Dear God above, seriously?

Communism was the great threat of our childhoods – or so we were told.

Now it is climate change. And the evidence of the threat is stronger.

Vague computer models of something that might happen in 50 years, maybe a century or two, are stronger evidence than a hundred million people odd being starved, murdered and executed in recent history?

94 thoughts on “Dear God above, seriously?”

  1. You’ve read that wrong, at least the part you put here.

    The threat was from Nuclear War. We were always told it was a clear and present danger. All that MAD was maths models, wasn’t it? That threat didn’t last very long.

    200 years in the future? Trends are trends. Interpretations are interpretations.

    Better to be safe than sorry, don’t you think?

    Could it be that a Worstall-like character would post something with a headline like:

    “No point blaming xyz industry for the state of the world, blame cretinous politicians for not acting a century ago”

    ?

  2. Arnald, as you know, you can’t stick me with the denier tag. I shout loudly for a carbon tax and a carbon tax now. Recall?

  3. I know, Tim, I was countering your “communism was a threat because of 100 million deaths, when the threat was nukes.

    I then saw the post from Chris Miller and carried on regardless, riffing badly on your headline writing.

  4. Communism was a threat to the free(r) world, but the 100 million is the estimate of own citizens killed by communist regimes in the 20th century. Yeah, yeah, I know non-communist regimes got their hands dirty too. But the communists were much much better at it. It always helps when there is a higher purpose and Hitler had his but Stalin takes the biscuit.

    The models on climate change have been around for much less time and have failed spectacularly to predict anything close to reality, even when data is manipulated and massaged. Fearmongers.

  5. There was more than one threat from communism. There was, of course, the MAD one, but there were also people quite seriously advocating we move to a communist model, despite the evidence from everywhere it was ever tried that it would lead to state-sanctioned killings and privitations that made wartime austerity look like an age of plenty…

  6. @ Arnald
    How much damage did nuclear weapons do to Cambodia?
    The threat was communism. Nuclear weapons (after the first A-bombs in 1945) were a response to that threat. The communist dictators were happy to waste a million men to win a single battle and then murdered anyone who disagreed with them.
    If you knew any history you would know that Hitler’s rise was a consequence of the threat that the Bolsheviks posed to civilisation (a real threat – look what happened to China).

  7. No– what you are doing Arny-boy is either denying or claiming justification for 150 million–more like– murders in the name of socialism. Which you regard as no big deal.

    The threat of socialism is just as real now that its remaining advocates are middle-class scum mostly. CM is vastly better supplied with lies and propaganda than old-style marxist shite ever were.

  8. Communism became a threat only after the Americans came up with the idea of the global spread of communism. When the Soviet leadership found out they thought it was a great idea and adopted it.
    American paranoia gave the world a big threat that developed into multiple wars.

  9. Communism became a threat only after the Americans came up with the idea of the global spread of communism. When the Soviet leadership found out they thought it was a great idea and adopted it.

    So the Soviet conquest of Uzbekistan in the 1920s came after the Americans took an interest? Peter Hopkirk’s the man to set you straight.

  10. Anal-D

    Better to be safe than sorry, don’t you think?

    That depends on whether you are applying the Strong or the Weak version of the Precautionary Principle

    The Strong version says that regulation and action are required whenever there is a possible risk to health, safety, or the environment, even if the supporting evidence is speculative and even if the economic costs of regulation are high. The Weak version says that lack of scientific evidence does not preclude action if damage would otherwise be serious and irreversible. We practise weak precaution every day, and often incur costs, to avoid hazards that are far from certain: we do not walk in immigrant areas at night, we exercise, we buy smoke detectors, we buckle our seatbelts, etc.

  11. Communism became a threat only after the Americans came up with the idea of the global spread of communism. When the Soviet leadership found out they thought it was a great idea and adopted it.American paranoia gave the world a big threat that developed into multiple wars.

    A thought worthy of Corbyn.

    Congratulations, you’ve won Moron of the Day.

