Category Archives: Socialism

China News

China, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Regulation, Socialism

Yesterday came the news that the Chinese allegedly hacked into the U.S. Postal Service computers, “compromising information about more than 800,000 workers.” Who cares? The real question is why does the dread USPS “employ” 800,000 people? The United States Postal Service should employ one person in charge of … dissolving this bureaucratic blight. No computers; no hacking.

Today we hear that Obama, dressed in Mao garb, has committed Americans ” to “reducing carbon emissions by 26-28 percent,” while agreeing that China will begin to cut back its carbon emissions in … 2030.

Media Matters excoriates conservatives for questioning the deal, but did not appear to question the facts just stated.

MORE:

As part of the new agreement, Obama announced that the U.S. would move much faster in cutting pollution, with a goal to reduce emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. Xi, whose country’s emissions are still growing as it builds new coal plants, didn’t commit to cut emissions by a specific amount. Rather, he set a target for China’s emissions to peak by 2030, or earlier if possible.


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UPDATE II: The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (‘The Turkish Problem’)

Feminism, Iraq, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Middle East, Socialism

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is often dismissed as Marxist–Leninist, or as “a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism.” CNN’s Arwa Damon describes the PKK’s ideology as “an idealistic philosophy, one that combines Kurdish nationalism with certain communist goals, such as equality and communal ownership of property.”

As the movement’s salient ideological features, Wikipedia lists Kurdish nationalism, libertarian socialism, communalism, feminism and democratic confederalism. Still imprisoned by the Turks, PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan is said to have “abandoned Leninism, leading the party to adopt his new political platform of “Democratic Confederalism” (influenced strongly by the libertarian socialist philosophy of communalism).”

Öcalan himself described the PKK’s idea of governance as follows:

The democratic confederalism of Kurdistan is not a State system, it is the democratic system of a people without a State… It takes its power from the people and adopts to reach self sufficiency in every field including economy.

The PKK, it would appear, leans towards a matriarchy.

You have to be a tinny libertarian automaton not to hope this cohesive people is able, one day, to form a peaceful community of their choosing.

UPDATE I: About “the Turkish problem,” Patrick Cockburn writes this:

… US planes attacking Isis forces in Kobani had to fly 1200 miles from their bases in the Gulf because Turkey wouldn’t allow the use of its airbase at Incirlik, just a hundred miles from Kobani. By not preventing reinforcements, weapons and ammunition from reaching Isis in Kobani, Ankara was showing that it would prefer Isis to hold the town: anything was better than the PYD. Turkey’s position had been clear since July 2012, when the Syrian army, under pressure from rebels elsewhere, pulled out of the main Kurdish areas. The Syrian Kurds, long persecuted by Damascus and politically marginal, suddenly won de facto autonomy under increasing PKK authority. Living mostly along the border with Turkey, a strategically important area to Isis, the Kurds unexpectedly became players in the struggle for power in a disintegrating Syria. This was an unwelcome development for the Turks. The dominant political and military organisations of the Syrian Kurds were branches of the PKK and obeyed instructions from Ocalan and the military leadership in Qandil. The PKK insurgents, who had fought for so long for some form of self-rule in Turkey, now ruled a quasi-state in Syria centred on the cities of Qamishli, Kobani and Afrin. Much of the Syrian border region was likely to remain in Kurdish hands, since the Syrian government and its opponents were both too weak to do anything about it. Ankara may not be the master chess player collaborating with Isis to break Kurdish power, as conspiracy theorists believe, but it saw the advantage to itself of allowing Isis to weaken the Syrian Kurds. It was never a very far-sighted policy: if Isis succeeded in taking Kobani, and thus humiliating the US, the Americans’ supposed ally Turkey would be seen as partly responsible, after sealing off the town. In the event, the Turkish change of course was embarrassingly speedy. Within hours of Erdo?an saying that Turkey wouldn’t help the PYD terrorists, permission was being given for Iraqi Kurds to reinforce the PYD fighters at Kobani.

Interesting analysis.

UPDATE II: A column I wrote on 10/19/2007, fingered Bush for betraying the Kurds. While he doesn’t veer into opinion, Cockburn illustrated a similar dynamic, also in 2007:

… There are 100,000 Turkish troops just across the northern Iraqi border preparing to launch an invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan in the hope of eliminating the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The US has labelled the PKK ‘terrorists’ and the Iraqi government – despite the arguments of its Kurdish members – has told the guerrillas to disarm or leave its territory. Iran has denounced the Iranian wing of the PKK as a pawn of Israel and the US, and intermittently shells its camps in the Kandil mountains. The PKK, which led the failed rebellion of the Turkish Kurds between 1984 and 1999 and had been largely forgotten by the outside world, is suddenly at the centre of a new crisis in Iraq. President Bush is due to talk to the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Washington on 5 November to discuss how to deal with the PKK without a Turkish invasion of Iraq being launched. The US army in Baghdad is worried that its supply lines through northern Iraq will be cut if the Turks declare an economic embargo or launch a military attack. …


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UPDATE IV: Jealous Of The Scots (What Would Lincoln Do? Drop Daisy Cutters)

Britain, Nationhood, Socialism, States' Rights, The State

Envy ought to animate America, as it watches the push for the decentralization of power—radical federalism—across Europe and in Canada. For here in the US, the legacy of Lincoln has prevailed. He carried out a violent constitutional revolution (instead of pursuing peaceful emancipation like every other nation did), a revolution, which, in turn, sired the modern imperialist, interventionist and highly centralized American State, and outlawed peaceful political divorce.

