be the case that Jeremy Corbyn could be elected Prime Minister on an anti-American ticket.

It’s a simple truism that the U.S. is a crucial ally, and to worsen our relations in the context of Brexit would leave the UK essentially isolated. Trump’s lewd comments about women are not a hill Labour should be dying on, nor a hill they should have even assumed a position atop in the first instance.

Instead Labour should have a foreign policy that doesn’t indulge in 3-dimensional chess and virtue signalling but instead sends a very clear message. Labour will be second to none in defense of the nation, second to none in rebuilding relations, and unwilling to expend British blood or treasure in foreign wars that do not concern us.

In Europe, let’s form bilateral trade agreements and maintain the same standard of intelligence sharing as exists today, both of which are perfectly possible without power sharing in a technocratic bureaucracy.

The upshot of this in messaging terms is that Labour should state loud and clear that Labour will keep you safe, prioritize our own citizens, and maintain a humanitarian outlook on global affairs. Little else is necessary, and Corbyn’s famous hand-holding with the IRA and Hamas are enough to set him up for a decisive defeat in any British election.

Chapter III – Immigration

Immigration became a taboo subject in the realm of political discourse with the dawn of the Blair Age. Conversation on the matter was shut down, and dissidents were branded racists, outcasts, and forced into silence. A mixture of concern and outrage boiled up amongst those left behind by New Labour, leading to the return of two British National Party candidates in the European Elections of 2009.

Fortunately, both of those vile individuals have since lost their seats and faded into obscurity, with those voters now opting to side with the far more moderate UKIP. Nigel Farage single-handedly put immigration at the center of British politics, and his influence led to a vote to leave the European Union, within which the primary concern amongst Out voters was immigration.

This had been a sleeping giant for some time, and Farage was able to awaken it. However, even now in a post-Brexit world, the issue of immigration is still taboo for many, particularly in the mainstream media. It’s rare that anyone advocating a merit-based immigration system as opposed to no controls at all isn’t branded a racist by a ‘Question Time’ panelist or political opponent.

It’s an issue that’s particularly pernicious on university campuses and in inner cities. In the former, anyone to the right of Chairman Mao on the issue is considered Hitler’s earthly avatar, and in the latter, it’s a common occurrence to find your trip through Central London punctuated with stalls of the Socialist Workers Party distributing leaflets that read along of the lines of ‘Let all refugees in now! Stop racism!’.

Speaking of the SWP, whilst Labour seems curious about its own credibility gap, meanwhile its own shadow chancellor is giving interviews to the SWP[x], so whoever is running the Labour PR machine should enjoy the ‘benefit’ of instant dismissal.

The fact that the views of a tiny vocal minority are over-represented on television and online media makes people scared to air their true opinions, only taking action within the security and anonymity of the ballot box. Over 70% of the country believe immigration controls are not tough enough[xi], and this is a figure Labour leaders should be more concerned with than the number of retweets a platitude about multiculturalism can receive online.

Overwhelmingly, the country is dissatisfied with current levels of immigration. This includes Black and minority ethnic voters of all stripes who believe the number of immigrants should be reduced, and they do so by sizeable majorities[xii].

It’s pertinent to mention that immigration is disproportionately a concern for the working classes, and many of them have fled Labour, leading UKIP to be the main challenger to Labour in a great many constituencies in the 2015 election. Although it’s proven difficult for UKIP to directly take seats from Labour, there are two problems that this bleeding of voters poses.

The first is that it will lead the Labour vote in northern communities to be split with UKIP, thus allowing a Tory candidate to take a seat with as little as 30% of the vote. The second problem is that these UKIP voters distance themselves so far from Labour when they look at its middle class-centric tone that they jump ship to the Conservatives, and if that happened in large enough numbers, a Labour general election victory would be inconceivable for a generation.

We are in the process of leaving the European Union, and thus we will no longer be shackled to the free movement of labor which has given every citizen of the EU the right to live and work in the UK. However, neither the Conservatives nor Labour have made clear the path ahead.

What better opportunity then for Labour to appeal to its forgotten voters, take back the defectors, and win over Conservatives by proposing a strict points–based,Australian-style immigration system. Let’s legislate in order to ensure that only immigrants who possess the skills and resources we need have the ability to settle and work in this country.

Let’s mandate that immigrants should have an excellent grasp of the English language, not just because such a skill is essential (particularly in the medical profession) but also because it will ensure universally beneficial integration.

At the same time, we should make it clear that this country already has enough unskilled workers, unemployed, and disabled people who are struggling to cope as it is, and it should not be incumbent on the country to take more such people in.

It’s here the points-based system comes into its own: for example, if there is a shortage of unskilled labor, we can adjust the requisite points for entry and mandate that people who enter under such circumstances have jobs waiting for them.

Some suggest a migration system based on merit is xenophobic, and to those people it’s worth mentioning that we’ve applied a points-based system to non-EU citizens for years, and as members of the EU, we were giving preference to European migrants who were predominantly White over Indian and African migrants.

A points-based system is totally equitable and accepts people based on ability, irrespective of skin color, creed, or nationality. This is entirely in keeping with the sort of values that led to Labour’s foundation and should remain at the forefront of any respectable leftwing movement.

There is a myth that there is something ‘left wing’ or ‘progressive’ about uncontrolled migration, or that it would be desirable to have an unlimited number of unknown individuals entering the country every year.

Let’s be clear: the free movement of labor is a rightwing, neoliberal, capitalist policy, not dissimilar to the free movement of capital. It’s a symptom of an anarchic free market system that serves the elites extremely well; it drives down the price of labor for corporations, affords the middle classes cheap gardeners and nannies, and perpetually rigs the job market in the employers’ favor.

It’s a fundamental leftist belief that the free market is not infallible, requires regulation, and this regulation should pertain not just to levels of taxation and regulation but also to the distribution of workers.

This is not advocacy of immigration control on the basis of electoral populism, or economic philosophy, though it would indeed be popular, and it does follow philosophically; instead it’s an advocacy on the grounds of basic math.

Plainly, the UK cannot sustain the number of immigrants coming into the country every year. 300,000 is the rough annual net migration figure to the UK per annum. Many point out rightly that a large number of these people are students, and they’re right to do so.

However, whether student or worker, they still take the same toll on transport, health, and social infrastructure.  As a nation, we are building around half the number of houses we need every single year, at around 135,000[xiii], creating a clear deficit in housing availability. That’s not to mention that our own domestic birth rate is over 800,000 per year[xiv].

We already have a dangerous housing bubble which threatens to collapse at any moment, pulling our entire economy down with it, and it’s only exacerbated by such migrant numbers. Of course, part of this problem is that we don’t build enough houses, and issues pertaining to that were detailed in the first chapter.

However, the costs of building such enormous numbers of houses and providing the associated infrastructure would be to say the least prohibitive, and even if it were feasible, it would not be desirable.

Aside from housing there are huge costs associated with the NHS, when people who have never contributed arrive able to take full advantage of it without question. This is one of the factors that has led to a record NHS deficit of £1.85 billion[xv]; although of course underfunding remains the direct cause of this crisis, immigration serves to aggravate it.

You’ll hear from Labour politicians and often to the thunderous applause of their echo chambers, the following platitude: “You’re more likely to see an immigrant working in the NHS than using it”.

Aside from being disingenuous, since it’s entirely determined by happenstance and geography, the point they are trying to make is that because immigrants work in the NHS, we should allow an unlimited number of immigrants to enter the country, as if the former warrants the latter, which is a total non-sequitur.

Yes, we have a large number of migrants working in the NHS, and that’s a good thing to. Let’s keep them there and continue to allow medical professionals into the country in line with demand. Having controlled immigration and having Indian doctors are not mutually exclusive; in actuality an equitable points-based system will incentivize and drive up the number of highly qualified migrant workers relative to unskilled workers.

The people are crying out for a credible party to come out strongly on immigration, and if Labour did so, they would take the country by storm.

Chapter IV – And the Rest

Regarding inertia

As of this writing the most commonly seen Labour slogan is “Working together for real change”. The problem is the party is not working together, and presents no change. The conflict within and between the constituency and parliamentary Labour parties is wreaking havoc on Labour’s public image, and as the well-known adage tells us, voters don’t vote for divided parties.

However, this text will not attempt to dissect the intricacies that have led to this point; instead suffice it to mention a couple of key issues.

Jeremy Corbyn will never receive the support of the current MPs and therefore must go. The only alternative would be to begin a process of deselection across the country –  a sort of Trotskyist Night of the Long Knives, which would only leave the party’s reputation in tatters and replace experienced MPs with amateurs.

There is a divide within the parliamentary party between those representing constituents who are socially conservative working class and middle class social liberals. While Labour has always been a broad church that has incorporated numerous factions, the divisions now seem to be intensifying like never before.

Party loyalty is at record low rates, and people are now more likely than ever to throw out of office the candidate of their forefather’s choice and often on the basis of a single issue. This is more contentious than ever post-Brexit, given that some Labour MPs represent constituencies that voted overwhelmingly to Remain and others the reverse. Inevitably MPs jostle with one another to represent their diverse constituents.

The remedies are imperfect for both issues. For the first, Corbyn must go, which is easier said than done; and secondly the Labour party must support the will of the people and push for a real Brexit that rejects freedom of movement. Neither solution is ideal, but both are necessary, not least because the majority of the country hate Corbyn, and the majority of the country voted for Brexit.

On to the second, and more important, element of the slogan: “Real Change.” The most obvious change that has taken place in the last couple of years is the transformation of the Labour party from a party of government to one that wallows in political oblivion. Change is an important message to transmit, but the kind of change needs to be clear, and Corbyn’s Labour has thus far advocated very few changes indeed.

In fact, in my research for this work, I wanted to see exactly what policies Jeremy Corbyn had promoted in order to deal with them individually. However, when I tried to access Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘priorities’ on his website, it returned an error page reading “Unfortunately the page you were looking for was not found”, which is so patently ironic that no explanation is needed.

Further hunting will lead you to an article in the Mirror listing several flagship policies, which range from unpopular and bizarre like abolishing the monarchy to leftist clichés like ‘tax the rich’, and standard Labour talking points like re-nationalizing rail.

An eager hunter will find a more exhaustive list in a Telegraph article, which is pretty damming for the Labour party PR machine when the right-wing pro-Tory paper gives more policy detail than Labour themselves do. Eventually, one will stumble upon the ‘Jeremy for Labour’ page detailing ten broad policy positions. A brief glance is enough to know it’s a slight rewording of Ed Miliband’s 2015 manifesto combined with some broad meaningless jargon.

“We will build a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest earners are fairly taxed, act against executive pay excess, and shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid – FTSE 100 CEOs are now paid 183 times the wage of the average UK worker, and Britain’s wages are the most unequal in Europe. We will act to create a more equal society, boost the incomes of the poorest, and close the gender pay gap.”[xvi]

Do we not already have a progressive tax system? What rate should the highest earners pay? Will you cap executive bonuses? How will you boost the incomes of the poorest? How will you close the gender pay gap?

Such questions could be the only reasonable response to reading such general non-offensive meaningless milk-and-honey talking points. Anyone who feels the media hasn’t given Corbyn’s Labour a fair shake and has undertaken to do their own research will only be doubly disappointed when they discover that in the two years of his leadership, there’s scarcely a new policy to speak of.

For those who seek out concrete information, they should be rewarded with definitive and detailed policy proposals signed off by renowned economists, think tanks, and financial organizations.

Such policies should include pledges to build huge tidal power stations taking advantage of the fact that our nation is surrounded by water, to build offshore wind farms (including specifications on how many of them, at what cost and where the money is coming from), and to build new motorways, detailing how many people such a project would employ and projecting the economic benefits it would bring to this city or that. Alas, nothing of the sort exists.

Not to harp on about political antiquity, but Harold Wilson talked of the ‘white heat of the technological revolution.’ It’s not something that was ever truly delivered on, but it’s a phrase that stuck. What better time than now is there to renew the scientific and technological revolution? In the age of drones, self-driving cars, nanotechnology, and interstellar rovers, the modern Labour party has very little or nothing to say about it.

As a people we have the potential and as a country we have the need to host research and development facilities for the world’s leading technology firms and to have factories producing technology for the modern age. Labour Shadow Ministers should be meeting with Tesla and Microsoft, putting out press releases and winning support amongst the firms of the future, letting them know Britain is open for business.

In tandem with this we need new and forward-looking training schemes. The youth vote is overwhelmingly Labour but also the least likely to turn out.

Labour councilors, MPs and its half million members (Where are they?) should be knocking on every door of every council estate, meeting the unemployed, disenfranchised youth, and giving them a clear, concise piece of paper offering them a world-class training program that Labour guarantees to introduce if it wins the election.

Give these people something to aspire to and something to vote for outside of the Blue and Red tribal dichotomy which means very little to most people.

AddendumI have returned to this section to note that shortly after the time of writing, the Conservative government has unveiled so called ‘T-levels’, which promise to train youngsters in the practical and technical fields of the future. Once again, Labour has been too slow on the draw and attempts to do so now would appear to be a derivative imitation.

Put before people a plan that they can understand and offer them a future: through training programs, scientific advancement, industrialization, automation, pay rises, and tax breaks. Talking points must give way to the tangible.

What matters to most people when all is said and done is the food on their table, the money in their pockets and the roof over their head. Naturally, a sense of community drives many voters, but elections cannot be won through street marches in aid of the NHS. It’s an established truism that Labour will best serve the NHS, and people understand that all too well, but it cannot rely on this one-trick pony to carry it through to government.

Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime

Possibly the best thing to come out of the Blair era was the acknowledgment that the great mass of Labour voters were not ultra-liberal, as the Westminster establishment would have you believe but are in fact deeply socially conservative. As such, it’s crucial not only for the execution of justice, but for the electability of the party that Labour are seen to come down hard on criminals and serve justice to victims.

This should come in tandem with core Labour values about alleviating poverty, which we know to be the leading cause of crime since the devil will find work for idle hands to do. Any attempt to crack down on crime must do so heavily and stringently on perpetrators, while simultaneously delivering a revolutionary jobs program to put those idle hands to work.

As a consequence, such people will be able to sustain a family and home, thus giving people a stake in society they would be unwilling to discard with wanton criminality. The Tories have shamelessly cut back the numbers of police to levels last seen in 2003[xvii]. Prisons are being sold to private companies and the conditions that occur within them as a result is nothing short of disgraceful.

Prison guards are striking, and criminals are forcibly taking control of their own prisons, if such a thing could be believed to be true in 21st century Britain. Not only is this a national crisis that warrants an urgent response, but it’s a political opportunity Labour has thus far made no move to exploit.

