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“Reds under the Bed”.

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, September 4th, 2020 - 78 comments
Categories: benefits, business, capitalism, economy, Economy, employment, Free Trade, infrastructure, jobs, political alternatives, Privatisation, socialism, uncategorized - Tags:

Everyone has recently had an education on  “Socialism” working in practice.

“The sound you are hearing is”

Economic ideas being shredded.

And a graphic illustration of the shortcomings, of under regulated “Free market” Capitalism, Globalism, tax cuts for the rich, and the mania for monetising everything in sight, and “running it like a business”.

The inadequacy of our run down health system. Deliberately run down to bring in privatised health, is only one example. Luckily for the culprits, our societies success in “flattening the curve” if not “eliminating” Covid has staved off demand for their “heads on a plate”.

Businesses queuing up for State support through Covid have voted with their feet for “Socialist” State help and subsidies. The only argument is from those who think it is not enough, or may be applied differently. Even the inaptly named “Tax payers Union” has abandoned their principles and accepted “handouts” from the “Socialists”.

Small businesses Small business poll realise that customers with money, and Government help, are good for their businesses, especially when things go wrong. They see first hand, along with the rest of us, something that genuine  businesspeople, not capital gains tax farmers and rentiers,  knew already,  that Capitalism needs a good dose of “Socialism” to work long term. Without State infrastructure, the rule of law, prosperous customers and a functional society, no business succeeds.

Portugal, New Zealand in the last few months, and a few other countries have “shown the power of a” democratic socialist State “to do good”. The USA, Russia, UK and Brazil, to name a few have, at the same time, graphically illustrated the failings of States run by the rich, for the rich.

The wealthy have always supported socialism. So long as it is to their benefit. And someone else pays for it. Queen Street farmers with their hands out, have been a constant local example.  The worlds largest State controlled, and tax funded enterprise, the US military, exists to channel money to their billionaires.  That it  acts as an employer,  of those who would otherwise rebel against their grossly unequal society, is a bonus. Without that huge State employer their “Free market” society will collapse.

Now that it has become obvious that “Socialism” works, with our recent education from the economic and social response to Covid, the right wing have had to introduce a new scare word, to try and  associate Socialism  with totalitarian bogey men. Instead of “Socialist” they now use “Marxist”. Hoping that the majority have the same lack of comprehension of what it really means, as they do.  The “Reds under the bed” scare mongering, is a kick back by those who benefited from destroying our society, to keep the pre virus Neo-liberal settings.

I’ll leave the final paragraph to Harry Truman.

Socialism is a scareword they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security. Socialism is what they called farm price supports. Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance. Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.

HARRY S. TRUMAN, speech, Oct. 10, 1952

Note. I will be moderating comments. Usually I  let fools out themselves. But this time I want to keep on topic.

78 comments on ““Reds under the Bed”. ”

  1. Ad 1

    Who is complaining about socialism here?

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1

      Jesus Ad ! : )

    • KJT 1.2

      You. For one. Except the label has been changed because opposition to “Socialism ” now looks stupid. So “Marxist” or “Lefties” or “Radical left” has been substituted.

    • Peter 1.3

      I don't know who here is complaining about socialism. Maybe the complainers are elsewhere. I've seen them online in recent months typing their complaints about socialism with one hand while holding the other out for socialist help.

      It's the old thing. The world is an 'everyman is in it for himself', a dog eat dog world, where it's survival of the fittest.

      When the boat starts to sink and the chances of drowning are high the desperate singers grab new song sheets with "we need each other, we're interdependent, we're all in it together, you're my friends, please save me." When they're saved they calmly shelve those sheets and resurrect their original chants and sing even more loudly.

      • KJT 1.3.1

        You must have missed it. Rather a few on here raving on about “Lefties”, “Marxists and “radicals”. Changed their wording, but they are still supporting the right wing in opposing “Socialist” responces. Because it upsets their comfort levels.

  2. PsyclingLeft.Always 2

    Aye, well put ! The nats…and the "other" neolibs always had an Agenda for NZ's Health System. And future parachute options for themselves…Dr"Health" Coleman BECOMES the Private Model

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/nationals-jonathan-coleman-quit-politics-new-role-health-company-ceo-reports

    Re the Socialist/Marxist…yea very good at dogwhistlin' but also quite open to hoovering up Socialist help. Funny that…

    The Rural goons holding up Ardern : Pretty Communist signs not at all averse to some Socialist help with the M Bovis disease.

    Of course not all Farmers think that way..

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/111533996/feds-official-view-of-beneficiaries-frustrates-farmers

  3. PsyclingLeft.Always 3

    I've already linked to the sir Key "Communism by stealth"….

    But…

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3571934

    Social Welfare? commies.

    And of course the Nu crosbie textor team will be regurgitating all that shite…

  4. Pierre 4

    Is the point of this piece not that 'socialism is when the government does stuff', but that socialism means realising the working class as the leading force in society. If that's the case then a line like 'the wealthy have always supported socialism' is incorrect. Business owners claiming support from the (capitalist) state only reinforces the power of capital.

