Revolutionary TPlomacy

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67d75bf8-d2e6-4bff-807c-8a0840e267a7It hasn’t been an easy week for Nicolas Maduro here at home, so he decided to go back to his old hobby for a spot of foreign affairs. On the agenda: a visit to our Caribbean neighbors, Trinidad and Tobago.

Heading a delegation of ninety-five, Maduro met with the T&T Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (who, btw, is facing a political crisis herself) and several of her Ministers. What for? To try to salvage “define” the future of PetroCaribe.

Maduro was received by protesting Venezuelans who live on the islands, but he also got a pep-rally from a local leftie political party.

The two countries signed multiple agreements in education, transportation, trade and of course, energy. Matter of fact, PM Persad-Bissessar personally proposed one of those revolutionary trueque deals chavistas get all hot-under-the-collar over: oil for toilet paper.

“The concept of commodity sharing is simple -– the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will purchase goods identified by the Government of Venezuela from T&T’s manufacturers, such as tissue paper, gasoline, and parts for machinery,” Persad-Bissessar said…

…Tissue paper and other goods “would then be traded for commodities that are needed for our industries –- in particular bitumen and crude oil -– which can be supplied by Venezuela,” she said, adding that “this proposal is at an planning stages, and we recognize that a monitoring mechanism would be key to its success.”

Few things seemed to make Hugo Chávez happier than the 21st-Century-Pleistocene mashup that is a Diplomatic Barter Deal, PetroCaribe is full of them. But oil-for-TP?

El chiste se cuenta solo…

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  1. Things are so in shambles in Venezuela that there are people fleeing the country even to Trinidad & Tobago, a place I’ll never fathom for moving there in the slightest insanity possible.

      • And to think that chaburros cried bloody murder about the 4th selling the oil as if it was bitumen at 2 cents the barrel.

        Now maburro trades oil barrels for papel tualé packs, which are going to be seized by buhobasuras and sold at astronomical prices to keep ripping off the population, socialism works, fuck yeah!

    • Lovely beaches, calypso, gas revenue, a fast growing economy, yummy indian food, a growing middle class…there are plenty of shittier places Venezuelans are emigrating to than that…

      Actually, your T&T prejudices are overdue a bit of an update. Highest GDP/capita in Latin America and the Caribbean, a labour force that, by World Bank Standards, is virtually all middle class…the highest rate of enrolment in tertiary education in the region (40%!!!)…

      Nojoda…provoca es irse pa’llá de una…

      • “there are plenty of shittier places Venezuelans are emigrating to than that…”

        That’s correct.

        As I read this, it’s -20°C in Montreal. God bless your soul.

      • I love Trinidad … and absolutely love the Caribbean in all its forms.The connected island of Tobago is a sometimes paradise, though it is riddled with vudu.The food in Trinidad however is not exactly Indian food, it’s a mixture…adding aji dulce to pancake syrup , and serving flying fish for breakfast is more islandly than East Indian I think.There are a lot of tensions between the African and Indian cultures there, and it has its problems with crime – but right now I would much prefer it to Venezuela.

        • According to the second video, the Steel Pan as a musical instrument was invented in Trinidad because the brits wouldn’t let slaves play traditional African Drums and the one thing that was around in good quantities that you could make music out of was…metal barrels of oil!

          I mean, FFS, these people took the junk left behind by our oil industry and turned it into art.

          We took our oil industry and turned it into…junk.

          • Your last line should be the epitaph for the “Bolivarian Robolucion”–“We took our oil industry and turn(ed) it into… junk.” A case study for economics textbooks for decades to come.

          • As a Trini and longtime CC reader I feel so special! Now to burst your bubble..

            The place is indeed sweet but don’t over romanticize it. The people who “took the junk left behind by our oil industry and turned it into art” are long gone. Decay is setting in, crime is on the rise (we ship a lot of coke). Corruption and political dysfunction are rife. The leftist party mentioned in the article is very small, but their sentiments are widely shared, with a lot of appreciation for Hugo and Fidel. The governing parties know that their survival is based purely on generous redistribution, and the massive corruption that goes with it.

            The place is nice though. If you ever find yourself in Port of Spain and need transport/food/beer let us know!

          • Thanks! Listen, I’m in no doubt that T&T has the its share of developing country insanities and dysfunctions. Coño, pretty much every developing country does. It’s just that we’re comparing those to *Venezuela*, verga, where we approach developing country insanities and dysfunctions like a compulsive hoarder approaches pizza leaflets…

          • If only I would have read this comment from you a week ago it would’ve been of great help! But thanks anyways for reading us! I had a terrible experience whilst being stucked at Port of Spain’s airport for almost a day…My comment was more in line with sarcasm, no disrespect towards you guys! Best regards.

          • I went to school in T’dad in the 1950’s shortly after the steel drum was invented (during the war). The U.S. navy had a base at Point Cumana (Belafonte’s song ‘goin down Point Cumana’ was about women earning dollars from the U.S. Sailors) and provided LOTS of empty oil drums. The streets in P.O.S. Where my school was, were filled wth the noise of the steel drum makers hammering out the Notes on the pans.
            THERE WERE NO STEEL OIL DRUMS WHEN THERE WERE SLAVES,! The sailing ships that used the bitumen in T’dad used wooden barrels. The steel oil drums arrived with the U.S navy. No slaves in British Colonies by then.

      • I just have one simple rejoinder or rebuttal from your argument Quico…beyond their socio-economic performance and macroeconomic numbers, try being stuck one day in Port of Spain’s airport and I’ll rest my case.

      • Well said Francisco ,I guess for those whom are not aware of Trinidad and Tobago ,they should research first before commenting. I am from trindad my wife is from Venezuela, she loves it here as well as the couple thousand of Venezuelans that live and work here.

    • Mr. Rangel, have you ever been to Trinidad? Tobago? I have been to Venezuela, quite awhile back, before Mr. Chavez came into being. Back then, Venezuela was a different place, a better place. I find it very interesting 2 years ago, in his first foray into the Americas, China’s Premier chose to visit Trinidad, and bypassed a country they more or less own.

    • Carlos, As a Trinidadian married to a Maracucha, I take some offence to your statement that they are “fleeing even to Trinidad and Tobago”, our country is the energy leader in the Caribbean and (started oil production before you guys) and a is Major financial capital, has enjoyed a very stable democracy for the past 50 years. it is not like we are some backwater 3rd world ghetto.

      We are the worlds number 1 supplier of Methanol, and ammonia and up to recently the 5th largest natural gas explorer globally.

      We do have high crime (gang related and sadly fueled by Venezuelan cocaine and guns) and corruption from our politicians.
      However we can sill get basic services without a bribe and do have a ready supply of foreign exchange and the ability to do pretty much what we want, we have also accepted thousands of legal and illegal Venezuelans here and they have intergrated pretty well.

      I am also the founding president of the Trinidad Chamber of ASOMAMA, La Asociacion de Maridos Maltratados . 🙂 had to lighten things up a little!

      I’m not a political hack or activist but I do love my country so I will defend it against (ignorant statements) and am really sad to see Venezuela go to shit, as I did have 4 great years there, living in Zulia from 1999-2003 but the reality of the situation is that without some sort of crisis, meaning without really taking military or serious Tiananmen square type action (Lots of death of innocents), this disaster of stupidity in mass will continue indefinitely as he who has the guns will always win in the end.