It should call for and develop credible plans to introduce an increase in police numbers, prison reform, and higher wages for those on the frontline keeping our streets safe. Labour should be tough on crime because it’s the working class who suffer disproportionately at the hands of criminals without the benefits of gated drives and suburbia to protect them.

The Labour party has thus far failed to make political capital from any of these issues. It should go forth hand in hand with the police unions and declare that Labour will be second to none in its commitment and strength of purpose to cut down crime and clean up our prisons. Labour will serve the interests of victims and not criminals once again.

Corbyn’s irreparably damaging comments that he was ‘unhappy’ with the shoot-to-kill policy have done nothing to reduce the idea that Labour are soft on crime. The party needs to push the message night and day until it’s accepted as a truism that under Labour the streets will be safe again. 

Speaking to the People

Many in the Labour party have become totally removed from the voters they serve. Famously, Emily Thornberry poured scorn on a white van man for daring to hang the English flag on his own home. She was roundly attacked by people living outside the ultra-liberal Westminster bubble and was forced to resign from her then position as Shadow Attorney General, though since then Corbyn has secured her promotion to even greater heights.

It’s no surprise that working-class people continue to turn to UKIP in such numbers, when Labour’s North London elite mocks anyone patriotic or traditional in outlook. The voters of Rochester and Strood where the comments were made had nothing in common with Emily Thornberry and the beliefs she manifests, yet she felt perfectly entitled to go there and belittle the very people whose support she should have been trying to secure.

Unsurprisingly, Labour came 3rd in the constituency, losing over 10% of their vote share on the 2010 election. Seats like these are essential to take in order for Labour to have any hope of winning a general election.

Such events are symptomatic of a wider problem, which at the moment is embodied within the Labour leadership. The public watched in outrage as Jeremy Corbyn failed to sing the national anthem during a Battle of Britain commemoration. The papers made hay when Corbyn made a half-hearted bow at the Cenotaph, and did so, by the way, in a tatty suit. When the Red Flag is sung, it brings a smile to activists’ faces but confusion to the country at large.

Corbyn is known to be a republican. There is no problem with that. But he must understand that the vast majority of the country are in favor of the British monarchy because it speaks to their patriotism, is synonymous with their British identity, and is associated with the wars from times gone by and those lost in them.

Any leader of any party should sing the national anthem with gusto, and do so in the finest black suit with the boldest red tie. A refusal or failure to engage in the traditions that venerate the nation and honor our war dead sends a clear signal to the working class of this country that Labour is not the party for them. Indeed, many in the country view Corbyn as directly ‘anti-British’ given his close ties to IRA figures and his now infamous comments calling Hezbollah his ‘friends’.

Some will suggest that the aforementioned are merely superficial issues. In many ways, they are an issue of presentation, but the image the Labour party and its present leadership is not a secondary or tertiary concern, it should be the primary concern for any party seeking to win power.

It’s all well and good having an excellent manifesto, but if no one reads it or gives it credence because they believe its authors are intrinsically unpatriotic, then the manifesto is entirely useless.

Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as leader is essentially a job interview with the British people at large. He must win their approval in order for them to grant him power. Yet he can’t be bothered to wear a decent suit, which in the opening days of his leadership campaign was endearing and charming, but at this point marks him as an unprepared amateur.

The Labour party has a war coffer of funds at its disposal, including membership subscriptions of over 500,000 individuals, a long list of big private donors, and a great deal more cash donated by trade unions. Yet for all these resources, there isn’t a single advisor who can tell Corbyn not to wear black suit trousers with a blue suit jacket during Prime Minister’s question time. When members of the public go for a job interview, they dress to impress, and they expect their leaders to do the same.

We need a leader of the Labour party flanked by the Union Flag, bellowing the national anthem, and embracing patriotism the same way the people do. Sadly, it appears the liberal elite feels shame and embarrassment at any suggestion of national pride.

There are people who understand this. Andy Burnham makes a particularly good example. A working-class lad who graduated from Cambridge, he returned to his home town to represent Leigh as a member of parliament, where he notably worked to secure justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster cover-up.

From a cold reception in a speech at the Anfield Football Grounds in 2009, he returned after five tireless years of fighting for justice to a well-earned hero’s reception. He wasn’t afraid to speak about that which for so long Labour had considered taboo, namely immigration, and during his bid for the leadership in 2015, he did just that.

Burnham rightly acknowledged all the good that immigration brings, from economic growth to cultural enrichment, while at the same time talking about those left behind by uncontrolled immigration. He talked of a factory worker in his constituency who sat alone during lunch times as he was the only English-speaking worker.

He rightly identified that immigration had disproportionately taken a toll on Labour’s industrial and post-industrial heartlands, and since his failed campaign, he has become even more vocal on this issue.

Alas, for some reason he lacked a certain spark during the campaign, though that aside, he spoke directly to the country, but yet it was the niche Labour party membership who had for the first time the total say on the new leader. Consequently Corbyn won. Burnham has moved out of the front line of national politics towards a campaign to be the mayor of Manchester. Let’s hope that he and his fellows plan a return in the near future.

Chapter V – Conclusions

There absolutely is a place for social liberals within the modern Labour party. The Labour party has a history of pushing through excellent liberal reforms from Barbra Castle legislating equal pay for equal work between the genders to the introduction of civil partnerships under Blair.

Throughout its history, Labour has been at the forefront of liberal reforms that have liberated people of all stripes, and it’s a good thing too. It’s also right that the Labour party platform deals with discrimination against transgender, gay, and black and minority ethnic individuals, but it should not do so at the expense of all else.

Too often, Labour party circles have discussion dominated by issues that (while important) effect .01% of the population or less. The cry of ‘racist’ or ‘transphobe’ is too often an excuse to shut down freedom of speech, particularly on university campuses and by individuals associated with Labour at a student level.

How can it be that lifelong gay activist Peter Tatchell, feminist icon Germaine Greer, and the left-of-Labour George Galloway have all been no-platformed or attacked on our university campuses. The attitudes that lead to such absurd action are rife among Labour party members and less often to be seen amongst the general populace, for whom these individuals would be considered far left, not something-or-other-ophobic.

There’s a false equivalence between parties like UKIP, a liberal isolationist organization, on the one hand, and fascism or racism on the other, and the comparison between them is consistently pushed by groups like Momentum, the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Socialist Workers Party, all of which are groups operating with or within the Labour party.

Here’s an excerpt from the SWP publication the Socialist Worker, which I have seen distributed by Labour party members outside meetings and talks:

“And in Stoke Central the racist UKIP party, which came second there at the last general election, wants to whip up racism to take the seat from Labour. Socialist Worker is calling for a vote for Labour in both elections. They will be seen as referendums on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour—and Corbyn could be forced to resign as leader if Labour does badly.

The racist right will feel ecstatic if UKIP leader Paul Nuttall wins in Stoke. Labour has rightly attacked Nuttall for his previous statements supporting privatization of the NHS. But Labour’s official campaign has not challenged UKIP over its racism. Labour will be most effective if it both attacks the cuts and also confronts UKIP divisive racism.”[xviii]

It’s simply not enough to shout ‘racist’ and expect to win an argument. In fact, at this point it’s no longer even a case of diminishing returns, but it’s actually backfiring, making people more inclined to vote for UKIP when their concerns about migration are met with insult by leftists. We on the left should be trying to win debates, not shut them down.

This isn’t an appeal to the SWP to change their tactics. They are free agents and can do as they please. But the fact that the Labour party leadership meets with them, gives them interviews and is commonly seen marching alongside them is indicative of the sort of attitudes that fester in Labour and also appears to be a soft endorsement of such views.

It’s part of a wider problem where certain social liberals are going so far in their anti-racism campaigns that they shut down free speech within the media, on university campuses, and on the streets, more often than not targeting people who were never racist in the first place.

In short, these liberals have become the very illiberal people they believe they’re fighting against. Such people are fooled into believing the rest of the country is on their wavelength, buoyed up by thousands of retweets and Facebook likes, yet they do not appear to understand that their online presence is an echo chamber. The more their preaching is welcomed by the converted, the more steadfast they become in their initial beliefs.

Most people in the country are not anything close to this level of ultra-liberal, and such attitudes do not resonate with them. The great mass of people are patriotic and socially conservative, and their concern with politics extends to ensuring the system provides them with a safety net and the opportunity for employment.

That doesn’t mean the country at large doesn’t have a sense of and desire for social justice. Of course it does. But the best way to ensure it is to first establish economic justice. When Labour party figures engage in extended diatribes about intersectional feminism, which to most people of both genders means nothing, it turns the public off.

Liberalism is a welcome element of the Labour coalition, but it cannot continue in such an extreme form, nor can it override concern for the economy and for jobs. Labour need to talk less about rules surrounding transgender usage of bathrooms in North Carolina, and more, much more, about jobs.

Corbyn’s position is untenable. He has had second chance upon second chance and failed to rehabilitate his image or reform his party. His name is toxic and his leadership destructive, and for these reasons, he must go.

In his place, we need a strong man or woman who understands the patriotism that stirs within Labour’s core vote, who understands the nation’s deep social conservatism, and who is prepared to meet the electorate’s demands for homes and jobs. Perhaps an Andy Burnham, a Gisela Stewart, a Dan Jarvis, a Richard Burgeon, or someone else entirely.

Labour must overcome its misconceptions about the people’s wants by breaking free of both Westminster and its online echo chambers.

The public are not shocked or angered about cuts to the benefits bill, in fact it’s a popular position[xix]. On this, let’s deliver the biggest benefits cut yet seen, and let them fall on the corporate welfare that now costs over £50 billion a year between working tax credits and housing benefit alone.

Let’s force corporations to pay a living wage, and put the working tax credit savings into a jobs program that will mop up any collateral unemployment. Let’s build houses until prices fall and housing benefit drops to record lows. Let’s cut old-age benefits for the very richest pensioners who have no need of them, and distribute that money to the needy elderly according to their ability and means.

Over a million food parcels were distributed by food banks to hungry citizens throughout the country in 2015[xx], evidence if any more were needed that our infrastructure, welfare, and employment programs are totally failing the British people.

Unfortunately, the people accessing these food banks are the least likely to turn out in a general election. Let’s take Labour’s mass membership and send it to deprived communities to knock on doors and win support from those who have never voted before. Such an effort should be supported by its hundreds of MPs, thousands of councilors, and hundreds of thousands of trade union affiliated members.

Labour’s war coffers are full enough to help out its members when they sacrifice their time for the party. Travel and other associated costs should be subsidized in such campaigns.

Let’s take a strong message into the heart of the country, into Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and the North, that Labour will deliver British jobs for British workers.  It will carry through to the agricultural areas which the Tories presume to sit upon since time immemorial and deliver a program to get British farms working again.

Let’s go into London and make clear that Labour is the party for social justice, and that begins with housing. Guarantee the construction of at least 250,000 homes every year and provide credible plans on how it will be done because whether you’re Black, White, trans, gay, straight, male or female, your primary concern is shelter, of which there is currently a dire shortage.

Let’s spark off a renaissance in 21st century manufacturing, now with the benefits of automation and renewable energy. Take to the public a message that cuts in the foreign aid budget will deliver a program of nuclear, tidal, wind, and solar energy expansion that will not just create innumerable high-paying jobs but will have the added advantage of saving the climate.

Let’s wade into the realm of the intelligentsia and say loud and clear that Labour is the party for true liberals, those who believe in rationalism, freedom of speech, and tolerance. Let’s talk to those who face the prospect of a life behind bars and deliver to them a place behind a college desk, a workbench or the wheel of a JCB.

Let us go to the people and promise them; Jobs, Homes and Health.

[i] Khan, O. (2015 May 15) Race and the 2015 General Election Part 1: Black and Minority Ethnic Voters. Retrieved from http://www.runnymedetrust.org/blog/race-and-the-2015-general-election-black-and-minority-ethnic-voters

[ii] Monegan, A. (2014 August 20) Self-employment in UK at Highest Level Since Records Began. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/aug/20/self-employment-uk-highest-level

[iii] BBC Business. (2015 March 18) Economy Tracker: Unemployment. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10604117

[iv] Mirza-Davies J. (2016 November 21) Apprenticeship Statistics: England. Retrieved from http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06113/SN06113.pdf

[v] Blacking, D. (2014 July) So You Want to Be a Legal Aid Lawyer? Retrieved from http://lacuna.org.uk/justice/so-you-want-to-be-a-legal-aid-lawyer/

[vi] BBC Business (2015 September 21) Why Is the UK’s Housing Benefit Bill so High? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34290727

[vii] OECD. (2016 April 13) Development Aid in 2015 Continues to Grow despite Costs for In-donor Refugees. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/ODA-2015-detailed-summary.pdf

[viii] Leach, B. (2012 December 19) One in Four Support Britain’s Foreign Aid Policies. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9770644/One-in-four-support-Britains-foreign-aid-policies.html

[ix] Lubin, G. (2014 March 16) How Russians Became Crimea’s Largest Ethnic Group, in One Haunting Chart. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/crimea-demographics-chart-2014-3?IR=T

[x] Socialist Worker (2017 February 28) Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell Spoke to Socialist Worker on the Recent By-election Results. Retrieved from https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44161/Shadow+chancellor+John+McDonnell+spoke+to+Socialist+Worker+on+the+recent+by+election+results

[xi] Migration Watch UK (2014 November 18) Opinion Poll Results on Immigration. Retrieved from https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefingPaper/document/249

[xii] Migration Watch UK (2015 March 25) Immigration Policy and Black and Minority Ethnic Voters. Retrieved from https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/11.37

[xiii] Castella, T. (2015 January 13) Why Can’t the UK Build 240,000 Houses a Year? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30776306

[xiv] BBC News (2013 August 8) More UK births Than any Year Since 1972, Says ONS. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23618487

[xv] Dunne, P. Mckenna, H. and Murray, R. (2016 July) Deficits in the NHS 2016. Retrieved from https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/Deficits_in_the_NHS_Kings_Fund_July_2016_1.pdf

[xvi] Our Ten Pledges to Rebuild and Transform Britain. Retrieved from http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/pledges

[xvii] Newburn, T. (2015 November 24) What’s Happening to Police Numbers? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34899060

[xviii] Clark, N. (2017 February 14) Clive Lewis Backs off, but the Labour Right is out for Corbyn’s Blood. Retrieved from https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44091/Clive+Lewis+backs+off%2C+but+the+Labour+right+is+out+for+Corbyns+blood

[xix] Wells, A. (2011 May 16) Strong Public Support for Benefit Cuts. Retrieved from https://yougov.co.uk/news/2011/05/16/strong-public-support-benefit-cuts/

[xx] BBC News. (2015 April 22) Record Numbers Use Food Banks – Trussell Trust. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32406120

Alt Left: Do Not Eat Processed Meats with Nitrates or Nitrates

I am just learning this right now. The nitrates are added to processed meats such as luncheon meats, bacon, ham, sausages, pepperoni, etc. to help preserve them and to give them the pink color. Most meat that has that pink color is probably bad for you.

