Myth of Overcrowded Britain

February 2024 Forums General discussion Myth of Overcrowded Britain

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  • #131285
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    I think much of my replies is not just simply the regurgitation of the socialist case but with evidence to back it up, Ike. Why just Africa? I think we can break-down Africa into regions, can't we? There is that saying, Africa is not a country. The problems in Somalia are not identical as the Congo. You also make the same sort of error by not differentiating between all the various and diverse cultures and traditions of the continent. Even our maps misrepresent what that continent is.  You seem to reflect much of MightyY position except he does not racify (if that's a word). In his post he doesn't think the working class as a whole are fit for socialism. "…would people in the West find themselves in much the same position they do today, subsidising and aiding populations that would otherwise starve?…"FACT…There is no subsidy. In 2012, poor countries received a total of $1.3-trillion, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3-trillion flowed out of them. In other words, developing countries sent $2-trillion more to the rest of the world than they received. Since 1980, these net outflows add up to a staggering total of $16.3 trillion. That’s how much money has been bled out of the global south, including Africa, over the past few decades. Add in the massive corruption, enabled by Western interests, plus the violent coups and conflicts that Western interests facilitated, and there’s only one conclusion: Rich countries aren’t developing poor countries; poor countries are developing rich ones. Africa, the receiver of $30 billion in annual monetary handouts, is not only making nothing from the aid it receives but it actually loses $192 billion to the rest of the world each year. This means, basically, that if you take into account the money coming in through aid, investment and remittances ($134 billion), Africa is left with a $58 billion annual loss. To put this into perspective, the money that Africa loses each year is over one and half times the amount of additional money needed to deliver affordable health care to everyone in the whole world! $35.3 billion annually through the tax evasion and other dodgy financial flows enabled by tax havens. These tax havens are jurisdictionally linked to the G8 and the European Union and account for 70% of global tax haven investment. The UK has 11 tax havens under its jurisdiction!  It is time to stop misrepresenting the real nature of the relationship between aid and poverty in Africa. This “aid” is a smokescreen used to hide from public view the fact it is the donors themselves who are perpetuating this cycle of dependence. Africa is essentially not poor, as i said. A combination of inequitable policies, massive disparities in power and criminal activities perpetrated and sustained by wealthy elites both inside and outside the continent are keeping its people in poverty. The UK/EU/US and other wealthy governments are at the heart of this theft. You ask a specific question which if i can paraphrase is…Will particular African communities be permitted to conduct their own affairs in their own manner? That question can be widened to any community in any country and even applies to any individual. Another way of phrasing the question is, Will socialism be a uniform society across the globe using coercion to ensure compliance?   Nobody is going to be free to do what they want to do and that applies to one person, a group of people, or a village, city or a region. Some may well seek autarky as a way of life, rather being an integral part of an interconnected and interlinked and interdependent world society – then so be it. If they choose from their free-will to cut themselves off from all others and make no contact or relationship, that will be their choice. However, if they seek (as some 'anarcho'-nationalists do) to exclude particular people or enforce their own rules and laws on others withot consent, yet still, seek the benefits of a socialist cooperative commonwealth, then no, that so-called "liberty" is limited. With freedom comes responsibility.  If like coltan, something rare and highly sought after, the local people won't mine it, won't let others mine it and decline any inducement to share it,  i can only respond, as i would do now. Let's do without. Nothing is without its substitute, even if less efficient and if no alternative second-best can be acquired, i'd oppose any form of force to take it. I don't imagine such a dilemma. People aren't too different. And most importantly, we have the capacity to care after one another. I simply cannot think that someone from Ghana when given the access and opportunity cannot look after themselves as someone from Glasgow. Of course, we know that such ideas are peddled by the ruling class that workers need someone to look after them, that the working class is incapable of organising society…we need political leaders..we need spiritual saviours…we need dispassionate scientists to do all our thinking…in Manchester and in Mali, the same philanthropic paternalism arises.

