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Everything posted by CaptainSwing

  1. I didn't find it particularly interesting. Neither.
  2. Your understanding is jejune. A more accurate bite-sized characterization is as a demand-side rather than supply-side theory. Keynes was certainly a die-hard capitalist, but his argument is essentially that capitalism only functions efficiently in the context of a mixed economy. He also saw unemployment (or as we would now say underemployment) as an evil in itself, as well as being inefficient for the economy. To that extent, he was also in some sense a socialist, though he certainly despised Socialism with a capital S.
  3. As in elections always being run-offs between rival groups of billionaires, with alternative viewpoints ruthlessly suppressed? Isn't that where we are already? If anything, alternative viewpoints get more of an airing in the USA than they do in the UK. Even Fox News let Bernie Sanders have his say for an hour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLOUtddw4ZQ Very true, but it's not logically impossible for some of the propaganda sometimes to be in favour of policies that benefit the impoverished. Up to a point, that did happen in the post-war years, or in FDR's America.
  4. Tories or 'New' Labour, if you're a neoliberal 'Orange Book' Lib Dem. Greens if you're more of an old-fashioned Social Liberal. A two-party state would be better than the current one-party version.
  5. Well that's one of the biggest questions in ethics, which I don't really propose to delve into on the Forum. But here is a cartoon that makes the point that most theories, other than right-libertarianism, do come up with the same answer a lot of the time: https://existentialcomics.com/comic/258 It does seem to me that the utilitarian/consequentialist approach that you prefer is the one that stands the best chance of being able to answer this kind of question. Even then you've got the problem of defining what the utility is that you want to maximize, or the disutility that you want to minimize.
  6. Reminds me of the old Mark Radcliffe anecdote. He once met someone who had been in a latter day line-up of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich: "I naturally enquired, 'So, which one were you then?' to which he replied 'Dunno. I never asked.' He later admitted that he was pretty sure he wasn't Dave Dee." https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/jul/01/reelin-in-the-years-mark-radcliffe-review
  7. Not aware, but not surprised as it slots right into my narrative. Thanks! For a bit of light relief, here is a comic strip about the nice kind of anarchists: https://existentialcomics.com/comic/247 All I can say is I hope you're wrong, but it's not looking promising, with a majority of Republicans (voters and legislators) believing (or affecting to believe) that the election was 'stolen'. Once you've been lured down that rabbit hole, it's almost impossible to find your way out again.
  8. The insurrectionists (or at least the people who are pulling their strings) are anarchists. They're the nasty type of anarchists - broadly anarcho-capitalist (think Rand, Rothbard, Nozick) - rather than the cuddly broadly anarcho-syndicalist type (Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin), but they're still anarchists. This has been a long time coming. In the popular mind I think it goes back at least as far as Reagan's infamous comment "government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem". If government is the problem, then logically the solution is not to have a government. This idea has been relentlessly pushed by dark money, billionaire media moguls, 'conservative think tanks', silicon valley libertarians etc. etc. The kind of people who think William Rees Mogg's 'sovereign individual' is a great idea, as opposed to a dystopian nightmare. Be afraid, folks, be very afraid.
  9. Are you implying that the EHRC is politically neutral? How's that investigation into Tory Islamophobia coming along?
  10. Maybe that's where all those anti-semites came from. After all, racial stereotyping of Jewish people does seem to be somewhat more prevalent among Tory voters at least: https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/c6bfihz919/CAAResults_180907_Antisemitism_website.pdf And if, as is sometimes implied, a lot of Tories were joining to act as agents provocateurs, what better way would there have been to undermine the party?
  11. Some interesting stats about Premium Bonds here. At current rates, an individual £1 bond pays out on average roughly once every 2,000 years, so Padders still has a bit of a wait I'm afraid. Though of course there's always the infinitesimal chance of a bigger win. The monthly rate is once every 24,500 months (according to that site), which ties in with RiffRaff's acquaintance winning most months. Odds would have been better in the past too. They're always reviewing the payouts in the direction of a smaller number of bigger wins - the average payout might (or might not) stay the same, but the chances of winning anything get smaller.