The nitrates and nitrites themselves are not harmful. Many vegetables have them. However, when added to meats, especially red meats, the nitrates interact with chemicals in the meat to produce nitrosamines, which are not only bad for your heart but are also a strong carcinogen.

We’ve known this for a long time now. There was a big warning leveled against these meats in the mid-1970’s.

Back then the FDA was pro-consumer, unlike now when it is viciously anti-consumer, pro-business, and anti-public health. The FDA gave the meat industry three months to prove that nitrates in meat were harmless. They couldn’t do it. Instead they made up a lie that nitrates were required to keep botulism out of food.

But meats cured without nitrates have been used for decades and there hasn’t been one case of botulism. Most botulism comes from canned foods, often canned vegetables. The can is often very old and many times the botulism causes a bulge in the can. Never eat out of any can that has developed an odd bulge in it.

In 1980, Republicans came in and a consumer and public health-hostile and pro-business FDA came in and the nitrate controversy went away. It awakened again a few years ago when British papers published studies showing that processed meats with nitrates caused thousands of cases of cancer per year in the UK. This was called the bacon scare.

The industry has been lying shamelessly about these carcinogens in our foods for almost fifty years now. Their line came right out of the tobacco industry’s playbook.

There are many websites on the Net with articles about the fake nitrate scare and even how nitrates are good for you. I just realized that I bought a package of turkey hot dogs and one of ground turkey meat that both had sodium nitrite in it.

There’s really no safe amount of this stuff you can eat. Even eating one nitrate hot dog a day significantly increases your risk of dying of cancer, typically colon cancer. If you know what’s good for you, you will quit eating this junk right now.

There are not a lot of nitrate-free processed meats out there, but there are some. There are completely safe traditional ways to cure meats that work just as well as nitrates. But the curing process can take up to 18 months. Meat companies want their meats to cure rapidly. Waiting around for them to cure cuts into profits.

So we see once again how the maximize profits directive of capitalism once again puts money and profits over human lives. Capitalism literally murders or kills humans just so other humans can make a buck. I hope you fanboys are proud of that fancy free market of yours.

Why Is the Average IQ in Africa So Low Compared to Other Continents?

Answered on Quora.
I hate to say it, but I think they have genetically low IQ. This is very sad because it smashes a lot of our hopes for Africa and makes its problems even less salvageable.
Nevertheless, due to something called the Flynn Effect, IQ’s in at least some African countries have risen a lot in only a few decades. I believe Kenya saw a rise of ~30 IQ points. But everyone else’s went up too due to the same effect, so at some point, it’s an arms race. An example would be the question of how fast do I have to be to outrun a tiger? I don’t have to be faster than a tiger to outrun a tiger, I just have to be faster than you!
Nevertheless, assuming that Flynn rises are actual increases in intelligence (I think they are), then Africans are definitely getting smarter. That the rest of the world is too doesn’t matter so much. If Africans get more intelligent, they will be so much better at solving their problems.
There are a lot of tropical diseases, parasites, and malnutrition in Africa which undoubtedly lower scores. Nevertheless, I still feel that there is a genetic lower intelligence that is a huge problem. Personally I think many of the problems of Africa are down to low intelligence.
What I am interested in is the notion of raising IQ. IQ can absolutely be raised in many ways, mostly nutritional. The Flynn rise is partly due to nutrition but also due to better education and also a more complex modern society. The ~30 point rise in Kenya was heavily on vocabulary, mathematics, and general knowledge, and it was thought to be down to better schooling.
Let’s get serious about IQ and do everything we can to raise the IQ’s of Africans in whatever way we can. If we can’t raise it enough by environment, maybe in the future we could monkey with human genes. I am serious. That’s how serious of a problem low IQ is in large populations.
You don’t make a problem go away by saying it doesn’t exist. It just festers, prolongs, and maybe gets worse.

The Lie of the 20 (or 40, or 60, or 80, or 110) Million: How Many People Did Stalin Kill?

Here.
In 1991, after the Soviet archives were opened, a wild debate raged in the journals for many years. The subject of the debate was how many people did Joseph Stalin kill. Most people assume that Joseph Stalin killed 20 million people at the very least. That figure is considered unassailable. Other figures of 40-60 million are considered to also be possible.
The fascist hero and traitor Solzhenitsyn said that Stalin killed 110 million people. We have little data about how many were killed by early Bolsheviks in peacetime. Much of their time was spent in a brutal Civil War and there were many deaths associated with that. There was also a brutal famine that occurred in the context of war. But all indications are that the Leninists were not responsible for a lot of deaths. I would be surprised if they killed 100,000 people in 10 years. From 1926-1953, we have readily accessible data however.

                     Deaths
Executions           900,000
Anti-Kulak Campaign  400,000
Gulag                1,200,000
Total                2,500,000

I am leaving out deaths during wartime here, as we should not be counting those. However, there were some serious population transfers during World War which ended about 10 years later. The death tolls from these transfers were very high. Populations in the Baltics, Crimean Tatars, Chechens, Ingush and other Caucasian people were transferred, sometimes en masse, to gulags in Siberia. Death tolls were extremely high. I am not sure whether to include these totals, so I am leaving them out. Anyway, I do not have a good source for the deaths.
Surely there were executions and deaths in the gulags after 1943, but after Stalin died, the system was very much loosened up under Khrushchev and certainly under his followers. I doubt once again if there were 100,000 people killed between 1953-1989, a 36 year period.
I am also leaving off deaths due to famines because there is no evidence that these famines were artificially engineered. The most famous fake famine of all, the fake Holodomor, simply never even happened. What I mean was, yes, there was a famine, and many people died – 5.4 million in fact. But those deaths were not all in the Ukraine. Many died in the cities and 1 million died in Siberia. The death toll was higher in the fanatically pro-Stalin Volga than it was in Western Ukraine.
Even in Ukraine, the deaths were as high in the pro-Stalin East as in the anti-USSR nationalist West and Center. There is simply no evidence whatsoever that any “terror famine” occurred at all. There was simply a famine that occurred for a variety of causes, mostly a simple harvest collapse. Most died of disease instead of starvation. Much of the death toll was due to the kulaks.
The kulaks killed 50% of the livestock in the USSR to keep them from being turned over to the state. In the famine year, wheat fields were torched all over the Ukraine. Harvests were piled in the fields and left out to be rained on until they spoiled. Much of the crop failure was due to these dumbasses setting their fields on fire or piling harvests in the rain to spoil. They destroyed all their food crops, and then they sat around and said, “We ain’t got no food!” Duh. Reminds me of the situation in Zimbabwe when the Blacks destroyed all the White farms and drove the farmers out of the country and then all the Blacks sat around and said, “Whoa! We ain’t gots no food! Someone please gibs us some food! We hungry!”
There was an armed revolution in the Ukraine with 20-30 armed attacks per day. Collective farms were attacked and set on fire. Workers in the collective farms would be shot and the women would be raped. This went on all through the years around the famine. The state crackdown was very brutal and that is why I listed 400,000 deaths during this time. If you want to count those 400,000 as “Holodomor” deaths, be my guest. But it ain’t no 6 million and there was no terror famine.
Look, if anti-Communists want to go on and on about Stalin killing 2 1/2 million people, please knock yourselves out. But they’ll never do that because it’s not sensational enough. You say the phrase “20 million killed in Communism” and everyone sits up and takes notice. You say Stalin killed 2 million and most will yawn and ask, “That’s all?” and turn back to the TV show.
This crap is all about propaganda. It’s not about real history or social science of any of that. It’s about lying for political purposes, which is what most of modern history is anyway.
How shameful that is.

North Korean Update

EPGAH: What was that bit about North Korea? They invaded South Korea, they massacred and kidnapped South Koreans, and in general, they deserved to be reduced to rubble and cowering.
If it hadn’t been for China’s interference–who didn’t want a thriving democracy at their border, rather than a country who would rather be illegal immigrant slaves than starve in their own country–there wouldn’t be a North Korea anymore, just a unified thriving Korea.
Why does North Korea get a pass, and why is there deafening silence over all the bad guys Russia and China became butt buddies with (And still are, like Kim Jong) and/or gave guns&bombs to?

Your average North Korean really hates the US and regards us as a deadly enemy and that first paragraph would be exhibit #1 for that attitude. I would not get your hopes up about a US invasion of North Korea being an easy win.
I do not know if it is fair to say that North Korea attacked South Korea. They had been attacking each other back and forth across the line for some time. Who started that back and forth is the subject of a good debate. The best evidence shows that the “North Korean invasion” that started the war was actually a case of two large armies attacking each other at about the same time. It is true that the North overran much of the South though.
Nobody is actually starving in North Korea anymore is how I see it. If you go there, you won’t see any starving people. Most people will look pretty well fed. But you might see a few middle aged men who seem far too thin for their age. That may be due to what they went through in the past. If you go to the rural areas, there are trucks full of smiling field workers everywhere, people pushing carts or with horses on all the roads and the fields full of happy workers. The rural villages look very respectable by 3rd World standards. If you go at harvest season, you will see fields full of harvested crops, in particular corn.
There are day care centers in many places that are open 24 hours a day so workers working any shift can drop their kids off.
North Korean industry is better than you might think. They have made a knockoff of a Mercedes Benz that looks and reportedly drives almost exactly like the real thing. I doubt if many could afford one though. Workers in factories are treated very well, much better than their counterparts in most capitalist countries.
The cities are full of workers too. Everywhere you go in Pyongyang, you see men working on the streets or on construction. You also see truckloads of working men going to wherever. They’re definitely pretty busy in North Korea.
The nights are a bit weird as they are short on electricity due to the oil problem. You will see tall buildings everywhere in Pyongyang at night with most of the lights out. The streets are not well lit up either. Nevertheless, there are some people out and about often, especially teenagers and young people, including girls and young women. They don’t seem to be worried about the lack of lighting. You even see people with their stands out selling things at night in the poorly-lighted streets. There are lone women out there manning their street stands on very dark streets after dark. They don’t seem to be worried about crime. I would gather based on the behavior of people out in these poorly lit streets that the crime rate must be awfully low.
And you will see people chatting and texting away on cellphones everywhere you go in Pyongyang. There’s an Internet, but it is mostly a North Korean intranet. Smuggled in South Korean soap opera tapes are very popular and many people watch them. Not much is done about this. Things are loosening up so much that they are having a mini-STD epidemic because so many married women are now having affairs. No one much cares about that either.
The price of oil went up 10X overnight with the fall of the USSR. I ask you how would the US fare if the price of gasoline suddenly went from 2.50 to 25.00? You think everything would be just fine. As a result of that, the heavily mechanized agriculture in the rural areas nearly came to a halt and many factories simply shut down and were not able to function anymore. That’s one reason that they wanted those nuclear power plants.
In the far north, there is a lot of gold mining going on, mostly illegally due to new finds of gold. I think a lot of it is hydraulic mining. The situation is pretty out of control and the state can’t get a handle on the mining. So instead they are just letting any North Korean who wants to go up there and mine gold, however, the state very much wants a hefty portion of your proceeds in tax. Still, gold miners are quite happy to keep at it as even with the tax, you make a lot more mining gold than being an ordinary worker.
They are allowing some business, and they even have a few rich people now. A few people have a net worth of over $100,000 in North Korea now, which qualifies as very rich. This was unheard of before.
The border in the north is actually somewhat open. They catch people going across all the time but not much is done to them as so many people are doing it. Guards on both sides of the border are easily bribed and it is not extremely difficult to get across other than some large rivers that are in the way. There is even a fair amount of cross-border traffic going on, as many North Koreans who cross the border to China do not stay in China but instead travel back and forth periodically.
Considering that North Korea is probably the most sanctioned country on Earth (quote from George Bush) with new sanctions being put on all the time, it is amazing that they economy even runs at all. They are locked out of the vast majority of the world’s banking system via SWIFT bans and although they are very rich in minerals, they are unable to export nearly all of their minerals. Their only real trade is with China. They do a lot of illegal arms trading though as it is one of the only ways they can make money.
Of course the treatment of dissidents is utterly appalling.

Do Chinese People Lack Humanistic or Humanitarian Values?

Commenters are suggesting that Chinese people are ruthless, coldblooded elites who lack humanistic and humanitarian impulses and care nothing about those less well off or lower on the income or class scale than they are.The problem is that this depends on which Chinese we are talking about.
Perhaps this is a good description of the Overseas Chinese of Southeast Asia and surely that is the view of the Taiwanese regime. However, even here, the record was mixed as the Malaysian Chinese for whatever reason were the main supporters of the Malaysian Communist insurgency for many years. The Chinese in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam tend to be more of the typical ruling class Chinese elites.
However, I knew several Taiwanese people who, while not favorable to Communism, smiled when I told them I was a socialist. “Oh, you are a socialist?” They asked. “Yes,” I said. And then they smiled. So I doubt if Taiwanese are ill-disposed to socialism.
People must also understand that Chinese people lack the individualistic values that Westerners often have. The Chinese are collectivists. Collectivist people tend to be more supportive of things like Communism and socialism.
People must understand that although yes, Chinese do value and money, status and class, the reason for this is not genes or IQ, it is Confucian values. It is a misconception that high IQ people tend to be lacking in empathy.
I do not know about Chinese people, but China is still run by a Communist Party called the CCP. I know quite a bit about this party and it is a lot more commie and socialist than the media or just about anyone else will tell you. They actually believe in the greatest good for the greatest number, something most capitalist countries abandoned long ago. Their policies in China reflect that. All land is owned by the state. There have been proposals to get rid of that, but the CCP wants to keep it in because if they get rid of it then a lot of people will lose their land. They want the rural people to still have land so that if they can’t make it in the city as is often the case, they can always go back to the countryside and farm.
There is little hunger in China. Malnutrition is at about 6%. Minorities can receive education in their native language. Only 6% of the population has no toilet facilities and more or less shits outdoors. Compare that to India with 60% shitting outside. China is a world leader in green technology and solar power in particular.
All education is free through the graduate level. There is no homelessness. Any homeless in big cities are either sent back to their village or put up in homeless shelters. The Chinese government is spending an unbelievable amount of money on upgrading the rural areas. something few capitalist countries will do. They are worried because the conditions out there are not that great and it is resulting in a lot of immigration to the cities.
Fully 45% of the economy is publicly owned by either the state or more commonly local municipalities. How is China a radical laissez-faire free market Libertarian country when the state owns half the economy? All of the public enterprises are still officially owned by the workers. The workers get a check every month for their share of all of the income of the enterprise. The state then deducts 95% of that to plow back into the enterprise. So enterprises that do very well have workers that make very good money.
The #2 leading television manufacturer in the world is a Chinese state firm owned by the workers. It has successfully competed with countless capitalist firms throughout the world and has out-competed almost all of them.

