YouTube – Rimjin-gang News From Inside North Korea ASIAPRESS

I have no idea if this video claiming to have images from North Korea is authentic, but I am prepared to believe that it is. And the initial image of the woman starving in the fields is certainly … unforgettable. Not for the faint of heart.

Rimjin-gang News From Inside North Korea ASIAPRESS:

Rimjin-gang claims to be “The first-ever independent publication in the world written directly by people of North Korea.”

North Korea is usually considered to be one of the few, maybe the only, Internet-impervious state.

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13 Responses to YouTube – Rimjin-gang News From Inside North Korea ASIAPRESS

  1. Vic says:

    Yet another example of the worker’s paradise created by socialism – which, only naturally, creates advancement for individuals through corruption and power, since individual worth becomes meaningless and government holds the only power.

    When 8 million people starved in the fields in Ukraine back in the 30’s in a government created and enforced famine, influential American liberals from the NY Times, various intellectual circles, and the Roosevelt administration itself, assured us that it was a worker’s paradise there and that it was amazing what a people, working together for the good of all, rather than the individual, could do.

    Now, after a century of socialism, there has not been even ONE country that has fully implemented it successfully (meaning improving life, and not on the coffins of millions), it is ALWAYS enforced at the point of a gun, and 150 million people are dead from it.

    Unfortunately, people will KEEP dying from it as long as the people who don’t live in the few remaing socialist countries keep pretending that such sorrow can only come from despotic leaders, and not the idea itself. The fact that the world allows this to continue, while we gleefully talk about how socializing this or that for the good of all Americans would be a good thing, is a disgrace to that 150 million, and a slap in the face of that starving N. Korean woman.

    • North Korea is a dictatorship run by hereditary and quite crazed autocrats and a military caste. It has nothing to do with socialism, much less social democracy.

      It certainly is the ultimate example of the Soviet, and especially Chinese-style, cult of personality and centralized power mixed with murderous thuggery. I’m not sure that there are a lot of lessons there for the West other than to treasure Democracy and Due Process, and beware over-centralizing power in the Executive without powerful checking countervailing institutions.

      Gloomy as I get about the torturers, kleptocrats, and enablers of oligarchy who seem to pop up too often in our government, I think comparisons with N. Korea really have nothing to do with us, or with Europe. We don’t have anything resembling socialism here nor is it on the table, and even the Western countries with aspects of social democracy — e.g. real national health care — have nothing meaningful in common with that awful place.

      I am generally warm to the idea of humanitarian intervention, but much as N. Korea seems like a deserving case, I truly don’t see how on earth it could be managed without unacceptable loss of life on both sides. Even if NK doesn’t have a primitive atomic bomb, which it might. It still has millions under arms, and they could cause a lot of pain, and given their conditioning might fight to the death. Thus, I don’t hold the West (or the US) responsible here; I think they’ve mostly done what they could and it just hasn’t worked. The only folks who may have any leverage, and thus the appropriate folks to blame (maybe) here are the Chinese. It’s not obvious to me that they have done all the could, although it is very hard to tell.

  2. Vic says:

    “North Korea is a dictatorship run by hereditary and quite crazed autocrats and a military caste. It has nothing to do with socialism, much less social democracy…It certainly is the ultimate example of the Soviet, and especially Chinese-style, cult of personality and centralized power mixed with murderous thuggery.”

    My point exactly. This is the defining characteristic which every socialist nation has eventually reached. This was true for the Soviets, the Chinese, the Nazis, the Cubans, the African nations, and SE Asia. It is also true, though more compartmentalized, in the semi-socialist nations of Europe today which empoverishes its middle class by soft force, while justifying the result. And this MUST be the end result of all such systems because when you put a system in place that is against basic human nature, it always must come down to force. The only people who ever “vote” for socialism, are those few that receive the bounty of ANOTHER’S labor.

    This is an important lesson of history, which is inevitably proven true whenever it is tested, whether one chooses to subscribe to it or not: When you enact a system of government based on “the good of the many,” controlled by the Few, according to mandates, rather than individual freedoms and desires, eventually you have to resort to force. It doesn’t matter if it’s an overt dictatorship that we all agree is one (and a particularly evil one in the case of NK), or socialism disguised by a velvet glove of democracy. Eventually, you ALWAYS have to force people to do what they otherwise would resist doing. Eventually, it becomes government by FORCE, rather than the consent of the governed. And eventually, those who have risen to the top in some way, find a way to be a little more equal. It has always happened that way, and always will, whether we choose to see it or not.

