Mindful Living Center

Talks and tools to live mindfully. Meditation and Yoga studio in Thornhill. more details at: http://meditation.meetup.com/304/

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Peaceful Beginnings: An interpretation with Gandhian Principles

Through interpreting the fundamental principles of Socialism theory, and Communism theory (Marxism/Lenism, Stalinism, Maoism) I will attempt to reveal underlying characteristics, and tendencies of these social/economic/political models. Then I will review historic results of these models to further develop a broad understanding of their true nature. Beginning with Socialist theory, based on Marxist thought, socialism is developed from a Capitalist state. Marx envisioned the final developmental stage being communism. The premise of Socialism works on collectivity, through community ownership and equal distribution of wealth. Socialist states develop with a social ideology that sees humans as being inherently social for well-being and developmental purposes. Unlike Capitalism, the Socialist economic model is accredited to maximize benefits for the states citizens. A healthy and stable socialist economy is one that nationally provides for the people equally and fairly. When it comes to large industries (oil, water, energy, military) These industries are run by the government in the people’s best interest, ensuring that the industry is based on long-term strategies and follows sustainable practices. Once again because of the governmental centralization, more often than not there is a disconnect of priorities and the interests of all peoples may in turn not be adequately looked after. Conflicts often stem from the fact that socialist rule is geared toward a classless state that is in the interest of the working class (proletariat) in early Socialist reform, the wealthy minority become threatened by a working class political model and often create allies with foreign partners to hopes to remove Socialist rule through assassination or coup attempts. Socialist reform works towards converging all resources into one pool that is then equally divided to the citizens, this naturally creates conflicts and the nature of this reform creates forceful violent means. Although Socialist thought contends Capitalism and democracy are contradictory and can’t co-exist, Lenin envisions Socialism as using centralized democracy, and accepts industrial means of production. Industrialism is the building bocks of Capitalism; the only minor theoretical difference is the purposes of industrials goals between Socialism and Capitalism. This difference is vital to sustaining socialist priorities but another concern is raised when a centralized democracy is the means of socialist political order. This non consensus (localized) based but internally majority rule. This political structure makes it difficult for foreign interests and corporate interests to subvert it. But it lacks the localized forum and arena of political debate. It often overlooks key social problems because of the lack of citizen involvement. Now to review the historical manifestation of Socialist Theory to enrich the critical understanding of inherent characteristics, tendencies and the level of success with this form of social, political, economic organization. East Germanys transformation into a Socialist state, first took shape in 1948 when large industries and agriculture was shifted away from private ownership and enterprises to centralized state controlled. One of the leading priorities in these reforms had to do with debt caused by the war and to the Soviet Union. Other the next five years of reforms it became clear that these government initiatives proved ineffective and production was at an all time low. Some of the short falls seems to stem from the initial intent behind these reforms. They were political in purpose with a high level hostility directed towards the Industrial- Capitalist West. After failed attempts at centralized governmental controls which included conflicts with landowners, entrepreneurs and farmers alike, in the 1960’s new reforms were implemented strategy’s that were more oriented toward decentralization and specialization development of industries. Unfortunately no improvements became of these initiatives and production and quality of life further decreased. To imply these failing were a direct fault of the political model would be blindly jumping to conclusion. Before looking at Communist principles, we will look at some underlying tendencies and characteristics of a socialist formula. Although Socialist priorities are stated as being in the interest of the working community members, there lacks the vital self-rule component. When power is centralized, decision making becomes obscured and priorities are disproportionately represented. Another reoccurring trait of Socialist states is the use of propaganda, to support sovereignty and feed the population with hate mongering anti-Capitalist propaganda. Socialist leaders use the common man approach to gain populist support form the proletariat population, they also obscure information and control national news/media sources through adjusting information to their parties needs. Although socialism is geared towards social and community needs(health care, education, resource ownership) there is a disconnect in the theory and the fact that citizens have little say in the political forum because of the internalized. Communism is the final stage of development that Marx envisions, a classless state where human freedom and equality would come from direct democracy. He saw that occurring through public uprising. Which sounds dangerious since you’ve just developed a military government with strict regulation on trade and some human freedoms, then Marx proposed that a public uprising will resolve and transform into a communism state. Later Lenin expanded and developed an internal political model called democratic centralism, which would prevent external or extremist interests from gaining majority consensus. To unite the people Marx devised the concept of class consciousness, which would be exemplified in the political circle’s ideologies and further push citizens to reach this state of being. Marx also consistently saw change occurring within the population, in opposed to external sources and methods of change. In the Preamble to the Provisional Rules of the First International in 1864, “That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves.” In theory this could happen if self-rule was a functioning throughout the population. How can a state be classless when and manifesting communist characteristics when a separate political class hasn’t been dissolved? Not to say that the direct democratic approach or democratic centralism is completely faulty, but for complete classlessness in a physical, financial and mental manifestation no body of individuals can hold and retain more power or authority over others. In Marist manifesto, he states, “socialism would give way to communism, a classless society in which full collective ownership has been attained and the state no longer plays a role.” This has never happened in history, and most attemptd to transofrm into a full blown communist state is stopped short because of the emerging centralized state Capitalism model that through the process of eliminating all classes forms a new more powerful ruling class. Communist Cuba will be subjected to review, looking at it’s alignment with communist principles, reoccurring tendencies and quality of life of Cuba’s citizens. Fidel Castro became president in 1959 and still is to this day, his group of radicals overthrow the Batista regime with the support of the labor class and students. Although Fidel overthrow an oppressive regime that rigged elections and used violence to control dissidents, over 500 officers of the Batista were executed. This rash use of violence is a sign of total disregard for human rights and freedoms. In the early days of power Fidel, focused on reforming land ownership policies, nationalizing utilities(energy, water) and eliminated the gambling industry. Over the next ten years Castro developed closer ties with the Soviet Union and other Communists, which created increased tension and aggression between Cuba and the U.S who put in place a trade embargo and began initiating coups to overthrow Castro’s government. Cuba further developed based on a the Soviet Union Communist model. The Communist Party of Cuba says they follow centralized democratic principles “decision-making and popular participation occurs within mass organizations, institutionalized by the state” This tesetment is widely refuted, in that the ruling Communist power does not allow other parties in the poltical forum. Polticial dissidents and special interast groups at investigated and approached by the authorities. During the 70’s Cuba supported Soviet military operations in Angola, Ethiopia, Yemen and others and became dependent of there relationship with the Soviet Union who bought up sugar, oil products. The Soviet Union also agreed to subsidize Cuba’s national health and education system for military support and allegiance against the U.S. This allegiance was manifested in propaganda against the U.S and continued support of Soviet interests. When the Soviet Union dissolved and was replaced by common wealth independent states in 1991, Cuba’s partner in trade and financial support was lost. This severely effected production, in that, Cuba’s main trading partner could not assure a stable and constant export market for sugar and oil. The Soviet collapse also had negative repercussions on political confidence and national health coverage. The purpose here is not to out-right decided if this mode of political thought can or can’t work, more so , the concern lies in what we as a people and our natural environment lose from being part of a system. This system(Social-Communism) is based on an industrial framework, where maximizing production, through altering inputs to enhance outputs is the ever-growing goal, but in a sense it cannot be achieved. Industrial goals are goals of compounding growth and increased production. The Industrial system is not reflected in nature, thus it will destroy nature which in turn will destroy homo-sapiens. Another fundamental problem with is historically evident, is the fact that most nation-states that prevailed in building up such a large and complex system did so through exploiting cheap natural resources and cheap labor from other nations. If one looks at India Industrial failing any historian would justly point to the British, who controlled Indian Capital and redirected toward their own Industrial needs and interests. Not only capital but slave labor was a vital component that thrusted Britain’s massive Industrial sectors forward. With all this reveled how can one completely believe in Marxist theories that are based on a ground plan that exploit citizens, nature and other peoples. All Socialist/Communist empires overwhelmingly use propaganda as a means to (mis)inform, create hatred, and/or gain allegiance/alliances. Propaganda is based on non-truth, manipulated or obscured information that benefits one’s interests. Another device is censorship, because of there direct control of media outlets and industry they use this control often to deal with controversies or manage dissident thinkers. Over 100,000,000 people have died in the last 90 years of Socialist rule, more than any other forms of control, even more than fascism.

