Can the world exists in peace?

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Can the world exists in peace?

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1skoobdo
Ene 29, 2010, 2:02am

We have seen the Planet Earth from a distance photographed in space by the astronauts in the space labs, it seems that the Earth is at peace, and so serene .

What are the rationality to have wars still exist
since the beginning of Time?

Can peace exists in the world?

Share your thoughts.

2jahn
Ene 29, 2010, 3:25am

“The dogs,” Heraclitus observed, “bark even against those they have not come to know.” I think all necessary explanation of war lies there. To have enemies in contrast to yourself, your identity must be external to yourself, as in the following of a leader - without that all strangers are just that.

That is my take on it: we need more individualism. The new media may be beneficient here.

3perdondaris
Feb 26, 2010, 5:27pm

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4Lunar
Mar 8, 2010, 12:08am

#2: "That is my take on it: we need more individualism."

I think this though is on the right track. Whenever we try to come up with some collectivist definition of "we," it's only a matter of time before that produces a tendency to alienate the "other." Viewing individuals through the lens of the community can only impede a free and peaceful interaction across boundaries. In every war, for every handful of individualists exploiting the system for themselves (who are really more sociopathic than individualist), we see multitudes of people propagandized with collectivism. If we had more individualists, those few sociopaths would be helpless to make war work for themselves.

5perdondaris
Mar 9, 2010, 5:08pm

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6Lunar
Mar 10, 2010, 1:43am

#5: "Capitalism is a hierarchical system of class that needs the government to enforce its demands on others."

Technically, you're talking about "corporatism." You make a lot of good points about the fascist relationship between the corporate sector and the state, but I wanted to put out that terminological note for future reference. I personally have a tendency to refer to capitalism in the sense of free markets, not in the sense of corporatism.

I also agree that individuals benefit from a community, but only for individual reasons, so the existence of community itself does not imply "collectivism."

Collectivism is the notion that the interests of the individual must be subsumed by the group. There's no way to accomplish this peacefully. But individualism is about the interests of the individual being paramount. Violent individualists may exist (in minority), but so do peaceful individualists. With collectivism, violence is necessary, but with individualism it is not.

7perdondaris
Mar 10, 2010, 5:30pm

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8Lunar
Mar 11, 2010, 2:10pm

#7: "A misconception about dictators is that they are collectivists. A dictator is the ultimate individualist no matter what philosophy he espouses."

Nice rant, but didn't I just say this back in #4? You're not telling me anything new. But the thing I've been trying to tell you is that even if tyrants are individualist, not all individualists are tyrannical in their social interactions. If all you want is a good product, petty personal differences fall to the wayside. Where a collectivist might do business based on group identity, such as based on racial discrimination, an individualist would do business based on who provided with them with the most value regardless of race.

9perdondaris
Mar 13, 2010, 12:33pm

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10Lunar
Mar 14, 2010, 1:37am

#9: In the military the individual forsakes his own freedom for the greater good (this is what the statement there are no atheists in foxholes means) and for a greater cause than himself.

Dude, that's collectivism. While it's true that plenty of individualists value things that they feel are greater than themselves, this is not coercion. Neither is conformity a form of coercion. Coercion is the use of punishment on others. When you conform to a group's way of doing something, you're not being forced into it. You're doing it because you want to get something out of it. No person is twisting your arm. The circumstances that compel us may be coercive (hunger pangs are definitely coercive), but to discuss coercion at the hands of nature is far beyond the scope of Anarchism.

At this point I don't care if you call it individualism or collectivism or whatever. If someone believes in using coercion against others, that is what I find unacceptable. I don't care if people join the military just to worship the big GI Joe doll in the sky. They could just as easily join the Boy Scouts of America for that purpose. The point is that the military uses coercion against others. The problem with having a bunch of collectivists is that if they want to do something to you, they'll get away with it. Individualists, not nearly so easily.

11perdondaris
Mar 14, 2010, 1:19pm

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12Lunar
Editado: Mar 15, 2010, 1:16am

#11: "But at the top of every Army is a Commander."

And without the collectivists to do his bidding he is nothing. Of course, the commander could just as easily be a collectivist himself. Regardless, collectivism is what removes personal accountability, particularly for those in the halls of power. A society of individualists is the ultimate in checks and balances. A society of collectivists is the engine of tyranny.

"To the extent the individual needs society there shall be collectivism, but not one based on schizophrenic religious and economic ideas (the fundamentalism of free markets and Pharisees)."

See, throughout all this debate you've made good points about corporatism and then every now and then you'll pretend it was an argument against free markets. Either you're being dishonest or you are being severely confused by your overdependence on the epithet of "capitalism."

So tell me what you mean by "capitalism." Do you mean the hands-off policy of free markets or the government interventionism of corporatism. If you can't decide, there is little point in debating someone who is debating their own self.

