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Ok first of all why is money being taken by the police from social services? Why is it a zero sum game in these discussions? Why does the police services have to be defunded? It makes no sense. Crimes still need to be stopped and investigated. Police are still needed. You don’t make society better by not punishing people who break the law. Justice needs to be served. Sure increase services, and look at appropriate sentencing, these are always in review, but why defund the police?

Agree about the social services, but this is being addressed by closing the gap. There have been improvements in some results in the initiative, but more and better results needed. So they are expanding and updating it.
Because, traditionally, and particularly in the USA, money was taken from social services and given to the police.

In addition, if the social services are funded appropriately, you won't even need as much money for the police.
 

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i have no idea how you came to this conclusion. Because I questioned your assertion about the term capitalist social democracy? Or were theyjust intentional strawman points?

I’ll address them regardless. Healthcare for all? If the system can support it yes, as it contributes to equal opportunity. Policing outcomes vs providing services... you need both. Education should be free, to ensure equal opportunity for all.

My point was that term ‘capitalist social democracy’ just defines a capitalist society. Capitalism always has services provided by the government where it can’t be effectively provided by private services. That’s just capitalism, not ‘capitalist social democracy’. That’s just an academic term, created to sell the idea of socialism, and to dupe the public in their push towards a socialist system.

So why do people scream communism when all that is being asked for is a capitalist social democracy? You see where the problem is?
 

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My point was that term ‘capitalist social democracy’ just defines a capitalist society. Capitalism always has services provided by the government where it can’t be effectively provided by private services. That’s just capitalism, not ‘capitalist social democracy’. That’s just an academic term, created to sell the idea of socialism, and to dupe the public in their push towards a socialist system.
Actually you could not be more wrong. The social-democratic model of capitalism associated with Keynesian economics only emerged as a response to the twin existential threats to global capitalism 1) the spread of socialism from the USSR outwards in the 1920s and 2) the Great Depression of the 1930s. Social democracy was only ever implemented in the richest countries in the core of the capitalist world-system, in those countries where the rates of union membership were highest, and thus the capitalist class was most terrified that they would have a socialist revolution. The social-democratic model of capitalism then serves as a means of providing some bribes to the working class to prevent them from asking for more. Offer free healthcare, sick-leave and a 40-hour workweek in exchange for the major unions agreeing not to go on strike. That's pretty much what FDR's New Deal legislation achieved. Nigeria has never had social democracy. Ask an Indonesian or an Indian or a Brazillian what they think of the government's social democratic largesse gifting them so much of a welfare state (IE none!). 5 out of 7 billion people living under the dominant laissez-faire model of capitalism do so on less than $5 a day. You should try reading up on it here. Social democracy is not some sort of permanent universal model of capitalism that's 'just always been here and always will' as you seem to imagine. Even in those places where it was implemented as a reaction to those existential threats I mentioned earlier of socialist revolutions and the Great Depression, it's currently being turned back to laissez-faire (or 'neoliberal' capitalism if you prefer) through austerity budget cuts to everything from disability support to public healthcare to university funding. And if people don't like it and try to protest or fight back? Well, that's ok - we'll just further militarize the police. Turn every public space into a gated community with CCTV cameras, tear gas shooting in all directions, riot cops on patrol 24/7. Stop building new schools, social housing and hospitals, just build more prisons. Privatise those while we're at it so that there's an ever-greater incentive to make sure the prisons are full. This is what's causing much of the social unrest in the USA right now. Trump is continuing a process begun 50 years ago of cutting back the welfare state and expanding its repressive apparatus so that the consequences are managed through ever greater violence. More police, more prisons, more drones warfare, etc.

As for your spooky scary conspiracy that academics are using certain terms to dupe the public and push a socialist system, your anti-intellectualism sounds a hell of a lot like fascism there, mate. Not a good look. If you went to university you'll know that lecturers are about the most impotent, ineffectual people you'll ever meet. They have so little power they can't even force their own students to prepare for class by reading one little article or book chapter a week. Literally, you would turn up to a tutorial every week for months and months, and 9 out of 10 students, every time without fail, would just sheepishly say 'sorry I was too busy to do the reading this week'. Yet somehow you've decided that academics have this earth-shaking, incredible power to brainwash millions of people they've never even met or spoken to? Quite an active imagination you've got. Does it occur to you that human beings don't need to be brainwashed in order to react when they're being oppressed or wronged, as George Floyd was for example when that cop stood on his neck for 9 minutes until he died while a group of cops stood around and watched? Brings to mind this interview I read recently with the author of a book called How Fascism Works. Deeply relevant to a lot of the angry conservative reactions to the BLM movement we're seeing in this thread and across the media demanding that Black people and the underclass shut up, go back to following orders and do as they're told, even when that means letting the police state kill them.

