US capitalist system declines.

Discussion of current events
User avatar
Sertorio
Posts: 4963
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:12 am

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by Sertorio » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:07 am

Ellen wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:49 am
"Prof. R.D. Wolff's analysis and insight is pill on right up until you get to his philosophical and emotional alliances."


Thank you Izz. I agree with your comments.

First, the one I quoted above. My son tells me I'm beginning to sound like Noam Chomsky. God forbid. I may agree with some of his analysis, as with Wolff's analysis in this essay. But absolutely not with his philosophical and emotional alliances, to repeat Izz's phrase. He is an anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-Communist, pro-3rd world dictatorship retrograde. I wouldn't be on the same side of any barricade with him. I'd throw a Molotov cocktail at him, before any of the sleazy, corrupt, and idiocratic elites that Spengler is referring to in his article.

That said, it doesn't mean that Wolff is wrong (or Chomsky) in his analysis. He is right about many things. The question is what to do about it. Marxism has been tried and failed. That is not the solution to any problem.

Maybe David Goldman is returning, at least in spirit, to some of the critiques he had about US-style capitalism when he was a young radical at Columbia University, before he fell in with the loony radicals of those days. Today, he is decidedly on the other side of the spectrum, especially regarding his "philosophical and emotional alliances." But nonetheless, he is able to see the problems of US capitalism with clear eyes.
Why do you waste your time on a faulty solution, instead of focusing on the identified problem? If Marxism is the wrong answer - it mostly is - then, what is your answer?...

Ellen
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:02 pm

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by Ellen » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:27 am

My solution isn't an economic solution but rather a cultural solution. There is no economic solution, in my view, to polarization of income in a modern society where certain rare skills command huge salaries and employment while most skills command low wages or permanent unemployment. It's a waste of effort to look for an institutional or economic solution to these problems.

The problem is a social and cultural one. Whether it can be fixed depends on whether the social fabric of a society can be rebuilt and a sense of social solidarity can be recreated, mainly at the local level. The only way the winners in the current system will redistribute some of their own wealth and advantages to the losers is if they feel a cultural and social solidarity with these people. In America, there was once a level of national solidarity and local solidarity within neighborhoods, ethnic, and religious communities. This was all destroyed over the last 60 years by various forces - some intentional and some unintentional.

I hold the liberal elites mostly responsible for this destruction. They wanted it to happen for various reasons. They don't want the working and middle classes to have a sense of social solidarity because then they would not be able to win the jackpot in the winner-takes-all system they have created. They would be restrained by all the civic institutions and cultural norms that once existed to protect people with modest incomes: extended families, ethnic and religious solidarity organizations, labor unions, etc. All of these have been gutted out. Why not try to rebuild them?

The one good idea that GW Bush had when he came into office was to strengthen faith-based institutions that would help people live responsible and uplifting lives. He thought government should use its power and wealth to support these institutions, in spite of a tradition of separation of church and state. A rebuilding of the black church in America, for example, would do a lot more to help fatherless black children and abandoned mothers than all the prattle about racism, reparations, and white privilege, etc, which is just a giant cop out.

Bush's preoccupation with the Iraq war and its failure, and therefore his perceived failure, pushed this issue under the carpet and everyone forgot about it. That could have been a really nice signature policy for him showing "compassionate conservatism" at its best. Instead, it died a quick death from neglect. Why doesn't someone else revive it as a policy for the Republican Party in the future? It will take a lot of grass roots work and will require the vountary collaboration of millions of people. It looks too difficult with poor chances of success over a 4-8 year period. Therefore, the corrupt, lazy, and shallow GOP leaders won't even consider it. Meanwhile, they have nothing else to offer, and the social fabric continues to crumble.

User avatar
Sertorio
Posts: 4963
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:12 am

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by Sertorio » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:44 am

Ellen wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:27 am
My solution isn't an economic solution but rather a cultural solution. There is no economic solution, in my view, to polarization of income in a modern society where certain rare skills command huge salaries and employment while most skills command low wages or permanent unemployment. It's a waste of effort to look for an institutional or economic solution to these problems.

The problem is a social and cultural one. Whether it can be fixed depends on whether the social fabric of a society can be rebuilt and a sense of social solidarity can be recreated, mainly at the local level. The only way the winners in the current system will redistribute some of their own wealth and advantages to the losers is if they feel a cultural and social solidarity with these people. In America, there was once a level of national solidarity and local solidarity within neighborhoods, ethnic, and religious communities. This was all destroyed over the last 60 years by various forces - some intentional and some unintentional.