13perdondaris
Mar 15, 2010, 4:30pm

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14Lunar
Mar 16, 2010, 4:14am

See, you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't make claims about how all these wonderful socialist programs came into effect and then complain about economic downturns by blaming it on the specter of "capitalism."

"Business depended on these "Statist" educational institutions to provide skilled and educated labor."

Indeed, and unecessarily so. Because government "help" in education has brought about the possibility of outsourcing education away from the industries themselves, now it costs an arm and a leg to become liscensed in most any particular field of study. You can't just get an entry level job anymore and work your way up the ranks with experience and industry-provided training.

"The New Deal did not abolish capitalism it just made the parties and hangovers less drastic."

Actually no, the New Deal single-handedly prolonged the Great Depression by a decade. It was only after the various stimulus schemes stopped that what Robert Higgs calls "regime uncertainty" finally lifted allowing for investors to put their money in sustainable ventures undistorted by excessive economic interventionism. Of course, the Leftist nonsense of Keynesianism survived much longer up to and including the present day. We now have a bubble-based economy in which the policy is to artificially stoke consumerism to create an illusion of economic growth, often via hampering individuals' ability to save their money judiciously. This is what best maps economic ups and downs rather than the tenous superstitions about what guy happens to be sitting in the Oval Office at the time.

15perdondaris
Mar 16, 2010, 1:42pm

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16Lunar
Mar 17, 2010, 12:31am

#15: "The New Deal did not prolong the Depression (a big myth among conservatives like the Civil War was not about slavery)."

No, the myth about the New Deal among conservatives has been the notion that the war got us out of the Depression, an idiotic notion shared in some degree by socialists as well.

"Raising wages beyond what the market would bear solved this problem."

Employers are not magical horns of plenty. When they artificially kept wages high as Hoover (and then FDR afterwards) asked them to do, the loss had to be made up somewhere: Massive unemployment. Though I'm not sure how much energy I really want to put into arguing economics as debating it with the economically uneducated is about as pointless as discussing Darwinian evolution with a creationist.

"Would you lie a physician who is motivated by the profit motive or one who is motivated by helping you and the human race."

That's a false dichotomy. Profit motive does not dissolve humanitarian motive. It's funny when you talk to doctors who have come to the US from Europe. Although both places have a decent amount of socialism in their healthcare systems, in the US it is comparatively less bogged down by socialism. These doctors see this and move here out of a desire to have a greater impact on the lives of their patients. I'd rather leave my life in their hands than a socialist system where finding someone who genuinely cares and doesn't see it as "just another job" is down to the luck of the draw.

"If there is one thing I have learned in life it is this: the more money involved in any enterprise the dirtier and more corrupt it is."

See, I'd agree with that if only you had said "political money" rather than just "money."

17Mr.Durick
Mar 17, 2010, 6:34pm

Lunar, is there such a thing as a one or two sentence explanation about what ended the Great Depression? If you have discussed it somewhere I would be happy with a pointer.

From what I have seen money does not change its colors between politicians, bankers, big capitalist players, the petty corrupt, and the charitable. Like power it tends to corrupt. Perhaps in politics we see something approaching absolute wealth with concomitant corruption.

Robert

18Lunar
Editado: Mar 18, 2010, 2:08am

#17: A Robert Higgs article on how we finally got out of the Great Depression can be found here. A lengthy excerpt of Murray Rothbard's America's Great Depression, in which he explains how Hoover got us onto his fallacious "road to plenty" can be found here.

19perdondaris
Mar 18, 2010, 10:09am

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20Lunar
Mar 20, 2010, 2:08am

#19: "The economically uneducated" what a joke. It is odd how you call employers "magical horns of plenty".

See, now you're really slipping. I didn't say I believed that employers are "magical horns of plenty." I said you did. Go back to your post in #15. You actually think that you can force employers to pay high wages without causing unemployment? The minute you see money changing hands you can't even do simple arithmetic. Economically uneducated indeed. Or maybe economically "anti-intellectual" is a better way to put it.

Oh, and by the way, I can't speak for how Hayek thought of political labels, but here's a little bit from Rothbard on the subject of conservatives:

The Conservative has long been marked, whether he knows it or not, by long-run pessimism: by the belief that the long-run trend, and therefore time itself, is against him. Hence, the inevitable trend runs toward left-wing statism at home and communism abroad. It is this long-run despair that accounts for the Conservative’s rather bizarre short-run optimism, for since the long run is given up as hopeless, the Conservative feels that his only hope of success rests in the current moment. In foreign affairs, this point of view leads the Conservative to call for desperate showdowns with communism, for he feels that the longer he waits the worse things will ineluctably become; at home, it leads him to total concentration on the very next election, where he is always hoping for victory and never achieving it. The quintessence of the practical man, and beset by long-run despair, the Conservative refuses to think or plan beyond the election of the day.

