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Absolutes

Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Most effective for what??? Here we are trying to exhaust each other with long profound posts. If you want grafitti, then this or this threads will serve your needs better.


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Mohanlal Karamchand
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I thought one way communication was meant to induce a feeling of helpless rage in the victim.
Jason Menard
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Posts: 6450
My point is that even "right to life" is not absolute in this less than perfect world. In a perfect world, this right would be absolute. But where is this world? So why to say that these rights are "absolute"? I just do not get it.
The fact that all man is endowed by virtue of creation with the right to life is an absolute. Societal interaction can interfere with this right.
Again though, regarding all men created equal as an absolute, if you do not accept that this is an absolute than you accept that all men are not created equal. As I agree somewhat with Paine, the important part of this phrase is the idea that equality exists as a virtue of creation, and is therefore inherent. I have also explained how society and environment are irrelevant to this inherent equality. Further it seems that the concensus of the "great thinkers" is that when referring to equality, they are referring to man in his spiritual/intellectual state. So my question would be, when is man not created equal?
frank davis
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Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
Mapraputa Is: Shura, you did not outline your position on Communism What, I should defend our comrades alone?

According to communism.org:
Communism - a classless society with no exploitation. No state machine used by one section of the population to oppress another section. No need for professional armies or police forces. No use of production for profit or exchange. Society runs in accord with the principle: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The fact that it never worked doesn't mean communism is a throw-away idea. Shura
[ February 05, 2003: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]

At least we agree that it has "never worked". Now the question is why it has never worked in any of the numerous countries where it has attempted. Is it possible that there are some fundamental flaws in the theory ?
The basic flaw is that it has no relation to reality now, when it was attempted, nor any possible relation to reality in the future. It is contrary to human nature, utterly fails to comprehend the complexities of social organization, and doesn't even have any real clue or conception of how an economic system would function. Its absurd, its been rejected everywhere, and its on the "ash heap of history" as the Great One said.
To be more specific :
1. No need for police forces? What, are all the men going to be castrated? Seriously, you mean that there will never be misunderstandings between people, and that people will never get emotional about such misunderstandings, and people will never act emotionally in ways that requires restraint by police? Rape, murder, incest, fighting, etc will all just magically disappear forever never to be seen again?
2. No production for exchange or profit? What, even 10,000 years ago in pre-history there was production for trade; are we going to revert back to the monkey stage of evolution? The world reknowned economist Joseph Schumpter wrote an entire book on the efficiency of prices in allocating resources and how socialistic societies are forever doomed in relative inefficiency without an equivalent method of signalling to the markets resources needed in production. The lines in Russia for bread and even basic necessities like shoes were not a fluke becuase the Russian bureaucrats were incompetent, it was because of fundamental flaws in the communistic/socialistic economic system.
3. "... to each according to his need"? Oh my, people have this habit of becoming, or finding ingenous ways of becoming, "needy" when they realize they can get something for nothing. Even no matter how "needy" is defined. I've worked as a case worker among the "poor" and often found that people would transfer funds out of bank accounts to relatives in order to be classified as needy for the benefit of public assistence programs. Other people faked back pain or other injury so they would not have to work and therefore qualify for disability payments. Again, human nature is to want to avoid work and to get something for nothing. Admittedly this same issue plauges all socities, but to make it a central pivot point of an entire society is to magnifiy the problem and invite disaster.
4. "From each according to his ability...". Now we have a similar problem here from the one above also based on human nature. Who wants to wake up every morning and go to a job to work for the entire beneift of strangers. Working for others whether you want to or not, is that not the definition of slavery? This is a fundamental problem of communism, if you do not pay people, how do you motivate them to work? How do you determine someone's ability? Do I have a choice of occupations or is everyone free to become an artist? Are police required to enforce this policy or is human nature going to be transformed?
frank davis
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Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
herb slocomb, you are confusing 2 completely different things. In my previous post I quoted a definition of communism as political system, an ideal, an absolute. What you referring to as "comminism" in your posts about The USSR is, in fact, a completely different political system, which I would call "socialistic totalitarism".
Not as bad, but similar confusion is about calling US political system a "democracy", when in fact it is a democratic republic. Democracy in this case is another theoretical absolute.
Shura

Here's an absolute : I cannot travel forward into time to see what definition of communism you will propose then travel back in time and use that definition to please you. Please substitute in all my posts prior to your post the words "attempted communism" for "communism" ,if that will make you feel better.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
25 million citizens of the USSR/Russia were killed as a result of communism, is that an example of, as you say, "fullfilled its mission" ???
Herb, what if I said that the only mission of the US capitalism was to exterminate the native people of America? :roll:
[ February 06, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

The differences are this :
1. In another post I gave a list of other countries besides Russia where the number of people murdered by the communists runs into the MILLIONS. It is a distinguishing feature of communism even to this day. Remember how recent there were Gulags in USSR, remember the Tianeman Square massacre in China not so long ago where thousands of unarmed citizens were murdered? There are still many political prisoners in Cuba, China, etc today. But do we continue to see war against native Americans today? No, the opposite, they recieve governmental assistence (we can argue about the amount, but the major point remains).
Since the communist rulers are dictators everywhere and always, they always have to resort to murder and suppression to stay in power, its inherent in the system.
"This freely expressed penchant for homicide, Courtois maintains, was no accident, but an integral trait of a philosophy, and a practical politics, that promised to erase class distinctions by erasing classes and the living humans that populated them."
--Gregory McNamee on Black Book of Communism

The incidents in the US were of historical uniqueness for reasons listed below, not an inherent part of capitalism today or in the past, and limited in scope.

