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larry, dfh

As a comparison between England and Germany, look at automobile production. The English absolutely can't mass-produce automobiles. There is no English automotive house left which is not owned by foreigners. Their greatest contribution to automotive design, the transverse-mounted engine with front wheel drive, was sold to BMW. Compare this with the very robust German automotive industry. Even Raleigh bicycles are mostly manufactured outside the U.K.



Good work on an important topic. The brainwashing that American capitalists have done for two hundred years have made Capitalism into the American economic Messiah. Unfortunately, rational thinking and simple facts have been jettisoned along the way. Most Americans now think that "socialism" "communism," "central government planning" and "totalitarian dictatoriship" are synonyms.

In fact, only communism (as created originally by Lenin and practiced by the Soviet Union and China and their satellites) combined socialism, central government planning, and totalitarianism. Naturally, because of the totalitarian part of this formula, and the big power geopolitical empire supremacy struggles of the Cold War, Americans are anti-communist (me, too). But Nazi Germany was a totalitarian dictatorship (the most brutal yet known) and it was not communist, centrally-planned, or socialist (the "socialism" part of National Socialism was a PR scam to pull working class voters AWAY from the socialists back when the Nazis had to compete for votes before they took complete control; the only economic central planning in Nazi Germany was for the military, the same as is done in U.S. and everywhere else).

Socialism is simply the collective ownership of the means of production. In a democratic society (say, Sweden) collective ownership means democratically elected government representing the total population(rather than individuals as proprietors or stockholders) is the official owner of factories, farms, utilities, etc. Most European and many Latin American and Asian countries have Democratic Socialist political parties that are as legitimate as Republicans or Democrats here. There is no dictatorship - totalitarian or otherwise - associated with socialism, and there certainly can be dictatorship without socialism (just look at the efforts of G.W. Bush).

Similarly, central-planning means that rather than having localized units of production (organized by individual company, industry, or geopgraphical region) decide how to allocate finance, capital and labor, the central government tries to do all the planning and allocation for everyone from the central offices. Needless to say, during WWII a lot of that went on in the U.S. and other countries, but in nowadays almost no one does nation-level central planning (Russia, China, East Europe, Vietnam, etc, have all given it up and Cuba is headed there too. Only North Korea clings to it - disastrously - and Venezuela lurches in that direction - probably disastrously in the long run). Capitalists hate central planning the very most (even more than totalitarian dictatorship - as German capitalist support for Hitler showed and American capitalist support for Bush shows) because it "interferes with individual liberty," meaning the freedom of the individual capitalist to do whatever he/she wants. This is the basis for the American capitalist hatred of national health care planning ("socialized medicine"), social security, etc. Aside from the capitalist philosophical opposition to wealth redistribution by using their taxes to subsidize benefits for poor people (a principle called "equality" that is now considered to be very un-American), the power of resource allocation in these central plans is taken away from the capitalists and given to the people through a democratic process. That means they can't use their usual techniques to gain fabulous individual wealth and political power. So, they oppose "socialism" and national health care, and social security, all in the name of "individual freedom."

To cement their power over American thinking about capitalism and socialism, the Bush crowd has used the last seven years to push the "ownership society," trying to get the contributions workers make to their social security accounts put into the stock market. Then, everyone would have to be a capitalist (individual owner of stock = individual owner of the means of production) whether they liked it or not. This hasn't worked so far, but....

Phil the thrill

americans should've overthrown the gov in the 30's. they didn't.

now, it's impossible: the people are so ignorant thanks to non-existant public education that they're utterly impossible to inspire. naturlich, this isnt accidental.


"Periodically in history, this seething mass organizes itself and attacks the spoiled individualists who oppress them."

Up the coming revolution, man! Revolution Now!

We can't give everyone a Park Avenue apartment and a vacation place in Tahoe.

But we can give everyone three sets of coveralls, two pairs of shoes, a bunk in a worker's dorm, and three meals a day in a community dining hall.

(A huge advantage of the "Mao suits" they used to wear in China ca. 1970 is that you don't have to spend any time at all deciding which tie to wear today.)