    Therefore, while it might be too late to do much for yet another nation of persons victimized by the intellectual and powerful few, it should stand as yet another, suprisingly still needed, lesson in what can happen when Government is defined by a few people who think they know better about how lives should be lived by the masses. It’s only and ever about control, not improving anything or benefitting anyone.

    So this video stands as a plain warning. The only “news” is that people still need the warning.

    • Remind me which are the “semi-socialized nations” in Europe with starving people? Or less democracy than we have here? Or in which either of these things is likely?

      If you mean the remaining autocracies of Eastern Europe, fine, although I would call them “socialist” only in the same sense that the USSR was “socialist”, But if you mean places like Germany, then maybe you need to reconsider what you are smoking.

      Nor do I see how the fact that autocrats stole from the masses in a dictatorship tells us much of use as to the extent to which, for example, we need vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws or the state provision of public goods, or mildly redistributive taxation like we had back in the bad old days of the surging economy in the Clinton Administration.

      • Vic says:

        It saddens me that intelligent American liberals like yourself neither appreciate the freedoms that they have, nor understand the freedoms that others only dream about. Obviously, you didn’t grow up wanting much. Lucky you.

        The lack of actual startvation, and the exitence of “Democracy” are not, nor should they be, the index by which we measure freedom. And it amazes me that people seriously make the argument that the Soviet Union’s problems were not based on the inherent problems of socialism….astounding really! Though I suppose it makes it easier for you to accept an overberaing government when you think that the problem is a people-problem, rather than a government problem.

        • Michael says:

          The USSR (and the PRC) were victims of Marxism-Leninism, which I think has almost nothing to do with democratic socialism. It was a combination of bad ideology and traditional power grabbing. Think “Sweden” if you want a real socialist bogeyman.

          I think it’s sad that in order to justify their agenda of stealing from the poor to give to rich (and/or creating a legal regime in which the rich get richer and do what they like while the poor, at best, get nothing) and increasing power for the security apparatus, the conservative movement cannot see the beam in its own eye.

          Anyone who thinks that liking Clinton-era tax policy better than what we have today is a sign of “not appreciating freedom” is not engaging in serious debate, but rather just playground name-calling.

  3. Vic says:

    So Marxism-Leninism has nothing to do with Democratic Socialism… That’s an interesting viewpoint that most people won’t actually express publically any more. You should write a book on it. It might go over well with the whole retro-chic thing the kiddies are into. (Maybe you can package it with a hipster Ché t-shirt.)

    I don’t even know what else to say to that.

    The rest of your reply was…well…interesting…(BTW, you forgot to derisively mention the Laffer Curve! – your usual M.O. when mentioning taxes.)

    Well you’ve successfully befuddled me off again. (Be sure to print off my rediculous posts to read aloud at your next faculty meeting – that should liven things up a bit! I’ve got to get back to work with my fellow conservative engineers on the giant mind-control machine that will make the poor actually GIVE BACK their paychecks to their employer – and YOU thought they were poor NOW!)

    • Michael says:

      There are problems with the Swedish model, which I think is the closest thing we’ve had to a democratic socialism, but I don’t think Marx or Lenin have anything to do it. (I of course don’t think that dictatorial regimes that that call themselves democratic, like say former East Germany, the so-called German Democratic Republic to count as democratic.)

      Why is that surprising or controversial?

      • Vic says:

        I was going to leave this at my last comments, but you just keep digging yourself deeper and making it even more fun.

        I’m guessing you are unaware of the Swedish Social Democrat’s wonderful past of Eugenics and lobotimizations for people who didn’t meet the Swedish standard of the Master race? From 1934 to 1974, “62,000 Swedes were sterilized as part of a national program grounded in the science of racial biology and carried out by officials who believed they were helping to build a progressive, enlightened welfare state…In some cases, couples judged to be inferior parents were sterilized, as were their children when they became teenagers.” (WaPo Aug 29, ’97) (keep in mind the population of Sweden was significantly less than its current 9.3 million during this period, so 62,000 is a REAL number) One woman was sterilized by her benevolent Government because she couldn’t read without glasses, so was presumed to be mentally retarded. This was not some secret program run by Government extremists, this was openly done and was part of the social debate at the time. You can almost picture the Lefties, sitting around drinking their tea, discussing whether Mr. Hjalmersson out to have his kid preemptively sterilized because he is dating a black woman. And under the usual Socialist precept that all are equal, but some are MORE equal, over 90% of those sterilized were women. (Lest you think this was a great idea that Lefties in THIS country missed, remember that OUR Eugenics program was the envy and the model for the Nazis and lasted for about the same time – though we never managed to reach the levels that Sweden and the Nazis did. The reason we whitewash our own eugenics history now is that the nazis made it appear unseemely, and since the same Lefties who thought it all up, also control education…)

