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Poll results: Do You Concur?

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  • The Evolution to Socialism is Necessary and the Presented Plan is Desirable

    0 0%
  • The Evolution to Socialism is Necessary But the Path suggested Needs Modifications

    0 0%
  • The Evolution To Socialism is Necessary But Not As Presented

    1 20.00%
  • The Capitalist System will Deal Just Fine With the Problems Presented

    2 40.00%
  • I Fundamentally Disagree with Your Assessment of the Status Quo

    2 40.00%
  • I Partially Agree with Your Assessment

    1 20.00%
  • I Completely or Almost Completely Agree With Your Assessment

    0 0%
  • We're All Doomed!

    1 20.00%
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Thread: A socialist plan and paradigm

  1. #1

    A socialist plan and paradigm

    I'm not from Pittsburgh, nor have I ever been there, but I suspect that it is like so many of urban areas in the Northern US, a place with much in the way of hollowed out, and for most intents and purposes abandoned residential and industrial districts overrun by now declining suburban sprawl which feeds into overactive and overzealous medical institutions and establishments and has built their glittering steel-girded towers where a fraudulent Capitalist middle class and aristocracy carry on the charade of trading paper, more likely in this day and age bytes and megabytes.

    So what can a reformed Socialist economy do for an area that has no legitimate base remaining?

    I suggest to you that there is much work to be done rebuilding the human environment in preparation for the long or precipitous decline in the fossil fuel age. We must move all communities towards relocalization of basic needs and it is imperative that we, as a nation, set goals such as reducing automobile usage by 80% in the next 20 to 40 years in order to free the remaining precious fossil fuels for more important applications such as home heating, cooking, and electricity for necessary applications (do we really need so much lighting?).

    The keys to this massive energy demand side rebuilding program are the walkable neighborhood (i.e. rebuilding and/or retrofitting all neighborhoods with village centers so that most can get the things they need within walking distance of their homes) and the deliberate, planned, needs directed, cooperative and inter-community control of the production and distribution supply chains for all the peoples needs.

    The first part of the solution proposed in the previous paragraph is nothing new. It has been an architectural/urban planning mantra called "new urbanism". Many speculative developments based on these principles have failed in the last generation. The reason? There are two, the irrationality with the way the profit-motivated economic system allocates resources, and the lack of affordability for most.

    We get "mixed use" redevelopments in which the commercial sectors are irrelevant to the needs of the gentrified clientele. They almost always build parking garages so that the bourgeois residents of new urbanist projects can ignore the lack of available necessities in their neighborhood and are still "free to vote in the marketplace".

    We all know that Socialism is Labor employing capital to meet the needs of the people, starting with those most in need. The allocation of resources to evolve to such a eutopia (good place) has to be rationally distributed in a principled manner.

    It can be done, but before a plan can be implemented (realized), it needs to be conceived, developed, communicated, and accepted (recognized).

    To place the payment burden on governments is not realistic or even optimal. What is needed is the recognition and commitment and dedication of and for the evolution of the private sector to a quasi-public one (working in coordination with Government safety-net, fostering, and facilitating capabilities). The vehicle for the economic/financial transition is an Equity Union. With such an Institution, equity sharing would replace equity speculation, equity trading, and lending.

  2. #2
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    I'm not from Pittsburgh, nor have I ever been there, but I suspect...
    For all that follows that in your post, you might actually visit the place, even if only in a virtual sense. Deserving or not, Pittsburgh is being hailed as a success story and a model for the "successful post-industrial city." This is a good read on that matter, from someone who doesn't think it's deserved, and where I got the quote:

    http://pittsblog.blogspot.com/2009/0...alization.html

    For information on what has been done, and what the hope is for the future, try here, and the links they provide:

    http://www.pittsburghgreenstory.org/html/index.html

    Perhaps next time you wish to wax philosophically on socialism, you should pick another city...
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    This thread is identical to "A socialist plan and paradigm" thread....
    Annoyingly insensitive

