53 Admitted False Flag Attacks

It’s disgusting how the minute you say the phrase false flag, people grab their foreheads and start groaning. All false flags are automatically conspiracy theories and they’re all pathetic nonsense made up by the tinfoil hat crowd. Granted a lot of so-called false flags never happened and instead were actual attacks carried out by whoever claimed responsibility for them. This is particularly true with Islamist terrorist groups.

Their attacks often terribly brutal and aimed directly at civilians. Many of their attacks in the West have been called false flags, but none of them were. It has also been common for a long time to ascribe most of the worst Palestinian terrorist attacks to Israeli false flags.

The truth is that the Palestinians, like the Islamists, are quite depraved enough to do their own horrific terrorist attacks. Their attacks are depraved enough that Israel has no need to fake depraved attacks to frame the Palestinians.

But as you can see, false flags definitely occur. I never thought that the US government did these attacks very much, but we and the rest of the West (NATO) have been going on a wild false flag spree ever since NATO’s war on Russia started heating up.

It’s been one false flag after another and one attempt to blame Russia and pro-Russians for atrocities willfully committed by the other side. This is different from a false flag. In this case, Party A attacks the enemy, typically enemy civilians, or a shell goes astray and there’s an atrocity. 

Instead of admitting that they did it, they blame the enemy who they are fighting, usually for committing an atrocity against their own supporters, which of course makes no sense.

There were many such attacks like this in the Syrian Civil War when the Free Syrian Army committed massacre after massacre of villagers who supported Assad and then turned around and blamed Assad for each and every one of these crimes. 

As it turns out, Assad did not commit any of these civilian massacres because that’s just not his style. His forces don’t rampage into villages, even of rebel supporters, and slaughter civilians in brutal fashion one by one.

If they think a civilian needs to be dealt with, Assad’s forces simply arrest them and may well put them in a military prison, where they could well be tortured and mistreated until death or executed. I’m not saying Assad is a nice guy; it’s more that his style simply does not include savage massacres of entire villages or chemical weapons attacks for that matter.  When it comes to depravity, Assad has his own style.

I can’t believe that number of attacks falsely blamed on the enemy and out and out false flag and fake attacks that the US did in Ukraine and Syria. We seem to be entering into a new era of warfare where false flags are the normal ways to fight wars.

It’s appalling and terrifying because foolish Americans insist that these attacks never happen. By believing that they give their own government carte blanche to do as many false flags and false blaming of the enemy of allied attacks as they wish. And the government knows that in any fake blames or false flags the US or its allies pull off, they know that they can count on the support of every corporate media outlet in the US to go right along.

In fact, every mainstream media outlet in the West period is on board with any false blaming or false flags the West wishes to pull off. In that sense the entire media of the West is completely controlled by the states of the West, their militaries, state departments and intelligence services. It’s downright terrifying.

53 Admitted False Flag Attacks

Relevant article selected from the GR archive, first published in February 2015.

Not Theory … Admitted Fact

There are many documented false flag attacks where a government carries out a terror attack … and then falsely blames its enemy for political purposes.

In the following 53 instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admitted to it, either orally or in writing:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931 and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident.”

The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that under orders from the chief of the Gestapo, he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles to justify the invasion of Poland.

(3) Nazi General Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933 and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.

(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 while blaming the attack on Finland as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian President Putin, and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940 and falsely blame it on the Nazis.

(6) The British government admits that between 1946 and 1948 it bombed five ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the pseudo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see thisthis and this).

(7) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).

(8) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.

(9) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece, also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey, and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.

(10) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.

(11-21) The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO with the help of the Pentagon and CIA carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism.

As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this).

Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred. And watch this BBC special. They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and other countries.

False flag attacks carried out pursuant to this program include by way of example only the murder of the Turkish Prime Minister (1960), bombings in Portugal (1966), the Piazza Fontana massacre in Italy (1969), terror attacks in Turkey (1971), the Peteano bombing in Italy (1972), shootings in Brescia, Italy and a bombing on an Italian train (1974), shootings in Istanbul, Turkey (1977), the Atocha massacre in Madrid, Spain (1977), the abduction and murder of the Italian Prime Minister (1978), the bombing of the Bologna railway station in Italy (1980), and shooting and killing 28 shoppers in Brabant county, Belgium (1985).

(22) In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro].”

(23) Official State Department documents show that in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(24) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes) and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba.

See the following ABC news reportthe official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(25) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(26) The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”

(27) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964… manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.

(28) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign, the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(29) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look, the general said, “I am giving an example.”

(30) The German government admitted (and see this) that in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.

(31) A Mossad agent admits that in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya, which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.

(32) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force), approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident,” thus framing the ANC for the bombing.

(33) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, “French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit against Author”).

(34)    The United States Army’s 1994 publication Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces  updated in 2004 recommends employing terrorists and using false flag operations to destabilize leftist regimes in Latin America. False flag terrorist attacks were carried out in Latin America and other regions as part of the CIA’s “Dirty Wars.” And see this.

(35) An Indonesian fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998 and determined that “elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked.”

(36) Senior Russian military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion).

(37) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

(38) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.

(39) As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered seven innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police in order to join the “War on Terror.”

(40) Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that in July 2001 at the G8 summit in Genoa they planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(41) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks as shown by a memo from the defense secretary as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq War.

Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties.

Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq War was really launched for oil…not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government.  

(42) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the White House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country.

(43) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

(44) United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers.

Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

(45) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.

(46) Quebec police admitted that in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).

(47) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plainclothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.

(48) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.

(49) A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat.

(50) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, says that the head of Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists.

(51) High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government, and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.

(52) The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others.

(53) Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target.

So Common…There’s a Name for It

“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.

The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s Strategy of Tension.

The use of the bully’s trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago. The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.

Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for navalair and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.

Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.”
– Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war… But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.”
– Josef Stalin


Peak Oil and Peak Coal

Looks like we just hit Peak Coal in 2012 and Peak Oil in Summer 2018. That means that the world’s coal and oil production hit its ultimate peak in those years, and every year after that, production is going to drop. Production could peak for a lot of reasons.

One reason would be that the resource is becoming exhausted. However, in the case of coal, it is possibly just that coal has hit peak demand and the world is weaning itself off the stuff.

Although we did hit peak oil, I suppose it’s possible to hit it again as many producers have reduced their output to drive up prices. Venezuela and Iran have seen output plunge due to crippling sanctions the US put on both of them. Many oil fields are not even fully exploited and there is always the argument that you can find new fields.

More importantly, no more than 10% of the oil can be extracted from any underground oil basin. The rest is simply not reachable for some reason.  However, new technology is enabling us to get up to 25% of the oil from a basin. This could also ramp up production.

The fact that we are resorting to the awful, and deadly polluting process of fracking of oil shale seems to show that humanity is nearing  the limits of the oil it can scrape out of the ground. Shale oil fracking looks like a desperate attempt to grab even the haziest and most dubious extractable oil in a desperate attempt to head off Peak Oil. And even that’s not working.

After Peak Oil, oil production is supposed to decline every year after that. Quite a few folks think this will be a catastrophe but that may not be so. One thing is that oil demand will drop for a lot of uses in the coming decades. A lot of enterprises that burn fossil fuel and move off it onto renewables, with the generation of electricity leading the way so far.

Cars are another matter. Demand for oil for cars rose every year in the last decade. That is because the world continues to add more and more cars, especially in emerging markets like China.  And 97% of cars run on oil. Ethanol never panned out and it has to be mixed with oil to work anyway.

Oil is used for other things. 10% of oil is used to produce plastics. I don’t understand why we should not continue to pump oil to make plastic. I mean oil and coal are only problems when you burn them to create energy. Oil is simply transformed as a raw material in the production of plastic so this use of oil does affect Global Warming at all. Actually even coal has other uses besides burning. It is also used in the production of various manufactured products.

The nonsense about “clean coal” has been a mantra for over a decade now. Obama was fond of that one. Apparently it’s a big fat lie. My research has found that there is no such thing as clean coal. So-called clean coal is dirty as Hell. If anyone has any contrary information about clean coal, I’d like to hear it.

The thing is is that demand for oil, as for coal, may decline in coming years at least for certain uses such as electricity. And if the price does go up, oil producers usually respond to increased demand by increasing supply. When the price drops or demand falls, producers simply reduce production.

All of these factors make it so that skyrocketing oil prices are not necessarily going to happen with Peak Oil, or at least not for some years if ever. There’s a lot more to prices, supply, and demand of products than production of the commodity peaking out.

What Is the Foreign Policy of the White Nationalists?

White nationalists are isolationists. They see our continuous fighting, killing, dying, and destroying in the Middle East as nothing more than what they call “wars for the Jews.” Which, frankly, is exactly what they are. Wars for the Jews in Israel and their wealthy Jewish supporters in the US.

Most like Russia and want to make peace with that country. Most are hostile to picking fights with China. Most want to pull out of NATO. And they seem to be against our adventurism and coup-mongering in Venezuela. From what I can tell, they want to get rid of US imperialism all together in all its forms.

They hate the IMF and the World Bank as much as they hate the UN. They hate most trade agreements. They utterly despise neoconservatives or neocons, who they say are all Jews even though that is not quite the case.

They also hate US jingoists, who they scornfully call “patriotards.” I will say that their foreign policy is one thing I like about the White nationalists, although in general, they are pretty lousy people for hating whole races of humans the way they do.

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: All That Glitters Is Not Capitalist: Various Types of Non-Capitalist Forms of Production That Work Well

Rahul:

I would argue that being pragmatic while being a communist is almost impossible. Communism doesn’t work, because humans are too greedy.

A mixture of a bunch of ideologies is probably the way to go.

If you are talking about hardcore Communism with the state running everything and no market or private enterprise as in the USSR, nobody wants to go back to that anyway. Even most Communists don’t want to go back to that.

But otherwise, you are just wrong. Most Communists nowadays see some sort of a role for a market. There are lots of ways to do this.

For instance, in Venezuela, various neighborhood groups and communities operate bread factories, farms, on and on. They sell the bread at a small reasonable profit to the community. The proceeds and profits are invested back into the enterprise and used to pay the salaries of the employees.

The farms and animal husbandry industries work along the same lines. A community will be organized as a commune. They will raise chickens for eggs or pigs or they will grow various crops.

They then sell the eggs, pigs, or crops to other communities for a reasonable profit. The proceeds and profits are invested back into the company, used to pay the salaries of the workers, and if there is anything left over, they are invested in the community itself – new sidewalks, new roads, a new health facility, water treatment, a community center, on and on.

The Venezuelan communes are considered to be a non-capitalist form of development.

Communists all around the world have supported this model. The Chinese Communists are operating a form of market socialism that utilizes a market mechanism. The Vietnamese Communists are doing the same. The Cuban Communists are doing something similar.

Most Communists also support the cooperative movement, where workers own the enterprise and compete against other firms, including capitalist firms. The enterprise either sinks or swims.

The proceeds and profits are best collected by a regional bank, which reinvests them in the enterprise, uses them to pay salaries, or even gives bonuses to the workers. So a very successful enterprise that made a lot of profits could end up having some workers who were making some good money if they were pocketing some of the profits.

When you give the workers the control over what to do with the money – whether to sink it back into the enterprise or to take it home as increased paychecks, workers tend to choose to take home the bigger checks. This is what happened with Yugoslavia’s otherwise very successful worker self-managed Communism.

The workers would not put enough money back into the firms to keep them going, and the firms would start to deteriorate to the point where they were no longer operative. So everyone was out of a job. But no worries as everyone got a bigger paycheck!

In the Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Country in Spain, a similar system has unfolded and has been successful for a long time now. There, the workers elect their own management, which is a great idea in my opinion. You would think that workers would elect management that let them slide and screw off, but they elect very good managers.

The decisions about what to do with the proceeds and profits – whether to sink them back into the enterprise or to take them home in higher worker wages – is left up to management and ultimately large regional banks.

These large regional banks are the ultimate owners of all of the Mondragon cooperatives. These are public banks so they are not run on the typical profit motive. They resemble more the customer-owned credit unions in the US which give much better customer service than the capitalist banks do.

I’m not even entirely sure that credit unions are a capitalist enterprise. How can you have a capitalist enterprise that is owned by the consumers of its service? That does not seem possible.

The banks tend to make the best decisions for the firm. Keep in mind that Mondragon cooperatives utilize a non-capitalist form of development.

