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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  December 2008

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE December 2008

Subject:

From:

mart <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 07:59:08 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (155 lines)

, 2008, 7:59 AM
> I am in transit between Boston and Paris these next several
> days, but will
> respond to this question as formulated by Larry yesterday
> once I am settled
> on the other side. 

paul krugman gave his noble lekter on 'increasing returns' (marshall).  this is also called 'path dependence'.  i wouldah couldah shoulduh but i was on a particular path.  to me, that is the issue.  any of these systems (say, peace---stop fighting) works in principle, but there are habits, history, etc. its like me and smoking---the first step on the 1000 mile long walk and trail of tears when quitting is to buy your last pack.   (or the 4 tops---'never can say goodbye').

A few quick comments for now: Socialism
> was not destroyed
> by outside forces in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, or
> China, so I am not
> sure what those "many places" were--I would say
> there are very few places
> where socialism was destroyed by outside forces. 


some argue socialism in the ussr was destroyed because they didnt keep up in information technology; there are lots of ideas.  also, its at least half a cold country, and it started pretty poor, and didnt have slavery exactly, and all the reagan war buildup / cold war bankrupted what they had.
  my view howecver is that socialism still exists among the grizzly bears there.  they just keep it quiet.

Nicaragua
> might be one
> example, but even there a mixed bag given what we now see
> about Daniel
> Ortega. And anarchism is simply not an option in
> today's world, if indeed it
> ever was. The anarchists have never told us how it would
> work in practical
> terms, certainly not convincingly. 


i dont think socialists, communists, libertarians, anarcho-caps, theocarcies, or capitalists have convincly explained how those work, to everyone (some are unconvinced). 
the anarchist faq gives the very moderate version (the 'radicals' are more like nzietche/sterner/artaud/sid vicious) of how anarchism would work (and its really not much different from syndicalists, market socialists, or for some other flavors, the bookchin-green-proudhon-shumaker decentralized/small is beautiful model. you can throw in Parecon (zmag)/pat devine or cottrell's (ope-l) economic models for some details.)  in theory, like peace (stop fighting), its easy. even chomsky wrote some book on libertory socialism, thanks to MIT (and the lincoln lab, worth around 1b$/year in tax funds---but hey, how else would people trained at MIT get paid to develop weapons bought by israel with its $3B/yr us appropriation---i see lockheed martin as a main part of the 'israeli lobby'.)

   (note that some of those lists i think owe to proyect; if they were mine, i might have a stricter moderation policy, being somewhat libertarian.  a 'multicultural revolution'---same thing, but pc. siberian nature camps---a green value.)

capitalism too has thanks to arrow and hahn, and as described by leibniz,  a perfect general equilibrium (subject to a few assumptions, mentioned in that edge peace).  as keynes put it, in the long run, we're all dead.  so there is your equilibrium---dont be impatient. chill. universal heat death.  even boltzmann got his formula on his tomb, after checking out.  (brian greene of superstrings says suicide is even a bigger problem than whether the world has 3 or more deminsions, and the mind 12 categories).

   even john rawls had it down.
   but, due to path dependence, you have to be at someplace like yale on a 25$billion endowment in a faculty lounge to contemplate these theories.  (i bet they are down 30% now; 'feeling groovy').  it took pete singer at yale also awhile before he could figure out the complex mathematics (division) required to 'share some of the wealth'.    its sad that only places like yale can get the talent (iq) required to divide a by b.

   
What if it turned out
> that social
> democracy was the only real route to true socialism, and
> that trying to leap
> over that necessary step--as in the Soviet Union--has been
> a mistake? Is it
> possible to have a discussion about this without being
> attacked by the Louis
> Proyects of the left? With the economic crisis and the
> Obama election, we
> are in a teachable moment about capitalism, so whatever
> leftists do next has
> to be in that context. Working in coalitions is key, and
> particularly with
> people who supported Obama.

  what if it turned out that a 6 was a 9? feynman i think showed this roundoff error can cause chaos.
  it may be that green/social democracy is the route (didnt frances fukyama make this argument from AEI?)  Historically, all you get is 'reformism'. nat turner didnt set the agenda, there was no consensus. lbj i think said we could ghave socialism tomorrow, if we had the votes. 
   words like socialism, 'the left' etc  (even anarhcism) nowadays seem to be a form of identity politics, used in fact to actually divert the discussion into what designer you follow, or whether youre a blood or a crip, or your pedigree.    

   maybe people could read wikipedia, due to a libertarian who made his stash on chicago's wall street.  philanthropists like google, microshaft, the proyects and wales make this possible.  most of this stuff is on there.  then everyone will be on the same page (or at least on one of the 1 million wikipedia pages---same 'good' book.) 
   
> 
> MB
> 
> On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 11:04 PM, Michael Butter
> <[log in to unmask]
> > wrote:
> 
> >  Socialism was destroyed in most places worldwide, in
> many cases by
> > outside forces.   What wasn't destroyed by outside
> forces crumbled under the
> > weight of the repressive nature of the state.  What
> you say of socialism,
> > holds for capitalism or any other system organized
> within the confines of a
> > state.  Anarchists have been arguing for decades that
> hierarchical
> > structures (such as states) are inherently oppressive
> and repressive and can
> > never lead to communism.  I think the future of
> socialism, if it has a
> > future, is in its libertarian variants. How do you see
> the future of
> > socialism Michael?
> >
> >
> > Michael
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Socialists should be keenly interested in why
> socialism has failed in most
> > places worldwide, why attempts to create it (eg Russia
> and China) led to
> > brutal represssion, and why in those places where it
> is claimed to still
> > exist (eg Cuba) or in the process of being built (eg
> Venezuela) it is
> > accompanied by repression and demagoguery. Socialists
> should be interested
> > in this because it bears on the future of socialism,
> or whether there is
> > any. So those who don't want to talk about it, in
> my view, are not really
> > serious about socialism.
> >
> > MB
> >
> > On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 12:05 PM, mart
> <[log in to unmask]<[log in to unmask]" target="_blank">https://webmail.curie.fr/cgi-bin/openwebmail//cgi-bin/openwebmail/openwebmail-send.pl?sessionid=alex.dajkovic*curie.fr-session-0.863142239951657&folder=INBOX&page=1&sort=date_rev&msgdatetype=sentdate&keyword=&searchtype=subject&action=composemessage&message_id=%3C68766cc0812130918x6993fd24kfa75de39fc664823%40mail.gmail.com%3E&compose_caller=read&[log in to unmask]>
> > > wrote:
> >
> >> i actually think tis a waste of time to do
> 'field biology' and just do
> >> special pleading on one particular cause, whether
> cxuba, palestine, congo,
> >> burma, usa etc.  each group toots its own horn. 
> 'pox on their houses' is
> >> somnetimes my view.   its also not all that
> productive, and so0mteims just
> >> seems to be an industry of spcial pleading,
> poverty pimping, etc.
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> > You live life online. So we put Windows on the web.
> Learn more about
> > Windows Live
> <http://clk.atdmt.com/MRT/go/127032869/direct/01/>
> >
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> ******************************************
> Michael Balter
> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> Boston University
> 
> Email:           [log in to unmask]
> 
> Website:       michaelbalter.com
> Balter's Blog: michael-balter.blogspot.com
> ******************************************


      

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