2nd Gilded Age

Are we in a second gilded age Holla Forums? Are there concurrent trend being seen with the class cuckery corporate funded movements like lolberts, the tea party and the gospel of wealth and all that garbage?
pic kinda related

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forbes.com/2009/08/13/john-maynard-keynes-conservative-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html
marxists.org/reference/archive/althusser/1962/overdetermination.htm
thenextrecession.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/maito-esteban-the-historical-transience-of-capital-the-downward-tren-in-the-rate-of-profit-since-xix-century.pdf
spiralofdialectic.blogspot.com/2017/01/thoughts-on-china-part-one.html?m=1
spiralofdialectic.blogspot.com/2017/04/some-comments-on-inequality-during.html?m=1
marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/imp_rev/toc.htm
marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/1976/khruschevites/index.htm
marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/euroco/env2-1.htm
enverhoxha.ru/Archive_of_books/English/enver_hoxha_reflections_on_china_volume_II_eng.pdf
critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/the-five-industrial-cycles-since-1945/the-dollar-empire-and-the-great-moderation/
drive.google.com/file/d/0B1ZP6ZurgOg-ZThWZFN1bm1aeGc/view
theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/15/czechoslovakia-spied-on-donald-trump-ivana-files
activistpost.com/2017/03/10-trillion-missing-pentagon-no-one-not-even-dod-knows.html
reuters.com/article/us-usa-audit-army-idUSKCN10U1IG
businessinsider.com/10-facts-that-prove-the-absurdity-of-pablo-escobars-wealth-2015-9/#6-the-king-of-cocaine-factored-in-a-21-billion-loss-in-profits-each-month-but-that-didnt-really-matter-6

liberts in the traditional sense peaked around the bush- great recession era

but dont underestimate how the silicon valley bigs either are neoliberals or ronpaulbots

yeah the fetishization of Silicon Valley is really fucking obnoxious. People around me always go on about all the progress and success there. People are hostile to me when ever I mention that SV is toxic and most of the "innovations" that promote their cult of personalities mostly come from government fund research and universities.

"libertarians" are some of the most infuriating people around. The ultimate useful idiot for porky. It god damn annoy so many people buy right wing economics here in burgerstain

The tail end of it.

2nd gilded age started with Reagan and went into full swing under Bush Sr. and Clinton.

And this is good news, because that means we're gonna get a 2nd Progressive Era and therefore a 2nd Eugene Debs.

I don't think it really ended tbhw/u m'fam.

hopefully people wiseup even a little bit and go for a Debbs over another FDR. Doubt it though.

You mean Teddy, of course.

And yeah, I'd like to think the masses are capable of learning from their mistakes, but all of human history seems to be pointing in the other direction.

:\
looking pretty bleak isnt it fam

the tea party is majority upper middle class people in the suburbs/rural towns
they would never have been leftists in any sense

also in there heyday the media absolutely loved them

fuck

Yes, and that's undeniable. 2016 was a watershed because for the first time in history the 1% took home more then half of global income.

Yes, the far-right and the libertarian right is generously funded in America and all over the world for this reason Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right is a good book demonstrating this.

However, it isn't just the Right that has been instrumental in making things this way but the nature of capitalism itself. As capital accumulates exponentially inequality also tends to rise with it in spite of whatever bandaids that reformists put on it.

"The Great Compression" of inequality and the Post-War boom are actually separate phenomenon although its common to associate one with the other. The former was caused by the effects of the World Wars and the Great Depression and the latter was caused by the restoration of profitability to capitalism after WWII. However, the post-war boom did not cause a reduction in inequality but on the contrary slowly began to undo the compression of inequality that had already occurred.

Although there were fewer Rockefeller-tier billionaires in Post-War America, as you can see on the graph the number of American millionaires grows exponentially at a faster rate then during the "Golden Age" of the "Keynesian compromise" faster then the decline in the value of the dollar and faster then the growth in American wages (this comes from my own research). There were ten times more millionaires in 1972-3 then there were at the high point of the roaring twenties. By the early 60s prior to the Kennedy tax-cuts there was more then six times more millionaires in the US then there was in 1944 and there would soon be ten times that in the aftermath of oft-forgotten Kennedy tax-cuts. American political economy was still quite Keynesian in 1978 although the transition to neoliberalism was slowly beginning and by that point there was about 500,000 millionaires in America despite the "stagflation" and oil crises that hammered working people in the 70s.

Despite the social democratic reforms the rich continued to get richer in post-war America and then the Reagan-Carter reforms came along to make sure that the 1% and .01% especially got more and more.

The neoliberal hell that were living in grew out of the Keynesian Soc-Dem Western order and its twin social order in the revisionist Comecon countries and China.

The partisans of social democracy on both sides of the former Iron Curtain let out many pained howls over this tragedy but it was all completely predictable. Keynes seems to have more defenders on the Western Left then say Khrushchev but I wonder how they can reconcile the supposed "misuse" of Keynes with the fact he positively reviewed The Road to Serfdom and became more and more conservative as the Depression years increasingly became a memory and anti-communism became the order of the day.
forbes.com/2009/08/13/john-maynard-keynes-conservative-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Also I'd like to point out that data on the wealthy from that era is harder to come by then is it today. And money hidden in the newly flourishing international system of tax havens, government black funds, organized crime and other kinds of corruption make it harder to get a grasp on how rich the rich really were in the post-war Keynesian era. There was even more incentive for wealthy people to hide their wealth then there is today because of higher taxes. As we know the illicit and hidden wealth and profits of the capitalists run into the trillions based on what little has been revealed about the tax-haven system. In fact, according to Nicholas Shaxon 2/3 of global trade actually passes through tax havens before its unloaded at its destination, dodging taxes both at the production and sellers end.

but, the original gilded age lasted like, thirty years

why has this one lasted for nearly 80?

Not exactly accurate. In Europe, it lasted from about 1873-1914 (41 years) and in the US it lasted from about 1865 to 1917 (54 years). Although WWI and the wave of revolution following 1917 reduced a good deal of the power of the most powerful capitalists it still retained much of the inequalities of the Gilded Age. The Depression and WWII were the biggest levelers though WWI created a legacy of high taxes and government-provided services in the West that was never completely undone. In many respects, a major driving factor behind interwar fascism was a ruling class offensive to undo them.