[/B said:
Interview w Jason Stanley]

Q: Anti-intellectualism has been present throughout much of American history. How is the kind of anti-intellectualism linked to fascist ideas different? Or is it the same?

A:
Our suspicion of elites and what could be seen as anti-intellectualism can be healthy at times; we can see the American philosophical traditions of pragmatism and empiricism in this light, which can in fact serve as counterweights to the grandiose myths of fascist politics. But even this version has proven to be a weakness, one that makes us more susceptible to being manipulated politically. We have seen this play out in the case of climate change, where essentially apolitical scientists were successfully demonized as ideologues. We also have a history of what I think of as more classically fascist anti-intellectualism.

Fascist anti-intellectualism sets the traditions of the chosen nation, its dominant group, above all other traditions. It represents more complex narratives as corrupting and dangerous. It prizes mythologizing about the nation’s past, and erasing any of its problematic features (as we see all too often in histories of the Confederacy and the Reconstruction period, or of the treatment in history books of our indigenous communities). It seeks to replace truth with myth, transforming education systems into methods of glorifying the ideologies and heritage of the members of the traditional ruling class. In fascist politics, universities, which present a more complex and accurate version of history and current reality, are attacked for being places where dominant traditions or practices are critiqued. Fascist ideology centers loyalty to power rather than truth. In fascist thinking, the university is simply another tool to legitimate various illiberal hierarchies connected to historically dominant traditions.

Q: You mention David Horowitz and his various books and websites that offer names of professors for criticism as liberal, something also supported by Turning Point USA. Why are such lists a sign of a dangerous kind of anti-intellectualism?

A:
Above all, the mission of the university is truth. Fascist ideology, by contrast, traffics in myth; for example, the myth of the cultural or ethnic superiority of certain groups, the myth of patriarchy, various historical myths about the nation’s past, and the erasure of any sins done in the name of the dominant national ideologies. Fascist politics requires the demonization of certain groups that are the enemies, which of course requires spreading simplifications and falsehoods about them (for example, in the U.S. today, those of the Muslim faith).

The organizations you mention specifically target academics who deviate from the myths that support American far-right ideology. They try to intimidate into silence scholars whose work reveals the complexities and contradictions of capitalism; they target gender studies scholars, scholars of Islam and the Middle East, and those for example in African American studies and indigenous studies whose work threatens the rosy picture of the past they wish our education systems to present as objects of veneration. By harshly attacking those who seek to show the truth in its full complexity, the organizations you mention undermine the search for truth. This is the essence of anti-intellectualism; it is an attack on truth.
 
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I dunno if this has been posted here but I'm a big fan of Dave Chappelle's comedy. In between all of the jokes there's a lot of insightful sociological analysis. He performed this routine about 2 weeks ago. He titled it '8:46' after the length of time the cop put his full body weight on George Floyd's neck until he could no longer breathe.

 

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...The social-democratic model of capitalism then serves as a means of providing some bribes to the working class to prevent them from asking for more. Offer free healthcare, sick-leave and a 40-hour workweek in exchange for the major unions agreeing not to go on strike. That's pretty much what FDR's New Deal legislation achieved. Nigeria has never had social democracy. Ask an Indonesian or an Indian or a Brazillian what they think of the government's social democratic largesse gifting them so much of a welfare state (IE none!). 5 out of 7 billion people living under the dominant laissez-faire model of capitalism do so on less than $5 a day. You should try reading up on it here. Social democracy is not some sort of permanent universal model of capitalism that's 'just always been here and always will' as you seem to imagine. Even in those places where it was implemented as a reaction to those existential threats I mentioned earlier of socialist revolutions and the Great Depression, it's currently being turned back to laissez-faire (or 'neoliberal' capitalism if you prefer)...
Great post. A balance between capitalism and social democracy has served many countries well in terms of stability and prosperity in our times, aided by alternating democratic parties holding power to prevent the system from becoming too weighted in one direction. However in the US, the Democrats are probably more right wing than our own LNP in general but use their liberal, social guise ( universal healthcare - something that we already have and while not perfect is extremely valuable, and having a none white or none male leader) to sweep up the liberal and disenfranchised. There doesn’t seem to be a true socialist party counter balance and it’s getting a bit out of wack as a result.