Pessimism, however, both short-run and long-run, is precisely what the prognosis of conservatism deserves, for conservatism is a dying remnant of the ancien régime of the preindustrial era, and, as such, it has no future. In its contemporary American form, the recent Conservative revival embodied the death throes of an ineluctably moribund, fundamentalist, rural, small-town, white Anglo-Saxon America. What, however, of the prospects for liberty? For too many libertarians mistakenly link the prognosis for liberty with that of the seemingly stronger and supposedly allied Conservative movement; this linkage makes the characteristic long-run pessimism of the modern Libertarian easy to understand. But this chapter contends that, while the short-run prospects for liberty at home and abroad may seem dim, the proper attitude for the Libertarian to take is that of unquenchable long-run optimism.


Not that all this labeling should matter all that much. Nor will you read the above (as you've "read" my own posts thus far) and be able to see the long-running agreements about provincial bible-clinging peons of corporatism or whoever. You cannot see coherent arguments because you've been blinded by the fact that I don't share your zeal for theft and coercion. And if anyone is against your particular brand of theft and coercion... well, like I said in my very first post above, to a collectivist, if someone is not part of the "we," then they are part of the "other." So all you have in your quiver are bizarre allegations of conservatism, or McCarthyism or of the ocassional nonsensical mention of Glenn Beck.

I used to be a "progressive" too at one point. I could argue my leftist points like the best of them as recently as three years ago. But then I educated myself about free market economics because I am nothing if not open-minded. I'm telling you to go get an education in economics.

21perdondaris
Mar 20, 2010, 1:04pm

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22Lunar
Mar 21, 2010, 1:02am

#21: you have no comprehension of history and human psychology

While I did neglect to mention a reeducation in history above, it is in fact one of my main reading interests. As the George Orwell saying goes, he who controls the present controls the past, and he who controls the past controls the future. The mainstream histories of both the Right and the Left are not all they seem. My 2010 catalogue of Mises Institute Books just arrived today (how timely!) and I am currently eyeing The New Deal in Old Rome, which also seems to be a free pdf on their website.

As for your mention of human psychology, I think you really walked into that one. It is precisely that background and my appreciation for the psychology of individual incentive that left me open-minded to learning free market economics in the very first place.

23perdondaris
Mar 21, 2010, 12:51pm

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24Lunar
Mar 22, 2010, 12:02am

#23: Ironically enough, Diocletian blamed the merchant class too for the ills precipitated by government. I guess there are some things about the blame game that never change.

25perdondaris
Mar 22, 2010, 3:06am

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26skoobdo
Editado: Mar 22, 2010, 4:09am

" the Scandinavian countries are the most progressive and democractic (i.e. socialist) in the world" , this group of states consist of Switzerland,Denmark,Sweden,Norway and the neighbouring counries. Were these countries affected by the invasion of Nazi's forces in the WW II ? Were these countries in ancient times occupied by any other civilisations such as the Roman's empire? These countries currently experience very high standards of living. Is this true and the reasons for having this quality? I am not very well-versed in the European's history.

"High Standard of Living" = "High Costs of Living"
is a likely thing to happen. Good qualities of living cost
a lot of money.

27rolandperkins
Editado: Mar 22, 2010, 4:34am

"Were. . . (the Scandinavian) countries affected by the invasion of Naziʻs forces in the WW II" ?

Well of course the short answer is "Yes". Denmark and Norway were both invaded. Norway had a long term anti-Nazi resistance movement. Denmark offered only token resistance; but its royal family was allowed to stay in Denmark, and are credited with boldly opposing the Nazisʻ "Holocaust" initiatives against Danish Jews. On the other side, it almost went without saying that the Allies would occupy Iceland. (As I remember it, this happened only after the U.S. was in the war (De. 1941, and was an American operation.)

Some military historians believe that Sweden was spared invasion mainly because the Nazis had observed the anti-aircraft of Swedish origin that was used by Finland against the Soviet Unionʻs invasion of 1939-40 (before Germany and the Soviets were at war). And it is an old belief of
many historians that Switzerland has escaped
invasion and been able to remain neutral because of its anti-aircraft which, along with its terrain, make it "more trouble than it is worth" for invading.

You include Switzerland in "this (Scandinavian) group of states", but that must be a socio- economic affinity, not ethnic or geographical.

As for going back to times of Roman paramouncy in that area. Well, it is true that
Tacitus was vaguely aware of Germanic tribes on the edges of what are now the Scandinavian countries and Finland, but to the Romans these areas were more in the realm of folklore than of history or proto-anthropology.

I am sceptical of how far back "Influence" in general can be traced.

