homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Castro's legacy (Page 2)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  4  5 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Castro's legacy
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

In other words, he was a reactionary aberration.

But not without reason.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16599 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
quote:
It is no small thing to focus on lifting the poor and is not so throw away a thing as your post seems to imply. Castro came closer to fulfilling the promise of Communism than any other. Just not close enough.
Castro's disregard for liberal human rights need to be understood in the context of Communist/Left political ideology. In terms of this ideology, any support of liberal human rights that did not come with an a priori ideological commitment to the interests of the working class would inevitably lead to the takeover of the political system by wealthy interests. Genuine democracy in this view, ironically can only occur with a dictatorship of the proletariat because that is the price you pay to keep the greedy capitalists from controlling and imposing their will on the people.

America never understood this because ideologically, their advancement of democracy is tied to their praise of capitalism, i.e. to a left wing view, American democracy is an ideological cover for rule by the wealthy.

Principled critique of Castro on human rights, needs to not be associated with praise of the capitalist system, which IMHO, is my suspicion with some of the right wing critics of Castro.

It's axiomatic that Western democracy is an ideological cover for rule by the wealthy, not left wing. Was there more social justice in Cuba than in the US? Is there? Or are we saying the egalitarian level of Cuba is so low that the lack of social justice in Western democracies is still more beneficial to the masses? If so, that's nothing to do with the failure of Cuban socialism but Cuba being punished for overreacting to the existential threat of the CIA's Bay of Pigs counter-revolutionary invasion by bringing the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust. With Castro demanding a first strike from Khrushchev.
You make it sound as if communist states actually deliver social justice. In some instances they have delivered improvements in their citizens lives - if one overlooks the people they kill, torture or imprison along the way - but there is still a class which has what one might call preferential access to wealth. When the ministry of economics screws up and there are shortages it isn't the higher echelons of The Party who go without and the limited amount of luxury goods produced either find their way into the dachas of The Party elite or are sold to tourists in order to bring in foreign currency.

As a dissident in the old Soviet bloc memorably observed. Under capitalism man oppresses man. Under socialism, it is the opposite.

Can you join up the dots for me please mate? I don't know how we get from my hard won respect, sympathy for Cuba warts and all to approval of communist states.

The vileness of the Red Terror, of Lenin's killing of his own compassion, of Stalin is as evil as it gets: human, up close and personal on an industrial scale - didn't spring as Athena from the forehead of history. It seethed from the cauldron of WWI and the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War.

I've read it ALL mate.

There is an appalling determinism about it all, Marx would be proud of me. The nomenklatura caste of the failed workers state is an obscenity I saw flagrant in Czechoslovakia in 1979 when I hobnobbed with Iraqi Ba'athists over becherovka at the Imperial in Karlovy Vary. But that's another story. How I ended up dining with Mossad in a small town in Germany the following year and living to tell the tale is another. Especially after I identified mine host's regiment. As for name dropping David Cornwell at the British Embassy, a dreadful faux pas.

The West is as fecklessly culpable as any other factor and then some in creating communist excess. A living false dichotomy made in hell.

[ 27. November 2016, 22:36: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anglican_Brat
Shipmate
# 12349

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican_Brat   Email Anglican_Brat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm wondering considering that some of my left-wing friends are sympathetic to Castro's ideology, if it's the case of supporting his initial aims, if not agreeing with his methods.

Castro was one of the few leaders, who genuinely, could not be a friend of business, he was a true dyed-in-the-wool socialist who believed that business and capitalism fundamentally oppressed people. In the 90s, when the moderate left of Europe was moving towards Blairist accommodation of capitalism, there was a certain romanticism that at least one leader was not a fan of capitalism.

--------------------
It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

Posts: 4228 | From: Vancouver | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
Kaplan Corday
Shipmate
# 16119

 - Posted      Profile for Kaplan Corday         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Feel free to make the case that the the people of the Dominican Republic (referenced earlier) were enjoying a liberal, pluralist democracy.

