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The Socialist Alternative to the Crisis of Capitalism


making waves

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The mods move the previous one to zoo and gave me a warning because Sync claimed it broke forum rules -

So here goes again.

On Tuesday 8 November Socialist Party / ULA MEP Paul Murphy hosted a meeting in Dublin to discuss alternative to dealing with the current crisis in capitalism. Speakers at the meeting included Dr. Terence McDonagh NUIG and Michael Taft an economist with UNITE.

Paul Murphy, in his contribution to the meeting outlined that €74billion in corporate deposits reside in Irish banks - money that the capitalist class pointblank refuse to invest in the economy and create jobs for the half a million out of work. Paul Murphy pointed out that the current crisis is not a crisis of the absence of resources but a crisis of the capitalist mode of production - rooted in the decline of investment. He continues by outlining that a socialst government would use these resources to democratically plan the economy to create jobs and provide goods and services based on need rather than profit.

With the current government planning to cut up to €4billion next week it should be noted that currently €9billion of the €15billion deficit is interest repayments for the most expensive bailout deal that the world has ever seen. Yet the government the IMF and the ECB continue to load the cost of the crisis onto the backs of working class people while protecting the wealth of the rich. There is no solution to the current cyclical crisis of capitalism on the basis of the current capitalist system.

[video=youtube;IHcg2x1jDkE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHcg2x1jDkE[/video]
 

R3volution_R3ady

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Again, only the ignorant see this as a failure of capitalism. The clue comes in the form that we never even had capitalism to begin with, never mind it failing.

And using resources based on need? lol, yeah I heard that before...look at the state of this country due to the public sector.

Leave the allocation to the market so that it won't cost everyone in the country when incompetence messes it up which seems to be the order of the day in Ireland.
 

Ramon Mercadar

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Thanks for that. Is there a vid of the full meeting? Couldn't get to it.
 

R3volution_R3ady

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Yea - yea - keep beating the drum
Okay, I'll play along...

We should follow the model of the USSR and North Korea...god knows how successful they were/are.
 

southwestkerry

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The socialist answer to everything is tax every one who pays a bit and tax those who have a bit more and then when the country goes down the plug tax people who plan to move to the country next door.
In short socialist answers to anything are not 90% off peoples cup off tea.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Of course the deposits in the Irish banks wouldn't be helping to back the fractional reserve of the hundreds of billions of loans out there now would they?
 

Ramon Mercadar

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Okay, I'll play along...

We should follow the model of the USSR and North Korea...god knows how successful they were/are.
Ah c'mon, you that SP believe that the Revolution was betrayed in the USSR and they called for the overthrow of the Stalinist bureaucrats. No one apart from the WP and the criminally insane believe that NK is in any way Socialist.
 

Didimus

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T

With the current government planning to cut up to €4billion next week it should be noted that currently €9billion of the €15billion deficit is interest repayments for the most expensive bailout deal that the world has ever seen.
A link to some supporting figures would be good.
 

Ramon Mercadar

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Murphy is talking thru his hole, as usual.

The State will never support everyone except in grey tower blocks where everyone is miserable...

East germany,Horse, punters there flocked west when given the chance.
Sadly the East German horses were turned into sausage when they escaped to the West.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Ah c'mon, you that SP believe that the Revolution was betrayed in the USSR and they called for the overthrow of the Stalinist bureaucrats. No one apart from the WP and the criminally insane believe that NK is in any way Socialist.
Pray tell how do the Socialist Party plan on stripping everyone of their private property if the attain power, do they think people will just give up ownership of their land and companies without the use of violence by the state?
 

Ramon Mercadar

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Pray tell how do the Socialist Party plan on stripping everyone of their private property if the attain power, do they think people will just give up ownership of their land and companies without the use of violence by the state?
Not here to speak on behalf of the SP, not a member. Just pointing out that they have no truck with Stalinism. But the vid is worth watching.
 

