Why the left is losing the war.

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j.m.

ygtbk wrote:

von Hayek wrote "The Road to Serfdom" as a warning that totalitarianism (whether labelled as fascism or communism) was a threat to liberty. The book is not about taxes, regardless of what Jeffrey Sachs says - read it for yourself. The subsequent history of the 20th and 21st centuries has, I think, proved that von Hayek's warning was prescient.

Not really, but nice revisionism.

 

Quote:

Interviewer wrote:

In your book "The Road to Serfdom" you said that it is possible to have economic freedom without political freedom but that political freedom will never be possible without economic freedom. Is this not to posit the economy as the most decisive factor in countries' lives? Does this not limit or reduce everything that makes us human to economic value?

von Hayek wrote:

It is very simple: a country can have a proper political life only if the economic system allows its people to survive. Not counting, of course, with the ever-growing problem of population growth. Very well, people need to survive. And I am convinced that it is only in the free market, following the competitive market order, that all these people can be kept alive. It is precisely the policies of the left that attempt to impede those economic mechanisms that for me are the only ones that can give us everything we need. In the West, in particular, access by the masses to a certain degree of well-being has been the result of the general rise in a country's wealth, not of so-called "social justice". "Social justice" has rather prevented the elimination of poverty. The interference of the powers that be in the mechanisms of the market has succeeded only in provoking greater injustices in the form of new privileges in favour of particular interests. Let me remind you that democracy needs the broom of strong governments. Unfortunately, democracies are at times allowing governments too much power. This is why I am very careful to distinguish between "limited democracies" and "unlimited democracies". And obviously my choice is for limited democracies. 

Who likes dictators? (kinda)

Quote:

Interviewer wrote:

What opinion, in your view, should we have of dictatorships?


von Hayek wrote:


Well, I would say that, as long-term institutions, I am totally against dictatorships. But a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period. At times it is necessary for a country to have, for a time, some form or other of dictatorial power. As you will understand, it is possible for a dictator to govern in a liberal way. And it is also possible for a democracy to govern with a total lack of liberalism. Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism. My personal impression ? and this is valid for South America - is that in Chile, for example, we will witness a transition from a dictatorial government to a liberal government. And during this transition it may be necessary to maintain certain dictatorial powers, not as something permanent, but as a temporary arrangement.

Taken from: http://www.fahayek.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121

---

If the quotes are lost on some (despite their clarity) may I remind you that this interview was done in Chile in 1981. Gee, I wonder what Hayek was doing in Chile in the 1980s...

JKR

Iwant Liberty wrote:

On a related note, are there any folks here who share my view that government is never beneficial for the common man?

I think the common man appreciates government that provides:

- public health care

- public education

- student loans

- public pensions

- social housing

- R & D

- the judicial system

- the police

- basic infrastructure like roads, mass transit, electricity, water works, etc...

- public spaces and public parks

- public libraries

- public information

- consumer protection

- minimum wages

- labour standards

- union rights

- progressive taxation

- minimum wages

- poverty reduction

- equality of opportunity

- democracy where the rights of the "common man" are equal to the rights of the "rich man"

Iwant Liberty

j.m. wrote:

Well, there is a difference between government and the state. The state was built on a European framework, inherently corrupt, colonialist and broken. Government existed before the state, and in a variety of forms. Are you against all forms of government?

I've not heard that distinction between the state & government before.  I think the Imperial governments (states, as you say?) haven't done well for the people.  Monarchies don't serves the folks.  Neither do dictactorships.  And I'm worried about Democracies since they appear to degenerate with one group vying for power over another (big banks, big corp's, etc.).  What have governments brought us in the last century or two (or three or four)?  Bigger financial booms and busts.  Bigger wars.  More inequality.   More conflict between citizens.  It's not a good story. 

Not to say that there is not a reason to find a better way forward.

absentia

Iwant Liberty wrote:

  What have governments brought us in the last century or two (or three or four)

See #42. It's worth re-reading.

ReeferMadness

True socialism is a utopian construct for which I'm not sure the world will ever be ready.  Anarchy is a utopian stretch ahead of socialism. Anarchy (almost by definition) will fail to deliver solutions to worldwide problems. 

First, we need to dump the hamster-wheel economy where the focus seems to be on keeping everyone busy at work - regardless of whether the work is important or even productive.  When people can free themselves of the day-to-day grind of putting food on the table, then solutions can come.

