Or just a simpathizer with terrorizm
I agree, let’s bomb them, that’ll solve all of our problems. *
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Not everything spoken or written by great persons is in fact great.
This quotation, if it is indeed that of Ike, is exemplary of silliness, for in this instant case he is treating warfare as if a luxury, which he, of all people knew better.
With respect to the toon, Mike has done it again - a perfect commentary on this charade, the ‘sanctions’ that cannot and will not result in Iran abandoning its nuclear weapons’ ambitions.
Gaddafi gave up the nukes with a few days of Bush’s invading of Iraq.
DAVE/GORE/PETE – Thanks for your posts, they remind us that our fear of the Far Right and Conservatives is based on fact.
If someone like Cheney wouldn’t even proposed bombing or attacking Iran then it should occur to you that it is not a good idea.
The GOP holds up a strawman and you attack like trained dogs.
It’s people like you that got so many of our fighting men and women killed in Bush’s Wars. You seem always ready to send someone else off to fight and die.
Ike knew what he was talking about, because of what he’d seen and done. This is hardly his only comment on the subject.
If Iran gives up it’s “nuclear weapons ambitions”, will Israel give up it’s nuclear weapons?
Nobody wants to be the last to die in a war. How many conservative “Wal-Mart Warriors” ( When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.) will volunteer to be the first killed in the NEXT war they start?
Ok, so let’s invade them!
With what money?
I’m not saying the west should’nt invade them, I’m saying the west can’t. It has enough in its hands for now.
OK, for you who claim sanctions will not work, what do you propose? I see a limited number of options in dealing with another country. Diplomacy is usually the first, international sanctions would be the second. The only other option would seem to be war.
Davesmithsit, Gore Bane, Petergrt, are you so brain dead that the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan are lost on you? How many American soldiers must die before your puny little brains can consider there might be a better way?
“Gaddafi gave up the nukes within a few days of Bush’s invading of Iraq.”
Or was that a sham?
the problem with these sanctions is that they are, as Mike so aptly expressed - TOOTHLESS, and therefore meaningless.
Nobody, including 0bama doesn’t seem to have the taste for embargoing oil distillates, which would have a real and immediate effect …
Isn’t it odd, that a country with gobs of easy oil, has no refining capacity, and yet wonts nuclear capacity?
What baffles us, the conservatives, is that the leftists rise to the defense of the most vile Muslim regimes, which, if given half a chance, would exterminate them - the leftists.
Is it because you love the idea of American Exceptionalism so much?
You couldn’t possibly be that stupid as to not recognize a distinction between, say American or Israeli nukes and those of Iranian mullahs.
The problem on the right is that too many “conservatives” are baffled by the complexity of a “STOP” sign. Ask Japan about American and Israelis, vs Islamic countries like Pakistan, or Hindu India, having nukes. Placing “morality” only on the side of Judeo-Christian philosophy is misplaced indeed.
I speak only for myself, but I have never ever ever defended the regimes (or governments) of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya – or Pakistan, for that matter, nor have I ever said kind words about Hamas. But I don’t particularly look forward to another war, certainly not a war with Iran. The war in Iraq in my opinion was an unnecessary disaster, and I don’t understand how with that example anyone could be eager to jump into another one.
I’m terrifically worried about any and all nukes. We walk on the edge of disaster all the time, and the danger is increased by any proliferation by any country.
Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time. In World War I it was the munitions industrialists; in World War II it was the psychopathic generals who were said to be guilty.This is passing the buck. The responsibility for war falls solely upon the shoulders of these same masses of people, for they have all the necessary means to avert war in their own hands. In part by their apathy, in part by their passivity, and in part actively, these masses of people make possible the catastrophes under which they themselves suffer more than anybody else. To stress this guilt on the part of masses of people, to hold them solely responsible, means to take them seriously. On the other hand, to commiserate masses of people as victims, means to treat them as small, helpless children. The former is the attitude held by genuine freedom-fighters; the latter the attitude held by the power-thirsty politicians.”
–Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism.
Defend an Islamic regime?
I never said we shouldn’t invade them, I said we couldn’t. We’re busy elsewhere.
Search for “Iran” on Facebook, encourage the rebellion against Ahmadinejad. That’s the best way to get rid of him.
peter, just in case you’re not looking back at old cartoons, here’s a follow-up question from the discussion on the Morin page a couple of days ago.
I hope I’m not pestering you, but I do admire expertise, and I try to take the opportunity to learn as much as I can when I get the chance to speak with an expert.
I would be interested to hear a little more about something you said in a previous message. You say:
“His original theorem, and as refined / revised over the years by him and his followers, have many floes [flaws?], not the least of which was the Nietzsche - like dehumanization of humans - all but elimination of “AN INDIVIDUAL:”….