        (Back to glorious Sweden:) Not to mention, but I am anyway, the 4500 or so “undesirables” who were labotomized by their kind Government, sometimes without even the consent of their families. Sweden was conducting important experiments on whether lobotomies could cure such social ills as alcoholism and crime.

        Gee and they did all this even WITHOUT a dictator to guide them. Hmmmmm, maybe it’s NOT just despots than act despotically…

        Ironically, in 1973, the Swedish Department of Social Affairs commissioned a study on the mental health of Swedes. This official Swedish government report revealed that 25% of the entire population was in need of PSYCHIATRIC treatment! The report indicated that 30% of all medical expenses were for mental disorders. At that point, they reported that there had been a rise of over 400% of alcoholism in one decade. There had been an astronomical rise in teenage drug abuse. The frequency of suicide among teens and young adults had doubled. The official report offered NO proposed cures for the problems but did suggest that: excessive welfare in itself may promote mental illness by weakening the personality and sapping the sense of personal responsibility. Sounds like enlightenment to me!

        Also, you can’t forget that part of the reason for Sweden’s apparent sucess under Socialism is that it was neutral during the war, so its former capitalitic wealth remained and was able to form the basis or its modern wealth – unlike the rest of Socialist Europe, which began in a giant hole filled with rubble.

        But even if we forget all that, and agree that Sweden is the Socialist model government to beat all governments… That would only mean that it is the exception that proves the rule. NO Socialist Government has ever managed to limp along without confiscating wealth and personal property (taxes are well over 50%), mistreating its people to some extent (very often a huge extent, as even peaceful and modest Sweden shows), the effective elimination of higher moral ideals (such as that ever-pesky religion – only 10% of Swedes actually attend the States “official” Lutheran church – but you don’t really need religion and philosophy when you’ve already got all the answers you need), and the family unit becomes unneeded (Swedish parents are rewarded with extra money by the State if they are unmarried, with the expected result that the unwed mothers numbers are over 50%).

        Finally, Sweden has been forced by reality to do what EVERY Socialist nation must do to survive when its starts running out of other people’s money, it must turn business-friendly! (i.e. take on some capitalistic traits, because the Socialism is bankrupting them)

        From a 2001 Forbes article [After] “the socialists neutered then exiled the geese that laid the golden eggs. Ingvar Kamprad, 75, the founder of ikea, the $10 billion (estimated worldwide 2000 revenues) furniture retailing chain, describes meetings with Sweden’s tax bureaucrats in the 1960s and 1970s this way: “They would accuse me: ‘But you just want a profit.’ And I would proudly reply that I was giving people jobs.”

        Bertil Hult, 60, the founder of the Stockholm-based ef language schools, remembers those dark days well. “By the 1970s, the Swedish media were presenting anyone who started a business as someone who was using the people,” he says. “Entrepreneurs were pariahs. So lots of entrepreneurs left. The government’s view was, ‘Let them go, we don’t need them here.'” In the 1970s Hult left and built ef from Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. Today the privately owned ef Group is the largest company of its kind in the world. Veckans Affärer, a respected Swedish business magazine, estimates that its revenues are $650 million; its net margin is 5%; and its payroll is 17,000.

        With entrepreneurs like Hult fleeing, the economy began going down the tubes. Growth slowed, and inflation rose. State spending and debt soared. Private-sector jobs began to disappear.

        By 1991 the voters had had enough. They threw out the Social Democrats for the first time since the war and installed Carl Bildt’s Conservative government. Bildt set about liberalizing important state-monopolized or dominated markets, notably telecommunications and banking. As competition in telecoms cut telephone and internet access charges, Sweden became a hotbed of technology experimentation, with some of the highest penetration rates for mobile phones and internet access.”

        So it’s not Socialism that has profited Sweden, it is Capitalism that has been working hard, as it does everywhere, to pull people out of the morass they create for themselves in misguided attempts to create the perfect Socialist paradise. What you see now and praise as crowning achievments are simply the costly legacy of an even more costly past. What success Sweden enjoys now is DESPITE the remains of Socialsm, not because of it.

