Friday, December 30, 2011

A friend's response to a Ron Paul fan lashing out at RP critics

"...all of Paul's racism, bigotry and fundamentalist beliefs are well documented, as is his top contributors from his 2008 campaign, which I happen to think is very revealing about his supposed anti-empire credentials. I can only speculate as to why you would conjure up so many ad-hominems and say that calling a racist a racist is inflammatory or irrational, or calling a homophobe a homphobe. more than a gullible moron, it takes a petit bourgie to ignore all of the disturbing attributes of Paul's politics and cherry pick anti-war comments, or anti-fed comments, or pro-norml comments. what is most inflammatory and irrational is hiding apologetics for such a crypto-fascist under civil words. again we are talking about a white, upper-middle class republican politician from Texas who thinks women shouldn't be allowed to have reproductive rights; who routinely says he would've voted against the civil rights act, social security, the minimum wage, medicare, medicaid and more (though he hides his attack on blacks and the poor under defending the "freedom" of property--apparently the right of the propertied classes to exploit the poor and people of color is more important than the rights of the latter, and that it's "slavery" if they cant exploit); a politician who has said the US shouldn't constrain Israel in their criminal behavior, and no the US should not block the UN from holding Israel accountable (and while I agree with you the US should not be the world's police, it should be pointed out that what should be isn't, and that the fact of the matter is in the real world we inhabit the US has considerable influence over Israel, and its entirely appropriate for the US to employ that influence to stop injustices--I would be very content if the US told Israel all aid would stop if it didn't cease its occupation and return to the green line); who says he believes evolution is "just a theory"; who comes off as an anti-war and anti-imperial candidates but oddly is financed considerably warmongers (and considering the influence of money in politics this shouldn't be taken lightly); who has known ties to white supremacist groups; and so on and so on and so on."
This commenter is someone who was very active on the Angry Arabs' blog when it was open for comments.


  1. Although not directly related to RP, THIS does have implications for him as well as for the wider market supremacist ideology:  

    Young people -- the collegiate and post-college crowd, who have served as the most visible face of the Occupy Wall Street movement -- might be getting more comfortable with socialism. That's the surprising result from a Pew Research Center poll that aims to measure American sentiments toward different political labels.

  2. I like Obama Messiah more than Ron Paul. But give him a break. At least he is free market, pro spending cuts and pro deregulation. At least he is free trade, free investment, freer immigration.

    I agree with Ron Paul on the need to sharply gut social security and medicare. However, unlike Ron Paul I simultaneously support large tax increases on poor people, middle class people and rich people. Long way of saying that Ron Paul isn't perfect. Still, please cut him some slack.

    Thank you,

  3. Yes it is interesting. Still trying to interpret the poll. If you break down the granular details, the results are hard to understand. Capitalism is more popular among liberal democrats than conservative democrates for example. Suspect that some might not know the meaning of the words "capitalism" and "socialism."

    Socialism is about everyone getting poorer together, Shared poverty. Shared growing scarcity of goods and services.

    Perhaps a lot of young people are turning spiritual and avoiding materialism? Perhaps a lot of young people want to get rid of electronics, cell phones, computers, internet, cars, planes, movies, electronic music, modern apartments, modern cities, modern sanitation, modern logistics, modern healthcare. Maybe young people want to look inwards and renounce their attachment to material objects or the outside materialistic world? Could that be what the poll is capturing?

    In any case, it will likely require a lot more research to determine actual attitudes among young people.

  4. Happy New Year to one and all!

  5. Happy New Year!

    Joer, I think that article is funny. Not completely representative though.

    It is clear, however, that justice to the Palestinians would make Israel FAR FAR FAR richer.

  6. Oops.  I'm sorry.  I had posted a You-tube video but for some reason it didn't appear [notice the big blank space].  Here is the URL -

    Look at the whole thing before you jump to conclusions.

  7. By the way Anan, it is categorical statements like this - "<span>Socialism is about everyone getting poorer together, Shared poverty. Shared growing scarcity of goods and services</span>" that led me to say the other day that you like to put things into tidy neat little boxes.  Social Science is not a Natural Science because you cannot pin down human behavior.  History is useful for studying contemporary issues, but you cannot look at it like a blueprint.  It can inform your current thinking, but you cannot apply it mechanically.

