The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

The Pandemic and Changes in Thinking

| 124 Comments

Covid-19 has thrown a stick of ideological dynamite into my social media feeds, and I’m still looking at all the debris and trying to make sense of it. Never before have I seen, from people who I’d previously thought of, even dismissed as, liberals, so much contempt, disdain, and outright hatred for capitalism itself. I’m seeing this from the most unexpected sources. To be sure, there are plenty of comments that are relatively tame—people pointing out the importance of grocery store workers, delivery drivers and others who actually do the work that keeps society functioning. But a surprising number have taken longer steps, questioning or even attacking capitalism itself—that is, a system in which profit for a few individuals is prioritized over human lives.

And yet, for many of these people, illusions remain in the Democratic Party. To them, the fault lies entirely with Republicans, as if things would be materially different with a Democratic administration. But their own expressed opinions contradict this.

Let me make it plain: To be an office holder, Democrat, Republican, or Independent, requires swearing an oath to “uphold and defend the Constitution,” which means an oath to defend private property in the means of production, which means defending the system that is now openly proclaiming private profit of more value than human life. It matters nothing if some particular politician says, “human life is more important than profit” if that politician then supports a system that places profit over human life; that merely means that particular politician is either foolish, or (more likely), duplicitous.

And so the difference between Republicans admitting profit matters more, and Democrats claiming human lives matter more while continuing to support a system that says the opposite is, in practice, no difference at all.

The antidote for capitalist barbarism is socialism, and the path to socialism does not go through a capitalist politician who claims to be “nicer.” If a person or political party supports private property in the means of production, that puts that person, whatever rhetoric accompanies this support, on the side of Wall Street, and against those who, as more and more people are observing, are actually necessary for society to function—that is, the overwhelming mass of humanity.

Agree, or disagree. What cannot be argued is that the pandemic is causing major shifts in the thinking of millions of people, and these shifts are not inclining them to support capitalism. However much one is inundated with propaganda insisting our only way to change things is through the ballot box, and the only choices there are D or R, and thus we must accept capitalism as permanent, the experience of millions upon millions is convincing them that such a “choice” is intolerable.

skzb

Author: skzb

I play the drum.

124 Comments

  1. And the big bailout the Republicans AND Democrats just passed nearly unanimously sends a few lousy bucks to middle class and working class families, while giving literally billions to private companies who have been buying back their own stocks for years.

    And they are manuevering to make sure Big Pharma has a monopoly on any vaccine that is someday developed to save people from this virus. That way they can make obscene profits on the lifesaving procedure most likely discovered using taxpayer-supported research.

  2. The vaccine maneuvering won’t work—luckily. Other countries would ignore any such patent if it was even granted.

    Capitalism is definitely showing the true bloodiness of its colors—not even attempting to hide it. This has made quite a few people hold new thoughts.

  3. skzb

    Yes. Every day it’s more out in the open.

  4. Don’t underestimate the global elite’s ability to enforce its intellectual property monopolies. There are many leverage points. Countries that have refused to toe the line have been wantonly destroyed to send a message to the remainder. Iran and Venezuela are suffering cruely under the sanction regime while the virus spreads like wildfire through their population. Their only crime that I can determine is a refusal to lick the bottom of the Western boot.

  5. Just how many of the people lauding store clerks and nurses as heroes will support (demand!) massive pay rises when the current crisis abates?

    The current crisis gives the general public a chance to see/hear the actual logic of the stystem and to locate how they are valued within it. Yet there isn’t a whiff of real anger in the air. One doesn’t hear of CEOs having to hire extra security to save them from the peasants with pitchforks.

  6. skzb

    A valid question, Maggie. Certainly not all of them, but I think some. And the anger is building–listen to Amazon workers, auto workers, teachers. I don’t think the middle of a pandemic, where survival depends on self-isolation, is the time for the sort of mass action that would require more security. But we are seeing states (notably Britain, the US, I think Germany, India) attempting to quickly push through laws designed to suppress protest, so obviously some of those on the other side are worried about it.

  7. One can see the scheming even through what is supposed to be altruistic. Kroger’s decision to give $300 dollar hazard bonuses to “Frontline Workers” instead of the $2 dollar per hour other retailers, Target in particular, are giving is because the majority of their stores are union. They do not want to have to go into negotiations having proven they can afford to pay $2 more per hour.

  8. What part of the Constitution prescribes private property in the means of production? Curious, because I swore that oath (city of Bisbee Arts Board), and was rather proud of it.

  9. Emma:We had a discussion here a few years back on wether the US constitution would obstruct a socialist system or not.
    My reading is that it is really quite neutral about property.
    Both the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments provide for due process protections for “life, liberty and property.” But due process just means that the proper pry has to be followed.
    Article 1 provides that: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; … pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts,
    But the Contracts potion just prohibits states—not the federal government.

    Conservatives will argue about some nebulous emergent property rights but the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled in support of those. Funny how conservatives seem to forget their love of strict constructionist readings.

    So, the US Constitution isn’t particularly an impediment to socialism. There are myriad pieces of legislation that are barriers but legislation can be easily changed if one cares to do so.

  10. Online Forum on Coronavirus tomorrow at 1pm EDT; 12 Noon Minnesota time: http://www.wsws.org/coronavirus

  11. skzb

    I had thought this obvious and beyond question; clearly I was wrong. Seems I now need a constitutional scholar to set this straight, since I certainly am not one. If any of you know one, please direct her or him this way.

    The question is:can the working class expropriate the means of production without violating the Constitution. On a certain level, really, it doesn’t matter, because the force of the state will certainly be employed against any such attempt; but now I’m curious.

  12. (Caveat—not a Constitutional scholar) If a party amenable to socialism were to sweep the elections and win control of the House, Senate and Presidency, And if they then appointed sympathetic justices, I don’t think there is anything in the Constitution that would then prevent them from passing a sweeping reform and expropriate the means of production. This is the case where the workers first expropriate the mechanisms of the State.

    Now, could there be a better canvas upon which to draw a new society— certainly. As we’ve seen for quite some time, people without the interests of anyone other than themselves have enacted all sorts of things without Constitutional challenge.

    If a group wins power through some non-constitutional means then they can do whatever they want.

  13. IANAL, much less a constitutional one.

    But — When FDR required everybody to turn in their gold coins, that was constitutional. Stock shares are not gold coins, but there’s a kind of similarity. You don’t necessarily get to keep whatever kind of property you happen to have.

    All levels of government can use eminent domain to take land it needs, provided it pays the amount of money it thinks the land is worth. If you disagree you can sue the government in a government court. If the government can take your land because it needs it, and give you not other land but money, likely it can take your stock shares and give you money for them. Because it needs them. The Fifth amendment has traditionally been interpreted to apply not just to land but to any property including trade secrets and contract rights. Stock certificates would count.

    One obvious way to do it would be to pay book value for the corporation. Or the lower of book value and the stock price on the day of sale. Or there are multiple other possibilities. The more uncertainty about the price, the lower the trading price, within some bounds. At some point speculators would buy stock hoping a lawsuit might bring them a profit.

    Politics would be a possible block. If 55% of the voters wanted it, it probably wouldn’t happen. If 95% of the voters wanted it, but the stockholders were willing to pay a lot of bribes/contributions/campaign-donations to stop it, would it happen then? I don’t know. Maybe.

  14. For all that you think Bernie Sanders is the People’s Judaean Front, I think we can still thank him and a few new Congresswomen for moving the Overton Window. In particular you can now say the word “socialism” in public without the media laughing in your face. A few years ago I said here that “socialism” has a branding problem in the United States and that brand has had a miraculous turn around in the last four years.

    Before you say this is rising from the consciousness of the working class, it still requires work to bring it to pass and Sanders did the work: all the work? No. Enough work? No But quite a lot of valuable work and work that frankly could not have been done by an avowed Marxist statesman or party under these particular historical circumstances.

    That being said, the pandemic has shown that even a 100% effective Sanders government, even starting in 2016, would not have been able to fix everything.

    I still worry that the fascists have a head start and that they did a lot of damage to populism. Witness that the new tack from “liberal” media is to conflate right wing and left wing populism as equivalent. But the current crisis has knocked them back a bit on that front as well.

  15. Privateiron: Ironically, I think we can thank the Republican propaganda machine as well! Think about when they were pushing the list of “horrible, socialist” policies that AOC was advocating. Every single individual item on the list polled at +70% with the general public. I think that did a lot of work to destigmatize the word. If sensible, main stream policies are all “socialist”, then how bad can socialism be?

  16. Privateiron & larswyrdson:Yes, the window has been expanding to the left and it seems (as the post mentions) that people are coming to realize that there are definite problems with Capitalism.

  17. skzb

    I agree with Steve. I remember Will Shetterly pointing to a poll that more than 50% of young voters (I don’t recall what definition of “young” was being used) had favorable reactions to “socialism” and negative reactions to “capitalism.” This was before the 2016 election campaign, and certainly before Senator Sanders began his drive. So, no, I don’t think it reasonable to credit him or other politicians for this change in thinking; I believe they are using it more than causing it. The question is, will this hatred of capitalism be harmlessly channeled into “vote Democrat,” or will the working class succeed in breaking free of the dead end of capitalist politics. I’m pushing for the latter.

  18. Yeah. Capitalism rolls on in its bloody way. People notice this and the general window moves away from Capitalism.
    People, like Sanders, now find they are able to get more traction. Correlation, not causation.
    This window seems to be gathering an increasing number of people.

    At the same time, others wallow in the blood generated by an economic system nearing the end of its usefulness. Some from a misbegotten notion that they have to remain at the “top” and others seeming to embrace various forms of what are essentially death cults.
    This window seems to be shrinking but growing increasingly strident and desperate.

  19. The market is a poor model for health care because people do not choose to get sick (despite what the enemies at Partnership for America’s Health Care Future may say).

    But now with millions losing their jobs and the health insurance industry sharpening their knives, the illusion is failing more miserably than ever before.

    I even read that China offered its Covid19 testing formula but the US refused and insisted on creating its own test that could be owned, controlled, and profited from.

    Oh well, there goes New York. They were not going to vote Trump anyway…

  20. This coronavirus may well be the closest thing to Capital in how it moves ruthlessly and globally with utter disregard for any thing. Perhaps this similarity is not being lost on people (at least subconsciously), and hence the ideological dynamite in your feed.

  21. It is kind of a chicken and egg problem. If it’s “just going that way,” then no political leader deserves credit ever. Sanders has been doing this for decades and he finally found a demographic that agrees with him. People are genuinely worried that there is no young Social Democrat or young Marxist/Revolutionary Socialist for that matter, generating any traction to succeed Bernie as the new standard bearer for real progressive politics. At the very least, functioning as a focal point for people looking to organize is something worthwhile.

    The biggest complaint we SDs have with Sanders is that he played this campaign as if it was a gentleman’s game rather than an urgent struggle with people who are unfit and unprepared to govern. It’s a thin line to walk between telling the truth and not looking unstable under the current standards of electoral politics. But he should have pushed a lot harder. At least regarding his personal story, I am probably beating a dead horse. He’s never going to be President and the current election cycle is already set between the polite Right and the Proto-Fascists.

    A new breaking point might emerge next year when everyone who still has insurance will see their rates go up 40-50% while millions will probably have lost their coverage with their jobs. There is also a lot of evidence that all the loony “Socialist” countries are facing less financial cost from the crisis; so there may be a clear counter-example to “American Exceptionalism.” Will the next administration and Congress paddle as hard as FDR did to save capitalism or will they double down on the politics of fear? I am not optimistic that we are going to see principled reform before the 2022 elections (or even after) and I am skeptical we’ll see an actual revolution in that time frame (at least from the left.) We would need conditions at least as ripe as 1929-1933. In that scenario I would venture collapse or fascism have higher odds than real socialism. In fact that is how the odds played out in the 1930s for most of the developed world. (The Soviet Union was like Louisiana; it started so low on the absolute scale that it kept developing UP towards other nations industrialization during what was a depression for people who actually lost something.)

