Venezuela's international tensions

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Agema:
Norway qualifies as social democratic. Social democracy is considered a form of socialism, but the lightest.

When you describe it as "highly" socialist, this can be misleading because that sort of qualifier implies strong adherence to socialist principles. But the core belief of socialism is ownership of the means of production by the workers (historically chiefly manifested as either state ownership and worker co-operatives): it is hard to imagine a system could be described as very socialist where the economy fundamentally rests on capitalist ownership and profit motive.

Well, the portion of wealth generated by the state from the oil is spent for the betterment of the people (or better, invested for future financial security), making it a very good comparison when we talk about economies which had high dependence on fossil fuels. But okay, "highly" is a relative term not absolutist.

Profit is always the motive - even for a fully nationalised industry, the purpose of an oil surplus is to gain wealth to spend improving your own people's lives. And as the oil industry is reliant on a capitalist demand somewhere in the world, it's hard to completely separate it no matter how much you try. Socialism doesn't really exist outside of a world in which currency exists, so you can't critique real governments against such a scenario.

tstorm823:
Capitalists sabotaged Venezuela by what? Buying their oil? Not buying their oil? I understand nations can tank other nations' economies relative to what they could be by messing with trade, but when you're referring to a country that paid for 90% of it's government by selling oil to foreign powers, it's not capitalism's fault they failed, it's to capitalism's credit that they managed to do well in the first place.

By purchasing this suite of policies from the United States, deliberately hoarding goods to exacerbate shortages, bankrolling the violent opposition, purchasing the support of the United States for fascist Juan Guaido, talking about the equivalent of Nancy Pelosi declaring herself President to the cheers of the #Resistance due to the 25th Amendment as if it's not only a but the only legitimate expression of 'democracy' on capitalist news networks (CNN et al.), and so on.

Yeah, what have capitalists ever done to Venezuela?

Seanchaidh:

By purchasing this suite of policies from the United States, deliberately hoarding goods to exacerbate shortages, bankrolling the violent opposition, purchasing the support of the United States for fascist Juan Guaido, talking about the equivalent of Nancy Pelosi declaring herself President to the cheers of the #Resistance due to the 25th Amendment as if it's not only a but the only legitimate expression of 'democracy' on capitalist news networks (CNN et al.), and so on.

Yeah, what have capitalists ever done to Venezuela?

If Donald Trump tried to invalidate and restructure the legislative branch of the US government so that Nancy Pelosi is powerless, I'd be right there in #Resistance. Impeach him and anyone cooperating with him in that plan. If Trump and Pence try to tear apart the Constitution, Nancy Pelosi is the president. A president I will then have to also #resist, but that's the order of presidential succession, she would be correct.

And as far as referring to Juan Guaido as a fascist, that very might well be only you and Maduro claiming that. By your own admission, Maduro isn't running a socialist government, and looking into Guaido's positions and party, I'm willing to suggest he's closer to your positions than Maduro is. You just resent him because the US government doesn't.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

By purchasing this suite of policies from the United States, deliberately hoarding goods to exacerbate shortages, bankrolling the violent opposition, purchasing the support of the United States for fascist Juan Guaido, talking about the equivalent of Nancy Pelosi declaring herself President to the cheers of the #Resistance due to the 25th Amendment as if it's not only a but the only legitimate expression of 'democracy' on capitalist news networks (CNN et al.), and so on.

Yeah, what have capitalists ever done to Venezuela?

If Donald Trump tried to invalidate and restructure the legislative branch of the US government so that Nancy Pelosi is powerless, I'd be right there in #Resistance.

Really? Even if Trump went through the appropriate Constitutional mechanisms to adopt amendments and the Supreme Court of the United States ruled those actions Constitutional?

You'd be on the side of those trying to assassinate Donald Trump with a bomb? Or throwing grenades out of a helicopter at the Supreme Court building, which seems very constitutionally appropriate?

tstorm823:
And as far as referring to Juan Guaido as a fascist, that very might well be only you and Maduro claiming that. By your own admission, Maduro isn't running a socialist government, and looking into Guaido's positions and party, I'm willing to suggest he's closer to your positions than Maduro is. You just resent him because the US government doesn't.

I'm not in favor of privatizing the Venezuelan state oil company nor delivering the government into the hands of oligarchs who want to reverse the last decade of social progress.