 

siamdave

The problem as I see it is that people look at governments like the US or Canada, say that they are doing things I don't like, and in many cases most people don't like, and therefore all government is bad and we need to get rid of them all! But these are not democratic governments - they are a kind of partially democratic government at best, the result of hundreds of years of struggle by our ancestors to put some control on the god-kings, and the others since then who have thought they had the right to some kind of absolute rule of "their" kingdoms. The struggle is far from over, and indeed has taken some large steps backwards since the 70s and the ascent of neocon-ism

The thing is, even now, that these governments are stopped from doing even worse things because of that small democratic influence we still exert - we do have the power to cause them considerable grief if we get riled enough, as the apparently completely helpless peasants of the French Revolution demonstrated, so they must take steps to try to keep us quiet, to make us believe their rule is 'democratic' which, of course, it is anything but - I've done a small essay if anyone is interested demonstrating how phony even our great Canadian 'democracy' is - The Democracy Scam http://www.rudemacedon.ca/dlp/box/box03-democracy.html .

If we just join the anti-government crowd and let them reduce the role of government even more - it's not going to be the stuff we *don't* like that gets lessened, it's going to be the things we *do* like that get lessened - as we are seeing today, with cuts to health care, spending on education, generally programs that look after 'we the people' in some way. And they stuff we don't like - they'll just ramp it up, with even less constraints on what they do.

What we need to do is get *more* democracy in our governments, maybe even dreaming some day of some kind of *full* democracy, where government becomes, really, what it is meant to be, when talked of by social democrats, at least - government of, by and for the people. Currently, to make the distinction clear, we have government of, by and for the wealthy elite in our society, with a few democratic voices allowed to speak and even get listened to a bit - but never actually changing anything the Big Voices want done.

So for me at least, this is the fight I see - to get the pretend-democracy out of our government, and establish a real democracy. It's not 'government' that is bad - but 'false democratic government run by people we don't like doing things we do not want done'. There's a big difference - but we do very much *need* a government of, by and for the people to present a united front against the small number of powerful, ruthless predators in any human society who will take over if given a chance - and rule by these people is very unpleasant, as history demonstrates in far too many examples. There are a few people in Canada who believe things differently than I do - but I am very sure that if we ever had *real* democracy here, with citizens all across Canada insisting on their democratic right to talk about every important issue nationally, look for and find in most cases some kind of agreeable consensus, the best path for us all ('greatest good for the greatest number' sort of thing), and accept the right of the majority in cases where consensus cannot be reached (or, to put it another way, to have no more 'rule of the minority'). Currently, we aren't even close to that - and agitating to get rid of government, or reduce its power, is going backwards.

In my opinion. 

j.m.

absentia wrote:

Iwant Liberty wrote:

  What have governments brought us in the last century or two (or three or four)

See #42. It's worth re-reading.

Yes, only possible under the state? When you say governments over the last 4 centuries, and when they are imagined as Western, you are referring to the state.

The other ways of claiming securities and performing duties (which created shared/collective goods) are always missed. And the lack of Western "goods" is perceived as bad, whereas what existed in other places is almost always overlooked. And then the colonial projects, partly possible through the general truce of Western sovereigns to not destroy eachother (while going carte blanche in primarily non-European and thus "non-state" lands) is never told as part of the story.

 

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:

Fidel wrote:

And just look where NATO is today. They've expanded into Eastern Europe and Central Asia in surrounding their former cold war adversaries. The US is the only superpower now with nuclear weapons on foreign soil and roaming the seven seas. The US Military still maintains anywhere from 700 to 1000 foreign military and other air bases, communications installations etc in foreign countries and spending on all things military at a rate of 50% of all other countries on earth combined. And this is supposedly to protect America and Europe from a cold war threat that doesn't exist anymore. There can be no legitimate purpose for nuclear weapons.

I don't support the national security state. However, I'm not sure that we'll all feel safer when China achieves military parity with the United States. Unilateral disarmament is suicide. Arms-reduction treaties have had some effect and we can hope that they will continue to yield reductions in the stockpiles of the nuclear nations.

What would you think to corrupt politicians and bureaucrats selling nuclear weapons secrets to the highest bidder while their own government claims to be interested in reduction?

http://larryflynt.com/?p=693

What would you say if China or SCO countries were to conduct war games and put on a show of military might [url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20517]with Central American countries in the Gulf of Mexico?[/url]

trippie

@ I want liberty.

I think your problem with government is not really with government but with our governmental system developed by the bourgeoisie using a capitalist socio-economic formula.

Why do I say that? Because that is your only source of understanding, as you have never experience anything else.