What an idiotic comment.

To say that Castro was an aberration is not the same as saying that he was unique.

Of course there were, and are, regimes as bad or worse than Castro's, from all over the ideological spectrum.

It makes no difference to a victim whether the dictatorship torturing them is currently reviled or revered on Western university campuses.

Posts: 3201 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

 - Posted      Profile for Crœsos     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Feel free to make the case that the the people of the Dominican Republic (referenced earlier) were enjoying a liberal, pluralist democracy.

What an idiotic comment.

To say that Castro was an aberration is not the same as saying that he was unique.

No, but in order to be an aberration one does have to be at the very least a member of a small number of outliers. Which brings us back to the question of whether there was the flowering of "liberal, pluralist democracy" in the Caribbean and Central America during the second half of the twentieth century, or whether dictatorships were the rule rather than the exception. You're the one advancing this argument, so make your case that Castro, Duvalier, Montt, Balaguer, Duarte, Batista, etc. are simply a series of aberrations rather than a pattern.

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Of course there were, and are, regimes as bad or worse than Castro's, from all over the ideological spectrum.

It makes no difference to a victim whether the dictatorship torturing them is currently reviled or revered on Western university campuses.

Nor does it usually matter if the regime is an "aberration" or something that fits into a broader pattern, but you've claimed that this distinction is relevant, so please elaborate.

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10334 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anglican_Brat
Shipmate
# 12349

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican_Brat   Email Anglican_Brat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
How does Castro compare to other Latin American dictators such as Augusto Pinochet, Manuel Norwiega of Panama, and others?

--------------------
It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

Posts: 4228 | From: Vancouver | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
Kaplan Corday
Shipmate
# 16119

 - Posted      Profile for Kaplan Corday         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
flowering of "liberal, pluralist democracy" in the Caribbean and Central America during the second half of the twentieth century

The context is global, not just Central and South America, and globally there has been a trend post-WWII away from authoritarian forms of government - fascist, communist, imperialist, whatever - toward democracy, even when it is honoured in the beach rather than the observance.

Dictatorial regimes, whether right or left, which don't even pay lip service to democracy have therefore become aberrations.

Posts: 3201 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
How does Castro compare to other Latin American dictators such as Augusto Pinochet, Manuel Norwiega of Panama, and others?

Castro helped the very poor at the expense of making everyone else poor. Pinochet boosted the economy at the expense of the poor. Both appear to have directly killed more people than Noriega. All three suppressed opposition. Noriega was part of the Medellín drug cartel.
Castro was better than the other Latin American dictators. But he was still a dictator and still killed and oppressed.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16599 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Castro was one of the few leaders, who genuinely, could not be a friend of business, he was a true dyed-in-the-wool socialist who believed that business and capitalism fundamentally oppressed people.

Regardless of the truth of such a statement (which I am not about to argue right now), to replace them with an alternative system that fundamentally oppresses people isn't exactly a good thing.

I visited Cuba in 2012. It is a beautiful country and the people, the culture and the music are amazing. The rest of this post is based on my observations during that visit, and some things may have changed in the four years since.

I will not deny that there are many positives that have come about in the country due to the Castro reign. Healthcare and education are universal and free. It is probably the best-prepared Caribbean nation when it comes to hurricanes - we had a major tropical storm while we were there and everything was protected and secured well in advance. Nobody goes without a place to live or food to eat. There will be many on this board who would happily declare it a paradise on the basis of this paragraph.

Here comes the "but".

Everybody gets the bare essentials I mentioned above - but nobody gets more. At all. And that's regardless of what they do - a doctor earns the same state-mandated monthly wage as a street sweeper. We saw many beggars on the streets of the town, and obviously none of them were begging in order to feed themselves or find shelter - they were begging for the ability to buy a few small luxuries for themselves and their families. A nice hat, some decent coffee to replace the state-provided stuff, that sort of thing. More than that, it became apparent that a good beggar could earn more money from well-meaning tourists than they could earn in a job. In any job. Think about that for a second - a beggar can earn more than a doctor. I am honestly not making that up. What would that fact mean for a society? What aspirations would it stimulate in the people?