2. The US experience with its native population has been one of tragic misunderstandings and mistakes on both sides. Although it is not politically correct for the winning side in any conflict to explain itself, I trust the open minded people on this thread to bear with me. The fact is that the native populations also committed massacres and terrible atrocities on non-native peoples as well. Conflict was inevitable beween the two societies. One society was living in the stone age technologically speaking, had no system of writing, and could not even conceive of legal concepts the other
society took for granted. The two societies were completely different in terms of religion, social organization, politics, economics, philosophical heritaage and traditions, etc.
Conflict HAD to happen and the general rule in human history is that this sooner or later leads to war. It just so happens that one side was about 1,000 years ahead of the other side techonolgically speaking in addition to having a population about 100 times larger. The contest was therefore very one-sided. Historical accident allowed some bad people to be in the wrong place at the wrong time compounding the problems.
But most of the native people were wiped out by disease not warefare. By the way, many native peoples still exist, they were not exterminated. Had it been an aim or goal of capitalism to exerminate them, it would have happened long ago. On the contrary, Gulags for political prisoners existed in Russia long after the Revolution, long after Stalin, etc. Suppression, murder, in Russia, in China, etc is how communists/attempted communists/pretending communists stay in power. It is a central, distinguishing feature of communism as evidenced everywhere it has been tried, not just Russia.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[b]Hm... so how about "prosperity" and "outperform"? Or does your "capitalism" includes only the USA and West European countries?


Refer to the "social capital" URL you gave in the Better Society thread and also note that other supporting structures need to be in place. The difference between what capitalism needs to flourish and what communism needs to flourish is that capitalism requires more easily obtainable things whereas communism requires a change in human nature, perhaps impossible.
[ February 07, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

In the sharpest form these tendencies demonstrate themselves in a belief that the USA has right and some morale "advantage" to decide what kind of government will suit other countries better, and that the USA has a right to invade some countries and to replace their governments when it feels a need for it.

No answer yet on how you would justify a regime change for Hitler while he roasted millions alive
assuming there had been no declaration of war. Its absolutes that allow the US to step in take action for the good where others are impotent, cowardly, confused, or indifferent
to evil. The Europeans stood by several times while massacres occurred in the Balkans. The Serbs would have completed their genocide had not the US led the way with its "absolutes". The US also acted again in Somalia, although less effectivley, to reduce hunger.
Is there no circumstance you can find where you would not justify intervention? Its doesn't matter that thousands, or millions of people are being murdered? Have you no conscience? If you could find it in your heart to intervene on what principles would that intervention be based?
Mapraputa Is
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The differences are this :
1. In another post I gave a list of other countries besides Russia where the number of people murdered by the communists runs into the MILLIONS.

If you want to speak about MILLIONS, communists did not start WWI, capitalists did. Actually, the first thing Communistic Russia did, it canceled Russia's participation in WWI. Then capitalistic countries invaded Russia.
WWII: Who financed Hitler? Communists? Nope. Capitalists did.
It is a distinguishing feature of communism even to this day. Remember how recent there were Gulags in USSR, remember the Tianeman Square massacre in China not so long ago where thousands of unarmed citizens were murdered?
In the criminal code of the USSR there were two articles, clauses, not sure what the correct term is, that prohibited anti-Soviet propaganda. Everybody knew that, and people were not arrested without any reason. It was different from Stalin's time when people would be put in jail for nothing.
There are still many political prisoners in Cuba, China, etc today. But do we continue to see war against native Americans today? No, the opposite, they recieve governmental assistence (we can argue about the amount, but the major point remains).
And who destroyed GULAG? Capitalists? Marians? Islamic terrorists? Communists did. And they pay victims of repression too, mind you.
Since the communist rulers are dictators everywhere and always, they always have to resort to murder and suppression to stay in power, its inherent in the system.
Funny, but communists told the same about capitalism, that the system cannot exist without starting wars periodically, without expansion into other countries and even continents.
The incidents in the US were of historical uniqueness for reasons listed below, not an inherent part of capitalism today or in the past, and limited in scope.
This sounds so familiar... 1956, communists condemn Stalin's repression, which were "of historical uniqueness for reasons listed below, not an inherent part of communism today or in the past, and limited in scope"...
Mapraputa Is
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The fact is that the native populations also committed massacres and terrible atrocities on non-native peoples as well. Conflict was inevitable beween the two societies. One society was living in the stone age technologically speaking, had no system of writing, and could not even conceive of legal concepts the other
society took for granted. The two societies were completely different in terms of religion, social organization, politics, economics, philosophical heritaage and traditions, etc.
Conflict HAD to happen and the general rule in human history is that this sooner or later leads to war. It just so happens that one side was about 1,000 years ahead of the other side techonolgically speaking in addition to having a population about 100 times larger. The contest was therefore very one-sided. Historical accident allowed some bad people to be in the wrong place at the wrong time compounding the problems

