The rise and decline of great powers

Items of historical significance.

Re: The rise and decline of great powers

Postby The Dharma Bum » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:50 am

Ha ha nationalistic ranting aside the point is, Spider, that the capital for it all was produced by collective human action, via the primeval accumulation of capital. Contrary to US cultural beliefs this capital was not produced by the the action of a few super-productive super-smart pilgrims who were then fairly remunerated for their services by making them billionaires and putting them in control of society. The individuals that belong to this parasitic class merely represent people who are taking advantage of their social circumstances to exploit the rest of humanity.

The ultimate point all that is to illustrate that this is all highly unethical and expansion of our mode of production is still mowing down indigenous populations in the manner of the European genocide in North America around the world to this day.

But I know you are more concerned with shouting about how the US is #1 superpower.
Last edited by The Dharma Bum on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The rise and decline of great powers

Postby The Dharma Bum » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:58 am

"rammed home" by the mighty response to the Boxer Rebellion. pffft

That was like 10 European countries and the purpose was to carve an already broken China up into colonies.
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Re: The rise and decline of great powers

Postby Spider » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:31 pm

The Dharma Bum wrote:"rammed home" by the mighty response to the Boxer Rebellion. pffft

That was like 10 European countries and the purpose was to carve an already broken China up into colonies.


Clearly you need to read a little about it. I supplied a link. Also, if the "rammed home" is a quote attributed to me, I said nothing at all about "ramming home" anything about the Boxer rebellion. You really should read more carefully, as these were two different things covered in my post. (Please read specifically where in the post that phrase was located, and specifically what it referenced.)

If you have to misquote me, or intentionally remove the context to debate...then you've already lost. And what's worse, is you know it.
Last edited by Spider on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The rise and decline of great powers

Postby Spider » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:41 pm

The Dharma Bum wrote:Ha ha nationalistic ranting aside the point is, Spider, that


There was absolutely no nationalist element to anything in my post. It was entirely a recitation of historical events. There were people there who saw. They took pictures and everything. You can read all about it. Its not an opinion of mine, its just what happened. As much as you'd like to be able to deflect away from how incorrect your post was, for the reasons mentioned, by accusing me of nationalistic chest thumping (something I've mentioned disgusts me many times), you've failed to do so.

You were wrong, got called on it, and no amount of insults will change that.

But I know you are more concerned with shouting about how the US is #1 superpower.


If you read my post, you'll see where I said nothing at all of the sort, much less shouted it. I'm pretty grossed out by people who do.

This is just more nonsense you made up because...why? A debate on the internet didn't go your way?


the capital for it all was produced by collective human action, via the primeval accumulation of capital. Contrary to US cultural beliefs this capital was not produced by the the action of a few super-productive super-smart pilgrims who were then fairly remunerated for their services by making them billionaires and putting them in control of society. The individuals that belong to this parasitic class merely represent people who are taking advantage of their social circumstances to exploit the rest of humanity.

The ultimate point all that is to illustrate that this is all highly unethical and expansion of our mode of production is still mowing down indigenous populations in the manner of the European genocide in North America around the world to this day.

But I know you are more concerned with shouting about how the US is #1 superpower.


All of which is just another opportunistic rant about ideological nonsense that nobody cares about and has nothing at all whatsoever to do with my post.

You just stuck all that rhetoric in there...why? What did it have to do with anything I said?
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Re: The rise and decline of great powers

Postby eynon81 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:30 pm

The Dharma Bum wrote:Ha ha nationalistic ranting aside the point is, Spider


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Re: The rise and decline of great powers

Postby broken robot » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:49 pm

Interesting Guardian comment on the German elections and their implication for the balance of power we've been discussing.

Guardian wrote:So the German people have spoken, and the European Union will continue to be a tortoise. Next May, following elections to the European parliament, we will discover just how slow and unhappy a creature it is. Then, across the next decade, a larger, Aesopian question will be posed: can the European tortoise somehow outrun the American eagle and the Chinese dragon? Or will it at least keep pace with them?

Resounding though Mutti (Mummy) Merkel's election victory was, Germany's new government still has to be formed. In the federal republic, such coalition talks traditionally happen at the pace, and with all the grace, of tortoises mating. Assuming the result is a so-called "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats, there should be a small but desirable adjustment in Germany's policy towards the eurozone.

On Monday, Merkel suggested that there would be no change in her own approach to a southern Europe traumatised by debt, austerity and depression (in both the economic and psychological senses of the word). Referring to the impressive way Germany managed down its own unit labour costs and restored its competitiveness, she said: "What we have done, everyone else can do."

The Social Democrats understand a little better, or perhaps just express more frankly, that the economics of eurozone recovery are not that simple. Some debt burdens are just unsustainable. Improved supply also requires demand. But since the Social Democrats will be the junior partner in this coalition (if that is what emerges), since the results on which they will be judged by voters are primarily domestic, and since most German voters don't want to pay another cent for allegedly feckless southerners, those eurozone policy adjustments will be modest.