Seanchaidh:

Really? Even if Trump went through the appropriate Constitutional mechanisms to adopt amendments and the Supreme Court of the United States ruled those actions Constitutional?

Constitutional Amendments require the legislature. Amending the constitution without the legislature wouldn't be constitutional, and I'm tempted to say the same was true in Venezuela, or he wouldn't have made a new assembly to rewrite the Constitution.

You'd be on the side of those trying to assassinate Donald Trump with a bomb? Or throwing grenades out of a helicopter at the Supreme Court building, which seems very constitutionally appropriate?

Because everyone who opposes a dictator is inherently tied together. If a terrorist happened to be against Republicans, than anyone who isn't supporting Republicans is supporting terrorism, by your logic.

Guessing the opinions of various countries aren't terribly relevant to US media.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Really? Even if Trump went through the appropriate Constitutional mechanisms to adopt amendments and the Supreme Court of the United States ruled those actions Constitutional?

Constitutional Amendments require the legislature.

Calling a Constitutional Convention does not require Congress.

tstorm823:
Amending the constitution without the legislature wouldn't be constitutional, and I'm tempted to say the same was true in Venezuela, or he wouldn't have made a new assembly to rewrite the Constitution.

The current Constitution of Venezuela was written in 1999 by a similar Constituent Assembly, not the National Assembly.

tstorm823:

You'd be on the side of those trying to assassinate Donald Trump with a bomb? Or throwing grenades out of a helicopter at the Supreme Court building, which seems very constitutionally appropriate?

Because everyone who opposes a dictator is inherently tied together. If a terrorist happened to be against Republicans, than anyone who isn't supporting Republicans is supporting terrorism, by your logic.

It's a pretty well established pattern, not just a few people. Maduro was elected democratically; the opposition decided not to vote.

tstorm823:

altnameJag:

I'm confused by the metaphor. This sounds like deliberate sacrifice to keep the already powerful afloat. What's the point, so the people that don't fail immediately have bodies to fall on? More to the question, what stops the guillotines when the people we let fall get fed up with it?

That's because, in spite of this thread being a clear and obvious example of it, you're not imagining real adversity. Like, I'm quite happy I live where I do and not in Venezuela at the moment, but even Maduro, the "already powerful" there, is not in a position I want. The whole ship is sinking at the moment. Like, had the United States been an nation of nationalized industries and expanded social spending for the last century, there might have been higher living standards for the poorest people, but only if the government enacting these things didn't collapse during the Dustbowl Famine.

Okay, and how would socialism have been provably worse for the US during a famine in the middle of the Great Depression?q

Like, I'm legitimately curious: how many people are an acceptable sacrifice under capitalism? Would you be okay if the sacrifice was you or yours?

altnameJag:

Okay, and how would socialism have been provably worse for the US during a famine in the middle of the Great Depression?q

Like, I'm legitimately curious: how many people are an acceptable sacrifice under capitalism? Would you be okay if the sacrifice was you or yours?

People would feel rightly that a certain quality of life was assured to them and be more likely to sit around petitioning the government than moving the hell elsewhere before they starved to death. The government would have a list of stated obligations to meet that it couldn't meet because it didn't have magical control over a famine, and when you take people's wealth away and promise you'll take care of them, and then you fail to take care of them, you're looking down the barrel of revolution. If only I had a real world example of a government who directed all the nation's wealth towards social spending they couldn't maintain because of forces outside of their control leading to mass protests and the possible end of the current government.

Seanchaidh:

Calling a Constitutional Convention does not require Congress.

The current Constitution of Venezuela was written in 1999 by a similar Constituent Assembly, not the National Assembly.

The same is true in the United States. The Constitution wasn't written by congress, because the Constitution made congress. And it also made the rules on how to amend it. The answer isn't "write a new constitution." Calling for a new Constitutional Convention to rewrite the government is effectively asking to dissolve the United States and replace it with a new nation entirely. You're right that you don't ask congressional approval to try to overthrow the government, I guess. You do go to jail afterwards though.

Accidental double post, please ignore

Seanchaidh:

Yes, but you don't necessarily get all that with just a change in regime with supposedly 'socialist' aims. The problem with a revolutionary top-down approach is that the means are disjoint with the ends; the structure of a military organization (necessary for the seizure of power) is (at least typically) undemocratic and the leaders of such an organization have pressure to remain undemocratic if not for their own sake than that of their key supporters; they must reward loyalty with power and there are very few (and no reliable) ways of doing that that are not basically undemocratic if the starting point is not democratic. It's easy to justify this by saying that, well, the people are not yet sufficiently organized or aware-- the task is to make them so, not to override them until they know better.