I hold the liberal elites mostly responsible for this destruction. They wanted it to happen for various reasons. They don't want the working and middle classes to have a sense of social solidarity because then they would not be able to win the jackpot in the winner-takes-all system they have created. They would be restrained by all the civic institutions and cultural norms that once existed to protect people with modest incomes: extended families, ethnic and religious solidarity organizations, labor unions, etc. All of these have been gutted out. Why not try to rebuild them?

The one good idea that GW Bush had when he came into office was to strengthen faith-based institutions that would help people live responsible and uplifting lives. He thought government should use its power and wealth to support these institutions, in spite of a tradition of separation of church and state. A rebuilding of the black church in America, for example, would do a lot more to help fatherless black children and abandoned mothers than all the prattle about racism, reparations, and white privilege, etc, which is just a giant cop out.

Bush's preoccupation with the Iraq war and its failure, and therefore his perceived failure, pushed this issue under the carpet and everyone forgot about it. That could have been a really nice signature policy for him showing "compassionate conservatism" at its best. Instead, it died a quick death from neglect. Why doesn't someone else revive it as a policy for the Republican Party in the future? It will take a lot of grass roots work and will require the vountary collaboration of millions of people. It looks too difficult with poor chances of success over a 4-8 year period. Therefore, the corrupt, lazy, and shallow GOP leaders won't even consider it. Meanwhile, they have nothing else to offer, and the social fabric continues to crumble.
Very good post, Ellen. With which I could mostly agree until you came to this:
The one good idea that GW Bush had when he came into office was to strengthen faith-based institutions that would help people live responsible and uplifting lives. He thought government should use its power and wealth to support these institutions, in spite of a tradition of separation of church and state.
Mind you, it might even work for a while. But seeing that loss of faith by most people seems irreversible, basing the solution to the problem on faith-based institutions seems hopeless. Solidarity in the future must be based on something else. Maybe a strong attachment to ethics and ethic values, based on an increased awareness that we are part of ONE world, a world in which every part is essential and deserves our protection. And I see that awareness growing...

User avatar
lzzrdgrrl
Posts: 862
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:18 pm
Location: Okie Doke

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by lzzrdgrrl » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:36 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:43 am
lzzrdgrrl wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:29 am
neverfail wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:37 am
A kind of bitterness at a fading American dream has settled in and agitated popular consciousness

Notwithstanding endlessly glib political speeches about bright futures, US capitalism has reached and passed its peak. Like that of the British Empire after World War I, the trip now is painful.

https://asiatimes.com/2021/04/increasin ... -declines/
Not too different from someone else's POV......'>......

That said, Marxism is the natural outgrowth and greatest error of the Enlightenment, convinced that it's just aberrant institutions responsible for the enslavement of mankind and not an evolving consciousness still beholden to pre-human impulses. Or call that 'original sin' if it pleases you.....'>......

Prof. R.D. Wolff's analysis and insight is pill on right up until you get to his philosophical and emotional alliances. You can say the same about the other bank of the river, but more and more it seems that science is giving credence to the Biblical outlook........
Can you quote any of their articles where such credence appears?...
'Biblical' is probably a troll. We can use not historical materialism instead.....'>.....

Cognitive science formulated as an interdisciplinary approach to apply the scientific method to human psychology and cognition. It replaced the behaviorist model or the notion that innate, inherited or enculturated factors had little to do with human learning and reasoning - because reported findings seem to work better with the deep psychology of Freud and Jung over the respondent and operative conditioning models of Watson and Skinner......

Not satisfactory...... Well, let's consider the Universal Grammar of Noam Chomsky, Pinker's repudiation of the 'Blank Slate' the rejection of the 'computer brain' model by Haidt and McGilchrist. I don't have a 'proof'. Just the supposition (which can change) based on all the stuff I graze on that leftist ideology draws too much from notions that are either incorrect or obsolete.......
I have a certain notoriety among the lesser gods........

User avatar
Doc
Posts: 5355
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:09 pm
Location: Cradle To Grave

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by Doc » Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:29 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:03 am
Doc wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:35 am
neverfail wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:37 am
A kind of bitterness at a fading American dream has settled in and agitated popular consciousness

Notwithstanding endlessly glib political speeches about bright futures, US capitalism has reached and passed its peak. Like that of the British Empire after World War I, the trip now is painful.

https://asiatimes.com/2021/04/increasin ... -declines/
Richard D Wolf is a CCP, and Putin Apologist.And probably a communist.
Which means he can't be right...

Richard David Wolff (born April 1, 1942) is an American Marxian economist, known for his work on economic methodology and class analysis. He is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School in New York. Wolff has also taught economics at Yale University, City University of New York, University of Utah, University of Paris I (Sorbonne), and The Brecht Forum in New York City.