You pose a good question though. Prior to the first gilded age capitalism was relatively new and still quite youthful, the rate of profit was high and the market was very competitive with a comparatively large proportion of the population acting as capitalists. Robert C. Allen argues that the high-inequality in early industrial revolution Britain was a result of the continued rents drawn by the aristocracy and their monopolization of the land, he argues that the rapid growth of capitalism at the time caused a decline in inequality which was undone by the continued power of the aristocracy. In the early days of capitalism the wealthiest people tended to be bankers, slaveowners, and landlords but that shifted with the onset of industrialization and 1820 marked the watermark when most millionaires in Britain had made their fortunes through trade and industry rather then inheritance of land. The biggest colonial expansion of European colonialism during the classical capitalism of Marx's time was the creation of the settler-colonial nations, primarily in the Anglosphere which exported the surplus army of labor, and lower inequality and higher wages then Europe due to their lack of a landed aristocracy and lower unemployment rates/higher social mobility.

The growth of monopoly capitalism in Western Europe and its offshoots following the corporate revolution in America and Britain in the 1850s-60s, and the second industrial revolution which was deeper and more wide-ranging then the first one put workers at a greater disadvantage against capital and inequality exploded even further as a result. The Long Depression created persistent technically-induced unemployment alongside rapid accumulation of capital, to put it simply it was a "poor man's recession" outside of Britain ; at the same-time Europe and its offshoots grabbed up Africa and every place that had yet to be conquered or only marginally conquered/exploited prior to that. This gave the richest among the capitalist class great power.

Prior to WWI the average tax-rate in the Industrial World was about 15% and after that it rose to about 60% give or take. The European bourgeoisie inherited the legacy of the European aristocracy which barely taxed itself when it was in power, and as a result they preferred to tax everyone but themselves (typically aristocrats or workers) but proclaimed a low-tax lassiez-faire doctrine except when necessary. As the aristocracy steadily declined in terms of wealth and splendor and workers revolted against capitalism it became that only the capitalist class had a tax base really capable of financing anything like a World War.

If you think of it like that it makes sense that someone like John D. Rockefeller could accumulate 300 billion dollars in today's money because of the legacy of capitalism at the time. There were fewer regulations, fewer taxes and the lack of any real threat of war that would necessitate them. Europe and America were at peace for much of the gilded age if you exclude the colonial wars.

Unless you count the Western pillaging of the former USSR as a veiled imperialist war then we really haven't had any inter-imperialist wars since WWII but the threat of world war has necessitated that taxes stay high to provide services that can appease workers/build up military offenses.

So, to answer your question, our gilded age has lasted longer because the crises and contradictions of capitalism has not been as intense. People like Henry Ford and Count Mitsui in Japan possessed wealth even in the interwar period that would be estimated at 200 billion dollars today. The richest man in Post-War America was purported to be worth only 8 billion dollars in today's money. Only towards the tail-end of the 90s was there a man whose stated wealth cracked the 100 billion mark in 2017 dollars (Bill Gates). The social reforms prior to and during WWII were successful at limiting the number of truly ultra-rich but they did not stop the numerical growth of the rich and super-rich, now the ultra-rich have re-emerged to prominence in a way that hasn't been seen since the early 20th and 19th centuries.

holy fuck, you know your shit. this is the most detailed response anyone has ever given me on anything

10/10 poster please keep laying down the truth

I think it also should be noted that the higher profit rates of the first gilded age meant it was easier to accumulate vast amounts of money with comparably less capital especially if you had a cartel or monopoly.

Now companies invest vast amounts of capital but withdraw comparatively less profits and the never-ending race to invest even more capital drives down the value of capital further. As an example a company like Black Rock manages 15 trillion dollars in capital but it can guarantee that its profit rates aren't anything in comparison to its vast capital stock.

The most profitable capitalist enterprises are still the cartels and monopolies, the big businesses still dominate the global market but even these are less profitable then they were in the past because world capitalism as a whole is decaying especially in the face of declining profits and entrenched crises. That's why the super rich keep getting richer in spite of the declining rate of profit and the terrible shape of the world economy growth-wise.

Again, this is based on what we know about the bourgeoisie's financial dealings as there is plenty we don't know about the iceberg of tax havens and pools of "black money". There's a lot we don't know but we can still make hypotheses and theorize based on what we do know.


Thanks, I really appreciate this. Responses like yours (rare as they are) are the whole reason I effortpost.

If there is a crisis of capital and the immeseration of the poor becomes so striking, will it be a global revolt or will it occur in the place where inequality is the starkest, like in China, Russia or the United States?

I also gotta thank you for your analysis & explanation, this is really great stuff.
Do you have any hope, given all this, for a second progressive era? If so, why and from where? Is there anything in particular that you think could trigger it (second depression, Trump impeachment, etc)?

Trump Impeachment would be negligible. I think A major deregulation in the market would probably lead to an economic crash, which is what the Republicans already want to do so were heading in the right direction.

high effort posts should be read out loud and updated to youtube

Hey…what happened to the Tea Party? i remember when in it appeared there was people talking about that…thing becoming a legitimate party that would win elections.

It will likely be a global revolt/resistance but revolution historically-speaking is most likely to occur not necessarily where inequality is the starkest but where the contradictions are starkest at the world scale. Inequality is a major problem of capitalism but it is not the fundamental problem. There was examples of major Bill Gates-type inequality under pre-capitalist systems of production and while they contributed to popular resistance against them it wasn't the major flaw that brought them down.

Japan has a lower reported Gini then America and China but which of the three would you consider the most dynamic? Japan has been limping along with a low 1-2% growth rate since the 90s and not even their massive demographic crisis has been enough to temper the problem of youth unemployment and underemployment. The people most able to work and raise families are precisely those are suffering much of the brunt of the systematic crises of Japanese capitalism. We're talking about a country that knew 7% gdp growth as late as the 1980s. I'm not even sure if America has even had a growth rate that high–the highest it achieved in the 20th century was 5-6% in the early 60s. Some Third World countries are more egalitarian then the US but the conditions for workers and the economic contradictions are incredibly bad.

Tsarist Russia was a very unequal place but it probably wasn't the most unequal in the world at the time of the revolution. Althusser lays down some good reasons why the revolution did occur in Russia:

marxists.org/reference/archive/althusser/1962/overdetermination.htm

Japan confirmed for next socialist uprising.