You see, humans form government for a reason. The reason is when humans form groups larger the 150 people, they need a hierarchical structure to maintain social norms.

It has been discovered that the human brain can not singlehandedly maintain a social structure above this number. Order must be maintain, for one to feel safe.

The problem you have then, as I think, is as stated above.

trippie

Getting back to the original statement, Why the Left is Losing the War.

If you look at my last post, I state that humans can not maintain social structures larger then 150. At that point a hierarchical structure must be built, to maintain social norms.

The social norms have been built and propagated by the bourgeoisie.

For Socialism to start it's advance and win the war, Socialism needs to become our social norm.

That then begs What is to be done? Well Lenin already wrote that book and we witness what happened there after. Lets not repeat the mistakes.

We need to start taking control of our immediate surrounding implementing Socialist structures.

Number one on my list is the working class start holding their own inquiries into what happens in our society. If there is a police shooting, we investigate, Government bullshit, again we investigate. Once we set up a system it becomes the norm. We can let the bourgeoisie hold their own, but that does not mean we have to listen to them.

Number two is starting adding our history into the class room.

Number three, we become more militant. We tell them what we are going to do and then do it. They have to capitulate not us.

and on and on.

Create the social norms, that is job one.

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Fidel wrote:

And just look where NATO is today. They've expanded into Eastern Europe and Central Asia in surrounding their former cold war adversaries. The US is the only superpower now with nuclear weapons on foreign soil and roaming the seven seas. The US Military still maintains anywhere from 700 to 1000 foreign military and other air bases, communications installations etc in foreign countries and spending on all things military at a rate of 50% of all other countries on earth combined. And this is supposedly to protect America and Europe from a cold war threat that doesn't exist anymore. There can be no legitimate purpose for nuclear weapons.

I don't support the national security state. However, I'm not sure that we'll all feel safer when China achieves military parity with the United States. Unilateral disarmament is suicide. Arms-reduction treaties have had some effect and we can hope that they will continue to yield reductions in the stockpiles of the nuclear nations.

What would you think to corrupt politicians and bureaucrats selling nuclear weapons secrets to the highest bidder while their own government claims to be interested in reduction?

http://larryflynt.com/?p=693

What would you say if China or SCO countries were to conduct war games and put on a show of military might [url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20517]with Central American countries in the Gulf of Mexico?[/url]

I would say "this is what I'm talking about":

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/09/world/europe/09prexy.html

ygtbk

j.m. wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

von Hayek wrote "The Road to Serfdom" as a warning that totalitarianism (whether labelled as fascism or communism) was a threat to liberty. The book is not about taxes, regardless of what Jeffrey Sachs says - read it for yourself. The subsequent history of the 20th and 21st centuries has, I think, proved that von Hayek's warning was prescient.

Not really, but nice revisionism.

 

Quote:

Interviewer wrote:

In your book "The Road to Serfdom" you said that it is possible to have economic freedom without political freedom but that political freedom will never be possible without economic freedom. Is this not to posit the economy as the most decisive factor in countries' lives? Does this not limit or reduce everything that makes us human to economic value?

von Hayek wrote:

It is very simple: a country can have a proper political life only if the economic system allows its people to survive. Not counting, of course, with the ever-growing problem of population growth. Very well, people need to survive. And I am convinced that it is only in the free market, following the competitive market order, that all these people can be kept alive. It is precisely the policies of the left that attempt to impede those economic mechanisms that for me are the only ones that can give us everything we need. In the West, in particular, access by the masses to a certain degree of well-being has been the result of the general rise in a country's wealth, not of so-called "social justice". "Social justice" has rather prevented the elimination of poverty. The interference of the powers that be in the mechanisms of the market has succeeded only in provoking greater injustices in the form of new privileges in favour of particular interests. Let me remind you that democracy needs the broom of strong governments. Unfortunately, democracies are at times allowing governments too much power. This is why I am very careful to distinguish between "limited democracies" and "unlimited democracies". And obviously my choice is for limited democracies. 

Who likes dictators? (kinda)

Quote:

Interviewer wrote:

What opinion, in your view, should we have of dictatorships?


von Hayek wrote:


Well, I would say that, as long-term institutions, I am totally against dictatorships. But a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period. At times it is necessary for a country to have, for a time, some form or other of dictatorial power. As you will understand, it is possible for a dictator to govern in a liberal way. And it is also possible for a democracy to govern with a total lack of liberalism. Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism. My personal impression ? and this is valid for South America - is that in Chile, for example, we will witness a transition from a dictatorial government to a liberal government. And during this transition it may be necessary to maintain certain dictatorial powers, not as something permanent, but as a temporary arrangement.

