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Thread: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    I think my first step would be to give her a copy of: Talking to My Daughter about the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism, by Varoufakis.

    My thought is the book is short, accessible, inexpensive, and offers a different slant then 'either/or'. A bit sympatico... a bit contrary.

    https://www.goodreads.com/is/book/sh...ut-the-economy

    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Sea...f%20Capitalism
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  2. #37
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    My 20 year old favourite niece, who functions as a part time daughter and sister, has just discovered Marxism-Leninism. I would like to gently take her through the arguments against Marxism and in favour of liberalism and social democracy.

    Besides giving her a subscription to The Economist for Christmas, what else might one do?
    Buy her a nice edition of the complete works of Marx and Lenin, and tell her you are always ready to discuss their thoughts and how they can be applied to current society. You can then steer her to social democracy pretty easily since most sane people don't actually want to be ruled by the local soviet.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    #34

    Yes I did.

    And I think sanctions on Cuba should have been removed a long time ago.

    And it’s true that U.S. companies dominate the healthcare market in innovation, manufacture, and distribution. And as more healthcare products firms merge with or are acquired by American companies more supplies come under embargo controls. All that caused challenges for Cuban healthcare.

    Fair?

    But …

    Maybe you’ve visited Cuba and walked through block after block of deteriorating buildings, almost all of them owned by the government and becoming uninhabitable because of zero maintenance. https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/fear...-3124729/amp/1

    Or you’ve visited rural areas to see unproductive farms owned by the state until some release to private use in 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-c...-idUSKCN1L51JU

    Cuba doesn’t need American products to paint buildings, fix roofs, or repair electric or plumbing in buildings.

    Cuba doesn’t need American products to allow farmers to use property as collateral to buy farm equipment, seed, or fertilizer.

    I like Cuba too. They could be a thriving and prosperous socialist country. They have been under one-party control for 63 years, where the government owns almost all property, makes almost all investments, makes annual plans for production and consumption, has a very large internal security apparatus which surveils its citizens, and allows no meaningful private banking, prohibits credit cards, and blocks internet use except for a few designated hours on weekends. You know, the things that a communist country does that a socialist country does not.

    But if you want to think the Cuban communists are a splendid and spotless cadre of devoted public servants uninterested in power and privilege on the backs of their people, who struggle bravely and who would deliver paradise on earth if not for the evil Americans who thwart them
    at every turn, well I can’t help you comrade.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    One more!

    Give her a copy of The Worldly Philosophers, the classic by Robert Heilbroner. It will introduce her to a wide range of economists and their thinking (including Marx). I think it shows why Marx is great at diagnostics and terrible at prescription. https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literatu...y-philosophers

    (That book led me to study economics, and to wish fervently I could be Keynes in the Bloomsbury set. One out of two isn’t bad.)

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ross View Post
    One more!

    Give her a copy of The Worldly Philosophers, the classic by Robert Heilbroner. It will introduce her to a wide range of economists and their thinking (including Marx). I think it shows why Marx is great at diagnostics and terrible at prescription. https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literatu...y-philosophers

    (That book led me to study economics, and to wish fervently I could be Keynes in the Bloomsbury set. One out of two isn’t bad.)
    Yes, another good starter!
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  6. #41
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post

    Marxism presumes that people will choose the good and equitable, and be content because hypothetical others have enough, at the expense of very real, personal relief. But your niece knows, from her practice, that few people make such altruistic choices, and fewer yet in favor of those they've never met. Ask her why one should imagine that people are more capable of making such choices in terms of their own economic gain than they are in terms of their quality and span of their own lives.

    It isn't that Marxism is wrong in the notion that people would have enough, if goods and services were distributed equitably. It's wrong in imagining that humans can be persuaded, educated, into doing so. And that compulsion won't always be oppressive, or at least trend in that direction very early into some version of a Revolutionary People's Republic, as it always has across history.

    Ask her if instead, regulation on free markets and some specific policy choices about specific economic sectors (like health) doesn't actually thread the needle better to contain human greed etc.
    Great summary!

    The problem with Marxists is that they think greed is confined to the capitalists.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    @ A C-B, Simon Schama's History of Now on BBC2 last night might help.

    Regarding favouritism, is she your only niece or are you hoping the others do not frequent the Wooden Boat Forum?

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    We are having a lengthy chat about the giants who dominate modern thinking - she’s read Bertrand Russell’s “History of Western Philosophy - with particular reference to Adam Smith, Daniel Ricardo, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud.

    But she’s got the night off for her 21st birthday party.

    She had been planning a girls weekend in Cebu with three friends but she decided not to join them and to spend her birthday money on driving lessons.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcodger View Post
    @ A C-B, Simon Schama's History of Now on BBC2 last night might help.

    Regarding favouritism, is she your only niece or are you hoping the others do not frequent the Wooden Boat Forum?
    The latter. She knows that I am was myself taught by Sir Simon as I drop his name whenever I can!
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Great summary!