The problem with Mondragon is that they have to compete against capitalist firms. So all of the cutthroat behaviors that capitalists engage in to reduce costs and maximize profits – exploitation of labor, shafting consumers, investors and the public at large – means that Mondragon is forced to some extent to lower their own costs however they can to keep pace with these firms.

So Mondragon is a non-capitalist system that is still privy to the logic of capitalism in which they are ensnared.

In North Korea in the far north of the country there is a lot of private gold mining going on now in new-found reserves. They are often just one man enterprises of small groups of men working together.

The state’s footprint up there is small, and the state has stepped aside and simply lets these miners mine whatever they want. They only ask for a 25% tax cut on all mining proceeds. As long as you give them your cut, it’s all good. Most of these miners would not be described as capitalists.

In North Korea and Cuba there are now farmer’s markets where farmers can bring their produce directly to farmer’s markets to sell to the public. These are generally not capitalist enterprises. These are just farmers selling the product of their labor to consumers (other workers) buying their crops. There’s no tendency to maximize profits, as the prices are set by the market.

The entire cooperative sector all around the world is a non-capitalist form of development. The workers actually own the firm so there is no exploitation of labor, which is the definition of capitalism. No exploitation, no capitalism.

In this way these cooperatives have gotten rid of the division between Labor and Capital which is the backbone of any capitalist system because capitalist systems work by marking up the products of workers’ labor and then adding onto it something called surplus value when is then pocketed by the capitalist as a profit.

So a worker producing a product that is paid say $20 in labor has his product taken by the owner of the firm, which then proceeds to mark up the worker’s labor cost to $25-30, and thereby make a profit. This is called the Labor Law of Value, and it has been proven to be the backbone of the capitalist system.

As you can see here, the worker is not getting the full value of the product he produced. He produced a product worth $25-30, and he only received $20 for it, with his owner taking the $5-10 surplus value and pocketing it as profit.

Independent contractors such as electricians, plumbers, painters, attorneys, physicians, accountants, etc. are not usually capitalists at all. Instead these are just workers – albeit highly paid workers – who are simply selling their labor time to  others, mostly workers, who purchase their labor time when they hire them or use their services.

Middlemen and traders who simply intervene between the producer and walnuts and the seller of say walnuts, adding on their profit, are not capitalists. Those are simply traders or merchants. They are not exploiting anyone. They can be thought of as a form of workers who act as go-betweens vis a vis producers and sellers, adding their small amount on as a fee for helping to get the two together.

Finance capital or people who buy and sell stocks are not usually capitalists. These are like people who trade in rare books, stamps, coins, precious metals, or anything else.

The stocks and bonds are like rare coins or precious metals. They simply try to buy them at a lower rate and sell them at a higher rate, which merchants have been doing forever even long before capitalism. They have no employees so they are not exploiting anyone.

Music groups and other performers, authors, artists, sculptors, etc. are mostly just workers who sell their labor time as performers or the product of their labor as books, paintings, sculpture, DVD’s, etc. Most of these people, even bands, do not hire employees.

Now granted the book publishers, record companies, galleries, etc. are marking up the labor time and labor products of these entertainment workers and taking the surplus value, hence they are capitalists.

A big rock music band can be thought of simply as performers (workers) who make a musical product and sell it to fans, mostly other workers, who enjoy their entertainment product so much they are willing to pay good money for it. So most bands, artists, authors, sculptors, etc. are not capitalists. They’re just workers for the most part marketing their labor time or the products of their labor time.

Now granted finance capital and speculative capital, while generally not capitalist, are nevertheless regarded as “parasitic” industries because they don’t produce anything.

They can be thought of as gigantic casinos in the sky (the stock market in particular can be seen this way). Speculative capital produces nothing and often has bad effects on society. Look at the wildly inflated housing markets on the US West Coast and in New York and Paris for example.

In China under what they call market socialism or socialism with Chinese characteristics, a Communist party cell sits on the board of directors of every large corporation. When corporations get a certain size the state usually takes them over in a sense. However, the managers have large leeway how to operate their company.

All private enterprises are underneath the state or the Communist Party. The CP sees the market or the private sector as a tool for the development of the productive forces. However, the capitalists are underneath the state. They have to do what the state says.

They have to adhere to 5-year plans. Yes, the 5-year plans that were said to be so devastating to the USSR and other Communist countries are working great in China.

The government, the party, and the private sector all work together on economic goals. In this way it is similar to the state capitalism of South Korea and Japan or even Nazi Germany.

That state capitalism is a non-capitalist form of development because the state works closely with the capitalists on economic goals which are supposed to serve the nation and not just the petty temporal demands of capital for maximal profits come Hell or high water, forget about consumers, workers, society, the environment or the nation.

Under state capitalism, the state controls the commanding heights of the economy. In Japan this boils down to a several huge banks which effectively run all economic development in Japan.

Nazi Germany was similar. Yes, you could have your corporation but you had to do what the state said, or they would just take you over and confiscate your firm. So the firms in Nazi Germany in effect all worked for the state.

In China, if firms do not follow guidelines and do as they are told, the state will simply go in and seize the firm, confiscating all of its assets. The state will then take over the firm or hand it over to  a more obedient capitalist. You see here that the state rules capital. Capital has to do what the state says.

Here in the US, the market is not a tool for the development of productive forces. Instead it is a form of politics. In other words, the market or the corporations basically run society. The market is over the state. The state has to do what the corporations demand, or the corporations will get rid of the state and put in a new state.

The state obeys the demands of capital and not the other way around. Capital, the market, and the corporations are our true rulers in the US. The government simply acts as if they are employees of capital. The state does not rule us except to the extent that it carries out ruling directives that Capital gives to the state to enforce on the people.

In China state firms are often run by local municipalities. So if we had their system,  say Los Angeles and San Fransisco might both have steel mills. These mills would then compete against each other and against private firms both domestic and foreign. It’s sink or swim for all public firms in China.

Firms that are more successful see their incomes rise and more workers move to those cities to be part of those enterprises.

The workers still officially own the enterprises, but the city takes 95% of the income that the enterprise brings in in the form of a paycheck for every worker. 95% of each workers paycheck is taken by the city and reinvested in the firm or in the city itself (similar to the Venezuelan model). The workers get 5% of their check to take home as pay.

Keep in mind that this can be a good paycheck, as cities running successful firms pay their workers more.

There are large cities in Southern China with 700,000 workers where 1/3 of the population works for one of the many enterprises that the city runs. The residents of the city, who are also workers for the city, have a say in how these firms are run.

For instance, they try to fight corruption, since it hurts the firms, which hurts the city, which hurts them in the end. So the firms of the city in a sense are under the control of the people who live and work in there in the sense that their input is used to make decisions about how to run the firms.

From Le Bon to Mussolini to Trump, a Single Unbroken Strand

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Le Bon -> Mussolini -> Trump.

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Le Bon -> Mussolini -> Trump.

And those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, of course.

The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.
– William Faulkner

And…There’s something to be admired about the way the Chinese always take the long view of history and reality itself for that matter.

Interviewer: What do you as Chinese premier, think of the French Revolution [that took place 200 years ago]?
Chou en Lai, Premier of the People’ Republic of China: It’s too soon to tell.
– Interview with Chinese premier Chou en Lai, 1970’s

Alt Left: Is US Immigration Dysgenic?

Sami: Very good points, Thinking Mouse.
The majority of our immigration comes from Latin American, average present IQ 90-95, and from East Asia, average present IQ 100-107. This averages out to close to 100 as it is, if you look at those two groups in combination. And this doesn’t take into account the Flynn Effect (though, unfortunately, I doubt Mexican American Barrio culture, as it presently is, at least, is something that would do much to accelerate the Flynn Effect, sorry to say.
And we get smaller input from places like the Middle East, present average IQ 84-90, if Richard Lynn’s methods for assessing this are valid (highly questionable, at best). However, Arab Americans and Iranian Americans both have average incomes and average levels of educational attainment — both considered to be rough proxies for average IQ — than the White American average. So, it is clear, that within American culture (in stark contrast to the case with Europe) those groups seem to be Flynn-effected upward.
In short, I am unconvinced that our present immigration policy is dysgenic.

Instead of simply not being Flynn-effected, I would argue that barrio culture is actually IQ-impairing. I don’t have any evidence for that, but I can hardly think of a more aggressively, belligerently, arrogantly ignorant culture in the US. Even US Black culture is more educated and intellectual than US barrio culture. Isn’t that pitiful?
Latin America does NOT have an average IQ of 90-95. Most of the immigration is from Mexico, IQ 90. The rest is from Central America, IQ 85-90. Average IQ of Hispanics in the US is ~90. We don’t get that much immigration from East Asia. China is where most of it comes from, IQ 105. Combined together, you get IQ 96, but there are many more Hispanics, so that lowers it to ~93. At the end of the day we don’t know what the IQ of immigrants, legal and illegal, is in the US.
Hispanic IQ in the US is not undergoing any Flynn rises compared to Whites. It just stays at 90. Arab and Iranian IQ is not high, but in the US, they may be selected. Anyway, they appear much smarter than Hispanics here in the US, whatever their IQ’s are.
You have only to look at large Hispanic communities to see that the IQ is not the same as a nearby White town. This Hispanic city here may have an IQ of 93. I came from a nearby White town which probably had IQ of 100. The differences were so stark it was shocking. So you can see that even seven IQ points at a macro scale like that has a huge effect on the intelligence of a city. You can really see IQ differences when you look at whole cities full of people of different IQ’s.
US IQ has always been 100. In recent years it has fallen to 98. How did that happen?

