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We are all socialists now

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, August 27th, 2011 - 64 comments
Categories: capitalism, john key, socialism - Tags:

Thanks to Wikileaks we now know that Key reckons that all New Zealanders have a “socialist streak”. It’s attracted a bit of media attention.  But I particularly liked a further Key admission yesterday, that cropped up at the end of  this acccount:

Key stands by ‘socialist streak’ comments

Prime Minister John Key is standing by his comment that New Zealanders have a “socialist streak”.

A WikiLeaks cable from 2007 reveals Key made the comment when he met with US charge d’affaire Glyn Davies.

Key said the comment came up in a conversation about “very right wing policies” and that even he himself has a socialist streak.

“I vaguely remember the conversation, it was years ago,” he said to media this afternoon.

“My basic point was, and that’s shorthand for, I think New Zealanders are a very caring country.

Got that comrades? Socialist is shorthand for caring.  And I guess by implication we can assume that capitalist is shorthand for not giving a toss. Spread the word…

64 comments on “We are all socialists now ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    None of us get ahead in society unless we all get ahead.

    The wealth of elite segregation, gated communities and despising ordinary people on the street is the wealth of Banana Republics.

    Democratic socialism, FTW!!!

  2. Social policies do have a care for others aspect, but I don’t see how you arrive at your “guess by implication” unless it’s just an unfounded diss of the day.

    Do the capitalist policies of Labour mean you “don’t give a toss”? Does Labour “not give a toss” about small business people? That’s as easily “implied” but I hope it’s not accurate.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Capitalist policies of labour ? – name one!

      Can you give a concrete example of where they have introduced or proposed a policy that grows the capitalist class at the expense of the majority.
      ( Viper probably could – so dont make it too easy for him)

      Unfounded diss of the day ??

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        “Capitalist class”? Are you claiming Labour have never introduced or proposed a policy that would help anyone grow capital? Like their R&D policy?

        Let’s vote to own our future.

        Doesn’t this slogan sound a tad capitalist?

        • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1

          Its too silly for words. I would have thought that anything provided by the state was by definition socialist.
          But since you dont even know what ‘tax breaks’ are lets not go there.
          Interest free student loans- provided by the state
          Working for Families- provided by the state (didnt National and ACT brand it as communistic )

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2

          Doesn’t this slogan sound a tad capitalist?

          Unsure why you believe a slogan promoting public, governmental ownership of critical assets is “capitalist”.

          You really have to go a bit deeper than how something “sounds” PG.

      • The Sound Book 2.1.2

        The Labour government sold most or the country’s assetts if I recall correctly Ghost.

        Who did that benefit?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          That wasn’t a Labour Government. That was the first ACT Government. Please be more accurate in future.

          • mik e 2.1.2.1.1

            That Act Douglas Government didn’t sell those assets they gave those assets away corporate welfare!

          • neoleftie 2.1.2.1.2

            Lead by a good man who didnt understand the marco economic policies…thats the trouble with our polies – treasury has too much sway.

  3. Stephen Franks was on the radio yesterday talking about the proposed alcohol legislation stating

    we need a left wing government to bring in more restrictive alcohol policy

    Now, I couldn’t work out his logic; was he saying on a left leaning government would care enough; was instead he meaning a left leaning government would be nanny state? or was he actually using a hidden agenda and saying that the Nats are afraid to act on things injurious to health because they only car about votes and not society?
    I was left dazed and confused!

    • mik e 3.1

      With France and Italy’s right wing governments increasing taxes on the wealthy maybe Key with his socialist streak could learn something unlikely though

    • mik e 3.2

      Maybe ACt realizes Labours policies are better for the economy if only they had the conviction to support policies that work and know they work instead of being a dogwhistle for National

  4. Sookie 4

    Clumsily worded as usual, I swear he’s the most inarticulate PM I can remember, but he does have a point. Most NZers believe in a fair go, they’re not particularly dog eat dog or ideological like nutty Americans, and therefore extreme RWNJ policy gets a chilly reception, so he’s not going to try it and will stick to the middle ground. He may look and sound like an embarrassing douche, but he’s actually very clever. And it will win him the election, alas. God help NZ if a real Nat nutjob takes over his job halfway through the term though.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      …so he’s not going to try it and will stick to the middle ground.

      No he won’t. We’ve already seen hard right policy come from the current government and, if it gets another term, we’ll see a harder swerve to the right. Jonkey may have gone for a Labour-lite approach in 2k8 but he won’t be doing so in 2011.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        If the NATs get back in, will Key still be PM at the end of 2013. I say no way.