    #131286
    Ike Pettigrew
    Participant

    @ Alan JohnstoneYou're doing the classic lefty thing again of assuming superiority because I disagree with your self-reinforcing logic system.  It's a psychological hindrance to debate.  Do you really think that I believe Africans are racially, ethnically and culturally all the same?  If you think I'm that stupid, then I'm surprised you're even giving me the time of day.  It's obvious that I am just using the terms 'Africa' and 'African', etc. for brevity.  Any tupenny halfwit can see that.  I'm not some sort of naif or mangenue who's never looked at a school atlas.  I am a 40 year-old man who has lived abroad and travelled around the world, and can speak a foreign language fluently; I have run several businesses and employed people, and I've known, worked with, employed and been employed by people of all races and from all sorts of backgrounds; and I'm highly-educated and I've read thousands of books; and I've had lots of different life experiences along the way, etc., etc., and so on.  I'm not some ignoramus hiding in a basement, but I assumed that I wouldn't need to make the disclaimers explicit as I'm conversing with intelligent people.What you do is provide the usual stock excuses for why Africans can't feed themselves, which aren't actually on point but instead serve to divert us from asking awkward questions.  I've heard it all before, so let me get to the root of the matter.  My provisional view remains undisturbed.  While acknowledging that Africans have significantly lower IQs than Westerners, and that this is a factor in the inability of Africans to cope under capitalism, I think the reason they have difficulty is the imposition of capitalism itself and the Western cultural hegemony that goes with it.  Africa needs to be returned to the control of Africans, be that for better or ill.  If as a result, they starve, that's terrible, but that's Nature.  If, however, they thrive, then I'll be delighted.  In any event, I do not accept that an imposed hegemonic system such as socialism would avail Africans.  I think it would cause the same problems as capitalism, another Western system, just in a different way.  In both systems, you are telling other people how to live, the only difference with socialism is that the totalitarianism comes with the finest of fine intentions and is rubber-stamped by the formality of "democratic consent", i.e. lots of people turning up to vote.The difference between you and I – or one of many differences – is that I acknowledge that humanity is not one 'race' but several, arguably several different species even, and that a hegemonic solution such as socialism will not address the needs of peoples who do not share our culture.  It will just lead to more dependency and misery. Why do you think you know what's best for people thousands of miles away, on a different continent, with an entirely alien culture in some cases?  And given that you think Africa has unique historical circumstances (I don't agree, but let's accept this is true for the sake of argument), what makes you think the solution of socialism, which arises from a peculiarly European experience of historical struggle, would be translatable to non-European societies?  Isn't your attitude just a little patronising, even imperialist…?

    #131287
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    @ VinI don't know if your problem is lack of comprehension skills or just obstinacy, but let me make it clear: I am not a member of the SPGB.  You can infer from this that at some point my views changed.  You can, in turn, infer from this that at the time I joined the SPGB, I had different views to the views I hold today.  You can infer from this that "racists", as you call them, are not joining the SPGB.  Therefore, any inquiry into the circumstances of my joining the SPGB would be of absolutely no assistance to you in understanding a non-issue that you have invented in your head.  I hope that clears matters up, but if not, might I suggest you make enquiries at your local library about classes in adult literacy?

    Reasearch has shown a correlation  (that is a connection or a relationship)  between political ideologies and IQ.  The further 'right' on the political spectrum the lower the IQ. You lend support to that research with your need to resort to abuse.Furthermore, you accuse Alan of avoiding your question but you avoid mine. So I will ask you again. Where and how did you enter the SPGB???If you have only name-calling and abuse to offer me then don't bother replying.There are lots organisations with knuckle-draggers like yourself and who discuss your vile theories, why don't you fuck off and join one? You wont convince anyone here.