Absolutely, but we have to be realistic. The best time for revolution is during or post a major conflict. The best time for a socialist revolution in someplace like Australia was during the Great War or WW2. Whereby a ridiculous volume of people were set abroad, when there was a polarising shift in the economic gears and a real discussion of what makes an empire dangerous and when there was little to contaminate the sheer inanity of manufactured apathy arguments like; "violence never solves anything..."

And the powers that be knew it. With police-led killings of IWW membership during the Great War, and the immediate post-WW2 anti-leftist 'red scare' generations. The IWW planned to cripple the imperialists at the heart of Australian politics by agitating for seizing multiple industrial centres and rail and dock infrastructure in Sydney could have worked if they had qualified (militarized) logisticians, planners and soldiery.

There was deep antipathy towards the British Empire, the soldiers of the AIF and the Australian Corps accounted 15% of total personnel involved in active deployment with Entente forces, with only a total population of 5.5 million Australians. People were tired of sacrifice. And the government knew how big a threat that was with the land parceling programs designed specifically to split up and spread out war-damaged, angry veterans so that they couldn't amass in groups and do 'terrible' things like push for a government overthrow.

That was the time for a revolution and Lenin ultimately had the right idea. If Lenin had waited a year, it might have been enough to have the appropriate concentrations of Australian soldiers in various political seats (for that vaunted 'peaceful' revolution) as well as able to take direct action as our government would have been less peery of a possible Australian Lenin saying; "Hey, we have 10s of thousands in every political capital of the country doing dead end jobs, or on a shitty disability pension--hrm, how about fuck the police?"

The land parcels for Australian soldiers had nothing to do with 'peace and quiet for champions of world 'security'', they did it for a reason. To avoid agitation against the government when it would have had the best odds of working and the government being keenly aware of why 1917 was Lenin's year.

There's a lesson to be learned there, surely?

As it stands the U.S. has a million returned soldiery, many of them with longterm injury for often at best a 20k p.a. pay cheque. It would be foolhardy to ignore any potential Spartacuses (Spartaci?) that may emerge from agitation. If there is going to be violence, take a note of the results of the IWW of Sydney's industries and infrastructure, it's easy to see why you might need them.

The transcendental approach is to build a socialist economy within the bourgeois democracy-- to build what you might call 'dual power'; to direct efforts at achieving workplace democracy in as many workplaces as possible by striking until such is won (likely with a settlement overseen by the government), building worker self-directed enterprises, and avoiding the pitfalls that allowed FDR's New Deal to save capitalism and then be undone (with socialists and communists subsequently purged from the public life of the United States). All of that can be aided by a friendly government, but the primary task should be to sidestep the influence of money over politics as much as it can be so that such a friendly government is possible. If it can be done without a full-blown revolutionary war, so much the better; we should expect some violent reaction from the capitalists (as we see in Venezuela right now, for example). And socialists should be prepared for it. But if military organization and regimentation can be avoided, especially as it relates to the leadership of the movement more generally, then it should be. Putting a movement in the hands of military leaders, even if only for a short time, is a gamble at best. The people need to be the driving force.

The career political class serves only its current productive forces. No matter how popular an AOC is, she still falls short of dismatling a system of iniquity, and at best represents a return to the American 'New Left' movement of the 1960s-70s. And look how well that turned out.

The hippie communist movement became the CEOs that would just as soon back a Reagan as they would anyone else, because the message was diluted and in an Adorno sense the culture industry born of the economic status quos that the career political class use to guarantee their prestige and cyclical self-empowerment will cotinue to absorb true measures and messages of humanist 'friendship of the masses'. That Leninist 'proletariat friendship' built on knowingly fostering the systems that seek their wellbeing by ending their exploitation through a legitimate discussion of dialectical materialism and a society's productive forces.

And it's important that this 'friendly career political class government' is no less a part of Adorno's culture industry critique as it is simply about how we consume media.

So much so you have a Hasbro make a show about colourful ponies and an apparent agrarian-esque utopia, singing songs witha strong streak of syndicalism. For example, Rules of Rarity, and the alienation of the worker to their creative pursuits viewed through the lens of the clash of mere consumerism dictating an artist's product liberated from what they actually wish to create destroying imagination, creativity, and artistic beauty.