A Look at the Chinese Model of Communism – Market Socialism

You are starting to see a lot of articles in the capitalist press bashing China now, saying their economy is not as good as they say, that it cannot be sustained, and that it is headed for crash. They base this on a comparison to other Communist countries, but those economies fell behind far before China’s did.
China has sustained Communism under various forms, including presently under market socialism, for 70 years now. That’s as long as the Soviet Union, and the Soviets started stagnating a long time before that. China is an example of a smashing success for a Communist country, and the capitalist press is freaking out because that shows that their anti-Communist propaganda has been crap for all of these years.
Incidentally, Deng Xiaoping emphatically stated that he was a Communist. Deng’s idea was to create “a rich Communist country.”. In an interview in 2005, a top party official was asked if China was still committed to spreading Communism all over the world.
“Of course,” the minister beamed. “That is the purpose of the Communist party (CCP).”
Incidentally, China still has 5-year plans and the whole economy is planned. The business sector has to go along with the plan, and if you do not go along with it, they can confiscate your business. A party committee sits on the board of all large corporations. The government owns every inch of land in China. The state invests an incredible amount in the economy and also overseas where it makes vast investments. This is because some Chinese government companies are very profitable. A number of Chinese government companies are on the list of largest companies in the world.
Capitalists in the US openly complain that they cannot compete with Communist Chinese government  corporations, crying that they get subsidies so it’s not fair. So here we have US corporations openly admitting that they can’t compete with Chinese government Communist state-owned companies.
45% of the economy is state owned and it is very profitable. 87% of all investment in the economy is made by the state. This figure includes all Chinese private investment and all foreign investment.
Much of the state sector is owned by small municipalities, and this works very well. Further, cities compete against each other. For instance, City A’s steel mill will compete against City B’s steel mill, and both will compete against a private sector steel mill, if there is one. Successful enterprises bring in a lot of money to the city, which it uses to upgrade the city, which results in more workers moving there, which grows the economy more with more workers and more demand.
There are also still a number of pure Maoist villages in China that are run completely on a Maoist line. Everything is done as it was right out of the Mao era. I understand that they do very well, and there is a huge waiting list to move to those villages.
I did a lot of research on China recently, and the party is literally everywhere you look every time you turn around. The party itself still runs many enterprises all over the country, especially in the rural areas. There are party officials in every village and city, and they take a very active role in developing the municipality in every way, including culturally. They have an ear to the ground and are typically very popular in the villages and cities.
Party officials lobby the state to try to solve any urgent problem in the area. The government is always spending a lot of money all over China on public works, on fixing various environmental problems, or on really any societal problem or issue you can think of. This of course includes economic development, which tends to be state-led. I read synopses of many dissertations coming out of Chinese universities, and most were on how to deal with some particular societal problem or issue. Many others dealt with technology and industry. So a lot of the research on technology and industry that is driving economic development is coming straight out of state universities.
Instead of leaving it up to the private sector to deal with the problems in society, create public works, and even plan the economy, the government does all of that. Incidentally, the way the US leaves the planning of the economy, such as it is, up to the private sector is insane. All sensible economic planning in any nation will always be done by the state with a view towards allowing the country to prosper. Capitalists have no interest in whether the country profits or not, so they engage in no economic planning at all. Leaving economic planning up to the whims of the capitalists is economic malpractice.
There are 1,000 protests every day in China. Yes, there is corruption and there are government abuses, but if protests last long enough, the party usually gets alarmed and tries to do something about the problem because they don’t want serious unrest. This is party that does everything it can to serve the people and try to remain popular with citizens by giving them as much as they can and doing as much for them as possible. The party spends every single day of its rule literally trying to buy off unrest and keep its citizens satisfied.
It’s illegal to be homeless in China. If you end up homeless in China, they will try to put you in a homeless shelter, or if they cannot do that, they will send you back to your village because most homeless are rural migrants who moved to the city. The state is now investing a vast amount of money in the rural areas because these places have been neglected for a long time. The state still wants to own all the land because they want to keep the rural areas as a secure base where rural migrants to the city can always return if they fail in the city.
How can a government in which 45% of the economy is publicly owned, 87% of investment is done by the state, and every inch of land is owned by the state possibly be called as capitalist country? No serious political economist anywhere on Earth considers China to be a capitalist country. The only people who say that are ideologues and liars, which includes almost all political conservatives and most businessmen.
The state spends an unbelievable amount of money on public works all over the country all the time. Many projects that in the US have “conclusively proven” to be too costly to be implemented have been done in China quickly and easily. And China’s per capita income in less than 10% of ours.
Most ethnic minorities are still allowed to support their culture, and in most cases they are allowed to have education in their native language. In these areas, the native language is co-official with Mandarin.
In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to support a lot of the Chinese dialects, of which there are over 2,000 main ones, many of which are actually separate languages. Cantonese is still an official language in Hong Kong, and it is widely used in Guangdong. The other major Chinese languages or macrolanguages still have millions of tens of millions of speakers. Lately the Chinese government is telling people they can preserve their dialect as long as they also speak Mandarin. Many schools now have classes in the local dialect.
Cheap medical insurance is available and it covers 85% of costs. State medical centers are still very good. However, if you have a serious medical condition in China, you will quickly run out of money with no recourse.
This is a serious problem but it is much better than earlier in the Deng Era when millions were dying from lack of health care. However, the state still need to cover everyone. They got away from universal coverage  when they moved away from Maoism early in the Deng era. In addition, tens of thousands of schools, many of which were built during the Cultural Revolution, were closed early in the Deng era.
The introduction of a market had a lot of problems in the early days. The capitalist press was cheering wildly as thousands of schools were closed all over China, medical care was cut off from or reduced for hundreds of millions of people, while millions of Chinese died from lack of medical care. This was all cause for celebration! Isn’t capitalism wonderful? What’s millions of humans dying from lack of health care as long as a few rich people can buy ridiculously expensive, useless items that they don’t even need?
A recent good survey done by a Western polling firm found that 87% of the population supported the Communist Party.  The excesses of the Mao era, especially the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution, have been widely discussed and the party has admitted that many errors were made and resolved not to do this again. These excesses are being blamed by the party on what they call “ultra-Leftism.”
The economic model of China is called Market Socialism and a lot of modern day Leftists and even Communists support it and agree that this is the way forward for the left and Communist movement. Like all words, the word Communism has no inherent meaning. It means whatever people who use it say it means. So the definition of Communism can clearly change with the times as Communists update their definitions of what the word means.
China cannot be called capitalist in any way. Their model is far more socialist than anything in any European social democracy. It also goes far beyond the US in the New Deal and of course beyond beyond the social liberalism and its more left analogue in Canada, not to mention beyond social democracy in Australia or New Zealand.
Interestingly, Japan is not a capitalist country. They don’t have neoliberalism. That country does not operate on the capitalist mode of development. Instead the resemblance is, I hate to say, to Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany also did not have a capitalist mode of development. I’m not sure what you call it, but it’s not capitalism. For instance, in Japan, the commanding heights of the economy, including almost all of the banks, is owned by the state.
The state still plans the economy. They plan the economy together with the business community and the state allocates a lot of funds and loans to areas of the economy it wishes to develop. There is probably a similar model in South Korea, which also is not capitalist and instead operates on a series of monopolies that are owned currently by large corporations and the government. The South Korean economy is also planned, and the plan is worked out by the government and the business sector working together.

Is China Faking Its Crime and Economic Figures?

While i agree that the Chinese are doing a good job, i think they fake some of their data, inst there an large discrepancy between Chinese GDP per capita and energy consumption? Crime stats are also exaggerated, china probably has an homicide rate of around 4-8 per 100K.
I don’t think that anyone has made a good case that China is faking its economic figures. They never did under Mao, why would they now? And they never faked crime figures under Mao, why would they now? Most people who go to China say that it is far safer than say in the US as far as street crime goes. This implies that the homicide rate is not ~6/100,000, which is near the US rate.
The crime rate in China went through the roof after the added a lot of capitalism to the economy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, capitalist fanboys!
 

NATO, the WTO, and the Prospects for Resistance to US-EU Militarized Economic Hegemony (the Axis of Resistance)

Interesting comment from a reader.

Thinking Mouse: But the enemies of NATO are corrupt crooks at worst and non-pragmatic idealists at worst.
I think historical materialism influences morality too, we don’t posses our beliefs, but our beliefs posses us, and beliefs live upon the technology of an certain mode of production. On a positive note, the world does seem to become more multipolar with the emergence of China, Turkey, Japan, Russia, India and large parts of Africa. I don’t think these nations will get Independence, but just more fair deals with America thanks to their ability to defend themselves.
Eventually when technology and infrastructure spread across the world, will the proletariat take their fare share from the petit and normal bourgeoisie!
Africa might have large riots about tax evasion and the WTO´s forced laissez faire in 20-40 years, or maybe anti corruption will be more gradual.

First of all, I would like to thank the comrade for his excellent comment. It is smart and informed comments like these that make this site so great.
Who are the enemies of NATO? Venezuela, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Syria, Iran? Anybody else? Who cares if they are corrupt? Nations have a right to self-determination. Anyway, a lot of NATO allies and even members are corrupt and even murderous or genocidal.

“China, Turkey, Japan, Russia, India and large parts of Africa”

Exactly. This is why Russia is so important. China is not allied with NATO at all. Isn’t Japan a de facto NATO ally or member? And isn’t India a NATO ally? Turkey is a NATO member that is now on the outs with the rest of the alliance. It’s still the Sick Man of Europe after all these centuries. I agree a lot of Europe seems to be not actively allied with NATO. What about Egypt and Sudan? Haven’t they signed on to the anti-Iran bullshit?

“Eventually when technology and infrastructure spread across the world, will the proletariat take their fare share from the petit and normal bourgeoisie!”

We can only hope, comrade! Or barring that, at least dream. Instead of ruling society, I think proletarians should aim for something a lot lower – simply getting something more like their fair share in society.

Africa might have large riots about tax evasion and the WTO´s forced laissez faire in 20-40 years, or maybe anti corruption will be more gradual.

Corruption is endemic in all of Black Africa, is it not? Tax evasion? You mean African elites do not pay their fair share? How long has the WTO been enforcing neoliberalism in Africa? I thought only the IMF could do that. Why would the riots be 30 years off instead of sooner?

China is a Communist Country, Not a Capitalist Country

US rightwingers keep saying that China is a capitalist country or it is the most capitalist country on Earth.
China is one of the most Communist or socialist states on Earth today. Fully 45% of the Chinese economy is publicly owned, and it does extremely well. Much of the very high economic growth has come from the public sector. How on Earth can China be capitalist when 45% of the economy is state-owned?
But realize that all public firms in China operate on the profit model. They all compete with each other, so you have a steel mill run by one city competing with a steel mill run by another city. Many of the fastest growing industries are run at the municipality level. Also, China’s fully state-owned firms do very well. In fact, Republicans say that China’s public firms are “not fair” because American capitalist corporations can’t compete against them. The reason is that China’s firms get subsidies from the state. Poor capitalist corporations! They’re too inefficient to compete against Communist state owned firms. Poor babies.
You realize that the state owns every single inch of land in China? How is that possible in a capitalist country? Capitalism is primarily based on the private ownership of land. No private ownership of land, no capitalism. Real simple.
I would also point out that the Chinese state spends a tremendous amount of money on its people. Since 45% of the whole economy goes directly to the state, they have a lot of money to spend. And they spend it very wisely too. They mostly spend it on their own people in one way or another.
As I understand it, US capitalists believe in a minimal state, and there is nothing they hate more than state spending. Huge state spending is seen as wasteful tax and spend policies by all capitalists everywhere. Wherever you have massive state spending, you do not have a capitalist system.
But I would like to thank US rightwingers for praising China, the finest example of modern Communism.

Mao Was Right

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

I dunno. There are some North Koreans worth up to $100,000. The party doesn’t seem to care much. There are many rich Chavistas and the Ortegas have plenty of money. There are some Cubans who are living quite well now – marble counter-tops and floors, etc. The state doesn’t care.
I suppose a good CP would just argue that moneyed people can be kept around as long as they support the party and the basic socialist nature of the system. Progressive rich people are not unknown. The father of the famous terrorist Carlos was a life member of the Venezuelan Communist Party and a millionaire.
Do the Chinese Communists (Chicoms) believe that the rich are inherently oppressive? I doubt it as the party is full of millionaires. There is even a billionaire in the party now pushing the rightwing politics of all billionaires everywhere. I think they ought to throw him out of the party.
Mao said reactionary and capitalist elements would be springing up in the party all the time, and you to wage more or less constant cultural revolution to keep the rightwingers from taking over the party. That’s one of the pillars of Maoism that distinguishes it from other Marxisms.
Then Deng came along, aaand…
Mao was right.

Hardline or Fanatical Anti-Communism Is Nearly Always Reactionary

Sisera: I guess he would say you believe the philosophy but just not how it is being applied.

You should know by now that fanatical anti-Communists are almost always wildly irrational, typically pathological liars and usually reactionary shits. You should know by now that fanatical anti-Communists are almost always wildly irrational, typically pathological liars and usually reactionary shits.
Not that Communism is great or that there is no rational reason to oppose Communism of course. There is a rational way to oppose Communism, but most anti-Commies don’t seem to abide by it much.
I mean there ought to be space for pro-free speech, pro civil liberties liberals and progressives who are anti-Communists, but they never seem to pop up much.
I mean, Communists do violate a lot of civil rights and there are some serious problems with democracy in Communist states.
Witness the recent violent demonstrations in Vietnam for instance. Those demos are arguably leftwing or at least nationalist demonstrations protesting against objectively rightwing policy by the Vietnamese Communist government to set up more free enterprise zones with 99 year leases. The protesters fear that these will quickly be bought up by rich Chinese and Vietnam will just become a Chinese colony again as it was for centuries. I would support the protesters in this case, but here you see a Communist government enacting rightwing policy in the face of a Leftist opposition by the people. There’s a serious lack of democracy there.
Those of us who oppose police state tactics, support freedom of speech and assembly, extensive civil liberties, etc. would find that these values of ours are not supported by Communists at all.
But there are not a lot of good liberal or progressive rights-based people among the anti-Communists for whatever reason.
Hardline anti-Commies almost always tend to be conservatives or reactionaries, and I include the Democratic Party in the conservatives here.
Typically as you get further left, a lot of social democratic parties don’t really care about Communism. They are not going to implement it of course, but a lot of them think if you do, that’s your business. A lot of social democratic governments in Europe supported Cuba, the USSR and the Sandinistas and a lot even supported the FARC. The social democratic revolutionary PRI government of Mexico had warm relations with Cuba and Nicaragua. They even supported the FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador. They were headquartered in Mexico City. But the modern PRI is not even social democratic anymore, or its gone over the European garbage of rightwing social democracy.
Of course all the real left social democrats are gone now, and the only “social democrats” left are rightwing jerkoffs. Many of the parties in the Socialist International now would be characterized by this new rightwing social democracy. The fact that social democrats around the world have all become rightwingers and more or less neoliberals shows me that the Marxists were correct about social democracy. They always said it was bankrupt and unworkable. I think it worked fine for a while, but it probably always had the rightwing seeds of its own destruction planted within it somehow, and now they are bearing fruit.
Perhaps some of my commenters can elucidate the rightwing trend in social democracy, the reasons for it, and whether social democracy was doomed from the very starts, as I suspect, weighted down with its own contradictions.

Why Do Some Countries Lack a Class Conscious Working Class?

