Thursday, February 24, 2011

Uprising in Libya: Tremble, Tyrants!

Written by Alan Woods
Wednesday, 23 February 2011

23 February, Benghazi. Photo: EndTyranny01

Power is rapidly slipping out of the hands of Muammar Gaddafi, as anti-government protests continue to sweep the African nation despite a brutal and bloody crackdown. As city after city falls to the anti-Gaddafi forces his only base is now Tripoli. The East is in the control of the insurgents and most of the West has fallen into the hands of the rebels, including cities very close to the capital.

Read the rest here



Titan Uranus 2 said...

It's all Osama bin Laden's fault.

SecondComingOfBast said...

He can hold out forever as long as he can hold on to Tripoli and the major oil wells and refineries. It wouldn't really even matter that much if he loses the rest of the country. What the fuck is in Libya anyway outside of those places I listed. Nothing he can't live without, I'm sure.

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: Is bin Laden still living?

Pagan: I heard rebels have 90% of the country.

SecondComingOfBast said...

The key is the oil fields. If they manage to take them he's done for. And the key there is in how much loyalty he has with the military. As long as he keeps them on his side, allowing for some minor defections, he's unlikely to lose them, and that's his main base of economic support.

Qaddafi is crazy, but he's also clever. He knows that the longer he holds out, the better chance he has of winning in the long run, especially if this whole things falls apart and this democracy movement turns out to be a sham.

Then he'll look like a hero, and Tripoli will start to look like an oasis of calm and stability in an ocean of insanity.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

I don't know what Osama's up to, but the al Qaeda claim certainly worked for Nuri al-Maliki, as only 7 rug-beaters needed to be put-down after Friday prayers in Iraq.

The demonstrations come a day after Maliki urged protesters not to participate, citing security concerns and claiming the protest's organisers were Saddam loyalists and Al-Qaeda insurgents

Titan Uranus 2 said...

I can hardly wait til the Wisconsin New-Left/public union protestors get undressed for the commie scum that they actually are. Church going people won't care to read about their troubles making ends meet in the newspapers once they are exposed and the governor fires the lot of them. ;)

Titan Uranus 2 said...

btw - When the Islamic Republic of Libya gets declared, let the record show just who's side Renegade Eye and his commie friends were on. The theocrats love you guys!

ps - Good intentions for starting revolutions don't count for sh*t. Only RESULTS matter.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

pps - The all-commie volunteer "<a href='">Lincoln Brigade</a>" for <i>democratizing</i> Libya is now being assembled. Best sign up now before all the <i>political commissar</i> positions have been filled!

Titan Uranus 2 said...

There's a new term for your ilk. I-Pad Imperialists....

Fitting, eh?

Joe Conservative said...

Ooooops. Maybe K-Daffy wasn't so bad after all.

Ducky's here said...

You're attracting the hoi-polloi ren.

Libya has never had much of anything to do with Muslim fundamentalists but they see that bogey man in their dreams just before they start wetting the bed.

With the likes of Qadaffi out of the way the M.E. can finally start towards a post colonialist future.

Ducky's here said...

Pagan, rebels are reported near control o a refinery 30 miles outside Tripoli.

His assets are being frozen and if he attempts more air sorties there is likely to be an international response. He's finished.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

That's agathoi, kokoi-boy. ;)

SecondComingOfBast said...

Ducky-I heard something about that, not more than twenty minutes or so after I posted that last comment. Yeah, more than likely the jig is up for him.

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: If real communists were leading the fight in Madison, it would be over. Walker would be in the dustbin of history. Unfortunately labor leaders are tied to the Democratic Party. Obama said when he ran for office, that he'd be in the picket line if collective bargaining is under attack. Labor needs its own party. If the working moves, the Tea Party is going into the dustbin of history.

Ducky: Muammar Gaddafi is done. Too much of his army turned.

Pagan: He's done.

Joe C: Do you have any idea, how tiny Al-Qaeda is? It's absurd they can take power.

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: I never met a secular rightist except those around Ayn Rand. They force their views on abortion, Xmas trees, "under God" stuff etc. Unless you renounce such practices, how can you be against Islamism?

My position on Islamic governments mirrors Lenin and Trotsky's. It is better to have capitalism, than an Islamic Republic.

can hardly wait til the Wisconsin New-Left/public union protestors get undressed for the commie scum that they actually are. Church going people won't care to read about their troubles making ends meet in the newspapers once they are exposed and the governor fires the lot of them. ;)

Walker is politically dead. He'll lose. When this is over, his life will be stopping recall campaigns, and lawsuits. If a general strike happens, capitalists will come against him.

