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Thread: Questions for CJ

  1. #561
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions for CJ

    but the regime of private property is hellish.
    How is the life of the average person in Scandinavia or any country that follows the German variety of capitalism more hellish than living in such a sect?

    In those societies private property is rather significantly curtailed in favor of funding public institutions, also know as the commons. The added benefit of negative liberty makes it a rather more pleasant condition to live in than a micro version of 1984.

    But yes, if your benchmark is the US, I can see the reasoning behind the admiration of these sects.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  2. #562
    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    How is the life of the average person in Scandinavia or any country that follows the German variety of capitalism more hellish than living in such a sect?
    How is the life of the precariat or unemployed workers on the periphery of German capitalism, or refugees from capitalism's "interventions" abroad, have a better life than peaceful rural communists?

    The Bruderhof was launched in the infancy of the Weimar variety of capitalism. The latter didn't make it out of infancy.
    The Hutterites being Germans, pacifists and communists, found the USA inhospitable during the Red Scare and headed toward Canada, where the majority still live.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdTILENaYXw

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    But yes, if your benchmark is the US, I can see the reasoning behind the admiration of these sects.
    If the world were not in the throes of Americanism, I could see the reasoning of Urizen.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  3. #563
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornetJoyce View Post
    How is the life of the precariat or unemployed workers on the periphery of German capitalism, or refugees from capitalism's "interventions" abroad, have a better life than peaceful rural communists?
    I'm assuming that having left Assad's dictatorship they wouldn't be too happy to trade it in for another one, particularly since at least Assad was a secularist and allowed women to do other things aside from peeling potatoes and making babies and sandwiches for their husbands, fathers and brothers. And they can at least be safe in the knowledge that they don't have to disown their partners and children if they happen to disagree with them on some esoteric interpretation of the Bible.

    The same goes for the precariat and unemployed workers, who (and I know this from personal experience) receive significant benefits from the state allowing them to live a pretty fulfilled life as they themselves see fit, not as dictated to them by some lunatic village patriarch with a messiah complex.

    Yes, there are obviously problems in these societies, most of which arising from the neoliberals' project of breaking down the welfare state, but you are painting an absurdly idealized image of these sects while reducing proper welfare states to their worst features.

    I am perfectly happy to admit there are significant problems in both communities, but there are key freedoms and benefits in the latter that are simply absent from the former (particularly when it comes to people's, and especially women's autonomy to choose what they want to do with their lives), even though many of the benefits of the former are present in the latter (e.g., the state ensures you don't starve to death, are well-housed, are taken care of in old age).
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  4. #564
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Anyway we'll probably always disagree on those sects.

    Here's another question which may sound odd, but I would really like to hear your thoughts on, and the more you say on it the better.

    What is it that you would like to know about the Communist Party Historians' Group and its various members that you don't already know, and that you feel is lacking in the literature concerning them?

    What kind of book on the subject would you be interested in reading in terms of its approach and the things that it covers?
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  5. #565
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    A, you might like to know, just in case you don't, that Richard J. Evans is currently undertaking a biography of Eric Hobsbawm. I imagine that it'll be released within the next few years, so, you know, if you're planning to venture out into related or adjacent waters you might like to wait and see how that pans out.

    All the best.

  6. #566
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    I'm assuming that having left Assad's dictatorship they wouldn't be too happy to trade it in for another one
    You're assuming that it was Assad who invaded Iraq and caused a million deaths, and who caused the desperate exodus across the Mediterranean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    The same goes for the precariat and unemployed workers, who (and I know this from personal experience) receive significant benefits from the state
    The precarious workers I know are - in more archaic terms- simply poor. I recollect that unemployment compensation lasts for 6 months and amounts to about 55% of former wages. Western Europe, with notable exceptions, has not yet accommodated the owning class to this extent; but, in any event, I see no effort by anabaptists to harm the welfare state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    the state ensures you don't starve to death, are well-housed, are taken care of in old age).
    You are painting an absurdly idealized image of the state while reducing communities and families to imaginary "hells." Soup kitchens are financed and staffed mostly by the religious; what affordable housing there is, is driven by nonprofit organizations (I am affiliated with several or them.); and the elderly are aided by family and religious folk.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  7. #567
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    I wrote a reply to that but have decided to remove it as it's pointless. I don't think we even really disagree; I'm fine with religious folk who do all sorts of charity work and help each other outside the domination of private property, not so much with cults who enforce control on every aspect of their members' (especially women's) lives and reintroduce hierarchies under the pretension that they're not really such.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  8. #568
    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    I know Evans only as a German historian but I should think he'll be interesting on Hobsbawm.