Debunking Myths about the Crisis in Venezuela: An Insider's Perspective

Via Venezuelanalysis. This is one of many posts that I will post laying out the continuous lies going on in the Western press all out war against Venezuela. One wonders what this war is even all about. Supposedly the Bolivarian government is a Communist, socialist or Marxist government.

Debunking Myths about the Crisis In Venezuela: an Insider’s Perspective

By Javier Hasse – Benzinga, July 26th 2016

Venezuelanalysis

After three years as a correspondent in Venezuela, BBC’s Daniel Pardo decided to share a look into five myths he’s identified in relation to the country’s situation, as perceived by people abroad. Those up-to-date with the news know that almost every mainstream media outlet paints a gloomy picture of famine, insecurity and censorship. But, how bad is the situation really?
1. There’s Famine
While it is true that some areas in Venezuela are experiencing food shortages, and most people (90 percent according to an Encovi poll) have declared they now eat less and worse, there is no such thing as a widespread famine.
According to U.N. criteria, a famine is defined by severe food scarcity in more than 20 percent of households, a global acute malnutrition rate above 30 percent and death rates above 0.02 percent — two deaths per 10,000 people per day. In comparison, the most pessimistic figures for Venezuela point toward 20 to 25 percent malnutrition rate and a death rate that does not even reach one person per 1 million people per day.
2. Venezuela and Cuba Are the Same
Pardo cited three main arguments people are using to argue that Venezuela has “Cubanized”: long lines to purchase rationed products, a dual economy and a militarized government. And, while there is some truth in these statements, Venezuela remains a capitalist economy with a still large private sector — and presence of international brands like McDonald’s Corporation MCD 0.67% and a large list of U.S. and Spanish banks.
Moreover, Venezuelans have free access to the Internet and the media; Facebook Inc FB 0.52%Netflix, Inc. NFLX 2.06%Twitter Inc TWTR 1.52% and Alphabet Inc GOOG 0.4% GOOGL 0.23%’s YouTube are available for everyone, opposite to Cuba. And, of course, Venezuelans can leave the country freely, which Cubans — arguably — cannot do.
It should be noted that none of the statements above imply contempt for the Cuban way, but are just a mere differentiation between two countries.
3. A Dictatorship Is Installed in Venezuela
While there is much debate among scholars regarding how to categorize Venezuela, one thing is pretty undisputed: It is not a traditional dictatorship — living in Latin America, I can assure you a dictatorship looks nothing like that!

 First off, Pardo explained, opposition exists (even though limited in its expressions, it’s there) and elections are conducted periodically — although results can be questioned. Now, agreeing on the fact that Venezuela is not a dictatorship is not the same as talking about a full-blown democracy — although the minimum criteria are met.
4. Everyone and Their Grandma Hates President Nicolás Maduro
Again, this is a straight-out lie. Maduro, like many Latin American (and world) leaders, is a polarizing figure. People tend to either love him or hate him; no grays. In this line, 20 to 30 percent of the country’s population supports the acting president, diverse polls have shown. However, analysts have argued these numbers are rigged, in the sense that many don’t dare to criticize the government, for fear of losing of housing, food and other benefits.
One way or another, “30 percent support is more than what the presidents of Brazil, Chile or Colombia boast nowadays,” Pardo added.
5. People Cannot Feel Safe In The Streets
While it is true that crime rates are quite high in Venezuela, people still go out, even at night, and most return home safely. However, one must keep a low profile, Pardo expounded. Showing riches or opulence are bad ideas, but this applies to almost every country in the world.

Gabon – Africa's Shining Star

Chinedu writes:

As for Africa, it’s a large place, and some regions have higher GDP per capita and better living standards than Eastern Europe. We’ll see what the future holds.

There is one country that has a higher standard of living than Eastern Europe. It is Gabon, and the high PCI is all due to oil. It’s $20,000/yr PCI. However, Gabon is still one of the most horrific shitholes in all of Africa.
Apparently all of the money is being stolen by an elite of ~10-20% of the population, which is what happens in all Black African countries. It is being stolen by a group associated with the government and maybe the tribe or ethnic group that is represented in the state. Everyone else is getting fuck all. The medical care statistics are horrific (about as bad as India’s), and at least 40% of the population is actually starving (malnourished). For medical figures, look at maternal mortality in particular. Gabon’s maternal mortality figures are off the charts.
 

There Is No Such Thing As the Holodomor

Stary Wylk writes:

The Holodomor was starving Ukrainians through crop seizure, not mass deportations. Those came later.

The Holodomor never even happened. And murderous deportations were indeed part of the process that killed many people in that region in 1932.

The starvation was just as bad as in the Ukraine if not worse in a number of other places including the Lower Volga and western Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs supported Stalin, and the Russians of the Rostov were fanatical Stalin supporters. Also the Holodomor hit the east of the Ukraine where the Russians live very hard. Support for Stalin was and is still strong in this area. 1 million people died in Siberia. There were a lot of deaths in Moscow. Did Stalin unleash a “terror famine” in Eastern Ukraine, the Rostov, the Lower Don, western Kazakhstan, Siberia and even Moscow? Of course not.

There was no terror famine. There was a famine harvest. In one year, the harvest collapsed and was only 50% of normal.

You can argue why that happened.

Crops had to be seized because the Ukies were setting their crops on fire and piling them in the fields to get rained on until they molded. The kulaks killed half the livestock in the USSR in the years leading up to the Holodomor. This made things worse, as there was a shortage of horses to plow fields and livestock to eat.

Also the Ukies waged an insurgency where they were attacking the collective farms, burning crops, killing livestock and raping and murdering collective farm workers. At the height there were 20-30 attacks a day going on. All of this was going on in the context of the Holodomor. Actually many deaths occurred in the context of a vicious counterinsurgency campaign combined with some very cruel mass deportations of Ukies to Siberia. 390,000 Ukrainians were killed in this savage counterinsurgency/deportation campaign. If you want to add that to Stalin’s kill total, I would not object.

Ukraine suffered the most deaths, but that was where the harvest collapse was worst. 90% of food exports back from the state for famine relief went to the Ukraine that year.

There was no terror famine!

Better Nutrition as a Possible Mechanism for the Flynn Effect

Here.

Developmental gains at age 0-2 mirror Flynn IQ rises. This rules out test-taking effect, education, etc. as causes and suggests better nutrition.

A high correlation was found between increased developmental gains in recent years and the Flynn Effect. In other words, the FE is already operating from ages 0-2. That is too early for education or many other environmental effects to take place and the only reasonable explanation for Flynn-like gains at such a very early age is better nutrition. Furthermore, education is ruled out as is test-taking or practice effects, as infants don’t practice taking tests. Better test-taking skills has been suggested as a reason for the FE, but there seems to be a lot of good evidence that this is not true. Furthermore, infants get no formal education, so education cannot be a possible source of these early gains.

Also the theory that the Flynn Effect represents “hollow gains” and not any real increase in intelligence is laid to rest here. Developmental gains means that children are reaching real developmental milestones faster and better than they were before. The only way that could possibly be interpreted is as an intelligence increase. It’s not a “hollow gain” to for an infant to reach developmental milestones faster and better than they did earlier. If children are reaching these milestones better and sooner than they were before, that can only be possible if they are definitely smarter.

I always thought there was nothing to this “hollow gains” nonsense, and this is more evidence of that.

Conclusion: The Flynn Effect is real and appears to represent an actual intelligence increase, possibly related to better nutrition. It seems reasonable that better nutrition would make better brains, and that may be what is occurring.

Rightwing Lie: China Is a Free Market Capitalist Country

I’m not a libertarian, my politics is best described as social democrat. I’m just a realist that understands what a spectacular failure the communist project has been.
“Mao built up and industrialized China.”
In 1988, average wages in China were about 3,00 Yuan, now it is 47,00 Yuan. Today’s China owes more to Deng Xiaoping than it does to that maniac Mao. China liberalized its economy but didn’t liberalize its politics. It’s a state capitalist economy, not communist by any means. I have first hand experience; I’m part-owner of a mid-size factory that produces goods for my company here. And have you ever been to Shanghai? The closest thing to capitalist paradise.

45% of the economy is still in public ownership. The government still owns all the land in China. You can only lease the land. You cannot buy it.
The system is set up so that the market is a tool which can be manipulated by the state any way they wish. They can even shut down whole industries if they want to. The market serves society and operates at the behest of the state in contrast to capitalist countries were society serves the market and the state is beholden to the capitalists, not the other way around. In China the market is a tool for the development for the productive forces only, not a form of politics as it is in most capitalist countries. In China the state runs the country and the market just makes stuff, as opposed to capitalist countries were the market not only makes stuff but also runs the state.
I know a number of Communists and Marxists who approve of what the CCP is doing in China. Even on Maoist boards, the CCP has a lot of supporters. That right there implies that there is something other than radical free market capitalism going on.
Almost all of the banking is done by large state banks. The government spends a tremendous amount of money on society in general and lately on developing the rural areas. I believe that all schooling continues to be free. The Chinese state is completely non-imperialist overseas. In fact it has extremely fraternal relations with North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Laos and Vietnam. No purely capitalist state would ever have friendly relations with those countries. If China were a pure capitalist state, they would be attacking all of those countries like the US does.
Much of the growth in the Chinese economy has actually taken place in enterprises that are actually formally run by labor collectives and small municipalities. Cities run enterprises within their boundaries and compete with other cities for workers. The better the enterprise does, the more money the workers get. Not exactly the sort of exploitation Marx discussed in the Labor Theory of Value.
All state firms are formally owned by their workers due to a Mao era law. All of the income from the firm goes to the workers themselves, but they are generally required to hand back 95% of it to reinvest it in the plant. Still, when the enterprise does better, their paycheck goes up. The #3 largest producer of TV’s in the world is a Chinese state factory. I thought public enterprises could not compete with private ones.
Capitalists in the West are yelling all the time that they are at an unfair advantage with their Chinese competitors due massive state subsidy of their Chinese competitors. But wait, I thought state subsidy made firms less competitive? How much superior are the capitalist firms when state-subsidized firms regularly kick their asses?
Although much of the collective system was dismantled in countryside when they got rid of the village communes (an action that has caused severe problems) they still have local irrigation boards that control much of the farmland infrastructure. Those small farmers do not make enough money to fund irrigation projects and they won’t cooperate on them anyway. So the state moved in, and the state spends a lot of money running all of the irrigation in agricultural China and it does a great job of it. You can see that the state plays a large role in Chinese agriculture.
There are homeless in much of the capitalist world, but there are no homeless in China. It is illegal to be homeless. If you are homeless, the cops will pick you up and put you into a shelter right away. If you are not from the city, then they send you back to your home in the countryside. Obviously the state plays a huge role in preventing homelessness. Most housing is state housing.
Due to the many rural people leaving to go the cities (which is causing a lot of problems) the state is spending a vast amount of money to improve the rural areas to keep the people on the farm. Does that sound like something a capitalist government would do? No capitalist government would ever spend a vast amount of money on its rural poor.
There have been 200 million excess deaths in India because India chose the capitalist road as opposed to the various socialist roads the Chinese have taken.
Malnutrition in India is 50% and in China it is 7%. The numbers were equal in 1949.
Chinese life expectancy was the same as India’s in 1949 and since then, Chinese live much longer than Indians. Those extra years add up to 3-4 million excess deaths occurring in India every year, purely due to India’s economic system.
60% of Indians shit out of doors, while only ~6% of Chinese have no toilet. The numbers were equal in 1949.
That China surpasses India in all of these regards is not the result of Chinese capitalism. It is the pure result of Chinese socialism.
Without the tremendous buildup of agricultural, educational and industrial bases of the economy, none of this growth could have taken place.

Possible Environmental Factors in the Black IQ

Johan Mayer writes:

Have you tried correlating the IQ scores with local lead poisoning? The main gains from the Flynn effect ended by the late 1970s (birth years), suggesting that fuel lead didn’t play a role (as both whites and blacks would experience higher intelligence, thus raising the intelligence that 100 represents—rather, it was probably the elimination of malnutrition), and that some of the remaining gap should arise from differential lead paint.
The calculation might look as follows:
Deficit = sum(over n) Distribution of lead level(n) x IQ_deficit_from_lead(n)for each neighborhood.
Add the deficit to the mean IQ calculated from the composition of the neighborhood, then re-estimate the (before lead) IQ of each group, fitting to composition and reevaluated IQ; re-normalize the black IQ to the white (raised) IQ.
Elevated black blood lead (much more common than elevated white blood lead) suggests that at least another 3 IQ points can be gained for blacks on that count, using Detroit data.
I did a similar calculation for national IQ and malnutrition (using 1991 data), on the basis that malnutrition knocks off about a standard deviation of IQ (15 points, although I also found a source that claimed 11), multiplying by the malnourished proportion of the population. This pushes sub-Saharan African National IQ to the range upper 60’s to upper 70’s.
Black African skin bleaching tends to be between 30 and 70% among women historically, although men are also using such products; the products are notorious for mercury content, suggesting that childhood exposure via the mother should cost another 11 points on average (mercury ppm in mother’s hair on the order of 150, with 0.15 IQ loss per ppm—products sold to Africa typically have much higher mercury content). I couldn’t find much by way of statistics for US black women. For Asians, there has been much growth of the use of these products since the early National IQ estimates were made.
African leaded fuel use will also greatly harm urban populations (who will dominate National IQ estimates), although they were phased out by 2006; the time to affect primary schools is about nine years, although the IQ estimates are based on the the 90’s. South Africa should suffer 7 points, and Nigeria probably the same.
Thus the pre-environmental expected IQ of blacks is well within a standard deviation of whites.
East Asian cities are often near coasts, and historically held much smaller portions of their respective countries’ populations, as elsewhere. Thus their early (for the third world) industrialization would tend to have a lower impact on IQ.
Lead has been studied, and childhood lead is substantially lower than adult lead, which may account for much of the national IQ achievement of Chinese versus other societies; child rearing practices that avoid putting unknown objects in the mouth might play a role, but then again, given the relatively small family sizes and involvement of grandparents, more supervision might also play a role.
As to the topic of your post, another possible cause for the lack of black achievement considering IQ is racism.