    Ricardo Semler was dismissed by the capitalist elite as an advocate for socialism.  But nowadays you have the Google corporation.  What do you call that?  Socialism?  Capitalism?  A hybrid?  Post Fordism?  Or something totally new?  Whatever you call it, you are probably going to have to throw away your little boxes and make new ones.  Just make sure you make them out of cheap material, because you may have to throw those away too in the not too distant future. ;)

  8. You thought that was a funny article? Let me guess, you cry at Marx Brothers movies?

  9. ....and Shindler's List had you rolling in the aisles.

  10. Anan - I would venture to say that if there is anything in our, or the wider society's, "social relations" that approaches the relative immutability of the laws of nature, it is some form of the labor theory of value.  The true value of an object of human creation is inexorably linked to the LABOR TIME employed in its production.  Adam Smith realized that, and Marx seized upon it when he laid the foundation for his theory.  Capitalists have been running fightened from that notion ever since, taking refuge in the highly subjective school of the utilitarians, particularly Jeremy Bentham.  Again we return to the true nature of "Social Science", as I noted in my previous post.

  11. Joer, have nothing against you. There is a difference between offering constructive feadback regarding the policies of the Israeli government and mocking the Israeli people, who like the Palestinian people are basically well intentioned.

    Mocking Israelis as people makes it harder to persuade them to do right by the Palestinians. More than half of all Israelis are historically Arab Jews or Palestinian Israelis of non Jewish faiths.

    Mara, I learn a lot from you. Haven't seen the you tube video.

    How do you define empire? International influence and connectivity? By this measure every country is an empire and we all benefit from enhancing the empires of other countries and other people [since each individual leads their own empire.]

    An excellent video on the problems with American empire is "Waiting for Superman." Its a documentary on the American education system. No single thing hurts business and corporate profits more than the dysfunctional education system. American deeply anti business, anti corporate, big government, socialist policies are sabataging the American education system, damaging the American economy.

    " Social Science is not a Natural Science because you cannot pin down human behavior.  History is useful for studying contemporary issues, but you cannot look at it like a blueprint.  It can inform your current thinking, but you cannot apply it mechanically." Well said. Some statements are simplistic. True. Part of the problem is that you are one of the few that bother with nuance.

    Google is pro capitalist. Capitalism works best whan all economic agents have access to perfect information, even if they have to pay for it. In my view, a subset of information is a positive externality that international collective action [including through governments] should collaborate to provide.

  12. "Whatever you call it, you are probably going to have to throw away your little boxes and make new ones.  Just make sure you make them out of cheap material, because you may have to throw those away too in the not too distant future."

    Nicely put. "Socialism" the way I am generally using it means some combination of "big government" and policies that impede product development and business development.

    Wealth or income comes from developing new and better products. Including products that cost less labor and capital inputs to make.

    As a globe, we are not doing a good enough job at product development, or what economists call total factor productivity. It is deeply troubling. Some aspects of the American debate sound like a third world developing country that lacks self confidence and wants to hide its head under the ground.

    What are leftists?
    Are Leftists are some combination of two trends:

    -deeply pescimistic people who lack self confidence and lack confidence in the innate potential of others
    -people convulsed by hatred who are trying to cause a global depression [and in some cases global violence] that they know will hurt them and their friends in the hope of also harming those they dislike as well.

    Or perhaps they are anti materialists who want to renounce desires and world to pursue spirituality?

  13. Anan!  You are still a captive of your categories.  ...But we all are, to some extent...  

    Did you ever read Tom Peters "Liberation Management?"  It caused quite a splash when it came out, and then the CEOs of the world attacked it because it spoke of empowering the workers.  The reaction was swift and hard.  Business schools which had embraced it and were awash in the new paradigm of "flat organizations" all of a sudden dumped it from their curriculum.  Even Tom Peters wrote another book wherein he reversed course on what he had written in "Liberation Management", implying that he had been mistaken.  Sad, but the world lurches forward regardless.

