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Archive through August 28, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » Strictly Absinthe & Collectibles » Absinthe spoons go political » Archive through August 28, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 4:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just wish that approach could be blamed on Kissinger alone, and that it had ended with Chile instead of continuing its zombie stumble through the Reagan and Bush years in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, etc., etc. Still no end in sight.

There are still a lot of people from Wales to West Bengal who are proud to call themselves Communists. Some of them think Stalin was a monstrous aberration and a traitor, a few of them probably think that a. history lied about him, and b. he did what he had to do to defeat the Nazis and hold the USSR together (I'd agree with neither point, BTW - and I think Communism was doomed in Russia since the Kronstadt uprising).

When you ask a Communist why they're a Communist, you usually don't get an answer involving the need to make the world safe for members of a particular race, or to murder people based on their ethnicity or religion. They really do believe in equality -- at least, among those who are sufficiently educated in class consciousness (there's the rub).

The main problem with 'democratic socialism':

'The rich will not permit you to vote away their wealth!' -- Lucy Parsons
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 10:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think cyberpints all round are called for.
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 7:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

So did I. You made me work for my cyberpint!
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 7:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Those were two damn fine threads Chevalier, I remember very much enjoying the banter on those threads.
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 7:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Please, God, don't force me to reprint the posts from "OK, we're fucked" (Archive through May 29, 2002) and "Chile, Allende, Pinochet, and the CIA ... continued" (Archive through May, 2002).

Suffice to say that there was a lot of irresponsibility going around in Chile at that time. All sides played their part.

Nonetheless, no one should ever listen to Kissinger.
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 7:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

>It puzzles me why so many people from the USA seem to take such great offence to countries democratically choosing socialism.

Henry Kissinger stated the U.S. position very clearly, when he said about Chile, "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people."
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 6:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think that category was created for Marc's benefit.
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 6:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Personally I'd put it in 'Art and Other Philosophical Sundries' as politics is a 'philosophical sundry' as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway the 'Arts and Other Philosophical Sundries' category could do with something in it because there's fuck all happening in that category.
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 6:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If ever a thread walked a thin line between "Strictly Absinthe & Collectibles" and "The Monkey Hole", this is it.
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 12:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Democratic Socialism is not 'charity at gunpoint' as Mogan seems to believe. Blackjack is correct. The people of a nation have the right to choose their own form of government.

The social services of most European countries have a socialist ethos, they exist because the people of these countries want them to exist, even Margaret Thatcher would not dare dismantle this when she was in government as it would lead to electoral defeat. A clear case of people choosing a socialist public services despite the wishes of those in power. Who then is 'holding the gun' here? The people were holding the gun stopping a right-wing Prime Minister acting as she would have wished. In the UK people do not mind paying taxes to invest in Public Health and Education etc. Opinion polls show that most people would be willing to pay more taxes for Public Health and Education. Taxation level is not a very big issue with people in the UK despite the fact that the average earner pays about 30% direct income tax and national insurance and higher earners about 45%.

Most European Nations have chosen socialist governments, then centre-right governments, then socialist, then centre-right... etc. etc. Socialism may be dead in the USA but it is not dead in the rest of the world. When people freely stop choosing socialism then it will be dead (and if nobody freely chooses it the so it should be). It is the right of a people to democratically choose socialism. Since democratic socialism does not involve herding people into gas chambers it has the right to exist.

As for Nazism, well it is truly dead. Where in the world is there a facist government organoised along the lines of Hitler, Mussolini or Franco also (as opposed to simply a right wing dictatorship)?

It puzzles me why so many people from the USA seem to take such great offence to countries democratically choosing socialism. I think perhaps in the USA too many of you suffer from the 'Goddamn Socialist Red Commie Bastards drink the blood of young babies so let's Nuke em all' syndrome. You seem to forget that many of your allies have been and are democratic socialists. I often wonder what would happen in a typical working class bar in the USA if someone openly said they were a Socialist (or even a Communist), in a UK bar people would agree, disagree, or most probably not care less, shrug their shoulders and carry on drinking their beer.
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 12:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Quick! French spoons retreat!
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 7:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, the fact that socialism HAS worked, quite effectively, in much of Western Europe for the last half century might have something to do with it...