    #131288
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Stock excuses?…or legitimate rebuttals.You made a statement and i used figures to challenge the validity. You ask a question and i answer it.But it cleared the way for you to return to your real position on race. Africans have lower IQs… than who?  And who cares, for that matter…except for people who seek to obtain some sort of self-justification for their politics of supremacy. In all your travels and your experiences, what do you do when you meet other people…give them one of the many varieties of IQ tests to see if they are worthy of your association and if their views and opinions are to be valued or discarded? I'm not being frivolous …i'm showing the pointlessness of your claims. IQ levels even if you can prove any accuracy in them are an irrelevancy when it comes to interacting with others. It is a non-issue when it comes to political choice and policy. It has no bearing on economics. You might as well judge the world by the height of people. IQ has always been the defence of the ruling elite to legitimise themselves …they were born to rule, the masses are too dumb to be allowed to rule…and the modern elite simply "scientifically" adapt such ideas with the concept of meritocracy since inheritancy has been discredited

    Quote:
    While acknowledging that Africans have significantly lower IQs than Westerners, and that this is a factor in the inability of Africans to cope under capitalism, I think the reason they have difficulty is the imposition of capitalism itself and the Western cultural hegemony that goes with it.

    The real factor here is that people…all people except the sociopath cannot cope with capitalism, hence the rates of mental illness and expressions of social estrangement. "Africa needs to be returned to the control of Africans" … If you genuinely think they should have control over their own destiny, then it is to abolish capitalism and the globalisation and neo-colonialism that accompanies it. You simply disregard the fact that capitalism is an oppressive and repressive system that conquers to acquire wealthy. It isn't a system that permits fair shares. If you want your grand scheme to be accomplished, drop all the extraneous aspects to your worldview and concentrate on the core – replacing capitalism.To answer your last point, as you can expect from a member of the SPGB, i am in agreement with certain theories  – the Materialist Conception of History being one of the main ones. If that is flawed and wrong then so is my understanding of how the world works and evolves. As you are aware it argues economic material circumstances eventually trump cultural conditions, and yes, even race if you want to persist in using that term. The MCH along with the Labour Theory of Value are the twin pillars that support socialist ideas, they are the foundation upon what the socialist idea rests upon. Neither idea depends on race or IQ. Class, however, is the crucial factor and that transcends borders and continents

    #131289
    Ike Pettigrew
    Participant

    @ VinAt least my insults have a sense of panache and wit.  But I did not insult you.  I was merely a little sarcastic.  It is not in my nature to insult people.  Also, your plea that I have resorted to abuse is entirely bogus, since you have raised nothing of substance with me.  Had you done so, I would have responded to you, as I have to your colleague, at some length.Still, since you insult me, I should reply in kind.You are manifestly a pompous and officious dim-witted idiot, exactly the type of pea-brained bully who I imagine would be put in charge of 'democratic production' on a socialist commune somewhere, bossing everybody about under the pretense that "It's democratic, comrade, we took a vote last Tuesday" and "Are you disagreeing with the workers, comrade?"Have I summed you up accurately?Your question is nosy and I have the right to be rude in return.  Anybody would be.  And I see you have insulted me back.  Very well, since I did not actually insult you before, we are now evens.  Let that be the end of it and let no more be uttered in the matter.Is this what socialism is going to be like in practice?  A bunch of nosey-parkers prying into people's lives?  Have you heard of data protection?  I have given information about myself where I consider it relevant.  I will divulge further information as and when I am ready and if I think it relevant.  In terms of why I entered the SPGB, you may assume it will be for much the same reasons anybody would.  What else would it be?One more thing.  Ironically, the observation about IQ doesn't strike me as particularly intelligent on your part.  First, I have not expressed whether I am of the Left or Right or indeed either of those things, whatever they may mean.  An opposition to enforced diversity and mass immigration is not exclusive to the political Right.  Second, there's the problem of how we could possibly know about correlations between IQ and political belief.  It's not something that can be reliably measured.  Third, even if we accept the result s of such a dubious study, I'm not clear on why I should base my own political views on it one way or the other? It seems to me that this is more about you.  You have social insecurities and frustrations, and a need to 'fit in'.  You're not a very deep thinker and to pursue your own views on something would make you very anxious.  Being in the SPGB allows you to adopt the pretense of bravery while aligning yourself with views that are in reality generally tolerated, if not acceptable.  I'm quite knowledgeable and insightful when it comes to psychology and could in fact spend a long time analysing you, but I don't have the time or the inclination.  