Unquestionably. And it has the same causes: Free trade, mass economic immigration, deregulation. This means the same solutions apply: Tariffs, migrant quotas, and labor union agitation.

It even recycled the same retarded apologism: “The world is too globalized and international, this is just the way things are going to be”, “all protectionism is just isolationist autarky”, “All anti-immigration is because of ‘xenophobia’”, “the poorest in the far corners of the world are actually better off now”, etc.

We did it before, we can do it again. Rest assured neoliberalism will crash and burn, too many people are too angry, and political populism has advanced too far.


Reminder that Silicon Valley is overwhelmingly leftist, always has been, and will remain so for the foreseeable future, as are other STEM sectors. The Ayncraps are just a noisy minority, even among the ultra-rich porkies at the top of the tech industry.

Its desecrated corpse is still kicking around in Congress in the form of the Freedom Caucus, but most of its rank-and-file went over and became Trump supporters/Alt-Righters when they realized the Tea Party was just the Republican establishment using nice-sounding rhetoric to keep their outrage from splitting the party. The big bourgeois orchestrators of the movement then either reluctantly and unenthusiastically hopped on the Trump train or went over to Clinton and THEN hopped on the Trump train post-election.

all socdems seem to universally have shit opinions

that second chart does give me hope for US labor though

that percentage spike in union membership at the Great Depression almost made me orgasm

not him but a defining trait of classical heroes is that they're flawed.
FDR may have been a strike-breaker, but he broadly left unions intact and with some level of influence, unlike later leaders who gutted unions completely.

t. borderline aroused by labor activism

How many of these “pro-immigrant” movements give one solitary shit for the overwhelming majority of 3rd-worlders that will never, ever migrate? What about for the descendants of immigrants, who will be right back to where their ancestors were after destroying the 1st-world’s economy? It’s domestic slave trade 2.0, down to their every argument.

Genuine racists among current anti-immigration movements, just like genuine isolationists among the anti-globalization movements, are a necessary (and trivial) expense in exchange for the realpolitik necessary to again tip the global labor market in the favor of the working class.


Make no mistake, in spite of all the classcuck propaganda you hear loud voices spout, the majority of burgerlanders still keenly hunger for labor unions.

It's probably a foreordained conclusion at this point but the people in charge want to head it off as best they can obviously. That's why the Right is mobilizing everywhere around the world right now in most countries it is limited to electoral bourgeois contests pitting "populist" right-wingers and almost exclusively against centrist plutocratic-cocksucking politicians with predictable results. When people vote in the right and get even worse results like Trump's attempted tax, education and healthcare "reforms" then the projects of the far-right and right-leaning portions of the capitalist class wont be able to come to power through the normal democratic way and they will turn to fascism.

I think a strong progressive-movement in the sense of one able to stem the tide of immense inequality is historically uncommon without either 1.war 2. violent revolution 3. Depression 4. famine or some other natural calamity. Those are the four forces that have compressed inequality throughout history. Think about it, the strong American Left of the 30s, whatever its weaknesses, was forged in the bitter experience of imperialist war, major depression and repression by the FBI and other state/vigilante forces.

What we're likely to have something more like the progressive movement of the 1890s-1910s a movement that calls out the worst excesses of big business and wins some things to make life a little better without being able to stem the growing tide of inequality between the top and the bottom of society. You had the radicals who were influential in society and the muscles of the movement but who are essentially either repressed or alienated where possible. It will be a pro-corporate progressivism in the manner of Burning Sandals who openly states that he's a "conservative" in comparison to Eisenhower.

It will be a lot harder to achieve because even though the US is richer then ever and the mass of corporate profits are larger (along with management's salaries) the rate of profit is lower then it was in previous reformist waves. I know the counter-argument maybe that the rop was low in the Great Depression, true, but the Depression was an unusual time whereas a low rop today is a trend spanning decades. That's why the Western bourgeoisie is so hostile to succ dem candidates like Bernie to the point that it often confuses their positions with communism. It needs maximum profits and it will get them even if the price is greater tension in the workplace and in the streets down the line. That's why its possible that we will see fascism mobilized before a radical left challenge has emerged within some countries.

However, its also likely we will see some CIA-socialist experiments (like the Khmer Rogue) or that social-imperialist China and the BRICS will seek to infiltrate a rising progressive movement and essentially make it pro-state capitalist. The American bourgeoisie pretty much admitted open defeat to state-capitalism with the bailouts and because the state can be funded with citizens money it can navigate some of the short-comings of exclusively private capitalism. This may sound quite conspiratorial but that wont lead to a decline in inequality either but will be used to restore profitability and end up extremely corrupt in order to provoke popular anger against the state and then privatize it all a la the 60s. It will likely devolve into social-fascism and not the capitalist democracy with a human face or capital D democracy that people envision.

I think Russia probably has the best shot of a real revolution in the imperialist countries because the workers there have a better idea of what socialism is, what did and didn't work. It's also a declining power and people are facing a declining standard of living. I'd like to say China but I'm not encouraged by the Chinese Left's neo-maoism and other revisionist influences.

Any number of Third World countries can become revolutionary. I'd go further then most commentators and outright say America will become radical before Western Europe. It's just too obvious that democracy is fake and the rich run everything in America; Western socialist and "communist" parties are basically the democrats some leftist imagery. People understand that idpol is now being used for divisive purposes bc the American bourgeoisie has been doing it forever and is better at it then anyone else. The European bourgeois are much better at pseudo-socialism then the capitalist to the bone burger borg and that will probably help rather then hinder our growth.

Corporate/business interests are the loudest advocates for relaxed immigration you idiot, because who doesn't want more consumers and more competition for jobs, housing, etc?

Libertarians and there “free trade” destroyed the American working class. There the worse of the worse. They make Liberals, Europen Porky, Fascist and Social Democrats sound like gods in comparison.

Who? Khama Sawant is the only real socialist in American politics, and she’s a trot. Discussing.

Nationalism is cancer for socialism.

You're the kind of "socialists" who would have immediately turned into proud patriots at the advent of WW1.

Well it's not like socialism had a realistic chance of happening anyway, so that doesn't bother me too much

You don't have to be a nationalist to realize the utility of those arbitrary lines on a map.

Opportunist.


They have utility purely for the bourgeoisie and their useful idiots.

