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New No left party ever did
From Lenin to Chavez. (With possible exception of Scandinavia parties) The more to the left, the less likely to keep promises after getting the power.


179. I will not outsource core functions.

New They are politicians
They are politicians, so they are mostly liars. But there is a general pattern to what they actually do that indicates if they are really leftist or not.

And if you look at what the Nazi actually did in Germany in terms of enforced conservative German culture, celebration of military and such then it all looks pretty right wing.

Chavez, I would agree is heading towards a left wing authoritarian government. If he has the sense to step down before too long he might save his reputation, but we shall see.

Russia is more complex, as it was left leaning and still evolving until Stalin took power. Under Stalin it flipped to being a hard right wing dictatorship, and after his death was a right leaning oligarchy until the collapse of communist Russia.

New Stalin ad right-winger?
OK, discussion over.

Right Wing = "anyone I don't like".


179. I will not outsource core functions.

New The only major difference between Stalin and the other
fascists running amok at the time was who owned the businesses that the state was working for; in Germany it was wealthy industrialist types, while in Stalinist Russia it was the top-rung apparatchiks. Other than that, not much difference, AFAICT.
New Funny, the article I linked makes the same point


179. I will not outsource core functions.

New See, that's what makes the right/left difference
If Hitler and Mussonlini had run around and nationalised all those German heavy industry firms, then yeah, they'd've been leftie.

The real point imho is that basing one's political system on strictly economic principles is a fool's errand, and a dangerous one. Despite all of Lenin's and Stalin's fulminations, they were just as capitalist as Krupp and Dornier. The only difference was in the nominal ownership of the capital. In both cases capital formation was accomplished on the backs of slave labour. Both sides of the European mid-20th century coin differed only in how they justified the use of that slave labour to aid the capital formation they needed to build the war machine they wanted.

One of the reasons that the Anglo tradition has been as durable as it has been is because they didn't have a revolution; instead, it's a many centuries working out of power arrangements, with an explicit understanding that some people have more power than others, and will need to be restrained. The mechanism they came up with for that was Law, starting with Magna Carta.

Instead of trying to dream up a perfect market system (ie- either unrestrained capitalism or government by the proletariat) and then shoehorning a political system to fit this idealized market scheme, it was a practical working out with an emphasis on keeping arrangements that made things better. In short, a long term application of the scientific method where you try something to see if it works well, and if it does you keep doing it and if it doesn't you don't.

Personally, as soon as I hear someone say government should be run like a business, they've pretty much lost my vote, because government and business are very different institutions. Oligopoly or monopoly lead toward rent-gathering tendencies and a complete halting of innovation in the market place, but government is all about taking rent (taxes) and using it to do stuff. Some things are not profitable, but are good; for example, basic infrastructure. Things like highways, railways, sewage and water systems, electrical grids, etc, are very hard to make profitable. This is why the grid in the Northeastern US was allowed to degrade as badly as it did when it caused the blackout; since there was no profit to be made in maintaining it, the companies that owned it didn't. So, power generation = profitable, and is suitable for profit making entities, as say are cars, or gasoline. However, telecom grids, power grids, and highways are not, and are better done by having a non-profit entity take care of them.

This usually means government, even if in some cases the government in question is a board of people from a community charged with taking care of that and given the power to collect rents to pay for it, like the Public Utilities Commission here in my hometown. It's a non-profit wholly owned by the city, and the commissioners on the board are elected positions. They don't do the generating; they buy it from profit making entities elsewhere. They just maintain the infrastructure, and are allowed to collect enough money from the rate-payers to build and maintain it.

It has worked very well here for over a century. They are quite capable of going out and finding the best deal they can get on natural gas or electricity, buying in bulk to get volume discounts, and then passing those savings on to the consumers in the community. If someone is being bad in how they run the commission or by taking advantage of it, they end up losing their job when the next election comes around; this is something that has happened in my lifetime, and man was it ever fun to watch;)

But, the real point is that the PUC is a government institution, not a private one. Hence, they are not required to make a profit, but only to make sure that they keep the infrastructure they are responsible for in the city in decent shape.

Anyway, it's late, and I'm rambling. To get back to the original point, neither of those totalitarian systems really say too much about the relative merits of the right or the left ways of organising society and/or market behaviour; instead, they say a great deal about predicating one's politics on economics and an unchecked and unrestrained accumulation of power... just as unrestrained markets concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands, unrestrained state apparatus concentrate power in the same way... and these lead to bad results.

Ideologically, the current administration is a lot closer to the approach taken by the fascists, as they are working with the large business entities in their country instead of taking them over. However, they are the same as both the fascists and the communists in that they are attempting to accumulate as much power as they can get away with in a small number of hands. I detect a fairly strong totalitarian streak in these guys, seeing their need and desire to bypass the Law when it doesn't suit them (Law being the restraint on power), as well as the need to gather and know as much as they can so as to be able to both manipulate and dominate the governed, using both the official state machinery as well as unofficial persuasive powers gathered about them by the very concentrated patterns of ownership of mass media and their close ties to the government. The Rovian project of a permanent Republican majority is essentially a totalitarian project, and such things are to be avoided at all costs if a people are to remain free.

There, my $0.02. Cheers!
New Re: Stalin ad right-winger?
I suspect we are running into a difference in definition here.

To me, a lone dictatorship is a right wing political structure. A left wing tyranny would be something like the French Revolution, where a pure majority rules system is combined with a willingness to override yesterdays vote and to vote somebody to an execution.

New Not sure I agree on that one either
Chavez definitely runs on a left/liberal platform and there are many who call him a dictator.

I'm not sure dictator == Right Wing. Nor does it == Left Wing.
New you need to re-read your history
the sans coulottes were never a pure majority.
Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
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New I thought the left wing defined
by vilification of private property, egalitarianism, collectivism (how it coexists with cult of personality, I don't know but id does), worship of State.

The places where extreme left wing (Marxist) people take power start out very much like your idea of "left", and end up with a dictatorship.


179. I will not outsource core functions.

     Hitler belongs to political Left - (Arkadiy) - (23)
         Stalin always supported the political right - (boxley)
         Interesting, but doesn't really hold up - (JayMehaffey) - (10)
             No left party ever did - (Arkadiy) - (9)
                 They are politicians - (JayMehaffey) - (8)
                     Stalin ad right-winger? - (Arkadiy) - (7)
                         The only major difference between Stalin and the other - (jake123) - (2)
                             Funny, the article I linked makes the same point -NT - (Arkadiy) - (1)
                                 See, that's what makes the right/left difference - (jake123)
                         Re: Stalin ad right-winger? - (JayMehaffey) - (3)
                             Not sure I agree on that one either - (Simon_Jester)
                             you need to re-read your history - (boxley)
                             I thought the left wing defined - (Arkadiy)
         I know...just look at those Democrats - (Simon_Jester) - (8)
             sad thing at the am school bus stop - (boxley)
             I was? - (bepatient)
             Got some straw on the cheap? -NT - (Arkadiy) - (5)
                 Straw for straw - (Simon_Jester) - (4)
                     I think the definition of "American" - (Arkadiy) - (3)
                         An "American" is someone living in this hemisphere - (jake123)
                         Define "legally" - (Simon_Jester)
                         we should change the discourse from illegal workers - (boxley)
         And you, obviously to the lunatic fringe of right-wing kooks -NT - (CRConrad)
         Thanks for reminding me. - (marlowe)

For those of you not versed in fine dining lingo, that is: Potato Bacon Cheez, fried noodle pockets, fried cheese, grease bread, cream cheese dip, chicken fingers, and fried fry.
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