Taken from: http://www.fahayek.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121

---

If the quotes are lost on some (despite their clarity) may I remind you that this interview was done in Chile in 1981. Gee, I wonder what Hayek was doing in Chile in the 1980s...

You do know that "The Road To Serfdom" was written in the 1940s, not the 1980s, right? Have you read it?

The point about economic liberty being a precondition of political liberty is pretty obvious. In the extreme case, if there is no employer but the State, then anyone with unpopular political opinions is in trouble. So his warnings about limited vs. unlimited democracies seem pretty relevant to, say, Venezuela, although he obviously didn't have Chavez specifically in mind when he made them.

With respect to Chile, his predicted transformation from dictatorship to democracy has in fact occurred:

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/01/17/is_the_pinochet_era_final_over

remind remind's picture

war = patriarchial POV

Kloch

"a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period"

 

For a guy in favour of freedom, he sure sounsd like a good Bolshevik.

siamdave

#62, ygbtk: "..The point about economic liberty being a precondition of political liberty is pretty obvious .."

- anyone who thinks we have ecnomic freedom in Canada is watching too much tv - a read of this might be helpful -
What Happened? http://www.rudemacedon.ca/what-happened.html .

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

ygtbk wrote:

With respect to Chile, his predicted transformation from dictatorship to democracy has in fact occurred:

The problem is his theoretical works conveniently never talk about the transition including murdering thousands of the best and brightest left wing activists, exiling the ones who could escape and terrorizing the rest of the population until it accepts that there is no system except the American imperial way.

I hate people glorifying the murder of Chileans in the name of democracy.  That 9/11 was good for them and their country is a lie and brutal revision of the pain and suffering inflicted on the Chilean people.

___________________________________________

Soothsayers had a better record of prediction than economists

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:

Fidel wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Fidel wrote:

And just look where NATO is today. They've expanded into Eastern Europe and Central Asia in surrounding their former cold war adversaries. The US is the only superpower now with nuclear weapons on foreign soil and roaming the seven seas. The US Military still maintains anywhere from 700 to 1000 foreign military and other air bases, communications installations etc in foreign countries and spending on all things military at a rate of 50% of all other countries on earth combined. And this is supposedly to protect America and Europe from a cold war threat that doesn't exist anymore. There can be no legitimate purpose for nuclear weapons.

I don't support the national security state. However, I'm not sure that we'll all feel safer when China achieves military parity with the United States. Unilateral disarmament is suicide. Arms-reduction treaties have had some effect and we can hope that they will continue to yield reductions in the stockpiles of the nuclear nations.

What would you think to corrupt politicians and bureaucrats selling nuclear weapons secrets to the highest bidder while their own government claims to be interested in reduction?

http://larryflynt.com/?p=693

What would you say if China or SCO countries were to conduct war games and put on a show of military might [url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20517]with Central American countries in the Gulf of Mexico?[/url]

I would say "this is what I'm talking about":

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/09/world/europe/09prexy.html

More disarmament rhetoric. Nuclear weapons are still key to American "defense" strategy. The truth is always something different than what we see in newspaper headlines for public consumption. And they are still pursuing policies of nuclear blackmail and threatening other countries with nuclear weapons.

In fact, there are no reductions of nuclear weapons. There are only increases in NATO and US Military expansion into Asia and beyond. They are doing basic research into new WMD at publicly funded universities, like Lawrence Livermore labs in California. They will be creating the most deadly biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction ever conceived.

And the nukes? They still want to put them in space. The want to weaponize space because US hawks tell everybody they want peace. And they are lying through their teeth when they say these kinds of things. Since dubya the US president now has the authority to launch nuclear weapons without an approval from Congress. This is unprecedented.

There can be no legitimate purpose for nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.

 

mahmud

"Why the left is losing the war?"

 

Because the right has the power, means and media to besot the public. I bet the tories will get their majority and I bet that in 20 years there will be no difference between Canadians and Americans when it comes to political unculture and iliteracy.

Sean in Ottawa

In Canada today I think the left is losing the war because it is not understanding what the war is about.

The left supposes that the battle is about the control of the government of Canada. It isn't. The Cons are not trying to control the government; they are trying to destroy it. Their purpose is not to turn the economic power of the government to their own ends (in spite of the huge defence spending announcements); their purpose is to render the economic power of the government as impotent.