The sweet sounds of of Scottish secession (to shamelessly mix metaphors) have fallen silent. For now. Scotland voted against leaving the United Kingdom and becoming an independent nation. But only just. The “No” campaign won 55.3 percent of the vote. The Scots hardly “rejected independence,” as Fox News put it. The tyranny of democracy has meant that a simple majority won the day.

Afrikaner secessionist Dan Roodt summed up my sentiments, in an email:

The Scottish referendum is a big disappointment to me, as I had hoped that a “Yes” victory could have unleashed a whole series of independence movements, in Europe, but also here in SA. More and more the Zulus control South Africa, with the media waging a futile campaign against Zuma. So ultimately ethnicity has triumphed over all these other clever theories.

Contra broadcaster Mark Levin—who clings for dear life to an anti-secession sentiment, so as to better love the unlovable: war criminal Abe Lincoln—the healthiest and most intuitive response to deep-seated unhappiness—political or personal—is not a constitutional convention, but a divorce; to exit the abusive relationship.

If Americans try what the Scots have have just done, our states and neighborhoods would be invaded by the federal government. People could die.

UPDATE I: To continue the theme of majority makes right, via Butler Shaffer at LRC.COM:

The mainstream media informed us that David Cameron was greatly pleased by the outcome. It is the nature of politics that this statement is true. Political thinking has trained people to believe in the 51% principle: no idea is worthwhile unless 51% of the public believes in it. But imagine a man with nine children, and four of them dislike the father so much that they want to vote to have all siblings leave home. The vote is held and, by a 5 to 4 margin, the pro-big daddy side wins. Would any loving psychologically-healthy man consider this to be a great personal victory?
Opponents of this measure were quick to announce that the question of Scottish independence has been settled, “once and for all,” words that mean “when we get the outcome we want, the issue can never be brought up again.”
All-in-all, the outcome of this vote was a referendum on the ageless choice people must make between individual liberty and collective security.

MORE.

UPDATE II: If “1 in 4 Americans are open to secession, what does it say about this freedom which Lincoln waged war to abolish? It tells you that secession is intuitive to a very many ordinary folks.

Secession, political divorce, peaceful separation: these are the most natural and best ways to solve disputes. Walk away. This tells you just how aberrant was Lincoln’s war against the South.

UPDATE III:

Nikola Dzhilvidzhiev on Facebook:

In the past week, I heard a lot of arguments from neoconservatives that Scottish secession was ‘because they wanted to be even more socialist than the UK’. Maybe I was a bit optimistic but I believed that the sudden leftward surge in Scottish policy and resultant loss of living standard would have shocked the people and policymakers into understanding that capitalism and free markets are the way to prosperity, á la China.
Until the next referendum, at least, you’re all welcome to join me in shouting Alba gu bráth from the rooftops of the world.

To Nikola Dzhilvidzhiev:

Yes, the secessionist would have had to learn whence come their subsidies and, for freedom’s sake, they would have had to cease and desist the country’s march toward complete socialism. Nevertheless, the CORRECT libertarian view is to support the impetus of decentralization. (Reason magazine is left, Beltway libertarianism).

UPDATE IV (9/19): WHAT WOULD LINCOLN DO? Drop Daisy Cutters. That’s what he’d do.

Rafi Farber emails EPJ editor Robert Wenzel:

Before we decide what to think about Scottish independence, let’s consider what our beloved forefather, Abraham Lincoln, Honest Abe, would do if he were head of the UK in the event that the Scots secede from the United Kingdom tomorrow.
Answer: He would make some stupid but eloquent speech about how a House Divided Cannot Stand…and then proceed to bomb the living crap out of Scotland, murdering as many people as possible man woman and child, burning their property and salting the earth. And after he broke their will to fight, he would force them back in the UK and tax the living daylights out of them. Then we would all celebrate him hundreds of years later for saving the country.

MORE letters to editor.


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Happy Meal Time For Miseducated Millennials

Debt, Education, Socialism, Welfare

The Ass With Ears intends to continue to keep loan rates for students artificially low, passing the cost of additional subsidies to the groaning taxpayer, and, in all, keeping the trillion-dollar education bubble afloat.

