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wonderpup

Communism- A Love Story

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One of the stranger sights on TV of late is the spectacle of Davos man in his various incarnations espousing a near messianic faith in the ability of the Chinese communist party to do the one thing that they have always claimed to be impossible- which is to control a large and complex national economy from the top down.

For decades these same Davos men have consistently claimed that 'big government' and it regulatory entourage are the worst possible way to organize an economy- and indeed most claim that each and every problem to be seen in Capitalism has it's origins in some misguided Government initiative or regulatory intervention- 'leave the markets alone' they cry 'and all will be well'

But when it comes to China this entire philosophical juggernaut of non-intervention seems to go into reverse. Unlike the hapless apparatchiks of the west it seems that the Chinese politburo is composed not of interfering idiots but of Supermen, beings of such far seeing perspicacity that they can apparently redesign their entire economy on the fly without missing a beat.

Is it due to the high altitude out there in Switzerland or what? What on earth is making these hard bitten free market evangelists go all starry eyed at the idea that a handful of unelected pseudo-communist oligarchs can sit in Beijing, issue some edicts and make all their problems go away?

The premise seems to be that precisely because the Chinese leadership is not burdened with such noxious trivia as Democracy or even much need to respect rule of law they will have both the means and the will to shape economic events to their choosing.

Leaving aside the fact that this enthusiasm for rule by dictat contradicts every value the Davos men pretend to believe in I see a more practical objection to this view- if raw power and the ability to impose one's will from the top were all that was required to ensure economic success then the USSR would not only still be around today but it would be an economic superpower based on the fact that it's leaders in their day had a degree of power over their populations that even the Chinese might envy.

But history tells a different story- despite their near total power and economic control the heirs of Stalin did not create the workers paradise they promised- their centrally controlled economy collapsed in a spectacular fashion.

True- China is not a real communist state in the sense that the USSR was- it's something else- a bizarre hybrid of free markets and authoritarian one party rule- but is there any real reason to imagine that this bastardized creature is any more amenable to control from the centre than it's soviet antecedent?

I would argue the opposite is true-if the soviet politburo could not steer their economy to success despite having almost complete control of every facet- how much less likely is it that their Chinese counterparts will be able to do any better when large parts of their economy is driven by the raw emotion of private investors who simply cannot be counted on to 'do the right thing' if that right thing involves a large and personal loss of wealth or forgoing the opportunity to get rich in the first place?

What I see in the fanboys of Davos as they drool over the sheer power they see vested in the Chinese leadership is a deep yearning for somebody- anybody- to take control and get something done. Alas it's the men of Davos themselves who have created the cesspool of uncertainty in which they are now slowly drowning- their disdain for regulation and state control of their activities has taken on the fairy tale quality of a wish that-once granted- turns out not to be a dream come true but a nightmare from which there seems no way to wake up.

So we have ultimate irony of the spectacle of team Davos cheering on the Communists in the desperate hope that they will save Capitalism from the capitalists.

Edited by wonderpup

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Is it because they aren't hard bitten free market evangelists? Is there anyone there who might also be at a Mont Pelerin conference or similar?

As you rightly point out the bizarre hybrid of free markets and authoritarian one party rule does make China different. But their recent interventions and likely future interventions will likely be similar to other mixed economy interventions to save the mixed economy (or to save capitalism from capitalists, as some would have it).

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fanboys

A very apt description summing up (amongst other things) lots of their decision making being apparently subject to Davos etc type peer pressure rather than effective economic policies for the benefit of the people they are supposed to represent.

Edited by billybong

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The Politburo is really a recognised and legitimate form of Davos.

Davos yearns for such legitimacy of hard physical power to add to coercive and corruptive power.

Remind me of the last time capitalists got a hard on about strong leaders who were not too fussy about democracy.

Didn't end well for 60 million people if I recall correctly.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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Remind me of the last time capitalists got a hard on about strong leaders who were not too fussy about democracy.

Didn't end well for 60 million people if I recall correctly.

+1

That's not 60 million +1

And that +1 isn't me! :lol:

If we get China going down the toilet, oil going through the roof and immigrants trying to take over their host countries then lookout. 60 million+1 is just foreplay.

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+1

That's not 60 million +1

And that +1 isn't me! :lol:

If we get China going down the toilet, oil going through the roof and immigrants trying to take over their host countries then lookout. 60 million+1 is just foreplay.

At the same time as capitalists got over excited at the prospect of fascism the left got just as moist between the legs over Stalinism.

Different age but the same old excuses for totalitarianism are still there on both sides of the political spectrum when an economic crisis looms.

Neither are the friends of liberty and both sooner or later opt for war as the solution to all problems.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18562.htm

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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I believe this has very little to do with ideology.

Communist or capitalist, the 'powers that be' are generally clueless and ignorant about economics. Most UK MPs are business illiterate, media luvvie wannabees with no real work experience. I think our latest 'Business Tsar' is testimony to this.

It wasn't much different in the old Soviet Union.

If you have ever read Nadia Krupskaya's memoirs, (Lenin's wife), you will know how she sat up at night, making him cups of tea, while he struggled to write the pamphlet on agricultural reform. He hadn't the faintest clue about farmworkers. Lenin was a politician, nothing more or less. And to this day, a vast country like Russia still imports stuff like potatoes and vodka from tiny Holland.

Meanwhile, Stalin believed rustbelt industries were the way to go.

In the same way, Gordon Brown believed in the old adage, 'look after the City, and the rest of the country will take care of itself'. And that everything revolved around 'light touch regulation'. He boasted about this in his Mansion House speech, just before all the banks came crashing down.

Until we change the system, where competent and qualified people are elected, of whatever political hue, I don't see much changing.

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The key difference was one was national and the other international socialism.