  22. Um. Wait a minute, though, Steve. About your remark that to vote for Democratic politicians is “bad”, because they “pledge to uphold the Constitution.” I thought though, that the editors of the WSWS (of which I’m still not sure whether you’re a member, incidentally, or of SEP: I haven’t been able to work that one out!) were very pro-US-Constitution, and thought this document a great social advance – because otherwise the US would be prone to dictatorship; either that of a monarchy like “King George”, or a theocracy like the Massachusetts colony; or one like the Soviet Union under Stalin?

    So- just because they pledge to uphold this essentially c18th Enlightenment document, it makes the representatives and senators evil capitalists??

    So what would people’s representatives pledge to uphold, under Trotskyism??

    Anyway. I wanted to mention to you my feelings about these current affairs, and so will use this as my opportunity to do so. Personally – I’m being honest here – I don’t think you or anyone will get a large mass of the people to vote for Marxism/a Marxist party; because – especially in America – they instinctively feel this to be anti-democratic – and “anti-individual”. Ditto, obviously, revolution! If they won’t vote left, I can’t see how they would revolt.

    So I certainly believe the way forward, for now at least, to be in the form of democratic socialism, or, for the US, left-liberalism, I suppose: as you *have no labor party*.

    The problem does seem to be, that democracy, as well as democratic socialism, on both sides of the Atlantic, appears to be traduced! In the UK I think we can put a lot down to the unfair influence of Israel – who, however, unlike Russia, nobody seems to be blaming! And to sinister money funding the likes of Nigel Farage.

    In the US – well can we just put it down to political ignorance, on the part of too many of the masses? (And probably, more masses-misleading propaganda.) Because, Bernie Sanders lost several of the primaries – I just looked it up! That’s why he had to give up the race: not because he is an evil supporter of capitalism, or something..

    As for Trump, I have seen polls saying his approval rating during this crisis has gone up! Is this true?? Why it it true?? How stupid are people?

    I am however certain that coronavirus WILL, and is, changing people’s attitudes. (Maybe Mother Earth has just had enough, eh?? ) How long this will take to show itself in a positive way is, however, anyone’s guess…

    I certainly think that both Johnson and Trump should be thrown out, once the crisis is over. But – Johnson will try and hang on like grim death – and is the US going to *have* a 2020 election?

    Biden is a useless candidate, obviously, btw. The Democratic Party are too much into compromises. Sticking to progressive guns is what is needed. I don’t caee about ideologies; I’m too antinomian. Policies are what I care about.

  23. I’ve just read all the comments from the top: and it looks like Steve Halter has explained the legal ramifications with the Constitution and socialism. Thanks, Steve Halter! Of course, every administration – and Supreme Court – interpret the Constitution their way, don’t they??

    I also find privateiron’s comments about the Overton window very true..

    And what effect do people here think *religion* still has on US politics?? At one time I was thinking Dawkins and friends, bores though they are, had at least broken the Religious Reich’s stranglehold on US politics. Now I think the Reich’s still doing OK as long as it has a nationalist demagogue’s coat-tails to hang on to.. Will coronavirus weaken both the Church and the elite’s power now though, as the European Black Death did???

  24. I’ve just read all the comments from the top: and it looks like Steve Halter has explained the legal ramifications with the Constitution and socialism. Thanks, Steve Halter! Of course, every administration – and Supreme Court – interpret the Constitution their way, don’t they??

    I also find privateiron’s comments about the Overton window very true..

    And what effect to people here think *religion* still has on US politics?? At one time I was thinking Dawkins and friends, bores though they are, had at least broken the Religious Reich’s stranglehold on US politics. Now I think the Reich’s still doing OK as long as it has a nationalist demagogue’s coat-tails to hang on to.. Will coronavirus weaken both the Church and the elite’s power now though, as the European Black Death did???

  25. Steven – Are there plans to produce the audiobook for the Baron of Magister Valley (one day soon?)

  26. The French constitution does block a real socialist revolution (through it’s reference to the 1789 Human Rights declaration which features an article 17 protecting private property : the state can only expropriate by paying the exact value expropriated before the expropriation takes place).
    I’d be quiet surprised if there was nothing of the sort in US law.

    The point being that a socialist revolution would need to expropriate with no compensation (at least for the main shareholders of the largest compagnies) just like the freeing of slaves was not compensated.

  27. OL:n the US. This is addressed in the “takings” clause of the Fifth Amendment: ” nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    On the surface, this would seem an impediment to Socialism, but there are a number of ways toward:
    1) a new amendment can always change any prior piece of the Constitution.
    2) The “just compensation” phrase can be challenged in a number of ways. Generally, it is taken to mean the market value. If, there is no market (no private property = no market) then there is no market value.
    As another argument, it could be argued that owners of private property are indeed compensated under a socialist system as they now have housing, medical needs met, etc.

  28. One might argue along the lines that rich capitalists gained their fortunes through unjust means equivalent to theft, and therefore “just compensation” is to steal it back from them.

    This obviously wouldn’t fit through today’s Overton Window, but if revolutionary sentiment were to suddenly rise…

  29. OL- Since so much of law comes down to precedence, it is worth noting that the US government DID compensate slave owners for their slaves. 900+ slave owners in DC were paid $300 each for their slaves, to end slavery in the Capitol while buying their loyalty. The same offer was made to the Border states, although they all turned it down.

    Contrast that with the famously broken promise of 40 acres and a mule, reparations for labor stolen from the African American slaves. 400,000 acres were actually distributed before Andrew Johnson stripped it all away.

    So if there is any question of the relative protection of private property vs. labor in the US, I think that sums it up.

  30. To expand on larswyrdson’s comment, the “District of Columbia Emancipation Act” was enacted in 1862.
    With the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, no compensation was provided on former slave owners as, being illegal, slavery had no need for a just compensation (for the slave owners.) Thus, the example is quite supportive of a lack of compensation for private property once said private property is no longer a legal category.

  31. skzb

    OL: That makes a lot of sense.

  32. skzb

    Steve Halter: True and on point. The issue is making “said private property” be no longer a legal category. Traditionally, including the US Civil War, that’s what social revolutions do.

  33. If for some reason the new government wanted to compensate stockholders for their shares, it could pay them in dollars all on one day, and then in the next few weeks inflate the money supply until the dollars were mostly worthless. Then issue new currency.

    I understand that the US government captured the confederate treasury printing presses, and also the US Mint had made their own confederate plates to devalue that currency. If they had wanted to really rub salt into the wound they could have paid slave-owners for their freed slaves in confederate money.

  34. Seems like it might be about the perfect time for a rent strike and a general strike.

  35. Get the landlords in on it.

    You don’t pay them your rent. They don’t pay the bank their payments either.

  36. Seems like a lot of folks have abandoned the participation in electoral politics as their sole avenue to push for positive change.

  37. skzb

    Does kinda look that way.

  38. As an avid fan of your fiction, having read most of your books, and your books helping me through some of the darkest seasons of my life, like when my father was dying, I have followed this blog off and on for several years, but I must confess up front that I do not share your view on socialism, but I did (naively/foolishly) support Sanders in the 2016 primary. So, what follows is a contrasting view point, and some questions about Socialism that I have been wanting to ask you, Mr. Brust, for several years.

    Let me begin with a few observations that are contrary to what seems to be assumptions of yours and the members of this community regarding public opinion.

    For starters, the result of this so called “pandemic” (or what has come to be called a “PLAN-DEMIC” conspiracy) is that more and more “free-thinking” people are seeing the Democrat Party (and their deep state operatives) for what it is, namely, a power hungry tyrannical autocracy, an autocracy that is more and more pushing socialism for a globalist cabal (see George Soros). So, in answer to oneoflokis’ quandary, Trump’s support is growing because of this growing realization, often called #TheGreatAwkening, which has been helped in no small way by what is widely believed to be military intelligence that is being funneled for several years now through the 4,610 “Q” drops to-date (see https://qntmpkts.keybase.pub//) on 4chan/ 8chan / 8kun, which has given rise to the QAnon movement, which is now a massive world-wide community that has been made acutely aware of the detailed machinations and deep state operatives in this “globalist communist cabal.” In other words, while Sanders has, at first, given the socialist brand a positive light, the dark militant side of the socialist brand has now been seen.

    On one side, the lies within this plandemic are mounting, from false numbers, to the suppression of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) by use of fraudulent studies, even though HCQ is a proven cure and has been safely used as a drug for 60 years with no negative affects, whilst suspiciously pushing vaccines with the likes of none other then Bill Gates. This has only spurned the anti-vax movement and enlisted far more public support than they ever have. Anti-vax is no longer fringe, it is now MAIN STREAM.

    On the other side, the Democrat Party’s open support (along with the open support from their puppets in the liberal media) for the violent BLM and Antifa rioting has marked them. The truth is glaring, with the founders of BLM being self-avowed Marxists with the stated goal of overthrowing the US Gov, not to mention, the money BLM gathers being controlled by a convicted terrorist from the weather underground (pardoned by Bill Clinton). The truth of BLM’s agenda is transparent. And the ties of Antifa to Soros (and his agenda) are well documented. Antifa’s violent history has led to them being deemed a terrorist organization, no different than Hitler’s “brown shirt” thugs. This has reminded the populace FIRST HAND of the tyrannical nature of Socialism/ Communism/ Fascism, even and especially in its beginning stages, and further to that, it has been made clear with the barbaric nature of Antifa CENSORING FREE SPEECH by using clubs and chains and fire bombs, that the so called anti-fascist SELF-AVOWED COMMUNIST antifa are the true fascists. And what is the response of the Democrat Party leaders? They want to “Defund and Dismantle” the police, leaving the citizens at the whim of the BLM/Antifa terrorists. That won’t end well, I suspect. For one, the conservatives are often 2nd Amendment folks, and are thus largely armed to the teeth, and secondly, Trump is not gonna let that fly, and the populace will love him for it. Again, this will only increase his support and seal the fate of the Democrats, no matter how many liberals claim that Trump is the tyrant, after seeing the BLM/Antifa burn our cities and local Democrat leaders LETTING THEM, that lie will not be believed.

    The dangers of a tyrannical government have never been more graphically present in the consciousness of the populace.

    THEY ARE PUSHING MANDATED VACCINES with this pandemic, when there is proven cure, HCQ. Ask yourself why. The LARGER point here is this, the MANDATING OF A VACCINE under the guise of “public good” is a clear and present example of GOVERNMENT TYRANNY.

    Mandating masks, when the scientific / medical evidence proves they do nothing, is a clear and present example of GOVERNMENT TYRANNY.

    Mandating lockdowns, when the scientific / medical evidence proves they do nothing, is a clear and present example of GOVERNMENT TYRANNY.

    Which leads me to my main question for you, Mr. Brust…

    How can you support Socialism when every major instance of Socialism (PRC/CCP, USSR, Cuba, Venezuela) has resulted in GOVERNMENT TYRANNY, usually a million times worse than any abuses within a capitalistic society? Further, how do you reconcile the fact that “Free-market capitalism has been the most powerful nonreligious force for good in the history of the world. Free-market capitalism has lifted billions of people worldwide out of poverty in the past two generations alone.”And yet you call “capitalism” barbaric? Based upon what? The abuses by those Socialist regimes takes barbarism to a new height. Do you have any idea how many innocent people were killed by the USSR or PRC/CCP, and are still being killed by the PRC/CCP? Socialist governments take great pains to censor the truth of their barbaric nature, but the facts have been well documented. But it is not just those abuses, because the USA has abused its power too, no doubt, and though far far less in Capitalism, but the problem with Socialist regimes is that the very regime itself requires militant tyranny against its own citizens to impose its dictatorial tyrannical rules upon them.