Obviously a nobody...
Actually I have already seen someof his YouTube Videos. From what I have seen He is really good at half truths. No communist system has ever worked out. Not one. I have known enough communists to know they are liars and full of BS. He just keeps beating that dead horse. I am sure if someone mentioned that to him he would respond. "I haven't beat it enough yet."
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

neverfail
Posts: 6719
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am
Location: Singapore

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by neverfail » Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:39 pm

Doc wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:29 pm

Actually I have already seen someof his YouTube Videos. From what I have seen He is really good at half truths. No communist system has ever worked out. Not one. I have known enough communists to know they are liars and full of BS. He just keeps beating that dead horse. I am sure if someone mentioned that to him he would respond. "I haven't beat it enough yet."
You are wrong Doc: but only because you have apparently been duped by the tag "Communist Partry of China" attached to the ruling party over there.

In fact behind that facade the system they operate over there has little or nothing to do with the "Communism" (or rather socialism) as defined by Marx and Lenin and everything to do with revived Chinese tradition within a new regime. Please see my next post for further edification.

User avatar
Doc
Posts: 5355
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:09 pm
Location: Cradle To Grave

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by Doc » Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:59 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:39 pm
Doc wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:29 pm

Actually I have already seen someof his YouTube Videos. From what I have seen He is really good at half truths. No communist system has ever worked out. Not one. I have known enough communists to know they are liars and full of BS. He just keeps beating that dead horse. I am sure if someone mentioned that to him he would respond. "I haven't beat it enough yet."
You are wrong Doc: but only because you have apparently been duped by the tag "Communist Partry of China" attached to the ruling party over there.

In fact behind that facade the system they operate over there has little or nothing to do with the "Communism" (or rather socialism) as defined by Marx and Lenin and everything to do with revived Chinese tradition within a new regime. Please see my next post for further edification.
It is all about political machines. That is what Communism, Socialism, and Fascism are all about. PERIOD. Base tribalism where the membership is as corrupt in spirit as the leadership
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

neverfail
Posts: 6719
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am
Location: Singapore

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by neverfail » Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:50 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:02 am

Meritocracy vs. Idiocracy: Why China Is Winning
BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN MAR 12, 2021 9:21 AM ET

Some of my conservative friends worry that China is trying to impose its political system on the rest of the world. Ask the Chinese about this, and they look at you as if you’re crazy: There’s no way you barbarians could reproduce our system, even if you wanted to, they explain. You can’t accept failure.

The key to China’s system is the willingness of its people to accept failure. The ticket to middle-class success in China is a university education, and 10 million Chinese high-school students take the entrance exam (Gaokao) every year. They study prodigiously, and the average Chinese family spends a year’s income on tutoring. They have to: the Gaokao is flabbergastingly difficult (see some sample questions here). But only half will pass. Some of each year’s losers re-take the exam; most will go to trade or technical schools. The top scorers go to prestigious universities like Peking or Tsinghua. The one thing Xi Jinping can’t do is to send his kid to Peking University. It’s all done by exam score.

China’s Communist Party has 93 million members. It co-opts the high achievers and gives them privileges. But because the system rests on pure, brutal, merciless meritocracy, the Chinese people accept that the top achievers will get the rewards.

The Chinese have been around for 5,000 years and shrug their shoulders at the extinction of cultures. Two hundred local dialects still are spoken in China (whose national language is a system of written ideograms rather than a spoken language), preserved as if in amber from China’s ancient past. Minorities that don’t integrate, for example the Turkic Muslim Uyghurs, will be suppressed and, if expedient, be exterminated.
A little over half a century ago I embarked at university upon a module of east Asian (Chinese and Japanese) history and became fascinated by Chinese civilisation's apparent gift for longivity. The Chinese state has crumbled to dust from internal ructions or else been demolished by alien invaders (usually at a time when the prevailing dynasty had undergone enough internal decay to argue that "it had exceeded its use by date" thereby making it sa sitting duck to be overpowered by a demographically smaller society of invaders such as Mongols or Manchus. But regardless of how often the Chinese state falls the underlying civilisation has never failed to regenerate and revive again in recognisable form.

(for example:) The Gaokao, the entrance exam mentioned above by Goldman reminds me so much of the entrenched custom the Chinese had in place over several successive dynasties. It was based upon a study of the Confucian classics and was used to recruit fresh blood into the imperial civil service. For the sons of members of the lower levels of Chinese society it represented the only upward mobility escape route into a higher socio-economic status - and it was fiercely competitive just like the Gaokao of today. Just like in the case of this Chinese parents and relatives of past centuries would likewise spend sums of money in tutoring a son or nephew for the civil service entrance exam. How little has changed since then!