  12. Tim Newman – there’s also Bavaria, Mongolia, Hungary, even a Soviet established in the bits of Slovakia (Kosice iirc) the Hungarian Reds invaded, all pretty promptly after the Russian Revolution. They got on with it. I could add the Finnish civil war, the Soviet invasion of Armenia and the war with Poland but I guess they come more under the banner of the breakdown of the Russian Empire.

  13. Better to be safe than sorry, don’t you think?

    So, Arnald, you’re of the opinion that attempting to predict future outcomes of a complex nonlinear dynamical system using simple linear dynamical modeling is sufficient to embark on a massive program of compulsory societal restructuring?

    Tim’s an economist… Ask him just how well extremely complex nonlinear dynamical systems (like, say, the economy of the UK) lend themselves to very accurate mathematical modeling… especially by reducing complexity and assuming away nonlinearity. If you won’t bet everything on the economic predictions of Chase or Barclays for 20 years from now, why would you bet everything on the same sort of modeling for “climate change”?

  14. Better to be safe than sorry, don’t you think?

    Safe from what ? Even if AGW is true the question remains of what we can do about it and whether the cure is worse than the threat. At the moment all we seem to be doing is wrecking our power supply system for the opportunity to have absolutely bugger all effect on climate change.

  15. When, not long after the death of Stalin I was on the banks of The Elbe with access to the files it was very clear that the Soviet Union was a real and unpredictable threat.

  16. Lenin agreed with Marx that communism had to be established globally. Stalin took a different line (“socialism in one country”), but this was a difference of opinion about how best to reach the desired destination, not what that destination was.

    Communism was an existential threat to ordinary people’s hopes for a decent life from the moment it was conceived: it still is.

  17. Ian B

    “I distinctly recall Communism being a threat in its own right. Not just nuclear war”

    I dunno, it wasn’t much of a threat in the late 70s and 80s. 4 minute warnings and painting your windows white (in four minutes) was.

    Certainly Stalin was a threat to CCCP’s neighbours and any expansionism like that is wrong, but a threat to the western world?

    Did the existence of US Military bases in Europe make Europeans feel more secure against succumbing to Stalinist USSR, or did it make them feel like they were now a target?

    It was the nuclear threat that was real. Being scared of communism was a vaguely existentialist threat based on engineered hysteria. I guess that’s anecdotal evidence.

    Frankie Says Relax!

  18. “Communism was an existential threat to ordinary people’s hopes for a decent life from the moment it was conceived: it still is”

    See? Who’s scared? Are you really scared by it?

  19. >You’ve read that wrong, at least the part you put here.
    >The threat was from Nuclear War. We were always told it was a clear and present danger. All that MAD was maths models, wasn’t it? That threat didn’t last very long.

    Murphy is clearly talking about Communism. He says nothing about nuclear war. (And when I was a kid it was the lefties who were constantly going on about nuclear war anyway.)

    >Communism became a threat only after the Americans came up with the idea of the global spread of communism. When the Soviet leadership found out they thought it was a great idea and adopted it.

    What utter bilge.

  20. Perhaps irrationally I was more afraid of the tanks than the Bomb. Though more afraid of that than an abstract ideology. The notion that humanity would wipe itself out was a chilling one but something I put in the “yeah, but we would never actually do that” category. Too much faith in humanity perhaps.

    The idea that some miscommunication or mishap or miscalculation might lead to a conventional war across Europe seemed quite feasible to me though. Tanks across borders, wars of territory (that even with conventional weapons could devastate the towns and cities in the way), all been done before hadn’t it? And there were a lot of tanks, and jets, and soldiers. Nukes you could feasibly keep “just for show”… but a jet bomber is for bombing stuff, right? So what if someone wanted to get some bang for their buck?

    It was probably the wrong thing to be afraid of. But had I lived in West Germany, say, I think I’d have been even more sensitive to that and less about MAD. (Were I living in Ukraine or Moldova or Estonia or Georgia today, I’d have much the same inclination but would be rather more correct to.)