    Look, I get that you have attempted to distance your version of “socialism” from Marxism, being a “trotskyite”, and for the record, I have silently read and pondered much of your writing on this subject over the years. The problem I have is this, from an operational perspective, the centralized architecture of society in Socialism/Communism/Fascism (SCF) is, systemically speaking, for all intents and purposes, the same, namely, “the public vote and majority rules from a centralized governing body, and those rules are imposed (if necessary) using military force.” This is called MOB RULE. In other words, simply put, Socialism and Communism and Fascism (SCF) are all “centralized” rule, and thus the same, from an operational perspective, and are all tyranny. The mob votes for a leader that promises to grant their wishes, and then that leader rules with military tyranny. Hence, the number one principle of the Conservative ethos is:
    “centralized government is tyranny and cannot solve most operational problems efficiently or effectively or fairly”.

    Other then the military, Centralized Government has never been able to manage operations and deliver services in society. Whereas free-market capitalism has been excellent at it. Hence, I have to as, how or why do you support Socialism, a failed and tyrannical form of government?

  39. skzb

    Arthur, I’ve been sitting here for ten minutes trying to find a way to say this without being insulting. You seem polite, and friendly, and honest, and you ought not to be insulted. Let me try it this way: We disagree so profoundly on so much that it is as if we are living on different planets. Therefore, there is, in my opinion, nothing to be gained by my answering you. I could direct you to the “socialism FAQ” in the sidebar, but to what purpose? Our views of the world, and our understanding of history, are so diametrically opposed, that I just don’t see any good coming from it. I’m sorry.

  40. I guess I should thank you for not insulting me. So thanks. And, I should have told you up front that I had already read your “Socialism FAQ”. But, I had read it years ago, and admittedly, had forgotten your answers. So, I am glad you referenced it, because I just now read it again. And I guess, in many ways, your FAQ has answered my inherent question, but only to a certain extent. Yes, you are right, we do have a rather diametrically opposing understanding of history. True. But isn’t that the very point of the most valuable type of discourse, namely, to exchange thoughts with those who have opposing perspectives. Otherwise, we are just speaking in an echo-chamber.

    What value is there in that?

    To be clear, I have chosen to open discussion with you about Socialism specifically because (a) I highly respect you, you being honestly one my most favorite authors — I truly relish in your writings, your voice is a comfortable familiar voice for me (up there with Roger Zelazny and Michael Moorcock) — and (b) because I absolutely do have a diametrically opposing understanding.

    That is the very point of this. We are opposites, you and I. Or do you only wish to converse with those who share your understanding? Could you sway me? Could I sway you? Are you open to your understandings being challenged? Is it even remotely possible that I said something that caused you to reconsider your long-standing position? Or you for me?

    Now, before you suggest it, I also should tell you up front that I actually was avidly following your “Trotsky’s: The Revolution Betrayed” blog series, and I pondered what you wrote in that series for a long time. I even commented on the series, but your response was rather harsh, not as kind as you were this time, so I became silent and just read. In any case, I felt I needed to study your perspective much more deeply before responding with my full thoughts on the subject of Socialism/ Communism/ Fascism. Hence, my comment today. But if you are not interested, so be it. But if you are, I will say this, as a beginning.

    At the heart of it is this, your #5 — “Who gets to decide …. ?”

    Everything else, is secondary, I believe. Your answers to the other questions, make sense, but the question of “WHO DECIDES”. Now that question, changes everything.

    You wrote:
    “do you honestly believe that all of humanity, working together without a profit motive, will be unable to figure this out?”

    My simple answer is NO. I don’t.

    You see, the question this speaks to is “HUMAN NATURE”.

    For starters, it is not, “All of Humanity making the decision” now is it? It is a small select group of DECISION MAKERS. Right? And who are those decision makers? How are they chosen? Well, as you noted , it is those who have been VOTED into a position to make those decisions. Seems fair, right? It is “democratic”, which sounds fair, right? But it’s not. That’s the problem. Just because someone is good at being voted into a position to make decisions, does not mean that that person is QUALIFIED to make those decisions. And that’s the problem with Democracy and Socialism, at the root.

    Now, you add this clause, “without a profit motive”, which assumes that there will be this evolved humanity where not a single person on this planet desires power. Note I replaced the word “profit” with the word “power”. You use the word “profit”, but that is a simplistic notion in this context. In simple terms, I suggest people hunger for power, not “profit” (unless you are a Ferengi, lol). Many emotions drive this hunger for power, usually fear, and that too, is core to human nature, I would suggest — Fear. The world is a dangerous and fearful place. I don’t believe FEAR will ever be eradicated, nor do I think it is wise to do so. Fear is necessary, to keep us aware of the dangers, and there are always dangers in nature.

    But back the point….
    Consider this, just because a group of “democratically voted into office decision makers” write on a piece of paper that “XYZ” product or service will be provided (at ABC cost), does not mean that XYZ product or service CAN be provided? No. And it is naively presumptuous in the extreme to think that the people will magically deliver on the promises of those decision makers, and further to the point, if the public does not wish to comply with those “decisions”, will military force be used? Sadly, the answer is probably yes.

    And therein lies the rub.

    Where is the individual freedom in your system of governing? Will individual freedom will be overrun by the MOB rule of the 51%?

    And what if those services CANNOT be delivered?

    What if there are shortages, because the decision makers were idiots?

    What if resources are wasted, because those decision makers were idiots?

    If your answer is that “it will be figured out because humanity is wise”, I suggest you are being naive and not thinking your vision through. I read your explanation of dividing the less desirable tasks into small fractions, but that too is simplistic. In the end, you are still MANDATING, and what if NO ONE wants to do that task. Not even for 1 hour per week?

    Someone is DOING the mandating and someone is being mandated TO.

    And it is the WHO that I have concerns about. You want me to trust them? I don’t. Never will. And I am not alone. The Founding Fathers of the USofA believed that ALL government, by definition, cannot be trusted. Period. Full Stop. End of story. The very nature of our Constitution reflects this belief, which is why it is designed to STOP the Government from doing too much damage, because, as I said, ALL government CANNOT be trusted. NO MATTER WHAT. And you socialists want us to trust governments? You socialists want to grant the government unilateral power to dictate mandates?

    Do you see the disconnect?

    If the government commits an evil, it will be on a mass scale, compared to an individual or corporation that commits an evil in a capitalistic society. In Socialism, if the Government commits an evil, to whom do we turn? If 51% made a decision, does that mean that it was the right or just decision? Democracy was never trusted by the Founding Fathers, which is why the USofA is a “Constitutional Republic”, not a Democracy, this is a distinction that many people do not appreciate.

  41. Arthur:A couple of brief points:
    1) Why do you think corporations cannot commit evil on a mass scale?
    2) You seem to believe that a government is an isolated entity that does its own thing. I’ll just assert that the more a government is isolated from the people it serves, the more it approaches your vision. The more the government is the people and the people are the government, the further it gets from that vision to the point where the notion of government as something else dwindles away.

  42. Arthur–

    If we are looking for failed polital-economic models for historical lessons, I present Exhibit A:

    The United States of America, the year 2020.

    In January, Jeff Bezo’s fortune was $120 billion. 6 months later, it had grown to a staggering $172 billion.

    Meanwhile, millions of people lost their jobs and with it their private health care, and started going hungry. Once the wide-spread eviction moratoriums start running out next month, they will be losing their homes.

    A socialist believes that humanity can do better. If certain experiments to change things have failed in other places, I say try again and do not give up until a better world is achieved.

  43. Steve,
    Yes, you are right, corporations can commit evils on a mass scale, particularly when they control the government, good point. And yes we have seen that with the military industrial complex’s wars, no doubt, not to mention, big pharma… etc. And throughout the history of our nation, there have been big industry that abused and needed to be corrected, in fact, slavery and the cotton plantation is one big one, and the correcting /purging of that nearly tore this nation apart, with the scars evident to this day, obviously. The history of the anti trust laws are also clear evidence of this. And it is probably time for such a corrective action again, which is probably why Trump’s “Drain the Swamp” agenda has gained such widespread support. Consider players like Google, Facebook and Twitter abusing their power by censoring free speech (of conservatives), but it’s not just them censoring, the liberal side of the media today is basically a puppet of the Democrat Party pushing the liberal narrative and (also) censoring opposing (conservative) voices. And this has emboldened / enabled / encouraged the rise of these terrorist organizations: BLM & Antifa. In fact, I would suggest that the true definition of Antifa should be “Anti-First-Amendment”. And that is my larger point — The First Amendment, or rather, the entire US Constitution itself. The very point and purpose of the US Constitution and its amendments is to protect the rights of the individual, against the abuses of government.

    You wrote:
    “The more the government is the people and the people are the government, the further it gets from that vision to the point where the notion of government as something else dwindles away.”

    The problem is this, I believe: ALL government, is by definition, separate. Socialists have this naive (even pollyanna) viewpoint of what a government is or could be. Socialists believe government is a force of good, or that it can be. The Founding Fathers of this nation saw government for what it is, namely, a “necessary evil”, and as such, they framed the US Constitution to prevent the Government from ever gaining too much power. They saw that GOVERNMENT is, by definition, large and monolithic, and as such, it is capricious and self-serving. In fact, I would suggest that it has to be. Government, like any entity, must ensure its own survival, and if threatened, will do whatever it takes to protect itself. I do not (personally) consider that an “evil” per se, to me that’s just its nature. Is a tiger in the jungle trying to eat you, “an evil”, lol …. no, to me, that’s just its nature, but I still want to make sure it does not eat me. So, in this context, the individual is akin to an ant, and the government is a lumbering elephant, and always will be, so let’s continue to support a Government whose constitution is designed to LIMIT the power of the government. This is why I cannot support a Socialist government that wishes to give Government MORE power. As the saying goes, “Down that road is a slippery slope” —

    Which leads me to this, Mr. Brust …. lastly, in patiently reading your “Trotsky’s: The Revolution Betrayed” blog series, and pondering it for quite some time, I have this conclusion.

    You say that People’s Republic of China, USSR, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela are NOT Socialist or Communist, and as such, they are NOT examples of “Socialism/Communism Failing”. That is basically your thesis. I say, your premise is flawed. I suggest that ALL Socialistic / Communistic forms of GOVERNANCE will result in the identical abuses, ALWAYS and in ALL WAYS. Why? Because the governing body is, as I said, large and monolithic, and “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – because most people are driven by fear and do not know what true power is, which is power of self, not others. This could evolve into a discussion of Martial Art principles/teachings, and having practiced/taught Martial Arts for 45 years, I have much to say on this topic, but the point is, the ability to “make decisions” for a MASS POPULACE is, by definition, wrong, and that is why the Founding Fathers of the USofA created a Constitution to limit that power. Forever. Having just experienced the abuses of such a unilateral power over the masses by the King of England, they knew first hand of its inherent evil. That is what forges the ethos of this nation, and that is why every single person who serves in the military, or law enforcement, or the government, must swear an oath of allegiance, not to the President, but rather, to defend the US CONSTITUTION. You have spoken whimsically here about dismantling the US CONSTITUTION if it prevented you from enacting your Socialist Government, and you even admit up front that you are not an expert on it. I would suggest that, at the very least, you become an expert on it, before you push dismantling it.

    People have been asking on your forum about Trump. You seem perplexed. Well, let’s consider him for a moment. Trump is criticized for NOT imposing mandates onto the states, because he respects and honors the 10th Amendment, “States Rights” — and yet, in the very next breath, he is called a dictator. You cannot have it both ways. Either he is NOT mandating like a dictator, or he is. Clearly he is not. But the Democrat Governors ARE mandating, like dictators. If you want to understand “Why Trump”, then as a beginning, you need to understand that.

  44. Kragar,

    I do not think you can use this PLAN-DEMIC as an exhibit, because the opposing argument would present overwhelming evidence that this was designed to make Trump look bad, when the economy prior to the PLAN-DEMIC was exploding, by every single metric.

