• 2 Posts
Joined 1Y ago
Cake day: Jun 17, 2022


I think you’re right. There’s no real attempt to understand what we’re saying. You just get told that even though you (repeatedly) said X, you must’ve meant Y. Where can a conversation even go with that attitude?

It’s like talking about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls and being told you’re wrong about him playing football for Argentina.

I really have very little interest in engaging with trolls. Sometimes, it’s not obvious that someone is a troll, though, but once started there’s a kind of duty to reiterate one’s point and make sure one’s views aren’t misrepresented. Still, I know now and shall try not to engage.

Maybe one way forward is for us (and other like-minded users) to keep engaging in those communities but only/mainly with each other.

The same people who, until a year or so ago, grandstanded about how they would never have stayed silent if they had been in 1930–40s Germany.

I’m skeptical(?) about the whole thing. I saw the story break, but as nobody had mentioned it on Lemmygrad, I did some digging.

At the time, the only sources were the AP, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Liberty and a couple of others. So I dismissed the narrative as propaganda. If there is a conflict over the water, it’s not going to be resolved by a skirmish ffs.

I’m not saying the skirmish didn’t happen – it probably did. Two people were killed, apparently, one from either side.

Curious how this is happening after the US ‘withdrawal’ from Afghanistan. I wonder what military hardware ‘had to be’ abandoned in that withdrawal. Call me a conspiracy theorist but doesn’t the US have a history of clandestine support for the Taliban/brave Mujahedeen warriors? I’ll wait for the evidence before I’m confident, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the CIA is behind this in one way or another. They’re pissed off that Iran and Saudi Arabia are turning eastwards, together.

I won’t be surprised, in a decade or so, to read the news story of a dead journalist who was writing about the shipping routes of US ‘aid’ to Ukraine.

Damn, kinda embarrassing for the US. Imagine being chief of staff over the most expensive military in history and still needing multiple shots to take down a hot air balloon (rumoured to have looked like a giant 🐞) and whose RC-135s can be defeated with a little flatulence.

Audience member: But is it really a conspiracy?

Michael Parenti, every time: Of course it’s a ******* conspiracy. What did you think they’re doing in board rooms and meetings? They’re conspiring!

Your written English is great.

Chinese is a fun language to learn. I could write out characters all day. There’s a real poetry and logic to the stroke order and ‘radicals’ (one of the building blocks of the characters). Each character contains a clue as to its meaning and it’s pronunciation.

The Communists simplified the characters and introduced ‘pinyin’ to improve literacy.

Some of the basic characters are a picture of their meaning. For example a ‘person’ is a stick man without arms. There’s a character with two of these, which means crowd/group. ‘Big’ is stickman with their arms outstretched.

The grammar is straightforward enough. And you can look forward to the day when you come across Mǎ kè sī and realise what it means.

You’ll be able to get to a decent level in 6 months to a couple of years, depending on how much you study each day. Afterwards, as you’ll know from learning English and growing up with Italian, that you can spend the rest of your life improving (and still want to learn more) but you will be able to enjoy Chinese texts, audio, movies, etc. So it will be an enjoyable process.

Give it a go!

Unfortunately, I had to put Chinese aside. I focused on Spanish instead, using the ‘listening-reading’ method (LR). The creator of LR claims that learning to listen to and speak Chinese with LR takes about the same time as it takes to learn any language with the method. The time-consuming bit is learning to read and write, but she claims that this is much faster once you already understand the spoken language (which takes 250+ hours of LR).

(If you search Lemmygrad for LR, Listening-Reading, Princeton, and maybe Sally Rooney or Ken Follett, you should see some my other comments explaining this method and listing some Chinese resources.)

The glass is empty

— Drunk on wine

Apologies for the delay, I was looking for the source that I had in mind. It was under Carter, not Nixon. 1979. Called the Volcker Shock.

From David Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism: A Theory of Uneven Geographical Development (p. 17) (emphasis added and I split the single para to improve legibility):

In October of 1979, Paul Volcker, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank, engineered a Draconian shift in US monetary policy.

The long-standing commitment in the US to the principles of the New Deal, which meant broadly Keynesian fiscal and monetary policies with full employment as the key objective, was abandoned in favour of a policy designed to quell inflation no matter what the consequences might be for employment or, for that matter, for the economies of countries (such as Mexico and Brazil) that were highly dependent upon economic conditions and sensitive to interest rate shifts in the US.

The real rate of interest, that had often been negative during the double-digit inflationary surge of the 1970s, was rendered positive be fiat of the Federal Reserve.

The nominal rate of interest was raised overnight (the move came to be known as “the Saturday night special”) to close to 20 percent, deliberately plunging the US, and much of the rest of the world, into recession and unemployment.

This shift, it was argued, was the only way out of the grumbling crisis of stagflation that had characterized the US and much of the global economy throughout the 1970s.

Seems like we’re in a similar position today, with the US economy on the brink and it’s vassals already sacrificing themselves – including by interest rate hikes (not to the same percentage, but the return will be similar or better as people tend to have much more personal debt after forty years of neoliberalism than at the start of this era). If destroying the German and British economies don’t fix the US economy, it’ll surely sacrifice as many others as it takes to settle the US economy.