At best, the soft underbelly of the European tortoise – a debt and depression-ridden southern Europe – will continue to bleed. At worst, it will haemorrhage, politically as well as economically. As Costas Douzinas noted in the Guardian on Tuesday, the Greek economy has shrunk by 25%, with youth unemployment at around 70% and a growing national debt-to-GDP ratio approaching 175%. In Greece more social misery and political extremism seem inevitable. Elsewhere, in Spain and Ireland for example, painful reforms are beginning to show some slow, uncertain results.

In the German election, the political centre held. In next May's 28-country elections to the European parliament, that is less likely. Representatives of protest parties of all shapes and colours – from Greece's fascist Golden Dawn to Ukip, from the partly post-communist The Left party in Germany (which is back in the Bundestag, unlike the liberal Free Democrats) to Geert Wilders' Freedom party in the Netherlands – might fill those parliamentary seats in Brussels. If this happens, the European parliament will become a glasshouse full of people throwing stones. Yet that fragmentation will also compel the mainstream, pan-European alliances of conservative, liberal and socialist parties to work more closely together, thus producing a kind of implicit grand coalition in the Brussels parliament, as well as (probably) an explicit one in the Berlin one.

At the same time, Merkel will be even more inclined than she is already to run the European show by pragmatic inter-governmental deal-making, whether in the eurozone of 18 states (when Latvia adopts the euro in January) or the EU of 28 (now that Croatia has joined the larger club). But Merkel's problem is that she does not have a strategic partner in either of the EU's other two leading powers.

France's François Hollande is the Little President Who Would – but his country is weakened by its own domestic economic problems and slowness to reform. Britain's David Cameron, with a stable coalition government and a slowly recovering north European free market economy, could in theory be that partner. In practice, his Eurosceptic Conservative party and his own tactical miscalculations have launched him on a foolish course of attempted "renegotiation" of the terms of Britain's membership of the EU. In short, Britain could, but won't; France would, but can't. That leaves Merkel as Europe's single Mutti. She has a few solid medium-sized partners in countries such as Poland, but they alone are not enough.

So there you have the EU for the foreseeable future: a giant, weary tortoise, with chancellor Merkel sitting astride its shell, trying to steer its woozy head and coax its bleeding underbelly across stony ground. Yet before one falls into deepest melancholy, as a European, it's worth taking a leaf out of Aesop's book and looking at the competition – the American eagle and the Chinese dragon. After all, in Aesop's fable, it was as much the hare that lost as it was the tortoise that won.

I'm watching the German and European slow motion spectacle from the United States. But my TV screen is filled with a partisan style of politics that is the diametric opposite of Germany's centrist, consensual, coalition-building democracy. While Berlin's Christian and Social Democrats negotiate their incremental differences, Washington is engulfed in shrieking brinkmanship, like a giant game of "chicken", with Republicans threatening not to lift the country's national debt ceiling unless that ghastly European-style Obamacare can be brought down. There is even talk of a government shutdown in just a few days' time. Imagine that happening in the United States' erstwhile governance pupil, and now exemplar, Germany. While the US private sector is recovering some of its legendary dynamism, it still faces deep problems of imperial and welfare overstretch, and neglected infrastructure.

And rising China? The failure of president Xi Jinping's new administration to show any signs of political reform makes a deeper crisis in that country ever more probable at some point over the next decade. Jamil Anderlini, of the Financial Times, reports a professor at the Party School of the central committee of the Communist party of China saying this: "We just had a seminar with a big group of very influential party members and they were asking us how long we think the party will be in charge and what we have planned when it collapses. To be honest, this is a question that everyone in China is asking but I'm afraid it's very difficult to answer."

In short, the world's three giant economies all have substantial political problems, of strikingly different kinds. Europe's Merkelian tortoise will not gather speed any time soon, but nor is it now likely to take a big fall. Can we say the same of the eagle and the dragon?


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Re: The rise and decline of great powers

Postby Esin » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:00 am

eynon81 wrote:
The Comrade wrote:you are technically correct


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LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! I tend to agree with the Sino-skeptics though. China has so many major systemic/demographic problems that make current growth projections/expectations wildly optimistic, and will ultimately make places like India's problems pale in comparison.
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Re: The rise and decline of great powers

Postby broken robot » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:28 pm

Yeah, wish I knew more about China. It's honestly a massive country so don't know where to begin, but from what I've gleaned a predominantly peasant population migrating to cheap jobs + expanding manufacturing base in cheap goods + construction boom and potential real estate bubble + opacity of the politbureau and overall lack of legal infrastructure mean it's got a long ways to go...
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