Leo Gura

Who Killed The America Dream?

24 posts in this topic

On 7/31/2020 at 10:33 AM, Husseinisdoingfine said:

@Leo Gura I'm wondering, in the spiral dynamics bible, it says that the next step is stage Green economics is Social Democracy (page 315, where it says Political and Economic Matrix), but this new wave of progressive activists are calling themselves 'Socialists'.

 

On 7/31/2020 at 10:33 AM, Husseinisdoingfine said:

 

 

On 7/31/2020 at 10:33 AM, Husseinisdoingfine said:

 

Sorry about the repeated stuff above. Funny enough, the forum software will not allow one to edit-out a quotation once in place. And even reloading the page does not get rid of it! Whatever.

Just wanted to say for the record, from someone who has studied this stuff: social democracy differs a lot from socialism.

Under socialism, the people, by way of the state, actually own the means of production, the corporations. Under some forms of socialism, private corporations exist and can make profits, but they are under strict control by the state and must behave in a way that benefits the whole nation and the people, not just their own stockholders, execs, etc.; see for example the PRC, which is set up this way (they call it "socialism with Chinese characteristics", referring to their particular form of it).  In socialist theory this is called the "dictatorship of the proletariat", i.e. the state is organized by and for the common people, the proles, rather than the bourgeoisie, the wealthy. One result of this, a significant one, in the PRC, is that a larger percentage of the GDP goes to the workers every year; whereas in the U.S., worker share of GDP has gone down every year for decades. The result has been that hundreds of millions in the PRC have been lifted out of poverty over the last 30 years; while in the U.S. over the same period tens of millions have descended into either poverty or precarity. Inequality here is now at levels not seen since the Gilded Age.

Social democracy, in contrast, prevails in Europe (in stronger forms), the Scandinavian nations (in still stronger forms), and in the U.S. (much weaker form). Social democracy is just capitalism with some safety-nets built in. The safety nets can vary a great deal; that's what I meant by "strong" vs. "weak". Strong social democracies, like in Scandinavia, have extensive social services and programs to meet pretty much everyone's needs, at least the essentials. No one goes hungry or homeless. In the U.S., a very weak social democracy, the safety net is riddled with holes, millions slip through them and DO go hungry and homeless, and so on. Notably, medical care is in the U.S. is now mostly for the wealthy or the boomers on Medicare.  In strong social democracies, health care is universal, a basic service for all.

The capitalistic U.S. is a "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie", i.e. the state is organized by and for the bourgeoisie, the wealthy and their adjutants. The common people get scraps, if they are lucky. This is nowhere more evident than just the last few months, with $trillions$ going to the corporations, the military-industrial complex, and the wealthy, and a pittance going to the people truly in need. Our social democracy is in tatters and may not survive at all. Might get truly ugly.


Re: "the next step in stage Green economics is Social Democracy". I beg to differ. Social democracy is stage orange. HIGH orange, I would say, meaning capitalism with essential civilizing modifications (social programs) so that no one starves. That would be in contrast to low orange, like     Victorian/Dickensian Britain: completely unchecked, unmodified capitalism with some people literally starving to death, and most living in misery. I suppose you could call social democracy orange with a patina of light green. But full-bore GREEN economics, where the productive forces of orange capitalism are more or less completely controlled by the collective, is socialism, not mere social democracy. The PRC is the leading example of this in the world today: mostly green though having partaken (since Deng) generously of orange, as developmental strategy. They are becoming more green all the time, and are heading toward communism, a more advanced stage, later in this century if things go well. Communism would be second-tier economics, if we make it that far; i.e. if humans do not blow up or burn up the planet.

 

Edited by alan2102
added paragraph

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1 hour ago, alan2102 said:

Re: "the next step in stage Green economics is Social Democracy". I beg to differ. Social democracy is stage orange. HIGH orange, I would say,

Holy hell, no. Social Democracy is not in any way 'orange'. Now, it CAN be orange, as we're seeing in the Nordic countries, the generous welfare benefits are being scaled back.

But the whole premise of Social Democracy is the working class gets partial ownership and there's workplace democracy within capitalism, how is that in any sense orange?

1 hour ago, alan2102 said:

The capitalistic U.S. is a "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie",

My goodness, cool it with the Marxist ideology.