I do not even know where to start... Let's start from here: "terrible atrocities on non-native peoples as well" -- but the difference was they did not commit them on European continent. European people came to their land, and if I am not mistaken, nobody invited them here. Imagine that in 1970-s communists came to the USA and started to settle on a new place, I wonder what kind of atrocities this would cause...
"Conflict HAD to happen and the general rule in human history is that this sooner or later leads to war. It just so happens that one side was about 1,000 years ahead of the other side technologically"
1. conflict wouldn't happen if capitalists did not have a habit to invade other countries and continents.
2. Frankly, this sounds like blatant justification of genocide to me. We could apply the same logic to Jew people during WWII: "Conflict HAD to happen and the general rule in human history is that this sooner or later leads to war. It just so happens that one side was so damn stronger than the other side politically and technologically" - so what the heck... What these Jews want now?
Herb, are you serious? "one side was about 1,000 years ahead" -- where did your absolutes go? All man are created equal? Your words: "I believe Ayn Rand (born in USSR by the way) makes the strongest case for the existence of moral absolutes and rights. The way I remember her argument is that the right to life is the fundamental right. There is equality in the right to life, and from that right all other rights proceed, such as the right to liberty and to act, and from that to own property (since to negate this right would infringe on the other rights previously mentioned)"
-- are moral absolutes "absolute" only when they serve your needs?
This was one of the most amazing posts I read last months.
Mapraputa Is
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But most of the native people were wiped out by disease not warefare. By the way, many native peoples still exist, they were not exterminated. Had it been an aim or goal of capitalism to exerminate them, it would have happened long ago.
1. Russian population also still exists, gulags did not exterminate it all. So does Chinese population.
2. "The GULAG was never primarily an extermination regime, as was the Nazi system targeting Jews in 1941-45. Most of the approximately 1 million Soviets who died in it from 1934-53 perished from neglect, exposure, malnutrition, disease, and/or overwork. Certain locations had (still largely unsubstantiated) reputations as "death camps." However the system's overall lethality seems to have been much more a byproduct of brutal climatic, living, and work conditions than a deliberate policy targeting marginalized segments of the population. The nominally self-financing, vertically integrated GULAG had a vested economic interest in maintaining its effective labor force, if at brutally minimum or sub-minimum levels."
http://www.uwm.edu/Course/448-343/index4.html
On the contrary, Gulags for political prisoners existed in Russia long after the Revolution, long after Stalin, etc. Suppression, murder, in Russia, in China, etc is how communists/attempted communists/pretending communists stay in power. It is a central, distinguishing feature of communism as evidenced everywhere it has been tried, not just Russia.
By this moment I found myself in a strange position, strange enough to stop and think, what is it that makes me defend communists with their murders? Frankly, your blank statements, overgeneralizations and overestimations somehow made me think that not compassion to victims motivates you, something else... You know that "democratic" Russia wages a war on Chechen republic for many years already? Estimated 20,000 killed, the capital city of Chechen destroyed. Can you imagine this to happen in 1970-s? Moscow bombing its own territory? I cannot. But my main point is: what would your press say if this happened in the USSR? Atrocities of communism, right? What does it say now? Atrocities of capitalism? Atrocities of democracy? You did not even mention this war! You do not care? Why not? Because it doesn't fit your schema? If this is not hypocrisy, than what is it?
Mapraputa Is
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25 million citizens of the USSR/Russia were killed as a result of communism, is that an example of, as you say, "fullfilled its mission" ???
How was this number calculated???
Russian academy of science assigned Viktor Zemskov to investigate real number of victims of repressions. He worked in GULAG archives and here are his numbers:
Since 1921 till 1953 for political reasons 4 millions people were arrested and 800,000 of them executed. 600,000 more died in prisons so the total number is 2,4 millions. (there must be a mistake somewhere in calculations - M.I.) Most cruel period 1937-38 - 1,3 million arrested, 700,00 executed. Why statistics stopped at 1953? This year Stalin died and repressions decreased significantly. In 1958 less people were arrested than in 2000 and 69 were executed.
Russian: http://www.inopresa.ru/details.pl?id=5348
Spanish: http://www.lavanguardia.es/cgi-bin/noticialvd.pl?noticia=zemskov120201&seccion=noticias
But here is Western data:
"Starvation and epidemic disease were rampant from 1932 to 1935. By some estimates, between 5 million and 7 million peasants died in this state-made famine. The mid- to late 1930s were marked by Stalin's campaign to eliminate all elements alleged to have reservations about his policies. Stalin had any person he or his assistants distrusted removed from posts of authority; many were jailed, sent to the forced-labor camps of Gulag (Main Directorate for Corrective Labor Camps), or executed. In the darkest years of the terror, from 1937 to 1938, the political police rounded up several million people; as many as 1 million people were shot, while another 2 million are estimated to have died in the camps.
Partly because of this purge, the Soviet Union suffered grievous losses during World War II. Official Soviet reports at the time stated that 20 million soldiers and civilians perished in the war, but it was later revealed, during Gorbachev's time in office in the 1980s, that a more realistic figure for Soviet losses was between 27 million and 28 million. In the Post-Stalin years, domestic political repression persisted. Internationally, the Soviet Union was also active, sending a large military force across its border with Afghanistan. The war eventually cost about 15,000 Soviet lives and the lives of between 700,000 and 1.3 million Afghans before the Soviet withdrawal in the late 1980s.
http://www.legacy-project.org/events/display.html?ID=12
25 million citizens of the USSR/Russia were killed as a result of communism -- did your sources included victims of WWII? How convenient...
Contrary to the impression given by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and others, a clear majority of those passing through the GULAG Archipelago DID NOT do so as political prisoners. The number of those sentenced for "counterrevolutionary activities" (Article 58 of the Criminal Code) varied from year to year. So too did the percentage of out-and-out "politicals" in the system. Politicals typically made up from a quarter to a third of the GULAG population at any given moment. While the actual percentages ranged from a low of 12.6% in 1936 to a temporary high of 59.2% in 1946, the aggregate numbers they reflected stayed consistently in the 0.4-0.5 million range from 1939 to 1953. Note however that nothing prevented Soviet authorities from charging repressees on political grounds with nonpolitical offenses. Thus the actual number of political prisoners must have been somewhat greater than these statistics suggest.
"SOVIET REPRESSION"
http://www.uwm.edu/Course/448-343/index4.html
"As absolute figures for the number of citizens of a country killed or caused to die by its own government, these figures are very large. They greatly exceed, for example, the number of German citizens killed by the Nazis (if one excludes German soldiers killed in wars started by the Nazis and German civilians killed by enemy action in wars started by the Nazis). On the other hand, relative to the total number of Soviet deaths in 1930–53 they were more modest. If the total number of deaths in the above mentioned categories was, say, 4 million, that would be only about 3.7% of total USSR deaths in 1930–53. Writing about the role of Gulag deaths in total Soviet mortality, Kokurin & Morukov correctly say that, ‘Contrary to widespread opinion, the share of deaths in detention rarely exceeded 2–3% of total deaths in the country and did not have a major influence on the demographic situation as a whole.
This latter conclusion may strike some as strange and counter-intuitive. This reflects a general problem in historical interpretation—attention to extreme cases may distort understanding.’.
http://www.artukraine.com/famineart/SovietCrimes.pdf
There is a substantial difference between the demographic reality of Soviet power and the popular image of it. This is mainly because released intellectual victims of repression wrote books, the organs were bureaucratic organisations which produced reports and kept records, and Ukrainians have a large diaspora, whereas Central Asian nomad or Russian peasant victims of disease, starvation or deportation, criminal or marginal victims of incarceration in the Gulag, the victims of ethnic cleansing, the long-term improvement in Russian/Soviet anthropometric indicators (height and weight) and the extra lives resulting from falling mortality rates generally interest only a few specialists."
http://www.artukraine.com/famineart/SovietCrimes.pdf
[ February 08, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
No answer yet on how you would justify a regime change for Hitler while he roasted millions alive assuming there had been no declaration of war.
If we are speaking about "roasting millions alive" inside the country, then unfortunately once again absolutes aren't that absolute. He did not start from millions, right? So where is this point after which other countries should interfere? And how would other countries even obtain correct statistics? But in general, I would justify a regime change if there is ongoing murdering going on.
Its absolutes that allow the US to step in take action for the good where others are impotent, cowardly, confused, or indifferent
to evil.

