ALB

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  • in reply to: Russian Tensions #230753
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Shelley got the measure of rulers like him:

    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46565/ozymandias

    in reply to: Maths and Cyber-Communism #230680
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I am afraid that the credit for spotting this first must go to YMS who started a thread on it a few weeks ago;

    Cyber communist planning

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #230664
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Critisticuffs (the German group “Against Capital and Nation) have produced a detailed analysis of the current conflict between Russia and the US.

    https://critisticuffs.org/texts/ukraine-russia-usa

    Here is the conclusion, the last paragraph of which can serve as a fitting riposte to Zizek:

    “For Russia and the US, what they are and claim to be as nations is at stake: for the one, its “historical future as a nation”, its status as a great power and respected subject in the world of states; for the other, its “unrivalled power”, its unrestricted world domination. Their positions are irreconcilable. They do not tolerate any relativisation, because that would be tantamount to abandoning their posited standpoint.

    For both sides, the assertion of their own position, therefore, has the quality of an existential question that must be brought to a decision, a “matter of life and death” and or a matter of the highest principles – “prosperity and security” – respectively.

    And so they go at each other. They both use deterrence and threats to impress the other side into accepting their demands and escalate the use of their means of destruction when this fails. They know full well what destruction the other side can bring to the battlefield, and how widely it can define this battlefield. They both insist on their dominance of escalation, their ability to up the ante in response to an escalation of the other side. For now, Russia made the transition to an all out war against Ukraine and kills people in that country to preserve its status as a great power. The superior American side, for now, does not want to get directly involved with its military – indeed it seems increasingly frustrated that it has to take attention away from its rising (economic and thus future military) rival China. For now, America is content with letting Ukrainians fight and die – for their fatherland and the rule-based order that the US implemented after the Second World War. But America’s restraint is nothing but the decision to postpone an escalation to the point when it feels its status as the one superpower in the world is sufficiently threatened.

    Only an idiot would support either of these programmes.”

    in reply to: French presidential elections #230663
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Only just over 46% of the electorate voted. So over half weren’t convinced by any in the parade of clowns.

    in reply to: ICC on Ukraine #230628
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Which ICC? Not the International Criminal Court, I hope.

    in reply to: The Unions Fight Back #230618
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Looks as if the government are going to try and see off the RMT just as Thatcher did with the NUM. Could be a dangerous strategy as at least half the population are on the railway workers’ side for the obvious reason that they too want to get a wage increase to mitigate the rise in the cost of living and see the railway workers are trail-blazers.

    But that other workers will follow the railwaymen’s example is precisely what the government is afraid of. That is why they are trotting out the traditional stuff about the danger of starting a wage-price spiral. That’s a scare story but if there is going to be a spiral it would be a price-wages spiral since other prices rose first.

    On the radio yesterday, during interviews with the minority of workers not supporting the railway workers, more than one person said they didn’t see why the railway workers should get special treatment. A stupid argument but it is true that the railway workers shouldn’t be treated as a special case. All workers should be treated the same as them and get a wage increase of well over 2 or 3 percent.

    in reply to: Question for the Economics Gurus #230595
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I think you must have meant at the turn of the 19th century. Bad as conditions were in 1900 they weren’t that bad! Mind you, the Whigs, the predecessors of today’s Liberal and Labour parties, weren’t much better than the Tories from a working-class point of view. In fact in some ways were worse as the Liberals were the party of the factory owners.

    It’s true that capitalism without rising prices is no utopia. From 1815 to the end of the century the price level was relatively stable. And, after a period of inflation following the end of WW1, prices were often falling in the 1920s and 30s. In fact the second Labour Government collapsed in 1931 over whether or not to reduce benefits and civil servants pay in line with falling prices.

    in reply to: The Unions Fight Back #230593
    ALB
    Keymaster

    The government might find itself out of step with people’s attitude towards the rail strike. Far from seeing it as “harming the public”, people might see it as a group of workers making a reasonable demand with a double-digit rise in consumer prices on the horizon — asking for something that they too think they should get.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #230592
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Danger: Nasty Nationalists At Work. If any other state passed a blatantly discriminatory law like this against a minority group within it, liberals would be denouncing it as undemocratic. But because Ukraine is, apparently, fighting for “Western values” and even for “Good against Evil” we don’t hear a squeak from them. I suppose they might protest if these books were burnt in public.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61859593.amp

    in reply to: French presidential elections #230580
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Exit poll predicts 89 seats (out of 577) for the ex-National Front — a record for the far right.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #230569
    ALB
    Keymaster

    The NATO general Secretary has just called for the Donbass to be ethnically cleansed. As what else can clearing the Russian troops out of it mean? If this happens well over a million people living there who consider themselves Russian or see Russian troops as there protectors wouldn’t stay. No wonder the Ukrainian censors have banned people saying that what is happening is even partly a civil or ethnic war.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/stoltenberg-more-modern-weapons-could-free-donbas/amp/

    He went to say admit that workers in the West would have to suffer the pain of a lower standard of living due to “rising energy and food prices”:

    “We must not let up in supporting Ukraine, even if the costs are high, not only for military support but also because of rising energy and food prices.”

    I think he could be wrong in thinking that workers will be prepared to accept this.

    in reply to: Question for the Economics Gurus #230553
    ALB
    Keymaster
    in reply to: Question for the Economics Gurus #230551
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I think it is simpler to say that the move towards a cashless society means that less money (notes and coins) is required. It would be stretching things a bit to say that it represents an increase in the velocity of circulation of existing money, even though this too would mean that less money was needed.

    As an example of how the equation is used today here’s an extract from the FT in 2009 (even if the author got in wrong about QE and tumbling prices, that’ll be the day):

    MV=PT is true, but how to use it?

    The equation at the heart of quantitative easing and crude monetarism is known as the “quantity theory of money” where MV = PT. M is the quantity of money, V is the speed money flows round the economy, P is the level of prices and T is the number of transactions. By definition, the equation is true, but controversy has raged over the use of this formula. If you believe V and T are stable, then control of the money supply guarantees control of inflation. Quantitative easing raises M, so if V is fixed, it will push up P or T or both.
    In today’s recessionary and deflationary world, that would be a welcome result. But if banks, companies or households sit on the extra cash sending V plummeting, M may go up while P and T still tumble. History tells us V has never been sufficiently predictable to be reliable for use in policy.”

    in reply to: Question for the Economics Gurus #230549
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I don’t know who it is from but it wasn’t Marx. It has also been expressed as MV = PT, as by Irving Fisher in the 1930s.

    In Marx’s day the Quantity Theory of Money, as expounded by David Hume and David Ricardo, was not just an equation that was true by definition, but a theory that the level of prices was determined by the amount of money in circulation, so that if this was increased the result would be a rise in prices.

    Marx and others rejected this theory, arguing that, on the contrary, it was PT that determined how much money was required. At the time gold was the main currency for international trade and paper money was convertible into it. If an attempt was made to put more gold in circulation this would fail as it would become more profitable to hold gold as billion than gold coins and so to convert them into it.

    For Marx the Quantity Theory was valid only where there was an inconvertible paper currency (as today). In that case if the amount of money was increased the result would indeed be a rise in the general price level.

    in reply to: UK/US ‘justice’ – Assange extradition hearing #230548
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Given the choice, I think I would ask for a seat on the next flight to Rwanda.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 8,426 total)