  21. @ Arnald
    When you grow up you might go to Adult Education classes and learn that neither Communism nor Nuclear weapons started in the late 1970s.
    In my childhood Stalin and his puppets took over Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, North Vietnam, and Tibet, murdering and enslaving millions in the process.
    “Did the existence of US Military bases in Europe make Europeans feel more secure against succumbing to Stalinist USSR, or did it make them feel like they were now a target?” Ask them! – the Germans felt safer with BAOR. De Gaulle did not feel safe enough with US bases so the French developed their own nuclear deterrent. Oh, had you forgotten?

  22. @ Arnald and anyone else
    The Americans did not come up with the idea of the global spread of communism – that is part of elementary Marxism and was Trotsky’s objective pre-1917 before the Americans had heard of communism.
    Why am I telling a lefty what Trotsky wanted? *Despairs*

  23. Mr ‘Moonraker’ Ecks

    I was trying to work out what your grand scheme reminded me of. What was it you said? Strong, brave and well armed young folk calling the Solar System home and spreading to the stars? Something like that.

    That makes you the small lass with the glasses that fancies Jaws. Poor lamb.

    How can I forget anything when you repeat it every other sentence? You know your world view can’t just revolve around counting dead people.

    I can’t change history, and I also can’t change the fact you think I’m a Stalinist when I’ve never said anything remotely like that which would resemble Stalinism.

    But carry on with your plans Ecksy, whilst quivering in the wardrobe, praying that communism doesn’t see you.

  24. 77

    I did say it was based on my anecdotal evidence. I, and the whole existence I knew about when I was growing up were not being threatened by communism. They were threatened by the impending nuclear holocaust.

  25. Spicing up your hols by consuming “extraordinary” substances Arnie?

    From your ravings you must have been snorting your own shite.

    Your bizarre Bond fantasies aside it seems that all those millions were done in by Uncle Joe and therefore it was “Stalinism” to blame.Nothing to do with socialism at all.

    Oh well that makes it all right. Just change the name. Doesn’t even leave a bulge under your carpet. The same one you wipe your arse on.

    Of course if you are going to do the same for all the other murdering socialist cunts you are going to have a very long list of names with “ism” added on the end. And a dozy coprolite like you will have trouble keeping it all in your head which is even smaller than your dick but still way larger than your balls.

    We’ll just keep calling what all killed those people socialism then.

    “You know your world view can’t just revolve around counting dead people.”

    Why not? Yours revolves around ignoring them.

  26. Oh and that is “murdered” people–not just dead people. Nearly missed that one. Always looking for a way to duck the truth aren’t you son.

  27. I did say it was based on my anecdotal evidence. I, and the whole existence I knew about when I was growing up were not being threatened by communism. They were threatened by the impending nuclear holocaust.

    All this means, Arnald, is that even as a youngster you were unable to sort out the facts correctly.

  28. Peasant

    Again you’re misrepresenting me.

    I said I wasn’t scared of communism when I was growing up. I didn’t feel threatened.

    What’s up with that?

  29. Communism became a threat only after the Americans came up with the idea of the global spread of communism. When the Soviet leadership found out they thought it was a great idea and adopted it.American paranoia gave the world a big threat that developed into multiple wars.

    Wow, both the US and the Soviets worked quick – Switzerland didn’t have diplomatic relations with the USSR for quite a while since the Soviet embassy tried to start a revolution in November 1918 and were told to Get ti Feck and were expelled.

  30. Ecks

    You said this

    Until we have a nation of strong, brave, well-armed independent people who enjoy , across the board, standards of life that far exceed the lying promises made by socialistic scurf like you. And never kept anyway.

    A future where our descendants develop and call home first the Solar System and eventually the Galaxy.

    This is Drax’s plan in Moonraker

    Drax reveals that he seeks to destroy the entire human race except for a small group of carefully selected humans, both male and female, that would leave Earth on six shuttles and have sanctuary on a space station in orbit over Earth. Using chemical weapons …he would wipe out the remainder of humanity

    I dunno, it’s fairly similar…

  31. @ Arnald
    Even as a child I knew who was threatening us.
    OTOH, I was appallingly bad at music.
    The Communists had few scruples about invading countries without nuclear weapons. Ukraine, the Baltics, and Central asia in the 20s, Finland and Poland in 1939, Eastern Europe (including Greece) in the 1940s, Malaya in 1948 and again in 1967, Tibet in 1950/1. Hungary in 1956, India in 1962, Czechoslovakia in 1968, Angola variously (the Russian and Chinese had rival guerrila factions), Afghanistan in 1979 … And *you* worried about the stupid Yanks?!?