Herb, frankly, I am tired of your rhetoric figures. The USA put Pinochet to power, were these the same absolutes at work? Which absolutes prevented the USA from overthrowing Greek junta?
Let's get real.
Is there no circumstance you can find where you would not justify intervention? Its doesn't matter that thousands, or millions of people are being murdered? Have you no conscience? If you could find it in your heart to intervene on what principles would that intervention be based?
To overthrow dictatorial regimes is practically complicated and controversial task, but it has certain moral ground. To undermine democratic regimes and to install dictators, as the USA did in Latin America, is completely different.
You might also want to check this document:

International Court of Justice
CASE CONCERNING THE MILITARY AND PARAMILITARY ACTIVITIES
IN AND AGAINST NICARAGUA (NICARAGUA v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)


[ February 08, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

John Dunn
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hmmm...
Is the sheriff denying me my rights to free speech and freedom of the press on the XML Certification forum, (see the John Dunn links), because:
She has Communist tendancies and is acting on how she was brain-washed as a child, now that she is in power
OR
She is spending so much time on these drawn out pyscho-babbling-polySci-wizzWazz topics that she doesn't have anymore time to do anything else!!!


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
"John Dunn",
How did I "deny you your rights to free speech"???
Was it me who closed you precious thread and moved it to "Blatant Advertising"?
NO. It was Thomas Paul.
Did I ask you to show us some proofs of your certifications?
NO. It was Roseanne Zhang
I am waiting for your apologies.
she doesn't have anymore time to do anything else
- I just added Roseanne's XML FAQ to our XML Links page.
Now what YOU did to this place besides whining and screaming
?
I am waiting for your apologies again.
Are you upset that I did not post any proofs of your certifications? That's because I haven't received any yet.
Many of our moderators suspected that you are somehow affiliated with XML@Whiz company, because their people used to show up in our forums under fictitious names and post "passed with xx %" posts with disguised advertisement of their product. Due to my difficult childhood and communistic brain-washing, I idealistically believed that there is something besides money in this world and maybe you aren't affiliated with them, so I tried to smooth things in "XML Certification" forum.
Now I am starting to think that I was stupid and you *are* affiliated with the XML@Whiz. Otherwise, why would you appear in this thread and post outrageous lie that I "deny you your rights to free speech"? Are you trying to get attention? It can be a bad kind of attention, you know... :roll:
[ February 08, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
John Dunn
slicker
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Whooo Weeeeeee...
Isn't this the meaningless drivel page?? I thought you'd get a good chuckle.
-----------------
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065

Oh yes, I did :roll:
frank davis
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Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
The differences are this :
1. In another post I gave a list of other countries besides Russia where the number of people murdered by the communists runs into the MILLIONS.