    If you're interested in pursuing this perspective on capitalist regulation theory I'd suggest checking out David Harvey's Brief History of Neoliberalism. It brings out more clearly what I think you're trying to express here in the contradictions around the role of the state in managing capital and saving it from its own innate crisis tendencies.

    • KJT 4.1

      I don’t agree with your premise. But an interesting point.
      As a “Capitalist” businessman, I’ve always realised my “success” depended on my excellent state education, the support my low income parents had in the sixties and our tax, socialist, funded functioning society.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        I’ve always realised my “success” depended on my excellent state education, the support my low income parents had in the sixties and our tax, socialist, funded functioning society.

        And the huge irony is it happened in the main under National governments. Or to be more correct it continued under National governments but was introduced by the first Labour government in 1935.

        I observe with contempt the self centred delusional batch of tabloid journos and pollies born in the 70s and 80s screaming their heads off about anything remotely socialist in nature when they had former 'socialist' governments – red and blue – to thank for their comfortable status.

        Looking at you Seymour and other twats of your ilk.

      • Morepork 4.1.2

        Are you advocating for a mixed market economy, or the redefinition of 'socialism'? I ask because state intervention (using private sector taxation btw) is not socialism. It is more the state taking a role in moderating the inequalities normally so evident in unfettered free market capitalism.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.2

      Ha…consecutive Governments all realise that "some" level of Socialism and keeping Beneficiaries (mostly) quiet is essential.(To a greater or lesser degree) Otherwise the rioting…burning..looting etc.

      And it sure helps with the dogwhislin'…..

      • McFlock 4.2.1

        ISTR Marx made a similar point about concessions in a capitalist state being made to pacify the masses. That and religion, of course.

        [Note to redlogix: those bits by Marx do not require stalinist or maoist totalitariansim in order to be true]

  5. Socialism is true democracy. Aristotle:

    Constitutions manifest themselves in two fundamental forms: the rule of the rich (call it oligarchy) and the rule of the poor (often known as democracy)

    • Phil 5.1

      You may want to look into that quote in a little more depth, because Aristotle was as little a fan of democracy as he was of oligarchy or tyranny, calling those three arrangements 'perversions' of truer forms of political organisation.

  6. RedLogix 6

    The “Reds under the bed” scare mongering, is a kick back by those who benefited from destroying our society, to keep the pre virus Neo-liberal settings.

    And the simple reason for this is that the legitimate socialist left has failed to draw the line under marxism and repudiate it once and for all.

    No-one for instance could call David Farrar a fascist nazi, because on the right there is a clear sense that anyone who starts talking about race supremacy is out of bounds. It would be an obvious scaremongering tactic because there is strong agreement among liberals and conservatives to repudiate and marginalise nazis types whenever possible. They exist of course, but they don't get much oxygen.

    But not so much on the left; even here on The Standard there are plenty of examples of individual commenters still fully embracing and defending marxism, which leaves the door wide open for such scaremongering tactics as you object to above.

    • KJT 6.1

      “Commentators on here that defend Marxism”. Comedy gold.
      Showing. One. You haven’t read Marx. Two. Your lean to the centre has resulted in falling off the fence.
      The most left wing commentators on here, wouldn’t have even scared the horses in Holyoaks National party.

      • garibaldi 6.1.1

        ""Your lean to the centre has resulted in falling off the fence". Exactly.

        There are some commentators on here who pretend they are lefties but are really centrists. Their continual compromising waters down leftwing principles to a level close to outright hypocrisy.

        • In Vino 6.1.1.1

          Agree

          I fear that Redlogix is irredeemably locked in to his religious views. So Marx's thesis that religion is only the 'opiate of the masses' makes Marx the very essence of modern evil. Locked in, and that is it. Don't bother trying to point out that Marx was trying to help mankind understand how society ticks. No, he was deliberately leading us towards evil totalitarianism! Must've been. mustn't he?

          • solkta 6.1.1.1.1

            Yes he has made his mind up that Marx was an evil nasty man. He gives no explanation though about why Marx would have given up his privileged position in an economic system that provided ample opportunity for conservative men to be nasty evil people.

            Marx came from a background wealthy enough that in his youth he studied philosophy under Hegel, whose dialectical thinking he converted from idealist to materialist. University education was the preserve of the tiny few at the time. With his huge intellect and privileged class location, and in an era of European colonial expansion, Marx could have been any number of nasty evil variations of a person.

            But no rather he chose a life of meagre material means so that he could dedicate his existence to studying human society in order to make the world a better place for all people.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.2

            Yet oddly enough none of the arguments I've made against marxism, an in some detail, have mentioned this infamous little bon mot.

            Don't bother trying to point out that Marx was trying to help mankind understand how society ticks. No, he was deliberately leading us towards evil totalitarianism! Must've been. mustn't he?