      • Of course Mr Robert. As I previously said my comment was more in line with sarcasm, no disrespect towards you guys! or your country. Probably even Rwanda, Kiribati or even Vanuatu have an edge towards Venezuela these days. I just had a dreadful experience a week ago while being stucked at Port of Spain’s airport, which I will not relive or comment in here and try my best to forget.

        Best regards and as a friend try avoiding your capital’s airport foodcourt 😀

        • Agreed.
          The airport delays are the worst and i am sorry your experience was so bad.

          for future reference. Once passing thru. If you have time hop down to the mall about 3 miles from the airport its called Trincity mall, The food there is much better and there is a huge variety..

          Next time you are here send me a mail. Any friend of this blog is a friend of mine.

  2. to Maduro et al I would like to say : “If you cannot control your emotions you cannot control your money” – Warren Buffett

    • According to giordani “yo quiero tres ferraris para manejar en Caracas”, the wax doll never gave away anything, he was “sharing”.

      Yep, every chaburro is a troll at its core.

  3. Carlos Rangel pide cacao de una vez que te estan volviendo mielda!

    El otro dia me compre un chocolate organico BUENISIMO y cuando fui a ver donde se producia decia cocoa from Trinidad and Tobago!

    Take that!

    • They have a little oil but a LOT of natural gas…probably better for them, as the margins aren’t so crazy, so it doesn’t distort the non-resource economy as much. (i.e., they still have a tourism sector.)

      • Some of the bigger reservoirs are crossborder reservoirs which stride the maritime frontier of both countries, but which are under exploitation on the TT side but not on the Venezuelan side so that TT gets to keep the gas coming from the Venezuelan side of the field , Some years ago Venezuela should have signed unitization deals whereby part of the gas being extracted would be credited to Venezuela by the party exploiting it from the TT side but Venezuelan regime dragged their feet and delayed their negotiation and signature well past the time when it could have been done . Millions were lost to Venezuela because of this Venezuelan delay in dealing with the subject . Dont know what the situation is now .

        International gas prices have dropped considerably after the US started exploiting their gas shale deposits hurting TT exports of LNG which used to go to the US . Theyve tried to make up for this loss by increasing their sales to Brazil and the rest the Southern Cone countries . Francisco is right in that although they have some crude oil is not much compared toVenezuela , But they do have plenty of natural gas as Francisco has rightly pointed out. .

  4. T&T has– free education through university. A good health system. Some corruption. Some crime. Democracy. No food lines. and no mention of Socialism.

    T&T is so close to Vzla but might as well be on the other side of the planet.

  5. For that matter travelling from Venezuela to neighbouring Colombia is also like crossing some kind of reality portal. On a lighter note, in both T&T and in Colombia one’s tush is much happier in the wc.

  6. If I may point out:
    “The two countries signed multiple agreements in …”

    Using a telesur article is a flimsy way to source, moreover when there’s no mention of the type of agreements that were made, and no caveat mentioned here over their questionable solidity. With telesur, or any other bolivarian news source, you can rely on flaky sympathies to be short on precision, even in business and especially in the sciences.

    The first stage of any commercial, bilateral “agreement” is what is normally called a “Memorandum of Understanding”. That lays down the talking points. Nowhere in those Memos is there ever any call to exert those talking points. In other words, it’s pure bla-bla-bla, and may stay that way, without penalties. Or, the MOU may result in a subsequent and more formal agreement that normally sets the parameters in more concrete and binding terms. Following are multiple studies, among them pre-feasibility. All told, one must never think that just because two parties/countries sign an initial “agreement”, that action is set in stone.

  7. Like Venezuela, Trinidad is a Petrostate. Both countries import a higher proportion of their food than non-Petrostates. When I was working in Trinidad, I was told that one reason why there were so many imported vegetables on an island that could grow them year ’round was that many farmers had stopped growing vegetables due to gangs stealing them from their fields at night.

    Both Trinidad and Venezuela, like good Petrostates, have long had cheaper gasoline and more expensive food. Putting the two together: when I was in Trinidad, gasoline was about 30 cents US per gallon, and imported cabbage cost about $1.75 a pound. At the time gasoline in the US was around $2/ gallon. At the time, a pound of cabbage went for about 6 gallons of gasoline in Trinidad. Currently, a gallon of gasoline in the US goes for about 5 pounds of cabbage. So there is still a Petrostate difference- cheaper gasoline and more expensive food.

    Apparently Trinidad has over the years increased the domestic price of gasoline more in line with international prices. Currently a liter of gasoline goes for 51 cents US per liter, which is about $1.90 US per gallon, which is very close to what it costs in the US- say $2.30 per gallon here. So the pound of cabbage versus gallon of gasoline contrast between Trinidad and the US is much less than it was 3 decades ago. While Trinidad is a Petrostate, it isn’t a batshit crazy Petrostate.

    Judging from the hoops that the son of a co-worker in Trinidad had to jump through to pass entry exams for secondary school, I would estimate that the educational system in Trinidad is demanding.

    And the music…

    I suspect that the British heritage of Trinidad factors into it having a better system of governance than Venezuela. But both countries have had examples of leaders serving very long times in office. Eric Williams was Prime Minister from 1962 until his death in 1981. But Eric Williams was a historian, not a milico.

    I had no trouble understanding the English of most Trinidadians I met. But when I gave rides to some people living out in the countryside I had trouble understanding them. At the same time, I have had trouble understanding some Scotsman or those from northern England.

  8. Curious….did anyone in Toronto go last night to listen to the drug trafficing Cartel de Soles POS military Venezuelan ambassador to Canada whitewashing of the beautiful robolution?

    • That happens all the time. Venezuela is almost never on the winning side of any deal. It seems Maduro’s aim is to ruin the country completely, doing a very good job too.

  9. Great food, rotis and doubles, party people like those from Ven, but as a resident, life is changing due to Ven drugs, corruption money and guns. Excellent in the winter as we read about northern climes.

    • Excellent in the winter as we read about northern climes.
      During my time working in Trinidad I noticed that Trini TV weather reports in the winter included temperatures from northern places. Schaudrnfreude, I thought to myself while residing at my house on the beach.

  10. Trinidad is a beautiful island.. but right now any of the Caribbean islands is a better place to be than Venezuela. I rank St Lucia ahead of Trinidad. Neighbouring Guyana is not doing too badly with their tourism. Venezuela has lost its glory. Trinidad wants to barter toilet paper with Maduro because he is full of s–t.

  11. Did anyone notice that among the things which the T&T Minister mentioned that Trinidad had but which Venezuela did not have enough of was ´gasoline´ which together with Toilet Paper trinidad might exchange for Venezuelan Bitumen and Crude Oil . This is a clear indication that Venezuela is short on gasoline production and needs to import it to meet domestic demand. Our refineries are now junkyards so that oil rich venezuela cant even produce all the gasoline it needs , what an embarrasment for our country , what an embarrasment for Maduro ( not that he would notice it ) .

      • I caught that too, but I did not know, and could not find out with a cursory Google search, if the square is named for the famous author of “The Wealth of Nations” and antithesis of Karl Marx, or another random Adam Smith. Does anyone else know?

        • No sé más que tú, pero dudo que sea otra persona diferente al Adam Smith escocés. Al menos según la obra de Naipaul, Trinidad también tiene problemas de identidad importantes. Afortunadamente, han sabido dirigir su admiración hacia gente más productiva que milicos (su nombre es legión) y desempleados eternos (Marx et alia)

  12. … wait, wait, wait. Venezuela is going to pay Trinidad & Tobago with oil, for them to go and…

    … buy toilet paper.