Through interpreting Capitalism, Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Imperialism and Democratic theory; I will attempt to reveal underlying characteristics and tendencies that these theories all contain and further delve into the real life manifestation of these theories. Colonialism is the act of gaining power and authority in foreign lands to increase One’s Colony, increase capital, resources and military means to further increase colonial dominance and reach. This may include restructuring the country culturally, politically and/or religiously. In 1492 the Americas were first discovered, initially large scale exploration and colonization wasn’t taking place, but from the minimal exploration and European settlements brought disease which killed of a large scale of the natives. Which allowed for increased development and control of land. The French and the British pursued similar agendas when Colonizing parts of Africa and Asia. Colonist thought sees colonization not only beneficial for the colonizer but for the colonize as well. There is no factual proof that countries such as India, Congo, Hawaii have been lifted above their prospective level of stability and quality of life than if they were left to control their own resources, political forum and development process. Although Colonialism is derived from Marxist thought, non-communist nations have used these tactics and similar modes of acquiring resources and political power, including Necolonization and Imperialism. The latter is the modern day form of colonization; which uses economic, financial and trade policies to control and restructure undeveloped countries. A clear example of these tactics include Belgium’s supposed decolonization of Congo, yet they still control over 70% of Congo’s natural resources. The mode of conduct is not between country relations, it stems from massive corporate institutions (whose shareholders are strictly large multi-national corporate entities) The dominate institutions in question include WTO (World Trade Organization) WB (World Bank) IMF (International Monetary Fund) among others. They hold massive global power both political and economically. Which is used to alter national and international trade, agricultural and patented laws. In doing this they open new markets, which in turn they work to control and adjust according to their financial needs and needs of their partners. They approach nations with opportunities to loan large sums of money for economic growths sake, and in turn control these countries politically and economically activities through economic restructuring agreements and the massive debt these countries accumulate due to there inability to pay of high foreign interests rate, which further increases their instability and willingness to accept the Neocolonizers demands. The end result of the Neoclonized country is increased poverty, increased environmental and ecological degradation. (Unlike Colonialization, which is a broad-based approach to improve one’s National geopolitical interests.)