You haven't ever attacked me personally. Are you implying I'm scum, since I'm openly socialist?

SecondComingOfBast said...

They force their views on abortion, Xmas trees, "under God" stuff etc.

You've got that backwards Ren. It's the left that tries to force their views on most of those things, the right has been on defense. You don't get to use the power of the federal government to force the will of the left on all the states, and then cry the right is trying to force their views just because they oppose your views and methods of implementation.

Walker is politically dead. He'll lose. When this is over, his life will be stopping recall campaigns, and lawsuits. If a general strike happens, capitalists will come against him.

The left and their partners in crime, the liberal Democrats, have been using leftist judges to enforce their agenda on everything from abortion to open borders immigration to gun control. Those days are going to come to a screeching halt. Why do you think so many people voted GOP the last election. A big part of it is the judicial controversy and you are still using that as a threat? Wow!

As for Walker, he's more popular with the right now than Palin or Christie. Most Americans support worker's rights, to an extent, but these thugs in Wisconsin have gone far beyond legitimate rights of workers. They are parasites, and most people are against them, and support Walker.

Get it through your head, the budget WILL be balanced. It will either be in the way Walker is trying to get it done, or there will be mass layoffs of public workers.

Frankly, it would suit me fine if its the latter. It would serve the worthless fucks right. One of them fuckheads even hit a woman, just for taking pictures of their so-called demonstration. What do you have to say about that crap? Let's hear your rationalization for that bullshit. Who's the head of this fucking union anyway, Tony Soprano?

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Are you implying I'm scum, since I'm openly socialist?

Isn't that the very definition of >scum?

To bear the label proudly makes all the difference! ;)

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Unless you renounce such practices, how can you be against Islamism?

...asked the Bolshevik scum who force feeds failed ideologies on the innocent reader.

If the working moves, the Tea Party is going into the dustbin of history.

When 15% of labour moves, the other "now organized 85%" is going into the dustbin? Better think THAT one through again... and wake up to where YOU and the union labelers are headed.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Government performs more and more poorly with every function it undertakes. You've ruined public education... so we're NOT going to let you now ruin public health.

The government/union solution days are over. They've been proven both "incompetent" and morally hazardous.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

My position on Islamic governments mirrors Lenin and Trotsky's.

Your position on revolution also mirrors Lenin and Trotsky's.

I-Pad Imperialists. THAT's what you are.

The Sentinel said...

Renegade Eye:

“I would venture to say a round of revolt is coming to Europe. Spain is ripe.”

In amongst the ME unrest, it hasn’t really been reported that Greece has been in the throes of non-stop protests and violence.

If any European state is to fall, it will most likely be them first.

Their ridiculous government even claimed that their criminal fiscal incompetence was down to ‘Nazi theft of their gold’, even though the Greek foreign office admitted that the gold was spirited out of the country before the Nazi’s even arrived – and regardless Germany had paid £50m in compensation in 1960.

So they have long exhausted the last refuge of the scoundrel and their penance is long overdue.

As for Gaddafi, I always said that he wouldn’t be as easy to depose as the rest of them.

I despise this man more then most having had to deal with the business end of Libyan supplied IRA weapons and explosives – but the media has been very misleading on what must be occurring there: ‘Peaceful protesters’ are not armed and able to fight and occupy just as jets bombing cities and civilians must leave massive recordable damage.

I hope Gaddafi gets his just deserts – it is being misled and lied to I object to.

And the sheer hypocrisy of the ‘western leaders’ – in the UK they wax lyrical about freedom of speech and protest and yet made it a criminal offence to protest outside parliament or indeed within one kilometer of it, and promptly arrested, prosecuted and convicted Maya Evans – a real peaceful protester – for merely reading the names of the illegal war dead a few hundred meters away.

I don’t think anyone but the seriously deluded need imagine how the US would react if protests of the ME variety were staged outside the Whitehouse and we don’t need to imagine the sheer hypocrisy and complete hollowness of the US governments true stance on freedom of speech and peaceful protest because we can see it in all its glory in the video below:


That hideous creature Clinton watches as a 71 year old man – a 27 year veteran – is being violently dragged out in front of her for merely standing up silently and wearing a T-Shirt emblazoned ‘Veterans for Peace’ - she didn’t once bat an eyelid or stop in her absurd lecture on how people should be allowed to protest in peace without fear of threat or violence and condemning other governments who arrest protesters and do not allow free expression.


Speedy G said...