John Engelman: Contrary to what Karl Marx said, for most people most of the time loyalties of nation, race and ethnicity are stronger than loyalties of class. The working class in the United States has always been more diverse than the working class in European countries. It is becoming more diverse with the influx of non whites.

To get class consciousness you really need a homogeneous working class. It helps if the working class is ethnically distinct from the upper class. In Scotland the upper class is English, or Anglicized Scottish. That is to say Scottish, but educated in England, and often speaking with English accents.
The clear majority of Scots vote for the British Labour Party. English workers are more likely to vote for the British Conservative Party.
The argument is circular in a sense because as you look around the world, generally what you see in most cases is an ethnically homogenous working class.
Would you describe the working classes of Latin America as homogeneous or diverse? They seem to be a mixture of White, Indian and Black and the mestizo, mulatto and Zambo mixtures, correct? Yet the diverse working classes down there have high working class consciousness despite their diverse nature.
Aren’t North African and Gulf countries fairly mixed between Blacks and Arabs?
Certainly in Arabia, lands with diverse working classes of Kurds, Arabs and Iranian working classes are all very left.
I believe Sri Lanka even with the vicious Tamil versus Sinhalese war, the diverse working class is leftwing. In Burma the working class is very left although there have been wild ethnic wars sputtering on for decades.
In Russia and other nations of the former USSR, there are many ethnic minorities, but the workers are still working class.
A recent exception is Ukraine where workers have gone radical Right. The former Yugoslavia is still very leftwing even after all of the ethnic conflict and even slaughter of past years. Spain’s working class is very radical despite an armed conflict in the Basque region and separatists in Catalonia. The different religions hate each other in North Ireland, but the Scottish Protestant workers are as class conscious as the Irish Catholic ones. Switzerland is divided between three ethnic groups – French, Germans, and Italians – yet it is a very leftwing country.
The extreme tribalism in Africa has not prevented the working classes from being class conscious.
Is the working class of England voting Tory yet? Or do you just mean that they are more likely to vote Tory than the Scots are?
Most workers in Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Africa, the former USSR, China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal are the same ethnicity as the ruling classes of those places, yet workers have a high degree of class consciousness in all of those places.
The places where working class consciousness has been harder to develop were those that had a Chinese ruling class as in Philippines and Indonesia.
I think we need to come up with some better theories about the poor class consciousness of the US working class. If you are looking for examples elsewhere, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, the Baltics and Colombia are places with quite poor working class consciousness.
In Australia it is recent as US style conservatism is imported.
A similar trend is underway in Canada and has been since Thatcher in the UK. But the UK is in nearly a revolutionary situation. A lot of the working classes are militant and radicalized, while a lot of the country has at the same time gone Tory. When Thatcher died, there were anti-rich riots in housing estates across the land. Thatcher was burned in effigy in the streets. Can you imagine that happening in the US?
The recent riots in the UK also had a class undercurrent. I was dating a British woman at the time, and she told me that local storeowners who treated the community well were spared by rioters. Rioters focused on stores selling upscale goods to the rich. Many corporate outlets were also smashed.
She told me that a number of those outlets had a reputation for not paying taxes to the UK by hiding money offshore. She said the rioters knew who those companies were, and they were brutally singled out. Many outlets were burned to the ground. Can you imagine heavily Black rioters in the US having class consciousness like that?
The Baltics are a case of entire nations full of complete idiots who hate Communism so much that they went into an extreme overreaction against Communism and turned against anything socialist, left, liberal or mildly progressive. Fascist heroes including many Nazis with a lot of Jewish blood on their hands were celebrated. Communist parties were outlawed, and Russian minorities were viciously maltreated.
Radical rightwingers were elected in all of these lands, and Chicago Boys Friedmanite experiments were undertaken. The results were predictable. In the recent economic crash, the most neoliberal European countries were the most devastated of all. Estonia was eviscerated, and Latvia was almost wiped off the map. 1/3 of the Latvian population left the country, including almost all of the educated people.
The Philippines and Indonesian cases are up for discussion, but these are Latin American situations of a ruling class of a different ethnicity than the working classes holding forth brutally and anti-democratically over the people. In addition, the workers have little consciousness.
Taiwan has a similar legacy where extreme hatred of Communism resulted in being ruled by reactionary fascist anti-Communists for decades. There is a nascent Left now, but it has little power yet. The wealth of the country seems to have gotten in the way of working class consciousness. Probably the extreme anti-Communism helped too, as any working class movement could be quickly portrayed as Communist.

Whites Are Only Decent and Progressive When They Are a Majority

Answered on Quora.

Jason: Anyway, what I meant to say is that SA whites being richer were jerks out of fear of safety – and also the richer behave that way everywhere else – regardless of whatever race they’re in.
But South African whites, to be honest, got on the bad side of the liberal community – especially, cause their social system was race based. In other words, they could have done the same thing by just hiding into rich neighborhoods, like California people do now. In other words, California is just as racist as South Africa – in a sense – cause the poor are kept out of richer areas “unofficially” via crime laws.

I agree with you that the middle classes and rich act like shits pretty much everywhere on Earth, but here in California, we do have some decent middle class and rich people, at least in some areas, particularly on the coast. I am thinking of the Bay Area in particular. Those are probably some of the best-behaved middle and upper class Whites outside of Europe.
Also rich and middle class Whites act pretty good in all of Europe (except the UK), Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
The problem is that in most places on Earth where Whites become a minority, they turn into the worst fascist fucks on Earth. A process that is presently unfolding here in the US.
Face facts. White people only act decent when they are in the majority. When they are a minority, get ready for fascism, genocide, death squads, etc.
Show me anywhere on Earth where a White minority acts decently at all, except California and Hawaii.
Honestly though, the Chinese do not act much differently. Chinese in China and Taiwan act pretty good, but the Chinese minorities in the Philippines and Indonesia are complete monsters, especially the ones in the Philippines.

A Chinese Man Looks at Africa


How many times have we heard this before? This video is being condemned in the comments as racist. It’s not. Anyway, how many times have you heard similar things about Africans? There’s no end to anecdotes like this.
That said, I think the Chinese will be very good for Africa. People do not understand the Chinese Communist Party. They really are Communists. I know this. There’s no need to argue about it.
This notion that they have all turned into radical neoliberal laissez faire capitalists is wishful thinking on the part of the capitalists. Their system is called Market Socialism or the Social Market, and that is exactly what it is. 88% of investment in China comes from the state. 45% of the economy is publicly owned. All of the banks are publicly owned. The private sector is severely regulated. They still have a planned economy all the way down to actually existing five-year plans. And they have admitted that they are still committed to the goal of spreading Communism around the world. They are spending a lot of money at US educational institutions to promote socialism.
The Chinese effort in Africa is not neocolonialism or imperialism. China is not an imperialist country. It can’t be. They work on the basis of solidarity, not neocolonialism and imperialism. A Communist country can’t be imperialist anyway. Social imperialism was a made up thing that never existed. Soviet imperialism was a notion invented by the Cold War.
The Chinese do and will operate in Africa on a win-win basis. We win, you win. Exactly the opposite of the way the US and other imperialist countries operate – my way or the high way, do as we say or else, we exploit you while you lie back and enjoy it, etc.

Defend Your People

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMX3yZIf0qk
An African immigrant attacks a Chinese beggar. It goes on for 10 seconds before a patriotic young Chinese man jumps in to defend his people.
Everyone, please, always defend your people. It’s the honorable thing to do. A people who will not defend themselves are doomed to destruction.

Corpse Landmarks on Mount Everest

I don’t care about all the fools who died climbing Mt. Everest or K2. Actually K2 has killed quite a few more people than Everest. The people who got killed climbing Everest are still sitting there on that mountain, frozen human hot dogs on an icebox mountain. I’m not sure what it means that they are still there. Maybe there is no way to go get the body. Those bodies are actually marked on maps and are used as landmarks by people climbing the mountain!
Can you believe it? You are looking at a map climbing Everest and your friend points in the distance at this darker colored object on the mountain. That’s Climber #74 over there. We call him Human Frozen Burrito for short. It’s on the map. Find Human Burrito on the map, and you can figure out where we are on this infernal mountain.

Repost: The Classification of the Vietnamese Language

This ran first a long time ago, but I just sold an ad on this post, so I decided to repost it. Rereading it, it’s a great Historical Linguistics post.
One of the reasons that I am doing this post is that one of my commenters asked me a while back to do a post on the theories of long-range comparison like Joseph Greenberg’s and how well they hold up. That will have to wait for another day, but for now, I can  at least show you how some principles of Historical Linguistics, a subfield that I know a thing or two about. I will keep this post pretty non-technical, so most of you ought to be able to figure out what is going on.
Let us begin by looking at some proposals about the classification of Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese language has been subject to a great deal of speculation regarding its classification. At the moment, it is in the Mon-Khmer or Austroasiatic family with Khmer, Mon, Muong, Wa, Palaung, Nicobarese, Khmu, Munda, Santali, Pnar, Khasi, Temiar, and some others. The family ranges through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, China, and over into Northeastern India.
It is traditionally divided into Mon-Khmer and Munda branches. Here is Ethnologue’s split, and here are some other ways of dividing up the family.
The homeland of the Austroasiatics was probably in China, in Yunnan, Southwest China. They moved down from China probably around 5,000 years ago. Some of the most ancient Austroasiatics are probably the Senoi people, who came down from China into Malaysia about 4,000 years ago. Others put the time frame at about 4-8,000 YBP (years before present).
A major fraud has been perpetrated lately based on Senoi Dream Therapy. I discussed it on the old blog, and you can Google it if you are interested. In Anthropology classes we learned all about these fascinating Senoi people, who based their lives around their dreams. Turns out most of the fieldwork was poor to fraudulent like Margaret Mead’s unfortunate sojourn in the South Pacific.
The Senoi resemble Veddas of India, so it is probably true that they are ancient people.  Also, their skulls have Australoid features. In hair, they mostly have wavy hair (like Veddoids), a few have straight hair (like Mongoloids) and a scattering have woolly hair (like Negritos). Bottom line is that ancient Austroasiatics were probably Australoid types who resembled what the Senoi look like today.
There has long been a line arguing that the Vietnamese language is related to Sino-Tibetan (the family that Chinese is a part of). Even those who deny this acknowledge that there is a tremendous amount of borrowing from Chinese (especially Cantonese) to Vietnamese. This level of borrowing so long ago makes historical linguistics a difficult field.
Here is an excellent piece by a man who has done a tremendous amount of work detailing his case for Vietnamese as a Sino-Tibetan language. It’s not for the amateur, but if you want to dip into it, go ahead. I spent some time there, and after a while, I was convinced that Vietnamese was indeed a Sino-Tibetan language. One of the things that convinced me is that if borrowing was involved, seldom have I seen such a case for such a huge amount of borrowing, in particular of basic vocabulary. I figured the  case was sealed.
Not so fast now.
Looking again, and reading some of Joseph Greenberg’s work on the subject, I am now convinced otherwise. There is a serious problem with the cognates between Vietnamese and Chinese, of which there are a tremendous number.
This problem is somewhat complex, but I will try to simplify it. Briefly, if Vietnamese is indeed related to Sino-Tibetan, its cognates should be not only with Chinese, but with other members of Sino-Tibetan also. In other words, we should find cognates with Tibetan, Naga, Naxi, Tujia, Karen, Lolo, Kuki, Nung, Jingpho, Chin, Lepcha, etc. We should also find cognates with those languages, where we do not find them in Chinese. That’s a little complicated, so I will let you think about it a bit.
Further, the comparisons between Chinese and Vietnamese should be variable. Some should look quite close, while others should look much more distant.
So there’s a problem with the Vietnamese as ST theory.
The cognates look like Chinese.
Problem is, they look too much like Chinese. They look more like Chinese than they should in a genetic relationship. Further, they look like Chinese and only Chinese. Looking for relationships in S-T outside of Chinese, and we find few if any.
That’s a dead ringer for borrowing from Chinese to Vietnamese. If it’s not clear to you how that is, think about it a bit.
Looking at Mon-Khmer, the case is not so open and shut. There seem to be more cognates with Chinese than with Mon-Khmer. So many more that the case for Vietnamese as AA looks almost silly, and you wonder how anyone came up with it.
But let us look again. The cognates with AA and Vietnamese are not just with its immediate neighbors like Cambodian and Khmu but with languages far off in far Eastern India like Munda and Santali. There are words that are found only in the Munda branch in one or two obscure languages that somehow show up again as cognates in Vietnamese.
Now tell me how Vietnamese borrowed ancient basic vocabulary from some obscure Munda tongue way over in Northeast India? It did not. How did those words end up in some unheard of NE Indian tongue and also in Vietnamese? Simple. They both descended long ago from a common ancestor. This is Historical Linguistics.
The concepts I have dealt with here are not easy for the non-specialist to figure out, but most smart people can probably get a grasp on them.
A different subject is the deep relationships of AA. Is AA related to any other languages? I leave that as an open question now,  though there does appear to be a good case for AA being related to Austronesian.
One good piece of evidence is the obscure AA languages found in the Nicobar Islands off the coast of Thailand. Somehow, we see quite a few cognates in Nicobarese with Austronesian. We do not see them in any other branches of AA, only in Nicobarese. This seems odd,  and it’s hard to make a case for borrowing. On the other hand, why cognates in Nicobarese and only in Nicobarese?
Truth is there are some cognates outside of Nicobarese but not a whole lot. In historical linguistics, one thing we look at is morphology. Those are parts of words, like the -s plural ending in English.
In both AA and Austronesian, we have funny particles called infixes. Those are what in English we might call prefixes or suffixes, except they are stuck in the middle of the word instead of at the end or the beginning. So, in English, we have pre- as a prefix meaning “before” and -er meaning “object that does X verb”. So pre-destination means that our lives are figured out before we are even born.  Comput-er and print-er are two objects, one that computes and the other that prints.
If we had infixes instead, pre-destination would look something like destin-pre-ation and comput-er and print-er would look something like com-er-pute and prin-er-t.
Anyway, there are some fairly obscure infixes that show up not only in some isolated languages in AA but also in far-flung Austronesian languages in, say, the Philippines. Ever heard of the borrowing of an infix? Neither have I? So were those infixes borrowed,  and what are they doing in languages as far away as Thailand and the Philippines, and none in between? Because they  got borrowed? When? How? Forget it.
Bottom line is that said borrowing did not happen. So what are those infix cognates doing there? Probably ancient particles left over from a common language that derived both Austronesian and AA, probably spoken somewhere in SW China maybe 9,000 years ago or more.
Why is this sort of long-range comparison so hard? For one thing, because after 9,000 years or more, there are hardly any cognates left anymore, due to the fact of language change. Languages change and tend to change at a certain rate.
After 1000X years, so much change has taken place that even if two languages were once “sprung from a common source,” in the famous words of Sir William Jones in his epochal lecture to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta on February 2, 1786, there is almost nothing, or actually nothing, left to show of that relationship. Any common words have become so mangled by time that they don’t look much or anything alike anymore.
So are AA and Austronesian related? I think so, but I suppose it’s best to say that it has not been proven yet. This thesis is part of a larger long-range concept known as “Austric.” Paul Benedict, a great scholar, was one of the champions of this. Austric is normally made up of AA, Austronesian, Tai-Kadai (the Thai language and its relatives) and Hmong-Mien (the Hmong and Mien languages). Based on genetics, the depth of Austric may be as deep as 30,000 years, so proving it is going to be a tall order indeed.
What do I think?
I think Tai-Kadai and Austronesian are proven to be related (more on that later). AA and Austronesian seem to be related also, with a lesser depth of proof. Hmong-Mien seems to be related to Sino-Tibetan, not Austric.
The case for Vietnamese being related to S-T is still very interesting, and I still have an open mind about it.
All of these discussions are hotly controversial, and mentioning it in linguistics circles is likely to set tempers flaring.