The key here is that it is not ABSOLUTE socialism. There are far too many people who assume that it's an either/or proposition, when experience has shown that there are some endevors best left to the government, and some best left to private interests.

The reason voting didn't work in the Soviet system is that there was only one party, and no internal checks on it's power. There is nothing about limited socialism that requires authoritarian enforcement. Beleive it or not, federal income tax is VOLUNTARY, inasmuch as we AMMENDED the constitution in order to give the government that power. We could take that power away, but so far the people seem to find the services rendered by the government to be too essential.

Like I said, we, the people, are the ones holding the gun. The only people forcing you to be charitable are the millions of voters who seem to think it's a good idea...
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 4:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Anyone bid on any of those spoons yet?
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 1:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BJ, it's so nice to hear from you again.

Under the Soviet system, the people were allowed to vote.

I'm a little curious how you've worked it out in your mind that Socialism could seriously work except under a totalitarian regime.

Like the old quote, the meek may inherit the earth, but it would only take the strong a couple of days to get it back.

Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 11:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, just so I'm not misunderstood, I meant that the British hobbled their government's ability to provide many social services under Thatcher, while at the sime time managing to give the government all sorts of other, more unpleasant powers.

Call me goofy, but I believe that government can actually be a POSITIVE force in society, as long as we remember that government is our SERVENT, not our master.
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 11:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

But done properly, it is a gun that is held by the people at whom it is pointed. If I chose to give the government power, I'm not being oppressed, as long as I have the means to take that power back if I change my mind. Like the British did in the '80's...
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 9:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"My theory is that Soviet socialism is a more defeated ideology."

If only we could say the same for all of socialism.

No matter how you classify it Soviet or otherwise, socialism remains chairity at the point of a gun.

Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 8:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ladies and gentlemen, let's give a big hand to Catskills comedian Marc Campbellstein!
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 1:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

actually, there are still alot of Jews around.
Collecting them might be more work than its worth.
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 12:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It would be neat to have them in a collection, though. There can't be too many of them.
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 9:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Stallin killed more Jews than Hitler did.
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 9:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Actually all I meant was that the Soviet spoon LOOKED cool, NOT that the ideology and histories behind the object are cool. (parenthetically: Objectification of Ideology is something all too common in the good ole Stars'n'Stripes)(Or perhaps Sensationalization of the Objectification of Ideology is all too common.)
I agree, Blackjack, that most people including myself would find the Nazi symbol more offensive than the Soviet commie symbol.

That is due in large part to history classes: The Nazi's killed however many Jews(I'm sorry, I can't remember the approximated numbers...) and the Soviets tried to arm the Cubans with nuclear missles. We seem to remember the Nazi's a little bit more I guess.

Just respondin' b4 I go to bed...
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 8:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Which raises an interestin point. I got this big glossy catalog in the mail today all full of old soviet memorabelia and such. The Soviet Union is basically seen as a source of kitch now. But if somebody chose to collect NAZI memorabelia, they would seem at least a little bit off.

I'm not going to get into the the "who's more evil" debate, but it's hard to deny that the Soviet Union was pretty high up on the evil scale. More people died under the hammer and sickle than under the swaztika, albeit over a longer period of time.

So why is it that we find one more offensive than the other?

My theory is that Soviet socialism is a more defeated ideology. It collapsed due to it's own faults, while Nazism had to be taken down by force. Even today, it is a lot easier (in the US at least) to find a Neo-Nazi than a Neo-Stalinist. We actually had 200-odd Nazi's march in DC over the weekend (and 6000-odd counter-protesters...heh).

I dunno. Just thinkin'.
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 5:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The sickle and hammer one is cool as hell...don't know about the good ole nazi one though...
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 1:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Found in a bric-a-brac shop" ... trying to jab at each other.

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