The lifeguard at the hotel beach asked me to let him have any leftover sunblock at the end of my stay, because he couldn't afford to buy any and was suffering with sunburn. I honestly shit you not.

As for oppression? Well, after a while you start to notice that the people are very happy to talk about how things are privately, but seem to clam up in a crowd. Political dissent is a private thing that isn't spoken openly by anyone who wants to still be around in a few months. And every market has one or two well-dressed individuals just sort of hanging around, watching and making notes.

Was Castro's Cuba a paradise or a hell? Ultimately it comes down to whether you think personal freedoms are worth the risk that some individuals may fall through the cracks of society. Whether you think everybody having the basics is worth nobody having anything more. To have aspirations of bettering oneself is human, and in a society where such betterment is impossible through legal means, people will seek it in other ways - in this case, by begging or by trying to escape to America.

On that note, I have to say that any country that feels a need to make it illegal for its nationals to leave must be doing something wrong. If it was such a great place, wouldn't they want to stay? Why would they risk everything - even their lives - just to leave?

I loved Cuba, and would happily go back. But I'd never want to live there permanently, and I'd never want Britain to adopt the same political philosophy. Even with all its risks, I prefer freedom.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Castro helped the very poor at the expense of making everyone else poor.

That's basically a tl;dr of my post!

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

 - Posted      Profile for Moo   Email Moo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian
It is probably the best-prepared Caribbean nation when it comes to hurricanes - we had a major tropical storm while we were there and everything was protected and secured well in advance.

AIUI Cuba did an outstanding job of hurricane preparation before Castro came to power. I'm not sure he changed anything.

In the early twentieth century Cuba had the world's best hurricane experts. Since it is hit more frequently than anywhere else, this made sense.

Moo

--------------------
Kerygmania host
---------------------
See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20128 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Excellent report MtM.

Does it really take making everyone poor for the sake of the very poor?

I suspect it does.

As half the world is very poor, the rest of us need to be poorer. Can we start with the bottom billion at least? Bring them up to very poor?

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Excellent report MtM.

Thank you.

quote:
Does it really take making everyone poor for the sake of the very poor?
All available evidence suggests it does.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anglican't
Shipmate
# 15292

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican't   Email Anglican't   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Castro helped the very poor at the expense of making everyone else poor.

That's basically a tl;dr of my post!
Except, of course, himself: he amassed a $900,000,000 fortune.
Posts: 3571 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

 - Posted      Profile for Enoch   Email Enoch   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
... None of us would like to live under Louis, Francis or Fidel, ...

Franz Joseph may not have been a modern democrat, but he was hardly a dictator in the sense of either Louis XIV or Fidel. The regime he ruled over was a creaking and somewhat bureaucratic state - or double one from 1867. He sort of represented it, but his ability to dictate what happened in the administration, yet alone give orders directly to the average resident in Graz, Agram, Pecs or Lemberg was fairly limited.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7233 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

quote:
Does it really take making everyone poor for the sake of the very poor?
All available evidence suggests it does.
Bullshit. Even without breaking down the myth of zero sum wealth, all it would take in a country with adequate resource is reducing the super-wealthy to merely wealthy. In the UK, US, Canada and Australia no one needs to be poor.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16599 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
My point is it's never been done. All the evidence from history is that countries where the government ensures no-one is very poor are ones where (virtually) everyone is poor.

A lot of countries have tried to implement Marx's ideas, and Cuba is probably the one where that worked out the best for people. And yet those people persist in risking everything to flee to the capitalist oppression of the United States. That has to tell you something.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Scandinavia comes to mind as doing much better in equality. So does this: A town without poverty.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10831 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

 - Posted      Profile for Crœsos     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Which brings us back to the question of whether there was the flowering of "liberal, pluralist democracy" in the Caribbean and Central America during the second half of the twentieth century, or whether dictatorships were the rule rather than the exception.