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama promised “to expand a program known as ‘Pay as You Earn.’ The plan allows borrowers to make payments on student loans equivalent to 10% of their discretionary income and then have any balance forgiven after 20 years – or 10 years for public-sector workers.” (WSJ)

“The federal government played a key role in helping create the more than $1 trillion in student loan debt currently being carried in the U.S,” reports Reason.com. “In 2012 the Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey highlighted a report from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, ‘The College Cost Crisis,’ which managed to identify that nearly 50 years of federal subsidies for higher education (beginning with the Higher Education Act of 1965) have helped along tuition inflation.”

… the “Pay As You Earn” program … caps their loan repayment at 10 percent of their income for 20 years after which the remainder is written off. (For professions such as nursing it takes only 10 years to get the write off.) In other words, students take loans according to their needs, and repay them according to their ability and hit taxpayers for the rest. The president wants to expand this socialist prescription to all students who receive federal loans.

(Via Reason.com)

Read about this “federally insured entitlement,” or loan socialism, here.


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Waiting To Die On the Government’s Watch

Government, Healthcare, Military, Socialism, Taxation

“Waiting To Die On the Government’s Watch” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Why would a talented, dedicated cardiologist choose to be coffined in a medical gulag, weighed down by incompetents, his wages capped; his rewards incommensurate with his drive and dedication? He wouldn’t. Surprising as this seems to some, the best and brightest do not work for the state. Increasingly, government workers are carefully selected for the color of their complexion, for their sex and sexual or political orientation, not for their competence.

In a policy statement, the VA commissioner for Connecticut, a woman of course, crowed that applicants to her department are screened to ascertain “minimum qualifications.” “Maximum qualifications” are not required in this killer of a system. “Applicants who meet the essential level of preparation,” writes the woman, “are not excluded. The Human Resources Administrator must work to bring as many protected members into the system.” Her words. Once recruited, the needs of these precious, “protected-group members” are jealously guarded.

If “diversity” trumps talent in government hiring; so too is job security a legislated article of faith. In order to set in motion a termination or two—pursuant to public outrage over the scandal in the Phoenix Veterans Affairs facility, where as many as 40 gravely ill veterans died while waiting to be treated—Congress has had to convene to pass “The VA Accountability Bill.” In the unlikely event of a layoff, seniority is given priority over the quality of the worker. A good healthcare provider will be terminated before a tenured provider.

Layoffs are as scarce as hen’s teeth. A man has to commit mass murder before he is sacked. I wager that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan—the Jihadi who committed fratricide at Fort Hood—is still on the government’s payroll. Courtesy of The Immigration and Naturalization Service, the 9/11 assassins retained valid student visas, long after their demise. For his part, Hasan worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he terrified the patients entrusted to his care. By necessity, a private hospital (to the extent that such a thing still exists in post-Obamacare America) would have done its utmost to fire problematic personnel for fear of litigation.

It is becoming crystal clear that the rot pervades the “1,700 hospitals, clinics and other facilities” operated by the command-and-control federal government. “A common language of bureaucratic corruption” is how The Daily Beast described the routine exchanges between VA staff in several states, so far, in the course of conspiring to lie to the auditing VA inspector general, to “forge appointment records,” and to secrete away lists of soldiers who believed they were waiting for care, but were in fact waiting to die. …

Read the complete column. “Waiting To Die On the Government’s Watch” is now on WND.


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Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises

Gender, History, libertarianism, Private Property, Reason, Socialism

“Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“As I paged through the dog’s breakfast of an essay titled “The Feminism of Ludwig von Mises,” I found myself wondering:

What does midwifery have to do with Mises? Both find their way into the stream-of-consciousness non sequiturs that is the article. I suppose midwifery is an occupation dominated by women. Mises was an old-fashioned, European economist whose legacy women are attempting to occupy. That must be it!

Incidentally, naming the solipsistic feminists (a redundancy, I know) who’ve made a move on the Austrian-School economist is unnecessary. “Avoid naming names when dealing with marginal characters,” I was once instructed by a veteran journalist, who was responding to a devastating critique I had penned in reply to some self-important, insignificant sorts. Joseph Farah e-mailed one of his lacerating missives: “Good job. But who the hell are these people? Their arguments are of a piece with Yasser Arafat’s. Next time, tackle the Arafat argument instead,” he admonished.

Alas, “The Feminism of Ludwig von Mises” is devoid of argument to tackle. From the fact that Mises taught and mentored capable lady scholars, the FEE.org* feminists have concluded that the Austrian-School economist “actively promoted the interests of women in academia” and “saw women intellectuals in Vienna as an undervalued human resource.” …

… Indeed, it takes a degree of provincialism unique to our country’s feminists to claim that a European gentleman, born in Austria-Hungary in the late 1800s, was one of them—a rib from the feminist fraternity’s ribcage. This writer grew up in Israel at a time when quite a few elderly, highly educated Austrian gentlemen were still around. Grandfather, a master chess player, hung out with these men in Tel-Aviv chess clubs and cafés. Having actually encountered this creature in his natural habitat, I put this to you, gentle reader:

The proposition that Ludwig von Mises was a feminist is an apodictic impossibility. …

Read on. The complete column is “Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises” now on WND.

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