It is that module that equipped me to view Chinese history as a Chinese would likely see it - as a long chain of cyclical "up's and downs" in which the ups have been just as frequent and usually as pronounced as the downs. If as David Goldman asserts "Americans are horrified by failure" then the obvious reason for it is because Americans have experienced so little of it that it represents a great unknown to be dreaded more than anything else.

I get the impression that Americans (we suffer from the same disease out here too) view their histrory as something like a perpetually upward curving line on a graph. Each generation sees itself as entitled to be better off than the one that preceeded it. Even in England, the overseas country that got the American colonies started and where America's civilisation still has its roots (American civilisation reminds me of English civilisation radicalised) I believe that they have only been partially successful in persuading the British public off that blinkered view of "history as unending progress" - one of the shortcomings of being part of an historically young civilisation like our Anglo one.

In the case of America I fear that until this society goes into a meltdown severe enough to cure Americans of their pet dreams (such as perpetual progress as a right) then the USA will continue to lose ground to China and that conditions at home, social, economic, spirtual and political alike will continue to deteriorate until the sheer pain will finally prompt change.

User avatar
cassowary
Posts: 4825
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:30 pm

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by cassowary » Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:10 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:50 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:02 am

Meritocracy vs. Idiocracy: Why China Is Winning
BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN MAR 12, 2021 9:21 AM ET

Some of my conservative friends worry that China is trying to impose its political system on the rest of the world. Ask the Chinese about this, and they look at you as if you’re crazy: There’s no way you barbarians could reproduce our system, even if you wanted to, they explain. You can’t accept failure.

The key to China’s system is the willingness of its people to accept failure. The ticket to middle-class success in China is a university education, and 10 million Chinese high-school students take the entrance exam (Gaokao) every year. They study prodigiously, and the average Chinese family spends a year’s income on tutoring. They have to: the Gaokao is flabbergastingly difficult (see some sample questions here). But only half will pass. Some of each year’s losers re-take the exam; most will go to trade or technical schools. The top scorers go to prestigious universities like Peking or Tsinghua. The one thing Xi Jinping can’t do is to send his kid to Peking University. It’s all done by exam score.

China’s Communist Party has 93 million members. It co-opts the high achievers and gives them privileges. But because the system rests on pure, brutal, merciless meritocracy, the Chinese people accept that the top achievers will get the rewards.

The Chinese have been around for 5,000 years and shrug their shoulders at the extinction of cultures. Two hundred local dialects still are spoken in China (whose national language is a system of written ideograms rather than a spoken language), preserved as if in amber from China’s ancient past. Minorities that don’t integrate, for example the Turkic Muslim Uyghurs, will be suppressed and, if expedient, be exterminated.
A little over half a century ago I embarked at university upon a module of east Asian (Chinese and Japanese) history and became fascinated by Chinese civilisation's apparent gift for longivity. The Chinese state has crumbled to dust from internal ructions or else been demolished by alien invaders (usually at a time when the prevailing dynasty had undergone enough internal decay to argue that "it had exceeded its use by date" thereby making it sa sitting duck to be overpowered by a demographically smaller society of invaders such as Mongols or Manchus. But regardless of how often the Chinese state falls the underlying civilisation has never failed to regenerate and revive again in recognisable form.

(for example:) The Gaokao, the entrance exam mentioned above by Goldman reminds me so much of the entrenched custom the Chinese had in place over several successive dynasties. It was based upon a study of the Confucian classics and was used to recruit fresh blood into the imperial civil service. For the sons of members of the lower levels of Chinese society it represented the only upward mobility escape route into a higher socio-economic status - and it was fiercely competitive just like the Gaokao of today. Just like in the case of this Chinese parents and relatives of past centuries would likewise spend sums of money in tutoring a son or nephew for the civil service entrance exam. How little has changed since then!

It is that module that equipped me to view Chinese history as a Chinese would likely see it - as a long chain of cyclical "up's and downs" in which the ups have been just as frequent and usually as pronounced as the downs. If as David Goldman asserts "Americans are horrified by failure" then the obvious reason for it is because Americans have experienced so little of it that it represents a great unknown to be dreaded more than anything else.

I get the impression that Americans (we suffer from the same disease out here too) view their histrory as something like a perpetually upward curving line on a graph. Each generation sees itself as entitled to be better off than the one that preceeded it. Even in England, the overseas country that got the American colonies started and where America's civilisation still has its roots (American civilisation reminds me of English civilisation radicalised) I believe that they have only been partially successful in persuading the British public off that blinkered view of "history as unending progress" - one of the shortcomings of being part of an historically young civilisation like our Anglo one.