The former was influenced by Darwin and sought to prove its bloodline was superior in its 'survival of the fittest'. The latter could only see socialism working if capitalists didn't pick countries off one by one leading it to wage perpetual war until it had succeeded.

Stalinism was always about Socialism In One Country

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism_in_One_Country

It only ever paid lip service to internationalism.

The old Soviets only ever managed to export Communism via war to places such as eastern Europe not revolution.

The Bolsheviks did not even overthrow the Czar. Instead they overturned the regime that had ousted the monarchy.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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Great OP.

Would be amazed if any mainstream tv news show asked a similar question during their Davos Report section that they all carry these days.

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1) the chinese have the luxury of copying the west

2) the chinese populace are fairly High IQ types. I doubt Somalian society would respond in the same way. Yeah, I know, Im racist.

3) the chinese have the luxury of low regulations in many ways (ie environmental regulations in particular...if poisoning your air and water is 'good' have at it) whch allows them to undercut 'capitalist' producers.

4) I think communism (or facism/central planning) does have some validity initially (although more often than not that comes at vast social and often lethal cost) in that it can indeed industrialize nations quickly. Russia went from being agragian in the 20s to nearing western European GDP by the 50s. What took them 30 years took us 300 years. In fact, I think the relative wealth of the USSR in the 50s and 60s is perhaps why our own gentry actually became a little less selfish in that period, building masses of quality housing, new schools, universities, roads, hospitals. They were genuinely worried if people still had to live in grim tenements with outdoor toilets into the 60s and 70s a communist government might be a possibility. As the USSR stagnated in the 70s and 80s, that threat went away.

Edited by Executive Sadman

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Nice wiki link. It was always clear that the uneducated peasant Uncle Joe had fascist, national socialist and authoritarian tendencies as he himself purged Russia of the radical international communist ideologues. It was possible because of the tendency of the system to be taken over by an authoritarian individual. Not that different to the modern day limited company and explains why so many of their high fallutin' ambitions come to disaster.

Its why we have the migrant 'crisis'

Its not a 'crisis' at all. Its premeditated and arranged. They want society to be in a constant state of stress and upheaval so they have a mandate to control things. The last thing a government wants is a society at ease with itself.

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The Bolsheviks did not even overthrow the Czar. Instead they overturned the regime that had ousted the monarchy.

'Power was lying in the streets. Lenin simply picked it up'. Leon Trotsky.

Wiki is very poor on historical issues.

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Wiki is very poor on historical issues.

History looks very different to different sides. I assume wiki reflects a predominantly US/western interpretation of history.

Edited by Steppenpig

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But when it comes to China this entire philosophical juggernaut of non-intervention seems to go into reverse. Unlike the hapless apparatchiks of the west it seems that the Chinese politburo is composed not of interfering idiots but of Supermen, beings of such far seeing perspicacity that they can apparently redesign their entire economy on the fly without missing a beat.

Good observation. And meanwhile workers in the west have better rights than those in China. Markets love irony.

BTW, This is the first post of your I've ever undestood what you're on about. Either you're getting succincter, or I'm getting smarter.

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Good OP, reminds me of why I started reading these hallowed pages.....it makes one think.

Having mulled over this for a few hours I think the fog is lifting.

We the capitalist west have found a place to do the beastly business of our manual labour.

Hence all of this nonsense about "knowledge economies" blah blah blah...

They are the ultimate foremen...we don't have to worry about Unions, collective action etc etc...all the things we saw in the industrial strife of the 70's.

The conclusion of this is that we are not really seeing communism in China.

The USSR tried to run in competition with the west...run their economy for the benefit of the people...thus of-course it was in opposition to the west and hence we had the cold war.

The Chinese have been in collusion with the west so far, which means the west has been sucked into a symbiotic relationship with them.

Perhaps what we have been seeing recently is the Chinese calling an the end to this???

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Let us be honest so long as the 1% are OK they don't give a **** about whether a country is communist, fascist, fundamentalist kingdom or a quasi-dictatorship.

Take Belarus, the last Soviet-era country in Europe (if we were in Belarus HPC would probably be very closely monitored if not closed down). British politicians have a go at the President about democracy etc, yet the UK is the 2nd biggest investor there http://belarusdigest.com/story/who-invests-belarus-13783

The rule is simple - don't touch western business interests especially of the big players (which is one reason Russia is getting a lot of grief) and you can more or less do what you want.

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Until we change the system, where competent and qualified people are elected, of whatever political hue, I don't see much changing.

Electing qualified and competent leaders requires a competent and qualified electorate, so no danger of that ever happening, as I've said before the problem with democracy is that stupid people still get a vote.

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Electing qualified and competent leaders requires a competent and qualified electorate, so no danger of that ever happening, as I've said before the problem with democracy is that stupid people still get a vote.

Imagine they were stupid enough that true democracy was abolished under their noses, replaced by an illusion, and they didn't even notice.

That would be mad.

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Electing qualified and competent leaders requires a competent and qualified electorate, so no danger of that ever happening, as I've said before the problem with democracy is that stupid people still get a vote.

It just needs an incentivised electorate and putting a roof over your head is a pretty strong incentive.

Also, it used to be that the mainstream media was almost the only source of current affairs, but that is slowly changing.

Edited by pig

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With a little help from the Kaiser's Germany.

The funny part is that the revolution already started without him.

He only heard about it later from a neighbour in Switzerland. "Oi, Lenin mate, did you know . . . '

There is no absolute proof that Lenin received money from the Kaiser, only that it seemed more than likely.

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[deleted].

The USSR tried to run in competition with the west...run their economy for the benefit of the people...thus of-course it was in opposition to the west and hence we had the cold war.

??? The collectivisation of the Ukraine? The famines? The Great Terror? Lysenkoism?

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