            Marx is right to see that every society consists of classes or groups, and that political life everywhere is primarily about the power relations among different groups. He is also right that at any given time, one group (or a coalition of groups) dominates the state, and that the laws and policies of the state tend to reflect the interests and ideals of this dominant group. Moreover, Marx is right when he says that the dominant group tends to see its own preferred laws and policies as reflecting “reason” or “nature,” and works to disseminate its way of looking at things throughout society, so that various kinds of injustice and oppression tend to be obscured from view.

            Marxist political theory is not simply a great lie. By analyzing society in terms of power relations among classes or groups, we can bring to light important political phenomena to which Enlightenment liberal theories—theories that tend to reduce politics to the individual and his or her private liberties—are systematically blind.

            This is the principal reason that Marxist ideas are so attractive. In every society, there will always be plenty of people who have reason to feel they’ve been oppressed or exploited. Some of these claims will be worthy of remedy and some less so. But virtually all of them are susceptible to a Marxist interpretation, which shows how they result from systematic oppression by the dominant classes, and justifies responding with outrage and violence. And those who are troubled by such apparent oppression will frequently find themselves at home among the Marxists.

            Despite having had more than 150 years to work on it, liberalism still hasn’t found a way to persuasively address the challenge posed by Marx’s thought. Given the abysmal track record of the this thinking when translated into real-life however, we can only conclude that it is the wrong answer to a right question. Which is why my comprehensive comment here, finishes on this note:

            " Certainly it can be held that the socialist value system places the problem at the centre of our political mores. And it's the broad failure of the left to convincingly grapple with this issue that has led to tragic missteps over time, like the workhouse culture of the Victorians, the marxist catastrophies of the 20th century and the failed neo-liberal dream of the 80's.

            Paradoxically as our societies have escaped poverty and become wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors, the question of how best to distribute this largess has stepped urgently into the foreground. And it turns out I suggest, to be a far more difficult challenge than any of us have suspected."

            • KJT 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Almost didn’t let this one through.
              No, it is not a difficult challenge.
              We already answered it from 1935.
              Rather than “Marxism” Savage called it applied Christianity. Which should appeal to a “God botherer”.
              The simple fact is we have from a co-operating functional society, and, apart from the Greens given up on continual incremental progress, so a few can get very rich.
              Talking about revelutionary Marxism in the NZ context, is a joke.

              • RedLogix

                Almost didn’t let this one through.

                Why the concern? The majority of it addresses the reasons for marxism's enduring power and the root problem it legitimately sought to address.

                Talking about revelutionary Marxism in the NZ context, is a joke.

                Yet solkta is totally correct when he states: "Oh for fucks sake, Marxist theory underpins much of our social academic knowledge."

                This is unequivocally an endorsement of Marxist thinking, yet at the same time solkta finds it oddly necessary to deny being a Marxist. Yet here we have open confirmation that much of the thinking underpinning current academic theory, and increasingly projecting itself into the wider world via various activist causes, rests firmly within a marxist framework.

                And that framework absolutely anticipates social revolution, however much you may might prefer otherwise. I don't have to lean on the catastrophies of the 20th century for my empirical evidence. You only have to look at the language of the openly marxist BLM movement, that many people here enthusiastically support, to see this playing out in real-time.

                Like Amway, the original 20th century form of marxism may well have damaged it's brand so badly that it found it necessary to change the name. But the 21st business model is still fundamentally the same.

                • KJT

                  Still don’t get it. Do you?

                  Hayek and Freidman informs my thinking also.

                  Doesn’t mean that I’m a “Free market fundamentalist”.

                  I also take ideas from Marx, Adam Smith, Ha Joon Chang, Thomas Paine, Steglitz, Yanis Varofoukis and literally hundreds of others. It doesn’t necessarily make me a supporter of any of them.

                  You, however, appear to have swallowed whole some particularly virulent, and inaccurate, anti left memes.

                  • RedLogix

                    The OP is not an exploration of where your political thinking comes from. It explicitly addresses your concern that those opposed to socialist politics use the "Reds under the Bed" meme to discredit us.

                    Well my point is simply this, as long as there really are reds cavorting in the bed … then the slur will have reason to stick. It's why for instance the Greens here in NZ seem perpetually doomed to less than 10% of the vote, not because the majority of people in NZ dislike the environmental cause it espouses, but because most people really don't like their social policies apparently rooted in marxist doctrine.

                    My argument is this; the socialist left needs to firmly repudiate marxism, as the right did fascism, in order to regain full legitimacy.

                    The simple fact is we have from a co-operating functional society, and, apart from the Greens given up on continual incremental progress, so a few can get very rich.

                    And as I've said repeatedly, a healthy, co-operative society is one that fully embraces it's conservative, liberal and socialist instincts. Each has something to bring to the table, if it can convince the other two modes of it's legitimacy.

                    This doesn't make me a centrist; I've always been firmly a moderate left winger. But I am one who increasingly recognises that building enduring 'incremental change' requires good faith dialog and negotiation across the political spectrum. Otherwise any gains the left makes are either compromised at birth or short-lived.