A multi-national corporation's licence producing cartoons for children talking about how artists shouldn't subvert their pursuit of creativity simply because of what the public mindlessly wishes to consume, as that leads to the depression and alienation of the worker.

Now in the 50s that would get a McCarthyistic eyeball turned to it if it were made by a 'fellow traveller' trying to introduce kids to the alienation and dehumanizing of all segments of society due to mindless consumerism and capitalist exploitation. In the 60s such messages were commercialized and capitalized upon by the hippie commune movements by things like the creation of music production and licencing labels. By the 1980s it became a mindless consumer item via cartoons as toy commercials with Reaganomics. By the 2010s it's tv show about colourful ponies and enhanced, psychology-honed consumerism of neo-Reaganomic multinational culture industry.

The career political class have turned even the most fundamental economic critique into a consumer item. Violence and completely removing career political class structuralist supports for a total transformation of the relationship between people and their governments may literally be the only panacea that people might legitimately be able to understand and rectify the stuation, now.

Hell, from a sociological and psychological perspective I know what Hasbro is doing, and yet I love it to bits. Tack on a few more decades and we might be so far removed from the possibility of meaningful revolution that there is no answers left.

Simply put, we're losig the fight. People shouldn't be picky about the tactics. Mere critique alone won't reverse the tide against the career political class. They will merely repeat what you're saying ad nauseum at best, and now a word from our sponsors.

The regimetation of people hopefully doesn't mean the militarization of bureaucracy. Because that is dumb. But on some fundamental level people must recognize institutional problems, and the threat of the culture industry has already regimented people. To be mindless consumers. We're Adorno's cautioned children in terms of the culture industry. We're products of the culture industry. We're already regimented... the discordant spike of a syndicalist or socialist revolutionary message and action might be the only time humans will be free of that regimentation to begin with... even if it means fighting as one.

Which is principally why I'm a big supporter of a move to a trade federation. Even if I hve doubts it's a longterm solution, it would help 'clean the slate' in terms of enculturating a different sort of relationship between people and their governments so that we can healthily examine actual problems. Not merely appeal to the worst aspects of human proclivities such as religiosity and perceptions of people's ethnicity and other culture industry endorsed class consciousness divides that simply limit people's actual political agency.

But you won't get rid of those without necessary revolution. You cannot create that system when you have an extant career political class. If you try, the career political class will, to defend itself, manufacture things like racial tensions or fight wars on foreign soils, and use the police to break your face when you tell workers to take control of a workspace.

Whether people like it or not, the career political class is a monument to capitalism and its desire for control over every aspect of your life. And the war won't simply be in one place, by necessity these are revolutions in the broadest possible sense. They need to happen everywhere there are people. Never underestimate words, they can end empires--But never on their own.

tstorm823:

People would feel rightly that a certain quality of life was assured to them and be more likely to sit around petitioning the government than moving the hell elsewhere before they starved to death. The government would have a list of stated obligations to meet that it couldn't meet because it didn't have magical control over a famine, and when you take people's wealth away and promise you'll take care of them, and then you fail to take care of them, you're looking down the barrel of revolution.

So everyone in the US was starving during the dust bowl? Including those in areas completely unaffected? Fucking crazy, didn't know it was that bad.

EDIT: And that is leaving out the fact that your understanding of leftism is... lets say "sketchy at best". The communists aren't coming for your toothbrush, dude.

BreakfastMan:

So everyone in the US was starving during the dust bowl? Including those in areas completely unaffected? Fucking crazy, didn't know it was that bad.

EDIT: And that is leaving out the fact that your understanding of leftism is... lets say "sketchy at best". The communists aren't coming for your toothbrush, dude.

Well, I do need a new toothbrush. Let's not be too hasty and rule anything out.

BreakfastMan:

So everyone in the US was starving during the dust bowl? Including those in areas completely unaffected? Fucking crazy, didn't know it was that bad.

No, and that's exactly my point. There were unaffected areas, and they happened to have surplus that could support the hungry, the sort of surplus a planned economy would view as inefficient and wasteful. New technologies emerged, new products were invented, people moved, and the US government tried to push the existing industries to care for the unfortunate.

Compare to the soviet union, where famine was responded to with food confiscations. Compare that to Venezuela currently, where people in this thread are accusing the opposition of deliberately tanking the economy and causing shortages of basic goods. That's not something you can do in America.

tstorm823:

BreakfastMan:

So everyone in the US was starving during the dust bowl? Including those in areas completely unaffected? Fucking crazy, didn't know it was that bad.