The only time any kind of nationalism is even remotely acceptable from a socialist standpoint is when it's used for purposes of national self-determination. Anything else is cancer.

What’s wrong with nationalism. You can be a socialist and still love your country. Immigration is shit for the working class.

No you can't.

A nation-state is simply a division of the territories by which the ruling class violently "governs" (represses) the people who happen to live there. The concept of a nation as its own entity has no basis in material reality and can only distract and divided workers engaged in the class struggle.

Socialism is, by definition, internationalist and cosmopolitan.

I'm up for some rad lefty Animu TBH.

Yet self determination is apparently legitimate, even though it's just the bourgoise determining a new ruling area needs to be created?

You sound like the "Boys from Argentina" who oversaw the privatization of the USSR after the Cold War, cheering at the "beauty" of people forced to hawk their possessions in the streets, as the "natural start of a free market".

A nation-state is a set of borders within which laws are enforced. Little things like minimum wage, workplace safety, child labor bans, right to bankruptcy, consumer protection, construction regulations, pensions, nondescrimination, and everything else that separates us from the 3rd-world.

If you're opposed to borders under capitalism, you're de-facto supporting transnational private corporations to displace public governments.

Look up "alter-globalization"

Joke: Nationalism didn't exist before capitalism

Broke: No Borders, No Nations, Stop the Deportations

Woke: Communism Will be Borderless Nationalism

...

tbh reading this just seems to hit me as the same problem with a lot of principled socialist/communist analysis: it basically amounts to powerless virtue signalling in practice.

take the scottish situation for example - and in this case their nationalist movement is pro immigration, etc, and while basically liberal offers to break with the increasingly reactionary UK. to stand on the sidelines and go "acshually what we need is a full blown revolution where capitalism is overthrown" completely discards the possibility of material gains - for people in all nations in the UK - if the initiative was taken in pushing towards a breakup now, since it could fuck with the power structures in both countries. yes the end result will be capitalist, but it holds opportunity to get something done in the here and now and alter the long-term strategic position. (as one grossly oversimplified example, at one point it was suggested Scottish independence could cause another global recession by spooking the markets - now that might well be a great thing as part of some longer term strategy to that capitalism simply isn't working, even on it's own terms, and empowering various leftist movements worldwide as a response.)

it's comfortable to keep your hands clean, getting shit done requires –ow! fucking thorns…

I think it goes deeper than "we need socialism, not reformism".

Even under socialism, at least until complete global revolution had occurred, there would still be borders, most particularly the frontier with capitalism.

The most important thing about borders isn't nations, but the laws enforced by the governments that control impose. No borders? No governments, and no laws. And no governments means ceding victory to something else.

Except most of the Jews he wants to cite as
never really abandoned their ethnic identity as Jewish.

Jews tend towards internationalist/antinationalist movements for the same reason that religious minorities in the Middle East supported Ba'athism - it reduced ethnic cohesion among non-Jews/minorities ("muh antisemitism"), while simultaneously allowing Jews/minorities to rely on their own ethnic networks to advance each other nepotistically

When people say love there country it’s about there countries land, and culture. Also you can be a nationalist and a socialist. Look at Rojava where nationalist parties have LOT’S of power, yet many of those nationalist parties are pushing for for Democratic Confedralism.

Also it’s not just Rojava. Many Basques, Catalonians, Scots, Irish, and Russians are both socialists and nationalists.

Income inequality today is actually worse than the gilded age, so I would say so.

Rosevelt literally gave workers the legal right to organize and sent the army to protect striking workers from corporate thugs. He may have been a succdem but he unquestionably did more for workers than any other American politicians, including Debbs.

No, the "gilded age" ended either with 9/11 or the economic collapse in 2007/8.

Except he only did those things to undercut actual socialists. He might have publicly protected workers, but in reality his every move was calculated to undercut them in the long run.

To think centrist upper class Libs were actually excited about the possibility of Bloomberg running third party when it looked like Hillary might've lost the dem primary

Because if he didn't the US literally would have had a communist revolution. He was protecting the capitalist class, not acting against them.

Hence calling the national guard to attack strikers more than any other US president, past or present.

Regardless of what his actual principles or motivations were, I think the fact that he massively improved both the living standards and political power of workers deserves some positive recognition.

Sawant is a raw idpol berniecrat. If she is a socislist, then she is the worst kind of socialist.

There is no such thing as a public government in capitalism. It can only ever serve private interests.

Wut

He's just mad because he'll never be a genuine hero like Ho Chi Mihn.

Quality posts, got any more sources?

Sure, I have plenty, what are you interested in particular?

The most profitable capitalist enterprises are still the cartels and monopolies, the big businesses still dominate the global market but even these are less profitable then they were in the past because world capitalism as a whole is decaying especially in the face of declining profits and entrenched crises. That's why the super rich keep getting richer in spite of the declining rate of profit and the terrible shape of the world economy growth-wise.
I'm particularly interested in the consolidation of capital under a few MNCs as the RoP continues to decline and at what rate exactly it's proceeding at, as this will, IMO, determine whether we see automation staunched by treaty between the few corporations left standing in the end and the resultant creation of a true technofeudalism or if we'll see widespread AI-based automation arrive before this process completes itself and throw the entire system into chaos. The environment's fucked anyways, so there's that to keep in mind - with the former, humans will likely be exterminated by the billions to maintain the status of a first world which itself looks more like a third world country in structure. With the latter, there is a much greater chance for insurrection and I'm starting to think that it's more likely (can't be sure yet, though), but there's also a much, much higher chance of humanity's complete self-obliteration as markets (along with their production-coordinating capacities) disintegrate in a world already barely capable of sustaining human life as we know it.
What are some works which directly address the precise relation between the declining RoP and rate of capital's centralization? We need to start planning future praxis's broader contours now.

...

thenextrecession.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/maito-esteban-the-historical-transience-of-capital-the-downward-tren-in-the-rate-of-profit-since-xix-century.pdf
Volume 3 (and to some extent II as well) explain it pretty well–lower rates of profit were observed in a developed country like England then say a developing country like Poland or Argentina even in Marx's time. Marx also explains that larger and more efficient firms are typically more likely to weather a crisis/fall in profitability therefore the main trend is towards monopolization. Higher rates of profit typically supports greater business competition, R.D. Wolff argues that in the past the capitalist class made up 6-10% now its more like 3-4% liberally and

My newly-merged company corners 25% of our global market. I know that's not a monopoly, but it feels close.