    The problem with Marxists is that they think greed is confined to the capitalists.
    Indeed. Poor people don't want to be equal -- they want to be rich!

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    Indeed. Poor people don't want to be equal -- they want to be rich!
    a trait they share with rich people, eh?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    ....
    But she’s got the night off for her 21st birthday party.

    She had been planning a girls weekend in Cebu with three friends but she decided not to join them and to spend her birthday money on driving lessons.
    Boy. She'll not make that mistake again next year, eh?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Margaret’s new socmed profile picture:



    Men’s cotton shirt and ladies’ nylon slip from the ukay-ukay (second hand clothes) shop. Cost about $5.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    . . . she’s a medical student with a social life and limited time available.
    Take her to visit Cuba, and especially the Medical School in Havana - which has FREE TUITION even for USAeans !!

    She may well return home as a more committed socialist, but prolly not a Leninist.

    (And I am quite skeptical that you are any sort of leftie, but whatever . . . )

    Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM in Spanish; in English: Latin American School of Medicine (LASM)), formerly Escuela Latinoamericana de Ciencias Médicas (Latin American School of Medical Sciences), is an international public medical school operated by the Cuban government established in 1999 and supported by ...

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Take her to visit Cuba, and especially the Medical School in Havana - which has FREE TUITION even for USAeans !!

    She may well return home as a more committed socialist, but prolly not a Leninist.

    (And I am quite skeptical that you are any sort of leftie, but whatever . . . )

    Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM in Spanish; in English: Latin American School of Medicine (LASM)), formerly Escuela Latinoamericana de Ciencias Médicas (Latin American School of Medical Sciences), is an international public medical school operated by the Cuban government established in 1999 and supported by ...
    For your reference, I’m here:

    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    The theory of Marxism is dewy-eyed; the practice is dung-filled.

    Reality uber theory every time. Hell, even the Russians and the Chinnese don't practice classic Marxism and haven't in years.
    Gerard>
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    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic, save the country.

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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    My advice: study the implication of "the engineering of the human soul".

    Deng Xiaoping spoke approvingly of "engineers of the human soul" in the post-Mao era, while also condemning the "Gang of Four". Deng stated:

    Writers and artists should conscientiously study Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought so as to enhance their own ability to understand and analyse life and to see through appearances to the essence. We hope that more and more comrades in their ranks will become real engineers of the human soul. In order to educate the people, one must first be educated himself; in order to give nourishment to the people, one must first absorb nourishment himself. And who is to educate and nourish our writers and artists? According to Marxism, the answer can only be: the people.

    In 2018, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, stated that “Teachers are the engineers of the human soul and the inheritors of human civilization. They carry the important task of spreading knowledge, spreading ideas, spreading truth, shaping soul, shaping life, and shaping newcomers. The fundamental task of education must be nurturing capable young people well-prepared to join the socialist cause. Better education and guidance are needed to build the noble ideal of Communism and the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics among the students.”

    -- wikpedia
    These engineers can only be the wokest of the woke if they're going to have the power of shaping life.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Dammit, I'm a little north of you on the political compass. Thanks for posting the link.

    Your niece is gorgeous!
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    My 20 year old favourite niece, who functions as a part time daughter and sister, has just discovered Marxism-Leninism. I would like to gently take her through the arguments against Marxism and in favour of liberalism and social democracy.
    Well, your first mistake is to conflate Marxism and Leninism, and if you do that with your niece she will tune you out - I hope.

    I suggest both of you read Viking Economics - the author summarizes the thesis of the opus by observing that in Norway there was a class struggle, and the working class won.


  20. #55
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    The issue, if it was an issue (she can do anything except Morris dancing and falling in love with an idiot, so far as her uncle is concerned, and she seems uninterested in either possibility, although intelligent and beautiful young women are always at risk from idiots - see Dorothea in “Middlemarch”) .

    Her cousin sent her the test and she found she was here:

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 12-01-2022 at 08:43 AM.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    While most of the readings are good, the very plethora of good advice to a young woman from men, many well past middle age, is a great example of male answer syndrome. Fortunately, she will find her own way.

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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    While most of the readings are good, the very plethora of good advice to a young woman from men, many well past middle age, is a great example of male answer syndrome. Fortunately, she will find her own way.
    Yes, we must de-colonize the world. Every trace. Start over. Promote self-flagellation, engineer the syndrome out of the human. All this can and must be accomplished with only female answers.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Yes, we must de-colonize the world. Every trace. Start over. Promote self-flagellation, engineer the syndrome out of the human. All this can and must be accomplished with only female answers.
    nice to see you coming around osborne!


  24. #59
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    Just let her run with it and discover the positives and negatives herself.
    what Rick said.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Yes, we must de-colonize the world. Every trace. Start over. Promote self-flagellation, engineer the syndrome out of the human. All this can and must be accomplished with only female answers.
    triggered much?