    From, I guess, somebody else.

    WTF?

  13. Normal international practice is for interntionally traded goods to be paid for with money, more specifically with hard currency which is freely convertible and uniformly accepted in world trade (i.e US $)

    .Barter is only used by countries which lack that kind of currency , the practice is known as counter-trade , its more cumbersome because getting right the exhange value of two different goods isnt easy and can give rise to situation where one of the parties is unfairly favoured because changing world prices leads to one of the bartered goods to become overpriced or underpriced ,

    Countertrade was used often by former soviet dependent countires because they lacked goods which could be sold for hard currency so they bartered , light bulbs for wool blanket for example . Countries engaged in it because their economies did not produce exports that allowed them to recieve hard currenty .

    Venezuela never did countertrade because oil is easily sold for hard currency in the world markets so Venezuela always had hard cash to use in buying its imports . The Venezuelan regimes use of international barter instead of money paid trades is puzzling , ignorant people dont know that bartering is really an inneficient form of trade , where one is likely to lose on the transactions .

    Sometimes I think that the reason they barte is to favour their trade partner with exchange terms that allow them to pay less for the oil they get without people learning of the fact. Another possibility is that socialist purity feels good about not using money , money is evil , a vehicle for capitalist trade while bartering is what orimitive communist communities might do in archaic times , that sounds pretty stupid but you never know with these people where sectarian utopian conceit might take them !!

    • “Another possibility is that socialist purity feels good about not using money , money is evil , a vehicle for capitalist trade while bartering is what orimitive communist communities might do in archaic times , that sounds pretty stupid but you never know with these people where sectarian utopian conceit might take them !!”

      Not only does it sound stupid, it shows that you have no idea why money is a problem in communist dogma.

      Commodity exchange in the world market is a problem because it is regulated by the Law of Value[0] that effectively normalizes commodity prices in relationship to labor time.

      Money is just another commodity.

      INTRODUCTION

      The law of value (German: Wertgesetz) is a central concept in Karl Marx’s critique of political economy, first expounded in his polemic The Poverty of Philosophy (1847) against Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, with reference to David Ricardo’s economics.[1][note 1] Most generally, it refers to a regulative principle of the economic exchange of the products of human work: the relative exchange-values of those products in trade, usually expressed by money-prices, are proportional to the average amounts of human labor-time which are currently socially necessary to produce them.[2][note 2]

      Thus, the fluctuating exchange value of commodities (exchangeable products) is regulated by their value, where the magnitude of their value is determined by the average quantity of human labour which is currently socially necessary to produce them (see labor theory of value and value-form).

      […]

      MODIFICATION IN THE WORLD MARKET

      Marx believed that the operation of the law of value was not only modified by the capitalist mode of production, but also in the world market (world trade, as contrasted with the home market or national economy).[8]:702[non-primary source needed]

      The main reason for this was the existence of different levels of the intensity and productivity of labour in different countries, creating for example a very different cost structure in different countries for all kinds of products.[note 21] Products that took 1 hour of labour to make in country A might take 10 hours to make in country B, a difference in production costs which could strongly influence the exchange values realised in the trade between A and B. More labour could, in effect, exchange for less labour internationally (an “unequal exchange” in value terms) for a prolonged time. In addition, the normal rate of surplus value could be different in different countries. That makes a huge difference not only to profitability, but to the ability to sell products at competitive prices.

      [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_value

    • Your idea that trading for oil vs. USD leads to losses is also stupid as shit.

      Oil is infinitely divisible in comparison to USD (no such thing as a fraction of a penny) which means that oil as a currency is able to more accurately represent the value of another commodity.

      • You are more stupid than I thought. Oh, I see why people here are going around now with their oil flask and pouring little drops of it to pay instead of giving coins.

        • “Oh, I see why people here are going around now with their oil flask and pouring little drops of it to pay instead of giving coins.”

          That would make sense if current affairs were impaired by the necessity of PHYSICAL liquidity for all USD exchanges.

    • I have always intuited that many Socialists are more literal and materialistic and short- sited than many of the rest of us.They forget that life is not Christmas.They think there’s a happier kingdom where people don’t count their change .Socialists insist on their gifts like children at Christmas.They expect them.

      Barter is not gifting.It’s just an attempt to turn money into something that does not have to be earned….those who try to capitalize on gift exchanges will find its appeal evaporates on the shelves in the moment the price tag is visible.Nothing is free.

    • Bartering is used by Venezuela so that the huge commissions involved for State officials aren’t quite so obvious (as they are, for example, on the recent Ven. Govt. Osorio purchase from a favored European olive oil supplier of a large amount of olive oil at some 500% overpricing at final Ven. consumer prices).

    • Well, there is also one reason for barter.

      If I give you money, you can go away and spend it on things not done by me. You are free of my influence, maybe not so much because you need my money, but at least you can buy whatever you want with it.

      There is a reason why many places payed workes in “company script” …

  14. I m thankful to DSPUR for enlightening me about some ideas of Marx on equality , justice , personal freedom which he scorned as only intelligible in a political capitalist perspective but which he had no use for once the perfect communnist society was accomplished . In a perfect communist society there is no need for money or wages , people work to produce an superabundance of goods ( in a communist society the freed forces of the proletarian will double their production of goods and working time will be cut in half leaving plenty of time for people to do whatever they fancy and thus realize their human potential .) which are put in a common pot for anyone needing them to take at will . Communist society is one of great abundance ( somehow that didnt work out in practice but there is always the illusion , I mean how could such prediction from deep thinking Marx prove false ?? ) .

    In a past blog DSPUR mentioned Marx-s contempt for equality , that lead me to read a most instructive essay by a Mr Allen Wood entitled ‘Karl Marx on Equality’ , and some other pieces by Marxist professors, Once you get beyond the grandiose verbiage, the ideas do stand out and can be understood . I rather enjoyed it .

    Marx was both a genius and a coocoo , strange combination , he had not practical sense whatsoever , but could delve into difficult subjects with great analytical acumen. Right now Im reading a book by Federico Riu ‘Usos y abusos del concepto de Alienacion’ which I think Dspur might enjoy.

    Im still baffled by somethings Marx wrote , for example if the value of work time spent by Venezuela workers producing its oil is something like 1% of its market price, how do you justify selling it with a 99% mark up !!

    On the subject of counter trade I would love to see DSPUR bartering a cargo of 250 mbd of 19 API crude oil for an equivalent value of hungarian made light bulbs . ( the actual experience of a friend in the old days of soviet domination of eastern europe ) . Heaps of fun but not very practical unless you wanted to give the oil away. !!

    • I have always thought of Marx as an academic. Were he alive today, he’d be quietly sequestered in some private university expounding his ideas to his students/followers, of which he’d likely have many because of their populist appeal.

      However, as is often the case, theory and reality often do not coincide when applying one to the other.

      Marx’s ideas were great, if you completely exclude humanity and its nature from the equation. He would have done better as a physicist than a philosopher/economist.