    If you doubt that allegation that the pandemic is hoax, I could easily post numerous examples, not the least of which is: HCQ is a cure, no side effects … done. Do you want medical studies? There are many. And the one medical study that Fauci claimed proved that HCQ was not a cure was proved to be a totally bogus study. And why aren’t bodies pilling up in 3rd world nations that have no masks and no social distancing and no lockdowns? The answer is obvious. The pandemic is a hoax.

    So why the lockdowns?
    Why the Vaccine?
    Why the masks?
    Why the social distancing?

    To tank the economy. NOT caused by a failed capitalistic economic model.

    Prior to Trump Admin, the economic policies of Obama were crippling this nation.

    Trump’s policies were solving the economic problems with amazing results, far faster than even Trump expected, which is why the Democrat Party/Deep State, had to tank the economy BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, so they could sell the ultimate goal of the Globalist Cabal, which is to impose a world wide communist regime —> one world government.

  45. Ummmm, I don’t go by those “metrics.” The real purchasing power of the working class has remained stagnant or declined since the 1970s despite steady increases in worker productivity. Meanwhile private wealth has accumulated to obscene levels during both Democrat and Republican administrations. By my metric those creating the increased productivity should be getting at least some of the benefit.

    But if you want to talk about a one-world government, abolishing the nation-state and giving power to the world-wide working class would be a great place to start.

  46. Arthur:Just as you said Steve’s socialism far failed to convince you, you are quite unlikely to convince anyone here that (1)the pandemic is a hoax, (2) the economy was improving in a way that improved life for the working class in a meaningful way in the last 30 years or that (3) the goal of what you call the “Globalist Cabal” is a world wide communist regime.
    For (1), you would need actual scientific evidence.
    For (2), you would need actual economic evidence that would be contrary to what Kragar mentioned.
    For (3), you would need actual evidence based in the material world. For example, research the term Neo-liberal. I’ll also note that “communist regime” is an ill defined term. Do you mean socialist regime? In which case, do you mean socialism as defined in the faq? If so, then you would find that your statement is not eliciting the negative response for which you might be hoping. If not, then you would need to define the term. In either case, real evidence would be a good place to start.

  47. First, thank you all for this respectful intelligent discussion.

    Steve,

    For (1),
    Well, I am not so much trying to “convince” you that [the pandemic] is a hoax as I am “informing” you that many DO believe it is a hoax (perpetrated by the Democrats / Deep State), so you shouldn’t be surprised that Trump’s support has grown. Remember, I was responding to oneoflokis being perplexed that Trump’s approval had gone up. He asked “How stupid are people?” The answer is, not so much.

    Listen, while I will not spend countless hours providing links, I will outline what I have seen.

    Note: I am NOT saying the “virus” itself is a hoax, no, the virus is quite real.

    What I am saying is that the “pandemic” is a hoax, with regards to the numbers and Cause of Death (COD) which have repeatedly been misreported. This is well documented. Additionally, the Democrat Governors mandated that the Nursing Homes house infected Covid patients, thus exposing the most vulnerable population (the elderly) to infection, which resulted in the majority of deaths in those states being in those Nursing Homes, and it resulted in those same Democrat Governed states having the highest mortality rate. I don’t have those numbers at my finger tips, and you can doubt the accuracy of that statistic, but I assure you, it is accurate. And, that is why conservatives (and many liberals) no longer trust Democrats, in fact, many who have lost loved ones in those Nursing Homes want to see those Democrat Governors prosecuted for murder.

    The CDC itself has had to retract and restate their numbers multiple times, which finally caused Trump several weeks ago to remove the CDC from reporting the numbers, and is now having the White House do the reporting.

    Mind you, there is a glaring example reported several days ago of a guy in Florida who died in a motorcycle accident, but the COD was reported as COVID-19. I have read of more examples of this over the past 4 months than I can count. Note, the hospitals are paid by the Government considerably MORE MONEY if they report a COD as Covid-19. Financial incentive goes a long way if you want to bloat the numbers. And for every known reported mis-stating of COD, there are obviously hundreds or maybe even thousands that were not caught and exposed.

    I read several articles about how they debunked the Case Study of HCQ that Fauci had cited to claim that HCQ was ineffective. Have yet to hear Fauci even admit to this, nor has he even mentioned that HCQ works. He keeps pushing other potential cures, and he keeps pushing the need for a vaccine. I have also seen videos of medical professionals discussing the numerous medical institutions worldwide that have been using HCQ. And I have also seen videos discussing numerous studies domestically and worldwide that prove that lockdowns have zero effect on the transmission of the virus, in fact, lockdowns make it worse, because the virus is almost always transmitted intrafamilial. There are videos of medical professionals who explain in great detail why masks do not work and why lockdowns don’t work, partly because they make it much harder to achieve heard immunity. I am not a medical professional, nor a journalist who is compiling these references to write an article, but all of those links exist, if you want to search for them. I have seen reports of all of those over the past 4 months. I do not have the time to produce all of those, but it would be a worthy endeavor. As I said, I am not here to CONVINCE YOU, I am merely INFORMING YOU that many people have seen these facts, medical scientific facts, and have judged the pandemic to be fraudulent.

    But it is not just that…
    While you (liberals) may not believe the pandemic is a hoax, every conservative in this nation witnessed the Democrat Party leadership and liberal media, on one given day, say “no social gatherings” or we call in the national guard to lock you up, and then literally 24 hours later, they support social gatherings for BLM & Antifa rioters (and refuse to call the National Guard even when those riots are looting and burning stores and bashing heads of anyone that gets in their way.)

    Do you have any idea how laughably hypocritical they looked?

    This is truly farcical.

    Tell me, is this virus magically smart enough to not transmit for BLM/Antifa riots?

    Do you think conservatives are stupid or blind? The lie is painfully obvious, and anyone who denies this is a balled faced liar.

    So no, we don’t even NEED those scientific data and you don’t need to take my word for it about the facts I have cited above, merely look at the OBVIOUS HYPOCRISY of their “pandemic fear mongering” that disappeared literally overnight when they wanted to support BLM/Antifa riots.

    Look, conservatives were ALREADY skeptical prior to the riots, because the numbers kept changing, and fraudulent cases kept being reported, but the utter lack of concern for the riots transmitting COVID-19 shattered whatever doubts they had. This caused Trump’s support to grow. And conversely, this caused support for Democrats to shrink. The blatant hypocrisy was insulting to people’s intelligence. And when the Democrat Leadership (and liberal media) supported the rioters, and then pushed their “defund the police agenda”, leaving the populace at the mercy of those Antifa/BLM terrorist thugs, people saw the writing on the wall. You really should not be surprised that more and more people are supporting Trump / Republicans. You really shouldn’t. You can pull the wool over someone’s eyes only so much before they start to wake up. Especially when they are motivated by life-threatening events. People do not like being lied to and they do not like being terrorized and they do not like to see their businesses and livelihood destroyed BY LIES AND TERRORISM. Do you have any idea how many stores in Los Angeles, NYC, Portland, and Seattle, have been looted and burned? I myself had my life threatened with a machete by one those thugs simply because I took a picture of them burning and looting a store 200 feet from my home. Yeah, I saw this all first hand.

    And you’re surprised more and more people are supporting Trump? Don’t be.

    Do you realize how many businesses were ruined by Democrat Governors mandating a lockdown? … whilst the medical / scientific studies from around the world prove that the lockdown does NOTHING? People can read and do their own research. The internet is a treasure trove of information, all it takes is a few clicks.

    Again, you really shouldn’t be surprised.

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    (continued)

  48. RE: (2), you would need actual economic evidence that would be contrary to what Kragar mentioned.

    Sorry, I did not have time to respond to Kragar’s comment until now.

    KRAGAR WROTE:
    [[BEG]] Ummmm, I don’t go by those “metrics.” The real purchasing power of the working class has remained stagnant or declined since the 1970s despite steady increases in worker productivity. Meanwhile private wealth has accumulated to obscene levels during both Democrat and Republican administrations. By my metric those creating the increased productivity should be getting at least some of the benefit. [[END]]

    This will require a little unraveling, and I don’t entirely disagree with Kragar, but we need to make a few things clear.

    Number one, I do not view all “Republicans” as Republican. Many are RINO (Republican in Name Only). I find both these RINOs and DEMOCRATS to be part of the same “UniParty”, both of which, despise Trump.

    Number two, as Ron Paul has noted countless times, the Federal Reserve has been printing money like it is going out of style, and then we have massive increased taxes, both combined have resulted in massive inflation, which caused the “real purchasing power of the working class to remain stagnant or decline”, and this is why Trump recently TOOK CONTROL of the Federal Reserve, (which most people didn’t realize) but this represents a tectonic shift in the nature of economics in this nation. And also, as many DID notice, Trump pushed a massive tax cut.

    Number three, the liberal policies, (enacted by both R&D / UniParty politicians) have also contributed severely to the “real purchasing power of the working class to remain stagnant or decline”, policies involving massive spending on programs that produced ZERO results. And yes, I do include wasteful and unjust wars, most definitely.

    Number four, the metrics that I was referencing of the dramatically positive economic growth (/ reduction of unemployment) under the Trump administration are still profound, but in order for the “real purchasing power of the working class to grow” in a substantive manner, it will take YEARS to fully mature and undo the damage done by the UniParty, not to mention, the damage done recently with this PLANdemic, as well as, the BLM/Antifa rioting and looting and burning and destroying property.

    And while you may dismiss these 4 things, today, until we see the results of 2 Trump terms and the ending of this Pandemic Hoax and the ending the BLM/Antifa riots, no one can say with absolute certainty the true ROOT CAUSE of the current economic climate, or the positive potential of free-market Capitalism to bring true prosperity.

    Let me add a foot note about this term “working class”, because I find the nature of this term or concept to be antiquated (circa early 20th century), or more to the point, that “working class” is extinct. 25+ years ago I used to have access on my work computer to the entire Dunn&Bradstreet database of all corporations in the USofA. And you know what I discovered? 80% of the people in the USofA (at the time) worked for corporations that had UNDER 100 people. And I later discovered from a French friend working on his Ph’D in France that in France, 80% of their population worked for corporations that had OVER 100 people. The observation is that in the USofA, it is not about “working class” at all, it is that a large and growing percentage of the population are ENTREPRENEURS. Bear in mind that that demographic has only grown since then with the advent of the internet, such that, I think it is fair to say that 90% of the people in the USofA TODAY work for corporations that have UNDER 100 people. So there really is no “working class” populace today that needs a socialist government to allow them to “own the means of production”, because they can just “start their own business”. DONE. This is why I do not ever see there being a “working class revolution”, because there is simply no really large working class, nor is that working class particularly abused or exploited in a major way. The Antifa/BLM rioters today are self-avowed Marxists/Communists, but kids are largely students who have been indoctrinated into the Communist Manifesto, and further, they are largely spoiled entitled kids supported by their parents. Those aint “working class revolutionaries” of the ilk we saw in USSR or the PRC in the early 20th century. That class is extinct. This is why I don’t think we will ever see the revolution that you socialists believe is inevitable.

    (continued)

  49. RE (3)….

    (a) Socialism vs Communism
    As noted above, I have read Mr. Brust’s Socialism FAQ two times now, and I just re-read the section where he defines Socialism & Communism a third time. So yes, I get his distinction, and I get that his distinction works for him and you.

    However, to me, I consider Socialism, Communism, Fascism, to be synonymous, from a SYSTEMIC OPERATIONS perspective, and I explained why above, namely, because they are CENTRALIZED CONTROL. …

    Please reread and study this, because this is the defining characteristic of the governing body:

    –> –> Systemic Operations –> Centralized Control

    I will add, they all have the same evils:
    –> They require MILITARY RULE and CENSORSHIP OF OPPOSING VIEWS.

    (b) “you would need actual evidence based in the material world”

    I also explained this.

    There is ample evidence: USSR, PRC, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela.