Only once the left understand that the captain of this ship wants to sink rather than control it, will they understand either what needs to be done or how to do it.

The left is playing a whole game behind this government-- they are fighting for the policies of today when the government could not care less about them. The real battle is over the policies of tomorrow. The right wing are intent on changing the landscape so much that future governments will not be able to make sovereign decisions. As I have said elsewhere what is happening is a coup against future elected governments. Until they realize this and what the end-game is, they will be playing a whole game behind the Cons and irrelevant with every step.

Harper had done a lot of Damage before 2008 and was prepared to hand over a broken government to the coalition and seriously considered doing just that it turns out (Harperland). Instead a new opportunity to break further the economy came through the stimulus program and the opposition missed it until it was too late. Spent properly the stimulus money could have made investments in infrastructure Canada needed and taken a public initiative. Spent cleverly with sabotage in mind not only does that not happen but the money is gone not available for future governments to spend. Our current situation is one in which the government is singing restraint in some areas but wildly spending out of existence as much federal fiscal capacity as it can -- new tax-cuts, long-term military procurement contracts-- anything to get the money out of the hands of the next government.

The left is too busy fighting this current government's battles to realize that the whole war is happening over the next government's choices. The left would have been smarter to realize this and let the cons play restraint games in 2008 and defeat the government rather than let it have a chance at taking even more precious money out of play for the next government.

The left is losing the war because it does not know where the current battle is.

Cueball Cueball's picture

We aren't losing any wars.

RosaL

ygtbk wrote:

The point about economic liberty being a precondition of political liberty is pretty obvious. 

 

I think so, too. That's the historical materialist view and part of the reason I'm a marxist.

JKR

RosaL wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

The point about economic liberty being a precondition of political liberty is pretty obvious.

 

I think so, too. That's the historical materialist view and part of the reason I'm a marxist.

 

Just like Rosa Luxemburg.

j.m.

ygtbk wrote:

You do know that "The Road To Serfdom" was written in the 1940s, not the 1980s, right? Have you read it?

The point about economic liberty being a precondition of political liberty is pretty obvious. In the extreme case, if there is no employer but the State, then anyone with unpopular political opinions is in trouble. So his warnings about limited vs. unlimited democracies seem pretty relevant to, say, Venezuela, although he obviously didn't have Chavez specifically in mind when he made them.

With respect to Chile, his predicted transformation from dictatorship to democracy has in fact occurred:

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/01/17/is_the_pinochet_era_final_over

Yes. And von Hayek had been waiting in the wings to destroy Keynesian and Socialist institutions (centrally-planned economies) which means that, ironically, we had to wait until the 1980s to see that the neoliberal experiment was in fact a contradiction - you need a state to maintain "competitive environments" by thwarting political liberties and producing "unfreedoms" in the form of physical violence and death - the scary totalitarianism he referred to about non-liberal systems was made reality in his liberal utopia (and how ironic!).

von Hayek was not averse to working with a dictator, and neither was his prodigy Hernando de Soto, who worked for 5 years with Fujimori in Peru. de Soto was assisted by von Hayek, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation in order to shock people with economic reforms (through seizing the state and political liberties) while supporting a very corrupt autocrat.

 

 

absentia

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

In Canada today I think the left is losing the war because it is not understanding what the war is about.....

all the way to the end, is the most depressing thing i've read this week - because i think it's true. I had not thought of it that way: had believed that we took our eye off the ball some time ago, but not that we'd lost track of the damn thing altogether. Suddenly, a lot of information that's been there in plain sight makes sense.

But, hey, there's always total economic collapse!

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:
The point about economic liberty being a precondition of political liberty is pretty obvious. In the extreme case, if there is no employer but the State, then anyone with unpopular political opinions is in trouble. So his warnings about limited vs. unlimited democracies seem pretty relevant to, say, Venezuela, although he obviously didn't have Chavez specifically in mind when he made them.

With respect to Chile, his predicted transformation from dictatorship to democracy has in fact occurred:

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/01/17/is_the_pinochet_era_final_over

Greg Palast wrote:
For nearly a century, copper has meant Chile and Chile copper. University of Montana metals expert Dr. Janet Finn notes, "It's absurd to describe a nation as a miracle of free enterprise when the engine of the economy remains in government hands." Copper has provided 30% to 70% of the nation's export earnings. This is the hard currency which has built today's Chile, the proceeds from the mines seized from Anaconda and Kennecott in 1973 - [url=http://www.gregpalast.com/tinker-bell-pinochet-and-the-fairy-tale-miracl...'s posthumous gift to his nation.[/url]

Hmm, some free market miracle. The dictatorship was totally unnecessary as well as a net loss to the country in terms of loss of life and liberty as well as a loss economically by 1985. NeoCons used Chile as a the ersatz genesis fable for their own neoliberal revolutions of the 1990s. When it was over his peers said that Friedman's economic theories and democracy are incompatible. Palast was a student of finance at the University of Chicago. Milton Friedman was one of his profs.