    #131290
    Ike Pettigrew
    Participant

    @ Alan JohnstoneI note your latest reply.  I think we have both made our points now.  I have nothing further to add.

    #131291
    robbo203
    Participant
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    @ Alan JohnstoneYou're doing the classic lefty thing again of assuming superiority because I disagree with your self-reinforcing logic system.  It's a psychological hindrance to debate.  Do you really think that I believe Africans are racially, ethnically and culturally all the same?  If you think I'm that stupid, then I'm surprised you're even giving me the time of day.  It's obvious that I am just using the terms 'Africa' and 'African', etc. for brevity.  Any tupenny halfwit can see that.  I'm not some sort of naif or mangenue who's never looked at a school atlas.  I am a 40 year-old man who has lived abroad and travelled around the world, and can speak a foreign language fluently; I have run several businesses and employed people, and I've known, worked with, employed and been employed by people of all races and from all sorts of backgrounds; and I'm highly-educated and I've read thousands of books; and I've had lots of different life experiences along the way, etc., etc., and so on.  I'm not some ignoramus hiding in a basement, but I assumed that I wouldn't need to make the disclaimers explicit as I'm conversing with intelligent people.What you do is provide the usual stock excuses for why Africans can't feed themselves, which aren't actually on point but instead serve to divert us from asking awkward questions.  I've heard it all before, so let me get to the root of the matter.  My provisional view remains undisturbed.  While acknowledging that Africans have significantly lower IQs than Westerners, and that this is a factor in the inability of Africans to cope under capitalism, I think the reason they have difficulty is the imposition of capitalism itself and the Western cultural hegemony that goes with it.  Africa needs to be returned to the control of Africans, be that for better or ill.  If as a result, they starve, that's terrible, but that's Nature.  If, however, they thrive, then I'll be delighted.  In any event, I do not accept that an imposed hegemonic system such as socialism would avail Africans.  I think it would cause the same problems as capitalism, another Western system, just in a different way.  In both systems, you are telling other people how to live, the only difference with socialism is that the totalitarianism comes with the finest of fine intentions and is rubber-stamped by the formality of "democratic consent", i.e. lots of people turning up to vote.The difference between you and I – or one of many differences – is that I acknowledge that humanity is not one 'race' but several, arguably several different species even, and that a hegemonic solution such as socialism will not address the needs of peoples who do not share our culture.  It will just lead to more dependency and misery. Why do you think you know what's best for people thousands of miles away, on a different continent, with an entirely alien culture in some cases?  And given that you think Africa has unique historical circumstances (I don't agree, but let's accept this is true for the sake of argument), what makes you think the solution of socialism, which arises from a peculiarly European experience of historical struggle, would be translatable to non-European societies?  Isn't your attitude just a little patronising, even imperialist…?

