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Traktion

Noam Chomsky - Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism In The Real World

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A good listen.

Effectively describes many of the policies which are essentially 'socialism for the rich'.

Look at your own country. An unemployed man can be allowed to lose his job, his income, his livelihood, yet the banks get bailed out!

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Always quite like Chomsky.

I always liked his idea on the illusion of democracy providing vigorous debate within narrow boundaries. The time spent by ministers debating weekly or fortnightly bin collections, in a time of multi billion pound bailouts comes to mind.

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I always find Chomsky a bit of a whinger. He points out the excesses of corporate welfare, but doesn't say what we should do about it. or what we should do to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

edit - that isn't to say he doesn't point out things that need addressing, he just doesn't offer up any solutions.

Edited by LJAR

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I always find Chomsky a bit of a whinger. He points out the excesses of corporate welfare, but doesn't say what we should do about it. or what we should do to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

edit - that isn't to say he doesn't point out things that need addressing, he just doesn't offer up any solutions.

Ideologically, he is an anarchist. He doesn't think the state can provide the solution at all, which I completely agree with.

The solution is to stop trying to define problems to solve, from the top down. Problems will define themselves from the ground up, as will the solutions to remedy them.

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I always liked his idea on the illusion of democracy providing vigorous debate within narrow boundaries. The time spent by ministers debating weekly or fortnightly bin collections, in a time of multi billion pound bailouts comes to mind.

Agreed. Endless hours are spend debating how to spend money which has been stolen from individuals through threats of violence. It seems the elephant in the room is completely ignored.

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BTW, partially related, I found this from random googling: http://attackthesystem.com/free-market-anarcho-communism/

I have a lot of sympathy for the view that people will divide themselves up according to their wants and needs. There is nothing wrong with communism, as long as those partaking in it are doing so freely and not through a barrel of a gun. Equally, people should respect other people's requests to keep the products of their labour. Whatever works best for the individual in question, is surely the most optimal and free configuration possible.

I feel that some clarification and further elaboration of my views is in order. I think that misunderstandings are best to be avoided and I want to do my part to eliminate whatever misunderstandings may exist surrounding my beliefs. First off, it must be clear that I am still very much opposed to capitalism, the wage system, bosses, money and relationships based on property and ownership. I am still a radical anarcho-communist and I strive for a society of egalitarianism, cooperation, mutual aid, moneylessness, sharing, fraternity and mutual support.

Please do not interpret my calls for “left/right anarchist unity” to be any form of “justification” of capitalism, for I am still very much against it. If pressed to put a label on my beliefs, I would consider my views to be a form of “free market anarcho-communism”. What I mean by this is that I advocate a new society of statelessness, free association, voluntary association and individual initiative. I advocate a society where each individual can choose for themselves how they live their lives, how and with whom they associate with others, and where each individual can decide for themselves which kind of social, economic, cultural and political systems they use for themself and their life. This means, one can choose to live their life in a capitalist, collectivist, mutualist or communist way, if that is their choice.

Also, the other people with whom they work with are also doing so on their own free choice as well. As a result of this freedom of association and freedom of choice, there will naturally be a number of different social and economic systems springing up into existence. Because individuals are all so unique and diverse, and because there are billions of individuals out there, within a stateless non-aggressive society there will probably be thousands upon thousands of different social, economic, cultural and political systems co-existing out there side-by-side. So, in any given region or city you would have a few buildings or plots of land being used by individuals organizing it in a collectivist way, which would be right next to a few buildings or plots of land being used by individuals organizing it in a mutualist way, which would be right next to a few buildings or plots of land being used by individuals organizing it in a capitalist way, which would be right next to a few buildings or plots of land being used by individuals organizing it in an anarcho-communist way, and so forth and so forth.

Such a situation would not come about by mandate or by force, it would be the most likely result of a greater social context of statelessness, free association and free choice. Such a situation would most likely naturally spring up if individuals are left to choose for themselves how they personally want to live their lives and what they want to support. This view is called “free market anarchism” and it is also called “panarchy”. This view is elaborated upon here on this web-site: http://www.panarchy.org/ Now, such a society would also be based upon the social construct called “private property”. You may ask “how can a proclaimed anarcho-communist support private property?” It’s simple, what I advocate is for the various anarcho-communist associations to collectively own their private property together, as a group. Within the anarcho-communist group there would be no “private property” or “ownership”, it would be a society of sharing and cooperation. However, for those people outside of said anarcho-communist group, it would be treated as private property.