First fruits of the Arab Spring in Tunis...

Titan Uranus 2 said...

The real story behind the Arab Spring.

Frank Partisan said...

Sentinel: Interesting about Greece. Gold during WWII is hardly about what is happening now.

Gaddafi going down is a matter of time.

I agree with your comments.

Pagan: More insidious than Walker, is the Democratic Party. To have total victory, the Democrats haved to be made into a third party.

When I was in elementary school, we sang about Jesus. It was tough on a Jewish guy. I'm absolutist on that issue. I suffered before the separation of church and state was enforced.

There are thousands of pictures, of the Wisconsin demo. I don't know what you're talking about.

Speedy: The same apparatus is in power in Tunisia, as before. Many remnants of the old government still hold positions.

The revolution there isn't over just because it's not covered daily on CNN.

Titan: Your position on revolution also mirrors Lenin and Trotsky's.


I don't see any demonstrations calling for Sharia. People aren't blind to what is happening in Iran.

It's a good period for the union movement. They lost members, because of the objective conditions. The economy was better in the 90s. Now conditions are right. The main enemy is the Democratic Party. Labor needs its own party. In the 1930s in Minnmesota, we had a labor party. The Democrats were a third party.

I'm glad to have Walker as a opponent. He has awaken the sleeping giant.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Unions are no giants...they're dinosaurs which have outlived their usefulness and are very soon to become extinct.

You've got stop living in the past, RE and move into the new millenium.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Unions, like industrial societies, are so "Second Wave".

Get with the times.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Unions aren't necessarily bad, they just need to be controlled like everything else that has authority over people's lives. They can be valuable in making sure an employee isn't treated unfairly, or fired for no good reason. They can be valuable for negotiating contracts for the benefit of all employees, in a way that no employee, no matter how good a worker he is, can do for himself.

They can even be valuable in making sure workplace conditions are up to code, and in overseeing other reasonable regulations. (the key word being reasonable).

Where they get to be a problem is when you add political operatives and mafiosi into the mix. Then they need to be reined in, and fast.

Most importantly, no one should be forced to join a union, nor should union dues be collected from workers and donated to any political campaign, of any party, Democratic or Republican, or even, yes, Ren, a "Labor Party". If a worker wants to donate money to Democrats, nobody is stopping him. There's no law against ignorance and stupidity, but there should be a law in forcing it on others.

If Democrats want the support of rank-and-file workers, a good rule of thumb might be to knock off promoting laws and policies most Americans are virulently against, like open borders immigration, gun control, federal funds for baby killers, and other such fucking horseshit most Americans, including most workers, are dead fucking set against.

The fact that Democrats haven't figured that out means they obviously don't give a good fried-diddly fuck about workers (or anybody else), or they are too stupid to warrant letting them anywhere closer to the White House and Congress than the guided tour, at best.

Elect a god damn Democrat as dog catcher and he'll probably give dogs the right to vote. And of course a fucking welfare check.

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: The protesters in Madison are staying the night. In addition another Republican is breaking ranks in the house.

I bookmarked the Toffler article. I like that kind of writing. I found his analysis superficial or a better word empirical. Much of the research he thinks that should be done, was already done by real Marxists.

Capitalism has no new markets to exploit. It needs constant expansion. The fall of Stalinism gave a temporary reprieve. That leaves stronger attacks on workers, as public workers.

Pagan: In the 30s, the labor leaders were Republican.

The assault on unions today has nothing to do with the Mafia or thugs. It is straight out about maximizing profit.

Wages are lower in right to work states. It's about the right to freeload. They want the benefits, without contributing to the cause of the benefits.

Frank Partisan said...

I worry more about what the Democrats will do in Wisconsin, than what Walker will do.

SecondComingOfBast said...

That's exactly what the problem is, Ren. All Walker is trying to do is get them to contribute a greater percentage to their own health care and retirement. Otherwise he isn't going to have any other choice than to lay a lot of them off. It's just that simple, and has nothing to do with an assault on the unions. They still have a legitimate function. But that legitimate function can no longer be defined as picking the pockets of taxpayers while they contribute next to nothing towards their own benefits.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Capitalism has no new markets to exploit.

Bwah-ha-ha-ha. You don't get it. The "market" is infinite and limited only by the farthest extents of "human desires." Furthermore, Capitalism is NOT a zero-sum game. And eventually the entire world's "standard of living" will be 1000x higher and more "energy efficient" than it ever has been in the past. There will be 7 billion entrepaneurial "millionaires" on the planet.... conspicuously consuming their way to an economic Niravana that has finally learned Lazare Carnot's secret, "If man wants to progress, he must create new forms of energy of greater and greater densities."