Wtf man. Did Marxposter gone full hoxhaist?

No, I'm not Marxposter but I've been effortposting here for years. I sometimes used the Mautist flag in the old days but I abandoned Maoism completely after reading Hoxha bc he just made a ridiculous amount of sense.

Any blog? You sure are worth to read (no no homo)

Agreed. Every socialist claiming to be a nationalist is not a socialist.

What did Hoxha write?

Yeah, I don't update it much and it doesn't have many thrills but your welcome to read it: spiralofdialectic.blogspot.com/2017/01/thoughts-on-china-part-one.html?m=1
spiralofdialectic.blogspot.com/2017/04/some-comments-on-inequality-during.html?m=1

marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/imp_rev/toc.htm
marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/1976/khruschevites/index.htm
marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/euroco/env2-1.htm
enverhoxha.ru/Archive_of_books/English/enver_hoxha_reflections_on_china_volume_II_eng.pdf

He wrote a lot of cool things he's kinda fun to read bc he observes on things that are relatively recent history (he died in 1985) he also makes some uncanny predictions on his work.

Bump before thread is genocided.

Thanks comrade

I mentioned before that one reason I was skeptical of the social democratic myths of the post-War period was that things like hidden wealth, criminal money, black funds, and/or embezzlement of state-funds typically wouldn't be counted.

I'll start with what we know about tax evasion and other forms of wealth concealment first: 1. perhaps the first examples of tax havens prior to WWI were Delaware and Switzerland. Prior to WWI taxes weren't heavy enough for most bourgeois to worry about them and tax collection services were often primitive by today's standards in any case. The US only introduced a progressive income tax in 1913 for instance. It's quite telling the activity still existed despite these favorable conditions for business.

2. The growth of multi-national corporations and tax avoidance/transfer really took off in the inter-war period, the biggest reason perhaps being the decision of state authorities to profits/income earned overseas.

3. The offshore system and the practice of transfer pricing was an integral part of world capitalism by the early 1960s at the latest. Many of these financial blackholes were located in places like the Caribbean, London, Switzerland, Luxembourg etc. One source recalled Wall Street brokers in plain daylight dumping loads of cash in a box marked "Bahamas" which really was really just stashed in a mailbox in NYC owned by a Bahamian outlet.

4. Many tax havens are located in the City of London or elsewhere in the British Empire where there was long tradition of dont-ask-dont-tell in the realm of banking.

5. The Eurodollar market which was created by the Soviet revisionists was intended to be and always was left explicitly unregulated. This formed the largest body of mobile capital in the world, its unsurprising too that "Euro" was part of its name due to the Old World banking traditions that survived WWII.

6. I picked up a comment that circulated the conservative blogosphere by a man claiming that tax fraud was widespread in the 50s and he helped facilitate it. This is my weakest piece of evidence, I am asking if anyone has any evidence regarding this because I suspect it was indeed the case.

I'm tired from work so this post probably isn't up to standard but I also want to make follow-ups on organized crime and other sources of black money during the social democratic era to show that far from a break with the capitalist-plutocratic policies of pre-war and neoliberal periods it was in some ways a continuation but one that had a better mask.

I'm interested, what myths in particular? (Like the myth of capital-power having actually reduced, instead of just morphed?)

It's an interesting post nonetheless even from a "1950-1971 = peak of humanity" perspective, because underlying the whole thing there's the constant mobilisation of capital eventually culminating in the collapse of the social-democratic consensus.

Though I do have to wonder if you could puncture some of the thing if we'd used Keynes clearing union instead of Breton Woods, although I fear even that wouldn't be strict enough to actually get a hold on the thing. (I'm currently mulling over ways of preventing the physical transportation of dollars…)

Yes, I would say so, but I think that would be better developed in another post.
Keynes answers were definitively superior to the American proposals that were nothing but financial tentacles and straight-jackets designed to establish and stabilize the newly formed US-world Empire.

Keynes obviously grasped the problem that financial capital posed for the regulation of a national economy and the negative effects and costs a rentier-dominated economy would impose on society. But I don't know if it ever dawned on Keynes that in a way the industrial capitalist is just the mirror of the land-lord and the financier. What is the real difference between a bond that pays a steadily defined income to its owner and the industrialist who uses his money to buy the tools to create a product (below-cost) and sells it above-cost for profit? The only difference is that the industrial capitalist has to produce something real, that is certainly true, but that is only a by-product of his prime purpose which is profit.

Keynes was definitely pro-industrial capital and in some ways you might say he was its most profound thinker and representative in the 20th century, whether he was fully aware of this or only half-conscious of it I do not know. His pro-inflationary stance benefitted industrial capital because the industrial cycle is deflationary during its recessionary phase and so one way to restore profitability to industry is to dilute the buying power of your money. That will also have the effect of the "euthanasia of the rentier" that Keynes advocated, or rather its diminishment, as bankers and landlords dependent on fixed long-term returns are always the ones most negatively impacted by inflationary monetary swings or monetary policy. But the problem with Keynes solution is that during a recession the thanks to its deflationary impact the buying power of the working class actually grows and so the effect of consistent inflationary policy is actually to either put off improvements in the standard of living or to impose a real cut in it barring wage-increases.

I've often sat and thought about how a capitalist society that gave out consistent increases in real wages, government supported anti-unemployment efforts and pursued an inflationary monetary policy would work. The only answer I could find is that its unworkable long-term, even if you whittle away the profits of the bankers and landlords to piddling then your left with continually diminishing industrial profit as wages must outgrow inflation and working time must be cut to deliver us to the ideal Keynesian paradise. I suppose thats why no genuinely socialist country ever pursued inflationary policy plus there was no point without the need to balance the need of various factions of the capitalist class.

I'd also say that gold has retained its role as the money commodity under capitalism and that I don't think it can be different. That's why you can't just inflate your way to paradise fix all your economic problems.

From my impressions of Keynes proposals, they were the opposite of the American proposals but not in the fundamental sense, Keynes proposals would've provided easy credit to capitalists (I assume he would prefer the productive ones) in a world starved for capital after the destruction of WWII. The US used its institutions to restrict lending from the new GATT, IMF and WorldBank institutions while also gaining control over other nations ability to devalue or set their own monetary policy. This was done to make the dollar the world reserve currency which would presumably been filled by Bancor.