Germany has been Europe’s economic engine for decades, pulling the region through one crisis after another.

I think they mean, ‘Germany has been Europe’s economic engine for decades, pulling wealth out the rest of the region through one crisis after another.’

I love how the article says Germany has the worst economy of the G7 in such a way that makes it seem like the other 6 are doing well. But really, 3 are hovering under 1% growth and the other three are between 1% and 1.5%.

Much of Germans’ money is held by a network of around 360 public-sector savings banks, so-called Sparkassen. These institutions are controlled by local communities, raising potential conflicts of interest while also diluting the country’s financial muscle.

How dare local community representatives risk making decisions that benefit their community at the expense of big capital! The horror! Sounds like the author wants wholly private banks to replace Sparkassen. Private banks being renowned for having no conflicts of interest (people genuinely believe this).

…the next national election in 2025, “other political constellations could stall the energy transition again. That would not be good for Germany as a place of business.”

Same old scare tactics: vote right and propagandise everyone around you to vote right or ‘business’ will leave. Good riddance. Unless business comes to where I live after leaving Germany, in which case it can keep the scoundrels.

I enjoy museums but, jfc, you’ve got to avoid the text. It’s usually all very subtle but the terrible messaging is everywhere.

I visited one last year and it had a WWII exhibit. There was only one positive mention of Russia, naming it in a list of allies (not the first in the list, either). Every other mention was negative. You can imagine the kind of this statement.

Then there was a Nazi cabinet with a simple explanation saying this is who the allies were fighting. The items were just presented as curiosities. IIRC there was even a short translation of a sad letter written by a Nazi soldier. 😢

I won’t tell you what the British Empire room was like.

These are curated by the woke leftist neomarxist academicsTM we hear so much about.

And if they get too much because the price is good, they don’t even need to build containers. At the rate they’re destroying villages to mine coal, they will be left with some very big holes just waiting to be filled up to create lovely scenic lakes.

If only there was a cheap source of energy that Germany could rely on. They could get it via a big pipe and save on shipping costs, too. Nah. Far too futuristic.

I agree with that. I hope we never have to see whether China would retaliate against the US if it kicked things off in Taiwan or sent another state in as a proxy war.

Edit: I’ve just noticed something else, too. There’s a lot of detail about a 2000km range. Taking out ships from the desert, etc. No reason why those missiles couldn’t go in other directions. So I see what you’re saying more clearly now. If the US did cause a proxy war and it was clear the US was behind it, the US isn’t safe. Scary times.

Unfortunately, the US will be sending the fleets of it’s puppet states first. But maybe this message will make those puppets say, ‘Hold the fuck on for just a minute, there, Sam.’

Ah, that does fit what little I know about him a bit better.

Doesn’t change the overall truth for other ‘progressive’ politicians, so I sympathise with the expectation that they’re all the same.

I heard they clucked loads of grenades, though.

So you’re telling me that our benevolent overlords aren’t making a loss for the good of everyone? Sacrilege!

I’m sure I saw a Michael Hudson video where he said the US domestic books are completely balanced. The entire deficit is due to the military budget. Things could have changed since he said that. Or I could’ve misheard.

But I don’t think so, because ‘money’ is nothing if not ‘balanced’. Always. The only question is who holds the balance of debits (the workers) and who the credits (the rich). Maybe I’m mixing my categories of ‘balance’ here?

Good news for US citizens is that vassall states are the ones who pay the monthly payments and provide an insurance for that military debt.

Did they not do this before, under Nixon, too?

It’s a serious flaw in many progressive politicians. They’ll argue against doing new bad things, but they kind of take it for granted that bad things that already happened have happened and there’s not much they can do about it.

Do you have any links about Benn on NI? Or is it more of a conspicuous silence?

Lenin’s, The Right of Nations to Self-Determination might shed some light on this issue: https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/.

There is that, but also, Western bombers are remarkably accurate in not hitting Western capital. It’s only things like weddings and schools that are hard to make out from the air while popping amphetamines. By this, I mean, the US would have gladly bombed Europe even if it has/had factories there.

Not sure that is pay to jump the queue to the morgue, tbh 😬

I found a receipt from January. I daren’t compare it with my receipt from last week’s shop.

I went to buy a box of cereal last week. It’s been out of stock for months, but I check whether it’s in every time I go to the one shop that used to stock it. It’s back! And on offer! Lucky me! Until I look closely. It’s got ‘new’ plastered across the top of the box. I’m curious. What does this mean? I check the ingredients. It’s not new. It’s exactly the same. The only difference is, the box is literally half the size of what it used to be. Same price. I’ll never buy it again. Partly out of spite. I hope they go bankrupt. The shop owners and the manufacturer. The wankers. How thick do they think we are?

Failing to prepare a plan is planning to fail to bring that annoying ‘t’ wih you.