References

Author and date unknown, What Makes Vietnamese So Chinese? An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies.

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, "This Land Is Our Land"

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
And I went walking that ribbon of highway
And saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me the golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me, a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing
This land was made for you and me

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of a steeple
By the Relief Office, I’d seen my people
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me
When the sun come shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

Written by Woody Guthrie. Sung by Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger (age 80).
From the great inauguration of Barack Obama in 2008. I was in a doctor’s office and the news came on that Obama had won. I saw the crowds mobbing the streets, all marching towards the main park of Chicago. The volatile Spike Lee was there. “This changes everything!” He effused. There was a little Black girl sitting next to me, maybe seven years old. I asked her if she liked Obama. She nodded her head shyly. I had tears in my eyes. How dare these idiots call me racist! What sort of racist cries tears of joy when he hears that America just elected its first Black president?
The three bolded sections above are the “forbidden lyrics.” Although Guthrie included them when he wrote the song in 1940, they are seldom performed in modern versions as they were considered subversive as promoting socialism or Communism. The song is actually a great socialist anthem. Woody Guthrie was definitely a leftwinger.
Given the choice, I would rather have the land owned by me (the state) than owned by some private individual. What’s so great about private ownership of land? What’s better for me, land that I can walk on or land that I can’t walk on? How bout the land that I can walk on?
One of the reasons for China’s great success is that the state owns all the land. Everybody just leases the land where their home or farm is. In The Netherlands also, the state owns all the land. Everybody just leases out whatever land they use. Same thing in Cuba, but in Cuba now, almost everyone owns their own residence. And a great argument for China’s success against India’s failure is that much of the poverty, malnutrition, etc. in India is caused by the private ownership of land, especially in the rural areas. India said they were going to do land reforms and they claimed to do them over and over but the truth is that no real land reform has ever been done in India, and semi-feudal relations still prevail in the countryside. Hence the horrific poverty, starvation, etc.
One of the all-time great folk songs ever written. A purely American song like virtually no other. I believe we should replace that horrible Star Spangled Banner with this much better song. This song also captures the true American spirit. The land does indeed belong to all of us, you and me. All that land the government owns, it doesn’t belong to the government. It belongs to me! It’s my land, dammit! How dare the rich give away my land to malign corporations and the 1%! Forget that. You take my land, and you give it all away to the corporations and the rich to abuse and destroy. What sort of democracy is that?
Plutocratic rule is never democracy. How can it be? The plutocrats are what? 1% 5%? Where do idiot Americans get it in their heads that rule by the rich or the ruling class is somehow democracy. Aristocratic rule is never democracy at any time or in any place. It can’t be. You either have conservatism, which is rule by the rich or the aristocrats, or you have democracy, which is rule by the people. That’s your only two choices. One or the other? Which one do you want? The rich will never rule in favor of the people. They can’t. They literally cannot. They must rule in their class interests. It’s nearly a law of social science as hard and fast as a hard science rule.
Written by Woody Guthrie! One of the best working class folk singer-songwriters who ever lived. He was also a tough, macho guy, a redneck, a worker, a blue collar roughneck with a cigarette dangling from his mouth James Dean style. This is what the Left used to be before it was taken over by effeminate men, butch women, man-hating feminists, White-hating minorities who idolize common street thugs, anti-nationalists advocating to turn all of America into a teeming Third World Calcutta, all manner of sexual identity and sexual orientation freakazoids with so many weird subgroups that they are almost beyond classification, and in general idiots, fools, deviants and dumbasses.
Woody Guthrie is what the Left used to be. He’s what the Left is supposed to be. He was born too soon. He was Alt Left before there was an Alt Left!
This guitar kills fascists!

A Look at the Buyang Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.
Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.
Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.
Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.
This post will look at the Buyang language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Kam-Sui

Kra

Paha

According to a Fudan University study, Buyang in the third most phonologically complex language in the world. Buyang is a cluster of four related languages spoken by 1,900 people in Yunnan Province, China. Buyang has a completely wild consonant inventory.
It has a full set of both voiced and voiceless plain and aspirated stops, including voiceless uvulars. The contrast between aspirated and plain voiced stops is peculiar. The stop series also has distinctions between palatalized and rounded stops. It has a labialized voiceless palatal fricative and a voiceless dental aspirated lateral, both unusual sounds. It has four different voiceless aspirated nasals. It has voiceless y and w, both more odd sounds. It also has plain and labialized palatal glides.
That is one wild phonology.
Buyang gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.

Anatomy of a Conservative Lie: China is a Capitalist Country

Conservatives and reactionaries keep saying that China has adopted capitalism. What a stupid joke that is. All conservatives lie, no exceptions. There is no such thing as an honest conservative. I have never met one in my life. Conservative ideology is based for the most part on lies, though some Libertarians are quite honest.
For the most part, conservatives lie like they breathe. Conservatives literally need to lie to live.
Let me tell you something.
China is one of the most Communist or socialist states on Earth today. Fully 45% of the Chinese economy is publicly owned, and it does extremely well. Much of the very high economic growth has come from the public sector.
How on Earth can conservatives say that China is capitalist when 45% of the economy is state-owned? How ludicrous. But realize that all public firms in China operate on the profit model. They all compete with each other, so you have a steel mill run by one city competing with a steel mill run by another city. Many of the fastest growing industries are run at the municipality level.
China’s fully state-owned firms also do very well. In fact, they do so well that Republicans say that China’s public firms are “not fair” because American capitalist corporations can’t compete against them! The reason is that China’s firms get subsidies from the state. Poor capitalist corporations! They’re too inefficient to compete against Communist state owned firms. Poor babies!
Do conservatives realize that the state owns every single inch of land in China? How on Earth is that possible in a capitalist country? Capitalism is primarily based on the private ownership of land. No private ownership of land, no capitalism. Real simple.
I would also like to point out that the Chinese state spends an absolutely incredible amount of money on its people. Since 45% of the whole economy goes directly to the state, they have a lot of money to spend. And they spend it very wisely too. As I understand it, US capitalists believe in a minimal state, and there is nothing they hate more than state spending. Huge state spending is seen as wasteful tax and spend policies by all capitalists on Earth. Wherever you have massive state spending, you do not have a capitalist system. But I would like to thank conservative and reactionaries for praising China, the finest example of modern Communism!

What Is Capitalism? What is Socialism? A Look at Some Noncapitalist Modes of Development

Mayur: I am all against uninhibited and all pervasive capitalism. Of course,the government enterprises should have an active role to play in the economy which should, however, vary from time to time. All the citizens should have access to the barest essentials, but strictly on need basis. Besides, I am all for giving teeth to the working class.
But communism, in my opinion, is a bit unnerving. In the societies which are quite addicted to liberty, people will find it unbearable to have the government’s boot on their throat everywhere,all the time. Capitalism existing side by side with socialism, that’s what I advocate. Wealth distribution and wealth creation both are important. There has to be a good incentive to create wealth, and, the economic inequalities have to be made tolerable. Enterprise, prosperity, and, the general well being of the masses. Something for everybody.

Yes this is what I want as a socialist.
To me socialism just means anything less than totally unregulated capitalism.
Socialists are people who are willing to limit the profits of the capitalists. Of course capitalists are people who believe in no limits their profits.So anyone who believes in limiting the profits of capital is anti-capitalist in a sense. Those people who want to let a market exist but to limit the profits of capital are called socialists.
Socialists also believe in redistribution. This means taking or even stealing money from the rich to give to the middle classes, working classes and the poor. This is antithetical to all models of capitalism. All models of capitalism call that theft.
Really what I am talking about here is social democracy.
Also, you can have workers running enterprises for themselves and keeping the profits. This is socialism to me.
Socialism to me is compatible for the profit motive. Capitalism to me is exploitation. No exploitation, no capitalism. Just because someone makes a profit, they are not necessarily capitalists.
One man businesses are not capitalist. This is simply a worker selling his labor power on the labor market to other workers. Labor markets are compatible with socialism as is single proprietorships.
The Cooperative Mode is a noncapitalist mode.
Actually the Japanese model, which is similar to the economics of Nazi Germany or National Socialism, is also a noncapitalist model.
My credit union is owned by the its consumers. That is a noncapitalist mode of development.
Many nonprofits do extremely well and hire many workers. That is a noncapitalist mode of development.
This thing that some call State Capitalism is actually a noncapitalist mode of development. Some call Russia State Capitalism.
The Chinese model is also a noncapitalist mode of development. This has also been called a form of State Capitalism.
City and town operated businesses can often be run very well especially if they compete against other cities and towns. This is the Chinese model. This is a noncapitalist mode of development.

A Few Words on Language Endangerment

Carlos Lam: Congrats! However, isn’t language death a rather standard occurrence among societies?

