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World Association of International Studies

Post "Isms" as Religion
Created by John Eipper on 09/28/16 3:36 AM

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"Isms" as Religion (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 09/28/16 3:36 am)

When we discuss the pros and cons of Marxism, Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, we seem to go home with the same opinions as before. After all the excellent points made by many on this topic lately, I doubt Nigel Jones's mind has changed one iota about Marxism or any other ism.

There is a very good reason for that: many people think about theses ism as if they were organized religions, which they are. The bottom line is that any ism is an imaginary set of ideas which mean very little until implemented in practice. Capitalism started to hurt workers and common people, so Marxism became important and provided a solution. This solution was implemented in Russia and the USSR. The results were impressive in terms of making a major contribution to destroying the Nazis, and producing advanced science. The results also treating their own people very badly, with no democracy, no free markets, little justice, curtailed freedoms, etc.

Eventually the implementation of this Marxist system in Russia/USSR went bankrupt. Its major competitor, the US implementation of Capitalism, seemed triumphant. However, the jury is still out, and as I have repeatedly expressed in this Forum, the future is not looking very good. Without its USSR rival, Capitalists with special interests are free to concentrate on increasing profits quarter by quarter, thus squeezing the workers, the middle class, the budgets to maintain necessary national infrastructure, destroying the environment, buying supposedly elected political leaders, etc. Thus now we are beginning to show the same symptoms which destroyed the USSR: treating our own people more poorly, less democracy, markets that are less free, less justice, curtailed freedoms through lower income, greater income disparity, increasing poverty, etc.

I love my adopted USA, but for at least the last few decades have felt increasingly frustrated that we Americans are allowing our beautiful nation to wither out of ignorance and stupidity. Unfortunately, the evidence supporting my pessimism continues to grow. The 2016 Harvard Business School report on "Problems Unsolved and a Nation Divided" just came out. It address US economics and political aspects, but not the social issues.

JE comments:  Here's the link to the HBS report.  The findings are summarized at the beginning, and they aren't sanguine:  US economic performance and workforce participation peaked in the late 1990s.  Political paralysis is mostly to blame for the nation's economic woes.

Let's discuss this further:


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