...and getting rid of the nuclear waste doesn't have to be difficult. Give me the state of Nevada, and I'll take care of the problem for the entire planet.

SecondComingOfBast said...

What nuclear waste? That's a non-issue too. Nuclear waste can be recycled and put to use. That will be one of the next big stages.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Shhhh! Don't give away my secret for heating my Casino swimming pools....

I still get Nevada, don't I?

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: Capitalism in the US thrived after WWII. The US was relatively untouched by the war, due to geography. The Marshall Plan helped open up European markets. Revolution was defeated in Germany, Greece, Italy and France after the war.

Later the fall of Stalinism opened up locked markets. China turning capitalist helped.

The period of prosperity is an aberration of history. There will be small recoveries, as what we're seeing, but it will never go back to the days when you had job security and benefits under capitalism.

Neither monetarism or Keynesianism is the solution.

The future is either socialism or barbarism.

I'm pro-nuclear.

Pagan: Walker and the new right, want to turn the whole country into Mississippi. Everything for corporate profits and the bottom line. His model doesn't attract the Google like companies, it attracts the bottom feeders.


Titan Uranus 2 said...

lol! Who the 'f wants job security and benefits? Only a totalitarian statist, like yourself.

I don't want job security and benefits... I want economic opportunities NOT IMPAIRED by a top-down socialist economic dictatorship.

Let liberty do its' job "invisibly" and the world will become a prosperous place. Let Democrats pick economic winners and losers, and the "future hopes" of "green energy" will dry up your supply of oil and crush the real economy.

Joe Conservative said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Conservative said...

The time for Democrat's crony capitalism and picking economic winners and losers is past. Embrace the future...

Joe Conservative said...

It's a real shame that like every other regime's attempts at implementing socialism, Moamar Gaddafi's attempts at implementing Islamic Socialism fell flat on their ass. Now even socialists like Ren call "Islamic Socialism" - "TYRANNY".

Yep, it's a real shame that no-one ever learns the failures of socialism....

Joe Conservative said...

Thank goodness for Islamic Marxism though. What else could have prepared the world for the '79 Iranian Revolution and the current Iranian theocracy?

Joe Conservative said...

Embrace the legitimate political offspring of Marxist-socialism, Renegade Eye. Libya and Iran are their legitimate heirs...

Jihad represents permanent Marxist revolution....

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Meanwhile, members of the organized Socialist International community continue to sing the praises of Islamic socialism.

-FJ said...

Is Hugo Chavez a Gaddafi-Socialist clone?

roman said...

This report by Mr Woods is indeed interesting and corresponds with many snippets seen on the Mass Media. I just have one little problem with the report. After going into detail about how the Libyan airforce refused to fire on civilians by flying to Malta, ditching planes and even executions for failing direct orders, some genious adds an illustration of a fighter plane with guns blazing strafing protesters in the street. This obvious artistic disconnect with the actual context is baffling. I know about dramatizing the report to draw readership but it would help if the illustrator would have at least read the report?
Very amatuerish, eh?
Oh, and note to TITAN. Your comments are interesting but everytime I read them i'm forced to look at someone's behind. It's a matter of repulsion (the behind)and attraction(the comment) at the same time. Don't you have a more pleasing photo lying around? Some nice pet, maybe?

SecondComingOfBast said...


Think of Titan's complete name.



Then go to his blog and see if you can exactly what its, errr, "orientation" is.

Frank Partisan said...

Hopefully I'll have a new post tomorrow night.

Why am I shunned by the left except for Larry G, Duckie and Troutsky?

Titan: What do you mean by statist? It's a ridiculous word. It puts the mayor of Red Wing, MN in the same sentence as Hitler as Stalin.

You're at the wrong blog, if you think I'm a Democrat. Talk to someone else about them. You're getting your way. Capitalism has no job stability or benefits to offer. The system is dying.

RNC Scab: In Minneapolis in 1934, the Teamsters used baseball bats on scabs (LOL).

Joe C: You find someone who calls himself Islamic Socialist, that is conspiracy theory, not analysis. Are you going to show a chart like Glen Beck?

Islamic fundamentalism was created by US imperialism and John Foster Dulles, to cut across the left after the 1956 war. Remember when the US supported Islamists in Afghanistan, the Islamist Pakistani dictator Ayub Khan and Islamism in Iran, to circle the Soviet Union. The Islamists only complaint about US imperialism, is that they feel they deserve more money.