Let's hope the 33 make it home.

thorin_bane

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/map/2008/#208

I was looking at this map. The results are interesting and quick if anyone wants a peek.

A lot of con seats are at risk if they don't achieve close to 38% I was surprised at the size of the majorities in sask. 70+ in some of them.  But many of them they got by just a few hundred votes. As long as the ABC camp doesn't diminish each other too much we could see some interesting election results. 30 seats could easily move with only 3% swings.

No wonder they are in constant campaign mode. I didn't know how much they were hanging on by their fingertips in certain areas.

Sean in Ottawa

Yes Thorin -- exactly that is what several of us who do seat projections have been saying -- and why the 50-seat Liberal prediction of North Report makes no sense. There are only two ways for Harper to get a majority-- he must find some strength n Quebec or run the board in Ontario. Already the Cons hold most seats they can get elsewhere and there is little room to gain elsewhere and far too many seats they can lose.

I am not convinced, however, that Harper really wants a majority. On the one hand he may be happy to govern with a minority or even allow the Liberals to govern for a bit and bring them down after a short time-- there is also no significant strength for the Liberals to get any comfort either. The nation's public finances are wrecked and Harper does not have to worry that a weak Liberal governemnt under Ignatieff can hold with the NDP and BQ each with their own expectations.

People need to understand that Cons are playing a very long game plan that few are fully seeing.

NorthReport

I'm a big fan of the ABL movement myself.

Sean in Ottawa

North Report, we all know this.

Some think you are a Tory for saying this although I am assuming that this is a question of understanding you can't get at the Cons till you get the Liberals out of the way.

Something like you can't fight the enemy when your body is covered in blood sucking leeches which is what the Liberals are.

I do buy the idea that eliminating the Liberals even if this means a Con majority may be in the end the only way to beat the Cons in the long run.

Problem is at times we pay with the Con majority and those damn Liberals get up and somehow survive and fight another day. You need a damn stake through the heart and the buggers still manage. Like roaches-- the last thing alive after everything even thermo-nuclear war. People, I hope will eventually see how destructive the Liberals are and how much they have become an impediment at dealing with the Cons. But this does not change the fact that the Cons will have -- at least for a time-- a gain as the Liberals fade. That is hugely unfortunate and why the stronger the NDP is at the start the better and the shorter the pain will be. And yes, knocking off leeches does cause pain but if you don't they will kill you.

Fidel

They've gloried in the fact that Canada has a political double redundancy in the Tory and Liberal parties while third parties are kept on the outside looking in. But since 1993 or so they've been gradually losing political capital with Canadian voters. The time has come for the NDP to no longer wage the battle for democracy on those two fronts. We have to take down that party of pretenders to the left wing throne. And they are only pretenders. The electoral system is rotten. The two old line parties are rotten.

"All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door." - Galbraith

Sean in Ottawa

Absolutely Fidel-- well put

j.m.

Fidel wrote:

ygtbk wrote:
The point about economic liberty being a precondition of political liberty is pretty obvious. In the extreme case, if there is no employer but the State, then anyone with unpopular political opinions is in trouble. So his warnings about limited vs. unlimited democracies seem pretty relevant to, say, Venezuela, although he obviously didn't have Chavez specifically in mind when he made them.

With respect to Chile, his predicted transformation from dictatorship to democracy has in fact occurred:

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/01/17/is_the_pinochet_era_final_over

Greg Palast wrote:
For nearly a century, copper has meant Chile and Chile copper. University of Montana metals expert Dr. Janet Finn notes, "It's absurd to describe a nation as a miracle of free enterprise when the engine of the economy remains in government hands." Copper has provided 30% to 70% of the nation's export earnings. This is the hard currency which has built today's Chile, the proceeds from the mines seized from Anaconda and Kennecott in 1973 - [url=http://www.gregpalast.com/tinker-bell-pinochet-and-the-fairy-tale-miracl...'s posthumous gift to his nation.[/url]

Hmm, some free market miracle. The dictatorship was totally unnecessary as well as a net loss to the country in terms of loss of life and liberty as well as a loss economically by 1985. NeoCons used Chile as a the ersatz genesis fable for their own neoliberal revolutions of the 1990s. When it was over his peers said that Friedman's economic theories and democracy are incompatible. Palast was a student of finance at the University of Chicago. Milton Friedman was one of his profs.