      • The one thing thats caught my attention is how he concentrated in finding very abstruse reasons to condem capitalism (he was full of the hegelian love of monumental abstract constructs) , some of them very insightful other pure hog wash . But what he did not do is write practically anything about how you could in practice organize a functioning communist society . He gave some copout arguments as to why he never wrote about how communism would function in practice , but this leaves one with the impresion that he really had no idea how this new kind of society could work . What he did write was evidently utopian and pie in the sky . He was an angry man frothing in fury against capitalist society but very naive and innocent in his understanding of human nature ( which he said didnt exist but any way went on to call by the name of species essence or some other nonesense). Then his followers and students have created a hundred conflicting interpretations as to what he really meant , in some cases making nonesense of some interesting ideas he had . Some of his ideas have been analyzed to destruction by critics of his thought using his own writings ( he wrote a lot and wasnt always self coherent) .

        There has only been one true working communist group of communities , the early kibbutz of israel , they went as close as it was possible to create a communist community based on the little he wrote . At a small community level they did work for a time , but liking that kind of life had to be an acquired taste , not something every one would go for . If your are interested in finding out how a communist community might work in actual life read the accounts of such a life by israeli writer Amos Oz . There are other archaic or promitive communities that did follow communist forms of life but none in modern times .

        What has passed as communist regimes in modern times were mongrel warped versions of the kind of society he dreamt of creating . I suspect that very few people understand what he was getting at and that even he himself sometimes was confused as to what he wanted .

    • “I m thankful to DSPUR for enlightening me about some ideas of Marx on equality , justice , personal freedom which he scorned as only intelligible in a political capitalist perspective but which he had no use for once the perfect communnist society was accomplished .”

      One can discuss Law of Value/Commodity production and exchange without expressing an opinion “political capitalist perspectives” (what does this mean?).

      “In a past blog DSPUR mentioned Marx-s contempt for equality , that lead me to read a most instructive essay by a Mr Allen Wood entitled ‘Karl Marx on Equality’”

      You didn’t understand what was presented. Marx contempt was for liberal equality *politicking*; ideologues that preach equality but don’t subscribe to a system for obtaining it or propose reforms that in Marxist analysis aren’t conducive to equality. I think you should quote the excerpt and I’ll walk you through it.

      [ Next time you should focus on the subject (law of value/commodity production and exchange) if you want an actual discussion instead of disingenuous recalls that have no purpose other than to show your misunderstanding. ]

    • For a very long time, Russia virtually gave away oil to Cuba based upon an Oil for Sugar deal that was negotiated during the days of the USSR. In the time since that barter was negotiated the price of sugar fell and the price of oil skyrocketed. As a result of maintaining such an unbalanced deal, when Russia finally pulled out of that deal, Cuba’s economy came to virtual halt.

      In the end, bad trade deals are bad for everyone involved.

  15. “Marx contempt was for liberal equality *politicking*; ideologues that preach equality but don’t subscribe to a system for obtaining it or propose reforms that in Marxist analysis aren’t conducive to equality. ”

    OMG, you mean full equality is still possible? What’s taking the Bolivarians go long?

    • I don’t know if “full equality” is possible. What I do know is that it doesn’t make sense to speak of “full equality” in marxist analysis since it only covers objective notions of equality, in an explicit manner.

      For example Equal-Value Commodity Exchanges is an objective notion of equality:

      If CountryA.RiceGram.LaborTime != CountryB.RiceGram.LaborTime, the countries will sell at Market Price at disparaging labor costs.

      Does one need to agree with Marx’s and Che Guevara’s *moralizing* about the Law of Value and unequal world market exchanges? Not really, because it’s subjective.

      • “I don’t know if “full equality” is possible.”

        You don’t know? News flash: Where dissimilar objects are concerned, and one object answers to more volatile pricing than the other, parity of values will be impossible over time, never mind the issue of ‘disparaging labour costs’ that you mention.

        I suggest you change your ingénue stance to something a little more definitive.

        I also suggest that you apply the common-sense notion described above to differing socio-economic levels of a given population. In so doing, you’ll gain some idea of the copious amounts of manure from theorists and political operatives who say they’re interested in equalizing socio-economic levels, and who toy with subjective theories, at the expense of the well-being of a nation, failing to achieve their ends and destroying the country’s productive machinery. Because deep down, they “don’t know”.

        It’s all bullshit what you and other trolls peddle on these boards, while derailing (immature destructiveness) and promoting subjective theories with no basis in reality — as reality has proven in Venezuela.

        • “You don’t know? News flash: Where dissimilar objects are concerned, and one object answers to more volatile pricing than the other, parity of values will be impossible over time, never mind the issue of ‘disparaging labour costs’ that you mention.”

          What do you mean exactly with “dissimilar objects”? Are you talking about distinct commodities?

          When you say one “object” answers to “more volatile pricing than the other”, are you talking about commodities and their market price volatility?

          How does a commodity’s price-volatility by itself speak of price-difference over a period of time in regards to another commodity?

          What do you attribute price-volatility to? This key because the insinuation is that it price-volatility can endure an infinite amount of time.

          Do you attribute price-volatility to anything other than the relationship between supply and demand?

          “I suggest you change your ingénue stance to something a little more definitive.”

          What do you think my stance is, and on which subjects?

          I was explaining objective marxist notions of inequality.

          You’re wasting time explaining how these inequalities are constant.

          “the common-sense notion”

          Lol.

          • “I was explaining objective marxist notions of inequality.”

            lol

            As for the rest of your drunken diddling … go somewhere else.

          • “Drunken diddling” is just a label you pulled out of your ass.

            Let’s recap:

            “For example Equal-Value Commodity Exchanges is an objective notion of equality:

            If CountryA.RiceGram.LaborTime != CountryB.RiceGram.LaborTime, the countries will sell at Market Price at disparaging labor costs.”

            In other words, stating the comparison of two numbers that are possibly inequal. You can’t get more objective than quantifying a resource and comparing it.

            You actually acknowledge this inequality and assert it is constant:

            “You don’t know? News flash: Where dissimilar objects are concerned, and one object answers to more volatile pricing than the other, parity of values will be impossible over time, never mind the issue of ‘disparaging labour costs’ that you mention.”

            You’re making no fucking sense because you’re too focused on winning a pissing match.

  16. I know exactly what I read . Any body curious to know what Marx though of these concepts of equality , freedom and justice should look for proffessors Woods exposition on the subject , Professor Woods is a Marxist lecturer teaching at The University of Indiana .

    I suppose that Dspur failure to refer to the other comments I made on the subject of Marxs ideas evidences his inability to deal with them in any convincing manner .

    In a communist society the concepts of freedom , equality and justice are according to Marx absolutely useless and irrelevant because life will become so perfect that these old bourgeois notions would have lost all their meaning .

    It strange how there are people still doubtful on the usefulness of using money as a medium of exchange , barter was primitive , think of going to the supermarket and paying for your purchases with cartons of eggs and a couple of cows on the hoof . Of course in modern times if you are a country that doesnt produce anything which people are willing to pay hard cash for you have to resort to barter to get goods other wise you would never be able to buy .

    The problems of establishing exactly the value of different articles during the course of time are not easy to rsolve and involve the possibility of being paid much less that you should , If in doubt of the above look at the barter deals Cuba has made with Venezuela . We all know who was the loser in those deals. Absurd !!

    • I know exactly what I read . Any body curious to know what Marx though of these concepts of equality , freedom and justice should look for proffessors Woods exposition on the subject , Professor Woods is a Marxist lecturer teaching at The University of Indiana .

      I suppose that Dspur failure to refer to the other comments I made on the subject of Marxs ideas evidences his inability to deal with them in any convincing manner .