If you want to speak about MILLIONS, communists did not start WWI, capitalists did. ...

Capitalism is an economic system, not a political system. This is unlike communism/attempted communism which is a way of organizing society both politically and economically. Although economics influences politics, in the case of WWI it would be most absurd to state that WWI was started for an economic/capitalistic reasons. The reasons for the war were political. The fact that the countries involved in WWI were capitalistic to varying degrees has little bearing on the reasons for the war.
However, in communism, there is typically a very bloody revolution, then an ongoing continuous suppression (including murder) of its citizens. The suppression of its citizens is an inherent part of the system while the society tries to evolve towards its workers paradise/hell. A vivid example is China's murder of thousands in Tianenman Square not so long ago. In every country it is not so dramatic, some people are cowardly or "practical" and keep their mouth shut to avoid trouble, thus keeping the death toll low.
The important take away point is the distinction between economic vs political systems. In WW I there were emperors and kaisers involved. There was no doubt some degree of crude capitalism economically (Russia was practically feudal however) among the participants, but their political systems were not democratic among all the participants. Democracies tend to be more peacefull and this goes for capitalistic democracies as well. The old saying goes something like this, "No nation with McDonalds franchises has attacked another nation with McDonalds franchises". I cannot attest to the 100% truthfullness of that, but I sense a deeper truth...
frank davis
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Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I do not even know where to start... Let's start from here: "terrible atrocities on non-native peoples as well" -- but the difference was they did not commit them on European continent. European people came to their land, and if I am not mistaken, nobody invited them here.

Most of the native population were nomadic hunter/gathers living in the stone age technologically speaking, without even a system of writing or a developed legal system. They lived in tribes and the boundaries of the areas they lived in and hunted in changed as they fought amongst themselves and migrated to follow game. There were many tribes, but the majority of the ones I knew about did not even have a concept of land ownership.
How do you determine whose land it is when the native inhabitants themselves did not claim all of North America; disputed amongst themselves who had rights to the land; and were not even interested in land ownership per se as a rule, but instead only in the animals living on the land who migrated often without regard to human boundaries.
In what sense do nomadic people who have no sense of land ownership as we understand it "own" land?
Did every native American and all their descendents somehow inherit a permanent right to all of North America at the time their first ancestor crossed the Bering Straits? Was it really their land, or did they steal it from other legitinate inhabitants almost 10,000 years ago (see http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/html/kennewick_man.html) ?

Imagine that in 1970-s communists came to the USA and started to settle on a new place, I wonder what kind of atrocities this would cause...

Plenty of communists here in the US since the 1950s. Plenty of communes here where people have very wide latitude to make their own communistic paradise. Unfortunately , many communists believe in overthrowing governments with bloody revolutions and this is the point at which they, rightly so, get in trouble, and this is why they are in general regarded with suspescion.


1. conflict wouldn't happen if capitalists did not have a habit to invade other countries and continents.
2. Frankly, this sounds like blatant justification of genocide to me.
Herb, are you serious? "one side was about 1,000 years ahead" -- where did your absolutes go? -- are moral absolutes "absolute" only when they serve your needs?
This was one of the most amazing posts I read last months.

1. Some colonies did get along peacefully with the native inhabitants for a substantial amount of time. How long does one have to live in the land before you acquire "rights" to it and not be considered an invader? Many of the earliest colonists did not come as invaders or plan an "invasion" nor did they come for capitalistic reasons. Many came for religious freedom. I don't know if I would classify the whole immigration to the North America as a capitalistic invasion.
2. I sense some confusion between justification and explanation. I guess I have to go on record now and say I am not in favor of, nor endorsing of, any behavior that could be considered genocidal. There were hot headed or even evil people on both sides. I do not condone atrocities no matter who did them.
[ February 08, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
But most of the native people were wiped out by disease not warefare. By the way, many native peoples still exist, they were not exterminated. Had it been an aim or goal of capitalism to exerminate them, it would have happened long ago.
1. Russian population also still exists, gulags did not exterminate it all. So does Chinese population.

No one ever made the absurd claim that communists had any goal of exterminating everyone. They do have the goal of exterminating/suppressing dissent in whatever is the most practical manner at the time. As Tiananmen Square showed, even long after the revolution, mass murder is viwed as effective means of controlling the population. My point was that the disputes between the US and and the native population were not an inherent part of capitalism, but instead limited in time and scope. However, suppression of dissent is inherent in communism and ongoing.


By this moment I found myself in a strange position, strange enough to stop and think, what is it that makes me defend communists with their murders? Frankly, your blank statements, overgeneralizations and overestimations somehow made me think that not compassion to victims motivates you, something else...