R3volution_R3ady

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Ah c'mon, you that SP believe that the Revolution was betrayed in the USSR and they called for the overthrow of the Stalinist bureaucrats. No one apart from the WP and the criminally insane believe that NK is in any way Socialist.
Which is exactly my point.

If Stalin and North Korea have nothing to do with socialism, then why do socialists equate fascism (which is what we live under) with capitalism?
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Which is exactly my point.

If Stalin and North Korea have nothing to do with socialism, then why do socialists equate fascism (which is what we live under) with capitalism?
Don't you know that Fascism is anything that Socialists don't like or agree with. This despite that fact that the so-called "right wing" fascist parties such as the Nazi's, the BNP and others of their ilk were in fact quite left-wing and corporatist economically.
 

Edo

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like all utopias - it sounds great in theory............but the reality tends to be somewhat different

the problem is that it makes politics and politicians the ultimate arbiters of everything

Looking at the USSR - In my humble opinion - politics and politicians - the combination of an overly centralised planning system and an overly politicised economic system combined with a total lack of vision about how to take the next step from the socialist dictatorship on the road to communist utopia...........(that said ,it would appear the entire communist practical experience thus far hits the buffers at this point - the USSR was far from alone here) - also give people a taste of the good stuff and the freedom to air their opinions and you can't put the genie back in the bottle and pretend it never existed. All the stuff going on outside vis a vis the Western powers were mere pin-pri^ks on the hide of an elephant - the USSR rotted from the inside out.

The hardest thing for any politician in any political system to do is to relinquish power voluntarily - you literally have to drag it out of their cold dead hands - in democracies at least you can vote the f^ckers out and a regular changing of the guard at the top is very good for society - we should do it more often here than we do. Also it applies to the politics within the public and civil service - they are always empire building looking for more power, more responsibility,more opportunity to lord it over the most minute activities of human society - these might come from the best of motives - but they are a power-grab all the same.

Translating this to the Soviet experience - the public sector was the state - there was no other party but the Communist party - with communist party overview and control of everything - the party and state became inter-changable and one and the same.

but personal ambition, political ambition, the desire to rule over others and get them to do what you want them too and the desire to better yourself and in many cases better yourself at the expense of your neighbours did not end with the establishment of the communist state - in the absence of multi-party politics and the absence of a private sector means of improving your conditions economically and giving the springboard for political power and influence - it just went underground and into the bureaucracy and communist party machine

it soon became apparent to all in the USSR that the only means of advancement and the attainment of power was thru the communist party - this was the seed of the downfall of it all - everybody joined the communist party as it was key to your success in that society - whether you believed in the struggle was neither here nor there - to paraphrase an earlier ad for a credit card - membership had its privileges - membership could get you over any problems in your work - membership and who you knew opened all doors to advancement and your adherence to the state religion, how vehemently you verbally promoted the communist gospel and how pure you were in denouncing capitalism and all its evil spawn became the defining criteria of your life and your families life - even if you thought it was all a load of idealistic **** ( and more and more did as the years passed by) you sure as hell weren't going to say so in public because the ramifications could be severe - you went thru the motions at the weekly meetings - the purists thought you were being serious and proclaimed you a sound man and went away thinking that all was well and the glorious revolution was on course.................or did they? - was the whole thing a national exercise in self delusion? - the inability of anybody to be able to publicly say that the emperor had no clothes ( or even that the quality of the material and cut was sh^te) allowed the self delusion to be reinforced again and again - it would drive you mad trying to think your way out of that vicious circle....

returning to the economy - given that the Communist party was the nexus of the entire economy - all decisions on direction were ultimately made by the communist party central committees and the central politiburo - essentially all economic decisions ,both macro and micro,down to the minutest activities in soviet life, were made by politicians - a disaster made in hell if there ever was one.