Egypt of today, for example, may still have some things in common with the Egypt of 700 B.C. Does that mean we can assume it has something in common with the Egypt of 1500 B.C. or 3000 B.C. ? In other words, are there cutoff points in this historical search for Influence? And who is to designate them?

I almost ended up answering your question merely with another question. Finally I did answer it -- in Paragraph 1 above. But your reason for asking puzzles me.

28jahn
Editado: Mar 22, 2010, 7:17am

Yes Scandinavia; being Norwegian I ought to be the resident expert, even if I am not. The German occupation was rather short I can point out though, and as most of us were not considered as belonging to a sub-human race we were treated comparatively well, life went on more or less as usual. Finland had a bit of large scale fighting on their soil in WW2 (against the Soviets), but war elsewhere in Scandinavia was nothing like Okinawa. I think socio-economic explanation of life as lived in Scandinavia today will have to be found elsewhere.

Take Sweden, which is considered the foremost representative of the Scandinavian way, it was very free market oriented for a long time, with many great inventors and industry grounders, as late as the fifties the level of the state’s absorption of the GDP was less than in the USA. (Sweden also avoided more wars than Switzerland). Roller bearings, guns, cars and porn made it possible to build a welfare state from the sixties up that lately has taken something of a nosedive economically. So the Swedish conservatives are trying to roll back a bit of the welfare, we’ll see how that works out.

Sweden’s neighbour on the Scandinavian Peninsula, my country Norway, was until very recently dirt poor. Being 90 percent pure rock, our only wealth was for a long time fish, forests, and shipping. In shipping we were at the beginning good at drowning quietly, and then became very good at other aspects of it. We were sailors or shipbuilders nearly all of us until the Orientals started out-competing us from the 70’ies on.

Then we found oil, or rather the state owned oil companies did, so much that most of the profits had to be invested in the USA, in sub prime mortgages and the like. Our state is Socialist governed and filthy rich, nearly all media are state owned or state subsidised and 100% PC – it’s every day more state indoctrination centres for children, more multi-culti, more affirmative action, more quotas, more mosques and gay parades, and a wild daily hunt for the smell of Nazism somewhere in someone’s cellar. That is besides daily more sick leaves, more early retirements, and higher wages for politicians and bureaucrats. (Send our greetings to that beaming light of oil based socialist democracy: Hugo Chávez!) But should there be a real fall in the oil price, it’s likely that half of us will to try to row to Iceland.

Denmark is perfect farm land, and when that was where nearly all riches came from, they enjoyed such luxuries as making war on parts of Germany, on Sweden etc. They’re still doing pretty well, though not in the war department. Fine beer, funny Mohammad caricatures, and there are loads of great amusement parks for children.

Finland is up there somewhere, with black forests and a thousand seas and a completely un-understandable language. They drink a lot of vodka, dance Finnish style Tango, bathe in steam and ice, and then cry and cut each other’s ears off with long knives. They also make cell phones and win all contests in having good schools. Actually nobody knows what they do in Finland, but if they are as well off as the rest of Scandinavia it probably has nothing to do with socialism.

29perdondaris
Mar 22, 2010, 5:40pm

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30jahn
Editado: Mar 23, 2010, 9:00am

#29

It is a fact that Scandinavian countries has a larger percentage of the population in the middle class than the USA, but it is offensive to us to continually hear that this is because of socialist interventionism. Whatever its explanation, this happy state of affairs may be about to change.

The USA have long had particular poverty generating problems that we haven’t known in Scandinavia until very recently, namely a large influx of unschooled immigrants with a foreign language, often settling together in same culture Ghettos and keeping each other nearly unemployable with aggressive anti establishment solidarity.

The Scandinavian countries have had a uniquely homogenous population, outside of the towns each individual having had ten graves or more to water on the nearest churchyard, and five neighbours with the same family name. And we have been very small too, there’s a saying in Norway, once often used, which goes: “We all have a niece in (the small district of) Toten.”

This is no longer true; rather we all here in Scandinavia have had massive immigration the last few years, and this of people with a culture much more different from the native one than what has generally been the case with the immigration in the USA.

And America style problems are emerging, the frequent Moslem riots, with burned cars etc, might foretell a “Burn Baby Burn” conflagration that could dwarf Detroit 67, when the unschooled of the Ghettos sees the Scandinavian middle class way pass them by, and the emergent gang culture expands beyond mutual executions.

An Americanisation going on in my hometown Oslo is easily observable: squalid slum with threathening grafitti where quite recently was stolid, clean, and orderly working class, and walls, barbed wire and private guards were once the rich willingly showed off their low castles, smooth lawns, and glistening cars.

Ps: the portraits of the Scandinavian countries in #28 was of course meant to be largely tongue in cheek, though the last line, which you reacted to in your first line, was seriously meant.