  32. Love how people ignore facts that threaten their view.

    Then again thats far from unknown on even RM’s site.

  33. Anrnie Barnie: I, and the whole existence I knew about when I was growing up were not being threatened by communism.

    Wrong! You were threatened by communism while you were growing up (odd how you talk of the process as though it were complete!) but you lacked the intelligence and imagination to be aware of it.

    Why not enjoy the fresh air and go and build a nice sandcastle?

  34. Arnald–Dodging the point son?

    I don’t give a rat’s arse about what your twisted brain thinks about what resembles what. You can recite the “Who’s on First” routine in the vestibule of the fucking Tardis if “Fantasy Comparison League” is how you like wasting what little of your already small brainpower is not devoted to evil.

    In fact I suggest you might be better employed doing that rather than embarrassing and disgracing yourself (even more) on here. Disgracing yourself by your absolute indifference to the lives of millions taken from them by the political poison that you espouse and disgorge daily. Embarrassing yourself by having no argument beyond a witless and pathetic attempt at distraction.

  35. I read Animal Farm and 1984 and then One Day in the Life when I was twelve and I was pretty scared of communism thereafter. I think a lot of people forget how plausible its extension to new parts of the world seemed until fairly close to the collapse of the USSR. Now of course we have a generation of kids and young adults, none of whom remember the USSR, many of whom haven’t read any Orwell, and most of whom are raised with ‘fairness’ as a central plank of their lives. So who knows, maybe we should worry again.

  36. Interested: I think a lot of people forget how plausible its extension to new parts of the world seemed until fairly close to the collapse of the USSR

    I was rootling round in the back of the booze cupboard the other day looking for Vodka and came across an antique bottle of Stolichnaya whose label proclaims “imported from the USSR”.

    Stolichnaya is now a Pernod-Ricard brand but my relic derives from Sojuzprodoimport.

    It gave me a bit of the old crossing Checkpoint Charliel frisson but also a twinge of ostalgie for a time when we knew who the enemy was and, more importantly perhaps, how to respond to him.

  37. One of my pet peeves is people who seen to think the cold war involved no fighting between the two sides. As someone who grew up threatened by several proxy wars and who later fought in a particularly brutal one, it gets my goat

  38. TMB

    But why would any civilised individual want to drink a sterile and almost tasteless spirit like vodka when there is wine? Only barbarians seeking to blot out eight months of hideous winter could imagine vodka to be a pleasure.

  39. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Arsenald seems to be unable to make the daring intellectual leap to understanding that if there had been no communist Warsaw Pact there would have been no need for the massive stockpile of nuclear weapons of which he claims to have been so afraid.

    Absent a plausible deterrent, the Russians would have been through the Fulda Gap by the 60’s. We couldn’t have stopped them. If they’d held off until the 80’s we would have been able to attrit them to the point where they would have ground to a halt, but several million Western Europeans would have died in the process.

    Soviet communism was evil on a scale that beggars belief. The Nazis were in high-end genocide mode from about 1941–1945. The Soviets cranked up the death machine in 1917 and didn’t stop until 1953. Even after that they fomented chaos in Africa and Asia and caused the deaths of millions.

    There was an old debate: “better red than dead”. It was a device invented by fellow travellers to paint anti-communists as war-mongers. It was logically fallacious in its use of the word “than”. Once a society turned red you didn’t get a “than”. You lived or died at the whim of the State. For huge numbers of people it was red then dead.

    If you were not afraid of communism before the end of 1989 you were either wicked or too cretinous to be worthy of consideration. Right now we see the resurgence of the old foe, the one we’ve been fighting for 1400 years and one that is as foul as the communists, and the same stupid/evil people are trying to downplay that as well.

  40. Martin Davies: Love how people ignore facts that threaten their view.

    Well I think that on this occasion your perception of the facts is rather at odds with the mainstream.

