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Otter

Anarchy, Socialism, Communism, and community gardens

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Short Stay

OK now you're going to have to detail/define 'dull and cheesy' and 'much of the modern world'.

 

@mtd: Capitalism offers everythin, that's the point, innit? :p

Mmmm, Sweden, France, Germany, without being insulting, they ain't Rock n' Roll.

 

Much of the modern world extends to at least the bottom of my garden :monocle:

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sivispacem

There's more "culture" in any randomly selected Scandinavian liberal paradise than there is in any Anglosphere nation. And "rock-n'roll" is something they very much are.

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Eutyphro

There's more "culture" in any randomly selected Scandinavian liberal paradise than there is in any Anglosphere nation.

Yeah... No.

 

But I guess you are entitled to that opinion. And whatever constitutes valuable culture is highly subjective anyway.

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Otter

Germany is quite clearly a world-class cultural hub lately, so that doesn't quite wash. I’d also suggest that the language barrier is a pretty huge factor here.

 

Let’s delve more into what constitutes ‘cheesy’ because I’m assuming we can now start comparing thigs directly to the UK? Where does Strictly Come Dancing fall on the cheese factor? ;)

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Triple Vacuum Seal
Posted (edited)

People allude to this idea that Anglosphere cultures are the most interesting. Assuming there is such a consensus, neither capitalism nor English are relevant to that consensus. Most English speaking countries (the US especially) are only considered interesting to the extent that they're a melting pot of other cultures. Everything from jazz, blues, rock, and rap to film, TV, stand up comedy, and our other iconic sh*t are a byproduct of mixing cultures. Hubs of cultural diversity also predate capitalism.

 

 

 

Maybe we could make some shaky abstract argument that the misery brought about by capitalism has further driven poor people to find an escape through artistic expression. But generally arts & culture flourish in spite of capitalism, not because of it. Only suits in the culture industry think capitalism is good for art. Anyone else who thinks so probably doesn't mingle much with artists.

 

 

 

 

excess profits are generally lower than in full blown capitalism

Not to financially split hairs here, but it's worth noting that profits and rates of return are not necessarily economic growth. Profits can dangerously outpace actual growth rates. But then again, as Euty mentioned, we can hardly compare capitalism to a system that doesn't exist. All we can do for now is acknowledge the fact that capitalism is not designed to serve the public interest...not unless we dumb the public down enough (at which point culture would be nonexistent/dull/cheesy anyway).

Edited by Triple Vacuum Seal

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Otter

Let’s not conflate the contemporary art scene with culture — and let’s also not pretend that artists are all bohemian folks who despise money.

 

I’d still argue that financial gains are a massive motivator for cultural innovation. Fame and adulation, too.

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Triple Vacuum Seal
Posted (edited)

Let’s not conflate the contemporary art scene with culture — and let’s also not pretend that artists are all bohemian folks who despise money.

 

Indeed we shouldn't. That's is why I said "Everything from jazz, blues, rock, and rap to film, TV, stand up comedy, and our other iconic sh*t." There's a great jazz album by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach called Money Jungle that was inspired by this contempt for the commodification of art. They weren't bohemian. There are many other examples of this attitude going back centuries, but an anti corporate mentality is definitely an established pattern among modern creative people across the board.

 

 

 

I’d still argue that financial gains are a massive motivator for cultural innovation. Fame and adulation, too.

 

Though cultural innovation would need to be further defined, l would agree that artists can be motivated by $. But it's normally only to the extent of living comfortably, something that can be done without capitalism. The richest musicians tend to make their most critically-acclaimed music before they become business savvy. The highest grossing films in recent years have been mostly crap. Folks pay top $ for food that used to be consumed by the poor. So the quality of culture can only be linked to its financial return up to a limited threshold at best. And even then it would be a secondary motivator for most of the creative workers (especially those born into $).

 

We could probably agree that modern economic systems have served us well by freeing up enough leisure time to pursue creative passions. Even that's not contingent upon any commitment to capitalism. For the purpose of reproducing cultural innovation, the whole concept of leisure and "work life balance" seem pretty mediocre because it implies that work and life are not integrated into a unified purpose. This is why most artist are aware of the fact that commodification distracts from their craft.