PE. A question, where would you rank the U.K., US and Australia on the relative socialist spectrum as their respective societies sit today? The U.K. for example, I see as a state with adequate social structures but seems to groan under the weight. I see the Conservatives as fairly central with a liberal leader in Johnson, and yet there is plenty of unrest there too. What other factors are at play iyo PE?
 

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Interesting, the Cancel Culture thread I created yesterday to group a bunch of recent topics under a common theme to ensure these threads are not diverted off topic, has now been “Cancelled”.

How ironic.
 

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Interesting, the Cancel Culture thread I created yesterday to group a bunch of recent topics under a common theme to ensure these threads are not diverted off topic, has now been “Cancelled”.

How ironic.
Why did it get cancelled Danukoz?
 

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The way I see it - this place has become a bit of a dead zone. I enjoyed the banter and robust BS conversation but apparently we are like kids in a playground. This place is bollocks now and I'm sure most that stay are just fine and dandy with it. They can argue (or not) among themselves. Should be far less disagreement, I guess :)
 

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Great post. A balance between capitalism and social democracy has served many countries well in terms of stability and prosperity in our times, aided by alternating democratic parties holding power to prevent the system from becoming too weighted in one direction. However in the US, the Democrats are probably more right wing than our own LNP in general but use their liberal, social guise ( universal healthcare - something that we already have and while not perfect is extremely valuable, and having a none white or none male leader) to sweep up the liberal and disenfranchised. There doesn’t seem to be a true socialist party counterbalance and it’s getting a bit out of wack as a result.
True there's no left-wing political party in mainstream US politics. The Democrats are a pro-business party. The furthest to the left they've ever been dragged has been the last 5 years as a reaction to the GFC of 2008, Occupy Wall Street, Bernie Sanders, AOC etc. And even then, they're only social democrats of the kind you'd find anywhere in Europe or indeed the ALP up until the 1980s when they switched to becoming a 3rd way/Blairite/neoliberal party. BUT it's not for lack of trying. If you want to know why the left is so weak in America, I would point you to three major historical events.

1) the Battle of Blair Mountain in West Virginia coal country in 1921. See the video below:

2) would be McCarthyism and the political repression of trade unions, socialists, social democrats etc throughout the 1930s-1980s.

3) would be COINTELPRO, the FBI's program to disrupt and destroy all leftist social movements in the 1960s-70s, notably the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and the Civil Rights movement.

Combine those 3 events and you've got almost an uninterrupted century of the American state using massive violence and political repression against its own people. Would you want to be a communist or even a social democrat in that kind of society? I don't think so. Most people were terrified into political apathy, and so you end up with a system where big business and the capitalist class can rely on both major parties to do whatever they want, so it doesn't really matter whether Republicans or Democrats are in office, their interests were taken care of.

PE. A question, where would you rank the U.K., US and Australia on the relative socialist spectrum as their respective societies sit today? The U.K. for example, I see as a state with adequate social structures but seems to groan under the weight. I see the Conservatives as fairly central with a liberal leader in Johnson, and yet there is plenty of unrest there too. What other factors are at play iyo PE?
It's an interesting thought experiment...None of those 3 countries remotely meet the criteria for having a socialist system, though. For starters, all 3 nations have a state and industry that are overwhelmingly controlled by a capitalist class. Different industries predominate and the history of how they became so wealthy and powerful is distinct (Australia - mining, the UK - the finance aristocracy, mercantile capital associated with the spread of empire, America - slave labour, cotton, big agriculture, these days the war industry, Big Tech & Hollywood etc). Until that class is liquidated and replaced by the workers/the popular class, you have some kind of capitalism because the capitalist class is the one with power over how society works.

There are many capitalisms - liberal/laissez-faire as in Indonesia/India/Brazil, neoliberal capitalism as in the USA, social-democratic capitalism as in Sweden/Norway/Denmark, authoritarian capitalism as in Singapore etc.

In terms of why there's so much social unrest in the UK despite it having the NHS vs the US that doesn't have an equivalent. Ultimately, they're both national societies that are moving in the same direction and from the same place. Previously in the 20th century for let's say a generation or two, they both built up a social-democratic set of reforms to capitalism, which the workers and the general population won through struggle some wealth and power which was institutionalised through the state to make their standard of living better. Today all of that is disappearing. Notice how the 40 hour work week is no longer the norm? The so-called 'gig economy' means that eventually we'll all be working for scraps from platform giants like Uber and Amazon, no more sick leave, no more maternity leave etc. This is beginning to generate resistance. People are becoming more aware of wealth inequality. The middle bit in the graph below where inequality became less extreme is the period of roughly 1930-1970 where the UK had a social-democratic model of capitalism.