    The Communist International predates the 1917 Revolution and it’s unclear from what you wrote, exactly at what point you think the United States entered the fray and helped promulgate communism across the globe.

    Robert Conquest who died last August was something of an authority on Stalin’s reign with an impressive but depressing command of the period and the millions of deaths.

  41. I haven’t yet seen the US blamed for the rise of Nazi Germany (or rather an explanation of how they did it and why).

    Can someone correct this gap in our collective knowledge?

    People would just rather we didn’t know I suppose.

  42. Note again the meta-context that somehow it’s acceptable to make excuses for the wicked totalitarian collectivist ideology that is communism, which anybody who did the same thing for any of the flavors of fascism (not just Nazism, but Mussolini’s Italy or even Franco’s Spain) would be treated as beyond the pale.

    The apologists for communism need to be treated as beyond the pale, too.

  43. I haven’t yet seen the US blamed for the rise of Nazi Germany (or rather an explanation of how they did it and why).

    I guess you could blame Woodrow Wilson for getting the Germans’ hopes up with his dumb Fourteen Points before Clemenceau busted their balls at Versailles.

  44. JerryC,
    Yes of course, I was forgetting Versailles. (And let’s not forget that the US did rather well financially during WW2).

    But how/why did the Great Satan start the Great War?

    They certainly keep this stuff hidden on the 4th of July. Oh yes.

  45. Ted S

    Socialists and communists are to be judged only on their intentions, not on their results. They meant well: they tried to create a better, egalitarian world.

  46. So Much For Subtlety

    Martin Davies – “Communism became a threat only after the Americans came up with the idea of the global spread of communism. When the Soviet leadership found out they thought it was a great idea and adopted it.
    American paranoia gave the world a big threat that developed into multiple wars.”

    I don’t want to be impolite or anything but that is quite possibly the dumbest thing anyone has ever said around here. Ever.

    And we have Arnald.

  47. So Much For Subtlety

    Arnald – “It was the nuclear threat that was real. Being scared of communism was a vaguely existentialist threat based on engineered hysteria. I guess that’s anecdotal evidence.”

    France still keeps nuclear weapons stored at an air base that is about five minutes away from London. Along with the planes designed to drop them. Even closer to poor little Guernsey.

    Do you feel threatened Arnie?

    The weapons are not the problem. The problem is the people who control them and intend to use them. The Soviet nuclear weapons were a threat not just because they were nuclear weapons but because the Soviet Army intended to use them to “liberate” us all.

    Arnald – “I said I wasn’t scared of communism when I was growing up. I didn’t feel threatened. What’s up with that?”

    Presumably because you saw yourself as one of the people sending other people up the chimney and not one of the people being sent up the chimney. A member of the KGB rather than an inmate of the Gulag.

    Which, I am sure, surprises us all to learn.

  48. You’re being too hard on Martin.

    He’s just spouting generic anti-Americanisms. It’s what Euroweenies do. It helps him get through his day, I suppose.

    Martin’s forefathers couldn’t protect themselves from either the Nazis or the Soviets, and he doesn’t have the spunk to protect his women and children from predatory Arabs.

    What do when you don’t have the balls to handle business? You rag on those who do have the balls. It’s what Euros do.

    If you’re going to criticize him, do it for being unoriginal.

  49. @ Dennis the Peasant
    The USA stayed neutral until Hitler declared war on it.
    While the British fought the Axis powers.
    The USA chickened out of Vietnam. After Britain had beaten the communist invasion of Malaya.
    The only balls the Yanks have are those for playing golf or tennis.

  50. Protection from the Nazis and Soviets? Is that what you’re trying to claim?

    Neither the Nazis nor the Soviets would have allowed abuse of permanent residency rules on the horrific scale we’re now seeing in Europe. Marketing operations would have been properly monitored.

    Sooner or later, we would have to have made a choice between Stalin’s beguiling promise of a tractor in every town, or Hitler’s sexy uniforms.

    We never got to make that choice.

  51. john77,
    I think Dennis was focussed on a certain sort of Euro.