      In a communist society the concepts of freedom , equality and justice are according to Marx absolutely useless and irrelevant because life will become so perfect that these old bourgeois notions would have lost all their meaning .

      Lol, please quote Marx in regards to the bolded part of your comment, or provide works that do so. I can’t find the lecture.

    • “It strange how there are people still doubtful on the usefulness of using money as a medium of exchange , barter was primitive , think of going to the supermarket and paying for your purchases with cartons of eggs and a couple of cows on the hoof . Of course in modern times if you are a country that doesnt produce anything which people are willing to pay hard cash for you have to resort to barter to get goods other wise you would never be able to buy .”

      The idea that given countries are bartering because they’re “doubtful on the usefulness of currency as a medium of exchange” is your imagination. I don’t think anyone resorted to this reason to explain why said countries would opt for bartering.

      Said countries could exchange certain mutually-consumed commodities without increasing the global demand for USD, for example, and in that way attempt to influence the USD’s market cost.

      I don’t know how are pedestrian “supermarket” analogies appropriate in the least.

      • I am not well versed in Marxist theory or, in fact, versed much at all. The dialectic here is interesting, and thanks for you contribution, dspur. It is clear that you are well versed in Marxist theory. My guess is that you can out-Marx Bill, though such a conclusion is not a given for he is holding up well. I look forward to the continued debate. Let’s you and him fight.

        On a separate note: the discussion of Marxist theory seems, to a concrete thinker such as myself, to be irrelevant to Venezuela. All empirical indications are that Venezuela will not and cannot have 21st century socialism, as envisioned by Marx, Deiterich, or others. Blame it on a failure to appropriately comprehend the complex theory, incompetency, corruption, foreign subversion, or whatever, the socioeconomic trajectory has been downward for a good while and is accelerating in that direction. I cannot envision a Marxist end game possible that does not include totalitarianism, repression, and concurrent destitution. At most, Venezuela could have a workable social democracy about 10 to 15 years from now. The intervening time will be spent in cleaning up the social chaos and economic degradation incurred by the irrational and oft times corrupt policies of the past 15 years.

        This is a bleak prognosis and I fervently hope for better. Explain to me please, how in the real world it could be better. Delineation of actionable Marxist policies are fine. Please refrain, for the purposes of my request, from esoteric theories or polemics which I cannot understand. You may assume considerable limitations on my part. In such consideration you might further consider the possible corollary that if I cannot understand it, it may not actually be an actionable policy. That seems a bit of puffery, I know. Still, the potential success of a plan is inversely proportional to the complexity of the theory. I know this from experience, so humor me. What possible socialist plan gets Venezuela out of their current fix?

        • Following the typical “dspur” tactics, he will be noting (slamming actually) that you have admitted your ignorance, while ignoring your quite rational challenge to explain exactly what actions should be taken by the Venezuelan government that would be in keeping with Marxist theory… in 3… 2… 1…

          • I have an advanced degree in engineering. I can analyze many types of technical systems. Sometimes it is necessary to master the nomenclature of a specific discipline in order to communication effectively with people working exclusively within that system. On the other hand, if people actually have a grasp of the underlying logic of their discipline, they should be able render an explanation that is intelligible to someone outside their discipline. (I make some exception here for certain esoteric disciplines such as quantum physics, black holes, and women). In general, however, if they cannot explain their disciplinary logic and attendant applications in more common technical language, I conclude that there is a high probability that they are full of shit.

            Also, I am quarter Cherokee Indian, that’s feather not dot. Our traditional roles in the tribe included (in the golden days before ethic cleansing) the role of contrary. The contrary did everything backwards and generally was against everything. Though generally a buffoon, the contrary provided valuable service by necessitating a constant review of tribal behavior. I divine that it was most tedious for those in teepees just next door.

          • Interesting story. In medieval Europe it was traditional for the king to have a Court Jester. Perhaps “dspur” is our community’s Court Jester or tribal “Contrarian”.

          • If you like to bully, I guess so.Only in the authoritarian mindset does it bother people when others disagree.Being able to disagree without insulting is the mark of maturity and a working democratic forum

        • The Other Ralph,

          “Marxist theory” is descriptive, not prescriptive. It is analytical. It doesn’t promote policies whatsoever.

          E.g., when I explained the Law of Value and how it illustrates that producers of a given commodity may have disparate production costs, I’m not actually coming up with set of policies that alleviate the inequality.

          What I consider important in marxist analysis for Venezuela is class relationships. Class consciousness allows for the formulation of policies that evict or suppress reactionary forces.

          For example, if I realize that Venezuela is encumbered by the comprador bourgeois that are mostly minoristas and landowners, I could pass a law that cripples their business model that relies on above-average profit margins and claims their tierras ociosas, and so on, until they leave or cease to exist.

          • Thanks for your courteous response.
            To say that Marx is descriptive only, however, seems disingenuous. Moreover, your example of suppressing the trading bourgeois as an ad hoc measure is in no small part the problem of Venezuela. Venezuela governs through series of ad hoc responses to developing exigencies following a vague notion of Marxist principles. The result is policy chaos. Marxism, by its very nature is inherently prescriptive. There are no half measures. The system must be completely and totally universal or it will necessarily be corrupted by deviate economical activities. It is this paradigm that drive committed Marxist to the extremes that they go: if we could just control a little bit more… a little bit more…a little bit more….

          • “To say that Marx is descriptive only, however, seems disingenuous.”

            I consider marxist analysis to be his impartial work (Capital, historical materialism, dialectical materialism).

            I consider; e.g., The Communist Manifesto to be a work of propaganda, regardless of how much I could agree with the abolition of “bourgeois property”, to cite one of the proposals.

            The fact of the matter is that Marx doesn’t formalize on government policies in the least.

            “Moreover, your example of suppressing the trading bourgeois as an ad hoc measure is in no small part the problem of Venezuela. Venezuela governs through series of ad hoc responses to developing exigencies following a vague notion of Marxist principles.”

            If one considers that social outbursts leads to the worsening of the Venezuelan economy and the most precious commodities of all, the inhabitants, the suppression of reactionary forces (‘comprador’ bourgeois as opposed to ‘nationalist’) is suggested. We can disagree about how important these measures are.

            You are right in that they’re adhoc measures to marxism because marxism doesn’t suggest anything in this domain. What marxist principles are you talking about?

            “Marxism, by its very nature is inherently prescriptive. There are no half measures. The system must be completely and totally universal or it will necessarily be corrupted by deviate economical activities.”

            You are talking about communism, not marxism. They can’t be interchangeable terms because marxism is analysis and communism is a mode of production.

            I agree that communism requires a post-scarcity global society.

            “It is this paradigm that drive committed Marxist to the extremes that they go: if we could just control a little bit more… a little bit more…a little bit more….”

            The degree of “control” is presented as a consequence of a post-scarcity society, and it only pertains to the economy.

          • The reference to post scarcity society is to a society where all communist ideals have become reality and as predicted by Marx the production of goods (thanks to the practical implementation of all those Marxist ideas) has doubled permitting people to work only half a day to spend the rest of the day loftily dedicated to the arts and other spiritual callings . The fact that such state of super abundance has never been achieved in any country that has fallen under communist rule , that inf fact the opposite has happened those countries falling into total ruin ( if not look at Cuba , North Corea or even at whats happening in Venezuela) is evidence that Marxs ideas although representing that the are the way towards a society freed from want and misery are really notions that produce the exact opposite effect as history has shown. In short that they cannot be applied except to foster class hatred and confrontation !!