  4. #4
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    Perhaps next time you wish to wax philosophically on socialism, you should pick another city...
    Also, it would be helpful to incorporate some pragmatic context into such an academic plan. In other words, step out of Eugene and into Portland or Seattle for some real-world dynamics and context. The world social order, and the United States in particular, will not haphazardly abandon a market-based economic system, including in the numerous realms of planning.
    Last edited by TexanOkie; 04 Feb 2010 at 2:37 PM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    I'm not from Pittsburgh, nor have I ever been there, but I suspect that it is like so many of urban areas in the Northern US, a place with much in the way of hollowed out, and for most intents and purposes abandoned residential and industrial districts overrun by now declining suburban sprawl which feeds into overactive and overzealous medical institutions and establishments and has built their glittering steel-girded towers where a fraudulent Capitalist middle class and aristocracy carry on the charade of trading paper, more likely in this day and age bytes and megabytes.
    Last time i checked pittsburgh is actually hailed as doing "urban renewal" right, and a model for how the rust belt can re-energize itself. You lost a lot of creditability with this blanket statement. Check your facts at the door before posting. That way more people actually take you seriously versus just trolling.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    This thread is identical to "A socialist plan and paradigm" thread....
    No wonder I lost interest so quickly.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Also, it would be helpful to incorporate some pragmatic context into such an academic plan. In other words, step out of Eugene and into Portland or Seattle for some real-world dynamics and context. The world social order, and the United States in particular, will not haphazardly abandon a market-based economic system, including in the numerous realms of planning.
    I know all too well the unyielding politics of even a small place like Eugene. I've been diligently trying to change things working through the system and trying to educate and organize the populace.

    Sometimes a paradigmatic vision is required.

    Before a plan can be realized, it must be conceptualized, communicated, recognized, and accepted.

  8. #8
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    I know all too well the unyielding politics of even a small place like Eugene. I've been diligently trying to change things working through the system and trying to educate and organize the populace.
    If you can't get a socialist agenda working in Eugene, you must not be doing something right...
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I echo all those who noted that Pittsburgh was NOT the example to use. Detroit maybe, Buffalo perhaps (both of which do have a large amount of vacant structures). Maybe Cleveland? But Pittsburgh is a model post-industrial city in so many ways. And the transformation has not been flash in the pan. Its been evolving since the mid to late 1970s and represents something of a "slow growth" approach.

    They are a leader in the use of green buildings, both in terms of new construction (witness their newish convention center) and renovation of historic buildings. They have also done a very good job at diversifying their economy while capitalizing on the skill base leftover from the steel era. So, for all those respiratory illnesses people endured from the horrid coal-fired mills, the city today is a leader internationally in treating respiratory illnesses of all kinds. For all the knowledge about building with steel and glass there remain a number of companies that excel in how to design and build with these materials, even though the actual manufacturing does not take place there.

    Education and healthcare are two areas that are doing relatively well in this economy and Pittsburgh has a strong base in both.

    Pittsburgh is a disarmingly beautiful city, too.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  10. #10
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    My short answer to your post is ???????? My long answer is below:

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    I'm not from Pittsburgh, nor have I ever been there,
    Well, I'm not from there either, but I have been there (and I liked it). It has a lot of interesting new development and adaptive reuse projects.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    but I suspect that it is like so many of urban areas in the Northern US, a place with much in the way of hollowed out, and for most intents and purposes abandoned residential and industrial districts
    Pittsburgh has some of this, and other surrounding former mill areas also have this problem. People are looking at ways to reuse and redevelop these areas, but a lot of work still needs to be done. But Pittsburgh is no Detroit.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    overrun by now declining suburban sprawl
    No more than anywhere else.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    which feeds into overactive and overzealous medical institutions and establishments and has built their glittering steel-girded towers where a fraudulent Capitalist middle class and aristocracy carry on the charade of trading paper, more likely in this day and age bytes and megabytes.
    ?????? "Overactive and overzealous medical institutions and establishments?" "Glittering steel-girded towers?" "Fraudulent Capitalist middle class?" "Charade of trading paper?" This is Pittsburgh we're talking about, not New York. Plus, it's 2010, not 1934. Plus, what do you have against hospitals?