31perdondaris
Mar 23, 2010, 3:35pm

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32Lunar
Mar 23, 2010, 3:39pm

#30: Just to be clear, the immigrants are not the problem. It is socialism that allows immigrants to shut themselves off from the wider community in ghettoes and it is socialism that traps people in poverty. I think perdondaris should watch John Stossel Goes to Washington (available on Youtube) for some good examples of how the disadvantaged are empowered by independence from socialism.

33perdondaris
Mar 23, 2010, 6:05pm

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34Vanye
Mar 24, 2010, 3:47am

#33-Stephen Jay Gould tried to convince the world a couple of years before the turn of the century that the milennia or in fact the entire system of time & dates is simply a human construct & that the natural world doesn't know the year 2000 from any other second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, or century from Adam's off-ox! The nuts who were all a tremble about the world-wide catastrophe they were sure would occur on the stroke of midnite on 31 December 1999 & are once again telling the world to prepare it's self for the cataclysm that they are certain will ensue on 21 December 2012. This is all by way of stating that human beings take their imaginary boundaries & borders, not to mention their sense of ownership of property; land, vehicles, objects etc as well as control over them far more seriously than any of sense responsibility for the lives, safety & well being of their fellow human beings. Countries will go right on killing & destroying over these imaginary 'lines in the sand' until whey wipe each other off the face of the earth or they get smarter. Which do you think will happen first? 8^)

35abclaret
Mar 24, 2010, 4:32am

Would help if we start by challenging nationalism no? See Imagined Communities or The Invention of Tradition. And possibly understanding the origin of the nation-state and how we can politically (and economically) move against it.

36Lunar
Mar 24, 2010, 4:51am

#33: Property, like national boundaries, are imaginary concepts invented by human beings.

Property itself and what use it is put to is very real. Rather, it is the concept of ownership and the lines on a map that are human constructs. These constructs were invented for the same reason that language was: Optimizing self-organization. Informally, individual ownership of property has been recognized as a superior form of self-organization in a variety of cultures the world over (including among many native american groups who were not the magical wood elves you make them out to be). Formally, this was also recognized as far back as Aristotle when he observed that the number of collective owners a property has correlates with the amount of neglect it receives, public property and national boundaries being the most egregious examples of this.

Humans are creatures of individual incentive and they tend to put property to more effective use when the consequences of its use are borne individually. It's like the story of the Pilgrim's first Thanksgiving (the one they don't teach you about in school). The Pilgrims of the Plymouth Bay Colony were required by their charter to farm communally. This led to food shortages for three years running. Individual farmers just didn't have any incentive to work the land productively if the products of their labor were going into a shared pot. Why labor for someone else's meal? So they gave up the communal model and instead set up a system of privately owned family farms. And voila! Suddenly the farmers were more productive and they had plenty of food to trade amongst themselves.

So property rights and boundaries may be human constructs. But you can't say the same thing about crop yields. Like you might say, when humans are long extinct, practices like farming will become meaningless. But for as long as humans are around, famine is not something to be treated trivially.

37abclaret
Mar 24, 2010, 8:37am

Lunar said: "These constructs were invented for the same reason that language was: Optimizing self-organization."
Sorry but thats ahistorical nonsense. Nationstates were not something people back in the day agreed on collectively or something that evolved naturally. They were thrown up and solidified by competing bourgeouisie of different localities. This is really prelevant in Europe where protracted wars were fought between Prussia, France, England etc and these only came to a close with the printing press, an expansion into territories outside of Europe and possibly the First World War.

If you want to see nationalism in its full stupidity you only need look at the far-right in South America, where the various groups are a front for the imperial interests of their nation state, and their 'ideas' lack the emphasis of race and language thats dominant in the European far-right.

38Lunar
Mar 24, 2010, 5:24pm

#37: Who says I was talking about nation states? I'm very clearly talking about individual ownership of property.

39rolandperkins
Mar 24, 2010, 6:26pm

" . . .the far right in South America, where the various groups are a front for the IMPERIAL interests of their nation state . . ."
(emphasis added) # 38

"(I)mperial" is what puzzles me here, because Latin America has always seemed to me to be the LEAST imperialistic of any grouping of nation-states (except possibly Africa, but there the nation-states are of comparatively recent origin and are usually multi-tribal.)

Armies, in Latin America, have been primarily for keeping the current regime in power against large factions of its population, not for fighting
other nation states. (And the "president" --often actually a dictator-- has often been a general.) There have been some long-term international hostilities: Argentina v. Chile for example, with territorial disputes, but nothing like the territorial disputes of Europe. Nothing like the centuries long rivalry of Britain and France, and the rivalry of the France/Britain coalition vs. Germany (the successor state of Prussia). Nor Germany v. Russia/Soviet Union, the major national hassle of WW II.