“Private property” is a social system to determine who is using what, and is a quick and easy way for strangers to tell what group/association/person is using what. That is all it is, it a tool for free association, a tool to quickly sort things out among strangers. In life, not everyone wants to associate or work with everyone else. Some people really, really do not want to be around certain other people. And as far as strangers go, a lot of people really need to get to know other people before they feel at all comfortable with sharing, working or living with strangers. The implications of “no property” is this – a stranger or asshole walks into your home, a stranger or asshole uses all your stuff, a stranger or asshole sleeps in your bed, a stranger or asshole uses your TV or computer when you want to use it, a stranger or asshole takes the clothes off your back to wear them themselves, and a stranger or asshole eats all the food in your refrigerator. That is Authority, that is coercion, domination and slavery. That is being forced at gunpoint to support and interact with people that you do not want to interact with. Even worse – that is interfering with and interupting your preferences and your personal life in order to associate with people you do not want to associate with. I see no reason to FORCE people to sacrifice their personal lives to help people whom they personally do not want to help. That is brutal self-sacrifice and authority right there.

...

(more at the link)

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I get the sense that this was recorded a while back in the 90's- so he saw the trends more clearly than most. The only other guy I can think of is James Goldsmith, who correctly predicted that globalization and exotic deriviatives would be a disaster for the west.

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I get the sense that this was recorded a while back in the 90's- so he saw the trends more clearly than most. The only other guy I can think of is James Goldsmith, who correctly predicted that globalization and exotic deriviatives would be a disaster for the west.

http://www.chomsky.info/talks/19960413.htm

1996 apparently - that's 15 years old! I am even more impressed knowing that!

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Interesting, reminding me how little I remember of the Communist Manifesto. Problem with such a sunny-side-of-human-nature view is that it doesn't really acknowledge that we're a rapacious and insecure species. We can probably exist in the way described in a village or tribe but we cannot help but socialise into larger groups which are anonymous, through an abstract social contract. That body develops rules, and by extension high finance, to facilitate their schemes of individual self-advancement which are driven by our insecurity. The other side of sunny-side cooperation through trade is turf war and genocide!

Meanwhile, eventually, we screw up the planet. But hey, we're all in together...

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If you like Chomsky and hate Andrew Marr, you might like this. (part 2 and 3 on youtube.)

Chomsky took none of Mr Marr's sh*t there.

I completely agree with the sentiment towards the end of the video too, that people have to come together at the ground level with solutions to today's problems. The state isn't going to resolve them and neither are large corporates.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of groups of like minded people buying some land and then seceding from the state. It is totally peaceful, unless the state asserts its self given right to violence. The state would be declaring war on the group, just because they requested to opt out of a regime they disagree with. Morally, I can't see how the state would have much support, as it would clearly be infringing directly of the liberties of those requesting the freedom to self govern.

I would be interested to hear the legal argument against this too, which I suspect would raise the spectre that The Crown owns the land, which would initiate an interesting legal case in itself. If the land was taken by The Crown and you are unable to opt out from state governance, you are being treated as a slave, with only a right to rent the land you are granted access to by the elites.

I wonder what Chomsky thinks of the Internet now and forums such as this one? IMO, the Internet has become a tool of the individuals, rather than a tool for the elite few. It hasn't been forced down the route of radio or TV, as the content is two way and so cheap/easy to access. It is allowing people to discuss and organise in ways which would never previously have been possible, especially with smart phones entering the fray.

Edited by Traktion

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Interesting, reminding me how little I remember of the Communist Manifesto. Problem with such a sunny-side-of-human-nature view is that it doesn't really acknowledge that we're a rapacious and insecure species. We can probably exist in the way described in a village or tribe but we cannot help but socialise into larger groups which are anonymous, through an abstract social contract. That body develops rules, and by extension high finance, to facilitate their schemes of individual self-advancement which are driven by our insecurity. The other side of sunny-side cooperation through trade is turf war and genocide!