Think about it - if you want to get to the top of a political party and stay there anywhere - let alone the soviet union - you have to be single-minded to the last - a people watcher extraordinare, and make all your moves and decisions from a personal political point of view first until you finally rise up that slippery slope - in democracies, the fact that at some point you have to go before the people to get elected tends to ameliorate the damage you can do and forces you to have some conversation with reality now and again - think about trying to advance to the top of the Soviet political system - with public opinion the very last thing on your mind and the least of your concerns - scary isn't it? - and these were the people who were going to make decisions and have the final say effecting everything from the amount of bog-roll that was available in the shops to when to hit the nuclear button..............these were politicians who spent all their lives in politics and immersed in political theory .all their lives just learning the theory of one way of doing things in theory and climbing over rivals on the way to the top the only concern..........men with no practical experience of anything really at the end of the day...all philosophers,poets and patriots - but not a plumber, an electrician or a mechanic among them...........no experience of real life or having to make decisions at a lower level as there was no lower level decision making - before being enveloped in the warm lap of life as a Komenklatura where your every need was taken care of - a state car with driver - servants for your house and dacha in the country - special rights to shop in the foreign currency stores where you could purchase anything from the west - consumer goods that were unavailable or nothing near the quality of those available to the plebs for whom you were making decisions for... it was a receipt for disaster from the beginning - all this started to happen as the comrades who had formed the soviet union and its values died off and a new elite of technocrats and bureaucrats took over the Soviet union in the late 50's

The bureaucracy was expanding to meet the needs of the bureaucracy - central planning requires the most accurate information and statistics and feedback available to even attempt to work - since central planning was ultimately controlled by the communist party and its one-trick pony politicans and their mad visions and delusions of grandeur -and your promotion is dependent on the communist party - are you going to tell them the truth or tell them what they want to hear? - have this replicated right across the board in every organisation in the soviet union for the best part of 40 years..............the USSR was run by making decisions that had only the most tenous touch with reality in most cases - that was the reason for the mass production of goods that nobody wanted to buy or the reason why the shelves were bare 48 weeks a year - every single part of the logistics chain toId the other part of the chain what they thought they would like to hear as opposed to what was actually happening - total and utter madness - in the end nobody gave a sh^t ,collected their wages at the end of the week and went and got pissed for the weekend before on monday starting all over again...there was no negative consequences for their behaviour and nothing to be gained for correcting or critiquing the system - that power was in the hands of the politiburo and they were away in la-la land most of the time until finally somebody who lived in the real world in Michael Gorbachev arrived at the summit of power and his attempt to reform failed as the patient was gone well-beyond recovery and all it needed was somebody to put it to sleep permanently. - the old joke about a man arriving at the shop and told there was only 2 items available - potatoes or aeroplanes - the man says he'll take the plane as he will be able to fly to whatever city potatoes are available in next! - one thing the Soviet Union was not short of was subversive black humour!

Im not surprised that the one area that was not badly affected by this crazed dali-like system of fools was the production of industrial and capital goods - a central planning system can cope with this - its much easier to centrally organise the production of 44 Jumbo jets for delivery to 6 customers than it is to centrally plan the distribution of an ever changing quantity of milk to every single household in the country on a daily basis - that requires the much more local decision making - could you imagine Enda Kenny being directly responsible for the delivery of milk to every household in the country and depending on drooling ambitious party hacks in every town and village to organise the production and delivery of the milk and coming back with the honest stats to tell Kenny how well he is doing??? - could you imagine it? - Im a former member of Fine Gael and the thoughts of it all has me on the floor laughing - Ballygamash Urban district would have nothing on it.


I would argue that it was the fact that most of the population retreated into themselves and looked after themselves first thru family bonds and the like (30% of all the food grown in the USSR in the 70s came from the private plots given to the citizens to work in the 50s- all from less than 1% of the cultivable land in the USSR - that is a staggering indictment on the state system ) was what allowed the USSR to malfunction so much yet still stagger on - like wise in Cuba - over 80% of all the food in Cuba is grown on less than 30% of the land in private hands - North Korea is entirely dependent on international food aid that it gets from nuclear blackmail

In short - there are some things the state does well - other things should left in the hands of private individuals - in the case of economies - the more governments interfere the worse it gets - this current crisis is no exception - making the state the only gig in town would be a disaster as politicans would have a hand in everything - we dont need that.
 