You shouldn't use words you don't understand, like permanent revolution.

Roman: Welcome.

This post was written several days ago. You're correct the picture and the article, aren't together.

Pagan: LOL

-FJ said...

RNC Scab: In Minneapolis in 1934, the Teamsters used baseball bats on scabs (LOL).

So you approve of unneccessary violence when initiated by Organized Labour. It's good to know that, so when the police start breaking union heads in Wisconsin, you won't be protesting their "unfair" treatment, for it will actually be a "fair" (perhaps even "just") treatment.

Joe Conservative said...

You find someone who calls himself Islamic Socialist, that is conspiracy theory, not analysis.

Gaddafi calls HIMSELF an Islamic Socialist

Lenin to Renegade Eye, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”



troutsky said...

Ren: The problem might be the weird company you attract, through no fault of your own. If I wanted ranting about Islamic socialism I could go to The Blaze.

And if I want to read Tony Wood I know where I can find him as well. What is most difficult to find is intelligent discussion.

Joe Conservative said...

To get intelligent discussion, Troutsky, you would first need to offer it.

Joe Conservative said...

Perhaps you can explain socialism's role in the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Frank Partisan said...

Joe Conservative: It's hard for me to do justice, to your legitimate question, about Islamic Socialism, or it could be called African Socialism or Arab Socialism etc. If you can't tell the difference between Swedish social welfare and Stalinist Russia, how could you understand what "proletarian Bonapartism" involves.

Most on the left don't undestand those concepts, even so called Marxists.

Pagan has been commenting for several years at this blog, and I've talked to him about permanent revolution, Bonapartism etc. I'd like to hear what he says, since he talked to me before about those concepts.

If you're serious about talking about things like that, I will. It's not easy material to understand.

RNC: The labor movement has to learn, to win, you got to shut down your opponent.

The police are not too enthusiastic in Wisconsin.

Troutsky: I need more lefties here.

Joe Conservative said...

Here's the deal, Ren...

You aren't willing to offer/debate a meaningful critique of your ideology.

Another socialist, Hugo Chavez, has recently offered to broker a peace in Libya. Why might he have a better chance of success than Hillary Clinton?

Well it can't, for the whole Jasmine Revolution began in Sidi Bouzid as a result of Socialist-modelled government intervention preventing free-market capitalism in Tunisia.

The entire "revolution" is a REVOLT against socialism and a return to free-market capitalism. Yet you "Lefties" are all in denial and are falling over yourselves believing that "unions" are the driving force. They aren't. It's a Libyan "tea party".

SecondComingOfBast said...

The reason you don't have more lefties here is they don't know how to take people on the right. To put it more bluntly, they can't stand any disagreements with their point of view. Sorry Ren, that's just the way it is. Most people on the left aren't like you and Troutsky, or maybe I should say the way the two of you put yourself across. With most people on the left, given the opportunity I would be given a cordial invitation to a lifetime vacation to the nearest gulag, or treated to a bullet in the back of the head and a small room in Hotel Unmarked Grave. That's just the facts. If you want more of those kinds of people, then people like me will have to stay away. It's your decision and I'll respect it, but of course you know I'll still come back from time to time to give you some shit, just for old times sake.

Joe Conservative said...

btw - I understand "proletarian Bonapartism" as perfectly as Plato understood it in "Republic".

And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty?

As we might expect.

That, however, was not, as I believe, your question—you rather desired to know what is that disorder which is generated alike in oligarchy and democracy, and is the ruin of both?

Just so, he replied.

Well, I said, I meant to refer to the class of idle spendthrifts, of whom the more courageous are the leaders and the more timid the followers, the same whom we were comparing to drones, some stingless, and others having stings.

A very just comparison.

These two classes are the plagues of every city in which they are generated, being what phlegm and bile are to the body. And the good physician and lawgiver of the State ought, like the wise bee-master, to keep them at a distance and prevent, if possible, their ever coming in; and if they have anyhow found a way in, then he should have them and their cells cut out as speedily as possible.

Yes, by all means, he said.

Then, in order that we may see clearly what we are doing, let us imagine democracy to be divided, as indeed it is, into three classes; for in the first place freedom creates rather more drones in the democratic than there were in the oligarchical State.

That is true.

And in the democracy they are certainly more intensified.

How so?

Because in the oligarchical State they are disqualified and driven from office, and therefore they cannot train or gather strength; whereas in a democracy they are almost the entire ruling power, and while the keener sort speak and act, the rest keep buzzing about the bema and do not suffer a word to be said on the other side; hence in democracies almost everything is managed by the drones.