  12. It's already the bus for many of us. 22% of households (that's about 6 million of them) currently don't have a car or van, including 52% of households consisting of single retirees, and 45% of single-parent families: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/expenditure/datasets/percentageofhouseholdswithcarsbyincomegrouptenureandhouseholdcompositionuktablea47 As you'd expect, non-ownership is concentrated in lower income households (55% of households in the bottom quintile for gross income).
  13. According to fullfact the bus quote is apocryphal, and probably coined originally by the Duchess of Westminster (who was comparing travelling by bus unfavourably to being chauffeur-driven, not to just owning a car - again, according to fullfact). "There is no such thing as society" is entirely genuine, however. She literally said that, on the record, and literally meant it. But it wasn't in a speech, it was in an interview published in Women's Own magazine on 31 October 1987.
  14. From the viewpoint that @banjodeano is imputing to you, the founders of Momentum would be good examples of the "wrong" type of Jews. Ralph Miliband would probably be another.
  15. The manager kicks the racists out and puts up a sign 'Racism will not be tolerated on these premises'. But, far from supporting him in these efforts, the pubco begins a smear campaign to the effect that it's in fact the manager who is the racist. They want him out so that they can redevelop the property. The former pub is now a block of nice designer apartments.
  16. Nope. Foot was well ahead in the polls until he was undermined by the Limehouse Declaration (and then the Falklands War). If anybody facilitated the second and third Thatcher governments, it was the Gang of Four. The leaders of Militant were all expelled before the 1983 election. I don't know of any particular connection between Militant and Momentum. Militant were a bunch of Trotskyist insurgents beyond the fringe of the party, whereas Momentum won two leadership elections. I appreciate that you may not be able to distinguish Trotskyists from anybody else to the left of Tony Blair, but that is not my fault. Quite so. You won. Get over it.
  17. Yes, it will be interesting to see how that one pans out. On the one hand you'd assume that the military might have a Republican bias, and I understand that it's within Trump's powers to replace the Chiefs of Staff anyway. On the other hand they do have this thing of swearing allegiance to the Constitution, and I can't imagine they've taken too kindly to Trump describing people who fight and die for their country as 'suckers'. If he does refuse to go, or if he does replace the top military personnel, will some general take matters into his own hands? Either way it's depressing that we're even thinking about these possibilities. This is the United States we're talking about here, not some banana republic.
  18. Why ironic? What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Sure, the progressive and regressive wings of the party should be working together, but unfortunately the die was cast during the Corbyn years. In any case, there is a certain amount of rapprochement happening. I've seen Paul Mason retweeting Lisa Nandy, for instance.
  19. The Fed reports that although the mean household income in the US went down during 2016-19, the median went up. If you know your statistics, this implies [or as they say suggests] that income inequality decreased during this period, albeit only 'slightly'. This is, as they say, "in contrast to the 2010–16 period, during which mean income growth vastly outpaced median income growth and the income distribution widened considerably." That's not the only reason why so many less well off people voted for Trump, but it will have been one reason, and we'll be back to square one if the trend isn't continued over the next four years. Sure we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the Trumpster is in the dumpster, but we're not out of the woods yet.
  20. I will say this for Trump, he's the one thing that almost everybody on the Forum can agree on. Nobody else has ever been able to inspire that level of unity.
  21. And yet in many other countries Covid-19 has cemented the popularity of the incumbent, if they've handled it competently, or at least not incompetently - think Jacinda Ardern. Funny that Trump is Making America Great Again by claiming that its electoral system is corrupt, as if it were some banana republic.
  22. It was certainly the tactic of choice of the right wing of the party in the last two elections - and very successfully carried through too.
  23. Maybe his attempts to control the anti-semites would have had better results if the PLP had supported him in that work, rather than using the whole issue as a blatant (and entirely successful) attempt to undermine him. What do you think the two choices open to the left are? Is one of them to try and undermine the current leadership, to ensure that Labour doesn't get elected next time around either?
  24. Corbyn was the previous, democratically elected leader of the Labour Party. He deserved the support of the party, even those in the minority, who didn't vote for him. But he never got it.
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