communism

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While reading Paul Krugman’s excellent piece, Sex & Drugs & the Spill, in the NYT this morning, I came across this comment. It pretty much sums up the way I feel. But it’ll probably take another hundred years, if we make it, before it’s realized in this increasingly right wing country. Thanks, Dim from Texas, whoever you are.

It has become clear that we need much stronger regulations of many industries and to make those regulations work we need a good competent government, I completely agree with you there. When the Soviet Union collapsed this was portrayed as a definitive proof that capitalism, or market economy, is superior to socialism. Of course, Soviet Union was rotten from the inside by over-regulation much much earlier, but events in recent years indicate that market economy is not that superior. Russia was just a wrong country to set an example. If socialism, or even communism, first took root in a country like Germany or Japan the result would have been quite different (no, I didn’t not forget about East Germany which was forced into a soviet type system). I feel Karl Max was right and we will all eventually end up in an economic system that is a healthy hybrid of socialism and market economy. And the role of socialism will be played by strong regulations, channeling the energy of the market economy toward common good, a system which is more fair for all, with checks and balances, not rigged so much to benefit the insiders – Wall Street, corporations, politicians – as it is now.

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Paul Krugman is back with a great op-ed in Monday morning’s NYT. Here’s the point of his piece, taken from the second paragraph:

But there’s a problem: conservative politicians, clinging to an out-of-date ideology — and, perhaps, betting (wrongly) that their constituents are relatively well positioned to ride out the storm — are standing in the way of action.

There are already a goodly number of comments on Paul’s piece. Here’s one comment that sums up the situation perfectly in my estimation:

As a historian, I am utterly shocked by the response to this economic crisis by Conservative Republicans in Washington and Chancellor Merkel’s response in Germany. What planet are these people on? Have they ever opened up a history book? I hate to say it but it almost seems as if these people have absolutely lost their minds. Here in the U.S., I do feel that these Republicans are simply trying to score political points with their out-of-date ideology by killing another powerful labor union. Meanwhile, the middle class continues to shrink at an alarming rate. Companies like the Big 3 and other major manufacturers provide this country with thousands and thousands of middle-class decent paying jobs. However, all I hear from Republicans at my university and everywhere else is that any intervention is “socialism” or “communism” or part of some internationalist conspiracy for one world government. The Red Scare is over people and McCarthy has long been dead. Why do we keep bringing back these McCarthyist rants during these times of crisis? The truth is these economic conservatives have absolutely no clue what it is like working in a factory and being on the bottom of the ladder, struggling to make ends meet every month. All they want to do is criticize workers for wanting to make a decent wage that actually keeps up with inflation. What is wrong with that? Of course, these Conservative Republicans would have no problem voting for a raise for themselves. But at the second a poor man comes to them for help or wanting health care, they stick their noses in the air. Mr. Krugman, I hate to say this but if something is not done soon with this economic situation, this country is going to fall apart beyond description. What will it take for these people to understand the situation? Do people literally have to be starving to death in the streets, fighting for food, jumping out of windows, killing themselves in their forclosed homes before they notice the problem? I mean come on: it came out the other day that we have been in a recession since December of 2007….it took them this long to notice and fess up? We need to start acting with depression economics now before it is too late. It is time for a Kenyesian revolution now more than ever. The solution is staring in the face of not just the United States but the entire international community as a whole. Why will they not accept that their completely free-market ideology has failed them?

— Matt, Ball State University

Right! Their completely free-market ideology has failed them! And us! Let’s take some action. But we’re still in that state of limbo until Bush finally goes. :roll:

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