    I read books by several members of the CP group before I knew about the group. I think they all made it clear that they were Marxists, as did Ste Croix and other historians I respected, but I was mildly perplexed to learn that they were full fledged communicants in the Marxist church.

    How did they see the future of that church? I'm not aware of any aid or comfort they gave to police states. I think all but Hobsbawm left the party after Hungary, and he was said to have honorable reasons for staying. I have not seen a publication of a CP group discussion, but then I haven't looked.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  9. #569
    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Amoeba;40642]I don't think we even really disagree
    Neither do I.

    I'm fine with folk of all sorts who do all sorts of useful things. individually or collectively.

    not so much with imperial cults that surveil , control, imprison and torture their subjects and others (especially the poor) and raise towers of hierarchy to secure their dominance.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  10. #570
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Watching OJ Made in America just now. Highly recommended.

    What do you think of the OJ case, and do you think he did it?

    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  11. #571
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    I've never paid attention to the police blotter, so I don't know much about it. From what I read or saw at the time, I supposed he was guilty, but I might have been persuaded otherwise.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  12. #572
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    I've seen several documentaries on the subject now and read into it a couple years ago, and to be honest I have no idea if he did it. I was strongly in the camp that he obviously did it but when I started looking into the defense case it's a lot more murky. It's just impossible to know for certain at the end of it, and when you have reasonable doubt, you have to acquit.

    When you start looking into court cases you'll see why historians are fond of making the comparison between their work and that of a detective assembling evidence for a court, like Ginzburg, who actually did work on a court case as a historian.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  13. #573
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    Have you read Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? What do you think of his thesis in that book?

    Here's the first chapter of it: http://www.d.umn.edu/~epeters5/MAPL5...h%20Kansas.pdf

    And here's a defense of it by Frank against a critique by a positivist poli-sci professor: https://www.tcfrank.com/media/TCFRAN...issed_2005.pdf

    He talks about it here:

    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  14. #574
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    Have you read Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? What do you think of his thesis in that book?
    No I haven't, but i like the video, with which I'm in substantial, bordering total, agreement as far as it goes, But I'll read the chapter soon.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  15. #575
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    On the OJ stuff, if you want to be convinced of his innocence, there's no better place to start than the closing arguments of his defense. If you're not left with reasonable doubt after watching all 6 hours of it, there's something strange going on.

    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  16. #576
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    If everyone could afford lawyers like this there'd be a lot less people in jail.

    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  17. #577
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    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  18. #578
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  19. #579
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    I applaud Frank's work. A brief comment for now.

    "Such Democrats look at a situation like present-day Kansas
    and rub their hands with anticipation:
    Just look at how Ronald Reagan's "social issues" have come back
    to bite his party in the ass!"

    Actually, upon assuming the throne, Reagan pushed his "social issues" to the back burner and his "voodoo economic" issue to the fore. Senator Byrd tried to call up the "social issues" that had been at the top of the GOP election campaign, but the progressives balked. Thus we got tax cuts for the investing class and an expanded debt for the working class. And the GOP got around to the "social issues" in their own good time.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  20. #580
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    If you like that book you should also check out his recent book, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

    Here's an excerpt from that: http://listenliberal.com/pdf/ListenL...nk-Excerpt.pdf
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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