The context is global, not just Central and South America, and globally there has been a trend post-WWII away from authoritarian forms of government - fascist, communist, imperialist, whatever - toward democracy, even when it is honoured in the beach rather than the observance.
It's very easy to make a case if you've made an a priori decision to ignore any contrary evidence, or pass off contrary evidence as proof of your proposition. (i.e. your basic premise is actually being promoted when it's being violated, a.k.a. "honoured in the b[r]each".)

Or maybe you really did mean "honoured in the beach", democracy (or the façade thereof) in tourist areas near the coast, but not extending to the interior?

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Dictatorial regimes, whether right or left, which don't even pay lip service to democracy have therefore become aberrations.

Most dictatorships, Castro's included, usually pay some kind of lip service to democracy, always portraying the leader as very popular. So popular, in fact, that elections are not even necessary! And is simply "pay[ing] lip service to democracy" all it takes to move from being an aberration to being part of this global democratic wave? If that's your standard, I may actually agree with you, though I'm not sure I'd be willing to classify "pay[s] lip service to democracy" as enough to qualify as a trend away from authoritarianism.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
My point is it's never been done. All the evidence from history is that countries where the government ensures no-one is very poor are ones where (virtually) everyone is poor.

I'm pretty sure that there are countries with a generous social safety net that aren't impoverished hell-holes. Most of western Europe comes to mind.

[ 28. November 2016, 15:06: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10334 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Callan
Shipmate
# 525

 - Posted      Profile for Callan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Originally posted by Croesus:

quote:
I reject any definition where Kim Il-sung is a "dictator" but Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un are "monarchs". Or that the powers exercised by Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud are "monarchical" (because he inherited his position) but Bashar al-Assad's powers are "dictatorial".

BTW, since he inherited the position due to family connections, does this mean Raúl Castro is a monarch?

Well, you can reject whatever you want but in ordinary usage and in political practice there is a meaningful difference between a dictator and a monarch. Pisistratus was a dictator. Alexander the Great was a monarch. Sulla was a dictator. Caligula was a monarch. The distinction may have been academic to their victims but it is reasonably salient for a historian trying to understand the difference between Athenian and Macedonian politics or the difference between the Late Republic and the early Principiate.

Some dictators successfully establish monarchies, of course, mention of Caligula brings me to the most celebrated example. Julius Caesar was literally a dictator, his successor Augustus was, theoretically, a Roman magistrate with one or two extra powers but in practice established a hereditary monarchy in which power was passed around the members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty until the death of Nero. In modern times the Bonaparte's in France, the Egyptian dynasty which terminated with King Farouk, and the Palavis in Iran more or less successfully established a dynasty - less successful attempts were made by King Zog in Albania and the Emperor Bokassa I in the Central African Empire. North Korea functions as a hereditary monarchy in all but name. The Duvaliers managed a successful father to son transition when Papa Doc died but Baby Doc was not quite the chip off the old block that Papa might have hoped. Much the same could be said of President Assad, fils. Broadly speaking, it is fairly hard to seize power in a coup d'etat and then go on to appeal to legitimist sentiment among the masses.

I don't think that there is a moral difference between monarchy and dictatorship where the monarch rules with absolute power, if that is what is worrying you. Given a choice of evils I would prefer to live under Castro than under the House of Saud, but I would prefer to live in a free society than either. Or, to put it another way, an absolute monarchy differs from a dictatorship in the same way that a democratic republic differs from a constitutional monarchy. The institutions of state are different when one, say, crosses the Pyrenees but lived experience as a citizen of a democracy in Spain or France is not markedly different.

--------------------
How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 9677 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Inspired by 'zero sum wealth' I googled up: "Americans don't like the idea that one man's wealth might come at another man's expense.

We like to talk about "win-win" situations.