Edited by Triple Vacuum Seal

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Otter
Posted (edited)

My main point is that the contempt for capitialism, or perhaps more to the point, commercialism, is not nearly as ubiquitous as you are implying. I think were discussing a lot of vaguely defined subjective topics all at once here, but I will tell you that, as an artist who has also worked extensively in advertising and lives in one of the most expensive cities in the world, living comfortably is still a far off and ever-elusive goal. I sell out in moderately painful chunks but without patrons I wouldnt be able to survive off my craft, let alone live confortably.

 

The life of an artist under communism is certainly somthibg interesting to explore. Id love to discuss some examples if anyone can think of anyone prominent.

 

And I apologize for throwing Communism in here specifically - it was just top if mind in another thread. I think, personally, that a balance of capitalism and socialism is a healthy model... I could see a purely sovialist state severely dampening cultural output.

Edited by Otter

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Triple Vacuum Seal
Posted (edited)

My main point is that the contempt for capitialism, or perhaps more to the point, commercialism, is not nearly as ubiquitous as you are implying.

 

Yeah you're right. Most people just don't think about these things in academic political terms. That's why its hard for me to really say much about artists' attitudes towards capitalism, socialism, or some other unexplored -ism without overstating my claim.

 

My evidence is anecdotal on this matter. The artists I do know aren't fond of today's monetization of everything and see it as an obstacle to creativity.

Edited by Triple Vacuum Seal

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Short Stay

 

Please allow me a broad, sweeping generalization.

 

You can have a choice of two things: either a market/capitalist society which provides more wealth and culture, etc, in general, at the expense of the poor, or you can have a hightax/socialist type society which is in some senses 'fairer' but produces less wealth all round and is definitely less interesting.

 

Where does Cuba fall on your broad, sweeping generalization?

 

Sorry for the late response.
Cuba possibly should have had reasonable prospects for its latin brand of socialism: good soils, a warm climate, and a large market in the nearby USA and Carribean. Couple this with excess profits being ploughed back into social welfare and an effective health system. Of course the hostility and market-blocking of the USA put paid to much of those prospects.
The question is then, was US hostiliy solely to blame for Cuba's failure to become a socialist paradise? Can socialism ever be more than a comfy but rather second best shoe to capitalism's latest trainer? Is it the case that there is never enough carrot and stick in socialism's 'We must all be as one great family' approach to the world?
On a somewhat different tack, I've spoken to old-time Labour activists who were around in the late 1970s and early 80s, many of whom went to Nicaragua on fraternal visits to the Sandanistas. A common refrain from them was that socialism would free up much of people's labour so that they could then devote more of their time to culture and the arts, to music, painting, literature and poetry. Call me a cynic but I personally feel there is only so much I could stomach of recitations of bad poetry at lunchtimes in the workers canteen.

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Tchuck

 

The question is then, was US hostiliy solely to blame for Cuba's failure to become a socialist paradise?

 

To start off, why do you define Cuba a failure? Looking at every single index out there, and it outperforms every single country in the region. All the other Caribbean nations gave in to the imperialists and pursued capitalism, either have terribly standards of living, or are just prostitution houses for the elites, or are just exploited like the colonial nations that they are. Cuba meanwhile has no homelessness, has free healthcare accessible to everyone, has a 100% literacy rate, and has been making tremendous progress, specially in medicine, in spite of the criminal blockade perpetrated by the largest regional market.

 

How is that a failure? Sure, people aren't all handling iPhones, driving fancy cars, using state of the art computers. But they are faring a whole lot better than every single American nation (bar obviously USA and Canada, but beating them in many aspects)

 

So, again, how is it a failure?

 

To be certain, they could be doing a whole lot better if the blockade never happened, and America let them be instead of trying to sabotage them at every step of the way, and preventing other nations from trading with them. That they survived so well and thrived in spite of overwhelming odds, is a testament to the power of socialism.

 

 

Can socialism ever be more than a comfy but rather second best shoe to capitalism's latest trainer?

 

Yes. And Cuba proves so. My home nation, Brazil, is becoming a capitalist paradise. Business and the elites getting more and more handouts and help thanks to the current administration. During the leftist government, hunger was eliminated, the poor were given access to schools, to healthcare, to transportation, to so many damn improvements. Capitalist government seizes power, instantly begins dismantling workers' rights, cutting fund to welfare, education, health, and prosecuting the left.

 

So yeah, socialism can be a much more comfy shoe than capitalism.