The US dollar later became something like a perverse Bancor when it claimed the right to print as much money as it wanted without gold banking in 1971-3. One of its primary functions is as a money of account between central banks. The US printing spree eventually lead to the easier credit terms that Keynes wanted to see.

If Bancor had triumphed there's a chance that Britain would still have its empire or would be an industrial titan capable of rivaling the US. Britain was extremely competitive with the United States in the international scene industrially, they actually had a larger market share in Latin America. However, the US wanted the end of the Sterling zone and its innovative use of state-finance capital made US products far more competitive then they really were.

Kill yourself kindly, would ya?

sounds pretty communist to me
how retarded are these people?

If I am remembering correctly isn't the profit of the rentier or the interest of the creditor simply a portion of the surplus value created in production? I'm positive that I'm severely oversimplifying here, but shouldn't we nonetheless insist on the distinction between capital used and grown in production and the subsequent apportioning of it after the appropriation of surplus value? In other words although the prime motive of the industrial capitalists, the rentiers and the financiers is profit, their profits are used in relevantly distinctive ways?

Then again, I might be entirely misunderstanding your point here. I don't consider myself an expert on economics or even really on critiques of political economy.

Are you referring here to the process where different private entities within a given industry push prices down below their values and capital thus migrates out of that branch of industry? Or are you referring to something else entirely?

You mention later on that the reforms of the 1970s removed gold as the backing for money. How is gold still the money commodity if currency is considered fiduciary?
Also do you have any good intro literature for monetary theory? I have essentially no understanding of it and my mind breaks trying to think about it.

Also I wanted to say that your effortposting actively makes this place better. Cheers famrade.

If your revolution can be foiled by paying people to build airports, it's dubious it was ever going to be a particularly good one anyway.

Would you kindly kill yourself?

it wasn't coopted, it collapsed. don't blame people for trying to improve a situation in the here and now just because if we let an asteroid hit earth finally people will throw off their chains and head into primitive communism.

I'm so ready for a second Eugene V Debs. And this time without succdems spoiling the movement.
I can taste the Sozialistische Weltrepublik

Amen, I need this in my life too comrade.

I blame them if, in the end, it will lead to the same bullshit they were on to begin with. Some nice improvements. Leave the future generations to deal with the mess they created. Kill yourself, reformist traitor

Refer to the cuckdem itt

we would be living like kings if america hadn't fucked up keynes clearing union proposals.
nearly everything good in the first world today is the decaying ruins of something nice we set up 70 years ago.

but shouldn't you be glad things are terrible for us? revolution is just around the corner! any minute now! i can feel it!

Who would've known that if you don't change anything at all and just change the way it's labeled, things would eventually regress to the norm, like the nature of capital dictates. If only there was a 19th century theorist that had warned us about it.
Seriously, kill yourself cuckdem, and take your buddies with you, You're nothing but a porky enabler

Well you'd know all about that wouldn't you, purity police?

It's easy to sit back and call for revolution while doing fuck all to advance it (b-but i'm reading theory, honest!) eschewing practical demands in the meantime.

You speak as if you have any clout to speak about it, backstabber. Your asnwer to everything is literally "let's not take porky out of power! let's just try to get to give us more crumbs.

Easy? You speak as if I wouldn't be affected by such changes. I'm not a faggot like mook that hasn't know the meaning of hardship. I just have the critical sense to be tired of getting crumbs, unlike you.

Very presumptuous indeed. (But this isn't about me, so whatever.)

I'd be affected by the return of Jesus, it doesn't make it any more of a cop-out when I appeal to it knowing it's not going to happen.
Your personal hardships do not imbue your nonsense outlooks with any additional weight. Pseudo-Activity in the gutter is still pseudo-activity.

They are boomers. They grew up on American imperialist propaganda and basically need to die before any sort of reform can take place in America.

It's not a presumption. It's historical fact

Not as long as you backstabbers keep sucking porky dick and acting like tools to their interests
Oh but it does, cuckdem. Your entire outlook is "you're saying these things because you won't be affected by any of them". That's what I was answering to. Don't try to move the goalposts now, faggot. And kindly kill yourself

shiggy diggy leftypol we are living in the society of the spectacle. all that was once lived has receded into representation. yes we are living in a gilded age in that wealth inequality has grown, America is more like a Third World country than a social democratic European state. it's just that spectacle is a more appropriate way to characterize the times, especially concerning the collaboration of the citizens with their governments.

You don't know what I advocate under the flag of social democracy.
So your revolution can't actually take on Porky's Minions? Who's fault is that? Waaah, the bourgoise won't just *give* me the means of production. I might actually have to *take* them…

And you won't, because you're not actually trying to push for a revolution. You sit in your gutter and go "Only a revolution can fix this!", then you leaf through a book on revolution and sleep on your piss-soaked mattress. Wow, that's going to change the world.

You know, deep down that there's never going to be a revolution because the left is full of people like you, who're perfectly fine to sing about how great revolution will be, and how revolution is inevitable, while talking no concrete steps towards actually starting one because you're one alienated individual on a dying planet pissing around with an academic parlour game because you're too much of a coward to hit me, let alone hit capitalism where it hurts.

But don't worry, after the revolution I'll give you my toothbrush if I'm wrong.

Right, arguably the case can be made that financial and other rentier capitalists submit the proletariat to a form of "secondary exploitation" ( operations aimed at targeting the poor like payday loans, pawn shops etc. come to mind) but obviously the surplus-value that these capitalists extract is a portion of the worker's income or what they've managed to accumulate. The money that workers earn also originates in production minus the deduction of the employing capitalists of course but rentier forms of exploitation typically do not add any new value to society in the process of exploiting the workers so they mainly take what has already been earned or will be earned in the future.