No, and that's exactly my point. There were unaffected areas, and they happened to have surplus that could support the hungry, the sort of surplus a planned economy would view as inefficient and wasteful.

Wait, why would a planned economy view surplus as wasteful? Do you think planned economies don't save stuff for the future, in case of disasters? Or can't ramp up production when needed to address shortages?

Compare that to Venezuela currently, where people in this thread are accusing the opposition of deliberately tanking the economy and causing shortages of basic goods. That's not something you can do in America.

Oh yeah, shortages of basic goods and people fucking with the economy for their own benefit has definitely never happened in the US...

Addendum_Forthcoming:

BreakfastMan:

So everyone in the US was starving during the dust bowl? Including those in areas completely unaffected? Fucking crazy, didn't know it was that bad.

EDIT: And that is leaving out the fact that your understanding of leftism is... lets say "sketchy at best". The communists aren't coming for your toothbrush, dude.

Well, I do need a new toothbrush. Let's not be too hasty and rule anything out.

I do too, but I would prefer a new one, not a used one, IMO.

BreakfastMan:

Wait, why would a planned economy view surplus as wasteful? Do you think planned economies don't save stuff for the future, in case of disasters? Or can't ramp up production when needed to address shortages?

Because everyone views surplus as wasteful. I'm sure not everyone decided to grow more food than they would have predicted selling, but a large collection of individual actors making unique decisions are going to contain some combination of right and wrong decisions. An entire nation tied to a single decision maker doesn't have that luxury and can be ruined by poor planning. Chaos is often more stable than order.

Oh yeah, shortages of basic goods and people fucking with the economy for their own benefit has definitely never happened in the US...

As I said to begin with, corruption and disaster plague all nations, so why would you enact a system of governance that is exceptionally weak to those?

tstorm823:

BreakfastMan:

Wait, why would a planned economy view surplus as wasteful? Do you think planned economies don't save stuff for the future, in case of disasters? Or can't ramp up production when needed to address shortages?

Because everyone views surplus as wasteful.

Hmm, not sure on that one bud. Like, do you just spend your entire paycheck, not putting any of it into a savings account?

Oh yeah, shortages of basic goods and people fucking with the economy for their own benefit has definitely never happened in the US...

As I said to begin with, corruption and disaster plague all nations, so why would you enact a system of governance that is exceptionally weak to those?

I agree, that is why we need to get rid of capitalism. It creates a situation where the government is exceptionally weak to corruption and disaster.

BreakfastMan:

Hmm, not sure on that one bud. Like, do you just spend your entire paycheck, not putting any of it into a savings account?

That's the purpose of money, to store and exchange value later. You exchange surplus goods for currency so that the fruits of your labor don't rot away like literal fruit. If you have a surplus of goods that decrease in value over time and no market to sell them in, a surplus is a very bad thing, it's literal waste.

I agree, that is why we need to get rid of capitalism. It creates a situation where the government is exceptionally weak to corruption and disaster.

So you say. You are wrong.

BreakfastMan:

I do too, but I would prefer a new one, not a used one, IMO.

Yeah, but the worst thing about new toothbrushes is you need to break them in and your gums hurt.

tstorm823:

BreakfastMan:

Hmm, not sure on that one bud. Like, do you just spend your entire paycheck, not putting any of it into a savings account?

That's the purpose of money, to store and exchange value later. You exchange surplus goods for currency so that the fruits of your labor don't rot away like literal fruit. If you have a surplus of goods that decrease in value over time and no market to sell them in, a surplus is a very bad thing, it's literal waste.

So warehouses don't exist? Refrigeration doesn't exist? Canning doesn't exist? You are approaching this like the goal is to make money. The purpose is to have it around in case of emergency and you need to access it. The reason you have a savings account is to have a backup in case you need access to emergency resources. Like, the government currently has a reserve of oil in case we get into a huge war with OPEC countries or whatever. These are solved problems.

I agree, that is why we need to get rid of capitalism. It creates a situation where the government is exceptionally weak to corruption and disaster.

So you say. You are wrong.

In what way am I wrong?

BreakfastMan:

In what way am I wrong?

Probably the part where you started actively debating against the value of efficiency.

tstorm823:

BreakfastMan:

In what way am I wrong?