Very true, he said.

Then there is another class which is always being severed from the mass.

What is that?

They are the orderly class, which in a nation of traders is sure to be the richest.

Naturally so.

They are the most squeezable persons and yield the largest amount of honey to the drones.

Why, he said, there is little to be squeezed out of people who have little.

And this is called the wealthy class, and the drones feed upon them.

That is pretty much the case, he said.

The people are a third class, consisting of those who work with their own hands; they are not politicians, and have not much to live upon. This, when assembled, is the largest and most powerful class in a democracy.

True, he said; but then the multitude is seldom willing to congregate unless they get a little honey.

And do they not share? I said. Do not their leaders deprive the rich of their estates and distribute them among the people; at the same time taking care to reserve the larger part for themselves?

Why, yes, he said, to that extent the people do share.

Joe Conservative said...

(cont #1)

And the persons whose property is taken from them are compelled to defend themselves before the people as they best can?

What else can they do?

And then, although they may have no desire of change, the others charge them with plotting against the people and being friends of oligarchy?


And the end is that when they see the people, not of their own accord, but through ignorance, and because they are deceived by informers, seeking to do them wrong, then at last they are forced to become oligarchs in reality; they do not wish to be, but the sting of the drones torments them and breeds revolution in them.

That is exactly the truth.

Then come impeachments and judgments and trials of one another.


The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness.

Yes, that is their way.

This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a protector.

Yes, that is quite clear.

How then does a protector begin to change into a tyrant? Clearly when he does what the man is said to do in the tale of the Arcadian temple of Lycaean Zeus.

What tale?

The tale is that he who has tasted the entrails of a single human victim minced up with the entrails of other victims is destined to become a wolf. Did you never hear it?

Oh, yes.

And the protector of the people is like him; having a mob entirely at his disposal, he is not restrained from shedding the blood of kinsmen; by the favourite method of false accusation he brings them into court and murders them, making the life of man to disappear, and with unholy tongue and lips tasting the blood of his fellow citizens; some he kills and others he banishes, at the same time hinting at the abolition of debts and partition of lands: and after this, what will be his destiny? Must he not either perish at the hands of his enemies, or from being a man become a wolf—that is, a tyrant?


This, I said, is he who begins to make a party against the rich?

The same.

After a while he is driven out, but comes back, in spite of his enemies, a tyrant full grown.

That is clear.

And if they are unable to expel him, or to get him condemned to death by a public accusation, they conspire to assassinate him.

Yes, he said, that is their usual way.

Then comes the famous request for a body-guard, which is the device of all those who have got thus far in their tyrannical career—'Let not the people's friend,' as they say, 'be lost to them.'


The people readily assent; all their fears are for him—they have none for themselves.

Very true.

And when a man who is wealthy and is also accused of being an enemy of the people sees this, then, my friend, as the oracle said to Croesus,

'By pebbly Hermus' shore he flees and rests not, and is not ashamed to be a coward.'

And quite right too, said he, for if he were, he would never be ashamed again.

But if he is caught he dies.

Of course.

Joe Conservative said...

(cont. #2)

And he, the protector of whom we spoke, is to be seen, not 'larding the plain' with his bulk, but himself the overthrower of many, standing up in the chariot of State with the reins in his hand, no longer protector, but tyrant absolute.

No doubt, he said.

And now let us consider the happiness of the man, and also of the State in which a creature like him is generated.

Yes, he said, let us consider that.

At first, in the early days of his power, he is full of smiles, and he salutes every one whom he meets;—he to be called a tyrant, who is making promises in public and also in private! liberating debtors, and distributing land to the people and his followers, and wanting to be so kind and good to every one!

Of course, he said.

But when he has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.

To be sure.

Has he not also another object, which is that they may be impoverished by payment of taxes, and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and therefore less likely to conspire against him?


And if any of them are suspected by him of having notions of freedom, and of resistance to his authority, he will have a good pretext for destroying them by placing them at the mercy of the enemy; and for all these reasons the tyrant must be always getting up a war.

He must.

Now he begins to grow unpopular.

A necessary result.

Then some of those who joined in setting him up, and who are in power, speak their minds to him and to one another, and the more courageous of them cast in his teeth what is being done.

Yes, that may be expected.

And the tyrant, if he means to rule, must get rid of them; he cannot stop while he has a friend or an enemy who is good for anything.

He cannot.

And therefore he must look about him and see who is valiant, who is high-minded, who is wise, who is wealthy; happy man, he is the enemy of them all, and must seek occasion against them whether he will or no, until he has made a purgation of the State.