Someone like Michael Roberts would probably argue that this isn't actually exploitation per se but that since the working class doesn't receive a subsistence wage capable of allowing it to live decently that the working class turns to credit to bridge the gap. You might say that the dependence on credit is the side-effect of their exploitation and that the worker tries to get back what he has lost but obviously this comes at a price. And when you look at things this way its obvious that industrial capitalists aren't really "exploited" either just because they have bank loans. I think the context is what matters, industrial capitalists don't produce any-value that doesn't by right belong to the working class, so a bank shaking down an industrial company isn't really exploitation. But the bourgeoisie ever eager to further profit of the misery of the working class seeks to strip from the working class what little they possess after the primary exploitation of the work process has occurred. The major difference being they valorize that type of capital with money from their wallets and not via their sweat and blood (though no one said anything about their tears…)

Yes, the productive capitalists (both industrial and agrarian) are the real revolutionary agents of capitalism and the bone and sinew that hold up the entire structure. Prior to the rise of industrial capitalism primitive forms of capital like usurer's and merchants capital could only parasitize the existing modes of production; capital, whatever its form, could never utterly dominate society without changing in the mode of production.

However, I mentioned before that while some capitalists carry out production its the same old game of scamming as that of the rentiers but in a veiled form. They buy low (labor, MoP etc.) and sell high. The labor of the workers keeps valorizing their capital, living labor serves dead labor (capital) and the more it exploits living labor the more it lives paraphrase Marx.

I've often sat and contemplated what would happen if the most profound dreams of industrial capitalism came true and lending at interest/all rents were banned. It would mean all existing capital would have to be either reinvested back into the production process or hoarded. The result would be either an intense oversaturation of productive capital and/or an immense amount of hoarded wealth sitting around with no where profitable to be invested. Industrial production would both advance more rapidly and experience a more extreme crash. Crisis in Marxist theory and I'm convinced in actual existing capitalism aren't merely financial in nature but are rooted in the industrial cycle itself, the problems of disequilibrium, contradictions arising from exploitation itself etc.

Therefore removing the rentiers could reinvigorate the industrial capitalists to some extent but it would also make the contradictions of capital more extreme. I think it would get to a point where the market chaos would result in some kind of state-management or enforced cartelization as there would be either chronic mal-investment, underinvestment, and/or over-investment. No owner would rent out a property to a more productive capitalist but the capitalist would have to buy it wholesale. And seeing how buying land is really a veiled form of rent to really abolish ground rent one would have to abolish landownership, Marx was quite clear about that too. Then you wouldn't have capital flowing in and out of profitable industries because who wants to lend out their money and merely receive their principle in return? That's why Marx justly called prescriptions for interest-free credit that were popular in his time "a pious wish"

I would say think of the the first example you gave but on an economy-wide scale. That's what I'm talking about, crashes in capitalism are typically deflationary in nature. Profitability begins to stagnate or fall as the organic composition of capital rises, markets become saturated, overproduction ensues, a crash ensues or is papered over with credit until it reaches a point that it can't be put off any-longer, a great deal of capital and capitalists are wiped out etc. the end result is the value of commodities as measured in the money commodity is wiped out or reduced significantly. Unlike the case you gave of a price-collapse in a single industry capital doesn't really have anywhere it can easily escape to.

Keynes answer was to fight deflation with inflation and in his reckoning government spending and currency issuance could and should be used to ameliorate the crisis. An upside of inflationary policy is that rents and interests concluded on a long-term basis become less burdensome to the debtor. FDR was the only bourgeois politician who understood this principle independently from Keynes in the 20th century and he used this to his advantage by devaluing the dollar to expand the trade surplus and reduce debt/rent burden on citizens which shocked the debtor nations of Europe whose ruling bourgeois circles were typically guided by traditional banking elites with a spattering of old fashioned aristocrats.

And btw this policy may have been at odds with what bankers and certain rentiers desire but as I pointed out previously it did help the profit lines of industrial capitalists. And I should point out that shareholder interests and the stockmarket speculation system that typically comes with that are typically merged into the major industrial firms. So there is no longer a neat division between industrial and finance capital if there ever was this has been soundly destroyed by the corporate revolution of the mid-to-late 19th century as Lenin pointed out the shareholder system is a type of finance capital.

The 20th century reversed the typical price-movements typical of the 19th century as the assertion of both monopoly capitalism and inflationary monetary policy created a longstanding inflationary tendency. However, when major crises have occurred the reassertion of deflation certainly hasn't been unknown and the Great Depression is one of the starkest examples of this. This leads into my next point. Another point is that even if you weaken shareholder power in some fashion, which has occurred to a surprising degree under US capitalism, what you get is an extremely corrupt managerial clique taking home huge profits as """"wages""" and this is some explanation why shocking headlines that CEO pay has exploded by ten-fold (about 30:1 in the 70s; now 300:1 or higher) have appeared. It has always been in the interest of capitalists to conceal their profits as payment for work rendered and the managerial system helps facilitate this but it hardly fools workers themselves.



Also do you have any good intro literature for monetary theory? I have essentially no understanding of it and my mind breaks trying to think about it.
Right what I meant is the legal and extensive gold reserve backing that the US dollar once had. The US government jettisoned gold but gold has never jettisoned it in a strange twist of events. The US dollar was once defined in writing as 35 dollars to a troy ounce of Gold but when Nixon went off the gold system the dollar-value of gold collapsed down into hundreds of dollars per ounce of gold and has never recovered. Prices may remain high in a modern recession thanks to Keynesian policy due to the dilution of fiat money in relation to Gold but Sam Williams points out when you measure commodity prices in gold what you often see as a fall or deflation in real commodity prices: critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/the-five-industrial-cycles-since-1945/the-dollar-empire-and-the-great-moderation/

A pure fiat currency does not change the contradictions of capitalism fundamentally it merely transforms it into a different form. The money is worth less in gold terms so it buys less, monetary theory is wrong and cannot really predict and control prices, neither of those things is the fault of Marx!

I would recommend reading that blog I posted on the Marxist theory of money, really all of Sam Williams stuff is worth reading. Thanks for the complement btw I appreciate it.

This can't be stressed enough. The only time when the upper caste loses wealth in the relative sense, is when great amounts of it are destroyed one way or another. Their wealth is their power, and until the power of their wealth is destroyed, they cannot be properly fought.

They have and will never surrender their relative position peacefully.

Pic related for being the most informative poster.

Thanks, I really appreciate it.

he was far better to the working class than any other 20th century president

Returning to this, during WWII the Axis powers looted trillions of dollars (adjusted for inflation obv) in materials, bullion, other commodities and through either outright looting or through the exploitation of millions of slave laborers under the Nazis and Japanese respectively.