        (From a June 2007 article in the Wa Times:) “Last September, a political earthquake shook the Riksdag (parliament) here in Stockholm when Swedish voters decided to cast off former Prime Minister Goran Persson’s venerable Social Democratic government in favor of a more market-oriented political alliance led by Moderate Party leader, Fredrik Reinfeldt. “They [the Social Democrats] were stunned,” says Riksdag official Yngve Borgstrom, of the 2006 election. “They really didn’t expect to lose their powerful positions.”

        Scandinavian political revolutions are quiet on the surface, but a sea of change lies below. The tide that brought victory to Mr. Reinfeldt’s coalition (Christian Democrats, Folk Party and Center Party) represents a flood of Swedish desire, particularly from those younger than 40, to embark on a new economic course. Privatization, tax reduction and deregulation are all part of the program to bring Sweden into the global economy of the 21st century.

        Young Swedes face a very different economy than their economically protected grandparents. Swedish neutrality in both World Wars caused them to miss the devastation that consumed much of Continental Europe.
        ***
        Foreign capital is digging in. Many Swedish industries have merged and/or been bought with foreign capital. Volvo, Ericsson, Saab, ABB and Telia (the former State telecom) are no longer entirely Swedish-owned. On May 25, the Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. agreed to buy the Swedish stock exchange OMX for $3.7 billion to form NASDAQOMX Group.

        Despite direct investments, more than 80 percent of new jobs come from small businesses, not the traditional corporations.

        Some in Washington jokingly refer to IKEA as the Swedish Embassy. And there is no doubt it is the most successful Swedish retail outlet throughout the world. IKEA is well-known for its lack of staff both on the floor and in the back office. Shoppers experience IKEA as a do-it-yourself store. The shopping style stems from the high cost of Swedish employees. Ingvar Kemprad, founder of IKEA, constructed an employment model that minimized state-imposed labor costs.

        A primary influence for Mr. Kemprad and other employers’ reluctance to create Swedish jobs is a very flexible and widely abused sick leave policy.

        Though Swedish women receive very generous social benefits as a reward for having children, such as monthly allowances and up to 18 months of paid maternity leave, many feel entitled to take sick days for personal or family reasons that are costly for companies. Swedish fathers may take a six-month paid leave but frequently donate the time to the mothers. Low-income women with young children are most likely to abuse the system.

        Swedish journalist, Ulf Nilson of the newspaper Expressen, frequently refers to the Swedish work force as “the sickest in the world,” reflecting the statistical facts comparing it to other nations in the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development.

        Currently, employers must pay the first four days of an employee’s illness without documentation from a physician. Virtually anyone can claim to feel ill on any given Friday or Monday with no fear of being questioned. Mr. Reinfeldt’s new government intends to reverse high employment costs by reducing the allowance given to sick pay and increasing the scrutiny needed for workers to claim medical leave.

        The long-term effect is a reluctance of Swedish employers to hire women, a topic deemed politically incorrect to discuss in a country that prides itself with a longstanding feminist tradition.

        Many young women, like the men, feel they must make their own future. In the medium-sized town of Halmstad, Ana Svensson, 28, recently purchased Olivia’s clothing boutique rather than work for Kommune (the local government office) or try to find the few corporate positions available. Instead, she prefers to run her own business because of the independence it brings her. Like young Swedes, she speaks nearly perfect English and happily sees the world from an international perspective, not at all the isolationist view of previous generations.
        ***
        A global reality pressured most directly by its membership in the European Union has forced Sweden to open its semi-isolated, protected market. Today, Mr. Reinfeldt’s nonsocialist alliance reflects a generational change similar to political shifts recently witnessed in France and Germany.

        (Josiah R. Baker [author of the article] teaches economics at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and recently received a Swedish government grant to research changes in economic policies in Stockholm.)”

        So based on all that, and even ignoring (once again) the horrors caused by the Socialist elitists, you HAVE to ask yourself whether the successes seen today in Sweden are simple the result of people going AGAINST the Swedish norm and practicing capitalism and enterpreneurship? Is your evidence that Sweden is working well, evidence that Swedish Socialism is working well?

        I don’t think so. As in all Socialist countries, the people eventually call upon Capitalism to save them from the muck of their own filth. We will, I think, see Sweden toss off more and more of its Socialist legacy until all that is left is a mere shadow of what you admire now. It’s happening already, if you look closely, which clearly you haven’t.