Marx is very wrong in the sense that he thinks that the end of Capitalism in inevitable, it's not. And Socialism is not inevitable in the SD integral.

There are many forms of Green vmeme, Social Democracy is one of them, and so is Socialism. 

 


''To be happy we must not be too concerned with others''.

Albert Camus

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3 hours ago, Husseinisdoingfine said:

 

"the whole premise of Social Democracy is the working class gets partial ownership"

No, sorry, that is not the premise of social democracy. Hasn't been for a century. Early on, there existed radical social democrats (R Luxembourg, etc.) of whom that might be said, but they are long gone. As social democracy has actually evolved, i.e. in the real world, the working class never gets ownership. They might get a nice basket of compensatory goodies, but no ownership, and certainly no classless egalitarian society (the real goal of socialism, and essential to any worthy definition of green). I'm not putting it down; just stating facts.

"My goodness, cool it with the Marxist ideology."

Why should I? When something is right, its right. Or when useful, then useful. The phrases in question are just useful shorthand for rather obvious realities.

"Marx is very wrong in the sense that he thinks that the end of Capitalism in inevitable"

Maybe so. I said nothing about the end of capitalism being inevitable. To the contrary, I said that the U.S.' social democracy is in tatters and on the verge of collapse. Socialism is unlikely to replace it, and sure as hell is not "inevitable"! More likely things will devolve into the opposite, an ugly fascism/neo-feudalism.

Marx made many mistakes. Just like Wilber and "SD integral" make many mistakes.

"There are many forms of Green vmeme, Social Democracy is one of them"

Disagree, though  you'll note that I did say that SocDem had a transitional/in-between flavor to it. "High orange" (greenish hue).

SocDem does not today have any radical or revolutionary collectivist content; it is merely reformist.  Same-old same-old individualistic orange, just modified so as to make capitalism palatable to people with a conscience, and mostly in order to allow continued function of the orange capitalist system. SocDem is actually ANTI-radical and ANTI-revolutionary; the main purpose of it is to undermine revolutionary collectivist energies. A great example of this is FDR's New Deal, very social democratic, and the purpose of it was to prevent violent socialist revolution (which was a real possibility at that time). FDR served his class, the wealthy class, and saved their asses from revolution, and possibly for many of them, execution. SocDem is orange's way of preventing progress to green. If you can buy off the working class with a basket of goodies to sate their individual needs, they won't revolt and insist on a classless, egalitarian society (green).

The most charitable way to describe SocDem is that it is has a superficial vaguely-greenish appearance, and does in fact accomplish some modest measure of green's social objectives -- the ones that can be accomplished without fundamental challenge of the individualistic orange system. (And if there is no such challenge, then it has not truly been transcended, has it? No transcendence, but just trying to work within, to accommodate; i.e. it is STUCK.) The least charitable way to describe it is that it is fake green, a dodge calculated to ensconce orange capitalism and undermine the possibility of real green -- social advancement up the spiral. It was quite successful at exactly that in the U.S.  Progress up the spiral was aborted, and the revolutionary energies were dissipated in silly individualistic/solipsistic/narcissistic bullshit (identity politics, third-wave feminism, etc.). The result is that the U.S. stalled at orange and, because now long past its sell-by date, it is an orange increasingly mean and degenerate and riddled with impossible contradictions, on the verge of collapse/disintegration. The evidence for this is now all around us, just read the news. This is the fruit of the failure to move up the spiral to green, when the times have demanded such a move.

 

Edited by alan2102
tweaks

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I wrote: "The phrases in question are just useful shorthand for rather obvious realities."

Funny thing, but these days even bright 15 year old kids know that Marx was right about "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". They would not of course use that phrase; they would put it in their own words. Point is that almost everyone of moderate awareness and intelligence knows that the U.S. is not a democracy, is not of by and for the people, but rather is a corrupt oligarchy of by and for the wealthy and the corporations. It is more or less common knowledge at this point. Marx' words may seem peculiar but they describe things well enough. I like the fact that there are two contrasting phrases, one of them suggesting that a better government, and hence a better world, is possible, rather than just focusing on the current depressing reality.  Go Green!

 

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