During the cold war, we decided, following John Rawls's ideas on justice, that inequality was okay to the extent that it led to greater productivity and thus left even the poorest better-off.

Hence wealthy, unequal capitalist societies were better than poorer, (supposedly) egalitarian communist ones.

This distracted us from a crucial question: when you see a specific case of inequality, how do you know it actually led to greater overall wealth?

[the rich got richer!]

It's dangerous to fall into the resentful-peasant belief that whatever makes rich guys richer must make everybody else poorer.

[ohhhhhhh no they didn't]

But it's also dangerous to fall into the genial-sucker belief that whatever makes rich guys richer must make everybody else richer, too."

[ohhhhhhh yes they did and only them]

from.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Callan
Shipmate
# 525

 - Posted      Profile for Callan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Originally posted by Martin60:

quote:
During the cold war, we decided, following John Rawls's ideas on justice, that inequality was okay to the extent that it led to greater productivity and thus left even the poorest better-off.
I was under the impression that Rawls favoured something a little more egalitarian than Actually Existing Capitalist Democracy. I'm open to correction, but my understanding is that Rawls' big deal was his idea of the veil of ignorance. If you want to advocate a particular society as being a good society you can only do so, if you imagine yourself pre-incarnate and having no idea as to what position you will occupy after your birth. If you want to say, for example, that the Roman Republic was a good society you have to further say that you aren't going to be dining with Caesar and hobnobbing with Catullus and Cicero. You have to say that it would be a good society if you were fighting in the arena or a slave in the silver mines. To take a less extreme example, a Rawlsian can say that life under David Cameron was good, if and only if, they were prepared to spend their lives on a sink estate in Halifax with their income depending on the vagaries of the DWP and the resources of the local food bank.

I'm not an expert on Rawls, by any means, so if I've got that wrong do give me chapter and verse. If nothing else it will help shame me into reading the unread copy of 'A Theory of Justice' currently gathering dust on my bookshelf instead of arguing the toss about stuff on The Ship. [Biased]

--------------------
How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 9677 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Not even the Church will do that Callan!

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Scandinavia comes to mind as doing much better in equality.

Poverty rates being a few percentage points lower is one thing, zero poverty is another. We were talking about the latter, and how it doesn't seem to have been achieved anywhere without totalitarian government.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I'm pretty sure that there are countries with a generous social safety net that aren't impoverished hell-holes. Most of western Europe comes to mind.

Which western European country has zero poverty?

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Scandinavia comes to mind as doing much better in equality.

Poverty rates being a few percentage points lower is one thing, zero poverty is another. We were talking about the latter, and how it doesn't seem to have been achieved anywhere without totalitarian government.
When you talk absolutes it is boxed in. However, when we talk of vastly reduced poverty, we have achieved in the world much better. I grew up in Saskatchewan, which, though not now, has been mostly governed by socialist governments. With much more economic equality and sloganeering such as "make the rich pay".

The province to the east of Sask, Manitoba, had their Liberal Party promising a minimum income if elected last spring. I personally have no trouble with wealthy paying much more tax so as to lift people from poverty and guarantee minimum ability to sustain life. It is probably inevitable that social democracy instead of communist revolution achieve this. Even if we're in a bad spot just now.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10831 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Scandinavia comes to mind as doing much better in equality.

Poverty rates being a few percentage points lower is one thing, zero poverty is another. We were talking about the latter, and how it doesn't seem to have been achieved anywhere without totalitarian government.
No. But using it as an excuse not to try, or worse, to use it as a benchmark for repressive societies, seems a bit off.

When Jesus said "You'll always have the poor with you", it wasn't a campaign pledge.