          • …Marxs ideas although representing that the are the way towards a society freed from want and misery are really notions that produce the exact opposite effect as history has shown. In short that they cannot be applied except to foster class hatred and confrontation !!

            And that, BB, is the bottom line. The mish-mash of Marxist political theories + ad hoc band-aids, applied by an undisciplined set heavy on illusions to an even more undisciplined body politic, is folly in the extreme, As such, the applications cannot possibly prove correct the subjective Marxist theories, nor can these applications have any positive results on said body politic. So why bother? For that we have to dig a little further to find motive. And by examining the mind set of the “applicators”, not hard to do through their (brain)writings or speeches, we find a common denominator. That denominator is what the oppo in Vzla has correctly identified as the resentful ones, the “resentidos”, those with a bone to pick against a certain socio-economic group, as per their training at an impressionable age.

          • “The reference to post scarcity society is to a society where all communist ideals have become reality and as predicted by Marx the production of goods (thanks to the practical implementation of all those Marxist ideas)”

            What “Marxist ideas” are you talking about?

      • I fear dspur has never actually worked in structuring or implementing international bartering deals , they involve many inneficiencies and constraints , dspur has an academic abstract knowldege of these deals and doesnt realize how many disavantages they represent for a country that has a resource which can be easily sold for hard cash in international markets . If Venezuela sells a shipment of oil (which price by the way changes almost every day in many different ways depending on a dozen variables ) and you get a fixed amount of money which you can them use to buy a range of different products at the best prices or conditions from whatever country or company has them , . this flexibility to use our money to buy any product you want which exactly suits your needs at the best prices avaialble at any convenient time whenever they can be found is lost where you are forced to buy them from a particular country under a particular deal . For example I may find that argentine grain is too expensive or that the delivery times are not the most convenient or that they include grain qualities or features that arent perfectly matched to my mills capacities or consumer tastes , If I do a barter deal with argentina then the flexibility to buy the best and most suitable from other sources is lost which means I am economically harmed by such kind of deal .

        Only countries that have no hard cash because they dont produce goods they can export for hard cash being too poor and dysfunctional to do so resort to barter deals because its their only way of importing things they need without having to use money that they dont have. The barters where popular among comecon or soviet dominated countries because they were practically bankrupt and didnt have the money to buy what they needed to import , Some african and ruined south american countries went for it ocassionally when they were broke . Of Course Cuba being a parasite and bankrupt country it was the ideal exhange medium for their trade with Venezuela . !!

        The rest is just ignorance of the practical details and disavantages of what barter deals actually involve.

        Cuba had an additional problem in using USD in that all US currency belongs to the US govt and can legally be reclaimed by it anytime it wants, in the past this fear led them to do their business ( when they had no one which would do any barter deals with them ) to use Canadian Dollars , which is a hard cash currency that can substitute for USD in the international markets.

        • Notwithstanding your valuable insights, BB, you’re right about the CND currency being used, in lieu of USD’s. According to one budget tourist, who just came back from Cuba, store merchandise for tourists is priced at C$.

        • You are of course completely right that as a rule you don’t want to barter if you don’t have to, it is simple stupidity as you are ensured that at least one of the parties will come off losing. It’s hard to fathom why the Venezuelan government is doing this, as PR perhaps or as a symbolic gesture of independence from currency markets or, sadly, because they bought into the marxist sales pitch. Of course the question really is, why is the government buying toilet paper at all? That they use barter just adds another layer to this absurd story.

          • “It’s hard to fathom why the Venezuelan government is doing this, as PR perhaps or as a symbolic gesture of independence from currency markets or, sadly, because they bought into the marxist sales pitch.”

            What is the relationship between marxism and Venezuela’s bartering deals with Trinidad?

            What are you talking about?

          • That paper explains commodities and their use-value and exchange-value (or market price, if you prefer). It does not vouch for the abolition of currency in favor of bartering.

            I presume you’re talking about this part:

            “The exchange-value of a commodity is not expressed in its own use-value. But as materialisation of universal social labour-time, the use-value of one commodity is brought into relation with the use-values of other commodities. The exchange-value of one commodity thus manifests itself in the use-values of other commodities. In fact the exchange-value of one commodity expressed in the use-value of another commodity represents equivalence. If one says, for instance, one yard of linen is worth two pounds of coffee, then the exchange-value of linen is expressed in the use-value of coffee, and it is moreover expressed in a definite quantity of this use-value. Once the proportion is given, the value of any quantity of linen can be expressed in terms of coffee. It is evident that the exchange-value of a commodity, e.g., linen, is not exhaustively expressed by the proportion in which a particular commodity, e.g., coffee, forms its equivalent. The quantity of universal labour-time represented by a yard of linen exists simultaneously in infinitely varied amounts of the use-values of all other commodities. The use-value of any other commodity taken in the proportion which represents the same quantity of labour-time constitutes an equivalent for the yard of linen. The exchange-value of this particular commodity can therefore be exhaustively exprcssed only by the infinite number of equations in which the use-values of all other commodities form its equivalent. The only exhaustive expression for a universal equivalent is the sum of these equations or the totality of the different proportions in which a commodity can be exchanged for any other commodity. For example the series of equations –

            1 yard of linen = ½ lb. of tea
            1 yard of linen = 2 lbs. of coffee
            1 yard of linen = 8 lbs. of bread
            1 yard of linen = 6 yards of calico”

            There’s nothing preventing the author from substituting the right hand side of the list (tea, coffe, bread, calico) with (USD, EUR, RUB, NOK).

            It is an example of the exchange-value of a commodity, in this case linen, in relation to other commodities.

          • This phrase from a UK blog on Socialist Studies dealing with Marxs views on money : “the abolition of money is central to Marx’s conception of Socialism in which there will be the abolition of buying and selling and money including the wages system. ” , barter of course is a way of avoiding the use of money.!!

          • … just to be clear, here “socialism” means communism, which implies the abolition of trade in general, including barter.

            Marx and Engels used the term interchangeably, whereas contemporary use distinguish between the two. Sometimes socialism is regarded as the lower-stage of communism, or simply “worker-ownership of the means of production”.

        • “For example I may find that argentine grain is too expensive or that the delivery times are not the most convenient or that they include grain qualities or features that arent perfectly matched to my mills capacities or consumer tastes , If I do a barter deal with argentina then the flexibility to buy the best and most suitable from other sources is lost which means I am economically harmed by such kind of deal .”

          … then you shouldn’t purchase expensive Argentine grain, whether through bartering or in exchange for currency.

    • How unfortunate. The visa requirement is certain to reduce the number of Americans wanting to invest and/or vacation in Venezuela.

      • “The visa requirement is certain to reduce the number of Americans wanting to invest”

        They must’ve had questionable business plans if their projected returns are so low that a visa is an impermissible cost, alongside tools, employees and rent.

        The gipsies have it better though, as they offset the US immigration costs by reducing the rest of the expenditures to a single broom.

        • I suspect that the value of visas to Venezuela will be minimal in the next few years. Diplomatic missions and NGOs may run the gauntlet. Vultures may pay the price to prick over the bones once the dust clears. I pray that I am wrong, dear dspur, but my hope is waning.

          With regards to gypsies, you might consider: if an honorable Venezuelan is pushing a broom in Miami then there is a compelling reason in La Patria. And before disparaging them consider further: it is one thing to perish for the fatherland, it is another to perish for the idiocies of nincompoops.

