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Monthly Archives: March 2009

 (or somwhere in between?)

At the outset I would say that I consider myself to be neither a Communist or a Capitalist but an individual that would prefer to live in a world that defines and adopts the best virtues of both social extremes and that is somewhere in between. A society where there is still incentive to succeed and that is benevolent enough to support those in society that are unable to succeed.

I am sure that many citizens of the USA, the doyen of pure capitalism, felt a great sense of satisfaction when the brand of communism practiced in Russia failed. Proof positive that Capitalism is right, after all it won the day. It’s ironic that the brand of capitalism many Americans have been brought up on has now also failed.

Human beings are by their very nature social beings that live in communities. So it follows that anyone of any political persuasion who lives in and accepts the benefits of living in a social community is by definition both a socialist and a communist (in the sense of a person living in a community).

Before I go any further, let me say that the above statement was intended to be provocative, for no other reason than to make a very significant point. Social (socialism) and community (communism) are not dirty words, on the other hand capitalism as currently practiced and in the light of the current financial debacle and fraud revelations, has become a very dirty word.

A ‘quick-fix’ of the current flawed system is unfortunately necessary to avoid a complete collapse, but we must not lose sight of the fact that the system failed and needs to be fixed. It’s perhaps time to consider what sort of society we want in the future. The corrupted brands of communism and capitalism that have been ‘tried out’ over the last century have virtually all failed. Why? Well in my opinion they failed for no other reason than because they were extremes.

Communism, in the sense that it starts with the premise that everyone is equal, is doomed to fail because in fact everyone is not equal. A society needs to be structured in such a way that each individual has the freedom to achieve his or her own level in society based on their ability, appreciation and ambition. At the same time the system has to be structured in such a way that there is no way that the system can be exploited for excessive personal gain to the detriment of society as a whole.

Never forgetting that because we are communal social beings we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone, irrespective of ability, enjoys a standard of existence that the incumbent society can afford.

On the other hand capitalism in its purest form is doomed because it assumes we do not live in a socially interactive community and success is measured by greed, acquisition and a desire to gain at the expense of individuals in the community and the community itself. The current astonishing lack of control in the modern capitalistic system allows individuals and groups of individuals to exploit the ever changing elements of the system in order to acquire disproportionately large amounts of wealth from others with a complete disregard for the social consequences.

A free market is OK providing there are rules. In the same way that we have social rules that outlaw murder, rape and revenge killing so there should be rules to prevent excessive financial exploitation of the social system for personal gain at the expense of the community.

Pure Capitalism is as socially abhorrent as pure Communism.

The number of billionaires in the world now is not a measure of their success but a measure of society’s failure. For so many individuals to be allowed to accumulate so much wealth, wealth that cannot possibly be spent in any individuals lifetime, is a symptom of a society in need of a complete makeover.

The level of technical expertise and real wealth producing capability the world is able of achieve NOW is more than enough to eliminate poverty, hunger and disease worldwide. The wealth just has to be managed effectively and distributed fairly.

We are social beings, so let’s start being sociable.

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Turkey has been at the center of the world since the beginning of civilization. It therefore comes as no surprise to me that President Obama should include Turkey on his first major trip overseas.

There are over two hundred countries in the world, so why within 3 months of his inauguration is the President of the most powerful country on the world including a visit to Turkey on his trip? This will be President Obama’s first overseas trip (not counting a day trip to Canada), a trip that will also include stops in Great Britain, France, Germany and the Czech Republic (CZ for no other reason than it currently holds the presidency of the European Union).

Well, a trawl around the Internet reveals the following possibilities:

  1. Turkeys strategic position in relation to Iran and its possible inclusion in any talks aimed at solving the nuclear proliferation issue.
  2. Turkeys assistance in helping with the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
  3. Turkeys assistance in dealing with the situation in Afghanistan.
  4. To highlight Turkeys involvement in the NATO alliance.
  5. A step towards improving relations with the Muslim world.

Barack Obama said in an address in the summer of 2007 that he would deliver an address in a “major Islamic forum” during the first hundred days of his administration. He said he would make it clear that “we are not at war with Islam” and that “we’ll stand with those who are willing to stand up for their future.” The Whitehouse is currently denying that this visit to Turkey will include the promised address.

Fine words, but the aggression that the USA has shown towards ‘oil rich’ nations over a period of many decades, that just happen to be Muslim, is a matter of historical record. It’s like the father of ‘school bully’ saying, my son didn’t do it. The fact of the matter is he did do it, and the only way out of the mess is undo it. And that is definitely not going to be easy.

Item 5 above, ‘a step towards improving relations with the Muslim world‘ is a strange goal to be pursuing in Turkey, considering that the USA’s relations with Turkey are not that bad. The real issue is the USA’s relations with that part of the Muslim world that has oil reserves. The mending of those bridges should start in those countries and not in Turkey. It’s not a religious issue it’s only to do with the invasion of predominantly Muslim countries in the name of securing access to energy resources.

In 2003 Turkey did not allow the USA to use Turkey as a stepping stone for the invasion of Iraq. This slight dent in US-Turkish relations has been largely smoothed over by Turkeys agreement in the aftermath of the war to allow US access through Turkey for troop and equipment movements. Turkey is also prepared to consider allowing the USA to use Turkey as a conduit for the eventual withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

During my research for this piece I became aware of the fact that many political commentators, when writing about Turkey for any reason, feel it’s necessary to mention that Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country. Whenever they refer to the United Kingdom they don’t mention that it is predominantly Anglican Christian nor feel it is necessary to mention that that Japan is predominantly Shinto or that The Vatican is exclusively Catholic Christian. This sort of writing only highlights the religious differences between countries, like it’s relevant to the subject under discussion.

There was a time when adults financed children. They went out to work, created wealth, had most of the wealth they created siphoned off by government and the parasitic banks and lived on the edge with what was left and oh yes, fed their children.

In the aftermath of the biggest financial collapse in history in monetary terms, governments around the world are in a bank bailout, stimulus package frenzy to try and save a fundamentally flawed system.

Now I may be wrong, but if there is a financial collapse it’s because there’s not enough real wealth in the system. So any half intelligent person is going to ask the question, where is all the money governments are using for the bank bailouts and stimulus packages coming from?

Well, we live in a credit society, which is essentially a system designed to borrow from the future. So, because everyone now accepts that credit is somehow ‘normal’, Governments are now borrowing heavily from our children, their children and their children.

It’s nothing less than disgusting and it has to stop.

CliffFraser.com