Meanwhile, eventually, we screw up the planet. But hey, we're all in together...

I think this is a very interesting point.

I would say that simple, common/natural law can be easily expected and interpreted between groups of individuals, as well as between individuals in isolation. The right to life, liberty and property seems a pretty simple and universal concept to most. However, the important bit is that it applies to groups which interact too.

Inwardly, a group may have its own rules, hierarchy and systems. These may extend common/natural laws and will be opted in to by those of like minds. A family unit is a good example of this, where parents lay down additional rules for their children to follow. Outwardly, they would know to respect the natural/common law of other groups, as they are obvious.

These groups can be extended. Groups of families can come together with more additional rules, which they all opt in to. You could call this a clan, a tribe or perhaps just a society. Different societies could have different values, different ways of cooperating and so forth. Outwardly, these different societies could still honour common/natural law too.

Coming back to your point, these size of these groups can only grow so large, before there is a rejection of the rules by some. In a free society, this wouldn't be a problem, as the individual (or groups of) could form their own new society and/or join other like minded societies.

In our over large society, this ability to opt out does not exist. Because of its large size, taxation is also demanded to organise and arrange rules to attempt to fit all needs, but unfortunately one size never fits all and violence at the hands of a few, is no basis for peaceful existence.

This leads me to my think that the method societies interact and create rules isn't the problem, whether capitalist, socialist or communist - each individual has their own preference. The problem is when you use force, to maintain an overly large state, with no choice to opt out. Distributing organisational units and making their subscription optional irradiates this problem and the groups can only grow to a size which can be maintained freely and easily. Wouldn't this be far better than what we have now?

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I wonder what Chomsky thinks of the Internet now and forums such as this one? IMO, the Internet has become a tool of the individuals, rather than a tool for the elite few. It hasn't been forced down the route of radio or TV, as the content is two way and so cheap/easy to access. It is allowing people to discuss and organise in ways which would never previously have been possible, especially with smart phones entering the fray.

I think what Chomsky would say, based on his previous comments, is that the Internet and forums are types of technology which are double edge swords, like the invention of the printing press/radio/TV the internet has the potential to inform people about issues and also the potential to misinform. The internet is still relatively an elite technology, half the population of the world have yet to even make a phone call, this can be very empowering for us in the developed countries but its not so empowering for the majority of the people throughout the world currently getting shafted.

On the internet, a lot of time and energy is diverted away from real issues towards dealing with conspiratorial targets Rothchilds, Bilderbergs, Secret Governments societies etc.. People do realise that their standard of living has been declining for years and are quite understandably very angry, but they get different messages about who to blame, immigrants, the EU, human rights, health and safety, unions and at root of it all Big Government. People blame everything except the one things thats real - concentrations of power and decision making in the hands of a tiny minority at the helm of large multinational corporations. It's very important for big business to have strong government to protect them, but at the same time the corporate news media demonise government creating a mood of anti-politics. And while there's plenty of real things to be angry at the government for, it's generally an anti-politics feeling which leads to people abandoning democratic forms. The government is potentially democratic, it's the one thing you can influence, you don't get a say when a corporation decided to lay off its workforce and build factories in China, which is in-part what led to the trade imbalances causing a vendor financed credit boom. Government is simply the shadow cast on society by big business, attempts to attenuate the shadow will not alter the substance. The internet and social media can by helpful in highlighting and organising efforts to deal with the real issues, but it can also be a hinderance as people become distracted by other issues.

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Interesting, reminding me how little I remember of the Communist Manifesto. Problem with such a sunny-side-of-human-nature view is that it doesn't really acknowledge that we're a rapacious and insecure species. We can probably exist in the way described in a village or tribe but we cannot help but socialise into larger groups which are anonymous, through an abstract social contract. That body develops rules, and by extension high finance, to facilitate their schemes of individual self-advancement which are driven by our insecurity. The other side of sunny-side cooperation through trade is turf war and genocide!

Meanwhile, eventually, we screw up the planet. But hey, we're all in together...

Excellent post my friend...succint and intelligent.

Welcome to HPC - by the way.

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  • 335 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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