Imperialism is similar to Neocolonialism, in that a countries agenda when developing relations with a foreign countries is to seek an internal partnership through either direct investment, market absorption (becoming a dominant if not an exclusive partner in trade and finance) through direct investment to gain control of national industries, trade policy influence and increased political involvement/controls. Another form of Imperialism may take shape by saturating a foreign market with exporting (i.e. Americana merchandise) products not designed to the tastes and needs of a foreign peoples. It was Lenin’s belief that Imperialism was the highest most most developed state of Capitalism. If this strategic orientation is properly executed the foreign country will most likely experience local culture degradation which will put pressure on local sectors (organic farming, weaving, woodwork, tailors, natural medicines etc) In times of heated political climate or aggressive global competition, world powers will use imperialistic tactics such as: military pressures, assassins of political leaders, and coups. In both dominate forms of political control, which hold implicit or explicit controls on media outlets, there is little mainstream coverage of underlying military intentions and true levels of success; facts are obscured, information involving government led assassination attempts are kept classified, and coups attempts are kept out of mainstream media sources. The engine which keeps imperialism expanding and functioning is the ever growing competition staged by both nations and multinational corporations that use all available tactics at their disposal.

The two models in question (Communism, Capitalism) through juxtaposing them truths and commonalities amongst them are illuminated. Both governing bodies use violent means to gain control (short term), ‘mis’educate, and gain support and alliances (long term). After power is established within a body of government there is an increase of the development of implicit and explicit forms of propaganda used on the population. Propaganda is used so explicitly one loses any reference point to objectively reach a conclusion. Because it is used to persuade an audience in believing specific ideas or initiatives in a biased fashion it raises serious ethical and moral concerns. The next level of violence which effects man both physically and mentally would be environmental degradation and decreased biodiversity through unsustainable development and resources extraction processes. The physical violence is so broad and far reaching that our current understanding on the severity of it’s impacts is miniscule. One way to understand the importance of biodiversity, for example in a mono-diverse and fragile ecosystem there is high-instability and all inhabitants (plant, animal and man) of the ecosystem have a higher susceptibility to disease, parasites and outbreaks. As in most instances of violence the poor, minority, aboriginals and voiceless (animals, plants) suffer. One recurring example would be Nuclear or biochemical power plants that pose dangers to communities are typically built in and around the proximity of poor communities. Which is a clear sign of misrepresentation, which is both evident in Capitalist and Socialist models. Through the use of pesticides and Herbicides, which negatively effect biodiversity and soil quality; the chemical use is indiscriminatingly used through processes that endanger field workers and poison the local water supply. Something important that most be noted, currently while Capitalism is progressively increasing competition, risk taking and the disparity between rich and poor classes, social-democratic models in South America are emerging into a more Nationalistic and protectionist state where national resources are being used exclusively for national interests, which predominantly are national education and health care. The main concerns are still embedded in propaganda devices and violent tendencies towards citizens and foreign communities alike.


At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I like what I see here. Doesn't it feel good to get your ideas down on 'paper'. In no time, we'll be able exchange ideas freely again. But for now this is all I'll right.

Take it easy my friend.


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