Probably the part where you started actively debating against the value of efficiency.

And where do I do that?

BreakfastMan:

And where do I do that?

Post 87.

tstorm823:

BreakfastMan:

And where do I do that?

Post 87.

What part of that post do you view as "debating against the value of efficiency", as you say?

BreakfastMan:

What part of that post do you view as "debating against the value of efficiency", as you say?

The part where you removed most of the context that explains how what I was saying applies to the situation, and instead of trying to defend the suggestion that a planned economy would plan in enough surplus to offset the dustbowl (which might be an interesting claim), you decided to defend the idea that surplus isn't waste, as though that's somehow a stronger argument. And compared growing surplus food that will likely become literal waste to having personal savings.

tstorm823:

BreakfastMan:

And where do I do that?

Post 87.

That's... an interesting interpretation, to say the least.

tstorm823:

altnameJag:

Okay, and how would socialism have been provably worse for the US during a famine in the middle of the Great Depression?q

Like, I'm legitimately curious: how many people are an acceptable sacrifice under capitalism? Would you be okay if the sacrifice was you or yours?

People would feel rightly that a certain quality of life was assured to them and be more likely to sit around petitioning the government than moving the hell elsewhere before they starved to death. The government would have a list of stated obligations to meet that it couldn't meet because it didn't have magical control over a famine, and when you take people's wealth away and promise you'll take care of them, and then you fail to take care of them, you're looking down the barrel of revolution. If only I had a real world example of a government who directed all the nation's wealth towards social spending they couldn't maintain because of forces outside of their control leading to mass protests and the possible end of the current government.

It's unfortunate that the example you do have is of foreign-funded agitation and a rebellion of the affluent who object to restrictions on entrepreneurship and greater social equality-- who indeed have been doing so since Chavez was first elected.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Calling a Constitutional Convention does not require Congress.

The current Constitution of Venezuela was written in 1999 by a similar Constituent Assembly, not the National Assembly.

The same is true in the United States. The Constitution wasn't written by congress, because the Constitution made congress. And it also made the rules on how to amend it. The answer isn't "write a new constitution." Calling for a new Constitutional Convention to rewrite the government is effectively asking to dissolve the United States and replace it with a new nation entirely. You're right that you don't ask congressional approval to try to overthrow the government, I guess. You do go to jail afterwards though.

Just like the 1999 Venezuelan Constituent Assembly went to jail and those who called the Constitutional Convention amidst the Articles of Confederation went to jail?

The amendment process in the United States is fully capable of entirely rewriting the Constitution. It'd just be a longer amendment or call for another procedure that would replace Article V (for the purpose of rewriting the entire Constitution). That being said, the United States is not Venezuela. The Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled the Constituent Assembly appropriate and Constitutional.

tstorm823:
you decided to defend the idea that surplus isn't waste

You have done nothing to prove that surplus IS inherently waste.

Seanchaidh:

That's... an interesting interpretation, to say the least.

It's a matter of context. I can only assume BreakfastMan is arguing some kind of general rule here, otherwise taking individual sentences from my posts, ripping them out of context, and responding as though we're arguing about a general rule would be a complete waste of time.

BreakfastMan:

You have done nothing to prove that surplus IS inherently waste.

Why would I do that? You're the one making this into an absolute rule.

What did I say?

"the sort of surplus"
"If you have a surplus of goods that decrease in value over time and no market to sell them in, a surplus is a very bad thing, it's literal waste."

It's not terribly subtle what I'm suggesting here. There's a whole conversation that you're glossing over. You've implied that if America was socialist, they'd have prepared food enough in advance in case a huge part of the country turned to dust, suggested people could have "just ramped up production" to deal with the shortage, and if they grew to much food they could just refrigerate it. Nobody who's paying attention to what they're saying seriously thinks "they had a famine? Why didn't they just ramp up production?" Like nobody thought "what if we grew more food?" You can't take single sentences or even single posts in a vacuum. If I did that to you, you'd get bludgeoned with nonsense like that all day.

tstorm823:

The same is true in the United States. The Constitution wasn't written by congress, because the Constitution made congress. And it also made the rules on how to amend it. The answer isn't "write a new constitution."

The answer may well be to write a new constitution, depending on the circumstances. It is entirely possible that the USA could come to a point where problems and governmental failure became so severe that normal legal channels could be bypassed, if necessary by outright force.