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    So what can a reformed Socialist economy do for an area that has no legitimate base remaining?
    Does today's Pittsburgh not have a "legitimate base?" Was polluting the earth by smelting steel a "legitimate base?" Just what would constitute a "legitimate base?"

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    I suggest to you that there is much work to be done rebuilding the human environment in preparation for the long or precipitous decline in the fossil fuel age. We must move all communities towards relocalization of basic needs
    I agree that the current built environment needs to be adapted to allow people to live in ways that have less impact on the Earth. Whether we need to "relocalize" human needs is debatable, though I do believe in "relocalizing" ownership wherever and whenever practicable. Large corporations that export profits outside of a region and pay local employees low wages are not a path to economic prosperity.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    and it is imperative that we, as a nation, set goals such as reducing automobile usage by 80% in the next 20 to 40 years in order to free the remaining precious fossil fuels for more important applications such as home heating, cooking, and electricity for necessary applications (do we really need so much lighting?).
    You need to consider that there are other technologies out there that can fill the gap. We can build hundreds of nuclear reactors, create that smart grid that everyone is talking about, connect wind turbines and solar powerplants to it, and generate just as much energy as we do now without any fossil fuels. We could even use nuclear energy to split water into hydrogen. Cars could have batteries (expensive) or fuel cells (fueled with perhaps-expensive hydrogen) or run on alchohol or biodiesel. The market-driven "capitalist system" will allow people to decide if they want to pay the cost for any or all of these technologies, or if they would rather stop driving. Government-mandated social engineering will not, especially in the USA.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    The keys to this massive energy demand side rebuilding program are the walkable neighborhood (i.e. rebuilding and/or retrofitting all neighborhoods with village centers so that most can get the things they need within walking distance of their homes)
    A nice concept. I lived in one of these neighborhoods, and the "square" (as we called it) used to have a drug store, a meat market, and other small locally-owned stores. Now those have been replaced by a Curves mini-gym, a Tedeschi mini-mart, and a mini-blind store. Why? Because no-one would walk there anymore, they'd rather drive. But in a theoretical future where driving becomes expensive, walkability will be more in demand. I don't know that we will actually be living in that future, though.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    and the deliberate, planned, needs directed, cooperative and inter-community control of the production and distribution supply chains for all the peoples needs.
    ?????? How'd this work out in the USSR? In China? In North Korea? Not very well. Plus, what evidence do you have that people want to cede their right to make their own decisions about their lives to others, which is really what you're proposing?

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    We get "mixed use" redevelopments in which the commercial sectors are irrelevant to the needs of the gentrified clientele. They almost always build parking garages so that the bourgeois residents of new urbanist projects can ignore the lack of available necessities in their neighborhood and are still "free to vote in the marketplace".
    ?????? You write as if the 'greedy developers' who build mixed-use development choose who occupies the retail space that they construct. Space is built, people rent it (or not), and products and services are offered to residents. Locals use the services or buy the products, or they don't. Plus, what do parking garages have to do with anything? If anything, parking garages expand the reach of local business by giving them more customers.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    We all know that Socialism is Labor employing capital to meet the needs of the people, starting with those most in need.
    Earth has never had a true socialist system, and it never will, because true socialism ignores the greed and self-interest that motivate many people. For examples of outcomes controlled by greed and self-interest, see the USSR, China, North Korea, and the U.S. Congress.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    The allocation of resources to evolve to such a eutopia (good place) has to be rationally distributed in a principled manner.
    Rational by whose standards? Distributed according to whose principles?