It is, but we linguists don’t really like it. It is quite a debate going on, but the bottom line seems to be that ethnic groups and speaker groups have the right to ownership of their languages. We worry that a lot of speaker groups are being pressured into blowing up their languages prematurely. We like to study these languages and we are not real happy about seeing them vanish into the horizon. On the other hand, is cultural death a natural thing too? Both cultural death and language death are occurring at rates far beyond the normal background rates. English and some of the other major languages are like weapons of mass destruction in taking out languages. You really want a world with one language and one culture? I don’t.
The best position seems to be that speakers have the right to decide the fate of their languages. If speakers wish to continue speaking their languages, then governments and linguists should help them to preserve and continue to develop their languages. Quite a few groups do not seem to care that their languages are going are extinct or they are even driving or drove their languages extinct, and they have the full right to do so. In these cases, we will simply do salvage linguistics. There are many salvage linguistics projects going on in the world today.
You won’t get very far with linguists arguing that language death is a good thing. Most people don’t think so.
Occurring at the same time as language death is a lot of language revitalization. Even fully dead languages are being resurrected from the grave. Also in addition to language death, we are creating new languages all the time. In this piece, I created a total of net 13 new languages. And new languages are occurring on their own.
To give you an example. A group of Crimean Tatars moved from Crimea to Turkey about 200 years ago in the course of the Crimean War. They have been speaking Crimean Tatar in Turkey ever since, for 200 years now. But in that time, Crimean Tatar in Turkey and Crimean Tatar in Ukraine has diverged so much that Turkish Crimean Tatar is now, in my opinion, a fully separate tongue from the Ukrainian language. This is because in Turkey, a lot of Turkish has gone into Turkish Crimean Tatar which is not well understand in the Ukraine. And in the Ukraine, a lot of Russian has gone in which is not well understood in Turkey. Hence, Crimean Tatar speakers in Turkey and Ukraine can no longer understand each other well.
To give you another example, there are many Kazakh speakers in China. However, Kazakh speakers in China can no longer understand Standard Kazakh broadcasts from Kazakhstan because so many Russian loans have gone into Standard Kazakh that it is no longer intelligible with Chinese Kazakh speakers. I learned this too late for my paper, otherwise I would have split Chinese Kazakh off as a separate language.
There are many cases like this.
Further, many languages are being discovered. Sonqori, Western Khalaj, Todzhin, Duha, Dukha and Siberian Tatar are just a few of the new languages that I created. Khorosani Turkic was split into three different languages. Dayi was subsumed into one of the Khorosani Turkic languages. Altai was split from one into five separate languages, but the truth is that it is six languages, not five. Salar was split into Western Salara and Eastern Salar. Ili Turki was eliminated becuase it does not even exist. It is simply a form of Uighur. Kabardian and Balkar, Tatar and Bashkir, Kazakh and Kirghiz were some languages that were eliminated and subsumed into single tongues such as Tatar-Bashkir, Kazakh-Kirghiz, and Kabardian-Balkar. And on and on.
Languages and of course dialects are dying all the time, but new languages are being created by humans and by linguists as we continue our splitting projects. Many lects referred to as dialects are more properly seen as separate languages. Chinese is at least 450 separate languages, only 14 of which are recognized. German may be up to 130 separate languages, only 20 of which are recognized.
There are quite a few more languages to be created out there, but there is a lot of resistance to splitters like me from more conservative linguists and especially from linguistic nationalists. For while Chinese may well be over 1,000 languages, the Chinese government is anti-scientifically insistent that there is but one Chinese language and maybe 2,000 “dialects,” most of which are probably separate languages. The German government is quite resistant to the idea that there is more than one form of German, though I believe Bavarian and Swiss German have official status in Austria and Switzerland.

November 22, 1963: The Day the Music Died

A very nice comment from one of my commenters.
A friend of mine had lunch with a former attorney for LBJ who had worked in the LBJ Administration. He later got wrapped up in Watergate somehow, I believe as part of the prosecution. Keep in mind that LBJ’s own personal attorney says that LBJ was part of the plot to kill Kennedy. .Some of the gunmen were part of LBJ’s own “hit squad.”
Believe it or not, a lot of big US politicians have their own “hit squad goons.” I believe that George Bush did and I believe the Dick Cheney did too.
In fact, I think that Cheney’s goons killed Paul Wellstone by sabotaging his plane. Barbara Boxer herself has hinted the Cheney killed Wellstone, but she also hinted that everyone who knows is too afraid to speak on the record about it.
Bush’s goons will do things like break into your home, poison your dog, etc. His goons poisoned three dogs belonging to one whistleblower, killing all of them. Some of Bush’s enemies have ended up dead “drown in bathtubs” and by mysterious “heart attacks” in cheap hotel rooms.
Drowning you in your bathtub is a favorite CIA/Mossad/KGB intelligence agency way to kill people. I believe that all three of these agencies are capable of injecting you with a drug that will give you a heart attack and leave no trace.
This man, a high ranking member of the LBJ Administration, told my friend that JFK was killed by “the foreign policy establishment of the United States.” That’s a long way of saying Deep State.
Ever since then, I think every President knows that the punishment for going against the Deep State is “the Kennedy treatment.”
As much as I despise Trump, I realize that the Deep State has it in for him mostly for kissing up to Russia, telling NATO justifiably to go to Hell, and making pretenses at a less imperial foreign policy with fewer wars and armed conflicts.
There was an internal coup in the White House and Steve Bannon etc were sidelined in by a crowd around (((Jared Kushner))). (((Kushner)))’s group were the Deep State neocons. Soon after the coup, Trump attacked Syria as if he were ordered to by his new masters. Trump is now just another neocon in addition to being by far the most Jewish, or really Jewy, President in history.
These Alt Right antisemites need to think this over. Trump is New York, in flesh and bones. Forget Israel. New York is the Jewish state. These idiot Nazis are supporting a fanatical Zionist who is frankly the most Jewish President we have ever had. He’s a Judaized Gentile, but still, if you see Jewishness as a spiritual feature as opposed to an ethnic or religious one, Trump is surely more Jewish in spirit than any President we have ever had. Why these Nazis are falling all over themselves from President Donald SuperJew is beyond me. I think these guys didn’t get the memo.

RL: Everybody who was alive back then knows exactly what they were doing when they shot the President.
When democracy died. When the dream of America died with the Deep State coup. When the joke of American democracy was shown as the pathetic sham it’s always been, a think veneer for Deep State and oligarchic rule, the very story of America itself.”
CB: The day the music died.
Eisenhower warned in his farewell address of a dangerous military-industrial-scientific elite; he’d separately spoken of the CIA’s “legacy of ashes.”
Over the following three years, Kennedy, a womanizer and drug user who very likely owed his victory to vote fraud in Chicago,

  1. Engaged in back channel contacts with Khrushchev and Castro (the public didn’t know of course, but doesn’t the charge sound familiar?).
  2. Turned down the Joint Chiefs’ Operation Northwoods Plan to use false flag attacks (a precursor to 9/11) to justify an invasion of Cuba.
  3. Refused airstrikes in support of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.
  4. Fired CIA director Allen Dulles and his top deputy.
  5. Refused a first-strike nuclear attack during the Cuban missile crisis.
  6. Secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets pulling their missiles from Cuba.
  7. Told associates he would splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the wind, etc.

The Deep State was mightily pissed with Kennedy, and Kennedy knew he was in danger.
The same Deep State still runs things of course, and they are much more open in their hatred for Trump than they were with Kennedy (Hillary was the Deep State/Establishment choice, beloved by the intelligence agencies (at least the people at the top), Goldman Sachs and the other big banks, the EU, the Bilderbergers, the CFR, the Chinese, Rupert Murdoch and most other billionaires, the Bushes, etc. etc. The same media types that covered up for the real assassins of the Kennedys and MLK (and continue to cover up subsequent Deep State crimes) are even more rigidly controlled now than during the days of Operation Mockingbird, open in their allegiance to their Deep State masters.
You don’t have to like Trump to consider that he, like Kennedy, has made some excellent enemies.
Peter, Paul, and Mary were good, and I even saw them in concert once, as well as at Newport. But the song that gave me chills in 1963, and still today, was Dylan’s Masters of War.

Venezuela: The Lies Never Stop

Tulio: Left wing economics aren’t working out in Latin America either. Let’s face it, Latin America is dysfunctional whether it’s run by the left or right. I know Robert is a Chavista and all but the results speak for itself. They are probably a few clicks away from outright civil war.

The poster’s problem is that he gets all his Venezuela news from the Western media. You will not read one true thing about that country in the Western media. It is an all out propaganda war from Day One. If you want to read the truth about Venezuela, go to Venezuelanalysis. It’s all straight up 100% facts there, no spin. And many articles are quite critical of the government.
Yes, it is a civil war because the Right is running through the streets rioting, killing people, burning down buildings, buses and police cars. Let me ask you something. Suppose when Obama was in, Republicans went on a rampage all over the US, rioting, burning stuff down, killing people, firing guns, setting up snipers, setting off bombs, throwing grenades, killing lots of cops. Would you blame Obama for that? Because that is exactly what the commenter is doing.
This is part of the Right’s project down there. They lost the election, so they are trying to overthrow the government by force. What exactly is the state supposedly do about what is in effect a rightwing insurgency?
What they are trying to do is to create so much chaos that the military steps in and does a rightwing coup. Barring that, they are creating so much chaos and disorder that the US steps in with the military, invades and overthrows the Chavistas in the name of humanitarian intervention. It’s the exact same scheme we pulled in Syria when we turned ISIS and Al Qaeda loose on secular regime.
The US government’s official policy in Venezuela now is regime change. Mattis himself said so. The riots, destruction, arson, murders and political assassinations are all being coordinated with the US. We are the cause of all that violence down there.
There are no poor results of Chavismo. Things were booming along for many years. The rightwing has been sabotaging and boycotting the economy since Day One.
Norway is far more socialist than Venezuela. China is orders of magnitude more socialist than Venezuela. There’s nothing socialist at all about Venezuela. The economy is 100% capitalist controlled.
All Chavismo did was take a lot of that oil revenue and spend it on the people. If you think that’s a failed model, I do not know what to say to you.
After the oil price crashed, the government could no longer cover up for the business sector’s sabotage of the economy.
There are shortages? How can there be shortages in a 100% capitalist controlled economy? Answer me that. There cannot be. If there are shortages, why don’t they import some food? Why don’t they make some stuff that is in shortage?
The business sector is refusing to import products, and they are refusing to make products in short supply.
You need to go study how Kissinger and Nixon blew up the Chilean economy. They did the exact same thing, down to the letter. This is the Chilean Model down to the letter.

“We will make the Chilean economy scream.
–  Henry Kissinger.

Every week they seize huge warehouses full of products that are being hoarded by the capitalists in order to create artificial shortages. You heard of a shortage of syringes? A warehouse full of 21 million syringes was recently seized. If you read the Venezuelan papers, these seizures happen all the time, maybe every other day.
Why is there inflation? The capitalists have caused artificial shortages by hoarding stuff, refusing to produce stuff and refusing to import stuff. These artificial shortages of course caused inflation.
This economic sabotage has been going on from Day One, but when the oil prices were high, the government could cover up for the Economic War by importing their own products and selling them to people for cheap. Hence the state covered up all the artificial shortages caused by the refusal to import and manufacture products. When the oil price crashed, the state no longer had the money to import goods to cover up for the shortages, and furthermore, the Economic War went into high gear.
Furthermore, since Maduro has come in, he has made a hard turn to the Right from Chavez. His administration of full of rightwingers and representatives of the business sector. He caves to opposition demands over and over. They are always demanding hikes in the controlled prices, and he keeps raising them. No matter how much they raise the prices, the capitalists do not produce one more item. It’s all a scam.
Keep in mind that the economic crash has occurred against the background of a hard right turn in the government under a government that is now about 50% rightwingers and people from the business community. They can’t get a handle on things either. Did you hear what I said?
The economy crashed as the government turned Right and filled the executive with people from the business sector. According to the poster’s logic, rightwing economics is responsible for the crash.
That’s not really true either. Neither Right nor Left economics is responsible for the crash. The ministers from the business community can’t control the problems either. No one can.
There is a problem with currency, but that was created by the capitalists too. Currency controls were put in because the capitalists were taking all their money out of the country. No country can put up with that for long. So currency controls were put in, but that causes a black market in currency.
Price controls were put in because the capitalists staged a lockout strike that caused horrible shortages and sent prices skyrocketing.
Incidentally, despite currency controls, the business community still takes $50 billion out of the country every year. Do you know how much more they would take out if the currency controls were taken off?  The system would probably collapse.
The fake excuse all along was that price controls make it so the producing the price controlled products is not worthwhile. This is their fake excuse for the shortages. Now the price controls have been almost completely lifted, and they are still refusing to make stuff or import stuff. What’s their fake excuse now?
I agree that the standard Communist model caused a lot of economic problems, but the lie is that Venezuela is a Communist country like Cuba or the USSR, and this is the cause of all the problems. It’s caused by “socialist failure.” Why isn’t socialism failing in Europe? Why isn’t it failing in China? Why isn’t it failing in most of the world that runs social democratic systems?
The Chavistas were simply trying to produce a European style social democracy in Venezuela. Even that’s too much for the Venezuelan elite.
I will have you know that the rightwing Venezuelans the poster cheers for are some of the racist people on Earth. The commenter is Black. I assure you that the people he cheers for hate him because he is Black. Their word for Chavez was Mono. That means monkey. They call him monkey because his White blood is mixed with Indian and Black.
When they came into power, the first thing they did was take down the portrait of Bolivar because they said he looked too dark. They put up a new portrait that showed him as White as a Swede. These are the racists that this Black commenter is supporting.
The government is screwing up badly by not floating the currency, but that’s not a Right versus Left thing so it’s not a fault of Left economics. It would be a very unpopular decision, and Maduro is a weak and not very good leader and he does not have the balls to put in.
Hence I agree that the problems in part are caused by failures of the regime, but those failures having nothing to do with Right or Left economics. They’re not dealing with the currency problems, and that’s a failure on their part, but it has nothing to do with capitalism or socialism or any of that.
The price controls were put in to fight inflation. The Right screams about inflation and about price controls. They took all the price controls off, and the prices went way up. Now they are screaming because the prices went up. They criticize the problem, and they attack the solution to the problem.
You can’t win with these people.
I agree that the Communist model leaves a lot to be desired, and the lie is that the problems of Cuba and the USSR are being replicated in Venezuela. It’s a lie because Venezuela never even made it to social democracy. Venezuela is a capitalist country through and through.
I will ban any posters who attack Venezuela as a failure of Left economics because it’s nothing of the sort. Now if  you want to talk about problems with the Cuban model, go for it.
 