In the case of America I fear that until this society goes into a meltdown severe enough to cure Americans of their pet dreams (such as perpetual progress as a right) then the USA will continue to lose ground to China and that conditions at home, social, economic, spirtual and political alike will continue to deteriorate until the sheer pain will finally prompt change.
I agree with Neverfail. Complacency in America is making them dismiss the CCP threat. This is America’s greatest challenge. When the meltdown comes, I hope Americans will be wise enough to see the agent for American decline are the policies of the Democratic Party.

"...................................................

Here is an example of American complacency and as usual it is coming from Democrats:

Newsom wants to end fracking by 2024.

Fracking has made the US a net energy exporter, which strengthens America strategically. It no longer has to bother about ensuring the supply of Mid East oil. In the face of the Chinese threat, this is an ace in the hole. But Democrats want to throw it away,

Neverfail is right. Americans think that history is a rising road and this incurable optimism breeds complacency.
The Imp :D

neverfail
Posts: 6719
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am
Location: Singapore

Re: US capitalist system declines.

Post by neverfail » Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:42 am

cassowary wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:10 pm
neverfail wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:50 pm


A little over half a century ago I embarked at university upon a module of east Asian (Chinese and Japanese) history and became fascinated by Chinese civilisation's apparent gift for longivity. The Chinese state has crumbled to dust from internal ructions or else been demolished by alien invaders (usually at a time when the prevailing dynasty had undergone enough internal decay to argue that "it had exceeded its use by date" thereby making it sa sitting duck to be overpowered by a demographically smaller society of invaders such as Mongols or Manchus. But regardless of how often the Chinese state falls the underlying civilisation has never failed to regenerate and revive again in recognisable form.

(for example:) The Gaokao, the entrance exam mentioned above by Goldman reminds me so much of the entrenched custom the Chinese had in place over several successive dynasties. It was based upon a study of the Confucian classics and was used to recruit fresh blood into the imperial civil service. For the sons of members of the lower levels of Chinese society it represented the only upward mobility escape route into a higher socio-economic status - and it was fiercely competitive just like the Gaokao of today. Just like in the case of this Chinese parents and relatives of past centuries would likewise spend sums of money in tutoring a son or nephew for the civil service entrance exam. How little has changed since then!

It is that module that equipped me to view Chinese history as a Chinese would likely see it - as a long chain of cyclical "up's and downs" in which the ups have been just as frequent and usually as pronounced as the downs. If as David Goldman asserts "Americans are horrified by failure" then the obvious reason for it is because Americans have experienced so little of it that it represents a great unknown to be dreaded more than anything else.

I get the impression that Americans (we suffer from the same disease out here too) view their histrory as something like a perpetually upward curving line on a graph. Each generation sees itself as entitled to be better off than the one that preceeded it. Even in England, the overseas country that got the American colonies started and where America's civilisation still has its roots (American civilisation reminds me of English civilisation radicalised) I believe that they have only been partially successful in persuading the British public off that blinkered view of "history as unending progress" - one of the shortcomings of being part of an historically young civilisation like our Anglo one.

In the case of America I fear that until this society goes into a meltdown severe enough to cure Americans of their pet dreams (such as perpetual progress as a right) then the USA will continue to lose ground to China and that conditions at home, social, economic, spirtual and political alike will continue to deteriorate until the sheer pain will finally prompt change.
I agree with Neverfail. Complacency in America is making them dismiss the CCP threat. This is America’s greatest challenge. When the meltdown comes, I hope Americans will be wise enough to see the agent for American decline are the policies of the Democratic Party.

"...................................................

Here is an example of American complacency and as usual it is coming from Democrats:

Newsom wants to end fracking by 2024.

Fracking has made the US a net energy exporter, which strengthens America strategically. It no longer has to bother about ensuring the supply of Mid East oil. In the face of the Chinese threat, this is an ace in the hole. But Democrats want to throw it away,

Neverfail is right. Americans think that history is a rising road and this incurable optimism breeds complacency.
You are taking the opportunity to warp my message by adding to it for the sake of pushing a partisan political line Cassowary.

I see the Republican Party as much a symptom of the American malaise as the Democrats. Neither party seems to have the answer and Ellen may be closer to the mark when she attributes the problem as a "cultural" thing.

In one way the Republicans are even worse. They seem to have taken on board the myth of American exceptionalism more then the Democrats.

Post Reply