        The telltale sign IMO: English will be DUMPED as DPM before then, and Joyce will go up.

      • Reality Bytes 4.1.2

        If they go too hard right, they will kill their chances in 2014.

        I agree with Key here, that we kiwi’s have a socialist streak, and also that our socialist streak means we are compassionate. Credit where credit is due, good on him for recognizing and acknowledging that. And his recognition of that is why imo Nats won’t be too hard right, since they realize it’ll alienate too many folks and spell doom for them in 2014. These guys are in it to win it, they’ll flip and flop and chop and change to whatever gives them the best chance of getting re-elected.

        My prediction is they become even more lefty by 2014, because their out-dated trickle down capitalism-is-the-answer-at-any-costs mantras are getting worn out. They are simply unrealistic in their present form.

        I also predict they’ll lose the 2011 election 🙂 Hence their shift to the left.

        • millsy 4.1.2.1

          “Nats won’t be too hard right”

          WTF??!!

          Shrinking the state housing stock and kicking thousands of tenants on the state housing waiting lists, leaving them at the mercies of slum lords (one of the products of unfettered capitalism)

          Outsouring government department functions, including core funcions in the Defence Force (imagine Blackwater hoons roaring round Burnham in their humvees)

          Seeking to take an axe to labour law, which ensures the powerless are given protection from the powerful

          Etc

          Thats pretty hard right IMO. Not as hard right as Brash, but still hard right.

          • Reality Bytes 4.1.2.1.1

            I’m basing that opinion on them losing in 2011 mate. Hence my opinion of them flip-flopping and changing direction to what earns them votes.

            I’m trying to be positive here and hope for the best 🙂

            I wouldn’t mind National realizing their current direction is wrong, and shifting to the left. It’s just up to all of us to teach them that lesson at the polling booth!

            • Face Facts 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Considering you are the one with the “career” I think you are the biggest loser of them all, you fucked it up yourself and you never “made it”. You work like a fucking slave and what have you to show for it- NOTHING.

              I’m sorry to say this but your outcome will always be a million times worse than mine.

              • millsy

                I have a feeling that this ‘Face Facts’ person knows someone on here personally….

                • lprent

                  Doesn’t worry me until they start referring to them by name or enough detail that Trey could be identified by someone. 90% of the time they are wrong. 100% of the time they engage my ire as I scrub the names. Repitition or deliberate attempts at outing will just result in my kicking them out for considerable times.

                • Reality Bytes

                  If that’s me FF is referring to then, major lol, and no, completely random unexpected response. Possibly a case of mistaken identity?

                  I have no career. I work for no-one but myself. Self employed poor and struggling, but happy I’m not (too much of) a slave if I can help it.

                  Peace Face Facts, I think you have misinterpreted my musings 🙂

                  kind regards

                  • Colonial Viper

                    National’s corporate sponsorship has no interest in them moving to the left. They want as many state owned monopolistic assets sold off next term as possible, and they are not going to stop at 49%.

                  • rosy

                    Isn’t that identicon is showing up all over the place with random names and random comments?
                    e.g. as MirrorMirror here:

                    Farrar shills for NZ’s most racist academic

                    There also a couple of other names with the same (?) identicon, but I can’t remember quite where.

    • Terry 4.2

      Not clever at all, but very, very sly.

  5. mik e 5

    Then we will have a new motorway past every house in NZ As well as broadband more Debt and unemployment.Media works will get bailed out while TVNZ will be sold off to subsidize Media works

  6. aerobubble 6

    We’re all socialists now?!# Then we very lazy stupid ones.

    Its illegal to discriminate based on being in reciept of a benefit. Yet if someone
    pays someone else for doing nothing, pays then $200, then they would be
    discriminating against them for not forcing them also into work assistence
    lectures at WINZ. and let’s not even begi to talk about the pschological
    harm the humilating processes at WINZ.

  7. good to hear some one on the beehive talking sense

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    ghostwhowalksnz

    Helen Clark was desperate to promote money-lender-controlled international capitalsism a few years ago. I lost track of her tripping round the world promoting ‘free trade’ deals. And was it $30 million she gave to the rich boys’ club in connection with the America’s Cup? The hypocrisy just went on and on.

    A few years ago Labour was so far up the money-lenders and capitalists arse you could only just see the soles of Labour’s feet. And Phil Goff still is.

    Labour continues to peddle tainted goods, which is one of the many reasons why Labour is likely to do badly at the next election.