                    Far from being anti-left, it's my obvious concern here to re-build the credibility of the socialist left in order that we can engage politically from a position of strength. Yet oddly enough whenever I suggest that in order to do this we really need to start by ditching marxism, certain individuals seem to get very defensive.

                    • Ad

                      Hang in the RL.

                      Let's see where this falls in mid October.

                    • KJT

                      Why the fuck should the “Left” in New Zealand repudiate something they never were in the first place.
                      Some ideas on the NZ left come from Marxist thought, just as some come from Adam Smith.
                      Your idea that middle class Greens are going to murder the middle class to relieve the oppression of “the workers” are comical. An association that the right wing tries to make to discredit the Greens, and Labour also.
                      You should know better.

                • KJT

                  Now you are associating your idea of violent “Marxism”with BLM, which is simply a movement against real oppression and prejudice. Another nonsense.
                  It seems you consider any attempt at fairness and social justice, “Marxist”. The latest right wing scare word, now that so many have figured out that “Socialism” is not only unscary but also necessary.

                  • RedLogix

                    Both co-founders of BLM are on record as saying they are "trained marxists" and that its political philosophy inspires and motivates them. I've linked to the source video before. Therefore describing the movement as 'marxist' seems entirely justified.

                    “Marxist”. The latest right wing scare word,

                    While BLM claims to be holding 'peaceful protests', what most people are seeing looks to them more like the dictate of the mob. They find that scary; to the extent that gun sales in the USA have absolutely soared beyond all previous records, and many I think silently determine that Trump may well be the devil they know.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2.2

              Despite having had more than 150 years to work on it, liberalism still hasn’t found a way to persuasively address the challenge posed by Marx’s thought. Given the abysmal track record of the this thinking when translated into real-life however, we can only conclude that it is the wrong answer to a right question.

              Liberalism hasn't found a way because its not looking for one as its disciples believe that it is the answer.

              I think you'll find that the abysmal track record of putting Marx' thoughts into practice was largely due to the lack of education in the nations where it was being applied. The peasants simply didn't understand how to run a business and so they ended up with a clique of rulers which then got the education wrong and didn't want to give up their positions of rulership afterwards either and the actions of both counter-revolutionaries and other state actors (after WWI the allies then tried to invade the burgeoning USSR making matters worse).

              Could we do it today, in NZ, without a bloody revolution?

              The answer is possibly, yes.

              We were pretty close to it before the Rogernomic reforms of the 1980s. State health, education, power, water and more. The 4th Labour Government probably could have gone the other way and been successful in doing so and all without the atrocities that the USSR/China are infamous for.

              • KJT

                https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/10/portugal-election-progressives-left-winning/599518/
                “Revolution means economic transformation, not people in the streets with guns,” Armindo Miranda, a member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, told me, before stopping himself. “Well, it could mean people in the streets with guns. But it doesn’t have to.”

              • RedLogix

                As I tried to convey above, while the liberal strength is their notion of the 'sovereignty of the individual', it is their blind spot at the same time. In particular it is why the liberal is often systemically blind to class, and the various power relationships between whole groups of individuals. At the extreme liberalism degenerates into libertarianism that utterly negates the idea of the collective at all. Well we know that is a wrong answer too.

                So while the neo-liberal experiment was wildly successful at harnessing the drive, innovation and talent of individuals to generate wealth, it floundered hopelessly when it came to the task of fairly distributing that wealth among classes of people. It also tended to badly underestimate the role of the state in providing the social and technical infrastructure that enables the individual to flourish.

                The peasants simply didn't understand how to run a business and so they ended up with a clique of rulers which then got the education wrong and didn't want to give up their positions of rulership afterwards

                One of the fatal flaw of marxism is that in essence it proposes to replace one class of business owners with another. The headcount in a 'collective of the proletariat' may be higher, but the power relationships invariably remain.

                And just in case anyone is confused about where I'm going with all of this, that term 'power relationship' lies at the heart of the matter. Marx as a materialist really had no vision beyond replacing one class of the oppressed with another, and then claiming that all class antagonisms would magically end.

                • KJT

                  “Marxism” was never the point.
                  The point is the right wing trying to associate the NZ left with violent and bloody revolutions in China and Russia.
                  Which they will do with anyone who advocates social justice and fairness, regardless of “repudiating” Marxism or anything else. Your demand to repudiate “Marxism” your view of “Marxism”, puts you in the same camp. And gives the lie to your claims of being “Moderate left”.
                  I am not going to give up fighting for a better life for New Zealanders, because you think it is “Marxist”.
                  We will still get “Pretty communist” and other mis-characterisations, so long as “The left” threaten the power of those who are burglaring from our society.

                  • RedLogix

                    The point is the right wing trying to associate the NZ left with violent and bloody revolutions in China and Russia.

                    Maybe they're just good learners. After all the left has spent decades associating the NZ right with fascists, race supremacists, liberatarians, and other extremist undesirables. And even more commonly we routinely allocate to them the basest of extreme motives, greed, arrogance and the like.