Paul S

The US ruling class would like to do to its masses what Hitler wanted to do to the Russians after he conquered that country. Keep us ONLY smart enough to be able to read traffic signs and be able to count to one hundred. Of course, if that's true--and I believe it is--members of the unwashed masses who are too smart for their own good wil be numero uno on the "threat" list.


Phil the Thrill, considering that only right wingers were making (half-assed) efforts at overthrowing the US government in the 1930s I would say it was a very good thing a revolution didn't happen. They hated Roosevelt for his progressive policies (that would lay the foundation for the great post-war middle classes). As it happened FDR drew the longer straw, becoming a man who ranks right up there as one of the greatest American presidents ever. Not just at home, but also abroad. Personally I wish the next president, Truman, had pushed harder for universal health care. That would have completed the progressive puzzle, but as it is America now stands virtually alone among the world's nations in not having universal health care. It's a completely noncontroversial and very popular policy in every other nation except the US. Even the war-torn hellholes that lack universal health care wish to have it.


I have this strong feeling, by late summer/early fall, the full effect of weak dollar/high oil price/high inflation will finally knock something big.

Wall.st. is crashing again after oil/inflation number is out. The carry resuming carry trade doesn't seem to work quite like before. Asian market seems antsy.

The number start to go weird again.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

And when East Germany fell, when Russia fell, etc, ALL wanted to be like SWEDEN not the US. When the US imposed American 'capitalism' on Russia, it caused the Putin counter revolution. They now have increasing socialist initiatives.


When capitalism ultimately collapses (as all social systems do), another social system will take its place. The only choices left, assuming an industrial base will be desired, are socialism or fascism. The ruling classes are laying the ground work for fascism now and have been for several years. WW II was primarily a war between the capitalists and the fascists. The forces for capitalism won the last great war and have tried to patch and maintain their system since.

Because of the inherent flaws of the capitalist system, their "fixes" have kept the system going but are coming to a head. Their most effective "fix" has been the use of credit. Credit, at one time, was an ugly word, but now people and governments rely on borrowing. These days being in debt has become not only acceptable, but a "normal" way of life. Elaine has been addressing these credit manipulations quite successfully for some time now. As she has pointed out though, at some point, the piper has to be paid.

Sadly, the only solution will be another great war. It will be fascist versus fascist this time. Assuming the planet will still be inhabitable, the "winner" will set up their their version of a new world.

Another scenario exists but seems highly unlikely. It would depend upon the masses becoming class conscious and decide that collective ownership and distribution of the planets resources are a more sane and viable alternative. With the media and corporations in control of the dialogue the chances of this scenario occuring are bleak.

Keep up the good work Elaine. You and a small cadre of truth spreaders are so refreshing and give an old pessimist reason to hope.

D. F. Facti

Poppy is consorting with Moon again. FYI

Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Moonies have morphed into the Bush family big time. But note that MANY in Congress are Moonies now. And some of them including some Democrats, CROWNED the Moon guy in the House! Amazing. Crowned him KING OF AMERICA. I was horrified but the AIPAC press refused to cover that story and buried it alongside all the AIPAC soirees where they got our own politicians to swear fealty to Israel over the US.

And we see these same media owners carrying on about Obama not wearing an American flag pin.


"Of course, if that's true--and I believe it is..."

On the net, you can find people who believe any goddamn thing.

"The only choices left, assuming an industrial base will be desired, are socialism or fascism."

You lack vision. Once upon a time there was no such thing as socialism or fascism - those systems had to develop. Just because that's all you can see, doesn't mean that's all there can possibly be.

We haven't had an original political thinker since Marx. Time for a fresh approach, I'd say.

"It would depend upon the masses becoming class conscious and decide that collective ownership and distribution of the planets resources are a more sane and viable alternative."

And we all get to be comrade workers. Great... can't hardly wait for that.

Paul S

Fact: incomes in the US have not grown in real terms since 1971. The miniumum wage hasn't been raised in 9 years. That's also a fact, not any G-D thing. Our goverment is willing to spend trillions of dollars(all of it on credit)so an Iraqi can cast a vote, but a a 50cent/hr increase in the minimum wage will ruin the country? Go figure. Fresh approach? How do you plan to install this fresh approach? Think the ruling class will sit idly by while you try to bring them down? Not likely.