    Besides, at what point should the US have joined? Many Americans were American precisely because either they or their forefathers had kissed endlessly war-torn Europe behind.

    Should France v Germany kick-off again, I very much hope we’ll stay out of it this time. Fuck ’em.

  52. The USA stayed neutral until Hitler declared war on it.

    Leave to the Euros to criticize the USA out of one side of their mouths for being warmongering imperialists and for not invading Europe fast enough out of the other. All in the same thread.

  53. So Much For Subtlety

    Dennis the Peasant – “Remaining at peace until attacked is rather the ideal, isn’t it? I mean, it’s the USA’s ideal.”

    You know, I am seriously thinking of apologising to Martin. I really am. Come on all of you, let’s not give Arnald any competition.

    Although now I am going to. By observing the United States is far far away from anyone else. Which means virtually all of its wars except for WW2 involved the US picking fights with other people. WW1. The Spanish-American war. 1812. Grenada. Vietnam. Even WW2 with the Japanese is arguable.

    What marks American wars is the ability to find some pretext for going in and killing Indians. Or Canadians. Or Mexicans. Or Nicaraguans. Or whoever. So they aren’t that different from Europeans. They just generally don’t pick fights with people capable of shooting back.

  54. They just generally don’t pick fights with people capable of shooting back.

    Like the Zulus?

    Even WW2 with the Japanese is arguable.

    Only if you’re as morally bankrupt and intellectually dishonest as Howard Zinn was.

    By the way… When you find yourself thinking it’s time to align with Arnald and Martin, it’s actually time to be re-thinking that thought… for what should be obvious reasons.

  55. Dennis, the USA imposed (unilaterally) a stringent embargo on Japan as a result of the war in China. That sort of action can be seen as tantamount to a declaration of war; it is an declaration of an economic war. Not that Japan wasn’t waging a rather unpleasant war of conquest in China, it was, copying as they saw it the similar behaviours of people like the USA when they took the Philippines not that may years earlier…

    Most of us are very glad the USA came in on our side in both major wars, only there are quite a few who rather wished they came in a bit sooner.

  56. And as a comment on Arnald’s interpretation of events, it was, I think, one of the greatest propaganda coups of all time, to turn the undoubtedly righteous fear of what communism a la Stalin (let alone the Pol Pot version) would have done to every nation in the putative West, into a fear a nuclear weapons…and to largely blame the USA for that.

    One of my wife’s friends mother was in East German and actually managed to escape. She didn’t like to talk about it, but what little she said should give anyone the most earnest desire NEVER to live in a society like that. Only two sorts proposer, the utterly amoral power hungry bastards, and the utterly amoral toadies who cringe and flatter before them. We think we know, Arnald, which role would suit you.

  57. “Most of us are very glad the USA came in on our side in both major wars, only there are quite a few who rather wished they came in a bit sooner.”

    I imagine there are quite a few Americans who wish neither war had kicked off in the first place.

    WW1, in particular was a political cluster-fuck of the very highest order. I don’t think we were entitled to US participation were we?

  58. Firstly, can we stop calling climate studies science. It’s not. It’s a computer simulation based on unproven assumptions.

    And no science is ever “settled”. The theory of quantum mechanics was stifled by John Von Neumann and his support of the Copehagen Interpretation. He supported it, his theory was bonkers, but because of his towering reputation there was a “consensus” and the science was deemed “settled” even though he was wrong.

    John Bell came up with a different interpretation decades later. He only totally convinced all physics scientists when an experiment proved him right.

    There have been no experiments on the Earths climate and never will be which is why the “science”can be deemed “settled”.

  59. Dennis, the USA imposed (unilaterally) a stringent embargo on Japan as a result of the war in China. That sort of action can be seen as tantamount to a declaration of war; it is an declaration of an economic war.

    The embargo was imposed as a result of Japan’s invasion and occupation of… wait for it: Vietnam!

    So evidently the nuanced version of history is as follows: When the US invades Vietnam, it’s imperialist aggression. When Japan invades Vietnam, it’s really nobody else’s business.