                    • KJT

                      You didn’t need to join them.
                      Read Kiwiblog, and Federated farmers website, and tell me we are wrong. Then there are the real existing Libertarian nut jobs, like Seymour and Brash.
                      Not to mention the perfect storm of neo-liberalism. Which far from unleashing wealth creation, simply made speculators, tax dodgers and financial Gerry manderers rich without adding anything to our actual wealth.
                      However on the left, the most extremest in NZ is the very scary Sue Bradford. Who simply advocates social justice for beneficiaries.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always 6.1.1.2

          Aye. Centre…bordering on conservative/neo….well, you know what I mean.

          Cant say I've seen too much hardline marxism (whatever that is)…or softline. Anyway…: )

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.2.1

            Hilarious. You are not to know but I have been commenting here since 2007, from within the first few weeks of when Lynn set up The Standard. I'm 100% certain no-one else here has been participating on this left wing blog that long, other than LP himself.

            What confuses you is that I'm not especially tribal, and I'm willing to examine the whole range of political thought, in particular how the three principal political modes, conservatism, liberalism and socialism relate to each other as I outlined a week or so back here.

            Nonetheless my native political location is firmly on the moderate left.

            • solkta 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes i think it is hilarious also, that you have been here that long and are still engaging in the same idiotic 'discussions' about Marxism.

            • Ad 6.1.1.2.1.2

              Hang in there RL.

              Let's see how all this falls in mid October.

            • PsyclingLeft.Always 6.1.1.2.1.3

              Welll, that seems to have tingled a nerve. Were you mentioned? And Moderate Left? So obviously able to Judge the Hardline Marxists…: )

              lmao

    • Adrian Thornton 6.2

      "there is strong agreement among liberals and conservatives" by 'conservatives' I assume you mean those on the Right of politics (even though there is a strong left wing conservative movement) …I would take your statement a lot further..the liberals and the right are more or less the same, ideologically speaking, they certainly have more in common with each other than either does with the progressive socialist left that much is for sure.

    • Stuart Munro 6.3

      I don't think we've seen Marxism advocated on the Standard in a long time – it's a distinctly Fabian community, nor do I see much virtue in a person who systematically misrepresents the truth like Farrar.

      The roots of democratic systems lie in opposition to tyranny, whether that be in the form of an individual or an oligarchic group. It's a well-established debate, but it's not one that is aired on the Standard.

    • KJT 6.4

      Demanding that the "left" "repudiate Marxism" when no one in here is even remotely advocated what you mean by "Marxism" which you obviously associate with totalitarian dictatorships, is the ultimate in mis comprehension. As Solkta so aptly put it. "Full of shit".

      • RedLogix 6.4.1

        So arguing that the "Red under the Bed" is scaremongering, when at the same time you cheerfully tell us that they're not so much under the bed, but cavorting openly in it seems a tad contradictory.

        My argument against marxism is plain and open. Regardless of the form or name it takes it always follows this four part framework:

        Marx argues that, as an empirical matter, people invariably form themselves into classes, which exploit one another to the extent they are able. A liberal political order is no different in this from any other, and it tends toward two classes, one of which owns and controls pretty much everything (the oppressor); while the other is exploited, and the fruit of its labor appropriated, so that it does not advance and, in fact, remains forever enslaved (the oppressed). In addition, Marx sees the state itself, its laws and its mechanisms of enforcement, as a tool that the oppressor class uses to keep the regime of oppression in place and to assist in carrying out this work.

        Marx recognizes that the liberal businessmen, politicians, lawyers, and intellectuals who keep this system in place are unaware that they are the oppressors, and that what they think of as progress has only established new conditions of oppression. Indeed, even the working class may not know that they are exploited and oppressed. This is because they all think in terms of liberal categories (e.g., the individual’s right to freely sell his labor) which obscure the systematic oppression that is taking place. This ignorance of the fact that one is an oppressor or oppressed is called the ruling ideology (Engels later coined the phrase false consciousness to describe it), and it is only overcome when one is awakened to what is happening and learns to recognize reality using true categories.

        Marx suggests that, historically, oppressed classes have materially improved their conditions only through a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large—that is, through the destruction of the oppressor class, and of the social norms and ideas that hold the regime of systematic oppression in place. There is a period of “more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution” and the “violent overthrow” of the liberal oppressors. At this point, the oppressed seize control of the state.

        Marx promises that after the oppressed underclass takes control of the state, the exploitation of individuals by other individuals will be “put to an end” and the antagonism between classes of individuals will totally disappear. How this is to be done is not specified.

        (Neo-marxism simply adopts this framework and expands the number of oppressed and oppressor classes.)

        Baked into this framework is the crucial necessity for revolution, and the accompanying totalitarian suppression of counter-revolutionary forces. You're free to argue from theory that marxism and totalitarianism are different things, but every real world attempt at a formal marxist state has rapidly adopted a totalitarian character. Often accompanied by a sky high stack of corpses to underline the point.