--------------------
Get your arse to Mars

Posts: 8696 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Dave W.
Shipmate
# 8765

 - Posted      Profile for Dave W.   Email Dave W.   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Originally posted by Martin60:

quote:
During the cold war, we decided, following John Rawls's ideas on justice, that inequality was okay to the extent that it led to greater productivity and thus left even the poorest better-off.
I was under the impression that Rawls favoured something a little more egalitarian than Actually Existing Capitalist Democracy. I'm open to correction, but my understanding is that Rawls' big deal was his idea of the veil of ignorance. If you want to advocate a particular society as being a good society you can only do so, if you imagine yourself pre-incarnate and having no idea as to what position you will occupy after your birth. If you want to say, for example, that the Roman Republic was a good society you have to further say that you aren't going to be dining with Caesar and hobnobbing with Catullus and Cicero. You have to say that it would be a good society if you were fighting in the arena or a slave in the silver mines. To take a less extreme example, a Rawlsian can say that life under David Cameron was good, if and only if, they were prepared to spend their lives on a sink estate in Halifax with their income depending on the vagaries of the DWP and the resources of the local food bank.

I'm not an expert on Rawls, by any means, so if I've got that wrong do give me chapter and verse. If nothing else it will help shame me into reading the unread copy of 'A Theory of Justice' currently gathering dust on my bookshelf instead of arguing the toss about stuff on The Ship. [Biased]

From the Wiki article on A Theory of Justice under the heading "The Second Principle of Justice", "Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that (...) they are to be of the greatest benefit to the least-advantaged members of society (...)"
Posts: 1992 | From: the hub of the solar system | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
No. But using it as an excuse not to try, or worse, to use it as a benchmark for repressive societies, seems a bit off.

This thread is about Castro's legacy. There are some who think he's the absolute bees knees, a hero, and an example for the rest of us because of how he eradicated poverty in Cuba. Pointing out the downsides of what he had to do to achieve that seems perfectly fair to me.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
No. But using it as an excuse not to try, or worse, to use it as a benchmark for repressive societies, seems a bit off.

This thread is about Castro's legacy. There are some who think he's the absolute bees knees, a hero, and an example for the rest of us because of how he eradicated poverty in Cuba. Pointing out the downsides of what he had to do to achieve that seems perfectly fair to me.
It is not what he had to do, but what he did.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16599 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

 - Posted      Profile for Gee D     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I'm pretty sure that there are countries with a generous social safety net that aren't impoverished hell-holes. Most of western Europe comes to mind.

Which western European country has zero poverty?
Which country has zero poverty? Ultra-communist/Marxist/whatever North Korea is an example of a country where there is almost universal poverty.

I'm expecting someone to set up a cause for Castro and seek expedition. After all, he did his best in reducing the numbers of Cubans, such that the available food could go further. Not as extreme as some, but making a good start.

--------------------
Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6616 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is not what he had to do, but what he did.

And of course a complete American embargo has nothing to do with it.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10831 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is not what he had to do, but what he did.

And of course a complete American embargo has nothing to do with it.
1. I said as much up thread
2. Castro was not an unwitting participant in that

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16599 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It ain't my opinion, it's the Yank in the Economist as per my 'this' link above, which contains "we decided, following John Rawls's ideas on justice, that inequality was okay to the extent that it led to greater productivity and thus left even the poorest better-off", which looks like a justification of trickle down.

I think that's a travesty of Rawls as per wiki: "inequalities are allowed when they benefit the least advantaged", as I read that to justify positive discrimination, not you can have as much inequality as you like as long as the poorest are always better off because of it, i.e. the cake gets bigger even though the top icing gets disproportionately thicker, richer and the decorations get more ornate.

Have I got both wrong?

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

 - Posted      Profile for Enoch   Email Enoch   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Most dictatorships, Castro's included, usually pay some kind of lip service to democracy, always portraying the leader as very popular. So popular, in fact, that elections are not even necessary! ...

One thing one needs to bear in mind is that to Marxist-Leninist regimes and their derivatives, 'democratic' doesn't mean what it does to the rest of the world. However, they are alert to the benefits of deluding others into not noticing this.