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    It can be done, but before a plan can be implemented (realized), it needs to be conceived, developed, communicated, and accepted (recognized).
    I don't think what you are proposing can be done. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want it to be done even if it could be done. And I'm speaking as someone who has relatives who have been involved in labor issues and who used to belong to the YCL. Yes, I an a related-to-Commies planner.

    Quote Originally posted by MacKaye Revisited View post
    To place the payment burden on governments is not realistic or even optimal. What is needed is the recognition and commitment and dedication of and for the evolution of the private sector to a quasi-public one (working in coordination with Government safety-net, fostering, and facilitating capabilities). The vehicle for the economic/financial transition is an Equity Union. With such an Institution, equity sharing would replace equity speculation, equity trading, and lending.
    I think you have to get away from some utopian transformation of human nature and look for real-world alternatives to corporations and short-term profit-centric decisionmaking. Check out the Mondragon Corporation in the Basque area of Spain specifically, and worker co-operatives in general. It is quite possible to create systems that are not driven by profit and are oriented towards the "triple bottom line" (people, planet, profit, but not that one of the three pillars is, in fact, profit), but these systems need to exist within the current market economy that humankind has been developing since the first person traded a bead for a fish.

    Plus, focusing on creating another Mondragon is a realistic and achievable goal, while focusing on recreating human nature and the entire world economy is not.

  11. #11
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    First, though, you need to explain why your conception of a socialit economy will not fail and devolve into tyrannical authoriatianism like Cuba, Soviet Union, and North Korea?
    Last edited by mendelman; 04 Feb 2010 at 9:03 PM. Reason: Sorry - South Korea
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  12. #12
    The Mondragon model is an excellent one. I have been aware of it for many years. It was actually established based on the basic principles of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), which evolved from the early cooperative communitarian/socialist and mutualist theorists and organizers who have been proposing and campaigning and yes fighting back (against Institutionalized Violence and Oppression) for centuries.

    In its more recent history, Mondragon has strayed somewhat from its ideals due to its need to integrate into a larger Capitalist economy, which eschews externalities (social and environmental values, goals, and concerns). However, it's conception, early success, and its peaceful and productive response to historical antagonisms are instructive and exemplary.

    What I am proposing does not have very much in common with the past regimes of the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, etc. I do not ask people to cede their personal decisions to others, I want people to understand their lives within historical perspective and rationally collaborate for the good of all, including future generations.

    Every "organization" has a mission and the one that I am proposing works to satisfy the needs of humanity based on the fundamental principles of inclusion, equity, humanity, environmental/public health and wellness, quality of life, artisanry, altruism, peace, and sustainability.

    I hope this essay presents some clarification relative to a presentation that could seem harsh.


    In Peace, Friendship, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

    Mike Morin

    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Last time i checked pittsburgh is actually hailed as doing "urban renewal" right, and a model for how the rust belt can re-energize itself. You lost a lot of creditability with this blanket statement. Check your facts at the door before posting. That way more people actually take you seriously versus just trolling.
    I don't care how Pittsburgh is "hailed", or what the current conventional conformity is concerning it.

    The essay was originally posted on a Pittsburgh Socialist Forum post, and I explicitly stated that I have never been there. Yet, I have little doubt that the realities that I addressed are extant to a large extent in Pittsburgh.

    Please give some examples about how Pittsburgh is "doing urban renewal right".

    Thank you.


    In Peace, Friendship, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

    Mike Morin
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 05 Feb 2010 at 10:51 AM. Reason: double reply

  13. #13
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Wow I'm going to miss him...
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    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
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  14. #14
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    Damn. NOW how am I gonna respond to his friend request?! Did you have to ban him so soon?
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  15. #15
    Kinda sad to see him go.

    It's hard not to take notice of a person who is so willing to admit he is writing about things he has never seen or studied, or even admits he doesn't care what might be true.

    Was he the only Nazi apologist in the history of Cyburbia? In the 21st century US?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    "...Lies that life is black and white
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    Ah, but I was so much older then.
    I'm younger than that now..."

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