        If you want to argue that you know of a way to run the marxist experiment without this happening, then it amounts to an extraordinary claim, that will demand extraordinary evidence.

        In the meantime if you want to ultilise the marxist framework to underpin your political theory, as Soltka openly advises below, then expect the left's opponents to use this as a weapon against us.

        • KJT 6.4.1.1

          I actually don’t know how to reply to that degree of mis-comprehension.
          Certainly don’t have the time to educate you from Thomas Paine to Stiglitz.
          The only person talking about Marxism here in the hope of associating us with totalitarianism, Which isn’t Marxism, either, is you!
          Even our resident anti capitalists think it should go, democratically. Not with a bloody revolution, as you are insinuating..
          “revolutionary reconstitution of society at large”— Which Governments in the 30’s and the returning troops in the West in 1945 managed by voting, not shooting. Atlee, FDR, and MJ Savages Governments. They were informed by Marx, and other lines of thought, also.

          By the way, Neo-liberalism was a bloody revolution. Reflected in diseases of poverty and despair rather than executions. But equally deadly.
          Bloody Revolutions always tend to leave the most ruthless arseholes in charge. Thatcher, Richardson, as much as Stalin.

    • solkta 6.5

      Oh for fucks sake, Marxist theory underpins much of our social academic knowledge. You refuse to acknowledge that there is any more to it than totalitarianism, and make a fool of yourself every time. Hitler is not considered a "founding father" of a modern academic discipline. There is nothing to Fascism other than a bogus concept of 'race’.

    • solkta 6.6

      Oh for fucks sake, Marxist theory underpins much of our social academic knowledge. You refuse to acknowledge that there is anything to it but totalitarianism, and make a fool of yourself every time. Hitler is not considered a "founding father" of a modern academic discipline. There is nothing to Fascism other than a bogus concept of 'race'.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.7

      It was Abraham Lincoln, that founder of the US Republican Party, that most succinctly described Marxism:

      Government of the people, by the people, for the people.

      What we have in today's society goes against that in that it is:

      Government of the people, by the rich, for the rich.

      This is also what the USSR, China, the DPRK (The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea – you'll note the lack of democracy) and many of the other so called communist nations are.

      Nobody is going to defend these atrocities but we will point out that they are, in no way, Marxist and that they have a great deal in common with the USA and other leading capitalist nations.

      • karol121 6.7.1

        Political ideology or parlance in the 21st century should only be taken as a broad outline of political objective, I guess.

        In relation to personality politics, to quote you in part, Draco T Bastard, from one of your recent posts;

        "When leaders have scummy ways of acting…etc".

        So succinctly put. But consider that no matter the confidence they wish to portray, none are immune from mental illness such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

        Recent outrage posts regarding Collins and her hubby are justified, but have provided little expression in relation to her assumed or presumed psychological disposition. I know that we might only be considered as political lay-observers but it is food for thought.

        We need to remember that Collins, (with her public statements regarding "revenge, crushing"), could, if she were ever to take the helm as PM, be the person making the final decision as to whether NZ sends a warship off to engage in a blood bath, as opposed to simply logistical support, a show of hands, or a few shots across the bow.

        Remember that Crown Ministers often have the power of life and death over the residents of the nations they are elected to lead.

        This is why we need to take all general elections very seriously indeed, and if people really do not have confidence in any of the candidates put forward, then perhaps abstain.

  7. Adrian Thornton 7

    Chris Hedges: People's Convention 2020

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    To paraphrase an old line–“peoples thinking often tends to lag behind events”
    and so it is with Covid fallout in NZ.

    “Covid Capitalism” seems ahead of “Covid Socialism” so far in the ideological battle. From day one employers shamelessly leapt on wage subsidies like the proverbial, via Grant Robertson’s “high trust” model. Though small glimmers appear even in say, the NZ Herald where polling shows consistent support for lockdowns as opposed to “letting it rip” and many more dying for someone else’s profits.

    Putting the Many before the Few does indeed work, unless you are in the top 10% of New Zealanders perhaps. We need more socialism via public ownership of power generation and supply and nationalisations galore.

    The tricky part is overcoming 30 years of neo liberal psychology and structural elements which are deeply embedded in all parts of society now. Widespread organising, community support and direct action of various kinds will be required to persuade a re-elected Labour Party to finally bury Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. There IS an Alerntative!

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The tricky part is overcoming 30 years of neo liberal psychology and structural elements which are deeply embedded in all parts of society now.

      The First Labour Government did it – despite centuries of embedding.

      This time, though, we need to fully dismantle capitalism and make sure that it doesn't come back.

  9. McFlock 9

    The Taxpayers Union is trying to rewrite history and say it didn't accept government funding.