"Iran: Socialism’s Ignored Success Story," by Ramin Mazaheri

Iran: Socialism’s Ignored Success Story

May 23, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

Iran just completed their presidential election, but this article will not discuss the candidates, the result or the political consequences.
I work for Iran’s Press TV, which essentially makes me a civil servant, and I think it is correct for me to not reveal who I voted for in order to preserve my independence within the government. I’m quite happy to work for “the people” instead of “a person” – as in private media – and I will support which ever candidate the people choose.
Why will I support Iran’s government, whoever is in charge? Truly, it is not for my paycheck.
I support Iran because I support socialism where ever I can find it, and Iran has socialism in abundance.
Iranian Socialism has been so successful at redistributing wealth to the average person; has safeguarded the nation’s security despite being ringed by US military bases and repeated threats; has grown the economy despite an international blockade; has produced a foreign policy motivated on political principles; and has fought against the divisive identity politics which undermine human solidarity.
I have actually seen Iran over the decades, unlike 99% of the journalists who claim to understand Iran, so you can’t dissuade me.
And I’m not even going to try to persuade you. This is not that article, either.
This article is to lay out for left-wing readers and supporters of socialism what should be crystal clear: Iran is a socialist nation. Even more than that: Iran is a socialist success story.
Iran, like all nations, has had its unique developmental history; of course we have been reading Marx just as long as anyone else, as well.
But the most convincing and simplest way I can put it to non-Iranians is this: Europe came to socialism through industrialization, theory and war, but Iran came to socialism through its religious and moral beliefs. The ends are the same, and that is all that should matter to anyone who is truly trying to promote socialism for the benefits it brings to the average person.

The Problem Is Not Us, It Is You

I repeat: The problem is not us, it is you…when it comes to looking at Iran’s contributions to socialism.
I believe that around 99% of Westerners have no idea at all what Iran is really like. Unfortunately, this total ignorance about Iran and the Muslim world is the historical norm in the West.
The greatest contribution of Middle East scholar Edward Said was that his book, “Orientalism”, definitively proved through historical scholarship that the West has never, ever, ever been favorable towards the Muslim world.
Not in the 8th century, when Muslims were occupiers of the Iberian Peninsula, not in the following centuries when Islam was an ideological competitor to Christianity; not in the 15th century, when the Ottoman Empire occupied the Balkans; not in the 19th century, when the Europeans occupied the Middle East & North Africa; not in 1916, when they redrew the borders for the West’s benefit; not in 1945, when they bombed countries like Syria which had fought on their side against the Germans and the Italians; not in the 1960’s, when their reaction to independence was neocolonialism; not in 1979, when they created the forerunner of the Taliban; not during 2 wars in Iraq, a war in Syria today, etc.
Said’s point was: Never has the West viewed or treated the Muslim world as equals, much less intellectual equals.
Given this history, why should us Iranians expect the reality of our high-achieving modernity to be accepted and admired?
LOL, believe me, I am over it! I write this to enlighten you, not me! I humbly hope that it works.
I will address the elephant in the room, and quickly: Yes, I assume that a large part of this prejudice is religious. Some Christians cannot accept that Islam promotes the most recent prophet of the monotheism which they both share.
Such religious prejudices are not my problem, and they do not blind my analysis of 2017 Iran.
No socialist believes in a “clash of civilizations” or “religious war”, anyway.
My point is not to criticize Europe for a lack of brotherhood with their fellow Abrahamic religion: My point is to criticize them in 2017 because most Westerners believe that that even the most leftist Iranian cannot even qualify as merely a “conservative social democrat”!

Can There Never Be a Muslim “Democrat” or an Iranian “Republican”?

The proof of this bias is the decades of Western support for the oppression of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian Revolution and any Muslim attempt to allow their religion into their politics. This is even though Christian Democratic parties governed Europe for decades after WWII, and it is absurd to think that the Christian dogma is not upheld and promoted in European politics today.
So, if Iranians cannot even be allowed to fulfill 19th century notions, why would the West accept that 2017 Iran can be even more truly leftist than the merely centrist ideology of European social democracy?
Of course, the average European cannot accept this, and this is why Western Socialists are aghast at my idea that Iran is an “ignored Socialist success story”.
The radical left of European Socialism, which seeks to destroy organized religion, is especially aghast, but they are a tiny minority and on the way out, thankfully. They do not realize that they have already been drastically tempered, if not ousted, in the still-Socialist countries they purportedly admire: Cuba is full of Santeria and Pope pictures, yin-yangy Confucianism is being promoted in China, etc.
But these Western radicals are a minority who simply cannot accept that spirituality cannot be rubbed out, largely because they see it as a choice or a social conditioning instead of a part of many people’s intrinsic nature (if not theirs). A modern Socialist must accept that this fight has already been fought and decided. The capitalists certainly advance as we chase our tails….
Even if leftist detractors can get past religion, they immediately will talk about Iran’s human rights faults.
I respond: Yawn yawn yawn African-Americans fill US jails; Muslims fill France’s jails; this is the centenary of the British-orchestrated Persian Famine, which killed 8-10 million people and actually made Iran the biggest victim of WWI, that is just one Western/capitalist inspired famine/death/human rights violation yawn yawn yawn.
I am not here to say Iran is perfect – only God can be – I am saying that Iran is absolutely no worse than the West. It is an undeniable fact that the current Islamic Republic of Iran has far less blood on its hands than most – and Iran has not invaded a country in 300 years!
Religion, human rights – these are all classic diversions from the facts presented against socialist societies, and Iran certainly is one.

Iran Checks All the Boxes as a Socialist Nation and as Revolutionary Socialist

What are the key components of socialism? Let’s clarify our terms.
The first is leadership by an avant-garde party committed to defending the revolution: Iran certainly has this, and it crosses over Principlist/Reformist party lines.
The second is central planning of the economy: Whoever had won, they would be largely implementing the 6th Five-year plan (2016-2021). And there is also the “Resistance Economy” approach promoted by many, which is certainly anti-globalization.
The third is control over the media: This is mixed – I would say Iran does not really have this in the traditionally Socialist sense. Cuba has no private media, for example, while Iran has dozens of private newspapers and innumerable TV satellites. But Iran does have limitations, so let’s check this box.
The fourth is support for foreign liberation movements: When the history of Palestinian liberation is finally written, just as a now-free South Africa thanks Cuba for sending troops to Angola, will not Palestinians do the same for Iran’s decades of support? The same with Lebanon and now Syria, correct?
The fifth is democratically devolving as much democracy as possible in order to empower the average person: There is no doubt that Iran is the most vibrant democracy in the Middle East, and by a huge margin. The difference between Iran’s social-democratic procedures and guarantees in 2017 when compared with 1978 is obviously laughable. I write this from Paris, a nation in an 18-month state of emergency with no end in sight….
If your country has these five crucial components: Congratulations! You are in a socialist country!
A little bit more on each for the naysayers….

An Avant-Garde Party

Iran is a one-party system – that party defends the 1979 Revolution. China is a one-party system – promoting Chinese communism. Many would say that the US is a one-party system – promoting imperialist capitalism.
The difference between Iran & China and the US is that in the former their one-party systems are formalized, explicit and well-known; in the US it is informal, but just as strong, and maybe even stronger.
I don’t think this needs much further explanation but, for example, you cannot propose to end the Iranian Revolution and run for office. In France a presidential candidate in their recent election (Jean-Luc Melenchon) won 20% of the first-round vote by proposing to abolish France’s current 5th Republic.
Like all socialist countries, Iran is criticized for not having democracy but they do: it is simply within their own particular structure. Just as in the USSR, there was lively debate about how to advance their own system – should we following the right-wing model of socialism of Bukharin/Khrushchev or the left-wing model socialism of Lenin/Trotsky? – but there was no debate about deviating from their chosen national system, i.e. communism. When they did allow such debates under Gorbachev, Soviet Socialism was almost immediately subverted by capitalist reactionaries and consigned to oblivion.
Again, please examine the repression of communism in the US, South Korea, Greece, Italy, Chile, etc. for historical examples of capitalist “one-party systems”, which are definitely NOT avant-garde and promoting socialism….
The idea that Iran has no avant-garde party but is some sort of totalitarian structure governed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is only expressed by those who are supremely ignorant about Iran. For the second presidential election in a row Hassan Rouhani won despite not seeming to be Khamenei’s preferred candidate, after all.

Central Planning of the Economy

I think I can illustrate Iran’s state of economic socialism with this anecdote: Back in 2013 all 8 presidential candidates were pushing for more privatization…not to promote capitalism, but because everything has already been nationalized for so long, LOL!
So Iran has already done the nationalizing, and maybe they need to do more? However, socialist countries have increasingly agreed that some revenue-producing businesses are needed to meet some of the basic needs of their people: North Korea has the Kaesong Industrial area, Cuba’s Port Mariel is giving some space to completely foreign-owned businesses, Vietnam and China have plenty of state-run capitalist enterprises, etc. The reality is that even producing things as simple as soap need some expertise, and very often only capitalist corporations can have that expertise.
That’s why the Iranian government went on a spending spree in 2016, but it was decidedly not your typical capitalism. (I do not want to appear to credit only the Rouhani administration because economic policy is produced by the entire government in 5-year development plans, as already noted.)
Iran was feted like a king in places like France and Italy because they were prepared to spend dozens of billions of euros. But what pleased me was how Iran spent: They demanded equal partnerships, joint ventures and technology transfers.
These are the ways in which foreign investment can be mutually beneficial and not exploitative – this was good for France too. I am not a dogmatic person who is absolutely against all capitalism, but I am against all exploitative capitalism.
My point is: It was a socialist spending spree, not a capitalist one. Iran did not just give money away; they did not waste money on vanity projects; this was not one billionaire dealing with another for their own benefit; they invested in Iran via long-term central planning, i.e. the socialist view of economic management.
This is not like France’s ruling “Socialist Party” recently selling off national industrial jewel Alstom to the United States’ General Electric: The French people got nothing for that. That was capitalism; that was globalization
Iran is not in favor of globalization – they are not even a member of the World Trade Organization, unlike 164 other countries. Some will say this is solely due to the opposition of the United States, but it is not: As many in Iran said during the election: membership in the WTO is against Iran’s principles…and these are socialist principles regarding the economy – there is nothing about the WTO in the Koran.