Always found it weird that some gyms expect one to take a towel to wipe down equipment. It seems far more unhygienic to do that. Just think of what you’re wiping from machine to machine and carrying around in your hand, possibly patting your forehead with. Disgusting. But that’s prissy westerners who can afford the extortionate ‘health suite’ gyms for you 🤷. Then again, I’m also not an especially sweaty person. But neither is anyone I’ve ever trained with, either, so…. I’m with you here.

This, but they’ve committed so much to the narrative of ‘there are no alternatives’ they think they have nowhere else to turn. Must be horrible to have liberalism as one’s last refuge while knowing that it does not match reality and cannot explain one’s world.

I was talking about something similar the other day.

There’s a kind of assumption where I live (individualistic society) that people expect to be happy and they can get upset when you explain that, well, life isn’t always happy and we don’t have a ‘right’ to be happy. People’s really tend to dislike it and get upset quick if you express other emotions. Even if those emotions are based in reality.

Loved ones, for example, will insist that you tell them that you’re happy. Short of that, you have to agree with them that ‘things will get better’ and you’ll be happy soon. It’s complete bollocks. Like, there’s no willing ourselves out of climate catastrophe. It’s going to be bad. It’s going to be difficult to be happy in twenty, even five or ten years. Insisting that we’re all happy and that we’ll just keep smiling and laughing is bizarre af. The western world is doped up on some secular opium for the masses.

The example I gave is being anxious. ‘Just don’t worry about the things that make you anxious,’ they say. (Gee, thanks.) But actually, being anxious about e.g. the traffic is entirely reasonable when we know (a) there are loads of cars, (b) visibility is low for cars and pedestrians because there are loads of parked cars, and © many drivers speed by, far faster than the speed limit, and mostly don’t slow down for obstacles including pedestrians even when they otherwise ‘follow the rules of the road’.

I can’t imagine living 300 years ago or inside a wildlife sanctuary and being told not to be anxious about the wolves, bears, and lions. We should be fucking worried and it’s weird not to be. Especially when we know that all the gurning people around us don’t accept the danger of very real dangers because to do so would involve too much cognitive dissonance.

In sum, the article highlights important research. I don’t know if we can fix the western world without addressing this psychological problem (in it’s dialectal relation to capitalism, of course). Good find, thanks.

Ukraine needs a Tony Benn willing to give the US the finger and end the madness: https://youtu.be/HfXmpJRZPYI

It’s like pushing a rock up a hill only to have it roll back down when you get to the top, when you chase it back down to roll it back up only to have it roll back down…

It could be a way of describing capitalism in it’s international neoliberal form, along the lines of Quinn Slobodian: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674979529.

Proletariat or Labour Aristocrats? What is the status of workers in the Global North?
**This is a contentious subject. Please keep the discussion respectful. I think this will get more traction, here, but I'll cross-post it to !Communism, too.** Workers who sell their labour power for a wage are part of the working class, right? They are wage-workers because they work for a wage. Are they wage-*labourers*? “They’re proletariat,” I hear some of you shout. “Not in the imperial core! Those are labour aristocrats,” others reply. So what are the workers in the imperial core? Are they irredeemable labour aristocrats, the inseparable managers and professionals of the ruling class? Or are they proletarian, the salt of the earth just trying to get by? It’s an important distinction, even if the workers in any country are not a homogenous bloc. The answer determines whether workers in the global north are natural allies or enemies of the oppressed in the global south. The problem is as follows. There is no doubt that people in the global north are, in general, more privileged than people in the global south. In many cases, the difference in privilege is vast, even among the wage-workers. This is not to discount the suffering of oppressed people in the global north. This is not to brush away the privilege of national bourgeois in the global south. For some workers in the global north, privilege amounts to basic access to water, energy, food, education, healthcare, and shelter, streetlights, paved highways, etc. As much as austerity has eroded access to these basics, they are still the reality for the majority of people in the north even, to my knowledge, in the US. Are these privileges enough to move someone from the ranks of the proletariat and into the labour aristocracy or the petit-bourgeois? I’m going to discuss some sources and leave some quotes in comments, below. This may look a bit spammy, but I’m hoping it will help us to work through the several arguments, that make up the whole. The sources: - *Settlers* by J Sakai - *Corona, Climate, and Chronic Emergency* by Andreas Malm - *The Wealth of Nations* by Zac Cope - ‘Decolonization is Not a Metaphor’ by Eve Tuck and K Wayne Yang. I have my own views on all this, but I have tried to phrase the points and the questions in a ’neutral’ way because I want us to discuss the issues and see if we can work out where and why we conflict and how to move forwards with our thinking (neutral to Marxists, at least). I am not trying to state my position by stating the questions below, so please do not attack me for the assumptions in the questions. By all means attack the assumptions and the questions.

Attention Queen Mary Students
Hello Lemmygraders, University staff across the UK are on strike over gender, racial, and disability pay gaps, workloads, casualisation, fair pay, and pensions. Queen Mary University needs your help: > Please complete this form to let us know if your educator / lecturer talked about the reasons why they are taking strike action in your lecture / seminar / other educational activity. Edit: original wording was a little too sarcastic.