Re: European [and Australian] "Socialists"

Damien Broderick (
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 12:34:03 -0800

At 10:09 AM 11/11/98 +0100, Max M wrote:

>Another thing is that the $1000 does not just dissapear, they get spend in
>the general economy so the net loss is actually a lot less than $1000
>dollars as most of them will be earned back by the wealthy.

Amazing! You have just reinvented Keynes, which is a step forward over some of the gung-ho I've-got-mine-fuck-you-Jack rhetoric on this list. I find it interesting that as crony capitalist Asia melts down and parts of eternally-in-hock Latin America are blown away, some views are shifting back toward a kind of Keynesian revival.

One prudential motive for adopting the views typically favoured in Europe, Oz, etc (and of course large sections of the USA) is caught quite aptly by Max M:

>In the old days when most Danes lived in the country there was something
>called a "bad family". A family that had been up to no good for generations.

> I have
>worked with these kids, and their minds are wired in a way that is hard to
>believe. Their memetic makeup is twisted in unbelievable ways.

>Children of people with social problems are most often those who get social
>problems themself.

>We must fix the cause of powerty not just the symptoms, but we got to keep
>the patient alive while doing it.

I find all this entirely plausible. Solutions based on such insights are hard to find, of course. Old-style socialism didn't do it, authoritarian social democracies have made some shameful blunders (such as routinely taking kids away from `bad' parents) and current-style capitalism (applied in countries that are internally fragmented on grounds in sectional or race fears & hatreds) has some horrible running sores of its own.

The sorts of absurd strawmen that get lugged out in these discussions - `If you steal all Gates's money and share it equally, we'll have a big party for a day and a half and then society will crash and burn' - is so unrelated to the kinds of real, urgent issues described above that I am embarrassed to see people utter them.

Damien Broderick