    Look, while you may not want to consider USSR or PRC or North Korea or Cuba or Venezuela to be either Socialist or Communist, due to the “betrayals” and “abuse of power”, I view them as PERFECT examples BECAUSE of the “betrayals” and “abuse of power”. I am saying those “abuses of power” are inevitable and will always occur in the Socialist /Communist/ Fascist form of government.

    Please read or reread what I wrote of this above, because I explained this in detail.

    (c) RE:
    >> I’ll also note that “communist regime” is an ill defined term. Do you mean socialist regime? In which case, do you mean socialism as defined in the faq? If so, then you would find that your statement is not eliciting the negative response for which you might be hoping. If not, then you would need to define the term. In either case, real evidence would be a good place to start. <<

    I defined my meaning, several times now, so it is not “ill defined” in my discourse. It is explicitly defined in my discourse. I also provided real evidence several times: USSR, PRC, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela. And if what has happened in the USSR, PRC, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela does not elicit a negative response from you, so be it. But you should know that it DOES elicit a negative response from many many people, because those people reject your attempt to deny those regimes were socialist. To them, those nations are the very epitome of what Socialism will become EVERY SINGLE TIME.

  50. RE (3)….

    (a#) Socialism vs Communism
    As noted above, I have read Mr. Brust’s Socialism FAQ two times now, and I just re-read the section where he defines Socialism & Communism a third time. So yes, I get his distinction, and I get that his distinction works for him and you.

    However, to me, I consider Socialism, Communism, Fascism, to be synonymous, from a SYSTEMIC OPERATIONS perspective, and I explained why above, namely, because they are CENTRALIZED CONTROL.

    Please reread and study this, because this is the defining characteristic of the governing body:
    –> –> Systemic Operations –> Centralized Control

    I will add, they all have the same evils:
    –> They require MILITARY RULE and CENSORSHIP OF OPPOSING VIEWS.

    (b#) “you would need actual evidence based in the material world”

    I also explained this.

    There is ample evidence: USSR, PRC, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela.

    Look, while you may not want to consider USSR or PRC or North Korea or Cuba or Venezuela to be either Socialist or Communist, due to the “betrayals” and “abuse of power”, I view them as PERFECT examples BECAUSE of the “betrayals” and “abuse of power”. I am saying those “abuses of power” are inevitable and will always occur in the Socialist /Communist/ Fascist form of government.

    Please read or reread what I wrote of this above, because I explained this in detail.

    (c#) RE:
    >> I’ll also note that “communist regime” is an ill defined term. Do you mean socialist regime? In which case, do you mean socialism as defined in the faq? If so, then you would find that your statement is not eliciting the negative response for which you might be hoping. If not, then you would need to define the term. In either case, real evidence would be a good place to start. <<

    I did define my meaning several times now, so it is not “ill defined” in my discourse. It is explicitly defined in my discourse. I also provided real evidence several times: USSR, PRC, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela. And if what has happened in the USSR, PRC, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela does not elicit a negative response from you, so be it. But you should know that it DOES elicit a negative response from many many people, because those people reject your attempt to deny those regimes were socialist. To them, those nations are the very epitome of what Socialism will become EVERY SINGLE TIME.

  51. Arthur: A few responses:
    1) “more and more people are supporting Trump” The opposite appears to be true. See (for example) Trump’s approval ratings .

    2) “While you (liberals)” I’ll just note that many here do not use the label liberal to refer to themselves.

    3) ““working class” is extinct.” The term working class refers to those people who earn their living by selling their labor. Lots of people do that.

    4) Citing Ron Paul for just about anything is probably not going to advance your argument here. I particular, ” the Federal Reserve has been printing money like it is going out of style, and then we have massive increased taxes, both combined have resulted in massive inflation”. The Fed has indeed increased the money supply but it did not increase inflation. We haven’t had massive increased taxes. On the contrary, the US has had lower than average taxes for quite some time. Trump & Co. did pass a massive tax cut, but it was largely seen by corporations and upper income earners.

    5) ” And yes, I do include wasteful and unjust wars”, Good.

    6) “whilst the medical / scientific studies from around the world prove that the lockdown does NOTHING” There are many (pretty much all scientific studies) that say the opposite. For example, Is the lockdown important to prevent the COVID-9 pandemic? Effects on psychology, environment and economy-perspective

    7) ” utter lack of concern for the riots transmitting COVID-19 shattered whatever doubt” There was actually a great deal of concern about protesters causing Covid spikes. Many involved in protests wore mask masks and the protests were largely outdoors. Both of these helped to mitigate this.

    8) “Do you think conservatives are stupid or blind?” I would assert that they are either restricting their information sources to those that agree with them or analyzing any information that disagrees with them through highly subjective means.

    9) “Democrats are hypocrites” Yes, but mostly along other axis than you list. The current democratic leadership maintains that they are pro working class while being largely pro-corporate. Generally the Democratic leadership is economically positioned where the Republicans used to be.

    10) “debunked the Case Study of HCQ” Here is a recent roundup of results (I wouldn’t usually link to USA Today, but this article seems pretty good as a roundup): Fact check on hydroxychloroquine

    11) ” the “pandemic” is a hoax, with regards to the numbers and Cause of Death (COD) which have repeatedly been misreported” Numbers do seem to be misreported, but all evidence points to the misreporting being largely on the underside as dead are not tested or grouped in with another cause.

    12) summary “the CDC made many mistakes” Yes, they did but again, largely in the opposite direction to those you name. For example, they came out against masks early and their original test kits were flawed.

  52. Because the internet and the gig economy, there is no working class? Wow.

    In one of my favorite films, The Usual Suspects, Verbal Kint tells detective Cullion: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.”

    Maybe we can rework that saying to fit this discussion. Something like

    “The greatest trick the corporate media ever pulled was convincing the world that the working class did not exist.”

  53. Arthur, I will reply also.

    Do you play Bridge? If not then surely you have played Hearts or Spades. Imagine you are playing the game. Who will win? Why will they win?

    Victory comes because of the cards that get dealt, and also how well you play them. It depends critically on choices people make when they lack critical information. It would be a very different game if all the cards were displayed face up.

    Instead of playing the game, the players could all agree to just call it a draw and everybody wins. But some people want to be real winners.

    Politics is like that too, except that the rules of them game are vague. Some rules are set by law and you can break them if you won’t be effectively sued and your opponents can’t use them to make you look very bad to voters. Some rules are customs and conventions and you can break them if the other politicians don’t get too upset at you for it. Sometimes in the nature of things you can break rules that your opponents can’t, or vice versa. It can take years to learn the informal rules of the game well enough to play well, and during the learning period you must get a powerful patron or lose and be thrown out of the game.

    Revolution is like that but even more so. Revolution happens when the existing government has so little support that it can’t govern, but it fails to step aside for a more popular regime to replace it.

    There are always revolutionary groups talking about how to take over, but normally they have no more chance than a tiny pine seedlings in a mature pine forest. The big trees shade them out and they can hardly grow. But if somebody cuts down the big trees, the surviving seedlings will grow fast.

    Which revolutionary group takes over when the government is mostly gone and nobody has things organized depends on the “rules of the game”. And occording to how well they play their cards. People who are idealistic and who just want to do good for the world tend to do badly. People who do whatever it takes to seize power tend to win. Eventually one group mostly wins against all the others, and eventually all the leaders but one get purged, along with their supporters –except for the ones who are very good at switching sides.

    At the end of that process you would be very lucky to have a leader who is focused more on doing good for the people or even for his organization, more than on just staying in power. Since if he loses power he can expect to be purged himself. So likely he does whatever the “rules of the game” require to stay in power as his first priority.

    To get a better result, we would want to somehow arrange for leaders to prosper by doing the right thing. During a revolution.

    To get a better government, we would want to somehow arrange for politicians to prosper by doing the right thing.

    In theory, business people are supposed to prosper in a free market by doing what their potential customers want. To the extent that we have prosperity, the system has not completely failed.

    To the extent that false numbers persuade people that the economy is doing well when it isn’t, the media have not completely failed to prop up the government and the giant corporations.

    Maybe more later.

  54. Testing. Testing. I was not able to post my 3rd comment several days ago. I assumed Mr. Burst summarily banned me, but maybe I was wrong.

    Let’s see if this works, of it does, I will ponder your responses and reply.

  55. Hmmm… This is just a quick note:

    #1. Your link says that the virus came from those wet markets. There is Japanese Nobel prize winner in infectious diseases who swears there is no way this virus is not man made.

    #2. Worldometer has faced criticism over transparency of ownership, lack of citations to data sources, and unreliability of its COVID-19 statistics and rankings.[10]

    Numbers have been grossly mistated to support false narratives.

    #3. Polling … Lile 538, have been so flawed that it is a joke. So why why did I mention polling? Because someone here was perplexed that Trump’s approval went up. Personally, I am seeing numerous other metrics as indicators of increaaes, like the rise of WalkAway movement, and some admittedly anecdotal. We shall see come November the truth on that, assuming Democrats dont get their mail in voting and can rig it.

    (More to follow)

  56. Arthur: You would have to do something quite egregious to get banned here.

    Your arguments are beginning to look like a variant on “my followers support me in my email”. Vague references don’t cut it. You may not like the example links I provided, but they are concrete.

  57. skzb

    Arthur: Not sure what happened to your missing comment; I have nothing in my moderation queue, and haven’t deleted anything you’ve said.

  58. skzb

    Found them. For some reason, WordPress decided they were spam. They’re up now.

  59. Arthur:You say you have read and re-read the faq. I am glad you are trying, but it is pretty clear you aren’t understanding the meaning.
    There haven’t been any countries that are Communist as it is the Utopian end goal. By definition, it isn’t any of the things you mention.
    None of the countries you mention were Socialust for all of the reasons in the faq. A Sosialist system could take a number of forms and many of those could be organized in a much more decentralized fashion than the current system we are operating within.

  60. Main problem is, Socialism is a theory (Communism, too, but let’s speak about the socialism first).
    We can argue and theorize about it as much as time allows. Human kind has that discussion for hundreds, if not thousand of years. There were some results of such discussions added to some philosophical teachings, but they were and remain theories as well.
    When sometimes, someone starts practicing Socialism – or rather some group of people start because practicing social theory requires at least being in the society, this is not something one can do alone, – they cannot build their society from scratch. First, there is no place at our world that is scratch enough. Second, there is no place at any world that will remain scratch once people starts building something there. Especially after they do build something there – something that could be of some use by others who want to have it.
    Problem is, you cannot build new society unless your builders believe they build the better place for themselves and their children. Unless they believe their life will be better there. Unless they believe within Socialism they will have something useful they wanted but never had before, and ever had no chance to get.
    Problem is, people are different. And want different things. “Traditional society” with Capitalism being its current evolution top allows anyone believe they can have anything they want, they only need to collect enough coins to buy it. Or research and develop it if that is something being not yet in mass-production.
    Problem is, when you agitate people ‘let’s build Socialism’, you cannot give them proper answer ‘what for’. The answer that will remain good enough for them, and their children, and their children’s children. The answer that is better comparing with what Capitalism provides right now. You can make them believe, yes. You can make Socialism a new better Faith – that’s what actually had been done in the USSR if we throw out the rhetoric and look closely.
    But once people starts looking for answers themselves the Faith is gone. And the building process naturally stops.
    And when the building process stops the building itself after some time happens to became something like that Palace of Fenario – the Palace that ought to break down without any magic plant from inside or scavenging jheregs overhead.

  61. Here a video that provides the scientific studies that prove that Lockdowns do not work…

    https://youtu.be/Z02KAiliqo0

  62. Here is a video of 2 “Subject Matter Experts” on Masks who provide the science of why MASKS DO NOT WORK:

    https://youtu.be/KeovvuviAJM

  63. Here’s some more science for you. Be warned, the deeper you dive into this rabbit hole, the dark the truth becomes, but sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    ** The Correlation Coefficient between COVID-19 Deaths and Influenza Vaccinations: The Numbers Don’t Lie **

    http://qplusnews.com/the-correlation-coefficient-between-covid-19-deaths-and-influenza-vaccinations-the-numbers-dont-lie?