    The old "the money was just resting in my bank account" routine, lol

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    A link from your first link: Sovereign Rights destruction & Monetary Control Systems

    The National Opposition (1936) was astonished by the use of Reserve Bank credit for housing, which disregarded traditional principles of budget finance. Forbes (George Forbes ex Prime Minister 1930-5 Great Depression era) admitted confidentially to Stewart (William Downie Stewart Jnr – Finance Advisor);

    “This places them in a unique position, the houses after erection carry no interest on capital cost, and for instance a thousand pound house can be let for 5s per week and be a financial success. The millennium seems to have arrived and it makes one wonder why we had to struggle in the bog, when there was such an easy way out of our troubles, houses, after being built with the highest paid workers in the world, at the lowest cost heard of, makes our policy of orthodox finance seem almost prehistoric.”

    We could get rid of capitalism easily by simply re-instating a more rational monetary creation system – having the government create the money that we need rather than borrowing it from banks at interest.

    This interest free money could then be used to fund our health system, build all the houses that we need and, in fact, provide everything that we need from our own resources. With no inflation as we've seen.

    The big problem of the government actions of the 1930s was that the First labour Government was still trying to keep capitalism going despite its continued failure. The present Labour led government is making the same mistake.

    We now have to accept that capitalism is the problem and not socialism. Socialism is the answer up to and including making most businesses worker controlled coops. All housing needs to be made state housing with a nominal rental value on it. Telecommunications and power need to be returned to state ownership as both are now necessities of modern life.

  11. RedLogix 11

    The only person talking about Marxism here

    Well there is the ever reliable DtB and solkta immediately below, both of whom are open supporters of Marx. You even approvingly quote solkta so I'm sure you haven't overlooked them.

    Even our resident anti capitalists think it should happen democratically. Not with a bloody revolution, as you are insinuating..

    I didn't need to insinuate anything, both Marx and Engels clearly anticipate the need for bloody revolution (they had the proximate example of the French Revolution for inspiration). And those who implemented the prescription in the 20th century certainly seemed to have leaned heavily on the concept.

    If the anti-capitalists believe they can get 50% of the people voting for marxism, then more power to them. But as I said, expect our opponents to use this as a weapon.

    By the way Neo-liberalism was a bloody revolution.

    Over on the other thread this morning I wrote:

    "And it's the broad failure of the left to convincingly grapple with this issue that has led to tragic missteps over time, like the workhouse culture of the Victorians, the marxist catastrophies of the 20th century and the failed neo-liberal dream of the 80's."

    There is no approving support for the excesses of the liberal camp from me either.

    • KJT 11.1

      “Open supporters of Marx”. You gotta be kidding surely?

      • solkta 11.1.1

        All i said was that he was a founding father of Sociology – fuck i hope that doesn't mean i'm an open supporter of Durkheim!!

        • KJT 11.1.1.1

          Well I read Hayek, Friedman and the Economist. By the same ‘Redlogix’, it makes me a right wing “free marketeer! LOL.
          Marx’s observation, which was borne out by history up until his time, that people in power are unlikely to give it up without violence, was accurate at the time.
          He preceded, and didn’t anticipate, the non violent revolutions in Western societies such as ours, Norway, Post war Britain and the USA, where for a period the “proles”, us, voted in Government for us, and not an elite moneyed ruling class. Though you could argue that it was the fear of revolution, that made our ruling classes cede some power.

    • McFlock 11.2

      "Bloody" revolution?

      The word in the Communist Manifesto was "violent".

      Apparently, graffiti and vandalism done by BLM protestors is violence, according to some media. So a "kirloy was here"-based revolution would be in line with communist doctrine, without commenting on strict marxist, marxist-leninist, or stalinist doctrine.

      I for one welcome the coming dictatorship of the pantone-iat.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Perhaps you should read the Principles of Communism:

      Engels explains the origins of the proletariat as a result of the Industrial Revolution. He describes its differences from other historical poor classes, its precarious and miserable daily life, and its opposition to the owning class, or bourgeoisie. Eventually, all people must inevitably fall into one social class or the other, with the large majority of humanity becoming proletarians. A solution is presented: the abolition of private property. Such abolition is now possible, where previously it was not, because of the newly existing capacity for mass production. This productive capacity can be reorganized to provide for all on a basis of cooperation, as opposed to market competition. Engels predicts that unfortunately, such social reorganization will have to be carried out using violence, because the bourgeoisie will not voluntarily give up its power.[10] Moreover, due to the global character of the Industrial Revolution, such violence must eventually and necessarily occur in all countries, not being limited to some.

      Its not so much about supporting Marx but about supporting the move away from capitalism and the ills that it induces. Marx' critique of capitalism is still valid as we still see the same ills that he saw in the 19th century.

  12. greywarshark 12

    I was taken by this quote from Marx and Engels that I think I saw in one of Chris Trotter's posts.

    "Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones.

    All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air." …from the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

  13. karol121 13

    Perhaps try not to take various politically marketed "isms" or "ists" to heart.

    Parlance or ideological outpourings conjunct hyperbole from various political factions has been around for a very long time.

    Both the slimmed down Russia along with the various quasi independent states once comprising the former USSR and I've no doubt the People's Republic of China would constantly reflect on the often embarrassing parlance associated with both the Stalinist and Maoist dictatorship era under the heading; "communism".