Yes, he said, and a rare purgation.

Yes, I said, not the sort of purgation which the physicians make of the body; for they take away the worse and leave the better part, but he does the reverse.

If he is to rule, I suppose that he cannot help himself.

Joe Conservative said...

...and there we have the entire "socialist" experience born of laissez-faire capitalism, in a nutshell.

Joe Conservative said... for why Sweden hasn't succumbed to Bonapartism yet is likely as result of the cultural homogenity and geographical isolation. Perhaps all that is required for Sweden to devolve into Stalinism is a little more "cultural diversity". You tell me.

Joe Conservative said...

...Perhaps cultural homogeneity allows Sweden to remain a "timocracy"...

from the Jowett summary of Plato's "Republic"

But how did timocracy arise out of the perfect State? Plainly, like all changes of government, from division in the rulers. But whence came division? 'Sing, heavenly Muses,' as Homer says;—let them condescend to answer us, as if we were children, to whom they put on a solemn face in jest. 'And what will they say?' They will say that human things are fated to decay, and even the perfect State will not escape from this law of destiny, when 'the wheel comes full circle' in a period short or long. Plants or animals have times of fertility and sterility, which the intelligence of rulers because alloyed by sense will not enable them to ascertain, and children will be born out of season. For whereas divine creations are in a perfect cycle or number, the human creation is in a number which declines from perfection, and has four terms and three intervals of numbers, increasing, waning, assimilating, dissimilating, and yet perfectly commensurate with each other. The base of the number with a fourth added (or which is 3:4), multiplied by five and cubed, gives two harmonies:—the first a square number, which is a hundred times the base (or a hundred times a hundred); the second, an oblong, being a hundred squares of the rational diameter of a figure the side of which is five, subtracting one from each square or two perfect squares from all, and adding a hundred cubes of three. This entire number is geometrical and contains the rule or law of generation. When this law is neglected marriages will be unpropitious; the inferior offspring who are then born will in time become the rulers; the State will decline, and education fall into decay; gymnastic will be preferred to music, and the gold and silver and brass and iron will form a chaotic mass—thus division will arise. Such is the Muses' answer to our question. 'And a true answer, of course:—but what more have they to say?' They say that the two races, the iron and brass, and the silver and gold, will draw the State different ways;—the one will take to trade and moneymaking, and the others, having the true riches and not caring for money, will resist them: the contest will end in a compromise; they will agree to have private property, and will enslave their fellow-citizens who were once their friends and nurturers. But they will retain their warlike character, and will be chiefly occupied in fighting and exercising rule. Thus arises timocracy, which is intermediate between aristocracy and oligarchy.

The new form of government resembles the ideal in obedience to rulers and contempt for trade, and having common meals, and in devotion to warlike and gymnastic exercises. But corruption has crept into philosophy, and simplicity of character, which was once her note, is now looked for only in the military class. Arts of war begin to prevail over arts of peace; the ruler is no longer a philosopher; as in oligarchies, there springs up among them an extravagant love of gain—get another man's and save your own, is their principle; and they have dark places in which they hoard their gold and silver, for the use of their women and others; they take their pleasures by stealth, like boys who are running away from their father—the law; and their education is not inspired by the Muse, but imposed by the strong arm of power. The leading characteristic of this State is party spirit and ambition.

Joe Conservative said...


And what manner of man answers to such a State? 'In love of contention,' replied Adeimantus, 'he will be like our friend Glaucon.' In that respect, perhaps, but not in others. He is self-asserting and ill-educated, yet fond of literature, although not himself a speaker,—fierce with slaves, but obedient to rulers, a lover of power and honour, which he hopes to gain by deeds of arms,—fond, too, of gymnastics and of hunting. As he advances in years he grows avaricious, for he has lost philosophy, which is the only saviour and guardian of men. His origin is as follows:—His father is a good man dwelling in an ill-ordered State, who has retired from politics in order that he may lead a quiet life. His mother is angry at her loss of precedence among other women; she is disgusted at her husband's selfishness, and she expatiates to her son on the unmanliness and indolence of his father. The old family servant takes up the tale, and says to the youth:—'When you grow up you must be more of a man than your father.' All the world are agreed that he who minds his own business is an idiot, while a busybody is highly honoured and esteemed. The young man compares this spirit with his father's words and ways, and as he is naturally well disposed, although he has suffered from evil influences, he rests at a middle point and becomes ambitious and a lover of honour.