    • neoleftie 8.1

      all good points but in the real world we are tied into the system lock stock and every single bean. Better in the short term that labour utilises the system to stabilise and support the income and wellbeing of the masses and pray that an event come along that allows for a gradual system change

  9. Tangled up in blue 9

    Does having a “socialist streak” make someone a socialist?

  10. chris73 10

    Look on the brightside, at least come election night you’ll get a socialist party in power 🙂

    • Marjorie Dawe 10.1

      If that was true it would be great but I dont see Shonkey as anything near something which resembles a socialist. This is demonstrated by the removal of funds for social programmes, social housing, greener transport, adult education, the right to be innocent until proven guilty, 90 days and you can be sacked law, increase to GST, reduction of legal aid so anyone can have a fair trial, etc etc etc. The only socialist leanings I have seen relate to wealthy and corporate welfare e.g. Canterbury Finance investors, giving tax cuts to the rich etc etc etc.
      I actually think he meant that they should recognise social tendencies and then pretend to play the game. All of this has been aided and abeted by our media who have been watching backs and acting as apologists for the nats and also as Shonkey’s own personal press strategists.

  11. Jim Nald 11

    Hehe. We love this PM. We never tire of his bullshit.

    • Anne 11.1

      We never tire of his bullshit.

      Too right. Anyone who believes when Key made that ‘socialist streak’ comment to the US charge d’affairs, Glyn Davies that he meant it to mean “NZers are a caring people” must be gullible and naive. He used the term in it’s negative sense. He was essentially saying: we want to implement right wing, conservative policies like the US (Bush and co. were still in the hot seat) but we can’t because NZers still have a socialist streak running through them. We will have to go carefully until we’ve knocked it out if them.

      The charge d’affairs would have known this what he meant.

      • Puddleglum 11.1.1

        Agreed. Key was very likely expressing regret at the inability to push ahead too fast with ‘what was needed’. Now he presents it as some insight into the NZ character that he personally shares.

        I don’t think there was much room for expressing his ‘socialist streak’ at Merrill Lynch – yet he did very well there. 

  12. Jum 12

    John Key, cunning psychopathic Act closet host, really did say he had a socialist streak simply because he knew New Zealanders would be silly enough to believe him and to say ‘awww, he’s such a nice man’ just as he by cunning ‘mistake’ said ‘Labour leader’ instead of National leader – get some intelligence quotient please people.

    • Jim Nald 12.1

      Re IQ

      Back when Muldoon was famously quoted for his line in response to trans-Tasman migration, I would suggest that he got it partly right and partly wrong.

      He was right, in populist and voting terms for NZ, referring to the increase of IQ on this side of the Tasman. But here, IQ would have more appropriately stood for Inferiority complex Quotient.
      When the NZ workforce and voters are considered today, I have said and will say again that most of the A-list have left, fewer of the B-list are left, and we have to make do with what we have with the C-list. We try to import more of the A- and B-lists but their relationship with NZ end up as a transit-stop kind or the circumstances here affect them to downgrade or change gears.

      With the current government in power, there is little sign of any real mindshift and effort to change things for the better. At this rate, we can collectively allow ourselves to be fed and fattened up with more bullshit.

  13. Anne 13

    I bet Key and C/T went into damage control pronto when the wikileaks story broke Jum. Phones running hot. Mind you when you’ve got an acquiescent media who rarely question anything he says or does, it’s no wonder he gets away with it. Imagine the media uproar had it been an Helen Clark quote and was leaked while she was still PM.

    • Jum 13.1

      Anne, re media mice –

      Just spotted: Chapter 6 Public economic debate:confusion and manipulation (and in small print – inadequate information. Uncritical Media).

      Book titled: Prosperity mislaid, published 1994.

      ‘uncritical media’ – no change there.

      He might ‘get away with it’ but I also blame New Zealanders who just don’t understand that politics actually affects their lives.

      The scarier option is that they do understand and actually think turning New Zealand into some dumping ground for extreme rightwing experiments is okay. It wasn’t okay under Douglas and it wasn’t okay under Richardson. It’s still not okay under Key and his backers.

      It’s hard to soar with eagles when your government is run by turkeys. I just hope Christmas comes early for them – 26 November – nice day for turkey burgers roasted over a spit.

  14. Dr. X 14

    Hello chaps and chapesses.

    A few years back in Ireland, we had a taoiseach (PM) known to all and sundry as ‘Bertie’.