 

 

Is it the case that there is never enough carrot and stick in socialism's 'We must all be as one great family' approach to the world?

 

I don't understand this question.

 

 

A common refrain from them was that socialism would free up much of people's labour so that they could then devote more of their time to culture and the arts, painting, literature and poetry.

 

That's because they would. I work in making games for a living because I need to make a living and I make the games I'm told to make. If I had more time, I'd spend it on the games I want to make, much more passionately, and filling in gaps that aren't attended by studios because capitalism dictates they aren't big enough to be explored. If I didn't have to make a living, I'd devote my time to making games, without a care about whether they'd be popular or not. But because I need to make a living, I can't.

 

 

Call me a cynic but I personally feel there is only so much I could stomach of recitations of bad poetry at lunchtimes in the workers canteen.

 

You wouldn't have to stomach them, though? You'd be free to not attend them if you don't want to.

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Short Stay

 

 

Call me a cynic but I personally feel there is only so much I could stomach of recitations of bad poetry at lunchtimes in the workers canteen.

 

You wouldn't have to stomach them, though? You'd be free to not attend them if you don't want to.

 

I would though, else I'd be declared an undesirable element with Rightist tendencies.

But thanks anyway for the meticulous reply. You obviously care a lot more than I do.

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Caysle

Cuba getting praised, lol what a classic

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Eutyphro

To start off, why do you define Cuba a failure? Looking at every single index out there, and it outperforms every single country in the region. [..] But they are faring a whole lot better than every single American nation (bar obviously USA and Canada, but beating them in many aspects)

This is just complete bullsh*t really. It's quite easy to find out that a whole range of Latin American and Caribbean states are stronger economically than Cuba, and have higher GDP per capita.

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FukNRekd

Cuba getting praised, lol what a classic

That's what I was thinking... got a good chuckle from it.

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Tchuck
Posted (edited)

 

I would though, else I'd be declared an undesirable element with Rightist tendencies.

 

That's not how it works, though. You'd only be sent to the gulags if you actually plotted for the downfall of the regime.

Cuba isn't US' buddies Philippines, where you'll get arrested for not standing for the national anthem, or US itself, where you can get dragged out of the room for not standing during the pledge of allegiance. Or heck, the US, when you take a knee to take a stand during the national anthem and the country sees you as a menace and demands your arrest.

 

 

Cuba getting praised, lol what a classic

 

Ball on your court then, show me why Cuba is a sh*thole?

 

 

This is just complete bullsh*t really. It's quite easy to find out that a whole range of Latin American and Caribbean states are stronger economically than Cuba, and have higher GDP per capita.

 

Good thing GDP is the only index that matters, right? Even then, Cuban GDP is estimated at 22k per capita. Discounting the fiscal paradises in the Caribbean, they are only behind Chile and Uruguay, both nations which have been taking a turn further and further to the left. And haven't been blocked from doing business with the biggest markets for over 50 years. That's kind of a big deal.

It's also above Mexico, Argentina, and well above Brazil despite Brazil having so much natural resource that it should be a world power if it wasn't for the imperialist dogs. Highest literacy rate in the region, lowest homeless rate in the region. I could go on and on.

 

 

That's what I was thinking... got a good chuckle from it.

 

This is debate and discussion. I debated your assertions and you just ran way from it without challenging them.

 

So I welcome you to go and show why Cuba is a sh*thole and a failure.

Edited by Tchuck

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FukNRekd

So I welcome you to go and show why Cuba is a sh*thole and a failure.

Hey, whoa. Hang on there, Scooter. You're awfully defensive aren't you?

 

I wasn't bashing Cuba. They have a lot to praise. But yeah, IMO it's a bit funny that you laid it all out there knowing what responses you were likely to get.

 

You aren't wrong in your statements. Just funny. IMO of course. ;)

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Tchuck

Ah apologies, I mistook you for the guy who originally posted about socialism being a failure.

 

 

But yeah, IMO it's a bit funny that you laid it all out there knowing what responses you were likely to get.

 

Yeah, and it's a shame cause I love a good debate. And this is debates and discussion after all.

 

I happen to have a pretty big interest in Cuba and the way they run things over there, and admiration for how they stood up against the most powerful nation in the world. It grinds my gears a bit to see people just throwing out misinformation about it around and ridiculing anyone who actually tries to show how things truly are. Having visited Cuba on one occasion, felt more at home and safer than every time I went to America and even while I was living in Canada. And it was ridiculously superior in quality of life compared to my native Brazil, a country where people like to use Cuba as an example for why socialism never works, despite it actually working.