And now let us set another city over against another man. The next form of government is oligarchy, in which the rule is of the rich only; nor is it difficult to see how such a State arises. The decline begins with the possession of gold and silver; illegal modes of expenditure are invented; one draws another on, and the multitude are infected; riches outweigh virtue; lovers of money take the place of lovers of honour; misers of politicians; and, in time, political privileges are confined by law to the rich, who do not shrink from violence in order to effect their purposes.

troutsky said...

Joe: A couple of problems. One big one is that humans are not bees. Society is not a hive with organically determined roles.

The second one is that these "actually existing" State "socialisms" you reference, even Sweden, are little more than welfare states surrounded and transformed by global capitalism. They have varying degrees of democracy (here I'll include the Latin American versions). The political and economic realms have varying degrees of liberal "freedoms" such as property ownership, real suffrage, individual rights, etc.

My point is, we have to be very careful about lumping them all under the name socialist, just as we have to look at the difference between say, Eugene Debs and Hitler, each of who might have joined "socialist" parties.

Since you are willing to defend laissez faire capitalism specifically I'd like to ask how you avoid exploitation?
It seems that the right to claim income associated with the ownership of property would be empty if non-property owning workers were paid an amount equal to the average product of their labor. Since income from property is simply a residual claim equal to the net product minus the amount paid to non-property owners, that surplus is what has been deprived the workers of the fruits of their labor.

Aristotle assumes property owners but how did they get that property?

Titan Uranus 2 said...

My point is, we have to be very careful about lumping them all under the name socialist.

Please. You have no problem "branding" capitalism.

I'd like to ask how you avoid exploitation.

You don't. It's a FACT that one must live with.

that surplus is what has been deprived the workers of the fruits of their labor.

Oh please. Any surplus value is derived from the proper division of labour, not the "performance" of it (see example below). And labourers receive a fair wage for the performance of their labour. The capitalist who efficiently "divides it up" simply accrues the benefits of his divisions as result of his intelligent division and reassignment of tasks between man/ machine.

The Wealth of Nations also rejects the Physiocratic school's emphasis on the importance of land; instead, Smith believed labour was paramount, and that a division of labour would effect a great increase in production. One example he used was the making of pins. One worker could probably make only twenty pins per day. But if ten people divided up the eighteen steps required to make a pin, they could make a combined amount of 48,000 pins in one day. However, Smith also concluded that excessive division of labor would negatively affect worker's intellect through the carrying out of monotonous and repetetive tasks and hence he called for the establishment of a public education system.

...and Smith was right. The division certainly has diminished worker's intellects...

Oh, wait. You probably thought public education was supposed to be something you got for free.... ;-)

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Aristotle assumes property owners but how did they get that property?

The same way Marx got it? The capitalists "original sin" of primitive accumulation... which didn't require any intelligence, just a club/gun.

SecondComingOfBast said...

If workers were paid the true value of their labor, a lot of them would be up the shit creek without much of a paddle. But hey, that's what union reps are for, to make sure that doesn't happen.

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: Interesting that you quote Adam Smith. The quote was insightful, it differentiates capitalism from feudalism, which was land ownership based. Smith was revolutionary for his time. Marx admired his writing.

Now capitalism is dying. It has no great economists, philosophers etc. Its historians call this period the end of history. The philosophers offer postmodernism.

Joe: Sweden still has remnants of the monarchy, therefore all of its democratic tasks aren't accomplished. It can't become Stalinist. Stalinism came from scarcity and thermidor.

Capitalism historically is relatively new, as the nation state. It achieved its identity way before say a country like the Congo. Tasks as democracy, national identity etc. are easier for countries like Britain, US etc. than ex-colonial countries, that didn't even know a concept of national identity.

It's too late for small countries, to solve national tasks. The world is already divided, and new countries are not in the picture.

As long as the dictatorship in Libya is overthrown, who cares if it's left or right? Revolutions are not all good guys against all bad guys. Libya was on good terms with the US and UK under Ghadaffy.

None of the governments in the Middle East including Isreal, will be stable. Capitalism can't meet the demands of the protesters. This what permanent revolution is about. Democratic tasks can't be won under capitalism.

Look at Iran to see the future. The movement is older there. The future is wins and losses, setbacks and triumphs.

Chavez thinks he is socialist. He identifies as a social democrat. Venezuela is a capitalist country period. The percentage of nationalized to private industry is unchanged from before Chavez.

Pagan: Your vulgarity at times, scared away enough people.

Troutsky: The new people here, haven't heard me talk about, there is no such thing as a socialist country.