    It is difficult to know where to start in addressing this post.  There are so many assertions made in it that are deeply problematic and would probably each require a separate thread to deal with so I will confine myself to just one or two observations. Firstly regarding your comment "In any event, I do not accept that an imposed hegemonic system such as socialism would avail Africans."   If, as you say, you were once a member of the SPGB, Ike, you would know as well as I do that socialism cannot be "imposed" from above on a population that by and large does not want it or understand it.  The very nature of the beast requires that a majority EVERYWHERE want it and understand it I am frankly baffled by your comment that:"itwould cause the same problems as capitalism, another Western system, just in a different way.  In both systems, you are telling other people how to live, the only difference with socialism is that the totalitarianism comes with the finest of fine intentions and is rubber-stamped by the formality of "democratic consent", i.e. lots of people turning up to vote.How do you figure socialism could possibly be "imposed" on our African comrades if they like us elsewhere in the world, actively desire it and seek to bring it into existence?  The word “imposition” is wholly inappropriate in this context since it denotes neutrality, at the very least, if not outright opposition. But a population that wants socialism can hardly be neutral about it let alone opposed to it, can it? Secondly, you seem to think that socialism is a some kind of distinctly western cultural phenomenon which "arises from a peculiarly European experience of historical struggle" and is not necessarily "translatable to non-European societies". Well, if you are going to argue along those lines you will, no doubt, be aware that there is a school of thought that contends that, if anything, socialism or communism in the classical meaning of these terms is closer to the experience of Africans than Europeans because of the tradition of communal landholding in Africa. That tradition is currently under sustained assault from the forces of capitalism in the guise of land grabbing agribusinesses in collusion with African governments. The problem with your argument however is that socialism is not some specifically cultural phenomenon in this narrow sense of the term, let alone an essentially European cultural phenomenon.  Rather socialism is a socio-economic system in the same sense that capitalism is.   Capitalism is worldwide and has been embraced by African countries too, never mind that it might historically originated in Europe.  Yet you seem to think that the historical origins of a system in some essentialistic sense limits the scope of such a system in spatial terms.   But this is demonstrable nonsense otherwise why would capitalism now be worldwide when historically it began in a small corner of the world – to be precise Great Britain which was the world’s first truly capitalist state. Your basic error is to conflate a socio-economic system like “socialism” or “capitalism” with the term “culture” in this descriptive sense as the expression of a certain group’s belief’s, traditions, practices and so on.  You go on about the cultural diversity of the planet and the inadvisability of imposing some hegemonic cultural template on all this diversity. But that is not at all what socialists are proposing. What socialists are proposing is instead is not to eliminate cultural diversity as such but to eliminate one socio-economic system and put in its place another.  A socio-economic system is not the same thing as a culture though those there is an interaction going on between these two things.   In fact, the tendency in capitalism is to constrain cultural expressions and limit variety – tendency noted in the Communist Manifesto which talked of capitalism replacing local cultures with a global culture.  That tendency is summed by the portmanteau word, “cocacolinisation” – a reference to the American soft drink and by extension, American cultural imperialism In socialism, by contrast, the economic driving force behind this sort of cultural imperialism will cease to exist and the freedom that is integral to a society of free access and volunteer labour will permit a much wider variety of cultural forms to express themselves but also to intermingle and in the process make for a sense of cultural enrichment across the board

    #131292
    robbo203
    Participant
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    .  An opposition to enforced diversity and mass immigration is not exclusive to the political Right.  

     How ironic.  And there I was thinking that your main gripe with socialism was its enforced uniformity, not diversity (which could not  be "enforced" anyway in a socialiist society given the nature of such a society

    #131293
    Ike Pettigrew
    Participant

    + robboWhile I appreciate the replies, I don't have time to respond now.  Just skimming over what you say (which is all I can now do), I suspect that this is a case of two people arguing from different basic principles, which means you will have great difficulty understanding me because, while I have understood the socialist case and been a Party member, you have not gone through the thinking process that I have.  For one thing, we will be using language in semantically different ways. My concern here is with how ideas translate into practice: the praxis, if you like.  One of the things I have noticed about all ideologies and the more rigid philosophies is that they tend to be idealisations of the wishes of their adherents.  I realise socialism is a little different, in that you are not positing a utopia in the colloquial sense of the term, but even so, I have become convinced that socialism as a practical matter will be a very different experience to what most people on here seem to think. One more thing that puts me off slightly from responding further is that I have noticed that SPGB members are a bit like Christians (being an atheistic pagan, I have in the past had forum and real-life debates with them).  Like Christians, you become very defensive, even aggressive, when your ideas are challenged, even when the interlocutor is polite and moderate, and things do start to get nasty.  There's also a tendency to give canned responses or regurgitate rigid dogmas.  Right or wrong, that's my impression.  There's only so much time and psychic energy I can put into this and I have other things do to.