Let's hope the 33 make it home.

Another contradiction of the free-market discourse in practice. Let's remember neoliberalism for the legacies it has left us (death, unsustainable outcomes, wild markets, interventionist strategies, etc.) and not its ideals or the potentially dangerous situation it used to justify the project.  This will hopefully put a thought bullet (unlike the ones Pinochet used) in liberal market apologists' heads.

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

I'm a big fan of the ABL movement myself.

Which means that in most ridings in Canada you would vote Conservative?

Sean in Ottawa

A fan does not have to be a participant--

JKR

Would such a fan cheer at the sight of a massive Conservative majority?

thorin_bane

I don't know One blood sucker is as bad as the other in my books. I would rather have the cons disperse and us deal with the libs as the rightwing party it would be a slower killing of the body. I don't think we will survive a con majority.

Though at the same time I recognize that a con majority would at least hold them responsible for all the crap they foist onto the canadian people.* But for some weird reason I can only see canadians turning to the libs to be the safety blanket they miss. I think our best shot is sharing a minority. I don't see the cons giving us that chance ever.

The libs are weary for one reason they saw what we did to peterson in ontario. Then the libs infiltrater destroyed us from within, thank you Rae. So Rae is well aware of how an NDP Lib minority could turn out.

* The reason the cons haven't worn much is because the libs vote with them or are complicit with their crimes. Then we get the whole-all politicians are the same nonsense-thanks again media 'A' holes. Yes I have an axe to grind with the media. I just think back to when Jack had an announcement and he was standing in front of a heater when it was -30 in montreal or something. What did they report, his announcement or the fact the NDP leader was using a heater. Take 3 guesses and the first 2 don't count. Mind you I think the announcement was environmental so it did look odd and someone should have figured it out. Maybe Brad Levigne.

Still that was the biggest news that covered us during that election. Oh maybe the jabs at Haprers blue sweater-which was fine once, but Layton should have laid off after the first time or two. Sounds petty otherwise.

 

2dawall

Uh why has this particular thread become so incoherent? It has shifted from Walkom's article to faux-libertarianism to Canadian parliamentary strategy.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

There is no room for a left wing party in a two party system. In Canada over and over the left party has morphed into the liberal party to attract the centrist voter because a social democratic or socialist ideology is never going to poll above about 40% of the population.

There can't even be a convincing facade of democracy unless we get proportional representation and we send a larger mix of politicians to the house.  We need to supplant the Liberals not drive a stake through their hearts.  And if we ever get close to power push for PR ass the main objective. Canada needs its left liberal party and its social democratic party and a green party and the conservatives and the bloc etc etc etc. Two party states are really just one party states with a nice facade.

What I love about people who rail against "central planning" is they seem to have no problem with Wall street hedge funds trying to control the entire globe's economy for the benefit of Wall street hedge funds. Central control to skim off the cream and absolutely no planning except for deciding which tax haven to use to to hide the money.

JKR

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Canada needs its left liberal party and its social democratic party and a green party and the conservatives and the bloc etc etc etc. Two party states are really just one party states with a nice facade.

A Canadian Parliament that resembled the Canadian population? What a radical concept!

emjayvan

JKR wrote:

A Canadian Parliament that resembled the Canadian population? What a radical concept!

Hmm, is that the right path? I'm reminded of something John Dewey once said:

"Politics is the shadow cast on society by Big Business"

JKR

emjayvan wrote:

JKR wrote:

A Canadian Parliament that resembled the Canadian population? What a radical concept!

Hmm, is that the right path? I'm reminded of something John Dewey once said:

"Politics is the shadow cast on society by Big Business"

But what is the alternative? A dictatorship of the proletariat? We saw how that turned out in Stalinist Russia and Maoist China.