Control over the Media

It’s true you can’t have Charlie Hebdo in Iran – hardly a major loss –but Iran is certainly no Cuba.
Iran’s refusal to crack down on TV satellites which permit reactionary, anti-revolutionary channels like BBC Persian and VOA Persian (UK and US government-funded respectively) appears to be a dangerous fire which Havana will not tolerate. This tolerance does give Iran “human rights” credibility with the West – well it doesn’t, but it should!
I would suggest that Iran is simply confident that foreign propaganda cannot overwhelm the obvious successes of the 1979 Revolution. I imagine that Cuba feels that they cannot take chances, being just 100 kilometers from the USA.
Of course, Cubans simply laugh at Western propaganda channels like the US government’s pathetic Radio Marti. Cubans are supremely intelligent politically and, after all, their education programs are decades older than Iran’s.
Iran, like Cuba and China, bans pornography. I note that such respect for sexuality and for women is a very basic tenet of Socialism. If your utopia includes unfettered access to porn I suggest that you are a libertarian, and not a socialist.
I remind again that the media glasnost implemented by Gorbachev was a major driver in the catastrophic implosion of the Russian Revolution. To privatize media means, necessarily, that you are giving those few people rich enough to actually start newspapers the chance to promote their obviously capitalist worldviews.
I, for one, am not about to cry over the lack of published capitalist, imperialist, sexist, racist, regressive anti-revolutionary nonsense, and neither are most Iranians. As sad as the Dutch may be about it – Iran is not Amsterdam!

Support of Foreign Liberation Movements

Some will say that Palestine is just a “distraction” from Iran’s own problems. Nonsense – this is a point of pride to all Iranians. This is a point of admiration for Iran from the entire Muslim world, just as it is a negative point for much of the Western world.
This is another way Iran is revolutionary Socialist country: they support oppressed countries on the basis of ideology. Perhaps Iran is not the “Mecca of Revolutionaries” which Algeria was in the 1960’s, but let’s agree that the rate and scope of revolutionary movements worldwide are at a much lower level today, sadly.
Russia may support Syria, for example, but it appears more for Moscow’s self-interest and the idea of national sovereignty – which is the idea of national self-interest – rather than a moral-based ideology.
Call Iran the same as Russia – no insult there – but you cannot deny that Iran supports Palestine for reasons which are clearly to the detriment of their own success, i.e., they do it out of solidarity and morality. Were Iran to recognize Israel they would surely have the international dogs called off them…but Iran is a revolutionary Socialist society, as you are hopefully agreeing with by now.
Iran is also an anti-racist society, like all modern socialist societies.
They constitutionally protect minorities, with parliamentary seats for Armenians, Assyrians, Christians and Jews, despite their small numbers. Iran may not promote them, but their tolerance of local languages like Azeri and Kurdish far exceeds that of many minorities in Western Europe. Iran accommodates the 5th-largest number of refugees in the world, while French authorities put up gates and even ‘’anti-migrant boulders’’ to deny refugees even the barest shelter.
When it comes to religion they are extremely tolerant of ancient Iranian Zoroastrianism and all of the pre-Prophet Muhammad Abrahamic religions. Any religion after Prophet Muhammad? Well…it is an “Islamic” Revolution, after all.
This is perhaps a pedantic point but an important one on a verbal, Foucauldian level: Has there been any “revolution” in the world since WWI which was not “socialist”? I can’t think of any, because without a socialism component it cannot be a revolution – it can only be a continuation of the capitalist/feudalist/bourgeois status quo, or a military coup.

Empowering People

The two fundamental tenets of socialism are redistribution of wealth and empowering the average person so that they can reach their full potential. Dismantling the social roadblocks thrown up by capitalism against the non-wealthy has clearly been a major goal of the Islamic Revolution, and I can quite easily prove it has been achieved with a tremendous amount of real-world success.
Since 1990 – when the West’s attack dog of Iraq was beaten off – no country’s Human Development Index has improved more than Iran’s, with the lone exception of South Korea.
Everyone should take notice, especially Socialists, as it is we anti-capitalists who prize human development – not economic development – above all.
That’s why I’m going to leave the Human Development Index as the only proof of success. For me, I have so many other econometrics, anecdotes and personal reflections to prove that Iran has succeeded in creating a new, better, modern society that to do so is quite boring.
Bottom line: It is obvious that I do not have to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Despite the tremendous amount of opposition, violence and propaganda, Iran has advanced the most in the past 3+ decades.
I say “the most” because, unlike South Korea, Iran has done this without 30,000 US troops currently on its soil; it was not preceded by decades of brutal dictatorship which slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people (mainly leftists); and they did not collaborate with the Americans in the division of their nation which currently causes the greatest possibility of thermonuclear war.
Iran didn’t get to #1 as many others did: by capitalism and imperialism.
Iran’s recent election had a 73% voter turnout rate, ranking it #12 in the world. Unlike many of these other 11 countries, Iran does not compel citizens to vote. There is obviously tremendous support for the Iranian system from the Iranian people because…they are not blind to success, I would say!
The hardest thing to get people to do when it comes to socialism (or Iran) is to think realistically: Nobody can achieve “perfect” socialism. No country has 100% voter turnout. No country has zero human rights violations.
But for Iran you have add on another layer of misconception: Many of the “restrictions” in Iranian society predate 1979 by centuries: women were largely wearing the hejab before then; unmarried people, especially young women, also lived at home before 1979; alcohol could send you to prison then and now.
My point is: Iran is a culturally conservative nation, and it was like that long, long before 1979. You will have to simply trust me that Iranians don’t need a government to make them want to live in a society which appears conservative to modern Western standards.
Again, Iran is not Amsterdam, LOL! Maybe you can talk about the royal court in Shiraz in the 14th century as being a hotbed of drunken poetic reveling, but this is does not reflect the reality of life for the average person.
Only an Iranian will agree quickly with this statement and move on: Take away the 1979 Revolution and you would still have many of the same rules in place – they would just be enforced informally.
I will, lastly, put it this way: Take away the mullahs, and you still have to deal with my grandmother!!!!!
But to believe that the government has not empowered people since 1979…well, back then the average woman had 7 children, was illiterate 70% of the time, and the UN was not calling its health care system “excellent”.
Today, the birthrate is 1.7 children per woman, the overall literacy rate is 93% and the right-wing Washington DC-based think-tank the Brookings Institution runs dumbfounded articles with headlines like “Are Iranian Women Overeducated?”.
All in 30+ years…and have you thought it was capitalism that did it?!

Socialists Who Ignore Iran Are Not Really Socialists At All

Do you still want to think that Iran is a country solely motivated by religious radicalism and not the ideals of socialism? Well, then I place you on the right and the left, and that is the point of this article.
It is bad enough that the right (capitalists, imperialists) not only co-opt Socialist ideas as their own (social security, Medicare, Medicaid, affirmative action programs, welfare, free schooling, free nurseries, etc.), but it is laughable when the left refuses to see the leftism in Iran because it does not fit with their preconceived, totally inflexible notions.
Any true Socialist/Communist should realize that attacking Iran is doing a capitalist’s job for them.
And how can someone who proclaims to be a “leftist” have the exact same interpretation of Iran as a right-wing capitalist does?
Again, it is simply laughable that Iran is “not” what it really is.
But this is what always happens: Chinese communism “is not really communism”…despite having 1-party rule, a state-run economy, control over the media, support for Vietnam and North Korea, and the 2nd highest HDI improvement from 1970-2010.
North Korean communism is just a “cult of personality”…despite expelling the Japanese, resisting the Americans, maintaining their independence, security and high-level of education. Cuba is just the Castro dictatorship and, again, not communism.
This is all anti-socialist propaganda – for capitalism there can never be ANY “Socialist success story”.
You remain adamant that you do not want to implement all the principles of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in your country?
Fine, it is your country to decide for as you like. Like I wrote, no worries – Iran hasn’t invaded in 300 years and it sure seems like our military is necessarily focused on defense.
But just because you disagree with some aspects of the 1979 Revolution I encourage you not to throw the baby out with the bath water. I remind you that I needed only one fact to prove that Iran has been improving at a rate which is essentially the best in the world over the last 3 decades – how far below Iran does your country rank, hmm?
I write this article because practically no media in the English language will ever pursue the links between Iran and socialism. We leftists know this not just anti-Iran bias, but a much larger anti-Socialist bias.
However, it is truly suicidal to ignore the left-wing successes in Iran because, even if you reject some of them, Iran has clearly found MANY modern solutions to our MANY modern problems: surely some of them can be of use to you, right? Is Iran ALL wrong?
Of course not – only Satan can be all wrong.
Therefore, I advise those fighting against capitalism and imperialism: Please afford Iran a bit more respect and interest than you would afford Satan!

And Now I Take Our Victory lap

I can only laugh at those who say Iran’s revolution has failed!
“Oh really? Who was the puppet that was installed? Who was the king that was restored? What is the name of the popular democratic revolution which replaced the peoples’ one of 1979, because I have not heard of it and I still see many familiar faces from 1979?”
The revolution has succeeded, and I am not sorry to say so.
Not that I care about your opinion – this is for YOUR own benefit: YOU will not win socialism, anti-capitalism or anti-imperialism in your country if you cannot learn from the successes of others.
But sadly, your inability to recognize socialism in Iran imperils all of us, because the people worldwide cannot win in the long term if even like-minded leftists cannot stick together to work against fascism, capitalism and racism.
But Iran, Cuba, China, etc. – we can win enough of these things for ourselves, at least.
We are doing just fine – steady as she goes, eh? All thanks to central planning, as the capitalists veer from crisis to crisis, with the 1% sucking up a greater percentage every time. Our election had huge participation rates, as usual, dwarfing the European cultures who probably want to claim they invented voting, along with everything else. Asia has heard it all before….
For the non-Western readers: I know that the vast majority of you already support Iran. I have talked with too many of you over my life – I know better. I also know that for us “field slaves” we have to give that impression in order to survive, sometimes, or at least to avoid annoyances.
Anyway, many Westerners appear to misunderstand Socialism completely: they don’t realize it is intrinsically a global idea; they think the Franco-German-Russian (European) variety is the only one. More Eurocentrism blinding them to reality, and necessarily limiting them….
But I look across the West and I see nothing but leftist failure after leftist failure: The fall of communism in Russia, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the obvious absorption of “left” parties into the dominant right-wing parties, the rise of austerity, the advance of globalization at the expense of national interests….
So the next time you look at Iran, you should applaud it as a rare socialist success. Iranians will certainly keep living their path of creating modern socialism, Inshallah.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

What Do the Words Communism and Socialism Mean?

I am sort of a Commie. I am definitely a Socialist. Commie, not sure. Sort of almost kind of just about barely maybe a Commie. I still believe in market. I actually think that what the Chinese are doing is the best implementation of Communism or Socialism or whatever you wish to call it that has ever been done. And there are quite a few Marxists and open Communists out there who support what the Chinese are doing very much. I think any future implementation of Communism or Socialism will have to have some sort of a market. There are a lot of us out there who call ourselves Market Socialists. We don’t want the state running everything. We want a market also.
Communism or Socialism themselves are words that don’t have much meaning. They mean whatever meaning we humans decide to give to them. They have no inherent meaning in and of themselves. Check out Heidegger if you do not believe me. He makes it quite clear that the real meaning of objects is whatever we humans have decided are the meaning of those objects.
Words don’t mean much. They are just sort of “tags” that we stick on objects when we try to explain and give meaning to them. So there is no real meaning of any object. Any object means whatever you, I and the rest of us say it means. Meanings of objects are created by man. A search for the real meaning of objects will lead you down a rabbit hole you will never emerge from because you are looking for something that is not even there. You can’t find something that’s not there in the first place.
Anyway, enough philosophy.

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.

The Race of the Original Turks

I won’t be able to do that as I sit on the peer review board of a journal of Turkic linguistics out of Turkey. I also have a chapter coming out in a new book about Turkic linguistics. In the chapter, I mostly talk about language, but I did talk a lot about history and origins too.
It’s pretty clear the original Turks from Northern Kazakhstan/the Altai were probably not White people, though that is probably in dispute. The later homelands, around the Altai where China, Mongolia, Russia and Turkey all come together were probably much more Asiatic. If you look at the Siberian Turkic speakers like Siberian Tatars, the Altai, the Chulym, the Shor and the Khakas, those are probably a good bet for what the original Turkics looked like. A good way of describing these people is half-Asiatic (Mongolic) and half-Caucasian.
This group also was apparently the base for the Amerindian populations as well. The Amerindians are fully Asiatic. So the people who birthed the Asiatics later birthed the Turks. However, there was some Caucasoid mixing in between with groups such as the Caucasian Tocharians. Later, Iranic groups mixed heavily with Turkics in the Stans.
The Tuvans also look like a very early Turkic group, and they are very Asiatic (Mongolic). The real pure Turkics from the Turkic homeland appear to be at least 50% Asiatic. The only reason they look Whiter as the get further west is that the Turkic Muslims conquered many of these people in Islamic jihads. These conquered Caucasians were then converted to Islam in the usual manner.