    Regarding HCQ… “Clinical Trials” usually take years, but there is worldwide “anecdotal” evidence that HCQ works and is being used widespread, and yes, there will need to be a true “Clinical Trial” for the efficacy to be fully established, but there is an agenda to suppress such information, so I wouldn’t hold your breath and further, I would find any results that claim it does not work suspect. The article provided here claims that the HCQ in one study is not reliable because HCQ was used with Steroids, but that does not negate it’s efficacy, because just because HCQ is best used in combination does not mean it is not a critical component in a treatment protocol.

  64. Arthur: Thanks for posting some links. The first is citing a Wall Street Journal op ed piece as fact, the second is largely anecdotal evidence from two random people. If you really think masks are useless, then you will be asking any future surgeons to remove theirs while operating upon you?
    For the third, I can find a paper saying the opposite:

    Influenza Vaccination and COVID19 Mortality in the USA Note that this is properly labeled a pre-print that has not yet undergone peer review.

    Citing Q groups, op ed pieces and anecdotal evidence does not make for a scientific study.

  65. Arthur–

    Whether Covid19 was natural or manmade; whether certain drugs used to treat the illness caused by the virus work better or worse; and whether the numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are undercounted, accurately reported, or overcounted, one thing is clear:

    Capitalism, as currently practiced in the United States in 2020, has done an extremely piss poor job of handling it.

  66. Kragar,

    Ahhh, not true. You seem to have missed the entire point.

    You cannot cite an example of a forced contrived (fake) economic collapse that was done for political purposes caused by the very corrupt Democrat Party (UniParty / Deep State / liberal media) “fighting for its survival”, whose ultimate goal is Communism, as proof that capitalism failed, especially when the “narrative” that claims the Trump Administration handled it poorly is ALSO part of the psyop disinformation campaign.

    To put it bluntly, do you realize how laughable it sounds, when you have a Communist Cabal that corruptly tanks the economy and then turns around and says, “You see, Capitalism always collapses so we should try Communism!” The opposing side will literally LOL and say, “You see, Communists are so power hungry that they are willing to tank the economy and destroy people’s lives just so that they can impose their political agenda.” (and for the record, that is exactly what they are saying today. Just take a look at AOC’s [Green New Deal].

    And let’s be clear, the corrupt swamp that Trump is draining has been operating with impunity for 50 to 70 years, or maybe far far longer, so it should be no surprise that the swamp could not be drained over night, not in a constitutional republic it can’t. If this was a dictatorship or if Trump was willing to abuse his Constitutional powers it could easily have been done in the first 6 months of his administration, or sooner. And then the Democrats/Liberal Media like to claim that Trump is a dictator, which is a joke, because “if only he were a dictator it would be so easy! (but at what cost)”

    But, yes, we are in complete agreement that corruption is an evil… but that does not mean that capitalism is evil.

    And before you claim that the corruption we are seeing proves capitalism is evil, bear in mind that many believe that the abuse of power / the corruption / the betrayal we saw in USSR proves that Socialism / Communism is evil. But I would argue that the difference is, corruption and abuse of power in Capitalism can be corrected by peaceful election, whereas the corruption / abuse of power in Socialism / Communism requires overthrowing the regime. And the proof that the corruption in the USofA can be corrected by a peaceful election is President Donald Trump. Of course, we are gonna have to wait and see if AG Barr does indict and prosecute the senior members of the Obama Admin for their treasonous abuse of power before we can really say that with certainty, but it is looking more and more like this is quite probable. At the very least, the intelligence dropped on the Q posts over the past 2+ years has most certainly laid the case out that they do mean business. But we shall see.

  67. The Federal Reserve controls the money supply. The more money flooded into the market, the more money is devalued, and the higher the inflation. It’s simple math. If it’s not palatable to you that I quote Ron Paul as saying it, would you feel better if I wrote:
    “Karl Marx said that the Federal Reserve’s actions of flooding the US Market with more and more $US currency has been a major cause of inflation in the USofA!”

    How’s that?

  68. And btw, the reason I mention that the Covid-19 virus is man made and did not come from those “wet markets” or “animal to human”, is because the article you posted is still claiming the DISINFORMATION LIE “that Covid-19 virus came from wet markets and animal to human transmission”, which tells me that the source you are referencing is controlled by the Deep State, which means NOTHING in that article can be trusted.

    Do you understand?

  69. Arthur:I can’t stress this enough. There isn’t a global “Communist” conspiracy that created COVID to crash the world economy. Sorry, but you are very far afield from rational thought and information now.

  70. Steve.. You can say or stress that as much as you like, but I have seen overwhelming evidence that there is a Globalist Communist cabal.

  71. To be clear, it may not be your or Mr. Brust’s brand of “communism” with your commendable goals, but it will be sold as communism / socialism and it will have all of the abuses and inefficiencies inherent to communism.

  72. Steve,

    The first video cites a Stanford Study, a German Study, a Swiss Study, a Western European Study, etc… dismissing the video because the person who conducted the Stanford Study ALSO wrote an “OP ED” piece discussing his study is just absurd.

    You asked for the science, I gave you the science. Done.

    The second video is of two SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS on masks. It is not “2 random women”… and they discuss AT LENGTH “the science”. You obviously didn’t watch the full video because your comment about “surgeons wearing masks” is addressed. So, if you want to know the science on (a) why the masks don’t do anything to protect you or anyone from the virus, and (b) why the masks are actually harmful, then watch the video. Your choice.

    Again, you asked for the science, I gave you the science. Done.

    So now please do not act like the science is on your side, because it’s not.

  73. The first was a talking head showing many graphs but with no real way of cross checking. The second was two people who don’t appear to be verifiable claiming a number of unverifiable examples.

    That isn’t how science works. Send me a link to their papers and their verifiable credentials.

    I think what we see is how many Trump voters and conspiracy enthusiasts get drawn in.

  74. The first video provides sufficient information on the studies that if you wanted to find them, you could, but you don’t. The two subject matter experts in the second video provide their names and their credentials, and they give a 90 minutes lesson on the science. And, if you wanted to contact them to get more detailed information, you could, but you don’t, because (again) you are not interested in the science. You did not even listen to the second video, and we know this for a fact because if you did, you would not have made the reference to surgeons wearing a mask. You are clearly not interested in the science. If you will not take the time to even listen, then (1) you are not a scientist, and (2) you have no interest in having a serious discussion of the science, and that’s your prerogative, but don’t expect me to take seriously.

  75. Why does the USA have so many Covid cases and deaths compared to places like New Zealand and Vietnam? Because those latter two countries paused the normal rules of the game, did testing and contact tracing, and paid those infected to stay home and recover instead of go to work.

    But in the USA, the profit machine must be fed at all costs. Work or starve is the concept that the masters simply cannot let go. And now they are reaping what they’ve sewn. But naturally the elites themselves have top notch health care and can avoid contact with the “unwashed masses.” So the working class will take the damage, as always.

  76. I watched sufficient to know I didn’t need to watch the whole thing. I saw the names and credentials. It’s pretty clear we aren’t going to agree on this.

    I do find it encouraging that you think skzb has commendable goals. The next step is to realize whatever organization it is that you are afraid of that you are labeling “communism” isn’t really that. People can label (or be labeled by others as it suits their needs) as anything they want. I for example am the grand Emperor of France. As such, the bakers of France are required to bring me their best eclairs every morning. They seem to be late this morning.

    Krager:yep

  77. I find all stated communist goals to commendable, but also truly naive.

    No, you obviously did not watch a sufficient amount of the video or else you would not have made the debunked reference to surgeons wearing masks. And we will definitely never agree when you use arbitrary rationale to ignore science. Here’s some more science that I am sure you will arbitrarily ignore, but who knows, maybe you will like Lancet, since you don’t believe Stanford is reputable enough for you:

    ** LANCET STUDY: A country level analysis measuring the impact of government actions, country preparedness and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality and related health outcomes

    FINDINGS: “Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with COVID-19 mortality per million people.”

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30208-X/fulltext

    Or maybe you will find University of Minnesota reputable enough to respect:

    ** COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data

    https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data

    And regarding the rather glaring Globalist Communist strategy, this video is a good place to start, and rather telling, since this speech from 50 years ago is a chillingly accurate depiction of what we are seeing today:

    ** G. EDWARD GRIFFIN, April 3, 1969, COMMUNIST SMEAR TACTICS, COMMUNIST REVOLUTION IN AMERICA

    https://youtu.be/N7mV98BRCuk

    Add to this, George Soros’ backing the Marxist BLM org whose finances is managed by a convicted terrorist from the weather underground group

    Add to this, George Soros’ backing the Communist ANTIFA terrorist group.

    And all the while, the Democrat State and Local leadership encourages and praises those groups, letting them terrorizing the public, refusing to call in the national guard, but all too willing to call in the national guard to enforce mandatory lockdowns.

    And with the WTO’s and WHO’s preferential treatment of Communist China, this is truly laughably clear their globalist agenda and the role Communism plays in it.

    This list goes on and on, and you want to “stress” that there is no globalist communist cabal??? I don’t think you have really studied the subject, or if you have, your habit of arbitrarily ignoring facts probably blinded you from seeing the writing on the wall.

  78. Kragar,

    >> “Why does the USA have so many Covid cases and deaths compared to places like New Zealand and Vietnam?”

    Maybe because (a) the Democrat Governors FORCED nursing homes to take Covid patients, thus exposing the most vulnerable segment of our population, the elderly, to Covid-19.

    DEMOCRAT –> [NY] Governor Andrew Cuomo
    DEMOCRAT –> [MI] Governor Gretchen Whitmer
    DEMOCRAT –> [PA] Governor Tom Wolf
    DEMOCRAT –> [CA] Governor Gavin Newsom
    DEMOCRAT –> [NJ] Governor Phil Murphy

    Maybe because (b) they have been grossly mis-attributing (bloating) the Cause of Death (CoD) to be Covid, whenever the person simply has Covid in their system, or worse, they just outright LIE, like with the patient in Florida who died from a Motorcycle accident, but his stated CoD was “COVID” ???!!! Bear in mind, each Hospital gets tens of thousands of MORE dollars from the Federal Government if the Hospital labels a patient as “COVID”.

    So I am sorry, but you cannot trust those numbers, as I stated multiple times above.

  79. Arthur:The numbers are intentionally low, as I stated before. Everyone has been making mistakes. No conspiracy needed.
    As Kragar mentions, the REPUBLICAN (see I can use capitals too) admin hid their heads in the sand and didn’t take measures other countries did.

    You continue to seem to operate under the misapprehension that people here must be in favor of Democrats since many don’t seem to like Trump. No, it isn’t shocking news that Democrats act in bad fashions.
    Did you know that the rich don’t, in general, operate to the betterment of the rest of society but rather themselves?
    Host organisms tend to do better without parasites.

  80. It seems that my lengthy comment responding to you (Steve) posted about 2 hours ago is still “awaiting moderation” .. but let me say this, Steve, I am well aware that this community (and skzb) are not fans of the Democrat Party. I speak about them as I do because I have found them (over the past 4 years) to be corrupt to the bone, though I am (still) a registered Democrat and have been a life-long supporter of the Democrat Party, and was raised by 2 liberal democrats. In other words, I know them all too well, and find them to be the cause of many of the problems we see today, far more than many people realize. So even if you here do not support them, you still do not see them for who and what they truly are.