I'd much rather go the social democratic route of countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway,Denmark and the Netherlands with their electoral systems that provide fair results that allow even the far right representation in parliaments.

outwest

I find it absurd when I read comments from the philosophical purists on this site claiming that they can "never, ever work strategically with the Liberals" when the logical thing to do is for NDPers to hold their noses and partner with them (and the Greens) for a single election on ONE condition only: the implementation of PR. After that 4 year period is up, every party can go back to business as usual, but now on a much fairer playing ground. Otherwise, one or the other -- Whigs or Tories  -- will rule exactly as they like ad nauseum, regardless, so why not get something from them that can be useful to true progressives in the meantime? I say hit them when they're weakest - which is exactly what position the Liberals are in at the moment. Let's hope they stay that way until they buckle under in desperation for multi-party support and mutual cooperation.

 

 

Fidel

JKR wrote:
But what is the alternative? A dictatorship of the proletariat? We saw how that turned out in Stalinist Russia and Maoist China.

And can we imagine what life would have been like in Asia with Hitler, Chiang Kai-shek, Franco and Mussolini running the show on behalf of capitalists and fascists in bed together?  I shudder at the thought.

JKR

Fidel wrote:

JKR wrote:
But what is the alternative? A dictatorship of the proletariat? We saw how that turned out in Stalinist Russia and Maoist China.

And can we imagine what life would have been like in Asia with Hitler, Chiang Kai-shek, Franco and Mussolini running the show on behalf of capitalists and fascists in bed together?  I shudder at the thought.

Hitler, Chiang Kai-shek, Franco, Mussolini, Stalin, and Mao would all have been against fair voting. They would have much preferred FPTP.

Fidel

Well I can imagine that with an Asia controlled by the Nazis and the west's golden boy Chiang Kai-Skek, voting might not have mattered much anyway with tens of millions already slaughtered before Stalin's organs rained defeat on the Nazis at the infernal kessel and , and with over ten million Chinese murdered by Chiang and his drug trafficking gangsters and fascist thugs before Maoists could chase them to Taiwan and Burma where they would link up with the OSS/CIA and other international fascists catching their breaths after being routed.

emjayvan

emjayvan wrote:

Hmm, is that the right path? I'm reminded of something John Dewey once said:

"Politics is the shadow cast on society by Big Business"

But what is the alternative? A dictatorship of the proletariat? We saw how that turned out in Stalinist Russia and Maoist China.

I'd much rather go the social democratic route of countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway,Denmark and the Netherlands with their electoral systems that provide fair results that allow even the far right representation in parliaments.

I think what John Dewey and many anarchists are saying is that politics itself is a corrupting force. We've seen it at work again and again on the left. The Labour Party under Tony Blair was an abomination and is pretty much a black hole that sucked a lot of the energy out of the left.

We live in relatively free societies, such that people on the left can take initiatives at the grassroots level to organize and build alternative ways of approaching the conditions of work, hierarchy, and interpersonal relations. I think those wanting real change can and should channel their energies towards these goals rather than imagining that some tinkering with the electoral system, or attempts to stop the NDP from sliding to the so-called 'respectable' centre of politics, will somehow usher in a more decent world.

As a tactic, I fully understand people who work and vote for parties of the left like the NDP. That party is somewhat more responsive to the needs of the poor and oppressed than the Liberals or Conservatives. I have always voted NDP. However, politics is ultimately a game run by the ruling classes. If/when the NDP moves up in the polls, then there will be more and more voices from the top saying we must be 'pragmatic' and 'realistic' if we're to win that game. It's the nature of the beast.

I should have included the complete John Dewey's quote which reads:

 

"Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business and the attentuation of the shadow will not change the substance."

 

trippie

Why the left is losing the war.

Its comes down to this.

People think the NDP is a left winged party. It's not. It's a Bourgeois party.

Because of this, it tries to reform and use capitalism to it's advantage.

This is an impossibility.

Social Democracy using a Keynes economic model only works when the economy is growing fast or there is a natural resource that can sustain the model.

Once these two conditions are not met, capitalism demands that its followers look for larger surplus value. This leads to what we are witnessing today.

A left winged party must have as it's central theme, the abolition of capitalism and the installment of Socialism/Communism.

The left is losing the war because the supposed left winged parties do not have a grasp of what Socialism is and thus promote Capitalism leaving the working class without answers and hope.

trippie

What will win the war.

Answer: The unadulterated propagation of Socialism/Communism as the socio-economic model of choice.

JKR

But didn't Marx say that the proletariat should use the capitalistic institutions within capitalism to defeat capitalism?

trippie

Money is a fetish!

Money is the end dimension of capitalism.

If you use one once of capitalism in your economic theory, you leave the fetish intact.

This fetish will make people want it even more. These people will push their agenda and nothing will stop them.

You are basically setting yourself up; for failure.

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