  60. Living in Spain and mixing, as one does at times, with a lot of the soft lefty euros that Dennis is talking about, I have to recognise the enormous judgement gap mentioned by TED S above.

    Communism was a real and present threat. They expanded when ever they felt they could and certainly no country benefited from their bounty. The one factor, on top of all the others, that ensured their ‘limited’ expansion in Europe was American presence.

    All countries have black marks (sometimes errors and sometimes more to do with the mores of the times: colonial expansion) but Europe during the cold war without the USA would have been very different.

    And then the EU gets the Peace Prize for keeping peace in Europe!!! Did NATO never exist?

    Thanks cousins. I have forgiven you for refusing to pay your taxes!

  61. Snack

    “And as a comment on Arnald’s interpretation of events, it was, I think, one of the greatest propaganda coups of all time”

    Well, no. I was talking from a personal perspective of feeling threatened. I haven’t said I’m condoning any horror from any one or thing.

    I guess I’m just being more patriotic than others, having more faith in freedom: Hitler couldn’t beat us at the height of its war machine, the Soviets surely couldn’t. Nobody will, especially not the likes of Daesh.

    And the gulags are long, long way from philosophy.

    Marx had a special concern with how people relate to their own labour power. He wrote extensively about this in terms of the problem of alienation. Capitalism mediates social relationships of production (such as among workers or between workers and capitalists) through commodities, including labour, that are bought and sold on the market. For Marx, the possibility that one may give up ownership of one’s own labour—one’s capacity to transform the world—is tantamount to being alienated from one’s own nature; it is a spiritual loss. Marx described this loss as commodity fetishism, in which the things that people produce, commodities, appear to have a life and movement of their own to which humans and their behaviour merely adapt

    from wiki.

    Of course I didn’t live in Eastern Europe in the middle part of last century. Just as I don’t live now in Iraq or Syria. I have to try and understand what it feels like to brave the IEDs and the snipers and the tanks. It’s impossible for me.

    And this is why I find the ongoing US-made hysteria about an old superpower, which was grinding itself slowly to death decades ago with its self-destructive politics, so unintelligible.

    But I can’t pretend to be surprised when you’ve got Trump calling Sanders a communist.

    Anti-intellectual. If we think we are under threat, we will be. That constant state of terror plays into the hands of supporters of surveillance and the loss of personal freedoms. Those very same peddlers of the myth of terror, the likes of Peasant and Ecks – and they believe themselves bastions defending freedom, are in fact hastening the implementation of the police state.

  62. Anal-D

    Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism is a miasma of rhetoric and metaphor. In short, it is meaningless drivel.

  63. “Anti-intellectual. If we think we are under threat, we will be. That constant state of terror plays into the hands of supporters of surveillance and the loss of personal freedoms. Those very same peddlers of the myth of terror, the likes of Peasant and Ecks – and they believe themselves bastions defending freedom, are in fact hastening the implementation of the police state.”

    “Myth of terror”

    Once again–he hasn’t got the balls to say–of socialist mass murder–either:

    a–It never happened
    b–It happened but who gives a shit because it was to build socialism.

    Instead he just talks some shite about how recognising the evil of socialism for what it is “leads to the implementation of the police state”.

    And vermin like you are the implements Arnie.

    Stupidity is too weak an explanation of a creature like Arnald.

    Open, utterly brazen evil is the only characterisation of him possible .

    A turd who comes on here whining about the latest moronic leftist cock-rot while regarding millions of murders with “Who gives a shit” as his attitude.

  64. The great message that Communism taught the world is: Don’t film your death camps and murder squads.

    Then your supporters will be able to deny it happened, and get good jobs in the media and academia promoting the same ideology.

  65. I’m not one who criticizes the Americans for not joining WWII earlier: for a start, it’s easy to say that with hindsight. Secondly, the Americans were involved, on our side, as much as they were able with lend-lease, the Atlantic convoys, volunteers, etc. I suspect that the kind of country which could have charged to war on the President’s whim without first getting the people on board might well have been pretty useless or on the wrong side. And when they did get on board, they really got on board.

    Nah, you can’t knock the Yanks for this.