The author makes a strong case that US Black IQ’s can increase 3 points and African Black IQ’s can increase 10 points due to environmental interventions. This is certainly plausible.
I have no problems with any of these environmental efforts. All the power to them. A gain of even 3 IQ points for Detroit Blacks would be a fantastic thing indeed. A 10-point IQ gain for African Blacks would be a great thing for them and for Africa as a whole. Many of Africa’s most serious problems would surely ameliorate with a 10-point IQ gain. An IQ in the upper 70’s would put Africa on a par with the IQ’s of some Gulf states such as Qatar that have created highly evolved civilizations. However, even US Blacks with IQ’s a full 9 points higher than the Qataris fail miserably at creating the highly evolved society that the Qataris created.
One argument is that Qatar only exists in its current form due to oil wealth. Give Black people oil wealth, and they will create a Qatar.
However, this has not happened in Africa. Nigeria has tremendous oil wealth, and it is one of the evil and diabolically failed states on Earth. Nearly all of the wealth has been stolen by a tiny elite and the rest of the population flounders in monstrous poverty. Gabon is a much better case, and oil wealth has allowed them to have a $20,000 per capita income. Gabon is  basically a middle income country. However, almost all of the wealth has been stolen by a tiny elite, ~50% of the population is starving, and and the vast majority of the population live in horrifying poverty.
Give a Black society money, and the most cruel and sociopathic Blacks will steal almost all of it for a small elite group, leaving the vast majority of the population to suffer in terrible poverty (the African model).
Alternatively, give another Black society money, and income will be much better distributed, but the most cruel and sociopathic Blacks will create in monstrous violent crime rate, destabilizing a prosperous society.
The African wealth distribution style is also seen in Haiti and was seen until the 1960’s in the Dominican Republic. The rest of the Caribbean has a much more equitable distribution system. Trinidad and Tobago has a PCI or $20,000/yr due to oil wealth, but they have one of the highest violent crime and homicide rates on Earth. A Trinidadian woman I spoke to said it was because local young men had imported gang culture from the US, and it was now spread all through the country. Still, a country with a $20,000 PCI and that high of a homicide rate nearly qualifies as something like a failed state right there, at least on that one variable.
Although we have shown that Blacks can create wealthy societies (at least in the case of oil), those societies show significant problems either in democratization or extremely high violent crime.
In the African model, a tiny elite will steal all the oil wealth and leave most of the people scrounging for scraps.
In the Caribbean model, wealth will be distributed much better, but society will still be saddled with a horrific violent crime rate.
As the comparison with Qatar and the US shows, there is a lot more holding Black people back than just a low IQ. With an IQ of ~83, the Arabs can create Dubai, along with a highly civilized state with a shockingly low crime rate. With an IQ of 87, US Blacks still cannot create anything like Dubai even with an IQ advantage.
So obviously the problems of Black people extend beyond IQ, and a rising Black IQ is not a cure-all.
What these problems are is unknown, but there appear to be genetic factors predisposing Blacks to greater crime and antisociality. What these factors are is unknown, but I am convinced that they exist. Antisociality will create thieving elites in Africa and Caribbean societies with better income distribution but extremely high violent crime rates.
Getting a handle around Black problems involves not only raising Black IQ but dealing conclusively with whatever it is that is crimogenic or psychopathogenic in Black biology or Black genes.
Once IQ is high enough though, whatever Black criminogenic issues are involved tend to wash out. I have read that setting Black IQ at ~113, the Black and White crime rates are equal. High intelligence often washes out criminal tendencies due to greater forward thinking, possibly greater empathy, guilt and worry and lessened impulsiveness. As IQ rises in any race of humans, empathy, guilt and worry tend to rise and impulsiveness tends to decline.
I do not agree that racism affects Black IQ scores very much. Instead, moving from a non-racist country (Jamaica) to a racist country (the UK) results in a gain of up to 14  IQ points in the second generation. Blacks living in “highly racist” White societies typically have IQ’s ~13-18 points higher than Blacks living in non-racist societies such as the Caribbean and Africa.
Skin bleaching products sold in the US probably do not have much mercury in them.

India – Republic of Hunger

Here.
I am getting bashed in the comments by “cultural equivalence” White liberals and Leftists for bashing India. The implication is that I hate everything about it and everyone there. It’s not so. Just to look at this video.
The physician, prominently featured, who quit to set up his own NGO’s to fight hunger in India, a fine man. So are the resolute, determined and passionate altruistic young Indian men, university educated, who went to the countryside to fight hunger. So are the filmmakers. So is the woman in the Sari who works for the Indian Development Ministry.
I have much less passion for the female economist interviewed in the Western like food court. She’s clearly a neoliberal. “What we need is economic growth! That gets first priority! Not making sure humans have enough to eat so they don’t starve and die! That will all trickle down later!”
This is her crap mindset, and it’s the mindset of all of the Indian educated “liberal” upper, upper middle and middle classes. “Sure, feed the poor! But don’t tax me or hinder my middle class lifestyle to do it!” What a shit attitude that is!
I am not sure if the poorer masses are good people or not. I think most of them are, but a lot of them have a crap attitude too. In the video, they said that if you give grain straight to the masses, a lot of the poor and starving masses will simply sell the subsidized grain for profit and use the money for things other than food. It’s downright insane for poor and starving people to do that, but maybe that’s just the crap Indian mindset:
Money, status stuff > food, health and life.
That’s obviously the mindset of your typical middle to upper classes in the 3rd World toward their own poor, but it’s a pitiful culture where the poor adopt that bourgeois mindset directed as a weapon against them and turn that weapon suicidally on themselves.
The state distributes subsidized grain to merchants at the local level. The interview with the lying criminal who ran the government grain store was instructive. He said he was open every day, all day long.
They went back the next day and he was closed. A crowd of pitiful poor gathered (How could you not feel for them?) and said the man was a liar. Instead of being open every day all day long, instead he was open only one day a month, and he often made it hard to get grain. Apparently he was selling the subsidized grain on the open market for double or triple the price (he could easily get this since his own grain was marked down so badly).
And much of the state grain sent to feed the poor simply spoils instead of being distributed. This sort of failure is typically seen in Communist regimes, where crops often spoiled before they went to market (particularly the case in the USSR).
There is a lack of motivation for the local merchant to care about his grain crops. Apparently they were given to him for free, so he doesn’t care about them. Instead he collects a salary from the state, apparently for showing up every day, all day long. He collects that salary, but then only shows up one day a month (3% of the time). He takes the free grain and sells it on the open market for double or triple its worth.
One wonders if a more free market approach might work better. Almost no one is getting the grain this way. Perhaps the local merchants could buy the grain at the low price and then sell it at say a 20% markup, instead of the 100-200% markup he could get on the free market. It’s a lousy approach, but if it fed more poor locals it could be worth it more than the present approach.
The state distributes food to local schoolchildren as a free meal. But the children often refuse to eat the meal since it has bugs and worms in it. If they complain about the bugs and worms, the teacher yells at them, so they don’t complain. Instead they simply do not eat it. This is a program that is failing in a bad way. The food being served is contaminated with insects.
Cuba also feeds its people every day, but the food they get is not full of bugs. It’s obvious that the state can feed people food that’s not contaminated with insects. The Indian state simply doesn’t care enough to get the bugs out of its food.
One particularly glaring fact was that we are told that India produces enough food to feed its own people, yet it has the worst starvation figures on Earth (India’s figures are 150% worse than even North Korea’s).
Cuba has to import 67% of its food, but they still manage to feed their whole population with an average intake of around 3,000 calories per day and a rate of malnutrition of ~2% (effectively zero). So it can be done. If a state that imports the vast majority of its food can feed its people, surely a state that grows enough to feed itself can do so.
Looking at the scenes at the Indian middle classes, one wonders just how callous they are. I have dealt with many middle class Indians, and I was stunned at their callousness. They are worse even than the middle classes and elites of Latin America, and I thought they were bad.

Setting the Record Straight on Soviet Agriculture

An interesting article argues that Soviet agriculture was not a failure at all, but was instead quite successful in certain ways.

Per Capita Consumption of Meat and Fish in 1980
in Kg.
            USSR   UK
Beef        11     12
Pork        23.5   6.1
Poultry     6.0    9.8
Fish        17     7.1
Total Meat  57.5   35
Fresh Fruit 37     30.7
Sugar       42.2   16.5

As you can see, in 1988, Soviet citizens ate almost 50% more meat than your average Brit. They ate 4 times more pork, 2 1/2 times more fish and about the same amount of beef. The Brits ate a bit more chicken. Soviet citizens ate a bit more fruit than Brits did, this amid typical complaints that fresh fruit was almost nonexistent in the USSR.
Yes, there were chronic shortages and long lines, and much was made of this. Even Soviets themselves were often frustrated by the food situation. But you can see that the shortages and lines were occurring in the context of some respectable levels of consumption.

Daily Per Capita Consumption Of Calories & Protein
In The Late 1960's
               Calories   Protein
               (Per Day) (Ounces Per Day)
United States  3,200      3.39
USSR           3,180      3.24
Britain        3,150      3.10
West Germany   2,960      2.86

There were shortages of meat in the 1980’s, but that was due to increased consumption, not declining output. In the 1960’s, there were meat surpluses, but meat was highly priced so it was an expensive item for most families. In the 1980’s, the price was the same as in the 1960’s but wages had increased by 2 1/2 times.
US rural life is characterized by harsh working conditions, poor housing, inadequate diets and low wages. Outside of the gulags, none of that was true of rural life in the USSR.

Per Capita Meat Consumption 1988
       Norway Sweden Japan
USSR   +      =-      2X

In 1988, Soviet meat consumption was higher than Norway, a bit lower than Sweden and twice that of Japan.
Since the 1960’s, Soviet food consumption had been running on a par with the developed world.

USSR vs US, 1989
Hogs      More
Sheep     More
Cattle    More
Wheat     Higher Production
Rye       Higher Production
Oats      Higher Production
Barley    Higher Production
Cotton    Higher Production
Potatoes  Higher Production
Sugar     Higher Production
Wool      Higher Production
Milk      Higher Production
Butter    Higher Production
Eggs      Higher Production
Fish      Higher Production

The need for grain imports post 1970 was not triggered by declining wheat production. Instead they were triggered by growing demand for and consumption of meat by the Soviet population along with increased income.
America is the largest importer of meat on Earth and is now a net importer of fruits, vegetables and fish. Does this mean that US agriculture in these areas has failed?
There are inefficiencies in both systems. In the US, farmers destroy hogs, burn grains and potatoes and leave crops to rot in the ground because prices are too low. In Europe, farmers dump crops along the side of the road and dump milk in ditches for the same reason, even though there are hungry people in most of these countries.
Combines miss 20% of the corn crop every year and it is left to rot. Due to market mechanisms, it is not profitable to glean the missed corn from the ground and harvest it by whatever means. It is true that capitalist agriculture is more efficient than socialist agriculture when it comes to minimizing labor costs. But from a workers’ POV, one wonders if that is such a great thing.
In the USSR, workers lived on their farms year round while in US agriculture, farm work tends to be seasonal. Therefore, it was more costly for the USSR to support rear-round agricultural workers at their farms. Nevertheless, this capitalist efficiency has a high cost in rural areas: chronic high underemployment and rural poverty rates.
It is true that the US farm worker was 7-8 times more productive than a Soviet worker, but this was mostly due to increased mechanization in the US. There were .73 trucks per worker in the US and only .056 trucks per worker in the USSR.
However, Soviet workers were 3-25% more productive than Italian workers, and their productivity was similar to that of many West European farmers.
Productivity and yields for all crops continued to grow during the entire Soviet period all the way up until the end. Much of this was accomplished by increased cultivation of arable (but often marginal) lands.
Yields per acre varied, but the US typically produced twice as much per acre as the USSR. Part of this was due to poor growing conditions in the USSR. However, cotton yields in the USSR were typically 50% higher than those of the US, and for several years, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary had wheat yields per acre nearly double the US rate.

The USSR Did Not Fail

It’s commonly argues that the USSR failed. I would argue that it did not fail at all; instead, it was a spectacular success. For instance, in pre-revolutionary Russia there were famines and starvation deaths, often countless ones, every single year. There was never enough food to go around. Safe drinking water was rare outside the cities. Hardly anyone had electricity.
Soon after the USSR was established, everyone had safe drinking water. The whole country was wired up. And after the collectivization famines of the early 1930’s, full food security was achieved for the first time in Russian memory. And Soviet citizens at the end of the USSR’s reign ate just as well as West Europeans, as noted in a previous post.
It depends on your definition of success.
In fact, since the return of capitalism, agricultural production of fruits, vegetables and livestock collapsed. Production of all these things was much higher in the USSR.
This is what I would call a “market failure.” Apparently the reason for this market failure is that farming has been privatized, and the oligarchs with all the money in Russia now do not see agriculture as a profitable medium, hence they refuse to invest in it as there’s no money in it. And the banks don’t want to loan for farmers as they see it as a risky loan.
The majority of farm production is now occurring on small family farms, not large concerns.

Soviet Citizens Ate Just as Well As West Europeans

Steve writes, quoting a British author.

“While most citizens struggled to survive… a secret elite enjoyed great privileges: special living spaces, special hospitals, special schools, special lanes along which the Politburo’s limousines roared at 90mph.”

Yes, the elite lived somewhat better than the masses, but compare how much better the elite lives than the masses under capitalism to the privileges of the elite in the USSR and there is no comparison. Western elites have lifestyles dramatically superior by many times over those of the masses. The Soviet elite only lived somewhat better. The differences were not that dramatic.
This same author also wrote that the USSR was one of the most unequal states on Earth. No! Not so!
Anyway, since when do capitalists have issues with inequality? They should be praising the inequalities of the USSR to the skies as a glorious capitalist feature of the system.
They didn’t struggle to survive! That’s bullshit! For instance, food. They go on and on about food shortages. maybe there were some. But you know what? In the USSR, people at just as well as West Europeans did! In some cases, better.
They ate just as much bread products, fruits, vegetables and meat as West Europeans. Also just as much or more meat – fish, beef, pork. They ate just as much food in just as good a variety as you Brits did! So they had an excellent and nutritious diet.
They can go on and on about food shortages all they want to, but if they ate just as well as West Europeans, what differences does it make if some stuff was out of stock sometimes? They still ate just as well. In one place, some stuff was out of stock, in the other place, the shelves were full, but each one ate just as well as the other.
Now, some West Europeans may have eaten more luxury foods, shall we call them, then the Soviets did. But were those luxury foods available to all Soviets?
It’s true that Americans ate more of most types of food than Soviets did, but Americans also ate more of most types of food than West Europeans.