But this is not quite consistent with Kolakowksi’s interpretation. He suggests that Marx was responding to the dehumanization produced by capitalism. Thus the idea of alienation. Here Kolakawsi is summarizing Marx’s view:
“We live in an age in which the dehumanization of man, that is to say the alienation between him and his own works, is growing to a climax which must end in a revolutionary upheaval; this will originate from the particular interest which has suffered the most from dehumanization, but its effect will be to restore humanity to all mankind.” (“Main Currents of Marxism, Vol. I:p. 262)
“Exploitation consists in the worker selling his labour-power and thus divesting himself of his own essence; the labour process and its results become alien and hostile, a deprivation of humanity rather than a fulfillment.” (“Main Currents of Marxism”, Vol I, p. 264)
And there is much more to the same point. Now if Kolakowski were an apologist for Marx, one might dismiss such claims. But Kolakowski, as you know, is a critic of Marx and Marxism.
Since you are an expert in these matters, I wonder if you could explain what seems to be a fundamental difference of interpretion between you and Kolakawski.
Thanks in advance for your help in understanding these questions.
Lonecat, I am sorry that I didn’t respond to you earlier - I was a bit detained, and, quite frankly, I don’t think that I can answer your questions directly, for I am not that familiar with the Western analysts of the ‘science’.
I studies Marx-Lenin not out of love of their theories, but rather because of love of life - we had to study the stuff at the university, regardless of our field of study, and getting high grades in this subject was imperative to my receiving a full stipend. Consequently, my ‘expertise’ on the subject stems from direct indoctrination, experiencing the evolution of the theories in practice, and my own evolving thought. As a young boy, I thought that the theories were fundementally good - Utopian, the brutality of the regime notwithstanding. Until I heard Jan Werich, a Czech intellectual, recite a story of an anthill - making a saddle, censors’ baffling comparison with the basic ideals of Communism. It was then, that I realized the dehumanizing nature of the underlying philosophy, and that I must do everything that I can to prevent the disease from taking hold. And I do consider the ‘science’ a plague of humanity, which caused more human carnage and suffering than all wars and other human conflicts combined, and yet have nothing positive to show for.
Here is my take on a couple of the raised issues:
While Marx was predicting a natural evolution of feudalism to capitalism, to socialism, to communism, Lenin and others felt that they can skip capitalism … . Ironically the basic Marxist theories are, in my opinion, more apropos for the subsistence based economies, as feudalism, than capitalism, which ultimately gave rise to the consumerism - a fundamentally incongruous environment for Marxism.
The Industrial Revolution in Europe was not a product of real capitalism, but rather a conversion of feudalism to another form of serfdom, where feudum (land) was replaced with coalmines and factories, hence Engels, and etc. In fact, Western Europe has never gotten read of the cast system established in feudal times, which is why ‘liberal socialism’ was able to take root - one serfdom to the next.
Apart from Europe, American experiment extols liberty and individualism, which allowed true capitalism to flourish and propel the human experience to unfathomable levels, in a relatively short time.
I cannot conjecture interpretation of Marx’s theories in a way that would be congruent with the fundamental ideals of American experiment, which is why I often refer to 0bama as the first, and hopefully the last, anti-American president.
peter, thanks for your reply. I can understand that anyone who experienced the oppressive conditions imposed on Eastern Europe by the Soviets would have strong feelings about Marxism. I did not have these experiences, but I have no good to say about the Soviet system. I am not, however, convinced that the Soviet system was truly Marxist. And I don’t think that the current government of Russia is much better than the Soviet system. But I am no expert in these matters, and I am prepared to learn otherwise.
But I am not a Marxist, insofar as I understand Marx’s thought, and none of what I said in the first paragraph is intended as a defense of Marx or Marxism. That doesn’t mean that I think Marx was wrong about everything – very few thinkers are entirely wrong. I would even say that I find him a fascinating thinker. But I have some fundamental disagreements with his system, insofar as I understand it.
I also think that the idea that Obama is a Marxist is just wrong. I just don’t see any evidence for that charge, and having a nose for Marxists is not evidence. Of course there may be very good reasons for disagreeing with Obama’s policies, reasons worth discussing, but the charge that he is a Marxist just doesn’t hold up.
Kolakawski’s very detailed interpretation of Marx and Marxism is very worthwhile. He is astonishingly smart. He is ultimately quite critical of Marx (though I don’t always find his critique convincing) but he also takes Marx very seriously as a thinker. I recommend his book highly.
One’s experiences are almost bound to colour one’s thinking. I have many good things to say about the US and the US political system, but in my experience it was a deeply racist society (it has improved since my childhood, but there is still a good deal of racism) and it was and is neo-imperialist. I also believe that the gap between the rich and the poor is greater than it should be. That doesn’t mean that I am anti-US. I just want the country to live up to its ideals
I have lots of other opinions, but I know that I tend to go on too long, so I will stop here, at least for now.