Kuczynski describes how heavy industrial capital controlled the German Nazi-state and how it sought to create a Europe-wide vertical and horizontal reorientation and integration of European industry with German industry and the German economy. Little wonder that Germany would be the head-economic power in the European Union and the later common-market–Allied cancellation of debts owed by Nazi Germany was also much to Germany's benefit as well.

drive.google.com/file/d/0B1ZP6ZurgOg-ZThWZFN1bm1aeGc/view

The Allies, the US especially, also ran a quite profitable war economy and although the firms that really profited most were limited to about 60 firms (aside from the stimulative effect of war) and high taxes, interruption of normal business, rationing, and labor shortages put limits on the growth of reported inequality. From a systemic standpoint, the benefit of the Great Depression and WWII is that it destroyed quite a bit of capital (in addition to the surplus labor force capable of working) and therefore restored profitability to those left standing afterwards. The War itself was also a notable way of restoring profitability to capital aside from outright old school primitive accumulation (e.g. fascism) it provided a stimulative effect to world production, which was done for profit in the capitalist countries, and done on a foundation of debt-fueled state-credit.

For the United States especially, WWII allowed capital to break into new markets (ex.USSR) and more deeply penetrate old-ones (British Empire) via its lend-lease and other state-capitalist programs. Studs Turkel points out that while prosperity began in Europe/Japan after the War for Americans it began during the War since there was no fighting on their own soil.

But America's and other Western European countries were forced to turn to the state in order to reinforce private capital. What's interesting to me is where the taxes fall, a progressive income tax, no matter how large, doesn't explicitly doesn't tax capital and that is why it is the preferred tax in the US. Most wealthy people keep their wealth in the form of assets and not personal income though undoubtedly high progressive income taxes play a role in slowing the growth of income and wealth inequality but it didn't stop it. In fact, naturally the working class and the petty-bourgeoisie end up contributing far-more to the state budget via income tax then the 1% because there are more of them. The VAT tax that funds the budget of many European governments affects the poor more then the rich because they spend more of their income on consumer goods, esp necessities, and they have less disposable income.

It's easy to finagle the tax system in the US so the richest of the rich are essentially untaxed which Trump had already done in the 70s when our political economy was still quite Keynesian: theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/15/czechoslovakia-spied-on-donald-trump-ivana-files

Also, bourgeois nationalization in England, France, and Italy became a new type of exploitation to be added to the private ones already existing, it helped sure up capitalism and make them more competitive internationally. Plus the potential for corruption which despite the fact neolibs always harp on it still carries some truth.

Hoxha truly wrote:

According to the book Gold Warriors written by Lindsey Sterling & Peggy Seagrave the Japanese looted approximately 100 billion dollars (1945) in precious metals and priceless artifacts from Asia during their interwar and WWII conquests. This sum would be approximately 1.3 trillion dollars making the Japanese royal family the richest family on Earth. According to the book most of it was recovered by the OSS and later CIA and used to fund right-wing governments, death squads, and various other anti-communist efforts. Much of the money was put in a hedgefund called the M-Fund which Nixon traded to the LDP which was worth (35 billion dollars) in the 60s. Sterling argues that the Japanese political establishment (especially the LDP) is so corrupt that it would take several trillion dollars to cover their cost for several decades and that the M-Fund and another security using war loot called "57s" provided this money.

He also claims through an undisclosed source that Kissinger and Nixon offered Maoist China 68 billion dollars in recovered gold and that this laid the basis for their visit and alliance to China. The philippine discoverer of the gold and Marcos were both reported to be billionaires.

If even 1/10th of Sterling's story is true and surely that much probably is then it alters our image of what wealth inequality in the golden era of 20th century capitalism looked like. Marcos was alleged to be worth between 10 and 100 billion dollars in the early 70s but supposedly there were only two billionaires in the world (both American) in the mid-70s. 10 billion in 70s dollars would've been approximately 49 billion today. Sterling also mentions Nazi bullion known as the "Black Eagle Fund" but doesn't really talk much about what happened to it. The CIA is known to have thousands if not hundreds of thousands of "ex" and active agents working within the American private sector according to Douglass Valentine.

Between 6 and 10 trillion dollars are missing form the Pentagon budget: activistpost.com/2017/03/10-trillion-missing-pentagon-no-one-not-even-dod-knows.html
reuters.com/article/us-usa-audit-army-idUSKCN10U1IG

And while this is a recent story I can almost guarantee such grand-scale state corruption is not. What we know about organized crime and modern capitalism is that it approaches the scale and scope of nearly any legitimate civilian industry. Meyer Lansky once proclaimed during the Prohibition book "We're bigger then General Motors" but of course it didn't stop there. Gradually the US state worked to edge out both licit drug production and Japanese drug smuggling in Asia and was in open alliance with the drug-smuggling KMT and the Mafia during WWII. Afterwards, a pro-US organized crime syndicate emerged that was shared between its right-wing allied states in Asia: the KMT in Burma, South Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand were all hotspots for the heroin trade and the heroin trade played a role in the economic success of the surviving capitalist states.

The problem of lack of accurate information exists but certain individuals tied up in the CIA-drug running racket like Pablo Escobar was worth an estimated 30 billion in 1980s dollars: businessinsider.com/10-facts-that-prove-the-absurdity-of-pablo-escobars-wealth-2015-9/#6-the-king-of-cocaine-factored-in-a-21-billion-loss-in-profits-each-month-but-that-didnt-really-matter-6

Which in 1986 dollars would be approximately equivalent to 62 billion dollars today which would put him on a similar footing with Buffet and Gates; his monthly profit was estimated at 420 million. Estimates are that between 10-15% of the global economy today is controlled by organized crime and certainly was a major phenomenon in the social democratic era.

Crime is a significant economic force under capitalism. In the late revisionist USSR 20-25% of personal wealth had its source as organized crime and the "second economy" made up 1/3 of national economic activity. Restrictions on open markets, and opportunities to invest private capital were very restricted in the revisionist USSR compared to the US. It should also be noted that even in the 80s when it was at the height of its decay it was still a more egalitarian country then the US. So what should we conclude? Either organized crime is worse under open capitalism or social democratic managed-capitalism makes it worst. Either way its impossible for us to ignore this surprisingly powerful capital power and much like the US, the political and economic state-leaders of the USSR were very much integrated with the Russian mafia. I would also be very much remiss if I didnt point out that the USSR was far more egalitarian then any post-war social democracy.