Maoism in China: Setting the Record Straight

If Maoism had continued in its pure form as it was in China before the reforms, there would have been no industrial revolution and China would still be weak and poor. And if there was a great leap forward in India, perhaps Indians would learn what starvation really means.

This is not true. Under Mao, the industrial economy grew 10% a year. The industrial revolution happened under Mao. Under Mao, the economy grew 4% a year. That’s not bad.
What’s so great about Deng’s reforms anyway? They have closed down 100’s of 1000’s of schools all over China and now many kids are not getting a full education. They made health care for pay only, and now millions of people are dying every year from illnesses because they cannot afford drugs and treatment.
The death rate was lower and life expectancy was higher every single year under Mao from 1949-1962. The only thing that happened during the Great Leap was that the death rate temporarily become higher than it was in 1949 for one year. I don’t think you realize how bad things were before Mao took power. Life expectancy was 32 years!

Race and Poverty Inevitability Theory: More Rightwing Lies

Rightwingers also like to use race to play down poverty. US poverty skyrocketing, the highest number in 50 years? More Americans on food stamps than ever? 50 million Americans without health insurance? Unemployment sky high?

It could not possibly be caused by 30 years of relentless hard rightwing economic policies which caused a horrible economic crash, followed by austerity measures which deepened if not caused the ensuing recession. Of course not.

What causes poverty?

Race!

Niggers, for starters.

Niggers and beaners.

Blacks and Hispanics cause poverty. The poverty rate is skyrocketing in the US due to niggers and beaners. Its not clear why the niggers are causing it, maybe deepening niggertude amongst the nigger population. The beaners are causing poverty by flooding into America and having 10 kids for each woman.

This implies that these groups have some absolute essence, apparently genetic, that is the same at all times and will be the same under all systems. Blacks have some niggerness about them that will always make them hopeless poor in any possible universe of economic systems. Hispanics have some essential beanertude about them that causes them to be poor no matter the economic system.

Economics has nothing to do with it. Economics doesn’t cause poverty, booms and busts, homelessness, malnutrition, unemployment, lack of health insurance, depressions and recessions. All of these things are caused by some essential and genetic niggertude and beanerness that is static at all times and causes mass poverty in all possible economic universes.

There’s no reason to blame an economic system if poverty is bred into your genes.

I will point out how this view is wrong. Barbados is 84% Black and has almost no hunger and long life expectancy.

Cuba is full of Hispanics and even Blacks. There’ s no homelessness; everyone has a roof over their head. Everyone has a job. Everyone has good health care the life expectancy rate is higher than in the US. The number of hungry people is close to zero. But how can this be if the essential essences of the Cuban people are beanertude and niggerness, which automatically cause mass homelessness, unemployment, hunger and disease everywhere on Earth?

There is no essential essence about Black or Hispanic people that automatically causes them to lack for shelter, food, jobs or medical care. It’s just another rightwing lie. All of those things are caused by economics and economic systems. They are not bred into your genes with none to be done but throw up our hands.

Why People Are Poor: More Rightwing Inevitability Theories

The rightwing also tosses about more inevitability theories about poverty.

A rightwing character on here recently informed me that poverty was caused by low IQ. In the US, and apparently around the world.

But this is false, and it relies on a false understanding of the nature of capitalism. Sure, under capitalism the lower IQ types will tend to fall towards the bottom. However, there are many states in the world that have eliminated or nearly eliminated extreme poverty. There are millions or tens of millions of low IQ persons in China, Belaus, Cuba, the Arab World (particularly the Gulf), Russia and the former USSR.

Yet somehow, these places have managed to provide just about everyone with a place to live. There is no homelessness in Finland, Belarus, North Korea or Cuba. There is very little homelessness in many European states. It’s unknown in the Arab World. There is very little homelessness in Russia and the former USSR. It’s illegal to be homeless in China.

There is almost no hunger or malnutrition in any of the places listed above, except for some parts of the Arab World. There must be hundreds of millions of low IQ people in those place. There’s nothing about having a low IQ that means that you automatically won’t have enough food to eat.

Infant mortality is low in most of the places above with the exception of the Arab World. So is maternal mortality. Infant and maternal mortality is particularly low in Europe, Russia and the former USSR. There are 100’s of millions of low IQ people in those places. Just because you are low IQ, does not mean that your babies have to die from hunger or lack of health care, nor does it mean that if you are female, you will be forced to die in pregnancy.

The rightwing lies. There’s nothing to be done about poverty. It’s all caused by stupidity, and stupidity is genetic.

China, a high IQ country, had a life expectancy of 32 years in 1949. The peasantry lived on the continual border of life and death. Most were perpetually malnourished, and if you got sick, you either got better or you died, real simple. And this was in one of the highest IQ countries on Earth.

Suppose we could genetically engineer humanity so every country could have an average IQ of 100. Or better, so the vast majority of humanity would have the equivalent of a 2011 IQ of 90+ or even 100+. That would no guarantee whatsoever against mass starvation, sky high infant and maternal mortality, high disease rates or much less poverty.

Poverty is built into the capitalist system, and everyone can’t be rich. When everyone is rich, $1 million and $1.75 buys you a Slurpee at a 7-11. It is the nature of the unregulated capitalist system to create insane extremes of wealth and poverty. Why are some rich? Because others are poor. The rich are rich because millions are poor. The poor make the rich rich. The more you impoverish the middle and working classes and the poor, the richer the rich gets. All of this is independent of IQ.

Unregulated capitalism creates mass death from disease, hunger and poverty. And in a world of brainiacs, there would still be 100’s of millions of poor, because everyone can’t be rich. When everyone is rich, no one is rich. When every country is rich, no nation is rich. Think about it.

This is more rightwing hopelessness. Poverty is in your genes. There’s nothing to be done. Move along now.

Sweetened Popcorn

Just ate a whole bag of that stuff. Good Lord that was gross! I eat popcorn a lot, usually buttered or cheesed. I can handle that just fine. There’s salt in it, but an extraordinary amount. There’s not that much saturated fat as you might think.

But there was something horrid about that sweetened popcorn. Apparently it was sweetened with sugar. The bag had about 66 grams of real sugar in it. You probably should not eat more than 40 grams a day of that crap. The stuff grossed me out so much that I had to throw the last of it away.

Thing is, I don’t eat much sugar. I don’t even eat much in the way of desserts. I often just eat fresh fruit for dessert, if I have anything at all. I’ve been on an avoidance of sugar diet for quite some time now. I don’t put it in my coffee either, nor in my iced tea. At this point, sugar would just about wreck my coffee I’m afraid.

I do drink quite a bit of real fruit juice, hopefully with as little sugar added as possible. I’m not too worried about the fructose.

When you radically cut back on sugar, a funny thing happens. I almost felt like puking eating that bag of popcorn. If I tried to eat a fudge sundae, I might practically puke. I have a hard time eating fancy cakes and various get-togethers. A typical sugar-laden wedding cake type cake that’s served at many get-togethers nearly makes me vomit.

I really think this is your body’s natural reaction to sugar. The stuff is poison and it’s supposed to make you puke. But when you eat it all the time, you build up tolerance to it, and it doesn’t bother you anymore. Like a drug. Yeah. Sugar is a drug. Think about it.

From Bernie Sanders – No to Austerity!

Bernie Sanders on the latest debt ceiling talks.

Republican leaders talk about three or four trillion dollars in spending cuts over the next ten years, with no new taxes on the wealthy and large corporations and unless we turn the tide NOW, they will get pretty much what they want.

Please understand what they mean.  While no specific proposals have been adopted as of this date, here are some of the ideas which have been discussed.

SOCIAL SECURITY:  Revising the formula which determines cost of living increases (COLAs) so that in ten years, a 75-year-old will receive $560 a year less in benefits and in 20 years an 85-year-old will receive $1,000 a year less.  Further, another provision which would require that Social Security always be solvent for 75 years would likely mean even larger cuts in benefits.  All of this would take place despite the fact that Social Security has not contributed one penny to the deficit and has a $2.6 trillion surplus today.  This new formula would also cut back on the pensions of veterans. Why cut Social Security?

MEDICARE:  Raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67 and/or cutting benefits by $250 billion over ten years.  Now you tell me, how are 66 year old Americans with modest means going to afford health insurance with a private company – especially if they have medical problems?  It’s not going to happen.  They are going to suffer.  Some will unnecessarily die. Why cut Medicare?

MEDICAID:  At a time when 50 million Americans already have no health insurance, Republicans and some Democrats are proposing to cut hundreds of billions from Medicaid which means that many men, women and children will lose the health insurance they have.  According to a Harvard University study, some 45,000 Americans die each year because they don’t get to a doctor when they should.  How many more will die if Medicaid is slashed?  How many children will be thrown off of the Children’s Health Insurance Program? Why cut Medicaid when it’s already been slashed to the bone?

EDUCATION:  Today, childcare and college education are already unaffordable for millions of working families and Head Start has long waiting lists.  If Republicans and some Democrats get their way, Pell grants and other educational programs will be deeply slashed.  Affordable childcare and a college education will no longer be possible for many families in our country. Why cut childcare and college education anymore than they’ve already been slashed?

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE:  Forget about the government having the ability to protect the people from corporations who want to evade regulations within the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.  With massive cuts in the EPA, the resources will not be there.  Forget about this country having the investment capability to transform our energy system to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.  Forget about creating millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and improving our public transportation system.

Why cut environmental protection at all? Forget it. Why cut funds to infrastructure when your nation’s infrastructure is collapsing?

At a time of growing hunger in America there will be massive cuts to nutrition programs.  We have a crisis in homelessness, and there will be cuts to affordable housing.  While we need more funds for research and development in disease prevention and other areas, fewer funds will be available.  And on and on it goes.  Why cut hunger programs at a time of rising hunger? Why cut housing funds when we have a homelessness crisis? Why cut funds for R & D in medicine and science?

India: Hell on Earth

Here is an excellent piece about India that I got from an internet site. The author is unknown, but he may be a Dalit or low caste Indian. It sums up why India is such a Hellhole – Indians created it that way.

We have a commenter on here called Dota, an Indian Muslim, who hates India way more than I do. He fled to Canada. He recently said that India is Hell and it’s people are the scum of humanity. That’s a hard-hitting thing to say, but is it true? He lived there for many years and I did not.

It does appear that Indian society and culture itself is at the core of India’s problems, and I can’t help but think that the religion of Hinduism is a big part of the country’s problems. As Dota says, of all religions, Hinduism cares about people the least. A shocking statement, but is it true?

In another comment, I talked about the hundreds of millions starving, diseased, shitting outdoors and living in the streets or fetid slums of India. According to Dota, Indian elites feel that the Indian poor living and dying in Hell deserve everything they get, up to and including death. That’s why there’s so little effort to fix up the mess – the poor deserve their fate. They even deserve to die. A shocking statement again, but what if it is true?

And once again, this belief seems to circle back around to Hinduism once again. The Hindu religion seems to be at the very heart and core of India’s Hell on Earth.

Why Do 1 Million Indians Flee India Every Year?

Any crackdowns on illegal immigrants abroad or restricting quotas to Indians are a major concern to India’s politicians. The latest statistics from the US Department of Homeland Security shows that the number of Indian illegal migrants jumped 125% since 2000! Ever wonder why Indians migrate to another countries but no one comes to India?

Here are some Indian facts:

Poverty Graph

According to the WFP, India accounts around 50% of the world’s hungry (more than in all of Africa) and its fiscal deficit is one of the highest in the world. India’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) score is 23.7, a rank of 66 out of 88 countries. India’s rating is slightly above Bangladesh but below all other South Asian nations, and India is listed under the “alarming” category. [IFPRI Country Report on India].

Around six out of 10 Indians live in the countryside, where abject poverty is widespread. 34.7% of the Indian population has an income below $1 a day, and 79.9% lives on less than $2 a day. According to the India’s Planning Commission report, 26.1% of the population lives below the poverty line. The World Bank’s poverty line is $1 a day, but the Indian poverty line is Rs 360 a month, or 30 cents a day.

The Current Account Balance of India

“A major area of vulnerability for us is the high consolidated public-debt to GDP ratio of over 70 percent…(and) consolidated fiscal deficit,” says the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the current account balance of India is -$37,510,000,000 (minus) while China is the wealthiest country in the world with $426,100,000,000 (plus). India listed as 182 and China as 1 [CIA: The World Factbook].

Human Development vs GDP growth

The Human Development Report for 2009 released by the UNDP ranked India 134 out of 182 countries, based on measures of life expectancy, education and income. India has an emigration rate of 0.8%. The major continent of destination for migrants from India is Asia with 72.0% of emigrants living there. The report found that India’s GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) is $2,753, far below Malaysia’s $13,518. China listed as 92 with PPP of $5,383.

Population

According to the Indian census of 2001, the total population was 1.028 billion. Hindus numbered 827 million or 80.5%. About 25 per cent (24 million) of those Hindus belong to Scheduled Castes and Tribes. About 40 per cent (400 million) are “Other Backward Castes”. The 15 per cent Hindu upper castes inherited the majority of India’s civil service, economy and active politics from their British colonial masters.

Thus the caste system virtually leaves lower caste Hindus as an oppressed majority in India’s power structure. Going by figures quoted by the Backward Classes Commission, Brahmins alone account for 37.17 per cent of the bureaucracy [Who is Really Ruling India?].

The 2004 World Development Report mentions that more than 25% of India’s primary school teachers and 43% of its primary health care workers are absent on any given day!

Living Conditions of Indians

89 percent of rural households do not own telephones; 52 percent do not have any domestic power connection. There are daily power cuts even in the nation’s capital. The average brownout in India is three hours per day during non-monsoon months and 17 hours daily during the monsoon. The average village is 2 kilometers away from an all-weather road, and 20 percent of rural habitations have partial or no access to a safe drinking water supply. [Tarun Khanna, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization].

According to National Family Health Survey data (2005-06), only 45 per cent of households in the country had access to improved sanitation.

Education

India has over 35 per cent of the world’s total illiterate population [UNESCO Education for All Report 2008]. Only 66 per cent of people are literate in India (76 per cent men and 54 per cent women).

About 40 million primary school-age children in India are not in school. More than 92% children do not go beyond secondary school. According to reports, 35 per cent schools don’t have infrastructure such as blackboards and furniture. And close to 90 per cent have no functional toilets. Half of India’s schools still have leaking roofs or no water supply.

