Re: Tale of Two Economies

Dwayne (
Tue, 17 Mar 1998 20:44:07 +1100

Michael Lorrey wrote:
> Dwayne wrote:
> > Michael Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > > You should look at the political arena as more of an x/y coordinate system,
> >
> > I would argue that it has a potentially infinite number of dimensions. Political
> > decisions are rarely made on the basis of one or two variables.
> Sure, but as a general axiom, most issues are either a matter of social freedom or
> economic freedom, or a combination thereof, or can be framed within that system.

I thought we were trying to transcend all of this dualist
nonsense? People find it incredibly easy to separate reality into
"us" and "them", "good" and "bad" etc. This doesn't make it
accurate, merely convenient.

> It also
> delineates between merely 'conservative' and 'liberal' labels which are often painted
> with rather broad brushes, so much so that in many cases, parties are insulted to be
> under the same roof as another given the same label. An American Libertarian is about
> the furthest you can get from a Nazi, yet both are labeled as 'right wing'. Populists
> have more in common with Nazis than Libertarians do, yet Populists are frequenly given
> the liberal label (except in the case of Pat Buchanan, who proved the similarity between
> the two messages).

My impression of this list is that it is populated by a majority
of people who either consider themselves superior to the common
herd, or are trying to attain a position of superiority (I make
no moral arguments for or against the word "superior", it's just
a label), so the fact that most people do something doesn't
really do a lot to convince me that this is the way to operate in
general. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I understand what you are saying, it just strikes me as
sophistry, isall.

> > > Really, funny, the native Americans might have something to say about the idea
> > > that natural selection doesn't apply to cultural evolution, especially the dead
> > > ones. So might the Nazis, the Communists, and today, the French, as their
> > > uncompetetive little culture is getting overrun by Americanization (as most
> > > other undynamic cultures are today). As tacky as you might think it is, the
> > > current American Culture seems to presently be the most competetive culture in
> > > current existence (Or North American culture, as a Canadian would say ;)). Of
> > > course that could change, and if it does, we could all be eating tofu.....
> >
> > Well, from the outside, the way I (and i assume most of the rest of the world) see
> > it, the US did not "win" world war II or the post-war period, it did what it has
> > done most of this century, which is wait for the combatants to wear each other out
> > and then to step in.
> And you think that that doesn't demonstrate capable leadership?

No, not at all. It demonstrates rat cunning.

> > The US entered world war I in 1917 (!), and would undoubtedly have entered world war 2
> > later on in the piece if the Japanese hadn't seen the writing on the wall and
> > tried to get in first. The US is more competitive than the French. Sure. the french
> > have also fought three major wars on their own territory in 100 years, whereas the
> > US has merely exported such. This attitude you have is akin to someone stepping in
> > at the late part of a fight, kicking the victor in the head several times while they
> > are trying to get off the floor, and then telling everyone how tough they are.
> Or busting down the door to the bar where two drunken bullies are pummeling each other,
> breaking them up, and making them go sit in the corner.

Yeah. Sure. Go ahead and convince yourself that this is the case.
You can tell yourself that this is the way it operated as much as
you like, but I have yet to see a posting from someone outside
the US who agrees with you. What does this suggest?

> > No
> > one believes it. Sure, the US has nukes. The US developed it's nukes with the help
> > of the rest of the allies, and then used it's undamaged economic base, maintained on
> > a war footing throughout the 50s to run about and bully the rest of the world.
> It is said that what caused the US superiority after the war was the nazi policy towards
> Jews.

And we all know how much credence to lend hearsay.

> The dozen most brilliant men in Europe fled to the US as a result. Thus, the Nazis
> helped us to gain post war superiority far more than any of our allies. The British
> could have done the same using Canada as a base if they had the capability, but they did
> not.

Having just fought a major war and being preoccupied in
dismantling an empire, I find it difficult to comprehend how they
could have done this.