'Democracy' = rule by the demos = rule by the people.
So,
Because the dictatorship of the proletariat is rule by a dictator so as to achieve what the dictator knows that the people need,
∴ the dictator embodies the will of the people.
∴ the dictatorship of the proletariat = democracy.
∴ the truest form of democracy = dictatorship of the proletariat, AND ∴
Anything else claiming to be democratic is a bourgeois, revisionist delusion.
QED.

So also North Korea is the only truly democratic society in the world.

Easy really.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7233 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Kaplan Corday
Shipmate
# 16119

 - Posted      Profile for Kaplan Corday         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Most dictatorships, Castro's included, usually pay some kind of lip service to democracy

They have no choice, because democracy has become today (unlike in much of previous history) the overwhelmingly popular global ideal to which everyone therefore has to be at least seen to aspire.

The number of democracies has increased since WWII, and they now make up about two thirds of all the world's countries.

Dictatorships such as Cuba are therefore aberrant in terms of current political sentiment, in terms of historical trajectory, and statistically.

Posts: 3201 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

 - Posted      Profile for Sioni Sais   Email Sioni Sais   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Most dictatorships, Castro's included, usually pay some kind of lip service to democracy

They have no choice, because democracy has become today (unlike in much of previous history) the overwhelmingly popular global ideal to which everyone therefore has to be at least seen to aspire.

The number of democracies has increased since WWII, and they now make up about two thirds of all the world's countries.

Dictatorships such as Cuba are therefore aberrant in terms of current political sentiment, in terms of historical trajectory, and statistically.

The number of democracies does not make for a democratic world. Too many decisions are made by elected governments that do not reflect the will of the people: instead they reflect the will of the market and the boardroom.

--------------------
"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

Posts: 23893 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Originally posted by Martin60:

quote:
During the cold war, we decided, following John Rawls's ideas on justice, that inequality was okay to the extent that it led to greater productivity and thus left even the poorest better-off.
I was under the impression that Rawls favoured something a little more egalitarian than Actually Existing Capitalist Democracy. I'm open to correction, but my understanding is that Rawls' big deal was his idea of the veil of ignorance. If you want to advocate a particular society as being a good society you can only do so, if you imagine yourself pre-incarnate and having no idea as to what position you will occupy after your birth.
Yes. Rawls has to assert that everyone is risk averse to get his argument to work. (Otherwise he'd end up with your basic issue utilitarianism.)
But his basic conclusion is that you maximise the living standards of the least well off person in the resulting society consistent with all fundamental social liberties.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10307 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Callan
Shipmate
# 525

 - Posted      Profile for Callan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Most dictatorships, Castro's included, usually pay some kind of lip service to democracy

They have no choice, because democracy has become today (unlike in much of previous history) the overwhelmingly popular global ideal to which everyone therefore has to be at least seen to aspire.

The number of democracies has increased since WWII, and they now make up about two thirds of all the world's countries.

Dictatorships such as Cuba are therefore aberrant in terms of current political sentiment, in terms of historical trajectory, and statistically.

The number of democracies does not make for a democratic world. Too many decisions are made by elected governments that do not reflect the will of the people: instead they reflect the will of the market and the boardroom.
I'm not sure that the solution to that problem is to increase the number of non-democracies!

--------------------
How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 9677 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

 - Posted      Profile for Sioni Sais   Email Sioni Sais   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
"Getting rid of democracies", however you define them won't do it. The power and influence of the business lobby needs to be reined in. FWIW I believe that was one of Castro's objectives but he disregarded the need to maintain democratic backing.

--------------------
"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

Posts: 23893 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

 - Posted      Profile for Golden Key   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
For a mostly appreciative view of Castro:

The Nov. 28th episode of "Democracy Now" is all about Fidel, with guests who've written about him. You can watch the whole hour-long episode. You can also go to the right-hand nav bar, and pick a segment of the show (video or transcript).

FYI: this is a very liberal TV news series--possibly THE liberal TV news series.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17647 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
No. But using it as an excuse not to try, or worse, to use it as a benchmark for repressive societies, seems a bit off.