    He too informed us that he was really a socialist, while at the same time pursing the pro-capitalist agenda of the Celtic Tiger. . . by the time the final crisis of Irish capitalism had come down on us like a hammer, Bertie was long gone. . . and last seen doing the US lecture circuit, and advising Nigeria on how it, too, could join in the great global capitalist medley of extemporanea.

    Many brave hearts are asleep in the deep – so beware. Beware.

  15. Wayne Lo 15

    “Some of the things that we see take place in the rest of the world where there are overt signs of poverty and begging is not something that we want to see in New Zealand.”

    We are insulated from that, not so much because of socialistic policies but because New Zealand is still a relatively wealthy country.

    Wealthy Asian countries like Singapore, Japan, and even Taiwan and Hong Kong also have little signs of the overt poverty which Mr Key refers to.

    Of course countries like India and China have overt poverty – because they are in per-capita terms still poor. Not necessarily because they are not ‘caring’. Rapidly rising big countries like Brazil, India, China – have much inequality – probably unavoidable and much of it region against region, with the coastal areas doing better than the inland regions.

    The interesting thing though is the US still has a level of inequality which actually is almost the same as China’s, greater than Russia’s and India’s. The US of course is a long developed mature capitalist country – yet their level of inequality is still extremely high.

    In fact Japan and Korea both have very low Gini coefficients, Japan (24.9) and South Korea (31.6). Lower than New Zealand’s. New Zealand’s Gini coefficient of 36.2 is among the highest in the developed world. France, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, and Switzerland among many others all outperform NZ in terms of equality (remember the lower the number the more equal).

    And from the Gini coefficient alone it seems Japan is by far the most egalitarian country in the world (beating out even the Scandinavians). The gap between CEO and worker salaries in Japan is far less than it is in the West.

    http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/indicators/161.html

    So in terms of equality New Zealand does not perform particularly well at all compared to other developed economies, whether European or Asian (comparing NZ to developing countries is ludicrous, it is apples with oranges).

    New Zealand of course got an easy ride in the past when it was in the warm embrace of mother England. Wealth was taken off Asians and Africans and went to the West and this wealth was used to buy off the working class in the West. Thus in the West, for quite a long time there have not been any of the real class contradictions found in countries like China and Russia before their revolutions (although there was for a brief period in the US at the beginning of the 20th Century).

    But that could all change in the coming decades with globalisation. A tiny corporate elite which sees the entire world as its prey will care little whether those it sucks the blood out of are yellow, brown, black or even white.

    • Puddleglum 15.1

      Good analysis Wayne. I think you’re right that NZ has probably got away for a long time with a fortuitous lack of inequality rather than a ‘structural’ lack. Now the veneer is cracking.

      As soon as a guaranteed market went west (in the 70s), so did any tolerance for policies that might ensure some level of rough equality (in the 80s). Egalitarianism turned out to be cheap, superficial talk rather than a substantive trait of the ‘national character’.

  16. Mark 16

    In a way NZ was something of a socialist utopia, at least we had a caring society and a semblance of equality. Then came Roger Douglas, Ruth Richardson and Jim Bolger and we became the society of greed, inequality and short-sightedness. Then the ultimate insult – one of them gets a knighthood for doing it!

  17. I am amazed how much discussion this trivia has generated.

    Why doesn’t Labour confront the dark chapter in its history when it unleashed Douglas, Prebble etc on the lot of us and promise to unwind the most stupid elements of the “reforms”. I know a lot of middle of the road Kiwis who are opposed to much of what National currently represent particularly asset sales but there is nowhere politically for them to go. The entire “market” for infrastructure services like electricity, telecom and the like is only there to drain us all of wealth. We need to “unreform” these and return them to the public services they must be if we are to have a modern and equitable economy in the 21st century.

    This country is being run by losers for losers – we are being abused by our leadership and sold into slavery.

    Labour could win this election if it only had the vision and the courage.

    Having a flutter of indignation over whether JK is a socialist or not won’t cut it. Talking needs to stop and actions need to start and Labour needs to present a clear line of policies and actions to return us to a state with government that governs on behalf of us all.

    And why not start with learning from Solon

    http://resourceinsights.blogspot.com/2011/08/debt-bomb-net-energy-and-ancient-greeks.html

    • Bored 17.1

      I would dearly like to cancel all debt a la Solon, for Key it would mean his millions become worthless.

    • pollywog 17.2

      How much of the Lange/Douglas reforms were necessary ?

      Hadn’t Muldoon had come close to bankrupting the country with the ‘think big schemes’ so flogging off some state assets and breaking the power of the unions to hold industry to ransom was in some ways the only option ?

      What other choice did they have ? Can you counterfactualise what Labour in hindsight could now have done differently then ?

      • Jim Nald 17.2.1

        ….. and don’t forget Muldoon, on 15 Dec 1975, smashed the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme. Major loss of opportunity there. We would have been world leading savers and the envy of Australia which only introduced compulsory super in 1992.

  18. no loss – he got it by gaming the system not by hard work and entrepreneurship. It was taken from the people’s pocket probably best it goes back there.

  19. Interestingly enough it is the compulsory super schemes that are at the root of all of this – they take money from Joe Average and give it to a bunch of people who have to make a substantial return on it – this has generated vast capital flows that live in the speculative realm and fuel the Ponzi scheme. I read a commentator in the US recently who has finally twigged that when the Boomers cash up their savings there will be a huge capital draw down and a resultant loss of value as the number of buyers in the capital markets of the future will be far fewer than the number of sellers – and also they will be much poorer thanks to the boomer generation filling the world full of debt that our kids will have to pay back (if the system doesn’t collapse first).

    It doesn’t matter whether we fund our superannuation from taxes or capital returns in the end the same bunch (or kids) have to pay the cost either through increased taxes or increased prices. Taxes are likely to be both safer and more efficient. We should instead have been investing in infrastructure that would grow our economy but we spent the past three decades borrowing agianst it instead and spending up large.

    Helen C and Michael Cullen actually did more to get NZer’s into debt by allowing unfettered inflation of the property market etc than Muldoon did. At least Muldoon left us with a whole lot of useful infrastructure. Muldoon was the last Prime Minister to leave a legacy we would actually miss if it was to disappear. Imagine NZ without the Waitaki Power Scheme and without Manapouri and the Clyde Dam and the many other energy infrastructure assets built during that time. Muldoon did some awful things and some really stupid stuff too and he surrounded himself with dimwits and worse but he was the last prime minister we had who actually did anything useful as leader of the country. He just wasn’t good at organising it or selling it to the people of NZ.

    We canned him for the failures in his process but in doing so overlooked the logic in his purpose. We have had as a result nearly thirty years of government that is afraid of governing and who have left it to the “markets” to decide – and that is as responsible as a ships captain letting the wheel go and blowing before the wind – with the same end result – we end up on the rocks.

    Muldoon actually foresaw what is now occurring – he was just thirty years early – and was primarily spiked by the Americans destabilsing the oil market bby fostering an over supply that produced a twenty year glut of cheap energy. If oil had stayed at around $30 per barrel in 1980 dollars (which is where it should have been) all of those investments he made would have seemed very far sighted. They will be yet.

    • Jum 19.1

      Darkhorse,

      Labour has learned its lessons. If it hasn’t, I know where they live! Let’s get them back in shall we in a partnership with the more 21stC Greens and Jim of course with some damned good policy like Kiwibank and equitable dental care. We need Jim back in Parliament. This time every person knows what is required to bring our country back into some sort of civilized equality. It can only get worse for those that lie to us. It won’t just be marches in the street as it was in the 80s and the 90s and the march against mining our special places. We can be sure of that. Globally we all know what is at stake. It’s our spirit and it’s being destroyed at present by Key and Joyce.

      Christchurch’s mayoral loss is our gain. If they were silly enough to vote Parker the voice back in then they can look forward to their assets being sold off and everything else he is instructed to do by Gerry the Hut, or was it Hoot.

      • darkhorse 19.1.1

        Hi Jum

        Labour will need to come up with something bold in the next couple of months if it is going to make the grade. The Greens are doing better with the fresh thinking.

        How about putting all of our electricity generators back together as ECNZ II and return the power lines and the small generation that were stolen from communities to regional infrastructure trusts and restore the phones to a public utility, get the aussie banks out of NZ – we don’t need them if anyone is going to print money it might as well be our own government, and get our dollar down to an acceptable level so that we can live on what we export or make for ourselves and not what we can borrow. The answer takes courage and vision, not economic theory and more talk. We need to purge Roger D from our belief system – any idiot can organise a party if they don’t worry about the credit card. Roger and his henchmen squandered a century of hard work of community building by our forebears.

        Social policy is a waste of gods good air if we can’t afford it. And the more we can afford it the less we need it as there is no better social policy than plenty of employment for decent wages.

        Oddly enough Muldoon knew that too. The old PEP schemes, conceptually clumsy they may have been but they did a power of good when unemployment was high.

        Time to throw off the dogma’s – ours isn’t working, China’s is – we should examine those who have seen the flaws in our ideological model and used it against us. Most of our creditors were “developing countries” not that long ago and we were sending them aid. No reciprocity there!

  20. Gina 20

    To me a large part of socialism is that it acknowledges the massive amount of work women do raising children with no right to her husbands wages except for the legal right of support.
    Clearly the word partner is BS. Mothers working 120 hours per week in the home often struggle to even get the bare neccesssities provided and get sometimes nothing at all but some bills left to them.

    Capitalism without support of mothers who need to leave marriages is actually based on the slavery of women. It is based on the prostitution and sometimes the rape of mothers who cannot afford to leave their partners if they no longer say yes to sex.

    i.e. A woman who refuses her husband sex because she no longer loves her husband or other reasons is often told that she should not expect him to support her and their children. I.E. congugal rights must be provided or the woman and her kids should be thrown into destitution. To demand that a woman fulfils this criteria to remain in a marriage and keep support is really just making her a prostitute.

    Those who hate socialism may well be misogynists who want a complete return of female slavery.

    I use the word complete becuase we still have a sort of slavery and legal protections of the most questionable nature for mothers. I have even had a member of the National Party admit to me that women are slaves. Not that its hard to work it out but to get an admission from a right winger about anything is a bit of a feat I think.

  21. Gina 21

    Those whom want riddance of socialism want a system of female submission
    which is abusive in every way. Our governments through as lack of recognition of the problems
    faced by mothers condone the abuse of women in many ways. It is an integral part of our society and their are people who win from the losses of women i.e. business and men do not want to pay taxes to support mothers etc.
    Many men think they have the right to enslave them etc etc so its no surprise when men believe they have the right to rape women.

    This is not aimed at all men. many men do not abuse their wives however their is very little protection for a woman who finds herslf being coerced by her partner into say going out to work and shouldering almost the complete burden of runnig a houshold.. Her only choice is to leave and find her self doing it all anyway an being really poor also. This is why so many women put up with some degree of ill treatment in their marriages.

  22. ropata 22

    Good points Gina there is something sick about the capitalist philosophy that seeks to monetize everything including a woman’s body.

  23. Kleefer 23

    Socialism is shorthand for caring? Really? Try telling that to the 200 million-odd people who died during the 20th century when this vicious ideology was put in place.

    • Wayne Lo 23.1

      200 million? Absolute bollocks. Not even the ‘black’ book of communism claims that. They claim ‘only’ 100 million. Also a bunch of transparent lies.

      In any case I suppose you are referring to purported killings in the Soviet Union and China?

      ‘Communism’ was what dragged up these two peasant based, poverty stricken and illiterate nations, turning them into superpowers in a blink of an eye in historical terms.

      ‘Capitalism’ would not have brought high living standards to the West without the control of a large part of the world’s resources through invasion and violence. Still now the US controls a large part of the world’s resources, and like a mafia family dispenses violence at will to maintain that control.

      In 1917 Russia’s GDP was about 1/15th that of the US. By the time of the demise of the Soviet Union it was 1/2.

      China’s life expectancy in 1949 was 35. China was the poorest place on earth – poorer in per capita GDP than India, Ethiopia at the time. By the time of 1976, the year of Mao’s death, it was 65 (higher than that of India today). Literacy in China is among the highest in the developing world – after Cuba.

      It is absolutely incorrect to say that ‘communism’ (actually socialism) was a failure, a murderous ideology. It had its appalling bits,but also its successes. The successes part probably was responsible for saving and improving more lives in the 20th century than any other political and economic system.

      And note that even that anti-communist hack writer, Rudy Rummel now admits to a minimum 50 million victims of capitalist-imperialism in the 20th Century. He says even this appalling number is a conservative estimate.

      • Colonial Viper 23.1.1

        Oh noes, inconvenient facts!

        BTW life expectancies in specific US towns and counties will start falling over the next 20 years. Falling a lot. Hows that for capitalism!

        The bottom line is that collapse is never pretty.

  24. Does the paradox that these communist nations have got wealthier while we have got poorer not strike you all as odd?

    Maybe they had more visionary and courageous leadership?

    What you will find really odd is that most one party nations have healthy current account balances and the free market democracies are all virtually bankrupt

    For the facts on that read http://howdaft.blogspot.com/2011/06/sad-state-of-new-zealand-economy.html

    We have an ideological problem and useless politcal leadership

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