Is this an 'ad admoniem', that is attacking motivation/character ?
I think my generalizations have been as accurate as generalizations generally can be. My estimates on the number of people murdered by communists were not something I made up and I gave you my source. I think the biggest discrepancy is probably the numbers starved to death by Stalin in the Ukraine. Accurate death counts were not done and estimates had to be made. I've seen the numbers range from a few million to 13 million depending on the source.
You may or may not choose to reveal your motivations, I will be clear since you question them : I believe communism is evil and needs to be exposed lest its evils, even in milder guises, spread. I live in a State that is only 50 miles from a communist country. Many flee for economic reasons, but others have stories of murder and suppression...

You know that "democratic" Russia wages a war on Chechen republic for many years already? Estimated 20,000 killed, the capital city of Chechen destroyed. Can you imagine this to happen in 1970-s? Moscow bombing its own territory? I cannot. But my main point is: what would your press say if this happened in the USSR? Atrocities of communism, right? What does it say now? Atrocities of capitalism? Atrocities of democracy? You did not even mention this war! You do not care? Why not? Because it doesn't fit your schema? If this is not hypocrisy, than what is it?

Again we confuse political and economic systems. Because they are one and the same in communism, yes, I would blame communism if the Chechen conflict occured under communism. Today, I blame Putin, and Russia's democracy, but not its half- ass joke of an economic system . In war, the overwhelming number of capitalists lose money, they don't make money. Capitalism encourages trade which does not happen easily during a war.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
No answer yet on how you would justify a regime change for Hitler while he roasted millions alive assuming there had been no declaration of war.
But in general, I would justify a regime change if there is ongoing murdering going on.
[ February 08, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

So, we can put you down for regime change in Iraq?
John Dunn
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Most of the native population were nomadic hunter/gathers living in the stone age technologically speaking, without even a system of writing or a developed legal system. They lived in tribes and the boundaries of the areas they lived in and hunted in changed as they fought amongst themselves and migrated to follow game. There were many tribes, but the majority of the ones I knew about did not even have a concept of land ownership.

The following link is a MUST read. It describes the League of Iroquois Nations. Ben Franklin understood its value and was able to apply their wisdom into our own constitution. They figured if 'savages' could govern themselves so well, then surely we could... It must be remembered that colonists had left a world where the rulers and clergy were supposedly a notch above everyone else.
http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi709.htm
Indians came to the rescue of the early colonists and taught them how to live off the land, (with farming, shelter, medicines, etc), and ultimately kept them alive. Hence Thanksgiving...
Indians were not all angels. Some tribes were pacifistic and some warfaring. Some tribes where capable of inexplicable horrors. Many tribes aligned themselves with settlers to kill off their enemies - this led to the French and Indian Wars. Ultimately, they all fell victim to the overwhelming number of immigrants and to the lies of the US government.
As spiritual as it was, their system of living could not have allowed for so many folks to survive together. Some of their decline must be attributed to evolution of society. Prior to European immigration, Indian tribes would flourish and totally fail. (We know of some SouthWestern tribes that disappeared for unknown reasons - drought? disease? genocide?)
I wonder if we continue to share technology, our economic system and perhaps a new cheap & easy form of energy with the rest of the world, will we become unimportant to them and eventually have sown the seeds of our own decline as the Indians did here and also how the Romans did with the Pax Romana??
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:

...Some tribes where capable of inexplicable horrors. Many tribes aligned themselves with settlers to kill off their enemies - this led to the French and Indian Wars.
...Prior to European immigration, Indian tribes would flourish and totally fail. (We know of some SouthWestern tribes that disappeared for unknown reasons - drought? disease? genocide?)

The political factors, infighting amongst the Indian groups themselves, other unknown factors mentioned above, and my previous posts, show that it is not entirely fair to blame the economic system of capitalism for the demise of native populations.
Some of the mid western tribes depended on the buffalo herds and the destruction of those herds effectivley destroyed their way of life and no doubt caused population declines among those specific tribes. One could argue that capitalism in that case holds some responsibility. My understanding of the destruction of the buffalo herds was that it was quite an example of callous human greed run amok. On the other hand, foolish, callous, resource depletion is not confined to any economic system. Perhaps the callousness is a spiritual defect not endemic to any particular system at all...
Thomas Paul
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If you want to speak about MILLIONS, communists did not start WWI, capitalists did. Actually, the first thing Communistic Russia did, it canceled Russia's participation in WWI.
I thought WWI started when Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia. Then the German military invaded Belgium. Where do the captialists come into this?
WWII: Who financed Hitler? Communists? Nope. Capitalists did.
Who had the money? Obviously not all capitalists supported Hitler.
In the criminal code of the USSR there were two articles, clauses, not sure what the correct term is, that prohibited anti-Soviet propaganda. Everybody knew that, and people were not arrested without any reason.
The problem was that anti-Soviet propoganda was whatever the government decided it was. if it wanted to arrest you it was easy to find something that you said or did that could be construed as anti-Soviet.
And who destroyed GULAG? Capitalists? Marians? Islamic terrorists? Communists did. And they pay victims of repression too, mind you.
What communists? I thought Russia was no longer a communist country.
Funny, but communists told the same about capitalism, that the system cannot exist without starting wars periodically, without expansion into other countries and even continents.
The point is that communism can't exist without terrorizing their own citizens. Once freedom takes root, communism collapses. I'm not sure what your point is. Are you saying that because communists lied about the west that therefore everything anyone ever said bad about communism must be a lie?


