Soupman wrote:I think we speak from vastly different positions on one hand and things aren't as simple as you present them on the other hand.
For once no country is or has ever been socialist in the true meaning of the word (and least of them Soviet Union, just to be clear on it).
Closest to it came Sweeden when they had plan to gradually switch to completely publicly owned economy in true sense of the word - not by state but by citizens/workers holding small individual shares of companies they work in.
(see how in the end true, proper socialism, capitalism and democracy all blend into the one thing).
To make the long story short, there wasn't "political courage" to finally make such a move (one great failure by O. Palme), but they opted for further privatization - guess what: they had major economic crisis at the beginning of the 90s.
They are too rich and their public sector is still quite strong, but as privatization takes even greater steps, their economic results are worsening, although still very good (worth noting, there is strong left-green coalition in the seat for a while now, with only one, short period of interuption in eatly 80s that didn't end up well).
Western Europe (including Italy and Spain) itself is quite a bit different from state to state, and we are not even speaking about East Europe.
But todays neoliberal capitalism and socialism can't be farther apart - and in it's most complete, most extreme version, neoliberal capitalism as represent by Republican party even way before Trump and even by bigger, central part of Democrat party (Hilary's circles) - limiting only to USA - can be closely compared and almost equated with corporativism as economic aspect of fasistic regimes. (there are differences, but they are conditioned historically, more than structurally)
It's not limited only to owning means of production (and what would publicly owned mean - by state or by workers - great differance, as I lean towards latter), but also to treatment of basic public goods and services as are education, health system and welfare system, concessions on land etc.
What treatment of public goods,services,etc would you define as corporatist?
I know the main kick on government from neoliberal circles is it's inefficieny, which on one hand is completely false, especially in big, rich countries, as backed by numerous studies in multiple time frames. (and where BDP isn't only and ultimate parametre, although it backs it too in most cases).
$17 trillion in debt. But government is efficient right? They can tax you but that doesn't mean they have to be responsible with your tax money.
On the other hand, governments usually aren't efficient exactly when they have close ties to big business, as they cater policies towards it and not benefit of citizens, apart from "holified" circle - and that is main trait of corporativism.
Limited liability granted by government.Your forced to have health insurance and car insurance.Who benefits from this? Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. Lobbyists lobby to alter/create laws to give one business an advantage against other businesses.Who funds the election campaigns of politicians? Who owns the federal reserve? What is with all the former Goldman Sachs employees being appointed to US treasury positions? Follow the money
To answer your questions, they also have two sides: on one hand those measures can't be approved knowing what was the cause of the crash of banking system for ex., but at the same time if say moto industry wasn't subsidized the price wouldn't be paid by owners and manages who ran the companies (and banks for that matter) in the ground, but tebs of thousends of workers who actually built those companies from the ground.
Practice of bank managers to pay themselves huge bonuses after they had been bailed out by hunderds of bilions of dollars speaks enough of their case.
Who bailed them out?
That is an example of state favoring (extremly corrupt) private sector (which in itself is highly problematic), so yes, it could be labeled corporativism.
I think moto industry is a bit more layerd problem, and that call in the end I can understand.
Point is, something isn't corporativist per se, as seen above, or like central banks controling intrest rates, but in which way they are applied is what determines the character.
Who gives the central banks the authority to create US currency? Who gives the central banks the authority to use Quantitative Easing with US currency?
The very notion of democracy is questionable in it's alleged bastion (just see how and why Sanders was prevented from being Democrat candidat at elections; all that happening in basically bi partisian system), let alone in most of the other world.
What is stopping Bernie Sanders from being on all 50 state election ballots? Who controls ballot access? Who controls how electoral college votes are awarded?
Having that in mind and blaiming government for it's inefficiency is a bit hypocrite imo, since ties to big business is exactly what makes it corrupt and inefficiet in first place, yet those same people are spring of neoliberal ideology now days. So I see it as more a means to an end than true belief.
(Interesting marker here are ties between very conservative church organizations and so called neoliberal circles)
Now I went on a writing spree, I hope I covered it all, it is tricky typing it on a cell.