Ramon Mercadar

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Don't you know that Fascism is anything that Socialists don't like or agree with. This despite that fact that the so-called "right wing" fascist parties such as the Nazi's, the BNP and others of their ilk were in fact quite left-wing and corporatist economically.
Fascist parties are often leftwing economically until they get into power. Perhaps the best examples being Germany and Italy. The lefts of those parties had to be put down when they started wondering where the Socialist part of their Revolution was. In Germany the SA were purged in the night of the long knives, the Blackshirts in Italy also had a clean out but less bloody than the German example. You can also find examples in Latin America.

Capitalists, in times of crisis have used Fascists to attack the Left and the Trade Unions and any other progressive elements. But if the Fascists achieve State power then it is always of a type that is amenable to the Capitalists. The SA, the Blackshirts, the streetfighters will be the first to go once the Fascists are in full control of the State.
 

Mr Aphorisms

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I was at it. T'was crap. More of a Keynesian Economics event than a socialist event. Rubbish turnout as well. To top it all off "peaceful, not violent" revolution, as Ruth said. Such bleedin' bollix. No more events with the Irish "socialists". They always end up with no credible alternative and a gargantuan amount of hyberbole. As well as the customary nonsense that we're worse off since we joined the EU or the EU is completely bad and has pushed neoliberalism.

Yes, the EU, investing in Irish infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, fisheries, education. Not only that, but also helping workers' rights, discrimination in the workplace, maximum working hours, setting targets to end unemployment and looking to up skill workers for the advances in technology.

What a bunch of right wing hacks following in the footsteps of Milton Friedman, who advocated a central bank for all of Europe, a bureaucracy, and an institution that invests in education, public works and brings into law things such as rights to freedom of speech, equality in the work place and more.

Does Making Waves actually believe in the shi*te that the SP come out with or is he just paid to defend them on here? FFS! Would you not give Joe's seat to someone in the Communist Party or eírígí and see how they get on?
 

Taxi Driver

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Paul Murphy pointed out that the current crisis is not a crisis of the absence of resources but a crisis of the capitalist mode of production - rooted in the decline of investment.
Investment has collapsed but not for the reasons Paul Murphy will admit.

It is not business investment that has gone "on strike" it is household investment. Investment has gone from €48 billion in 2007 to €16 billion in 2011. That is a huge collapse. In 2007 household investment was €25 billion; last year it was €5 billion. That accounts for two-thirds of the drop in investment.[Hint: It has something to do with the household sector buying 90,000 new houses one year and less than 9,000 in the other.]

With the current government planning to cut up to €4billion next week it should be noted that currently €9billion of the €15billion deficit is interest repayments for the most expensive bailout deal that the world has ever seen.
The deficit this year will be around €13 billion. Interest costs this year will be around €6.5 billion.

In 2007, before any collapse or bank rescue happened the annual interest bill was €2 billion. From 2008 to 2011 there has been around €60 billion of "normal" government deficits (expenditure > revenue). With market borrowings before the bailout costing around 5% and loans from the EU/IMF costing around 3.5% these deficits have added more than €3 billion to the annual interest bill.

The interest bill is €6.5 billion but only a small amount of it is due to the bank bailout. Most of it is just to normal government expenditure exceeding government revenue.
 

Mercurial

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Again, only the ignorant see this as a failure of capitalism. The clue comes in the form that we never even had capitalism to begin with, never mind it failing.

And using resources based on need? lol, yeah I heard that before...look at the state of this country due to the public sector.

Leave the allocation to the market so that it won't cost everyone in the country when incompetence messes it up which seems to be the order of the day in Ireland.
So capitalism is great in theory, but it just hasn't been properly implemented yet?

That sounds terribly familiar...
 
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