  66. Prastus

    “Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism is a miasma of rhetoric and metaphor. In short, it is meaningless drivel.”

    Explain please. I mean, it’s philosophy so there’s always going to be rhetoric and metaphor, duh.

    So how do you counter it? You rate yourself intelligent. Show me.

    Drecks.

    Have you put your spectacles on, dear? Eat your Complan, there’s a good boy. I’ll get your commode ready.

    Then it’s time for your nap. I’ll lock the doors to keep the commies out.

  67. I agree with TN. But when they did enter, they knew what was in it for them.

    They did the lend/lease to Stalin too. A great deal of it.

  68. More deceit–Stalinism IS socialism Numbnuts.

    You are covertly Stalinist if you support socialism. Regardless of your lies.

    Ruin and mass murder is the end state to which all socialism brings human beings sooner or later.

  69. @ Tim N
    I was criticising Dennis the Peasant for believing in the Captain America crap pushed out by Hollywood and other self-congratulatory idiots and saying Euros have no balls. The UK entered WWI and WWII to honour its treaty commitmnents, the USA waited three years in WWI and until Japan and Germany declared war on it in WWII. The USA has plenty of golf balls.

  70. They did the lend/lease to Stalin too. A great deal of it.

    Er, Stalin was, at that time, fighting a common enemy.

  71. But when they did enter, they knew what was in it for them.

    I disagree. At the time they entered, victory was far from assured in either theatre. Very far from assured.

  72. So Much For Subtlety

    Dennis the Peasant – “Like the Zulus?”

    They put a fairly good fight actually. Even if they did not have guns. All school boys used to learn about Isandlwana.

    “Only if you’re as morally bankrupt and intellectually dishonest as Howard Zinn was.”

    Well yes and no.

    “By the way… When you find yourself thinking it’s time to align with Arnald and Martin, it’s actually time to be re-thinking that thought… for what should be obvious reasons.”

    I am not aligning myself with either.

    Dennis the Peasant – “The embargo was imposed as a result of Japan’s invasion and occupation of… wait for it: Vietnam!”

    You mean Japanese soldiers were invited into Vietnam by the legal government of Vietnam? Not much of an invasion when the French authorities agree to it.

    As I said, this conversation is asinine.

  73. You mean Japanese soldiers were invited into Vietnam by the legal government of Vietnam?

    I mean the Japanese soldiers that informed the legal government of Vietnam that they could either (1) be invited in, or (2) be invaded, with a side benefit of the Japanese pledging to slaughter all members of the legal government of Vietnam if (1) was not chosen.

    Learn ya some history, Euroweenie.

  74. Anal:

    it’s philosophy so there’s always going to be rhetoric and metaphor, duh.

    So how do you counter it? You rate yourself intelligent. Show me.

    Not all philosophy is rhetoric and metaphor. Try Locke or Mill, for example; or the Greeks. But then you are a Gallic half-breed, so you may prefer the Franco-German waffle and guff of continental philosophy.

    As for Marx’s doctrine of commodity fetishism, it is meaningless, so there is nothing else for me to say about it. If you think it is meaningful, cash it out in words of mainly one or two syllables for us, so that we anglo-saxons can have something to look at critically.

  75. So Much For Subtlety

    As I said, there is enough stupidity on the internet. Neither of us really has to add to it. Especially as I do agree with you about the Euroweenies.

    Still,

    Dennis the Peasant – “I mean the Japanese soldiers that informed the legal government of Vietnam that they could either (1) be invited in, or (2) be invaded, with a side benefit of the Japanese pledging to slaughter all members of the legal government of Vietnam if (1) was not chosen.”

    No, well yeah, but no. That is what we call diplomacy. How else do these things work? Only, of course, the legal government of Vietnam was in France. So the Japanese could not and did not threaten to kill any of them. If I were not such a forgiving person I would say you just made that up.

    “Learn ya some history, Euroweenie.”

    The other thing, of course, was that only one foreign power slaughtered the legal government of Vietnam. That legal government would have been led, of course, by Ngo Dinh Diem. He was slaughtered by which government again?

    Come on, you have a good point. Don’t over do it.

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