This thread is about Castro's legacy. There are some who think he's the absolute bees knees, a hero, and an example for the rest of us because of how he eradicated poverty in Cuba. Pointing out the downsides of what he had to do to achieve that seems perfectly fair to me.
Oh, I come not to praise Caesar, but to bury him.

But I also know that you see any attempt at redistributive policies as authoritarian. Pointing out that your criticism of Castro also applies to pretty much every other country where there's a social safety net is simply a public service announcement.

--------------------
Get your arse to Mars

Posts: 8696 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anglican't
Shipmate
# 15292

 - Posted      Profile for Anglican't   Email Anglican't   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
For a mostly appreciative view of Castro:

The Nov. 28th episode of "Democracy Now"

If it's an appreciative view (I haven't yet had chance to watch it) will they be re-branding their show 'Democracy Now (Except For Cubans)'?
Posts: 3571 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Pointing out that your criticism of Castro also applies to pretty much every other country where there's a social safety net is simply a public service announcement.

My criticism from yesterday.

Skipping over the positive things I mentioned, that criticism consisted of:

  • Nobody in Cuba gets more than the bare essentials.
  • Beggars can earn more than doctors.
  • Nobody can afford to buy even the smallest luxury item, such as sunblock or decent coffee.
  • Political dissent is brutally suppressed.

I also made the observation that any country that feels a need to make it illegal for its nationals to leave must be doing something wrong.

I would be intrigued to know which of those criticisms also applies to pretty much every other country where there's a social safety net, as you assert.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I responded to your response to NP. That is all.

--------------------
Get your arse to Mars

Posts: 8696 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Too many decisions are made by elected governments that do not reflect the will of the people: instead they reflect the will of the market and the boardroom.

A lot of left-wing idealists say wonderful things about "the will of the people", but when the will of the people runs counter to what they think it should be (Tories elected, Brexit, Trump elected, etc.) their opinions about it seem to change very quickly.

This links in very interestingly with their praise for Castro, who was a textbook example of a dictator who didn't give a shit about the will of the people other than when he told them what it was. One can't help but think that their real position is that democracy and individual freedoms are a small price to pay for better healthcare and education.

[ 29. November 2016, 08:58: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Arethosemyfeet
Shipmate
# 17047

 - Posted      Profile for Arethosemyfeet   Email Arethosemyfeet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Too many decisions are made by elected governments that do not reflect the will of the people: instead they reflect the will of the market and the boardroom.

A lot of left-wing idealists say wonderful things about "the will of the people", but when the will of the people runs counter to what they think it should be (Tories elected, Brexit, Trump elected, etc.) their opinions about it seem to change very quickly.
The left likes decisions made by the will of the majority of a well-informed populace. When the media is owned by and controlled by a handful of wealthy plutocrats a lot of people are not going to be well-informed. Besides, I can accept the result of a democratic vote (not that Trump's election was democratic when Clinton got more votes but that's by the by) but still think it was fucking stupid decision and use the democratic process to see it changed as soon as possible. Only autocrats hold that democracy means one person, one vote, once.
Posts: 2787 | From: Hebrides | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
The left likes decisions made by the will of the majority of a well-informed populace.

Where they define "well-informed" as "agrees with us".

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Well, no.

I genuinely do want people to be well-informed, and then come to a decision. What I don't want is politicians and the press to collude in spreading a mass mis-information campaign, and people voting on that basis.

Of which, currently in many western democracies, it's not the Left that are guilty.

--------------------
Get your arse to Mars

Posts: 8696 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Arethosemyfeet
Shipmate
# 17047

 - Posted      Profile for Arethosemyfeet   Email Arethosemyfeet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
The left likes decisions made by the will of the majority of a well-informed populace.

Where they define "well-informed" as "agrees with us".
That's a convenient argument, certainly, and true for some. It's certainly an old joke that reality has a liberal bias. However, I'd be a lot happier if people who agree with me and who disagree with weren't basing their views on outright lies.
Posts: 2787 | From: Hebrides | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  4  5 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools