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Recent content by Alan Ryan

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    Anti-zionist/anti-semitc?

    Zionism is the Jewish national movement to re-establish the Jewish nation in Palestine. (Or what we call 'Palestine' these days). Originally, in Chaim Weizmann's day, Zionism was a secularist and nationalistic interpretation of the aspirations of orthodox Judaism. It seems to have lost some of...
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    What I Learned From My Classmates Today

    Underneath the levity (which I liked), I think you're saying something quite interesting about the received wisdom among students on your campus. But where did your classmates get their pre-digested opinions from? I think I know the answer to my question; however, I'd like to read your view.
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    Iraq could cost 1-2 trillion dollars.

    What happens in the Middle East perhaps later this year - when the American troops are withdrawn from Iraq - should be the focus of attention. The long term political "investment" which might pay off in twenty years time, looks like wishful thinking. If, as seems likely, Iraq descends into...
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    Iraq could cost 1-2 trillion dollars.

    If they're accurate, these figures are just the cash costs. The geo-political fallout from the Iraq fiasco, already considerable, is probably going to be very costly for the United States.
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    the fallacy of communism

    These "nice little examples" to which you rather patronisingly refer, are not so easily dismissed by mere sophistry. Castro, Tito, Hoxha, Gomulka, Mao, Ulbricht, and Lenin (to specify a few more instances you won't be anxious to examine), all claimed to be students of Marx. Your assertion that I...
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    the fallacy of communism

    What other "examples" would you prefer ? Abstract examples, I assume, to counter the impenetrable self-confirming nature of some aspects of Marxist theory ? Why have you put scare quotes around "attempts" ? I could mention, in alphabetical order, quite a number from Albania to Yugoslavia. The...
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    the fallacy of communism

    I have not studied the fusion of communist and anarchist principles that inspires the anarcho-communist movement: in fact my interest in politics, philosophy and economics is that of a skeptical "educated layman". I am not committed to an ideology, so if you can produce arguments that circumvent...
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    the fallacy of communism

    No, I haven't assumed that you are a Marxist: in fact, I've had the suspicion that you might be presenting a case for communism as a kind of mental exercise. For all I know, you could be a college student "trying out" various political philosophies before synthesising a world view by selecting...
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    the fallacy of communism

    I think this discussion needs a logical structure. At the moment it is quite directionless - with you making various assertions about a variety of political and economic proposals, and me responding on an ad hoc basis. Before we can get to grips with concepts of political/economic equalities...
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    the fallacy of communism

    This seems to boil down to the suggestion that if economic inequalities are eradicated, the state will disappear - though I'm not sure what you mean by your qualification in parenthesis. I think you should move these opening points beyond rhetoric into some fundamental propositions about the...
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    the fallacy of communism

    The possibility that an argument may be familiar does not mean it may not be cogent. Indeed, its very familiarity may be due to its cogency. It's not a good idea to prejudge what others might say: far better to begin with an open mind and respond to another's opinion with dispassionate probity...
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    the fallacy of communism

    Alas for theory ! There's probably a circular definition buried in this assurance: it might be said that the first "truly democratic state" will be identified by the characteristic of localised planning, and localised planning is an attribute of the "truly democratic state". Where do you expect...
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    the fallacy of communism

    The market acts as an information processor: this transfer of information is of the first importance since it is used by every consumer and producer to ascertain the aggregated results of supply and demand or the current state of the market. I assume you have made the connection between this...
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    Hagel:Iraq looking like Vietnam

    Is it a "mindset" to be merely realistic ? Criminal laws are finally predicated upon latent violence. There is no point in pretending that moral coercion can be trusted to sort out differences: at some point you (or the state on your behalf) must be prepared to be physically violent in order to...
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    Hagel:Iraq looking like Vietnam

    "Violence never solves anything" - a pious hope. Violence can solve lots of problems: the coercion of laws and the regulation of the state depends upon implied violence. Self defense must resort to violence when necessary: and so on and on........... Orwell is supposed to have said, "People...
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