40abclaret
Mar 24, 2010, 6:44pm

rolandperkins said "(I)mperial" is what puzzles me here..."

All nation states are by there very nature imperialist. I don't buy into Lenin's conception of the behind Right of Nations to Self-Determination, there is nothing progressive behind nationalism, even nationalism of the oppressed. I was trying to highlight outside of the European context how even peoples across nation states who have very similar cultures, historic experiences etc can be imbued with what is essentially an irrational set of ideas.

These short texts highlight my ideas on the subject.

"The victory of the Vietnamese "national liberation struggle" entrenched an autocratic elite whose domination of Cambodia and Laos recreates the ancient Vietnamese empire in more modern dress. Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait and Israel's expansionism and racist subjugation of the Palestinians also express imperialist tendencies of these two regional mini-powers."
http://libcom.org/library/every-nation-state-imperialist-nature-tom-wetzel

"Nationalism and class struggle are irreconcilably opposed. A nation is a bourgeois reality: it is capitalism with all its exploitation and alienation, parcelled out in a single geographical unit. It doesn't matter whether the nation is 'small, 'colonial', 'semi-colonial' or 'non-imperialist'. All nationalisms are reactionary because they inevitably clash with class consciousness and poison it with chauvinism and racialism."
http://libcom.org/library/third-worldism-or-socialism-solidarity-group

41Lunar
Editado: Mar 25, 2010, 12:17am

All nation states are by there very nature imperialist.

I don't want to get too much into a debate about definitions, but you seem to be using the term "nation" incorrectly (even your second book quote admits that nations can be non-imperialist). A "nation" is commonly defined as a people with a sense of a shared history (regarless of whether or not they are also a state). So a state can only be called imperialist once it subsumes multiple nations to itself.

Not that I hold nation states to be internally legitimate either. Just that it's not correct to call them "imperialist."

42perdondaris
Mar 25, 2010, 12:32pm

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43rolandperkins
Mar 25, 2010, 4:05pm

To Abclaret, et al. : (#40)

I didnʻt mean ( #39 ) that a small nation state CANNOT be imperialist, just that the probabilities are in favor of an imperialist nation that is large.

Even Britain was "small" --compared to India. The Netherlands ran an empire of just about 10 times the size of their own country in population.

I stand by the statement (39) that Africa (with a short history of nation-states) and Latin America,
whose nation states began in the 19th century, have been the least imperialist nation states in the world.

44abclaret
Mar 25, 2010, 8:07pm

Lunar said: So a state can only be called imperialist once it subsumes multiple nations to itself.

There can be several arrangements for imperialism to work, and its not always about physically occupying a geographical space. I would argue perdondaris is wrong about Belgium explicitly being an imperialist state, for the simple reason its a NATO member, which means it was involved in the bombing of Serbia, and part of the resolved armstice of which involved Serbia conceding on a number economic issues.
And I am talking about the nation-state, not a nation, correct me if I am wrong.

perdondaris said: I would call the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union imperialist (expansionist) nations.

Yes, these are/were state-capitalist. I am not going to stop calling a spade a spade, just because it uses socialist rehtroic. PRC and the USSR clearly had an imperialist project, which differed only slightly to the traditional imperialism we experienced of the latter centuries. The problem with the USSR inparticularly was you had a ruling class who could trace their origins back to the events of 1917, so they couldn't break with there radical history, not in the same way PRC had done under Deng Xiaopeng.

perdondaris said: Anti free trade becomes a leftist agenda and no longer the rightist agenda (as it was before "liberal" became associated with the left in America and England). British conservatives in the 19th Century were opposed to free trade.

My understanding is that free trade hasn't ever existed (with the possible exception of Somali), even Adam Smith and co back in the day were what we would amount to being statists. Despite the rehtoric a lot of people in favour of 'free-trade' with the exception of the fringe economic right-wing libertarians based in the states, are actually in favour of public subsidies for business. This was very true of Thatcherism from what I gather.

I found this interesting when I read it a few months ago
http://libcom.org/library/state-capitalism-britain

45perdondaris
Mar 26, 2010, 3:12am

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46jahn
Editado: Mar 27, 2010, 1:34pm

Can we hope to attain peace when so many people see avoiding war as manifestly starting with the accurate identification of the enemy?

Does not peace rather demand the admittance that we are all the same human material? And does not successful argumentation against the ideas of others demand that one presents ideas that can be seen as better, rather than merely with utmost harshness denounce their ideas?

Who among us ever understood the superiority of any system merely by being called ugly things? Have we not always needed to see better solutions to felt problems before changing our minds on anything?

Does not talking sense include the ability to identify the needs that generated the beliefs of other people, so as to find what can be found as suitable replacements - and can one really do that without identifying with them – without being one of them?