      • It isn’t as though there is a large number of American tourists, so I suppose that they are not going to lose much income from this. However, it is common for technicians and business travelers to arrive on a tourist visa, rather than than process a business visa. This will make doing business in Venezuela just that much harder.

        As for the “U.S. Pilot”, I will wait to find out more before commenting, but I doubt that the U.S. has any military personnel in Venezuela that are not accredited with the Embassy. And, I just don’t think that Maduro would mess with the U.S. by detaining someone with diplomatic immunity.

      • The regime has a small army of hired US advisors and experts constantly visiting the country to help it fight the many burning fires of its financial, operational and technical emergencies . They may number in the hundreds and they are always needed right away. This will make their visits more difficult and late . The regime bigwigs of course dont realize this . Also many people come to visit relatives bringing in USD which now will think twice about coming . All for what , to show off their heroically narcicistic defiance of a supposed enemy that can do them much more harm (without showing their hands) that they can imagine !!

        Of course if they reduce the US embassy staff processing of visas will become more difficult for Venezuelans traveling to the US , so people will travel less even if they have to in order to carry out transactions that are needed to keep hunger away.

        • “…to show off their heroically narcissistic defiance of a supposed enemy that can do them much more harm (without showing their hands) that they can imagine !!”

          Great phrasing! But, you are exactly right. These are the actions of a poorly raised brat throwing a self-destructive temper tantrum. We should not be surprised. What few grownups there were in the government have been purged. I am waiting with baited breath to see how the U.S. responds. I hope it is something so subtle that Nicolas & Co. won’t even recognize immediately how badly they have been gored.

  17. I think the exquisitely learned Marxist expert should know the quotes , he himself could read them if he simply went through the Wood papers previously mentioned , maybe he is too lazy to look for them . He himself put me on track that Marx only saw equality as a despicable political bourgeois notion in a blog he posted about a week ago. I went through the Allen Wood papers and found the original explanation. DSPR also mentioned in a past blog that Marxists beleived that it was ok to lie because in politics thats what you had to do . For example Marx believed that inheritance rights should be abolished but he recommended in writing that when the time came to convince people to turn revolutionary the peasants should temporarily be allowed to maintain their inheritance rights because otherwise their backward view of property would make them turn away from communism. Talk about dirty lies and politicking.

    Ive never been able to see the connection between the quantum of labour effort applied and the value of anything produced as a result of the operation of the intricate intertwined chains of production processes in different societies , was this notion applied by the regime in writing the Ley de Precios Justos ?? could someone explain to us how marxist theory on the value of commodities was used in the drafting of this law..?? Whatever happened to the old law of supply and demand or is that just another bourgeois superstition !!

    • “I think the exquisitely learned Marxist expert should know the quotes , he himself could read them if he simply went through the Wood papers previously mentioned , maybe he is too lazy to look for them . ”

      Bill, I’m not aware of Marx regarding equality and justice as “bourgeois concepts” deprecated by a communist society. I’m genuinely interested in this information, if it exists at all; more than I am interested in being the “exquisitely learned Marxist expert” in the CC comment section.

      If you could provide the sources in the form a link or, say, a goddamned document name, I would appreciate it.

      “Ive never been able to see the connection between the quantum of labour effort applied and the value of anything produced as a result of the operation of the intricate intertwined chains of production processes in different societies”

      ???

      “was this notion applied by the regime in writing the Ley de Precios Justos ?? could someone explain to us how marxist theory on the value of commodities was used in the drafting of this law..??”

      I like the idea of a marxist analysis of the 30% profit cap. Not sure how is it related it to the Law of Value.

      • I’m loosing track in the sequence of quotations and who is postulating what…so I am no longer sure whose side I’m on. I think dspur is on second, Bill’s on first. I’m not sure who is responsible for ” I like the Marxist analysis of the 30 % profit cap.”: but that is gold. I love this guy.

  18. I’ll give you one quote from prof Allan Wood’s piece , there are dozens of others but Im dont have that much time to waste on your feigned declarations of ignorance : “Marx…mentions equality only to make the point that it is an exclusively political notion and as a political value that it is a distinctly BOURGEOIS value (often associated with the french revolutionary slogan : Liberte , Equalite, fraternite’) Far from being a value that can be used to thwart class oppresion , MARX THINKS THE IDEA OF EQUALITY IS ACTUALLY A VEHICLE FOr BOURGEOIS CLASS OPPRESSION …..(CW3:79,163-164,312-313 4:39-41, 5: 60; 6:228, 551; Capital 1: 228. Engels , Marxs sidekick also writes : “The idea of socialist society as the realm of EQUALITY is a one sided FRENCH idea resting upon the old ‘liberty , equality , fraternity ….which like all the one sided ideas of th earlier socialist schools SHOULD NOW BE OVERCOME, FOR IT PRODuCES ONLY CONFUSION IN PEOPLES HEAD ……(CW 24:73)” . Ive counted some 9 quotes just on the above paragraph , you can find many more if you just look at the essay I referenced . Do you also want me to quote from what you wrote before in this blog showing off how much more you knew about Marxs real thought than the ignorant boors who participated in this blog.?? You as much as said that Marxs view of equality were highly critical , Do you want to back track now.??

    Of course once again Marxs theories on Value are so abstract impractical and abstruse that they cannot be applied to any practical piece of legislation ennacted even by a govt that prides itself on being Marxist in inspiration !! The 30% profit figure is taken out of a hat , there is no conceptual or methodological explanation of how it was arrived at….Can you imagine a world in which Marxs thoughts are the guiding light of all legislation or govt policy used to administer the functioning of a complex vast economy …….

    • Bill, the following is a link which can be used to access the article by Woods you’re referring to. It is accustomed to use links so that people participating in the discussion can contextualize what one is saying. The quote is indeed the one I presented some days ago in another CC article’s comment section :

      http://philosophy.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/19808/Allen-Wood-Marx-on-Equality.pdf

      Full quote:

      “Marx, quite frequently, and with very few exceptions, mentions `equality’ only to make the point that it is an exclusively political notion, and, as a political value, that it is a distinctively bourgeois value(often associated with the French revolutionary slogan:liberté, égalité, fraternité). Far from being a value that can be used to thwart class oppression, Marx thinks the idea of equality is actually avehicle for bourgeois class oppression, and something quite distinct from the communist goal of the abolition of classes (CW3:79, 163-164, 312-313, 4:39-41, 5:60; 6:228, 511; Capital1:280).”

      The preceding paragraph, however:

      “Karl Marx opposed the systematic inequalities in the society around him. He also explicitly advocated, at least for the near future, many social measures that egalitarians also support: For example,a graduated progressive income tax, abolition of the right of inheritance, equal liability `of all to labor, and universal free public education (CW 6:505).4 So it is natural for us to think of Marx as an egalitarian of some sort. But Marx definitely did not share the egalitarian intuitions I have just been describing. My task today will be to try to understand why he did not.”

      • the statement that Marx supported ……’at least for the near future’ …….and in the context of the society of his time ….some social measures which modern equalitarians support are not evidence that he was an equalitarian specially as its clear that he clearly did not approve of equality ONCE COMMUNISM WAS ACHIEVED . As prof Wood writes ( and you quote ) ” ..MARX DEFINITELY DID NOT SHARE THE EQUALITARIAN INTUITIONS I HAVE JUST BEEN DESCRIBING , MY TASK TODAY WILL BE TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHY HE DID NOT .”