    Regarding your comment about “the rich”…. Did you know that Conservatives donate far more of their money to charity than liberals do? I found that statistic very telling.

    btw…
    Jonah Earl Thomas… I did read your game theory comment and I do find the subject intriguing, in fact, I have long found the subject of game theory rather intriguing, awaiting your next comment before responding, but suffice it to say, I have much to say on the subject. I am particularly interested in how you place Trump & Q vs the Deep State in that game theory framework. You should know that there has been a considerable amount of discussion about game theory in the QAnon community, and from Q himself/herself that is directly focused on this, and why game theory is the really the best framework to use to analyze what is happening today.

  81. Steve… Re numbers, the pattern is so grossly bloating, whilst openly stating that “qualifying characteristic” as covid CoD being “merely the person has the virus” with no causal test being made AT ALL … and then glaring cases of outright lying, the corruption is to widespread to ignore or dismiss as “everyone is making mistakes” . Do you know how many nurses and doctors have posted personal testimonials of the fraud, but then those vidoes get deleted by FB or youtube?

    Our support of the WHO was terminated because they lied one too many times.

    The CDC’s role in reporting was terminated because they lied too many times.

    As we say in NYC…. Do the math.

    And btw, the high mortality rate in the USofA was directly skewed by those nursing homes, so that TOO is major reason our nation had a hifger mortality rate then other nations. Those [D] Governors have blood on their hands.

  82. Arthur:If you want a conspiracy, look no further than QAnon. The conspiracy is this—make money and spread disinformation that will result in more money.

    Trump is an easy game theory — he’s an egocentric con man who isn’t very good at anything he’s tried. The poster child of Dunning-Krueger and narcissistic psychopathy.

  83. Arthur:The Lancet and MN papers are fine and don’t support any of the positions you have mentioned.
    From the Lancet:
    “However, full lockdowns (RR=2.47: 95%CI: 1.08–5.64) and reduced country vulnerability to biological threats (i.e. high scores on the global health security scale for risk environment) (RR=1.55; 95%CI: 1.13–2.12) were significantly associated with increased patient recovery rates.”

    So, it is just cloth masks you are against. N95 masks are indeed what is needed for personal protection. Pity that the admin didn’t build up our stockpile instead of. claiming the virus was a hoax.

    I don’t feel a need to watch an anti Communist video from 1969 since we’ve already covered that there weren’t any Communists against whom it would be railing.

    George Soros? Please. If Soros is really doing pretty much anything you guys claim then he owes a bunch of people back pay.

    China isn’t Communist, by the way. Also, I’ve been there and know a bunch of people. Also, I received a bunch of real face masks from a friend in China when they weren’t available here as he was baffled by our lack.

  84. A reminder of tactics:Right wing tactics follow a pretty set pattern. The Sad|Rabid puppies constructed a straw man adversary and then used that adversary to recruit members. The members often fully believe the net within which they are ensnared even though it is really built out of nothing. The original boogie man they use to construct their campaign is often laughable for people who actually know the real people upon whom the boogie man is constructed. In the case of the puppies, it was various smogs and editors who were accused of running a cabal and so had to be opposed. There was no such cabal.

    Here’s another example in the form of Hux’s speech:
    “Today is the end of the Republic. The end of a regime that acquiesces to disorder. At this very moment in a system far from here, the New Republic lies to the galaxy while secretly supporting the treachery of the loathsome Resistance….”

    Note the straw man construction and twisting of facts. In this case, the speech was then immediately followed by planetcide.

    Be wary of all such approaches.

  85. I think the reason Trump narrowly won the electoral college was that he was not hogtied by a lifetime of indoctrination in conventional politics as his opponents were.

    Example: Trump was able to ask, very sensibly, what is the point of continuing NATO now that the USSR has been gone for decades? Why indeed? His opponents could only look on in disbelief, like they were hearing the squawk of an unintelligible animal. They could not conceive of life without NATO.

    Meanwhile, the voters, always shrewder than the corporate media credits, were following along quite well. And if Trump had actually enacted the policies he promised while on campaign, many of them would have done quite a lot of good indeed.

  86. Krager:Right, he said some good things like that but either didn’t carry through or did the opposite.
    Well, that and a lot of people really disliked Hilary and another number were very fond of the racist/fascist dog whistles he decor his campaign with.

  87. Steve… You are still playing games, you cherry pick a sentence from the Lancet study but ignore the finding that specifically explicitly refers to covid:

    ** LANCET STUDY FINDING:
    “Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with COVID-19 mortality per million people.”

    So yes, this study does corroborate my point.

    Your continued refusal to see the scientific facts makes it impossible for me to take you seriously.

    Sorry.

    And similarly re the 1969 video on the communist agenda. This 1969 speech outlines in chilling detail exactly what we are seeing today, blow by blow, and it thus proves my point about the existence of a GLOBALIST COMMUNIST AGENDA.

    You obviously cannot handle truth and facts, on any of these subjects, so again, please forgive me if I don’t take any of your comments seriously.

  88. My main concern with Hilary was that she was going to “confront” (read: antogonize to a point they would be forced to fight back) Russia, and get us all killed.

    Arthur–

    Since you think the pandemic caused by Covid19 is a fraud launched by a global communist cabal in order to sabotage Trump 2020, then why did Trump go on TV a few days ago and encourage the entire nation to wear masks in public?

  89. Arthur:The sentence I used was just a couple sentences after yours. You know, the one you cherry picked. I’ll just have to live with your not taking me seriously.

  90. One thing I have learned from this discussion is that the right wing/reactionary disinformation campaigns are much larger than I had thought. I had heard they had spread on YouTube but hadn’t realized just how much funding they must have. Many are clearly home brew but many have quite a slick packaged look that only comes from someone spending some money.

  91. The public understandably despises the mainstream corporate media for its countless omissions, distortions, and obfuscations, but the resulting credibility gap is just waiting to be filled from other directions.

  92. If you want the truth from the Doctors on the Front Line who are *ACTUALLY* treating COVID, watch their Press Conference from this morning. If you do not watch this video, then please refrain from commenting on COVID ever again, because you are being so willfully ignorant (and arguably even willfully deceitful) that you are COSTING HUMAN LIVES.

    ** Press Conference – America’s Frontline Doctors Summit **

    https://youtu.be/n9yKtoYxd5Q?t=473

    Please note that NONE of them are wearing a mask… I wonder why not?

    I have nothing more to say on the subject of COVID to you all, because I find your unilateral lack of scientific curiosity to be so intellectually insulting that I don’t see the point in wasting any more time sharing qualified relevant information from MEDICAL EXPERTS with persons who myopically refuse to listen to facts if those facts debunk the narrative that they have invested so much of their psyche and ego into supporting.

    ps…

    I do have much more to say on Communism and the state of affairs of Politics and our government. On this, I have read and will continue to read all of your comments and will ponder and might respond when I have more time.

  93. pps….

    i know where your sentence came from, Steve, and…

    the sentence you picked refers to “biological threats”

    the sentence i picked refers to “COVID-19 mortality”

    are we speaking about “biological threats” in general,
    or are we speaking about COVID-19 specifically?

    We were speaking about COVID-19, specifically,
    which means my quote was relevant and applicable,
    and yours was cheery-picked, irrelevant, and NOT applicable,

    which means that your quote constitutes willful deceit.

    ’nuff said

  94. Arthur–

    I watched your video. I wonder why the agency that created it, America’s Frontline Doctors, gave themselves a name so eerily similar to America’s Frontline Physicians, an umbrella group that includes six real professional medical organizations? (American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, etc.)?

    https://www.aafp.org/media-center/releases-statements/all/2020/covid19-further-actions.html

    An umbrella group that says just the opposite?

    Could it have been to attempt a deception, to portray this right-wing fringe group of doctors as being widely accepted by their colleagues in the medical field? Apparently it worked on you. Since we are discussing commentators who live inside echo chambers and only listen to “facts” that fit their narrative.

    I’ll ask again: if the pandemic is a hoax, why did Trump go on television last week with a mask and urge everyone to start wearing one?

  95. Kragar:Good catch. And I agree that the failure of the mainstream media has allowed the fringe to fill the void.

    Arthur:I don’t need to watch some fringe group of doctors when I actually know real doctors and nurses who are treating Covid patient. They very much do wear masks and take great care with infectious routines.

  96. As Q said, it’s all about game theory when dealing with public perception. You see, you cannot simply “tell someone” a thing that challenges what they believe, not if they’ve been lied to over and over by a [DNC / DEEP STATE] controlled liberal media that CONTINUES to overwhelm them with disinformation…

    YOU HAVE TO SHOW THEM.

    Ask yourself, who does this pandemic benefit… and in what way?

    What is the [DNC] using this pandemic to push?

    Answer: [MAIL IN VOTING].

    That is their [END GAME].

    Use your head.

    This is chess, my friends.

    Trump Administration needs to EXPOSE the corruption FIRST before he can call out the pandemic hoax for what it is… and even then, each of their lies must be debunked PIECE BY PIECE.

    Today’s PRESS CONFERENCE was ONE PIECE.

    And calling them a “fringe” group is just more of that [wilful deceit] I was referring to….

    And yup! RIGHT ON Q … just what I expected… more of that [wilful ignorance] from Steve.

    Thanks for playing.

  97. Arthur–

    If I were to create a new organization and call it the Americans Medical Association and dress up a bunch of “doctors” who, in oddly inarticulate and unscientific fashion, tell everyone that Covid is a hoax and they can stop wearing masks, who is going to take that seriously?

    I feel like your heart is in the right place and you are genuinely trying to convey what you believe is urgent information. It seems likely that my economic interests and yours intersect heavily, and we have some of the same scepticism, although we have taken it in different directions.

    Not asked snarkily, I legitimately want your honest take: why do you believe Trump went on TV to tell everyone to start wearing masks?

  98. Kragar … I also do not wish to be snarky, but why are you asking me questions that I have already answered?

  99. Was this what you were referring to?

    “Trump Administration needs to EXPOSE the corruption FIRST before he can call out the pandemic hoax for what it is… and even then, each of their lies must be debunked PIECE BY PIECE.”

    If so, I legitimately do not understand. Break it down for me. I am not following. Asked in good faith, it has been puzzling me since it happened.

  100. For those who want more of the facts:

    ** Frontline Doctors Discuss Lockdown Consequences, Hydroxychloroquine

    https://youtu.be/0W5VS9gJZ6s

    ** White Paper on Hydroxychloroquine
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-gsn_Ye2EYDDkV_79Ag1tgUqZLNCMSt-/view

    This is the culmination of months-long research from all sources. It explains how Americans have come to be in the grip of fear. All the myths and all the misconceptions about a safe, generic drug that has been FDA approved for 65 years, given to pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children, the elderly and the immune-compromised for years and decades without complication, are finally put in the trash heap where they belong. You will have the indisputable proof that you have been massively lied to, often very intentionally. At first you will first be heartbroken. And then you will be furious. Good. Because then you will demand change.

    ** Compendium of HCQ Studies
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l6y3L_KGb1ilMW0FaP4VZsd7WvX2IU3z/view

    The safety of HCQ is irrefutable. The evidence supporting HCQ efficacy against Covid-19 is also overwhelming. All negative HCQ studies have used either: too much, used it alone (it needs Zinc), or used it late (it should be early.) The treatment dose is 200 mg HCQ twice a day for five days + Zinc 50 (elemental) daily. The prophylactic dose is 400 mg HCQ weekly + Zinc 50 (elemental) daily. (There are studies right now to see if HCQ 200 mg. weekly is sufficient.) This is very low dose. (The usual dose of HCQ in Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis is 400 mg. daily for years.) There are telemedicine physicians who are aware of the facts and if you are concerned about this, please see one. It is also over the counter in many places in the world including Indonesia and most of South America.

  101. Kragar….

    “Break it down” for you? Break down “what” exactly… for you?

    The [lies associated with the Pandemic] or [ALL the lies] and [ALL the corruption] and [ALL the treason] (by the [Democrats/ Deep State] colluding with the [liberal media]?