    #131294
    robbo203
    Participant
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    + robboWhile I appreciate the replies, I don't have time to respond now.  Just skimming over what you say (which is all I can now do), I suspect that this is a case of two people arguing from different basic principles, which means you will have great difficulty understanding me because, while I have understood the socialist case and been a Party member, you have not gone through the thinking process that I have.  For one thing, we will be using language in semantically different ways. My concern here is with how ideas translate into practice: the praxis, if you like.  One of the things I have noticed about all ideologies and the more rigid philosophies is that they tend to be idealisations of the wishes of their adherents.  I realise socialism is a little different, in that you are not positing a utopia in the colloquial sense of the term, but even so, I have become convinced that socialism as a practical matter will be very different to what most people on here seem to think.  

     Well, yes, certainly it seems to me we are indeed arguing from quite different basic principles.  You seem to think socialism is something that can only be "imposed" on people in regions outside and beyond the traditional heartlands of capitalism in which the socialist outlook was first forged and articulated.  I emphatically reject that suggestion  You also seem to equate socialism as a socioeconomic sysem with a particular cultural template which, according to you, is unlikely to be assumiated by people of other cultures.  Again that is a suggestion I also emphatically reject.   Cultural diversty is no threat  to a socialist society (or its realisation) whatsoever and, on the contrary, is to be welcomed as aiding the cultural enrichment of everyone. These are the basic points you need to address.   Whilst I am not privy to the thought processes that persuaded you to move away from socialism, we can at least focus on these points in a rational and reasonably objective manner to hopefully arrive at an acceptable consensus, yes?

    #131295
    moderator1
    Participant

    Reminder: 7. You are free to express your views candidly and forcefully provided you remain civil. Do not use the forums to send abuse, threats, personal insults or attacks, or purposely inflammatory remarks (trolling). Do not respond to such messages.

    #131296
    Brian
    Participant
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    @ Vin.  Being in the SPGB allows you to adopt the pretense of bravery while aligning yourself with views that are in reality generally tolerated, if not acceptable.  I'm quite knowledgeable and insightful when it comes to psychology and could in fact spend a long time analysing you, but I don't have the time or the inclination.  

    Vin, like yourself is no longer a member of the SPGB.  

    #131297
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Brian wrote:
    Ike Pettigrew wrote:
    @ Vin.  Being in the SPGB allows you to adopt the pretense of bravery while aligning yourself with views that are in reality generally tolerated, if not acceptable.  I'm quite knowledgeable and insightful when it comes to psychology and could in fact spend a long time analysing you, but I don't have the time or the inclination.  

    Vin, like yourself is no longer a member of the SPGB.  

    .Just to clarify –  I am not 'like' the imbecile Ike Pettigrew in any other way and I didn't leave because of a disagreement with the SPGB case. I left because you prevented me from telling the working class about it. Like I say – just to clarify 

    #131298
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Ikepissheed wrote:
     I'm quite knowledgeable and insightful when it comes to psychology and could in fact spend a long time analysing you, but I don't have the time or the inclination.  

    You are a prick with an inflated opinion of yourself but full of shit. I have met someone like you before on this forum. He was allowed to spread his shit for three years. 

    #131299
    moderator1
    Participant
    Vin wrote:
    Ikepissheed wrote:
     I'm quite knowledgeable and insightful when it comes to psychology and could in fact spend a long time analysing you, but I don't have the time or the inclination.  

    You are a prick with an inflated opinion of yourself but full of shit. I have met someone like you before on this forum. He was allowed to spread his shit for three years. 

    1st Warning: 7. You are free to express your views candidly and forcefully provided you remain civil. Do not use the forums to send abuse, threats, personal insults or attacks, or purposely inflammatory remarks (trolling). Do not respond to such messages.

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