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Eutyphro

 

 

This is just complete bullsh*t really. It's quite easy to find out that a whole range of Latin American and Caribbean states are stronger economically than Cuba, and have higher GDP per capita.

 

Good thing GDP is the only index that matters, right? Even then, Cuban GDP is estimated at 22k per capita. Discounting the fiscal paradises in the Caribbean, they are only behind Chile and Uruguay, both nations which have been taking a turn further and further to the left. And haven't been blocked from doing business with the biggest markets for over 50 years. That's kind of a big deal.

It's also above Mexico, Argentina, and well above Brazil despite Brazil having so much natural resource that it should be a world power if it wasn't for the imperialist dogs. Highest literacy rate in the region, lowest homeless rate in the region. I could go on and on.

Nominal GDP is below all the countries you mentioned in most estimates. It also seems noone really has good data on Cuba, at least not for the last two years, which is quite curious. So the estimates on Cuba also vary wildly. 22k PPP is by far the highest estimate known, others estimate it at 12K. https://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?c=cu&v=67Maybe the estimates vary wildly because the data is unclear. It's hard to tell. But in general Cuba is not the best economy in the region after the USA and Canada. That's really just false.

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Short Stay

 

 

Is it the case that there is never enough carrot and stick in socialism's 'We must all be as one great family' approach to the world?

 

I don't understand this question.

 

I was suggesting that socialist economies tend not to beat the poor enough, nor offer enough carrot to those able to escape the beatings.

 

It's Cultures and Nations that really matter in the long run. People are here today and gone tomorrow.

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Tchuck

 

 

 

This is just complete bullsh*t really. It's quite easy to find out that a whole range of Latin American and Caribbean states are stronger economically than Cuba, and have higher GDP per capita.

 

Good thing GDP is the only index that matters, right? Even then, Cuban GDP is estimated at 22k per capita. Discounting the fiscal paradises in the Caribbean, they are only behind Chile and Uruguay, both nations which have been taking a turn further and further to the left. And haven't been blocked from doing business with the biggest markets for over 50 years. That's kind of a big deal.

It's also above Mexico, Argentina, and well above Brazil despite Brazil having so much natural resource that it should be a world power if it wasn't for the imperialist dogs. Highest literacy rate in the region, lowest homeless rate in the region. I could go on and on.

Nominal GDP is below all the countries you mentioned in most estimates. It also seems noone really has good data on Cuba, at least not for the last two years, which is quite curious. So the estimates on Cuba also vary wildly. 22k PPP is by far the highest estimate known, others estimate it at 12K. https://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?c=cu&v=67Maybe the estimates vary wildly because the data is unclear. It's hard to tell. But in general Cuba is not the best economy in the region after the USA and Canada. That's really just false.

 

 

I'll grant you the GDP indexes are unclear, because they are and there's no good data. Even then, for an island nation with few natural resources, who was blacklisted from doing business with most of the industrialized world for 5 decades, they've done pretty good for themselves. Which only begs the questions: How much better could Cuba be doing if the blockade never took place?

 

When I was talking about being better in indexes, I meant more in regards to standards of living, to education, to healthcare, poverty, homelessness, all of which Cuba is among the highest in the region.

 

 

I was suggesting that socialist economies tend not to beat the poor enough, nor offer enough carrot to those able to escape the beatings.

 

But then you are suggesting that socialist economies do not foment innovation? Because they most certainly do. Cuba has been responsible for some tremendous achievements in medicine and healthcare, and the Soviet Union also achieved great things in multiple fields. What I'd say is that in socialist economies, without the struggle for living and the threat of destitution if you can't make it, innovation still obviously happens, but is more focused on different areas than they are in capitalist societies, where you have to pursue the dollar.

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Short Stay

There's more "culture" in any randomly selected Scandinavian liberal paradise than there is in any Anglosphere nation. And "rock-n'roll" is something they very much are.

Ha ha, you're probably right. I apologise. I just picked a few continental countries at random.

 

Since Brexit will most likely go pear-shaped and leave us penniless, maybe you could be generous down the line and employ us to mow your lawns, pick fruit, etc.

 

But that's an argument to be had in another thread.

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