  4. I am not giving a blanket endorsement of the Swedish model. As I said above, it has (and had) problems. I think it has some things to teach us both as to what to do and what not to do. I said only (and repeat) that its problems were not due to Marx or Lenin.

    We had some issues with forced sterilization here in the USA as you may recall. Some were even blessed by the Supreme Court: see Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927).

    I think forced sterilization is awful anywhere. I see no reason why what you describe above can be traced to Marx or Lenin who, sadly, are not the sole source of all evil in the world. Indeed, I don’t think Buck v. Bell can be traced to socialism or Marx/Lenin-ism either, although by your logic I suppose it should be? It is odd to think of Holmes as a Marxist. Or, rather, would you say tthat since the US is capitalist, and we had Buck v. Bell this proves something about the evil of capitalism? Myself, I’d reject that argument too.

    Sweden has a mixed economy as does most of Western Europe (and so, as a formal matter do we, although with much less government intervention). Although well down from its peak, it is still more socialist than most. I am no expert on Sweden, but from a distance it does not look very much like a hellhole, nor did it even when taxes and state control of industry were at its highest.

    (Incidentally, if you are reduced to citing the Washington Times as an authority, I very much doubt anyone will take you seriously. I know I won’t.)

  5. Vic says:

    How you can say that modern Socialism has little to do with Marx and Lenin is beyond my understanding, considering they provided the models, both for the nature of the Government and in Lenin’s case, for the nature of the despotism. I doubt there would be a modern Socialist state anywhere, were it NOT for Marx and Lenin.

    But I think you MIGHT be arguing that even if the above is true, they can’t be blamed for the evils perpetrated in the name of Socialism, or at least, Socialist countries. I’d be willing to release Marx from that perhaps, but Lenin? He STARTED the idea of treating people like clay to be forceably molded by Government in the kiln of Socialism, or destroyed as corrupting elements to the clay.

    How do I relate this to Sweden? (I believe your argument is that while Sweden has its problems, they are ITS problems, not the legacy or Marx and Lenin. Am I correct?)

    The problem with Socialism (as I’ve stated before), and why one can attribute many evils to it that sometimes don’t seem to be related, is that it ATTRACTS people who also tend to perpetrate these kinds of evils.

    More clearly: Socialism, is viewed as an end, a goal to be reached. Its manifestations that we’ve seen are really just variations in the PROCESS to reach that goal. The process can be more or less subtle from country to country, and appear more or less despotic from country to country, but it is still just the process of “progress” (the goal has never been, nor will it ever likely be reached. At least on a scale larger than the occasional commune.)

    The types of people who like the idea/goal of Socialism so much as to try and implement it (really, just implementing the procress, or being progressive), are generally also the kinds of people who subscribe to a modern (maybe post-modern), scientific, intellectual, humanistic view of the world. This is not bad in itself, but it also tends to be removed from the idea that Human Rights derive absolutely from being Human, and not just by being a member of a society that grants certain rights. They tend to believe that with the proper goal, and some guidance from those who “understand,” Humanity can rework itself into some “better” mode. Human Rights are malleable, because they derive from Government, not the fact of being born. Sometimes such people wouldn’t necessarily even be thought of as “Socialist” but prefer to be seen as progressives and social improvers. But the goal is the same: to improve Humanity.

    The problem is (and how they differ from say, our founding fathers, who were tempered by their belief in natural law as the basis for Human rights, among other things) that human nature and human imperfection is what it is and what it has always been. The human being wants to be an individual, wants to have the freedoms to choose all aspects of their lives, even if that choice is simply the choice between one type of Government largess and another. Even in the perfect world, people still have physical failings, even in the perfect society, someone needs to clean the toilets and pick up garbage.

    The former is almost always addressed through SOME form of Eugenics. Progressive folks seem to be drawn to Eugenics like moths to a flame. Nearly every Western nation engaged in some form of it, whether it was outright sterilization, or even merely imprisoning the undesirables. In modern societies, very often segments are catagorized by the elites and mentally fenced in and imprisoned by the constant repetition of statements of they’re being oppressed and separated from the rest of society, that achievement is impossible or overly difficult, and hence they are mentally imprisoned under the guise of “we’re just looking out for your own good” (’cause everyone knows they can’t look out for themselves…). After all, how are you going to get people to clean your toilets and deal with the garbage under the new perfect society, unless you start creating an underclass of folks without enough self-esteem to motivate?