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frank davis
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

So, we can put you down for regime change in Iraq?
But more importantly, getting back to your original post (finally) where you expressed annoyance at the US for proposing regime change;
I fail to see the distinguishing principle behind the situation where for you it is OK to propose regime change , and yet if the US calls for regime change it is arrogance or worse...
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Herb, are you serious? "one side was about 1,000 years ahead" -- where did your absolutes go? All man are created equal? Your words: "I believe Ayn Rand (born in USSR by the way) makes the strongest case for the existence of moral absolutes and rights. The way I remember her argument is that the right to life is the fundamental right. There is equality in the right to life, and from that right all other rights proceed, such as the right to liberty and to act, and from that to own property (since to negate this right would infringe on the other rights previously mentioned)"
-- are moral absolutes "absolute" only when they serve your needs?
This was one of the most amazing posts I read last months.

When I mention the fact that one group was 1,000 years ahead of another group technologically, that was in no way meant to imply that one group had greater rights than another. Sorry if I gave you that impression. I was giving you the context in which the conflict took place and why the contest was so one sided. The context and background was needed to explain why the conflict was not the result of capitalism. There were many other factors involved besides economics.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Herb, frankly, I am tired of your rhetoric figures. The USA put Pinochet to power, were these the same absolutes at work?
...
To overthrow dictatorial regimes is practically complicated and controversial task, but it has certain moral ground. To undermine democratic regimes and to install dictators, as the USA did in Latin America, is completely different.
[ February 08, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

One could argue that preventing the emergence of a communist regime has as much moral backing as overthrowing dictators. Communist regimes, we all can agree, are repressive and dictatorial. Even if communists came to power through democracy would this make their regimes legitimate since they violate human rights? Hitler came to power democratically as well, so I don't think that is the proper criteria. The respect for human rights should be the criteria. The long record of communist regimes on human rights is consistenly bad.
I'm not going to defend Pinochet except to suggest that it is not unreasonablly outrageous to suggest he may have been the lesser of two evils. Sometimes, Life presents us with those types of choices. Comparing the two Latin American countries in Latin America, Pinochet's Chile and Castro's Cuba (which could have been what happened in Chile without Pinochet) could clarify the decisions the US made of whom to support.