    By the way, when you stated:  "<span>Wealth or income comes from developing new and better products. Including products that cost less labor and capital inputs to make.</span>"  Who do you think makes the product?  Who innovates?  Who improves it?  The CEO?  It is the worker!  So you are actually proving my point.  By the way, take a look at this article (another paradigm buster!) about System D, once known as the informal eonomy: The Shadow Superpower

  14. Let me throw something else out there for you to consider.  For all the talk about free markets and free trade, do you realize that patents and copyright laws are contrary to those?  It makes you wonder, ...when you hear CEOs and their government representatives talk about freeing up markets and freeing trade, what do they mean?  Free markets for who(m)? ... free trade for who(m)?  Think about it.  If the World Trade Organizaion stands for freeing up markets and freeing up trade, then why is it such a humongous bureaucracy?  Why are there so many laws and bylaws, rules and regulations?  Why are protectionist components such as patents and other proprietory clauses such an important part of it?  Somebody evidently wants to keep a monopoly of the technological knowhow while the rest of the (mostly poor) world is busy prying it loose from those that are hoarding it.  

    Please read the article I cite in my post further down this thread about System D.  I don't think the poor lack entreprenuerialism.  I think the markets in many cases are rigged against them.

  15. anan: <span>Joer, have nothing against you....</span>
       I never said you did. I just don't see how you could say that essay was funny. There is nothing mocking in it. If Steve Jobs was to take a nature walk for inspiration in Israel, as an Arab he could be shot on the assumption he was a terrorist. 
        If President Obama was born 150 years ago, he would have been beaten if he was caught trying to learn to read. IS that funny also?

  16. Joer, thanks for your thoughtful comments. How you say something matters. We need to always talk with love and respect, including when we talk to our enemies. As the great Palestinian Jesus taught us, we should love everyone as the Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul; including our enemies.

    When we speak to our Israeli brothers and sisters, it has to be out of love and respect, or they won't listen to what we say.

    You are right that the oppression of 1.5 million Israeli citizens who happen to be of non Jewish Palestinian descent is a big problem. It is also a nuanced one. Much of Israel's wealth, power, influence and culture is controlled by Palestinian Israelis. Many of the best PhD students in Israel are Palestinian Israelis. Ditto with many of the best professors, technologists, entreprenuers, VCs, bureacrats, senior officers in the IDF.

    Mara, you seem to be channeling me. I have made similar arguements in the past.

    In the America I know, liberation management is all the rage. Flat ORG  charts with employees reporting via multiple dotted lines are common.

    The CEO is a laborer or worker just like any other. They are a skilled type of worker.

    You are right about patent law. I think laws should be passed to reduce the number of years patents are in effect. Simultaneously international bodies should buy out patents when there are large enough externalities by paying the private NPV that a business can generate from keeping their patent. The US should contribute 18% of the fund, proportional to US share of global income. China, India, EU, Brazil, Japan and the other superpowers should also contribute.

    I am not fully free market. I support some level of big government socialism when there is clear scholarship on externalities.

    Thanks again for your very informative comments. If I don't respond to your comments in full, I apologize. Must be because I am busy. I read your comments very carefully.

  17. Thanks for the articles on sytem D or the grey/black market. This is a de facto free market of sorts. However, I prefer deregulation, simplification of regulation, lower marginal rates to bring the grey economy into the legal sector. This way tax revenue [for externalities such as education] is generated. We also benefit from a functioning legal system.

  18. PS. I support a level playing field around the world. A flatter world. Big government socialist intervention generally favors the politically influential at the expense of the masses. This is why in general government should be smaller except where externalities are involved, and even then we need to be very careful.

    We agree on an aweful lot.

  19. Sorry to have hijacked the thread.  Regarding Ron Paul, I found this article by Greenwald made some very good points.

  20. TGIA, VAA, Maracatu, the fool Onan claims to have learned from you. For humanity's  and sanity's sakes call a halt to your educational programme.

  21. Mara, that article was incoherent. Normal fare for Greenwald . . . otherwise called ISI PR agency.

    Greenwald wants to impose harsh sanctions on poor countries to keep poor people around the world down. He has no plan to improve product development and business development.

  22. <span><span>Greenwald wants to impose harsh sanctions on poor countries to keep poor people around the world down.</span>  
    Smearing and slandering people again, ya kalb? Where's your proof he did? Any links or is it just enough that you confused and deluded brain got it that way? Post a proof or SHUT UP!</span>

  23. Yeah, it's been a one way street. ;)