Lenin did not want to communicate with the capitalists and the bourgeoisie; they were evil in their understanding of business, they were a cancer on society and would have to be eradicated. Hitler felt the same way about the Jews: as international bankers down to pawnbrokers they sucked the blood of decent people he thought. And there is but one answer to our problems when explained as the work of evil people: to kill them.

It is an easy game in theory, the cleansing of a soiled paradise; it demands no understanding of how useful things can be produced. Just identify the evil ones, pin the mark of evil on them with suitable expletives, fire at their chests and see them fall over into their mass graves, and then you can watch world rise in pure health and beauty on its own…

The rebirth of goodness through destruction is the primitive myth of a tribal society who has not come to know trade; it is only with a fearsome collectivist identity that you can have strangers as enemies, can find aggression a necessity against outsiders you have not learned to know as aggressors.

The new media will perhaps find us better able to communicate, to trust stepping across borders; but then again it may help the collectivists egg each others on?

47perdondaris
Mar 27, 2010, 5:06pm

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48jahn
Editado: Mar 28, 2010, 7:30am


Capitalism, unlike Socialism, is not a construction, it is what has worked, and therefore lasted.

Sometime in history people found out that specialists worked faster and made better products than amateurs, so people started specialising and trading. And some specialists found out that specialising in parts of the production worked ever better, so the firm was born – with, by and by, also specialists in product development, marketing, management, finance, etc.

Defenders of capitalism never claimed it was a just way to distribute a common wealth; it is the Socialists that have brought the word distribution into what strictly speaking is not a distribution at all. The Capitalism defenders claim that letting everybody demonstrate with the use of their money what is most wanted, so that production is directed towards that place, is the way wealth creation works best for everybody.

The socialists have visions of a better society, but if we pass by these hoped for results, and the (tiresome) denunciations of doubters, and go straight to the confiscation and redistribution by a bureaucracy that are to outdo the myriad transactions of the ever changing market place, we recognise there a fatal conceit.

If Socialist calculation were to replace a Capitalist calculation, if more masterful thinking were to replace less, then the glorious Socialist visions might be attainable. But the market place is not directed by any authority, it works through the continuous input of all who partake in it, as influenced by the input of all who partake in it – by help of an invisible hand so to speak.

49perdondaris
Mar 28, 2010, 1:48pm

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50Lunar
Mar 28, 2010, 4:12pm

#49: It is odd about the "free market capitalist" ideology that your freedom ends when you get a job.

A job is just the trading of work for money. You may hate work (when it's yours) and you may hate money (when it's someone else's), but it's hardly any different from two farmers trading milk and eggs. Different people have different things to offer and when they voluntarily trade those things they have both gotten something more preferable to what they had before. You might call those differences "privileges" of a sort, but I doubt you could tell the difference between state-sponsored corporatism and the free market even if your life depended on it.

51abclaret
Mar 28, 2010, 6:33pm

Jahn said: "Capitalism, unlike Socialism, is not a construction, it is what has worked, and therefore lasted."
This is deeply ambiguous.

52rolandperkins
Editado: Mar 28, 2010, 7:09pm

On #51:

I too regard Capitalism as "NOT a construction" (nor a "system). But I think it is the sum total of what has been happening, not just of "what has worked".

As a historian, I would be interested in finding out just how well Capitalism was "working", say, in 1914. And yet the "lights went out all over Europe" as that wild radical, Lord Grey, said.
And how well was it working in 1939? --In 1914 there were no "Socialist Countries". In 1939 there was only one -- a large one, but it was doing its best to stay out the Capitalist countriesʻ fights.

You can argue that the two world wars were of political, not economic origin. And WW I did produce new nation states and great changes in the map of Europe.
WW II produced only minimal territorial changes. Hungary (which took the Axis side) lost territory to Romania (which was also Axis(!)) and was sort of pushed Westward into former Austrian-German territory, while losing its Moldavan area to the Soviets. Poland (an Axis-occupied country) also was "pushed West ward" with losses of territory in what is now Ukraine and Belarus. Minimal change compared to the upheaval after WW I.
Political, economic or social, the two World Wars are hardly a good advertisement for the stability of the capitalist system (if it IS a system) and benevolence of the "invisible hand".

53perdondaris
Mar 28, 2010, 9:32pm

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54Lunar
Mar 29, 2010, 2:16am

#53: now healthcare has too many cosmetic surgeons and not enough family practitioners. The anarcho-capitalist would say...

Tell me which of those two medical fields is less regulated and then maybe you'll realize what an anarcho-capitalist would really say.

Otherwise, you seem to be back to trying to disassociate nazism from socialism. I don't really care which branch of collectivism either of them falls into. Left or Right, it's all collectivism to me.

