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martin@gkc.org.uk
Date: Wed, 15 May 2019 12:29:49 +0100

> A friend of mine once opined that advertising was a zero-sum game.

This is clearly incorrect: it can only be a negative-sum game. The name of the game (as with competition in so many other areas) is to try to hurt your opponent *more* than you hurt yourself. Then you have "won" the game.

You seem to think it incredible that billions of dollars spent in advertising will actually have a measurable psychological effect on hundreds of millions of people. But advertising *works*: otherwise nobody would do it!

> Attempts to introduce competition into the Soviet economy were a disaster.
> However, attempts to run an economy (the Soviet economy again) without
> competition were also a disaster.

This is also factually incorrect.

This Reddit post gives a carefully argued, factually supported, comparison between US capitalism and Soviet communism:

https://old.reddit.com/r/LateStageCapitalism/comments/99o8mw/minimum_wage/

Let's unpack the idea that "Capitalism works". In the US, the most developed Capitalist country, the richest country in the history of the world:

1 out of every 7 US citizens needs to visit food banks to survive, despite having enough food to feed 10 billion people. Half of all food produced is thrown away by retailers.

Empty homes outnumber the homeless by 6 to 1. Bank foreclosures and housing speculators have left 18.9 million empty homes. 2.5 million homeless children, or ~1 / 30. In the UK, there are 10x more empty houses than homeless families.

UNICEF, RESULTS, and Bread for the World estimate that 15 million people die each year from preventable poverty, of whom 11 million are children under the age of five.

In the US alone, 20-40k deaths every year because of lack of health insurance / care. On average, that's 300k over the last decade.

Average US household carries ~$140k in debt. Median household income only
$60k, 40% of millennials live with their parents.

8 men control as much wealth as half the worlds population. Anyone wanna take a guess at how this game of monopoly ends?

80% of US workers live paycheck to paycheck, 40% cannot cover a $400 emergency.

US Life expectancy peaked in 2015, is on the decline, and is now lower than in China.

Suicide rates have leaped more than 25% in the last 20 years.

Committed countless atrocities, killing millions directly and indirectly across the globe. Imperialist network of 800 military bases in 70 countries.

Most prisoners per capita AND by total. Makes sense, since prison is
Capitalism's boarding house. Runs least 54 agricultural slave labor camps.

Capitalist hegemony has short-circuited people into buying wildly illogical and ridiculous propaganda like: "Lift yourselves up by the bootstraps"
(which shows the almost religious power of capitalist propaganda, that the impossible can become possible), or "Communism doesn't work", when in fact
Communism did work extremely well.

Examples from this post by /u/bayarea415 about the USSR specifically:

* USSR had more nutritious food than the US (CIA). Calories consumed
surpassed the US. Ended famines. Had the 2nd fastest growing economy of
the 20th century after Japan. The USSR started out at the same level of
economic development and population as Brazil in 1920, which makes
comparisons to the US, an already industrialized country by the 1920s,
even more spectacular.

* Free Universal Health care, and most doctors per capita in the world. 42
doctors per 10,000 population, vs 24 in Denmark and Sweden, 19 in US.

* Had zero unemployment, continuous economic growth for 70 straight years.
The "continuous" part should make sense --- the USSR was a planned,
non-market economy, so market crashes á la capitalism were pretty much
impossible.

* All education, including university level, free.

* 99% literacy.

* Saved the world from Fascism, killing 7 out of every 10 fascist soldier,
bore the enormous cost of blood and pain). Nazis were in retreat after
the battle of Stalingrad in 1942, a full 2 years before the US landed
troops in normandy.

* Doubled life expectancy. Eliminated poverty.

* End gender inequality. Equal wages for men and women mandated by law, but
gender inequality, although not as pronounced as under capitalism, was
perpetuated in social roles. Very important lesson to learn.

* End racial inequality.

* Feudalism to space travel in 40 years. First satellite, rocket, space
walk, woman, man, animal, space station, moon and mars probes.

* Had zero homelessness. Houses were often shared by two families
throughout the 20s and 30s--so unlike capitalism, there were no empty
houses, but the houses were very full. In the 40s there was the war, and
in the 50s there were a number of orphans from the war. The mass housing
projects began in the 60s, they were completed in the 70s, and by the 70s,
there were homeless people, but they often had genuine issues with mental
health.

Now let's take a look at what happens after the USSR collapse:

* Life expectancy decreases by 10 years. 7.7 million excess deaths
in the first year.

* 40% of population drops into poverty.

* GDP instantly halves.

* One in ten children now live on the streets. Infant mortality increases.
Was 29.3 in 2003 which is around (current) Syria and Micronesia, 7.9 in
2013. Infant mortality in USSR was 1.92, literally the lowest in the
world.

* 1996 election rigged by the US, Yeltsin sends in tanks to disperse the
supreme soviet.

For an overview of the soviet experiment, watch this brilliant talk by
Micheal Parenti, or read his article, Left anticommunism, the unkindest cut.

Also read this great article by Stephen Gowans, Do publicly owned, planned economies work?. Audio on youtube

Bonus vid about cyber-communism: Paul Cockshott, Going beyond money.

More sources: Socialism Crash Course, Socialism FAQ, Glossary.

Follow this link for the above references:

https://old.reddit.com/r/LateStageCapitalism/comments/99o8mw/minimum_wage/

> a profound discouragement to technical innovation

That is the propaganda. The reality is (as discussed above):

If you follow the Reddit links, then you will find that all of the above statements are supported with factual documentation. None of your statements come with any factual support.

I am happy to continue the debate, but please can we stick to facts only and leave out the opinion and propaganda?

Note: I am not suggesting that Communism is the ideal. I prefer
G.K.Chesterton's Distributism to either Capitalism or Communism.


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