ALB

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  • in reply to: We are all African apes. Nationalism is nonsense. #234119
    ALB
    Keymaster

    If, as Pääbo’s research confirmed, we and Neanderthals (and Denisovans) interbred why are they regarded as a separate species and not as a sub-species (one of the definitions of “race” as applied to non-humans).

    Neanderthals vs Homo Sapiens: Different Species Or Subspecies?

    in reply to: We are all African apes. Nationalism is nonsense. #234097
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Did the Neanderthals and these Denisovans come out of Africa too?

    in reply to: Cost of living crisis #234054
    ALB
    Keymaster

    But it does depend on gas (mainly to burn to generate electricity) and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the retaliation by the Western bloc and Russia counter-retaliation have raised the international price of gas wherever you buy it from.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #234043
    ALB
    Keymaster

    “The American word “hillbilly” has been said to have come from the Ulster-Scots.
    Apparently, they became known as hillbillys for their folk songs about King William.”

    I know that’s been said but it sounds like folk etymology to me. In other words, complete bollox. Do they mean they sang The Sash My Father Wore and the Auld Orange Flute a hundred or more years before they were composed? In fact, before the Orange Order was set up.

    Do youse think that all this means that our vicarious Russian here might not be a true Scotsman?

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #234013
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Fair enough. I see the point you were making. More generally, what we are talking about here is language not so-called “ethnicity” (the successor to the discredited term “race” and so objectionable on the same grounds). “Ethnonationalism” as promoted by both the governments of Russia and Ukraine is a species of racism.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #234009
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I don’t think so. Most of them came from Scotland and spoke the dialect of English spoken in the lowlands. Some of them do consider themselves “ethnic Scots”.

    Ulster Scots in fact has the same status in Northern Ireland as Irish Gaelic, so it does.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Scots_dialect

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #234006
    ALB
    Keymaster

    The voting papers in Donbass and Lugansk were in Russian only, but the ones in the other two regions were in both Russian and Ukrainian. I would guess that in Donbass and Lugansk the vote would be an expression of popular opinion as they have not been part of Ukraine since 2014.

    What is “an ethnic Russian” anyway? Speaking Russian has got nothing to do with biology. Being “Russian” is a political identification and there are plenty of people in Ukraine whose mother tongue is Russian who don’t consider themselves “ethnic Russians”. Zelensky’s mother tongue is said to be Russian and he’s from the Zapo whatever you call it region (and it’s different in the two languages). He probably still speaks it in private with his wife and kids.

    Next they’ll be referring to the Protestants of Northern Ireland as “ethnic Britons”.

    Incidentally, Israel annexed the Golan Heights (from Syria) and East Jerusalem without even bothering to organise a referendum, sham or otherwise. But then it us “our” breaker of the “international order”.

    in reply to: Beyond Money (video) #234002
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yes, she does and has to for the other reason you give (how are the Yemonon communities to get steel and MRI scanners). Since she rules out money these “exchanges” would presumably be in kind, like barter. But if production in socialism was organised at regional and world as well as local level (as envisaged in our “Socialism As A practical Alternative” pamphlet) then her communities could just order such things without having to offer anything in “exchange”.

    It would be less of a problem for the larger, ecoregions (the size of a medium-sized country) envisaged by Murray Bookchin in his “Towards and Liberatory Technology”.

    I would have thought that there would, even in the future she envisages, need to be some organisation above the local level and also on a world level. A permanent organisation like the WHO at world level would be useful to coordinate dealing with a pandemic, wouldn’t it? And what about the International Postal Union or the World Wide Web? Even Kropotkin envisaged the former continuing.

    in reply to: Beyond Money (video) #233999
    ALB
    Keymaster

    At one extreme of what socialist society could look like is Zeitgeist. At the other is this. Anitra doesn’t indicate how small the “Yenomon” (No Money, after Samuel Butler’s “Erewhon” if you haven’t worked it out) communities are to be but the background music suggests smaller rather than even medium-sized, I imagine.

    Given where we are in terms of societal development, technology, urbanisation and population density, I would have thought Zeitgeist were more in tune with the spirit of the time.

    having said that, the thing about socialism is that, once humanity has got rid of capitalism and the operation of its economic laws acting on humans like uncontrollable laws of nature, humanity will be in control of its destiny and can decide what it wants.

    Anyway, the idea of a future moneyless society is catching on. There’s not much that we could disagree with in the first couple of chapters of her book Beyond Money where she puts the case against capitalism and its production for trade (as she puts it). It’s reviewed in this month’s Socialist Standard here:

    Post-capitalism: what will it look like?

    in reply to: Cost of living crisis #233974
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Looks as if I should have gone to Kings Cross. It seems that Enough is Enough rather than Don’t Pay has won the franchise to organise these protests. Predictable, I suppose, as the unions are bigger and have more experience at organising these things than community activists.

    in reply to: Cryptic clues #233972
    ALB
    Keymaster

    That’s what Wednesday’s paper said. I suppose the clue could have described them as “reformists” rather than “reformers”.

    in reply to: Cost of living crisis #233971
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Went to the one in Windrush Square, Brixton. Have to report that it was a flop. Only 4 organisers turned up. No burning of energy bills. Maybe people in London went to the ones in Kings Cross and Lewisham instead.

    Anybody go to one of the other ones?

    in reply to: Cryptic clues #233944
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Interesting answer to a clue in the crossword in Tuesday’s Times:

    Russian reformer disheartened monk disturbed by even his reforming (9)

    in reply to: Generally Discrediting David Harvey #233943
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I don’t agree that a tax on land values is incompatible with capitalism. Hasn’t it been implemented in a number of places? The argument against it is not that it is a fantasy but that it wouldn’t make any difference to wage earners.

    In so far as it replaced other taxes it would mean that capitalists would have to pay less tax and so keep more of their profits. More of the burden of taxation would have been passed on to landowners. It wouldn’t have any effect on wages.

    I don’t disagree that it is a good approach to ask those who are against ground-rent because it is a property income why they are not also against profit.

    in reply to: Generally Discrediting David Harvey #233942
    ALB
    Keymaster

    According to this,

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_Party_of_Great_Britain_debates

    we last debated them in August 1991 at the offices of their paper “Land and Liberty”. The subject was: “Who was right: Henry George or Karl Marx”. Their speaker was Fred Harrison of the “Centre for Incentive Taxation”. Harrison is still a leading propagandist for Georgism in Britain:

    https://shepheardwalwyn.com/fred-harrison-author/

    There was also a debate in November 1950 against the Henry George School of Social Science.

    In that 1889 debate between Hyndman and George, Hyndman made some good points:

    “The mean of production are monopolised by the capitalists, with the landlords as their sleeping partners, and those who have no other property than the force of labour in their bodies are compelled by that monopoly to sell it for practically a subsistence wage.”

    “We do not particularly hate landlords more than capitalists, or capitalists more than landlords. The alligator and the crocodile; it matters not which it is from the point of view of those upon whom they feed (Laughter.) We wish to get rid of both, and what we are aiming at is the abolition of the wages system – (Hear, hear.) – and that aim can only be accomplished by the abolition of private property in the means and instruments of production including the land. (Hear, hear.)”

    “The landlord, after all, in this country, and even in America, is but a sleeping partner in the process of expropriation which is carried on at the expense of the workers. (Cheers.) If you kill the sleeping partner and leave the active one at work what better are you? (Hear, hear.)”

    George, on the other hand, looked backwards, promising workers that his Single Tax on ground-rent scheme would give them free access to land to work on their own. Mind you, at that time the radical wing of the Liberal Party thought promising “three acres and a cow” was a vote-winner.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 8,578 total)