    Either way, the goal is always to root out and remove those “imperfect” people who stand in the way of the goal, and the goal is always seen as for the good of society. People who believe in the power of the individual to make his own way in the world with as little Government intervention as possible, never do such things. It doesn’t occur to them to do such things.

    The pont is that Eugenics (in whatever form it takes) is NOT some sort of evil that happens to happen in some societies. It is EXACTLY the kind of evil that is part and parcel to the kinds of societies, or people within societies, that think that Humanity can and should be by force if necessary, “improved” beyond its current dog-eat-dog state. The kind of person that subscribes to a “progressive” or socialist view of Humanity, also INVARIABLY thinks that certain people, because of their views, or their human imprefections, should be taken out of the social discourse for the good of all. It is NOT abberant behavior, as you suggest (I think), but the necessary step taken by all who try to change people into what they are not. Force must be used if you want to implement it.

    getting back to Sweden: the became Socialist exactly because they respected the Marxist/Leninist ideal (as did many, many Americans on the Left at the time). They resorted to doing evil because that is a necessary, if unstated, step in the Marxist/Leninist process.

    EVERY Socialist state jails it’s dissenters once it aquires the power to do so. EVERY Socialist state jails those who resist it if it can. MOST Socialist states attempt to eliminate or at least enslave or jail those who have no place in the new world they are creating. It MUST be that way because Socialism can only be implemented at the point of a gun, or the threat of one. It is the business model of socialism that has been demonstrated so many times now that only the wilfully blind can still claim its an abberation.

    That despots also rise up in some Socialist societies is hardly a mysterious process that requires some deep analysis! Socialism – or at least the process implemented to achieve it – never works, except by force. In SOME societies that force materializes in an obvious and natural way, and the people most willing to implement force without conscience (whether by greed, or idealism, or both) rise to the positions of power.

    Fortunately, it is also the case, that eventually, Socialist nations tend to adopt more Capitalistic models in order to get past what Socialism has done. What was once considered by the State to be wrong, evil, or counter-revolutionary, is now embraced on some limited scale to bring in cash. Even Cuba is starting to do this.

    I think this is the absolutely clear lesson of Socialism. The video is just another unnecessary example of the cost of trying to remake society.

    As to my “sources” I make no claim to whether they would be cited in a real scholarly study, HOWEVER, as the meat of the quotes is in the statements made by people involved, and not the (possibly biased) analysis of the writer, they serve to demonstrate my point just fine.

    I have no illusions that you’ll accept any of this, but I hope you at least think about it.

    • michael says:

      Socialism isn’t the same thing as communism, even though they do share some features. Mostly you seem to just conflate them, but lumping European social democracy (or single-payer health care!) with the Comintern is not serious. I am not, before you ask, a socialist (and even less a communist). But as a matter of historical and comparative accuracy there is a huge difference between the two for all that they some common historic roots.

      As to personality types and politics, you and Richard Hofsteader can fight it out. I am not a psychologist. You might also want to read up on the (alleged) relationship between capitalism and social darwinistic theories, including their eugenic aspects.

      But now I have work to do.

  6. Vic says:

    I’m not sure I ever mentioned Communism in any real way (if at all). This debate is about Socialism. There ARE no, nor have there ever BEEN any Communist countries on this Earth. (A Communist country – the fruition of Socialism) would (at least) dispense with centralized Governments. So far, this has never happened, and in fact those countries that have CALLED themselves “Communist,” have had some of the most centralized Governments of the modern world and are just Socialists. So I’m not sure why you are propping up THAT straw man here.

    I can only guess that you are imagining a distinction so that you can say that THESE Governments are “Communist” and THESE are “Socialist,” in order to show that they have less in common than I suggest. i.e. The USSR is not Sweden, or whatever. However, since there AREN’T any Communist countries in the technical sense, who cares? They are all just variations of the same Socialism, some more, some less, despotic; some more, some less, overtly evil, just as I’ve said – over and over again.

    As I didn’t bring up Communism, I also don’t know why you suggest I’m lumping in “single-payer health care” which I don’t think I brought up either. (I’m not going to re-read everything looking for a minor reference, if I even made one, but obviously, it wasn’t a major part of my point, even if I mentioned it.)

    You have apparently been thinking I’ve been talking about something I haven’t. I don’t know. I took a shot anyway. Fine.

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