While Japan has 4,000 universities for its 127 million people, and the US has 3,650 universities for its 301 million, India has only 348 universities for its 1.2 billion people. In the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities by Institute of Higher Education published by, Shanghai Jiao Tong, only two Indian Universities are included.

Even those two IIT’s in India found only a lower slot (203-304) in the 2007 report. Although Indian universities churn out three million graduates a year, only 15% of them are suitable employees for blue-chip companies. Only 1 million among them are IT professionals.

Health

India today allocates lower than one per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to health. According to United Nations calculations, India’s spending on public health as a share of GDP is the 18th lowest in the world. 150 million Indians are blind. 2.13 per cent of the total population (21.9 million) live with disabilities in India. Yet, only 34 per cent of the disabled are employed [Census 2001]. India has the single highest share of neonatal deaths in the world, 2.1 million.

107,000 leprosy patients live in India. 15.3% of the population do not live past age forty. Serpent attacks kill as many as 50,000 Indians while the cobra occupies a hallowed place in the Hindu religion. Heart disease, strokes and diabetes cost India an estimated $9 billion in lost productivity in 2005. The losses could grow to a staggering $200 billion over the next 10 years if corrective action is not taken quickly, says a study by the New Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.

There are only 585 rural hospitals compared to 985 urban hospitals in the country. Out of the 6,39,729 doctors registered in India, only 67,576 are in the public sector and the rest are either in the private sector or abroad. According to a survey by NSSO (National Sample Survey Organization), 40 per cent of the people hospitalized have either had to borrow money or sell assets to cover their medical expenses. Over 85 per cent of the Indian population does not have any form of health coverage.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in India. India accounts for one-fifth of the global TB incident cases. Each year about 1.8 million people in India develop TB, of which 0.8 million are infectious cases. It is estimated that annually around 330,000 Indians die from TB every year [WHO India].

Economy under Siege by Elite Hindus

In India, the wealth of 36 families amounts to $191 billion, which is one fourth of India’s GDP. In other words, 35 elite Hindu families own one quarter of India’s GDP by leaving 85% of ordinary Hindus poor!

The dominant group of Hindu nationalists come from the three upper castes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas) that constitute only 10 per cent of the total Indian population. But, they claim perhaps 80% of the jobs in the new economy in sectors such as software, biotechnology, and hotel management.

India is also one of the most under-banked major markets in the world with only 6 bank branches per 1,000 sq kms, according to the World Bank, and less than 31% of the population has access to a bank account. According to India’s national agency (NABARD), around 60 per cent of people do not having access to financial institutions in India. The figure is less than 15 per cent in developed countries.

Corruption

According to TI, 25% of Indians have paid bribes to obtain a service. 68% believe that governmental efforts to stop corruption are ineffective. More than 90% consider the police and the political parties as the most corrupt institutions. 90% of Indians believe that corruption will increase within the next 3 years.

“Corruption is a large tax on Indian growth; it delays execution, raises costs and destroys the moral fiber,” says Prof. Rama Murthi. Transparency International estimates that Indian truckers pay something in the neighborhood of $5 billion annually in bribes to keep freight flowing. According to Rahul Gandhi, only 5 per cent of development funds reach their intended recipients due to hierarchical corruption in the country [Financial Times].

Discrimination Against Dalits

Crime against Dalits occur every 20 minutes in India. Every day 3 Dalit women are raped, 2 Dalits are murdered and 2 Dalit houses are burnt down! These figures represent only a fraction of the actual number of incidents since many Dalits do not register cases for fear of retaliation by the police and upper caste Hindu individuals. Official figures show that there are still 343,000 million manual scavengers in India from the Dalit community. More than 165 million Dalits in India are simply abused by their Hindu upper castes due to their birth [HRW Report 2007].

Human Rights

When it comes to human rights issues in India, it has not ratified the UN Convention against Torture, and its citizens do not have the opportunity to find recourse in remedies that are available under international law. The victims are trapped in the local Hindu caste system, which in every aspect militates against their rights.

India has a very poor record of protecting the privacy of its citizens, according to the latest report from Privacy International (PI). India scored 1.9 points, which makes it an ‘extensive surveillance society’. A score between 4.1 and 5.0 (the highest score) would mean a country “consistently upholds human rights standards.” PI is a watchdog on surveillance and privacy invasions by governments and corporations.

Fake encounter killings are rampant in India. These extrajudicial killings are inspired by the theological texts of the Brahmins such as Artha Shastra and Manusmriti which teach espionage and torture methods. Every such killing of an innocent person, branded a terrorist, has encouraged the killer cops to target socially excluded communities like dalits, tribals and minorities.

India’s intelligence agencies like IB, RAW, etc. seem to be thoroughly infiltrated by foreign secret services which support powerful weapon producing nations. Formed in 1947, IB is engaged in wiretapping, spying on political opponents and sometimes indicting people on false criminal charges. The IB also has files on numerous authors, bloggers and media persons.

According to the National Human Rights Commission, as of 30th June 2004, there were 3,32,112 prisoners in Indian jails out of which 2,39,146 were awaiting trial. That’s more than 70% who had not yet seen a judge. India’s jails hold a disproportionate number of the country’s minority Muslims, a sign of discrimination and alienation from the Hindu majority.

The bar association in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, has refused to represent 13 Muslim suspects accused of bombing courthouses in 2005. A large percentage of Indian police officers, attorneys and judges appear regularly at events organized by notorious Hindu militant groups.

India is a parliamentary democracy, but nevertheless, it is not exactly a fully free society. The human rights group Freedom House ranks India as a 2 (on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 the highest) for political rights and 3 for civil liberties. Elections are generally free, but, notes Freedom House, “Government effectiveness and accountability are also undermined by pervasive criminality in politics, decrepit state institutions, and widespread corruption.”

The State Department observes: “There were numerous reports that the government and its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, including extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and insurgents, or staged encounter deaths.”

Minorities

About 20%, or 200 million Indians, are religious minorities. Muslims constitute 138 million or 13.4%, Christians, 24 million or 2.3%, Sikhs, 19 million or 2%, Buddhists, 8 million or 0.8% and Jains, 4 million or 0.4%. “Others” numbered 6.6 million or 0.6%. According to Mr. Tahir Mahmood, an Indian Muslim journalist, “The 2.3% Christians in the Indian population cater to 20% of all primary education in India, 10% of all the literacy and community health care, 25% of all existing care of destitute and orphans, 30% of all the handicapped, lepers and AIDS patients, etc.”

Discrimination Against Minority Muslims

Recently, Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee report admitted that 138 million Muslims across India are severely underrepresented in government employment, including Public Sector Units. Ironically, West Bengal, a communist ruled state, reported 0 (zero) percent Muslims in higher positions in its PSU’s! The share of Muslims in government jobs and in the lower judiciary in any state simply does not come anywhere close to their population share.

The only place where Muslims can claim a share in proportion to their population is in prison! Muslim convicts in India is 19.1%, while the number of under trials is 22.5%, which exceed their population ratio. A note sent on January 9 by the army to the Defence Ministry in 2004 said that there were only 29,093 Muslims among a total of 1.1 million military personnel — a ratio of 2.6%, which compares poorly with the Muslims’ 13.8% share in the Indian population. Officially, the Indian Army doesn’t allow head counts based on religion.

A Muslim child attends school for three years and four months, compared to the national average of four years. Less than two percent of the students at the elite Indian Institutes of Technology come from the Muslim community. According to National Knowledge Commission member Jayathi Ghosh, “There is a need to re-orient official strategies for ensuring better access of Muslim children to schooling outside the madrassas which cater to only four per cent of children from the community.”

Discrimination in Media

Hindu upper caste men, who constitute just eight per cent of the total population of India, hold over 70% of the key posts in newsrooms in the country. Including the so-called twice-born Hindu castes, the number rises to 85% of key posts despite constituting just 16% of the total population, while the intermediary castes represent a meager 3%.

The Hindu Other Backward Class groups, who are 34% of the total population, have a share of just 4% in Indian newsrooms. Muslims, who constitute about 13% of the population, control just 4% of top media posts while Christians and Sikhs have a slightly better representation. But the worst scenario emerges in the case of Scheduled Castes (SC’s) and Scheduled Tribes /Aborgines (ST’s), whose representation is nearly nil. [CSDS Study, 2006, The Hindu, June 05, 2006]

Discrimination in the Judiciary

India’s subordinate courts have a backlog of over 22 million cases while the 21 high courts and the Supreme Court have 3.5 million and 32,000 pending cases (2006). In subordinate courts, over 15 million cases are filed and an equal number disposed of annually by about 14,000 judges! Every year a million or more cases are added to the arrears. At the current speed, the lower courts will need 124 years to clear the backlog. There were only 13 judges for every million people.

Recently a parliamentary committee blamed the judiciary for keeping out competent persons of downtrodden communities “through a shrewd process of manipulation.” Between 1950 to 2000, 47% of chief justices and 40% of judges were of Brahmin origin!

Dalits and Indian aborigines make up less than 20 out of 610 judges working in Supreme Court and state high courts. “This nexus and manipulative judicial appointments have to be broken”, the report urged. [Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Constitutional Review, Sudarshan Nachiappan]. Among 12 states with high Muslim populations, Muslim representation in the judicial sector was limited to 7.8% [Justice Sachar Report].

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, only 31 per cent of criminal trials are completed in less than a year. Some even take more than 10 years. According to its study, Crime in India 2002, nearly 220,000 cases took more than 3 years to reach court, and about 25,600 exhausted 10 years before they were completed. The term of the Liberhan Commission, formed 14 years ago to probe the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya and originally given a mandate of three months, has been extended again!

Discrimination Against Children

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India has the highest number of street children in the world. There are no exact numbers, but conservative estimates suggest that about 18 million children live and labor in the streets of India’s urban centers. Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta each have an estimated street children population of over 100,000. The total number of child laborers in India is estimated to be 60 million.

The level of child malnutrition in India is among the highest in the world, higher even than some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, says the report Extent of Chronic Hunger and Malnutrition in India by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. While around 25 percent of children globally are underweight, in India the number is 43 percent.

A quarter of all neonatal deaths in the world (2.1 million) occurred in India, says the UNICEF Report 2007 . More than one in five children who die within four weeks of birth is an Indian. Nearly fifty percent of Indian children who die before the age of five do not survive beyond the first 28 days.

Discrimination Against Women

According to the 2001 census, female literacy in India is 54.16% versus male literacy of 75.85%. Most working women remain outside the organized sector. A mere 2.3% are administrators and managers, and only 20.5% of professional and technical workers are women.

There are an estimated 40 million Hindu widows in India, the least fortunate of them shunned and stripped of the life they lived when they were married. It’s believed that 15,000 widows live on the streets of Vrindavan, a Hindu holy city of about 55,000 population in northern India.

Many widows – at least 40 per cent are said to be under 50 – are dumped by their relatives in religious towns and left to live off charity or beg on the streets. Their plight was highlighted in Deepa Mehta’s award-winning film Water, which had to be shot mainly outside India because of Hindu extremist opposition to its production.

Nearly 9 out of 10 pregnant women between ages 15 and 49 years suffer from malnutrition, about half of all children (47%) under five are underweight, and 21% of the populations are undernourished. India alone has more undernourished people (204 million) than all of Sub-Saharan Africa combined.

Nearly 20% of women dying in childbirth around the globe are Indians. Six out of every 10 births take place at home, and untrained people attend more than half of those births. 44% of Indian girls are married before age of 18. 16% of girls from age 15-19 are already mothers or expecting their first child, and pregnancy is the leading cause of mortality in this age group.

On average, one Indian woman commits suicide every four hours over a dowry dispute. In an Indian marriage, the woman should bring jewelery, cash and even consumer durables as part of dowry to the in-laws. If they fail bring enough valuables, the victims are burnt to death – doused in kerosene and set on fire. The in-laws routinely claim that the death happened simply due to an accident.

Rape is the fastest growing crime in India. Every hour Indian women suffer two rapes, two kidnappings, four molestations and seven incidents of cruelty from husbands and relatives [National Crime Records Bureau Report 2006].

Fetus Killing

The female to male birth ratio was feared to reach 20:80 by the year 2020 as female fetus killing is rampant. Ten million girls have been killed by their parents in India in the past 20 years, either just before they were born or immediately after, the Indian Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury related to Reuters.

According to the 2001 census, the national sex ratio was 933 girls to 1,000 boys, while in the worst-affected northern state of Punjab, it was 798 girls to 1,000 boys. The availability of ultrasound sex determination tests leads to mass abortions in India.

Around 11 million abortions are carried out in India every year, and nearly 80,000 women die during the process, says a report from the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI).

Human Trafficking

Out of the 593 districts in India, 378 or 62.5% are affected by human trafficking. In 2006, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) sponsored a study conducted by Shakti Vahini, which found that domestic violence, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, unsafe migration and child marriage are the major reasons for the increasing rate of illegal human trafficking.

95% of the women in Madhya Pradesh involved in commercial sex are there due to family traditions. So are 51.79% in Bihar. While 43% of the total women trafficked are minors, 44 percent of the women involved in the flesh trade are there due to poverty.

Of the total women who are into sex work in the country, 60% are from the lower and backward classes, which indicates the pathetic living conditions of these communities. In Madhya Pradesh, a political bastion of Hindu right wing parties, 96.7% of women sex workers are from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

India has 4 million prostitutes nationwide, and 60% of the prostitutes are from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes or other backward castes. UNAIDS says over 38% of those living with HIV in India are women.

High Crime Rate and Communal Riots

India reported 32,481 murders, 19,348 rapes, 7,618 dowry deaths and 36,617 molestation cases in 2006. NCRB found that Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes (1,94,711), followed by Maharashtra (1,91,788), Andhra Pradesh (1,73,909), Tamil Nadu (1,48,972) and Rajasthan (1,41,992) during 2006. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 1,822,602 riots in 2005 alone [Incidence Of Cognizable Crimes (IPC) Under Different Crime Heads,  Page 2, NCRB website].

On average there are more than 2,000 cases of kidnappings per year in India. Under India’s notorious caste system, upper caste Hindus inherited key positions and control all the governmental branches. Violence against victims largely goes unpunished due to the support of upper caste crooks.