> The French had the earliest start in the race with Madame Curie's work, but
> preferred to collaborate with the Nazis. Stalin initially looked on nuclear physics as
> mere jewish quackery that violated socialist principles, and was therefore suppressed
> until spies in the Manhattan Project indicated its use.
> > While I have a lot of friends in the US, and on the whole most of the americans I
> > have come across are very nice people, this bullshit manifest destiny attitude is
> > incredibly annoying, and I remind you of what happened to Rome when the empire fell,
> > and consider the gunboat diplomacy the US has been practising for most of this
> > century, and the widespread resentment it has engendered. if the US way of life was
> > so incredibly superior, why is it that no-one else feels this way? I don't see the
> > american way of doing things taking over the world. Democracy is not an american
> > invention, neither is capitalism. What purely american systems have been
> > successfully exported overseas?
> If the US way of life is so inferior, why is it that everyone wants our lifestyle and
> standard of living?

Oh? So why exactly does the rest of the world still live in the
rest of the world, then?
I would agree that the rest of the world does want your standard
of living. Yes. Not your way of life, certainly not your
international relations, but I will grant you that the rest of
the world would like the opportunity to be as rich as the united
states. But this is simply a measure of wealth, it in no way
validates the american way of life.

I live in Australia. We have one of the highest standards of
living in the world. I can't honestly think of a single person I
know who in any way envies life in the United States. [thinks
hard] Nup.

> While most other democratic governments utilize a parliamentary system of government,
> these have proven to be rather unstable and prone to rapid populist influence (bread and
> circuses),

Oh. Okay. You are of course referring to something other than the
Westminster System which as far as I know is quite a robust
parliamentary system.

Two words: Ronald Reagan.

> the US uses a republican system with, as you must know, three equally
> powerful branches that are capable of checking the other. This system provides a measure
> of negative feedback that helps hold in check the most contagious of populist fads and
> foolishness.

You are of course joking. The President of the United States has
as much power as the other two branches of government. This has
always struck me as dangerously absurd, but given that it was
created in the wake of a monarchy, understandable.

> In a century where europeans and asians heralded the end of the age of the individual,
> and the advent of the collective, only to be proven in the 1980-1990 period to be
> hopelessly wrong by the US, the US has stood out as a lone beacon of continued
> individualism, self reliance.

you really do have it bad, don't you? Do you really believe this
propaganda? I'm not sure that anyone outside your country does,
and I wonder what the rest of this list from the US thinks. I'd
have thought this list would be discussing solutions and
strategies for the post-statist reality, instead I find myself
sucked into a foolish argument about the "superiority" of the
american way of life, laced so far with very little real
evidence, and an awful lot of opinion.

> We have successfully purged the welfare state from our
> federal system, and most of our state governments.

Congratulations. How many million homeless people do you have?
What percentage of your population is locked up? Well done, I
must say.

> Other nations that have followed suit
> now enjoy stronger economies than their stagnant socialist neighbors.

Well, I'd rather live in a poor but free country than a rich one
where huge proportions of the population is locked up. Waa hoo
free enterprise, where you are free to work hard but do little
else. No thanks, I'd rather stay in my happy little socialist
nation where we don't lock people up -quite- as much.

> The main groups objecting to the 'US way' are the east asian tyrannies and dictators in
> China, Indonesia, Singapore, Burma, Vietnam, etc..

Oh? Where are they on this list? So far the objections have come
from germany, russia, australia and uruguay.

> They have claimed for the past eight
> years that their Cunfucian culture is superior and can successfully be melded to an open
> market, yet as recent asian markets indicate, this does not seem to be so. While asian
> markets continue to hit new lows, the US market has rebounded nicely and is now setting
> new highs. The 'Asian Flu' seems to be more systemic of asian systems than western style
> economies.

Western money prompted the huge development projects, and the
withdrawal of western money created the collapse, and now western
money is buying the place up at bargain basement prices. the
coming century will be an unlucky time to be white, I feel, when
the rest of the world gets its shit together and realises what
the west has done over the last couple of hundred years, and is
continuing to do.

Bah, I'm over this thread.