243544


I think that's a pretty good indicator for predicting societal instability/ social unrest. When it keeps rising and rising while people are going hungry and skipping doctors appointments etc history tells us that ultimately the guillotines come out at some point. The question is how much rioting/pointless/directionless protest has to happen before the people actually get the balls to identify the enemy and remove them from power. That's what a revolutionary transition to another system beyond capitalism would require.
 

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Another example of how severe racialised economic inequality has gotten, one of the root causes for the frustration that leads to movements like BLM.

The Failing New York Times said:
The Black-White Wage Gap Is as Big as It Was in 1950
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That’s remarkable. Despite decades of political change — the end of enforced segregation across the South, the legalization of interracial marriage, the passage of multiple civil rights laws and more — the wages of black men trail those of white men by as much as when Harry Truman was president. That gap indicates that there have also been powerful forces pushing against racial equality.

Before getting into the causes, though, I want to explain the difference between the best-known wage statistics and the more accurate version. The traditional numbers are incomplete in a way that many people do not realize: They cover only workers. People who don’t work are ignored. This group includes students, full-time parents, people who have given up on finding work and people who are incarcerated.

Excluding them wouldn’t present a problem if the percentage of nonworkers had remained fairly stable over time. But it has not. “There’s been a tremendous run-up in non-work among prime-age men,” says Kerwin Kofi Charles, an economist and the dean of the Yale School of Management.

One reason is that many middle-aged men — of all races, although disproportionately black — have dropped out of the labor force, and are neither working nor looking for work. The shrinking number of decent-paying blue-collar jobs has left many people who didn’t attend college without good job opportunities, and they have responded by no longer actively looking for work.

A second reason that more men aren’t working is that vastly more of them are incarcerated. Incarceration rates are especially high for black men — about twice as high as those of Hispanic men, six times higher than those of white men and at least 25 times higher than those of black women, Hispanic women or white women.

Becky Pettit, a sociologist at the University of Texas, refers to these incarcerated men as invisible. She has written a book titled, “Invisible Men: Mass incarceration and the myth of black progress.”
..article continues at link below:

 

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Great News on TV news tonight...Facebook will note Hate Speech...about time, White men have had enough !
 

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...That's what a revolutionary transition to another system beyond capitalism would require.
Thanks for the links I’ll check them out when I get a quiet moment (currently on a multi day hike in SW WA so 4Gs a bit patchy).

What other system is there though? Even the most socialized civilizations require a capitalist engine room of sorts, to provide genuine innovation and economic efficiencies.

Sure, it can and probably is distorting wealth distribution beyond what we’re comfortable with. But to get rid completely? I don’t see logic in throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Capitalism in part has dragged the majority of us out of the suffering that is human history. But any economic system is susceptible to corruption and requires constant balance and reckoning. Perhaps that’s what is needed now. Even if a utopian economic idea is ushered in through a revolutionary transition, you’ll still be faced with tyranny and those who will attempt to manipulate to their own ends.
 

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Have many of you seen George Orwell's '1984' I know it's beyond belief but the basic premise is what many people around the world are fighting for...they actually think equality will bring Utopia...throw in the real world and Capitalism is the system, warts and all, that works best if your prepared to work.
 

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Thanks for the links I’ll check them out when I get a quiet moment (currently on a multi day hike in SW WA so 4Gs a bit patchy).
No dramas. Hiking down there sounds great. I should get out of the apartment and do something like that in the next few weeks. I'm just throwing sources out so you can see these aren't just random emotional 'opinions' but vigorous arguments grounded in research about the world as it really exists. I'm not interested in 'utopia' as you put it.

One more I came across which was pretty mind-blowing even for me as someone who spends a lot of time thinking about and research inequality was this graphic:


From there I'm afraid this post turns into a 'greatest hits' of anticommunist fallacies that make up about 90% of the 'common sense' criticisms of socialism/communism in the 20th century, that we get taught as children and which seem to get hammered deeper into our skulls through the media (whether social democratic or neoliberal - both are pro-capitalist and anti-communist).

What other system is there though? Even the most socialized civilizations require a capitalist engine room of sorts, to provide genuine innovation and economic efficiencies.