Royal Dutch

Thats right, and by the way, Social Communism IS a monopoly, since when did this word become strictly capitalist.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Power monopolies are always evil.


Hey JSmith, How about this for a fresh approach! HAHA!

You are familiar with Muslim finance and how they make illegal the usury that is crushing the US middle class? Let me guess: you think America's greatness comes from its 22% interest rate credit cards and our industrial might for paying interest on our $9 trillion national debt?


The 21st Century will see the swift decline of the United States as the world’s economic super power, being replaced not just by China and perhaps India, but also by Middle Eastern financial powerhouses, says economist and author Loretta Napoleoni.

“We will see China emerge as the new industrial model, and Islamic finance as the new financial model,” says Ms. Napoleoni.

She says if the two were to somehow meld together, a new worldwide economic system would be the result, leaving the United States on the sidelines.

“It would be a mutation of capitalism, so we’re not talking about a return to communism,” she says. “But it will be something completely different from what we know today.”

Ms Napoleoni details her ideas in a new book, "Rogue Economics-Capitalism's New Reality.” She contends it’s a reworking of the economies of past upheavals such as the Gold Rush, England during the Industrial Revolution and Europe in the early Renaissance.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Chinese like compound interest. I happen to like it, too. This is how savers get protection from creditors. Of course, creditors would dearly love to get their hands on savings with only minimal cost.

The US has pulled this on China for years while China and Japan happily played along since they used this as a tool to pry away all our sovereign industrial strength. The Islamic money method is an older method that leads straight to a very deep and long depression. Since is hammers savers mercilessly.

The only reason they have lots of loot right now is because we are feeding it to them. The minute we stop, their money production collapses.


"You are familiar with Muslim finance and how they make illegal the usury that is crushing the US middle class?"

"Muslim finance" is an oxymoron. Muslim banks have been working pretty hard lately to structure deals so that Koranic restrictions are bypassed and investors can get returns without calling those returns "interest". Without interest there's no motivation to lend money at all, so credit is more-or-less nonexistent. If you want to buy a house, maybe Uncle Ali will float you an interest-free loan. Or maybe he won't. If you want to start a company... you go to the capitalist West for funding.

The US middle class has been entirely complicit in its own crushing - no one held a gun to anyone's head and made then sign on the line for an adjustable-rate mortgage. When we bought our house 20 years ago, we were offered an ARM and said, "Who would take a deal like that?" Lots of people, apparently! (We went fixed rate, of course.)

Credit cards come with a piece of paper called a "cardmember agreement." In other words, a contract. But when you get fresh plastic, do you read the terms and conditions? Hell no - you rip the sticker off that sucker and go shopping! (Then you act all surprised in a month or two, when the bill comes due.)

The problems that many members of the middle class are experiencing come in large part from signing contracts without reading them first.


This link discusses a number of ways Sharia banks structure deals so the can do the sorts of things Western banks do, while avoiding the word "interest". (2-line URL)


Paul S

I really think the underlying problem is at a more fundamental level. I think the REAL problem is we have too many people in the world who think it is OK to rip off the other guy any way you can as long as you get away with it. Lie, cheat, steal. Every behavior is acceptable. For too many people the words honesty and integrity are foreign concepts. There have always been rip-off artists. The problem is the ethical/moral compass is missing. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Smith, you are right. When there is no overt 'interest' there is all sorts of fees and hidden costs tacked on which in the end usually cost more and hinder comparisons when shopping for loans, for example.

But our system has been ruined by sharpsters playing people for fools.


"Smith, you are right."

Why, thank you, Elaine!

"But our system has been ruined by sharpsters playing people for fools."

And you are also right.


I missed pointing this out earlier:

"you think America's greatness comes from its 22% interest rate credit cards"

You show mw a 22% APR credit card (or a card carrying 29.99%APR, to take an extreme case), and I'll show you a history of missed payments, late payments, overlimits... in short, a completely mismanaged account.

Some people do pay that sort of very high rate, but they had to do some things wrong to get there. An APR higher than 20% is designed to discourage further use of the account until it's paid down.

(If only...)

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