Calling for a new Constitutional Convention to rewrite the government is effectively asking to dissolve the United States and replace it with a new nation entirely.

It surely isn't. France didn't cease to be France after the Revolution; a polity is a lot more than a guiding governmental document.

Catnip1024:
Profit is always the motive - even for a fully nationalised industry, the purpose of an oil surplus is to gain wealth to spend improving your own people's lives. And as the oil industry is reliant on a capitalist demand somewhere in the world, it's hard to completely separate it no matter how much you try. Socialism doesn't really exist outside of a world in which currency exists, so you can't critique real governments against such a scenario.

Profit clearly isn't the motive for a great deal of human endeavour. The state sector exists even in capitalist countries, and there are a substantial number of private non-profits doing much societal work as well. Furthermore, it doesn't matter a damn if you're selling goods and services to a for-profit organisation, if yours is not selling for profit then you're a non-profit.

I would be wary about applying the term "profit motive" to an extremely nebulous concept of any sort of economic gain, because it starts to be too unwieldy to usefully discuss the finer points of economic activity. It is more useful applied to a stricter notion of a company's function being to maximise financial return (ultimately for the shareholders).

Socialism is not intrinsically opposed to currency, either. It might view certain uses of currency unfavourably where capitalism doesn't.

Agema:

The answer may well be to write a new constitution, depending on the circumstances. It is entirely possible that the USA could come to a point where problems and governmental failure became so severe that normal legal channels could be bypassed, if necessary by outright force.

True, but that's not a process of amendment, that's a revolution. And if it's done by an appointed court and a questionable president giving themselves the power of the elected legislature, I'd say that's a revolution towards despotism.

It surely isn't. France didn't cease to be France after the Revolution; a polity is a lot more than a guiding governmental document.

But it did. Before the French Revolution, it was the Kingdom of France. Afterwards, it was not. The people and land were the same, but the previous political entity ceased to exist.

tstorm823:

BreakfastMan:

You have done nothing to prove that surplus IS inherently waste.

Why would I do that? You're the one making this into an absolute rule.

What did I say?

"the sort of surplus"
"If you have a surplus of goods that decrease in value over time and no market to sell them in, a surplus is a very bad thing, it's literal waste."

It's not terribly subtle what I'm suggesting here.

Yeah, you are trying to apply a capitalistic view of producing and gathering resources to a socialist system. It is absurd. Socialist economies don't have the same goals as capitalist economies do.

BreakfastMan:

Yeah, you are trying to apply a capitalistic view of producing and gathering resources to a socialist system. It is absurd. Socialist economies don't have the same goals as capitalist economies do.

I guess I couldn't have said it better myself. Socialists do tend to have different goals, because they tend to forget that problems like food rotting are naturally occurring and not a product of capitalism.

tstorm823:
Socialists do tend to have different goals

Great, glad we could come to an agreement! Socialism is about what is best for the people as a whole, capitalism is about producing capital and therefore actively harms everyone who isn't rich. Glad we could settle this amicably! :)

Agema:
Profit clearly isn't the motive for a great deal of human endeavour. The state sector exists even in capitalist countries, and there are a substantial number of private non-profits doing much societal work as well. Furthermore, it doesn't matter a damn if you're selling goods and services to a for-profit organisation, if yours is not selling for profit then you're a non-profit.

The problem is the oil industry is very different from other industries, and looked at from a state level even more so still. If you are an exporter of oil, either through private companies or nationalised industry, your aim is to make the highest return possible on your effort. If you weren't aiming to export, and instead were purely aiming to supply your own internal industry, I would accept that it could be done in a manner considered completely socialist. But with export, profit is the pure driver. With the aim of investing that to further benefit your population, fine, but profit is still the objective.

I would be wary about applying the term "profit motive" to an extremely nebulous concept of any sort of economic gain, because it starts to be too unwieldy to usefully discuss the finer points of economic activity. It is more useful applied to a stricter notion of a company's function being to maximise financial return (ultimately for the shareholders).

As above, return is foremost in an export business like oil.

It is potentially not necessarily financial return, there is the potential for other deals, but it's all essentially the equivalent of bartering at a market stall.

tstorm823:

But it did. Before the French Revolution, it was the Kingdom of France. Afterwards, it was not. The people and land were the same, but the previous political entity ceased to exist.

In that case, you can argue the USA is a brand new creation, founded since the last legislative / presidential election. Replacing the guy(s) at the top does not a new country make.

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