Economic Crimes

Economic crime continues to be pervasive threat for Indian companies, with 35% of them having experienced fraud in the past two years according to the PWC Global Economic Crime Survey 2007. Many incidents of fraud  go unreported. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers’ India findings:

* Corruption and bribery continue to be the most common type of fraud, reported by 20% of the respondents
* The average direct financial loss to companies was INR 60 Million (US $1.5 million) during the two year period. In addition, the average cost to deal with economic crime in India is INR 40 Million (US $1 Million), which is close to double that of the global and Asia Pacific average
* In 36% of cases, companies took no action against the perpetrators of fraud;
* In 50% of cases, fraud was detected by chance. [PWC Report 2007]

Armed Conflicts in India

Almost every state has separatist movements, many of them armed. A large number of Muslims were killed in the past few years across the country and the numbers are on a steady rise. On top of that, India has become a pariah for its neighbors. None of its neighbors appreciate their closeness to India, and they all blame it for meddling in their affairs.

63 per cent of India’s new budget will go to the military, police, administration and debt service (2008-09). The military might of centric Hindu elites in Delhi led to isolated feelings for the people of Jammu & Kashmir and the northeastern states. It is difficult for any community to feel part of a larger country when the armed forces of the country are deployed to silence them.

According to an Indian official report, 165 of India’s 602 districts — mostly in states like Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — are “badly affected” by tribal and dalit violence, which the government termed “Maoist terror”. India’s military spending was recorded at US $21.7 billion in 2006, and it planned to spend $26.5 billion during 2008/09 financial year. 85 percent of the Army’s budget is spent on the enormous manpower of 1,316,000, which is the fourth largest in the world.

India experienced a rapid increase in demand for security in the period following the Mumbai attacks. Thanks to terrorism imports by world’s weapon industry! India is now one of the world’s most terror-prone countries, with a death toll second only to Iraq, says a report from the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington.

India’s crime rates, already some of the highest in the world, are also rising, as is the incidence of corporate espionage. Approximately 5.5 million private security guards are employed by about 15,000 security companies in India. As an industry, it is now the country’s largest corporate taxpayer [CAPSI report].

In 2005, Business Week reported that India became Israel’s largest importer of weapons, accounting for about half of the $3.6 billion worth of weapons exported by the Jewish state.

“Do remember that 34 years ago, NSG was created by Americans. Hence it has been their onus to convince the group to grant the waiver to India to carry out the multi-billion dollar business as India is a large market,” said former Atomic Energy Commission chairman, Mr P K Iyengar.

The Booming Industry of Terrorism Experts and Security Research Institutes in India

With the emergence of Hindutva fascist forces and their alliance with neocons and Zionists, India witnessed a sharp increase in the number of research institutes, media houses and lobbying groups. According to a study by the Think Tanks & Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, India has 422 think tanks, second only to the US, which has over 2,000 such institutions.

Out of 422 recognized Indian think tanks, around 63 are engaged in security research and foreign policy matters, which are heavily funded by global weapons industry. India’s retired spies, police officers, military personnel, diplomats and journalists are hired by these national security and foreign policy research institutes which get enormous funds from global weapon industry.

These dreaded institutions in fact have a hidden agenda. Behind the veil, they work as the public relations arm of weapon industry. They create fake terror stories with the help of their media and intelligence wings and manipulate explosions through criminals in the areas of tribals, dalits or minorities in order to get public acceptance for weapon contracts.

By creating conflicts in this poor country, Brahmin spin masters get huge commissions from the sale of weapons to government forces. To these corrupt bureaucrats, India’s ‘national interest‘ simply means ‘their self interest’. Their lobbying power bring more wealth to their families as lucrative jobs, citizenship in rich countries and educational opportunities abroad.

India is one of the world’s largest weapons importers. Between 2000 and 2007, India ranked the world’s second largest arms importer, accounting for 7.5% of all major weapons transfers. It was fourth in military spending  in terms of purchasing power in 2007, followed by US, China and Russia.

Over 1,130 companies in 98 countries manufacture arms, ammunition and components. 90% of Conventional arms exports in the world are from the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council, namely USA, UK, Russia, China & France. The regions of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East hold 51 per cent of the world’s heavy weapons.

The Defense Offset Facilitation Agency estimated the expenditure on the sector of  $100 billion for next five years. At least 38 court cases relating to arms agreements are still pending against bureaucrats and military officers. Hindu fascist forces currently enjoy the upper hand in the media, the civil service, the judiciary, defense and the educational sectors of Indian society.

Sooner or later, the 25,000 strong democratic institutions in India will  collapse, and the country will be transformed into a limited democracy under the rule of a security regime like Turkey or Israel. The Hindutvas’ security centric nationalism was never capable of bringing peace and protection to ordinary citizens.

According to Global Peace Index, India currently ranked on bottom, (122 with 2.422 score). Interestingly, our favorite arms supplier, Israel is among the worst performer when it comes to peace ranking (141). It reminds a simple fact that peace cannot be attained by a sophisticated security apparatus.

Furthermore, India topped Asian Risk Prospects 2009 with the highest political and social risk, scoring 6.87, mainly because of internal and external instability (PERC).

Suicides of Farmers and the Collapse of the Agricultural Sector

In the last two years, more than 218,000 people across India committed suicide, mainly due to poverty, family feuds, strained relationships with loved ones, dowry harassment and health problems. In research by the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, there were 118,112 and over 100,000 suicides in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Most of those who committed suicide were farmers, and the victims took their lives either by hanging or consuming poison. Aside from farmers, women also have a high suicide rate. Since 1998, about 25,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide because they could not repay their debts. These debts, however, have largely accumulated because these farmers were severely overcharged by moneylenders, who demand up to 32% interest.

76 per cent of the nation’s land is owned by to 23 per cent of population. More than 15 million rural households in India are landless. Another 45 million rural families own only small plots of land, less than .1 acre each, which is hardly enough to make them self- sufficient, let alone generate a profit. 340 million people in India are largely dependent on agricultural wage labor and make $1 or less a day [Rural Development Institute (RDI), Washington].

70 per cent of the Indian population still depends directly on agriculture, but growth in this sector declined from a lackluster 3.8 per cent to an even more anemic 2.6 per cent last year.

Unemployment

Recently, a national report on the employment situation in India warned that nearly 30 percent of the country’s 716 million-strong workforce will be without jobs by 2020. The government of India doesn’t have the resources or political will to find jobs for such a large population.

Retail trade employs 8 percent of India’s population, the largest employer after agriculture. There are more than 12 million small retailers in India, 96 percent of whom are small mom-and-pop stores, each occupying less than 500 square feet, creating the highest retail outlet density per capita in the world. [Tarun Khanna, Yale, op cit.].

Call centers and other outsourced businesses — such as software coding, medical transcription and back-office tasks — employ more than 1.6 million people in India, mostly in their 20s and 30s. Heart disease is projected to account for 35% of deaths among India’s working-age population between 2000 and 2030, according to a World Health Organization study. The figure is about 12% for the United States, 22% for China and 25% for Russia.

Internal Migration and Influx to the Cities

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, is projected to grow into a city of about 21.9 million by the year 2015 and is currently plagued by vast poverty due to mass influx from villages. “There are 5 million living on the street every night, covered only in newspaper, ” says Dr. Werner Fornos, president of the Global Population Education think tank and the former head of the Population Institute in Washington, D.C.

India is spending more than $400 million (£200m) to polish Delhi’s image as a first-rate capital, a difficult task for a city that seems to exist between the first and third worlds. A third of the capital’s 14 million-plus people live in teeming slums. According to crime statistics, in 2006, Delhi continued to be the undisputed ‘crime capital’ of the country, a position it held for the previous 5 years in a row. 35 mega cities in India collectively reported a total of 3,26,363 crimes in 2006, an increase of 3.7% over 2005.

Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore together accounted for more than one third of all crimes reported in Indian cities having a population of over a million people for the second year in a row.

India, a Closed Country

India’s share in world tourism map, has hovered between .38% to .39% for a number of years. Irrespective of its huge area and beauty, foreign exchange earned from tourism is merely $2.61 billion (2006). India, scored only 4.14 out of 7 in the WEF’s recently released Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI 2007). Among 124 countries listed, Switzerland ranked highest while India was 65th, which is far below even Malaysia (ranked 31). India was also listed at the bottom of ‘developing and threshold countries’, which put Tunisia at 34th place.

Indian immigration policies do not welcome tourists. On VISA requirements and T&T index, India ranked 106 while Malaysia ranked 15. VOA facilities are not available to anyone. The easiest entry to India is typically limited to countries with considerable Hindu populations like Mauritius or Nepal. The Hindu elite leaders of the country are always more concerned about India’s physical boundaries and its holy cows rather than the life of its poor, 85% of the population. To them, the national interest means their own economical or political interests.

Indian Embassies are rated as the worst on Earth. They are notorious for ‘red tape‘ and ‘ corruption friendly service,‘ a complaint repeatedly quoted even by Non Resident Indians themselves. 90% of Indian businessmen believe that India has yet to emerge as a “hospitable country” [ASSOCHAM].

Global Warming Effects on India

Water tables are dropping where farmers are lucky enough to have wells, and rainfall has become increasingly unpredictable. Economic losses due to global warming in India are projected at between 9-25%. GDP loss may be to the tune of .67% per year. Wheat losses will be serious. The rabi crop will be hit even worse, which will threaten food security. Drought and flood intensity will increase. A 100-cm sea level rise can lead to a  loss of $1.259 billion to India equivalent to 0.36% of GNP.

Frequencies and intensities of tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal will increase. Malaria will be worsened to the point where it is endemic in many more sates. There will be a 20% rise in summer monsoon rainfall. Extreme temperatures and precipitations are expected to increase [Sir Nicholas Stern Report].

India got the most foreign aid for natural disaster relief in two decades, obtaining 43 such loans totaling $8.257 billion from World Bank alone, beating even Bangladesh and now has the 2nd highest loan in the world.

Transportation

Despite the much touted economic boom, only .8 percent of Indians own a car; most are on foot, motorbikes, or carts. And of all the vehicles sold in India from April to November of last year, 77 percent were two-wheelers – motorcycles, mopeds, or scooters. India has less than 1% of the world’s vehicle population.

China has built over 34,000 km of expressways, compared to less than 8,000 km in India.

According to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM), nearly 42o million man-hours are lost every month by the 7 million-odd working population of Delhi and NCR who take the public transport to travel to work because of traffic congestion during the peak morning and evening hours.

Road Safety

India accounts for about 10 percent of road accident fatalities worldwide,  and the totals are the highest in the world. Indian roads are poorly constructed, and traffic signals, sidewalks and proper signage are almost nonexistent. Other reasons for the high rates are encroachments, lack of parking facilities, ill-equipped and untrained traffic police, corruption and poor traffic culture.

An estimated 1,275,000 persons are badly hurt on the road every year. The social cost of annual accidents in India has been estimated at $11,000. The Government of India’s Planning Commission has estimated there are 15 hospitalized injuries and 70 minor injuries for every road death.

According to NATPAC, the number of accidents per 1,000 vehicles in India is as high as 35, while the figure ranges from 4 to 10 in developed countries. An estimated 270 people die each day from road accidents, and specialists predict that will increase by roughly 5 percent a year. Accidents also cause an estimated loss of Rs 8000 million to the country’s economy. About 80 per cent of the fatalities and severe injuries occurred due to driving error.

According to World Bank forecasts, India’s road death rate will continue to rise until 2042 if no remedial action being taken. In contrast, the number of road accidents in China dropped by an annual average 10.8 per cent for four consecutive years from 2003, despite continuous growth in the number of privately owned cars.

Doing Business in India

It takes 50 days to register a property in India, as compared to less than 30 days in China and less than 10 days in the United States and Thailand. Average cost of a business start-up is over 60 percent of per capita income, much higher than any of the comparable countries.

India has the highest cost of electricity among major industrialized and emerging economies ($.8 per kwh for industry as against $.1 kwh in China), or in other words a quarter of the gross electricity output, the result being the highest transmission and distribution losses in the world .

Transport costs are very high in India. It accounts for 25% of total import costs as against only 10% in comparative countries [World Bank Report on India].

Foreign Remittance from Non Resident Indians

In 2006, India received the highest amount of remittances globally from national overseas workers, $27 billion. Around $20 billion of this came from the Gulf expatriate workforce. Together, GCC countries are the largest trading partner of India, and home to 5 million members of India’s overseas workforce. The Indian government expects overseas Indians to pump in about US $500 billion into the FOREX reserves of the country in the next 10 years, making them the single largest source of foreign receipts.

Nearly three million people in Africa are of Indian ancestry. The top three countries with the largest population of Indians are South Africa, Mauritius and the Reunion Islands. Indians also have a sizable presence in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the east of Africa and Nigeria in the west.

Foreigners Living in India

Historically, about 72% of the current Indian population originated from the Aryan race. Prominent historians and Dravidians consider Aryans to be foreign invaders to India. The Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) was postulated by eminent Oxford scholar Max Muller in 1882 and later advanced by several western and Indian historians.

Under the current scenario, potential migrants or ‘invaders’ to India include a few ‘hired or weird’ Pakistani bombers, villagers from around India’s border with Bangladesh, Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka and prostitutes from Nepal.

The 92 year old Indian painter Maqbool Fida Hussain lives in Dubai after receiving death threats from Hindu militants.

According to Hindu extremists, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin has passed all the tests for Indian citizenship. On the other hand, Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, the Christian widow of Rajiv Gandhi, is still considered to be a foreigner by Hindu elites, while Pakistan-born Hindu Lal Krishna Advani is ‘legally and morally fit’ to become India’s next Prime Minister.

Leave India!

Sixty years ago Indians asked the British to get out of India. Now they are doing it themselves. To live with dignity and enjoy relative freedom, one has to leave India! With this massive exodus, what will be left behind will be a violently charged and polarized society.

The Hindutvadis’ Fake National Pride in India

A 2006 opinion poll by Outlook-AC Nielsen indicated that 46% of India’s urban class wants to move to the US. Interestingly, in the Hindutva heartland of Gujarat, 54% of people want to move to US.

Even Parliament members of the Hindutva party are involved in human trafficking from India. Recently police arrested Babubhai Katara, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, who was part of such a racket. He received $20,000 per person to move his victims to the US.

When Indians are fleeing all over the world to just to find a job, how can these Hindutva idiots claim any “National Pride of India”?

India is the World Bank’s largest borrower. In June 2007, it provided $3.7bn in new loans to India. Due to the fake ‘India Shining’ propaganda launched by Hindutva idiots, foreign donors are reluctant to help the poor people in this country. According to figures provided by Britain’s aid agency, the total aid to India, from all sources, is only $1.50 a head, compared with an average of $17 per head for low-income countries [Financial Times].

Gridlocked in corruption, greed, inhumanity and absolute inequality – of class, caste, wealth, religion – this is the real India. Hindutva idiots, your false pride and antics embarrass us.

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