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    nice to see you coming around osborne!

    Thanks!

    Wait, I forgot, I can't answer because I'm a male. Andrew seeks advice but boat-building is male dominated so unless the Ladies' Auxiliary or Decolonization Committee or whatever responds, he's on his own.

    So to you men only, I suggest that the thing to learn about Marxism-Leninism today, is that, in their disappointment with the working class in failing in its role as the foundation and vanguard in overthrowing capitalism, wokers have substituted in, like a designated hitter, a different class to play the same role. A new, much more broadly defined class, for the new class struggle. Good luck herding those cats; I can see why the first step is to find a common enemy to persecute, so as to energize the base and hopefully generate some social consciousness.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    The problem with Marxists is that they think greed is confined to the capitalists.
    No offense to you in particular, but most of ya don't seem to know much about Marx.

    His theories were broad and wide ranging, and he spent little time prescribing the future.

    All of you have been substantially influenced by Marx whether or not you realize it.

    Alienation, business cycles, concentration of capital, surplus value, historical materialism, dialectics, class analysis and struggle, use and exchange values, and much more.

    He was right about a lot of things.

    And Leninism has next to nothing to do with Marxism.

    (When I taught in China, I was shocked to learn that well educated Chinese folks thought that Leninism and socialism were the same thing. I tried to straighten them out. They had an excuse for believing that because that is what they were taught. Y'all here do not have that excuse.)

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Y'all here do not have that excuse.)
    why dont we?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    . . she can do anything except Morris dancing and falling in love with an idiot . . .
    Plenty of female Morris dancers around here. Falling in love with an idiot, I agree 100%; best avoided.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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  30. #65
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    Dammit, I'm a little north of you on the political compass. Thanks for posting the link.

    Your niece is gorgeous!
    When she was a ten year old moppet we used to tell each other that she would surely break hearts one day. So far the cracking sound is heard only from would-be beaux who complain that she “ghosts” them, but really, what’s a girl to do?

    She has classes, she is on the debating team, she is in the Dean’s List, she plays tennis, she’s learning to drive and she has just got what she really wanted for her 21st birthday - a kitten.

    She got home from her birthday party at four, got a phone call from a friend who was too drunk to get home and who needed rescuing, went to get her (she stopped drinking herself three months ago) and found herself on the scene of a hit and run accident with two injured elderly people, so since she’s a nursing student she immediately took charge, administered first aid and got them to hospital, where the duty A&E doctor was one of her lecturers, who told her she had got everything right and she is going to be made an official campus role model on Monday.



    She has a grandmother whose own mother was Spanish, and I think it shows.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    why dont we?
    Why don't you have an excuse for not being able distinguish Marxism from Leninism ??

    It is because you have access to sources of accurate information, but have declined to avail yourself of them.

    Blaming Marx for Leninism is like blaming Nietzsche for the holocaust

    (the latter is, actually, a subject that I used to have my students debate. There is a case to be made, but it is not a good one.)

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    She has a grandmother whose own mother was Spanish, and I think it shows.
    She'll make a great commie - sort of has that Freida Kahlo look.

  33. #68
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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Why don't you have an excuse for not being able distinguish Marxism from Leninism ??

    It is because you have access to sources of accurate information, but have declined to avail yourself of them.

    Blaming Marx for Leninism is like blaming Nietzsche for the holocaust

    (the latter is, actually, a subject that I used to have my students debate. There is a case to be made, but it is not a good one.)
    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?

    But the two are not the same.

    Without Marx, Lenin might well have lived and died as an unknown, but Marx did not cause Lenin.

    Without Nietzsche, the Holocaust might still have happened, but his writings were adopted into the intellectual underpinnings of National Socialism. There was a substantial body of thought leading up to Nazimus, but Nietzsche is in there, along with Spengler, eugenics, Wagner and what have you.

    Having said that, there’s plenty of Marxism without Leninism, but there’s no Leninism without Marxism and the predominant school of Marxism for the last century and more has been Marxism-Leninism. With or without additional bolt-on go faster bits.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 12-02-2022 at 05:44 AM.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    An admirable, and suitably terrifying young woman. I've a med student son I could introduce to her, if she wants a holiday trip to Canada some time...
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Advice sought on a quasi-parental political issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Without Marx, Lenin might well have lived and died as an unknown, but Marx did not cause Lenin. .
    Toward the end of Marx's life, as voting rights for the working class began to be established . . . .

    he argued that socialism could be achieved through the ballot box. Thus . . . . Norway.

    And without the enlightenment, there would have been neither Marx, Lenin or your charming relative.

    So ???

    My point stands, which is that it is unhelpful at best to conflate Marxism and Leninism, rather like maintaining that Democrats are the "same as" Radical-Marxist-Woke-Pedophiles
    Last edited by sandtown; 12-03-2022 at 01:20 AM.

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