“That doesn’t mean that I think Marx was wrong about everything – very few thinkers are entirely wrong. I would even say that I find him a fascinating thinker.”
Even a broken clock is correct, at least once a day. I also agree that he was a great thinker, which is why I believe that he would not be a Marxist today …
“I also think that the idea that Obama is a Marxist is just wrong.”
Many people that he chose as friends and helped to form his philosophical being are unabashed Marxists, many are even revolutionaries, and some are even in the WH.
His promise of ‘fundamental transformation of the US’ meant what?
His many actions as president, as limited by the Constitution and other laws as they are, are without question guided by the fundamental principles of ‘modern Marxism’. Much of his economic policies focus on redistribution of wealth to the proletariat, the unions.
Surely you didn’t expect him to immediately seas control of a great part of ‘private - capitalist’ economy? That would be too overtly Marxist …
A Marxist label has over the years become to mean many things, for there is no such thing as a pure Marxist, as Marx continued to revise his theories …
That said, I think it is perfectly acceptable to label anyone that espouses ideals of collectivism, statism, social justice, transfer of wealth and power to the proletariat and the likes as a Marxist.
0bama’s ideology is way beyond simple Keynesian-ism …
As I have said, I do not consider myself a Marxist (though you might think I am), and I am hardly an expert on Marxism (and to be frank, I do not think you are an expert either), so I don’t think there is any point in our debating the virtues or vices of Marxism.
But I must question your definition of a Marxist and your application of that definition to Obama. You say “That said, I think it is perfectly acceptable to label anyone that espouses ideals of collectivism, statism, social justice, transfer of wealth and power to the proletariat and the likes as a Marxist.”
Could you please be more specific about what you mean by “collectivism” and “statism”?
If a desire for social justice makes one a Marxist, then I am guilty, and proud of it – at least by my understanding of social justice. I don’t actually use the term, which I think is too vague. I prefer to discuss specific issues. I grew up in the great period of the civil rights movement, and I strongly believe that all citizens of the US should have equal civil rights – including the right to vote, the right to have access to public services (including goods and services offered to the public), the right to a good education, and so on. Things are better now, but in the 1950s, when I was young, there was a systematic denial of these rights to people of color. I would also include certain economic rights. There was a systematic effort to keep people of color from economic advancement. I make a distinction between civil rights and economic rights, and I think they should be dealt with differently, but I think both are important.
I do believe that working people (I don’t use the term “proletariat”) should have more wealth and power. I do not agree with the way that wealth is distributed in the US economy. I see that a lot of people who work very hard are poorly rewarded for their work and have too little power over their lives, and I think that unions have played a vital role in bettering the condition of working people. My primary criticism of the Democratic Party now is that it has lost touch with working people. Democarts are certainly not Marxists, and they aren’t even good leftists, for the most part.
Are you opposed to social justice? Are you opposed to the interests of working people?
How can you equate “social justice” with civil rights? That’s just silly.
Terms as Social Justice, Environmental Justice and the likes, have been developed by the contemporary Left to give a more respectable face on essentially Marxist methods of manipulating economic activity to affect social engineering.
^ Not silly. The fundamental distinction is the distinction between individual justice – as in a private court case – and justice on a social scale – which would certainly include civil rights.
Here are a few passages from the wiki article, which treats the liberal political philosopher John Rawls (no Marxist he) first in its article but also includes discussion of Jewish and Christian ideas of social justice.
“Social justice is the application of the concept of justice on a social scale.”
“Social justice is also a concept that some use to describe the movement towards a socially just world. In this context, social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution. These policies aim to achieve what developmental economists refer to as more equality of opportunity than may currently exist in some societies, and to manufacture equality of outcome in cases where incidental inequalities appear in a procedurally just system.”
“The liberal political philosopher John Rawls draws on the utilitarian insights of Bentham and Mill, the social contract ideas of John Locke, and the categorical imperative ideas of Kant.”
“The basic liberties according to Rawls
Freedom of thought;
Liberty of conscience as it affects social relationships on the grounds of religion, philosophy, and morality;
Political liberties (e.g. representative democratic institutions, freedom of speech and the press, and freedom of assembly);
Freedom of association;
Freedoms necessary for the liberty and integrity of the person (viz: freedom from slavery, freedom of movement and a reasonable degree of freedom to choose one’s occupation); and
Rights and liberties covered by the rule of law.”
So my inclusion of civil rights in a discussion of social justice was not silly (and note that I also mentioned economic rights).
Your understanding of Marx is clearly very weak and in some ways quite wrong and you are ignorant of some of the major scholars in the field (though you call yourself an expert), and your understanding of social justice is also wrong. You often fail to define your terms, or when you do define them, your definitions are idiosyncratic at best. You make sweeping generalizations and unsubstantiated charges. I’m sure you can do better if you try.
May 31, 2016
May 24, 2016