        These are your own quoted words confirming exactly and unequivocally what we have been saying …,, its silly for you try now to go back from you blogged statements of about a week ago where you asserted Marx non equalitarian stance , moreover that equality was a vehicle for the bourgeois oppression of the proletarian class .!!

        • “These are your own quoted words confirming exactly and unequivocally what we have been saying …,, its silly for you try now to go back from you blogged statements of about a week ago where you asserted Marx non equalitarian stance , moreover that equality was a vehicle for the bourgeois oppression of the proletarian class .!!”

          What is an “equalitarian”?

          The whole premise of the paper is to distinguish between liberal egalitarians and Marx’s and Engels posture. Marx supports “graduated progressive income tax, abolition of the right of inheritance, equal liability” and other reforms but he acknowledges that they are not conducive by themselves to the abolition of class and thus class oppression.

          You on the other hand understand ‘egalitarians’ or “equalitarians”, which is a term you’ve apparently invented that has no historic precedent, to be a magic abstract term that encompasses all proponents of ‘equality’, which as another abstract term that encompasses who knows what.

          • In normal parlance “equalitarian” is simply someone who believes in equality . Of course in Marxian goobledegook such word has been struck from the marxists dictionary so its meaningless . Marx could be a very clear concise and witty writer but he loved inmitating the monumental teutonic ‘abstrusities’ of Hegelian philosophy and then he became pretentiously ridiculous in his use of indigestible verbiage.

          • The denomination liberal egalitarian precedes marxism by a long shoot. For you to claim that is is “goobledegook” is childish and downright false. If you want an actual discussion, behave like an adult.

            Claiming that someone “believes in equality” doesn’t amount to shit squat. What do they mean exactly by equality? What reforms do they propose that achieve equality? How can you not realize the ambiguity of the term?

          • Not very smart of you to try and nitpick your way out of the hole you have dug your self into , the term equalitarian is expressly used by professor Woods in terms which leave little doubt as to what he means by it , and he definitely states “… it is natural for us to think of Marx as an egalitarian of some sort. But Marx definitely did not share the egalitarian intuitions I have just been describing…”, I certainly dont believe that ‘liberal equality’ is goobledegook only that the opinion of Marx denying the values of liberal equality are goobledegook . !!

            The regime is true to its marxist roots in that it also scorns liberal notions of equality in the way it has created a class of boligurgues privilege and in the way it prosecutes a policy of despotic persecution against those citizens who arent allowed to exercise their lawful rights to free speech , free opinion , free assembly , free participation in collective decisions etc because they are not considered the equals of those who follow the regimes ideological agenda.

          • If you can’t understand that egalitarianism as an abstract doesn’t speak of the sub-denomination of certain activists (in this case, libertarian activists) and their proposals, I’m not interested in this discussion.

          • Ohhh, now we have to understand that “egalitarianism as an abstract doesn’t speak of the sub-denomination of activists and their proposals.”

            No wonder all previous explanations came across as double-speak! I was missing this clue. And yet, questions remain, notably: Why would the intellectual authors of egalitarianism as an abstract not have thought to include all sub-denominated activists? And how do you propose that the architects of the Revolution correct the imbalance, so that all sub- and sub-sub activists feel included? Or is there some pecking order to activists in the egalitarian revolution that makes that revolution less than egalitarian?

            Please help me reach the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, dspur. For I need just a little more enlightenment, hoping you can provide it. Btw, I’m kinda dumb and need things to be explained in the simplest terms, hoping you can comply.

            Affectionately,
            syd

          • “No wonder all previous explanations came across as double-speak! I was missing this clue. And yet, questions remain, notably: Why would the intellectual authors of egalitarianism as an abstract not have thought to include all sub-denominated activists? And how do you propose that the architects of the Revolution correct the imbalance, so that all sub- and sub-sub activists feel included?”

            Lol, syd, you’re under the impression that every word I utter that you’re unfamiliar with, in this case “egalitarianism”, is authored by marxism.

          • “you’re under the impression that every word I utter that you’re unfamiliar with, in this case “egalitarianism”, is authored by marxism.”

            Nowhere did I previously mention that egalitarianism is authored by marxism (sic). Those are your words, framed so as not to shed light on the double-talk.

            Your need is understandable, given your scrambling to defend your investment in the tenets of a Revolution that gives unequal weight to activists such as yourself, when not to a body politic, in general.

          • I don’t understand this line of questioning because no one is proposing words be re-defined.:

            “Why would the intellectual authors of egalitarianism as an abstract not have thought to include all sub-denominated activists? And how do you propose that the architects of the Revolution correct the imbalance, so that all sub- and sub-sub activists feel included?”

            The author, Woods, draws a distinction between ‘egalitarianism’ and ‘liberal egalitarianism’; the former refers to an abstract concept and the latter to a distinct group of people contemporary Marx with a distinct set of reforms they support that according to them lead to ‘equality’.

            Since this isn’t really a controversial distinction -and if it is, unbeknown to be, it’s not unique to marxism-, I don’t see the point in continuing without this concession.

          • THE KEY:
            The regime is true to its marxist roots in that it also scorns liberal notions of equality in the way it has created a class of boligurgues privilege and in the way it prosecutes a policy of despotic persecution against those citizens who arent allowed to exercise their lawful rights to free speech , free opinion , free assembly , free participation in collective decisions etc because they are not considered the equals of those who follow the regimes ideological agenda.

            Should be enshrined, or at the very least form part of a bronze plaque in every town square.

            Thanks, BB!

  19. It’s almost funny to watch the resident troll defend a regime that follows the stupidity written for a guy that hated Bolívar with all his guts (Meaning he hated all venezuelan stuff), and that constantly falls in every contradiction trying to justify its rampant hypocrisy that the bunch of golpistas, muggers, drug dealers, rapists and murderers should be left to do as they please tearing apart the country to give the chunks away as bargaining chips as they have done during the past 15 years.

    All while the regime looks to generate even more extreme poverty than never, by shutting down business and leaving people unemployed, or forcing the crash of other businesses with the stupid law of unfair prices, which applies the gasoline subsidy logic to everybody else but the regime:

    “This product costs 500 bolívars to be produced!”
    “I know, boss! Let’s sell it at 50 bolívars!”
    “¡NOOOO, CARMEN!”
    “The regime screwed itself with the cheap gasoline fallacy, and while now they are raising everything, they want to force you to ruin yourself working with that same stupidity.”

    • It isn’t ALMOST funny, it IS funny–he has managed to involve part of the Blog in a senseless convoluted discussion of Marxism-Communism, neither of which has worked in the past, nor will work in the future–as the saying goes, when you’re 20, if you’re not a Marxist/Communist/similar, you don’t have a heart–but, if at 30 you still believe in Marxism/Communism/similar, you don’t have a brain.

      • Convoluted, for sure. The enredo is on purpose. And it’s timely. For the internationally located chavistas are ramping up their efforts to present a falsified view of reality, in Venezuela, at university-related venues. They are doing so in order to distract from the utter failure of the Bolivarian experiment, to enlist sympathies, and to gain adherents among the young and impressionable. Those of us who live abroad need only to check our local universities to find some forum this month, or next, organized by flotsam and jetsam bolivarians and sympathizers, and sponsored by various communist groups under guise, or not.

        • Uh oh. They’re exporting the Bolivarian revolution abroad? This is serious. I’m going to lock up my toilet paper right now.

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