    In part, they now appear to be doing the best they can do to progressively and diplomatically distance themselves from such stigma and the social experimentation that went with it at such a huge cost to the people of that era and beyond.

    For the PRC, a progression from communist dictatorship to autocratic socialism funded by global commerce and trade.

    Look at the reconstructive process that has taken place in both Russia and China in just 30 years. It is a remarkable achievement.

    The United States of America in it's own right, trying to ratify and distance itself from the industrialist and capitalist image of old. In many respects, a very ugly reflection.

    Trump "leadership" may simply be considered an "in your face" hangover. This wont last forever. In a way, many Americans needed him to give them an opportunity to stand back and take a look in the mirror. Most, down to earth Americans really don't seem to follow his line or style.

    Change is taking place, but Hell, it won't happen overnight.

    There will always be cranks and cronies in any political system. Some autocratic rather than crank, crony or fascist who've feathered their own nests may well be criticized and hated, but if they have been proven, "bang for buck" to have been a significant asset to a nation's interim reformation, they can often historically be reflected on as; "true statespersons" after leaving office. Putin appears Hell bent on reforming Russia to his vision before he moves on. Is there really a right or wrong way to do things in politics when any nation still believes itself to be under either military or economic threat? Some would say not.

    Perhaps try not to focus too deeply on the Huka Falls, lest you end up looking too closely into them, to fall in and be swept away, or consumed by factional "hypespeak".

    It is more important to consider that whichever voting regime we fall under, we scrutinize our candidates or representatives true intentions, not their hype. In a place like NZ, as opposed to many other regions, it is usually a little bit easier to do so, in many forums and on many platforms. Don't let them take that away from us, whatever you do.

    And if we detect serious issues beyond broken egg shells consistent with making an omelette or an egg foo young, speak up.

  14. Byd0nz 14

    Money systems do not unite the world to a point you could call it egalatarian. Untill the world unites under a non money method there will always be greed and exploitation and untill such time as a world without money we are still primitive beings not long out of the cave.

    • greywarshark 14.1

      Wring BydOnz. Money – the idea of it, the system of it and the ability of all to use it has taken us into better caves. It is most useful form of saving, provided that the value as agreed to by all remains constant. Money is a token given to someone that can be handed on in return for something, or hoarded till something that is required comes along. Borrowing enabled most of us 'in the days not so long ago' to buy a house, an expensive long-lasting thing, before we could pay for it in full.

      When we were allowed to have jobs, and living wages, we could live simply and save and pay off our house, and we should have recognised how lucky we were and ensured that we maintained the constantly growing economy we had at that time.

  15. greywarshark 15

    One country flexing muscles and attacking another country, driving round in big vehicles or rockets or something, and it's so much fun and you feel so important. We need to find other hobbies.

    Half the trouble in the world is we don't know what we are doing really, and lack of communication. I don't know what the other half is. Here is some communication from an important person to some other person who is in the way or something.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkx0MxK-Yl4

    Radio conversation between USA warship and the north of Spain.

  16. Austringer 16

    Marx!s never got the final say on Socialist or Communist, he died long before it was decided by his former friend and a bunch of Euro lefties, who in the end decided to call Socialism Communism, as alike the same, so what to call this book The Socialist Manifesto or The Communist Manifesto, they decided Communist, as Communist was more inclusive than Social, yet both meaning the same social care, according to records they argued for, for ages about what to call the then knowing, TheThing.

    So today!s capitalist!s are eager to feed off the plate of socialist care as in most their shallow AND exploitive business!s of casual employment below Living wage needed can continue to sustain their exploit.
    I can remember when one time and only one time appointed Female P.M. got in control, rushed in with glee from her party stalwarts and rural business friends tax cuts and beneficiaries cuts also, within six months those friends rural and city all Wimpering, our TAKINGS ARE DOWN, OUR BUSINESS CANNOT SUSTAIN THIS SPENDING DOWNTURN. Wonder if any of them thought who why did we cut the welfare benefits.

  17. Observer Tokoroa 17

    National has no role in Aotearoa

    Just a bunch of fat greedy women and men, delighting in crushing endless poor.

    Poor who have no housing. Nothing. Poor who are constantly Crushed under Bulger and English Capitalism.

    Goaded by John "play with the little girls" Key.

    Democracy is the only gift of this world's people. Bye Bye ugly ratbag capitalists. Be Gone ! Now

  18. Observer Tokoroa 18

    Mr Wong-Tung comes to the Party

    Aware that the wragged national party is drowning, in tiny shiploads of Cattle and Kauri in a Chinese sea, while trying to grab yet more wealth,

    Getting alongside persons she does not disclose.

    The Wong-Tung family is now endeavouring to help Mrs Collins along.

    Wong-Tung is the brightest member in the family. For it certainly is not the aging Judith, who lists herself as "Crusher" wherever she shambles.

    Crusher has no known personality Except for asking people to say "Hey look at me".

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