"Forty years of history have left us with this perspective on two regimes. Castro bankrupted his country, tyrannized its inhabitants and is now the longest ruling dictator in the world. Pinochet presided over his own ruthless dictatorship for 15 years, created a booming economy and restored democracy to Chile. If one had to choose between a Castro and a Pinochet, from the point of view of the poor, the victimized and the oppressed, the choice would not be difficult"
http://dir.salon.com/news/col/horo/1998/11/23/nc_23horo/index.html?pn=2
Mapraputa Is
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Trying to summarize....
Why am I trying to "defend" communism? Once again, Noam Chomsky said better than I could:
"It is, for example, easy enough for an American intellectual to write critical analyses of the behavior of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Eastern Europe (or in supporting the Argentine generals), but such efforts have little if any effect in modifying or reversing the actions of the U.S.S.R. Rather, such efforts, which are naturally much welcomed by those who dominate the ideological institutions here, may serve to contribute to the violence of the American state, by reinforcing the images of Soviet brutality (often accurate) that are used to frighten Americans into conformity and obedience. <...>
Putting it a bit crudely, it is best to tell people that which they least want to hear, to take up the least popular causes, other things being equal. These are, of course, transitory and sometimes personal judgments...
"The reasons for my concern"
http://monkeyfist.com:8080/ChomskyArchive/misc/reasons_html
Another reason is that I (unlike some on this board) lived trough this regime for a while, and some things being said about it just sound Wrong. For example: not in this thread, but some time ago somebody said that socialism doesn't provide enough motivation for hard work. Here I should note that the difference in payment for an enter-level and experienced engineer in the USSR was about 3 times -- is it too different from what we have here? And if we are speaking about people getting rich, then do not tell me about hard work
Mapraputa Is
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However, in communism, there is typically a very bloody revolution, then an ongoing continuous suppression (including murder) of its citizens. The suppression of its citizens is an inherent part of the system while the society tries to evolve towards its workers paradise/hell.
According to my observations, "communism" doesn't emerge in "happy" countries, it is a product of a crisis. In certain sense, it's a product of problems capitalism failed to solve. It usually takes very harsh times for "communism" to win people's mind. So why to be surprised it is so bloody? It is bloody by definition.
A vivid example is China's murder of thousands in Tianenman Square not so long ago.
Why do you keep on bringing up this example??? Do you have any clue what Chinese society is, and what happened "in Tianenman Square"? This was our Soviet "democratization" that sent Chinese students wrong message that "it is Ok now", I am afraid. It was a tragedy. You would prefer Chinese government just watching what was going on? Watching how their country goes to nowhere? Herb, unlike you, I had to experience all consequences of "democratization" and "liberation from communism", and you know what? An average Russian citizen suffers MUCH more under "democratic" government of Russia then he did under "communistic" government of the USSR. But for some reason I do not think you care much about real people and their life, all you are concerned with are abstract ideas and labels, like "communism", "democracy" etc. "Communism was defeated" - GREAT! That real people suffer from it -- gee, who cares...
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Plenty of communists here in the US since the 1950s. Plenty of communes here where people have very wide latitude to make their own communistic paradise.
I was talking about other people invading your country, people who speak languages you do not understand, whose motivation you cannot understand, people who are much stronger than you.
Have you ever experienced it? Your civilization being wiped out?
When I lived in the USSR, I had no clue about all these things. Perhaps I sound arrogant, but it seems one need to go through disaster to come to his senses and to start to see real people behind words and labels.
[ February 10, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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I do realize that you naturally compare other countries to what you have here, and then wonder what the heck is wrong with all other countries and why they cannot live as well as you are. Must be that they all are just lazy, yeah? (I hope you are smart enought not to say it when there is a Latino guy that can reach you). Can you allow that the USA is an exception rather than rule?
Ah, yes, communism in practice. Millions murdered, the rest living in dictatorships where to voice dissent would risk death, and a standard of living, even 60+ years after a revolution far below Western countries.
There:
"One document to look at if you want to understand your country is Policy Planning Study 23, written by Kennan for the State Department planning staff in 1948. Here's some of what it says:
"we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives...We should cease to talk about vague and ... unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."
Noam Chomsky. "What uncle Sam really wants".
[ February 10, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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They do have the goal of exterminating/suppressing dissent in whatever is the most practical manner at the time.
True.
As Tiananmen Square showed, even long after the revolution, mass murder is viwed as effective means of controlling the population.
If no other means help. I do not understand your disgust. You do not have problems with the USA attacking any country it feels safe to attack, whenever there is (or not) a slight possibility the country will choose "communistic" way of development. There are thousands of victims, but this seems not to be a big concern for American population. However, when "communistic" nation solves its problems how it thinks it should be solved, here you are, with your priceless advices. And when your priceless advices ruin millions, it doesn't mean anything, as long as your own bank account is safe.
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To explain what I mean... My parents lived a rather "modest" life from ''consumers" POV. Basically, they did not allow themselves to want too much. One of the reasons was they wanted me to have independent life, so they saved money to buy me a place to live -- separated from them. They *did* have money to buy me an apartment - without any credits, all sum up front. Then there was "democratizations", "liberalisation" or whatever other nice name you give to it. Sounds great, but bad things, new officials said that all money you had before are just a joke. Forget about them.
Do you expect me to forget it? Do not ever dream.
Do you expect me to forget how my mother came home 12.09 - I will never forget this time! I had to warm her lunch since I was 8 - because she had no time to, she had only 11 minutes to spend home, so she eat like mad and then fall on sofa to rest? What did she get for her hard work? A lot, during "communistic" regime. Nothing, during "democracy". Should I say that she worked in "harmful" environment so that communists gave all workers free milk and all workers could retire 5 years earlier? She retired when she was 50, thanks God, communists were still in power. Then here came "democracy" -- she has no money since then. She is broken, but this doesn’t mean anything, I guess, as long as "Russia" (what is it?) is freed of "Communism" (what is it?).
And yes, she made more money than my father -- only because she worked like a horse.
If you expect me to be excited about failing of "communism" in Russia, you will have to wait too long, I am afraid.
[ February 10, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
According to my observations, "communism" doesn't emerge in "happy" countries, it is a product of a crisis. In certain sense, it's a product of problems capitalism failed to solve.
Are you trying to claim that Russia under the Tsar was a capitalist society? :roll:
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
If you expect me to be excited about failing of "communism" in Russia, you will have to wait too long, I am afraid.
I'm glad to see that your family prospered under communism. However, those who were imprisoned for "crimes against the state" and those put into "mental institutions" because they dared to challenge the power of the communist state are probably glad that they don't live under communism.
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Are you trying to claim that Russia under the Tsar was a capitalist society? :roll:

And why not??? :roll:
There *was* capitalism in tsarist Russia, are you going to deny it?
Thomas Paul
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As to Kennan's "notorious" document, it was a working paper that he wrote which contained his own thoughts and had nothing to do with how American policy was made. In the notes to the document, Kennnan wrote this: "The paper is submitted merely for information, and does not call for approval. I made no effort to clear it around the Department, since this would have changed its whole character. For this reason, I feel that if any of the views expressed should be made the basis for action in the Department, the views of the offices concerned should first be consulted."
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

And why not??? :roll:
There *was* capitalism in tsarist Russia, are you going to deny it?

That's like saying that since their are Moslems in Israel that Israel must be an Islamic nation! Tsarist Russia was a dictatorship.
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
If no other means help. I do not understand your disgust. You do not have problems with the USA attacking any country it feels safe to attack, whenever there is (or not) a slight possibility the country will choose "communistic" way of development.

The US does not have a history of attacking countries merely because they want to be communists. And do you think it would be better for a country to be attacked than to have its people enslaved and murdered for 70 years?
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I'm glad to see that your family prospered under communism. However, those who were imprisoned for "crimes against the state" and those put into "mental institutions" because they dared to challenge the power of the communist state are probably glad that they don't live under communism.

My family prospered??? Only because they worked their ass off. For account: neither my mother nor my father were members of Communist Party.
"those who were imprisoned" - Tom, I would be happy to report any such experience, it’s just that I never meet any of these guys personally. I read about them, yes, but I wasn't lucky enough to witness them.
 
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