55jahn
Mar 29, 2010, 9:00am

#51-52
Capitalism, as a synonym for a free market with privately owned property, has been chosen by evolution, that is: it is not a system erected according to plans. The added: “because it has worked,” which has been criticised, is therefore actually superfluous.

Its very survival must indicate advantages enjoyed by those who broke away from the collectivism, solidarity, and common aims of tribes who defended their isolation. Observing the masses of people now inhabiting places where hardly any of the necessities of life can be procured locally, as in Capitalistic Hong Kong or Singapore, and the rapid rise in living standards in modern day China, not to say the rise in the World population, it is hard for me to understand how the free market can be denied “having worked.”

The fact that it – in the degree it has been allowed to exist - has not eradicated cancer, earthquakes, and wars, is not proof that an economy produced by violent intervention, or even full dictatorship, would do better at wealth building, or even remove any problems unrelated to wealth building.

But, regarding war, I will note that the prime requirement for war’s appearance is collectivism, as without a group identity there is no enmity against strangers possible. And it is the demonstrated potential for alleviating poverty that exists in Capitalism that has lowered those group defining barriers, it is Capitalism that has made strangers welcome even on islands.

I must say though, that I find the attempts to divide absolutely everything into enemy and friendly camps a futile activity at the least, and so I dislike seeing myself participating in it. As an indication of how dubious such activity is, we might consider the NSDAP party programme, which the voters had to vote for as a whole. It is roughly one half interventionist socialist, and roughly one half racist. I have no problem keeping the two apart, and I strongly suspect I share this ability with several socialists.

Perdondaris somewhere above claims that it is a way of acting within the free market to sell your daughter to a whorehouse, and he is of course right about that, every bit as it would be right to see it as socialistic to have the state remove her to a state whorehouse for free use.

We all know, however, that whatever their beliefs in the respective value of economic freedom and a state run economy, most people would find both examples equally abhorrent. So the only possible point in such arguing is to rally ones own side towards war. If mere enmity is attempted, mere enmity is all there is to be gained – one must for a dialogue to be possible accept that what is strived for is substantially the same by all, that only the means believed most effective in reaching these goals are different.

I’ll repeat the content of that last paragraph: There is one ultimate premise, namely that life is worth living, but this is a premise necessary to accept by all not because it is by necessity true, but because any discussion would be pointless without its acceptance.
Now, the same holds true if it is only the life of your opponent that is without value; if he is definable as simply evil, inciting the firing squad may have its point, but reasoning – in one direction or the other – has lost its logical relevance.

56perdondaris
Mar 29, 2010, 7:02pm

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57coopdouglas
Oct 24, 2010, 11:36pm

Este mensaje ha sido reportado por varios usuarios por lo que no se muestra públicamente. (mostrar)
In all this discussion about world peace there is, as they say, a lot of froth but not much beer.
To understand what peace means we have to get back to first principles, and these are well set out in a recent book, Crowds and Leadership: the Art of Influencing Crowds by Douglas Coop. The last chapter discusses world peace and what world government would entail.
From epoch to epoch the worlds great thinkers tell us that mankind has always held the vision of a peaceful world that would encourage the full flowering of the human spirit. But is universal peace a possibility when otherwise peaceful citizens are readily persuaded into the most despicable and violent of crimes against their fellows?

58abclaret
Feb 1, 2011, 7:59pm

World government, as nothing to do with anarchism. It's more on a par with liberal inter-governmentalism similar to the UN and EU. Anarchism wishes to deconstruct nation states because they are repressive strucutres, not build unity from them.

59mkboylan
Feb 1, 2011, 9:23pm

Just want to say I have been very heartened by the anarchy in Egypt. Cops left and individuals voluntarily banded together to take care of business re: security, as well as feeding each other and getting water to each other. wonderful to watch. So - could be a peaceful revolution? Yes people have been hurt, and killed, but.............compared to some other revolutions, is this the second peaceful revolution in the last couple of months?

60FrancoisTremblay
Feb 2, 2011, 1:03am

I think you have the wrong understanding of the concept. "Peace" is not something you strive for. You are either a peaceful person or you are not. Peaceful people make for a peaceful society and a peaceful world. Violent people make for a violent society and a violent world.

We train our children to be competitive and to be desensitized to violence. Why are we surprised at the state of the world, as it has been forever?

61mkboylan
Editado: Mar 31, 2011, 11:31am

60 - Ah Francois we'll never be true anarchists. I'm too busy telling my husband what to do, and you're too busy defining my concepts. and I'm too busy defining your actions.

62FrancoisTremblay
Mar 31, 2011, 4:49pm

I think you have gained a false understanding of what Anarchism is. It does not mean you don't define concepts other people use, or define actions other people perform.