Sure, it can and probably is distorting wealth distribution beyond what we’re comfortable with. But to get rid completely? I don’t see logic in throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Capitalism in part has dragged the majority of us out of the suffering that is human history. But any economic system is susceptible to corruption and requires constant balance and reckoning. Perhaps that’s what is needed now. Even if a utopian economic idea is ushered in through a revolutionary transition, you’ll still be faced with tyranny and those who will attempt to manipulate to their own ends.
I could give you a long boring academic answer for each of the objections you've raised. To be clear, revolution just means the taking of power by one group by another. It doesn't mean burn down the entire world and everything in it and start from caveman times...Every historically existing society was built out of the ashes/the shell of the society that preceded it. Whatever comes after capitalism will immediately be some form of 'post-capitalism' more than it will be anything decisively new, and creating a more democratic, participatory society will take decades or centuries. The transition from feudalism to capitalism, for example, took the better part of 1,000 years in which lots of little societal experiments were happening at once.

In terms of the idea that only capitalist nations have ever invented anything or encouraged people to innovate because of the motivation to become fabulously rich...You really need to study world history. Capitalism as a mode of production has only been around for 500 years or so at most. Class society has been around for 10,000 years since the dawn of agriculture and slave-based empires. Feudal and patrimonial modes of production have also been around in various places for thousands of years. Socialism has only been around for 100 years or so. In every society, you will find people motivated to invent new ways of organising their lives. Almost none of them were motivated by the idea of becoming a billionaire. Ancient Chinese inventors came up with gunpowder, paper, the printing press and the compass. Tell me, know any of their names? How many of them went on to become billionaires in the mould of say a Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos? None of them did, because they were motivated by all kinds of things other than material wealth. Human beings are imbued naturally with the desire to ask why. That's the reason we have molecular biology and understand what germs and diseases and viruses are today and are in the middle of trying to come up with a vaccine for COVID19, as opposed to simply throwing up our hands and saying 'it is God's will that we all suffer' or worse 'I'm not getting off my ass to invent a vaccine until someone showers me with dollar bills like a stripper dancing at a club'...

As for the idea that nobody will want to invent stuff under socialism, again this is a 'common sense' fallacy. Have a look at the long, long list of inventions that came out of the USSR for example. China today is even more inventive but let's go back. In just 50 years of socialism, Russia went from the sick man of Europe with backwards technology, almost no industrial production, and a deeply conservative culture dominated by the church, to a space-age superpower with many inventions that didn't reach the west until decades later like LED lights, the world's first mobile phones, electronic cigarettes (the more recent e-cigs were invented in China in 2003 FWIW), the world's first space station, space rovers, rockets, supersonic transport, nuclear power stations etc. A relatively detailed list can be found here: Timeline of Russian innovation | Wikiwand. Again, the idea that only capitalist societies allow or encourage innovation is just factually wrong if you look at existing socialist societies and other non-capitalist societies. They all invented things. Humans are not 'homo economicus' -robots who can only understand the world and be motivated to do literally anything through the desire to make a massive amount of money.

For now, have a look at this rather fun and animated video (it's not too long, only 30 mins or the length of a sitcom you could watch over dinner) I saw recently which addresses most of these 'common sense' criticisms. If after you've watched it you have follow up questions or you feel any of the questions you've listed weren't covered I'm happy to take it from there.
 

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^^ Dutton's goons from ASIO and the Federal Police will not like this kind of talk.
What did I say that was so scandalous? Bit of correcting the record and a history lesson never hurt anybody...Also, this kinda thing is apparently a whole genre of facebook 'Doge' memes 😄, see below:

252016
 
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So the Chaz/Chop zone in Seattle is finally being dismantled by police after four shootings and lawlessness. Sounds like a utopia. Failed experiment in community policing and self organising. Should arrest them all and fine them.

Seattle mayor should hang her head in shame and walked out the door. Especially for her comment describing the insurrection as ‘the summer of love’.

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So the Chaz/Chop zone in Seattle is finally being dismantled by police after four shootings and lawlessness. Sounds like a utopia. Failed experiment in community policing and self organising. Should arrest them all and fine them.
The woke utopia served as an experiment as what happens if you defund the police, a 500% increase in crime within in the woke zone.
I think those democrat run cities wanting to defund the police should get their wish and let it happen. Then all the luvvies can enjoy their utopia 😎
 

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Discussion Starter #720
Again, sounds like none of you actually know, or deliberately ignore, what is meant by defunding the police.

You do realise the Seattle CHOP zone was not this, right?


(Good to see the zone removed though, BTW, before you have a crack at that.)
 
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