I find it pretty amusing that same liberal business circles who have the greatest benefits from government, which reduces tax rates for the richest and gives them significant tax subsidies, are at the same time those who are loudest in their claims for abolishing the government. A government is given a monopoly on taxation.Corporations can't force you to pay them.A government can force you to pay them or you will go to jail.Corporations can pass the cost of higher taxation on to customers or hire lobbyists to lobby congress to alter the tax code to their advantage. Corporations should not get ANY subsidy from government.None.
At the same time that same government is only medium the regular people have to confront those forces.I disagree.
Thus Sanders example - you know it is not same to run as independent candidate or be backed by party like Democrats - and you very well know why Hilary got the nod from super delegates (utterly undemocratic institute itself)Yeah that was a travesty and should not have happened. Totally undemocratic.
instead of him (not that he is perfect, but man far and above what currently is offered). Point is, systemWho controls ballot access?
itself denied people a real choice (because choosing between Trump and Hilary wasn't exactly the great opportunity).
As far as treatment of public services and good - most obvious example is education system being tailored to fit big business needs,Like what?
not only because it is becoming privatised itselfWhy do you think that is that bad?
, but also because it produces people who aren't able to think critically,When is that the case?
but have only very narrow scope of competences which fit the market needs. And that is as far as it can get from true purpose of education and education system. (only difference in comparison to fascist Italy is that education there was public,but you just said privatizing schools is bad. Which is it?
but with state having so close ties to corporate system, it basically amounts to the same thing.????
In fact, it being publicly owned, allowed for it to eventually change for the better back thenPublic schools are not subject to competition and are guaranteed tax money even if they are failing.A private school would go out of business if they keep failing students and had low scores and are they are subject to competition.(simply go to another better private school)
Concerning health system, main benefactors from Obamacare were millions who previously didn't have medical insurance at all, not insurance companies.Why are businesses forced by government to provide healthcare? What is wrong with universal healthcare that is funded voluntarily?
(again, far from being perfect, and in big part due to Republican opposition, Obamacare was still major step forward). It is not black and white, that is always too simplistic, and usually misses the main point (cause)
New changes proposed after Trump came in the seat are going towards favouring private capital - insurance companies, etc. Who do you think wrote Obamacare/ACA? Who benefits financially from it? Insurance companies and pharmaceuticals. Notice congress didn't repeal it. Who benefits financially from "Trump care"? Same thing. Insurance companies and pharmaceuticals. Change the name win the game...
You said it yourself, follow the money. You'll see how government has become basically a client for big business.Guess we should decentralize and minimize government size and influence
To abolish government as such would only further open doors for big capital holders to further expand their oligarchy, now without any possibility to contain them. Corporations love big government. They can lobby to create laws to give themselves an advantage over their competition.They are given bailouts and subsidies.Regulations that price out the competition.Very minimal government would really complicate that process.
It is reminiscent of populist calls to abandon European Union because "it failed in it's mission" (which would in fact become true only if it falls apart). Those are pretty dangerous tendencies, going towards (further) disintegration.
Regarding budget deficit - it is actually not a bad thing to have budget deficit, as evidenced by periods of biggest american economic growth (New Deal, post WWII)when budget was continuously in deficit - it is not problem as far as that money is invested in infrastructure, education etc which all raises productivity and well being of population, especially in long term.
Problem is when deficit is consequence of imperial policy and is used to buy unnecessary goods from other countries so their economy can be liquid - since they have accepted and implemented capitalistic system, it better work, otherwise it is bad publicity. (ofc, USA businesses get loads of cheap working force and new markets to expand to).
Not to mention starting meaningless wars.Who initiates the meaningless wars?
At this point it is pretty obvious how foreign policy corresponds with big business interests and contrary to regular people's interests; and how in turn foreign policy affects domestic policies implemented, to reflect those same interests. Foreign policy of whom? Domestic policy of whom
To conclude, just because the government is acting badly, it doesn't mean government as institution is badResponsible for 262 million casualties in the 20th century.Communism,Fascism, WMD
(on the contrary, it is the base of representational democracy - problem is that isn't the perfect form of democracy, and all the consequential problems basically stem from here; as well as from the modes the primary capital was accumulated, not only in USA, but in other early capitalist states, and which dictates relations of power up until now).
Political system needs to be changed, allowing for the greater participation of regular peoplewho controls the elections?
(not in populist version of people, but really, all the people) which are now in big part separated from any major decisions, and just one of the problems with it is consequential lack of motivation among voters.
(Seattle is positive example in that regard)[/quote]