    Forgive me, but I have to laugh. You see, in many ways, I have already answered this and these questions. In fact, I have spent considerable time patiently breaking things down, but it appears as if you are not able to hear, so why should I waste time repeating what you cannot hear? If you are serious, then reread what I have written and reconsider what you THINK you know and what you REALLY you know.

    And, if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, try pondering what Q wrote 2 years ago:
    =============
    [POSTED BY Q ON AUG.19th, 2018]

    The ‘TRILOGY’.
    MOVIE 1 [Full]: The ‘START’
    PLOT: How the intelligence apparatus, State Dept, and Dept of “JUSTICE” of the United States, in joint effort w/ our (x) primary foreign allies + other covert assets, as directed by HUSSEIN [WH] in coordination w/ HRC, colluded and conspired to RIG THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2016 in an effort to install HRC, frame POTUS (PROJECTION!), create emergency contingencies re: installation of SAFEGUARDS and FIREWALLS to PREVENT EXPOSURE OR CONTINUATION OF PRESIDENCY SHOULD COUNTER FAIL TO ENSURE OPERATORS, ACTORS, AGENTS OF POWER, PAST & PRESENT, REMAIN IN CONTROL, AND USE SOURCES/COVERT ASSETS OF THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA TO CARRY OUT X-FRAME BARRAGE OF STRATEGIC COORDINATED [GUIDED] ATTACKS DESIGNED TO DIVIDE, COVER/SHELTER, JUSTIFY IMPEACHMENT/REMOVAL IN EFFORT TO REGAIN CONTROL AND PREVENT PUBLIC AWARENESS OF ILLEGAL, CRIMINAL, TREASONOUS ACTS [MOVIES 1-3 FULL LIST].
    Coming SOON to a theater near you.
    MOVIE 2 – Coming this FALL.
    MOVIE 3 – TBA
    Enjoy the show.
    Q

  102. I’ll ask for a fourth time. If the Covid19 pandemic is a hoax, why did Trump go on TV last week and encourage everyone to start wearing masks?

  103. Kragar… I have already answered this question.

  104. I apologize. That last was actually the fifth time. This is now the sixth. And yes, I have carefully read all your posts in this thread, and thought about them. Nowhere did I find an answer to this question:

    If the pandemic caused by the Covid19 virus is a hoax, why did Trump go on TV last week and encourage all people in the United States to wear masks?

    If you do not know the answer, I am interested in your speculation, as you have clearly studied and thought about this pandemic and the government’s response to it.

  105. Kragar, your question has a background assumption, that we can expect Trump to be consistent.

    But we have seen that Trump says whatever he wants to, regardless what he has said before. You cannot expect him to make sense.

    He can announce one day that the virus is a hoax and announce another day that everybody should wear masks, and that’s just Trump being Trump. He does not accept any obligation that what he says one day will match up to what he says another day, or the same day. Or for that matter he makes no promise not to contradict himself in the same sentence.

    If Trump himself says that no Trump ever tells the truth, is that statement true or a lie?

    Answer: It’s Trump saying it. He has no concept of truth.

    It’s like, if you wrote a computer program that answered each yes-or-no question using a random number generator that gave a 50% chance of a yes answer, would it be fair to say that the program lies half the time? No, I don’t think that would be fair.

  106. Jonah–

    What you say about Trump appears to be true. But it seemed he was very consistent with his previous position, which I gathered to be that the pandemic was not a big deal and that states should open their economies back up. But last week struck me as a dramatic about-face, and I can’t figure out why he would do that.

  107. Kragar:I think they (Arthur) are trying to claim that Trump is such a vast genius that he is playing 12 dimensional chess and trying to question any given move is not for us mere mortals. Trump moves in mysterious ways in other words.

    It is all very reminiscent of the ways mysterious cults have always operated.

  108. Apparently I would not make much of a cultist.

  109. This quote seems pretty relevant to our current ruling class and the discussions:
    “The history of all revolutions and civil wars invariably testifies that a threatened or an overthrown ruling class is disposed to find the cause of its misfortunes, not in itself, but in foreign agents and emissaries.” — Trotsky

  110. the choices are d, r, or violent upheaval during a pandemic.

    i’m disinclined to the last, as the death toll will be increased.

  111. skzb

    You seem to still be thinking, in spite of all historical evidence, that a revolution, or another form of “violent upheaval” is something one decides to do or decides not to do. We can have an influence on whether it is successful or not; but not if or when it takes place.

  112. A word of note, to prove my point about the DNC/ Deep State’s control of media today. Over 16 million people viewed that video I posted above entitled:
    “Press Conference – America’s Frontline Doctors Summit”

    Well, if you were to try to click that link now, which I will provide again here:

    https://youtu.be/n9yKtoYxd5Q?t=473

    … you will find that the video has been taken down. Too late. You should have watched it when I first posted it.

    FACT: The Deep State is censoring any positive news about Covid-19.

    Ask yourself, “WHY?”

    It’s obvious, they want the country hurting because they believe it will help Joe Biden win the election. And THAT is a prime example of why I say that the Democrat Party is corrupt to bone. That video could save the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people, but the Democrat Party does not care about saving lives, all they care about is winning elections. It truly makes me sick to the stomach.

  113. Mr. Brust …. you wrote:
    >> “You seem to still be thinking, in spite of all historical evidence, that a revolution, or another form of “violent upheaval” is something one decides to do or decides not to do. We can have an influence on whether it is successful or not; but not if or when it takes place.”

    Several points, if I may…

    First, I would respectfully ask you to define “we”?

    Second, I would say, “Speak for yourself.”

    Third…
    Do you truly not believe that there are person(s), in every age, who have the power to influence things at a mass scale, like a revolution, so much so, that that one person can change the course of history.

    Fourth…
    While you say “all” historical evidence, I would respectfully ask you to provide just “one” piece of “historical evidence” that proves what you think it proves about Revolutions, namely, that revolutions are beyond any one person’s control to ignite (or not ignite/ neutralize). I would suggest that there might have been hundreds of “potential” revolutions over the centuries that were averted because of the actions of one singular soul … one soul in the right place at the right time with the right action (or inaction)… and how would you know?

    Fifth…
    There are several ancient Warrior proverbs that come to mind:

    “He sipped his tea and stopped a war.”
    – The Lady Toda – Ninpo Proverb

    In Aikido, we study the principle of “ONE POINT” wherein we find a “singular point” on the opponent’s body wherein, with no effort, one can move your opponent. This is the essence of the principle of “AI-KI” (harmonious energy), and that same principle can be applied universally, to any one or any thing, including a populace.

    How familiar are you with Miyamoto Musashi, widely considered to be the greatest Samurai Swordsman who ever lived, and his seminal work:
    GO RIN NO SHO – “The Book of Five Rings”
    Well, here is what Miyamoto Musashi wrote the GO RIN NO SHO about this same (universal) principle:

    === ===
    If you master the principles of sword-fencing,
    when you freely beat one man,
    you beat any man in the world.
    The spirit of defeating a man
    is the same for ten million men.
    The strategist makes small things
    into big things, like building a great
    Buddha from a one foot model.
    I cannot write in detail how this is done.
    The principle of strategy is having one thing,
    to know ten thousand things.
    Things of Ichi school are written in this the Water book.
    – From GO RIN NO SHO
    – “The Book of Five Rings”
    – by Miyamoto Musashi
    === ===

  114. > We can have an influence on whether it is successful or not; but not if or when it takes place

    Speaking about ‘revolution’ we – assuming we have enough influence – can delay it until it becomes so unsuccessful no one dares to start actually act. And that would be ‘good enough’ for current rulers.
    No “revolutional-ready” situation delivers the revolution by itself. Without people believe in their victory there will be nothing. So the revolution is not a process of making things or moving armies. It is the process of making beliefs and widespreading them.
    So we can deal with the famous haunting spectre of communism the same way they do with all spectres – with “Disbelieve” enchantment. A strong thing to perform, but Sethra is qualified enough.

  115. Arthur:The video was taken down because it violated YouTube’s terms. In other words, they found it a deliberate attempt to spread misinformation.

    Now, we could have a discussion on whether we want corporations policing our ability to speak freely, but that is quite different than a “deep state” conspiracy.

    By the way, in case you hadn’t noticed, this is skzb’s blog so he is speaking for himself and can use whatever words he wishes to use.

  116. Piper “the choices are d, r, or violent upheaval during a pandemic.”

    It isn’t a choice.

    We can talk about what we would prefer.

    And then things happen.

    I think we would all prefer a world where everyone has opportunities to make good contributions to society, where everyone can easily meet their needs, where everyone can sees that they can achieve their dreams with sufficient effort and a little luck.

    We have a society where giant government and giant corporations stifle most people. And we are running out of critical resources — particularly fossil fuels — and the world is not big enough to handle our toxic waste products.

    We can’t do much about it in the short run because giant government and giant corporations are stifling us. You can argue that we deserve to have a free market that would let you succeed. But we don’t. You can argue that we deserve to have a caring system that would take care of everybody. But we don’t.

    You can argue that there are people who have won the game who deserve to keep running things because they won. But — when you play Monopoly somebody is sure to win. But when they do then the game is over and you can start a new game or walk away. We don’t have any way to end the game. It will continue until the system falls apart.

    Revolution is the name we give it when the system falls apart. “Revolutionaries” talk about destroying the system, but they are scavengers. When an adult bison dies of disease or old age etc, various animals — buzzards etc — will show up to eat the corpse. They didn’t kill it, they just show up.

    It doesn’t matter whether we prefer that the system falls apart sooner versus later. We don’t get a vote.

  117. skzb

    Jaerraeth: No argument.

  118. For anyone that is interested in the credentials of all the “ white coat doctors “ that are being discredited and banned…. Here you go!!!

    The panel of doctors that were banned

    Simone Gold, MD – Emergency Medicine Specialist in Los Angeles, CA and has over 31 years of experience in the medical field. She graduated from Rosalind Franklin University Of Medicine Science/The Chicago Medical School medical school in 1989. She is affiliated with Centinela Hospital Medical Center.

    Dr. Bob Hamilton – pediatrician from Santa Monica, California. Medical School UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA. Internship UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA. Residency UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.

    Dr. Stella Emmaneul – primary care doctor in Houston, Tx. Went to medical school in West Africa, Nigeria. Has practiced in Louisiana and now resides in Texas where she has treated more than 350 Covid patients.

    Dr. Dan Erickson, DO – Emergency Medicine Specialist in Bakersfield, CA and has over 16 years of experience in the medical field. He graduated from Western Univ Of Health Sciences/College Of Osteopathic Medicine Of The Pacific, Western University Of Health Sciences medical school in 2004. (While both degrees mean your doctor is a licensed physician, their training differs slightly, and each has a unique perspective on care. “An M.D. follows an allopathic medical training path, whereas a D.O. follows osteopathic,”)

    Dr. James Todaro, MD – a Ophthalmology Specialist received his medical degree from Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in NY, and completed his surgical training with four additional years of residency in ophthalmology.

    Dr. Joe Ladapo MD, PhD – Physician at UCLA and clinical researcher. Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2011.
    Residency Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Med Ctr-East Campus, 2009-2011.
    Internship Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Med Ctr-East Campus, 2008-2009. Degree Harvard Medical School, MD, 2008 Harvard University Grad. School of Arts, Sciences, PhD, 2008.

    These people should be American Heroes bringing important information and dialogue to light but instead they are being censored and bullied…. don’t you think it’s time you began to ask why?

  119. I think I’ll stick to the advice of my own doctors rather than people like Dr. Stella Emmaneul aka Dr. demon sperm.

  120. Arthur–

    If the pandemic is a hoax, why would Dr. Stella Immanuel need to treat over 350 Covid19 patients?

    Anyway, back to the original post. skzb wrote that he has noticed the pandemic is causing more and more people to question and even despise the current setup.

    It appears to me that you fit this description, although perhaps for different reasons. If the current system continues to falter and sooner or later fails, what would you recommend as a replacement?

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