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Comment Re: Read some Engels (Score 1, Insightful) 443

Marx and Engels big mistake was in not realizing that despite the abuse heaped upon them, the powers that be at that time recognized at the very least that the notion of class struggle as a driver of history had at least some merits. Marx fully expected a series of revolutions in the latter half of the 19th century, and in some cases it almost came true, but then suddenly you see several nations, even the Austro-Hungarian Empire, for goodness sake, enacting liberal constitutions. In Britain, in particular, within 20 years of the Communist Manifesto's release, the Reform Act of 1867 greatly expanded the voting franchise, enfranchising a large number of working class members. This inoculated a good deal of Europe against any kind of Socialist Revolution.

What went really wrong for Marx's economic and political theories was that first Communist states were fundamentally agrarian states; Russia and China. These, even by Marx's own theories, were not yet at a point of economic evolution that they should become Communist, and in fact, the Communist rulers of these states, to keep with Marxist ideas of evolution, had to introduce vast industrial programs, almost trying to create a Bourgeois middle class just so they could fulfill the checkboxes on Communist revolution. The industrialized states that became Communist were pretty much the states that the Soviet Union forced into its sphere after the Second World War, and who had initially gained their industrial capacity through fundamentally capitalist means.

No one has ever actually seen a Communist revolution the way Marx foresaw such a revolution happening, mainly because, as I say above, the Western nations, whether intentionally or by accident, liberalized sufficiently that the working classes could join political parties, or form new ones (like the Labour Party in Britain). I like to imagine that Disraeli, crafty fox that he was, was at least partially cognizant of the potential for a revolution if Westminster didn't let at least some of the lower classes in, and it wasn't all about just taking the piss out of Gladstone.

Comment Re:Read some Engels (Score 3, Insightful) 443

You are aware that the last three or so generations, at least in the West, are overall the richest human beings that have ever lived. Yes, some are a lot richer than others, but the mean still is so much greater than the past that it's pretty stunning. Only the most impoverished go without food, and even the relatively poor have what can only be described as luxuries.

That's not to say any of it is perfect, or that there aren't people with boatloads of money that really should have that money. There are issues surrounding tax shelters (legal or illegal), corporate influence on politics, and many other issues, but to imagine those just go away because you produce some new economic system is absurd. The one thing Communism did teach the world is that there is always a way for people to get rich and use their wealth to influence the system. Changing the rules just means the greedy and powerful find some new way to game the system, or, if you get rid of the wealthy, some new group rises to the challenge and supplants them.

So I'm all for a fairer society, but we've seen enough "utopian" systems to realize that there is no such thing as Utopia, and trying to bring up the lower classes by bringing down the upper classes never ends up the way you thought it would.

As The Who so aptly put it, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..."

Comment Re: Oh boy (Score 2) 357

Well, unless of course, the actual citizen happens to be a child of Mexican immigrants, and happens to be the judge in a lawsuit where some of his victims, er, students, are suing him for bilking them out of money.

And as he will soon discover, if he manages to become President, for all this talk of how bad illegal Mexican immigrants are, the agriculture industry of the border states would collapse without them.

Comment Re:Oh boy (Score 4, Insightful) 357

You understand that in the normal course of action about the only thing a VP does is break tie votes in the Senate and, on the very rare occasion, when the President has to be put under for a root canal, temporarily becomes Command in Chief. Other than that, the only purpose of a VP is during an election, to try to ingratiate a President with demographics that might otherwise be fence-sitting. Picking someone with some social conservative views undercuts Trump, a man who though he may ape them from time to time, isn't really a social conservative at all.

Comment Re:Jobs... (Score 2) 137

Yes, although there are a few things that are the responsibility of the legislature that can, if the stars align, be usurped by the executive. The Presidency has been becoming more and more powerful over the years. There are tricks that can be used to apply a veneer of legality to what is not strictly legal, although you need popular support for that sort of thing to work.

Of course, Trump is trying to generate an air of urgency around his campaign. We're in decline, we're under seige. New ideas are needed, etc. Blah blah blah. That same urgency can be used to enact constitutionally "innovative" ideas. There have been a number of well intentioned power grabs like the New Deal and Great Society and some much less well intentioned ones in between.

Comment Re:This confirms my previous speculation (Score 2) 446

That's IF there's a bombshell in there that's sure to ruin Hillary. If it's just mundane stuff (my bet), it will only hurt Hillary (who would now have to deal with "Climategate"-style hyper-scrutiny over every little comment that can be framed as remotely incriminating) and help Trump. Worst of all would be if there's something bad in there but not bad enough to hand Sanders the nomination, that could threaten to hand Trump the win over Hillary.

If there is a bombshell you'd be right.

I think Assange knows better than to help Trump, the only question is if the blood has drained from the higher-functioning parts of his brain because his ego has a boner.

Comment Re:If this is true... (Score 4, Insightful) 105

More seriously, he made a large number of enormous mistakes, here are the biggest:

1. Looks like his real name was on the goddamn hosting for KAT. Perfect job for an anonymous shell company held by a Russian lawyer, but instead he left a business card on a neat little stand at the crime scene.

2. Not separating his real name completely from his identity as KAT admin OR his casual pseudonym. He should've created a completely new identity for the KAT admin that doesn't touch any others with a 30-foot pole.

3. Apparently he thought Canada was a good place to host the servers safe from the reach of US lawmen. Such a US-unfriendly place this is, that he felt confident storing incriminating info on the server for some reason.

4. Insufficient money laundering. He even could've accepted ad payments in Bitcoin. Really, he put less effort into laundering criminal proceeds than your average 1%er puts into not paying taxes.

5. Being on Facebook never helps.

In short, he was running this operation almost completely in the open, relying only on the assumption that he couldn't be extradited and the obfuscation of naming the company Cryptoneat instead of KickassTorrents Inc. to keep his ass out of prison. Ross "You'll take payment in Bitcoin without a second thought, Mr. Mob Boss? Seems Legit." Ulbricht looks like a genius in comparison.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 70

In 2000, Verizon acquiring Yahoo and AOL would have been an insanely huge deal. It would basically be the equivalent of someone acquiring Google today.

How the mighty have fallen.

That said, AOL has had something of a soft landing after years of free fall, mostly due to the advertising business. After all of the terrible decisions that AOL and Time Warner made, that acquisition pretty much saved AOL as a business, even if it didn't save it as an industry leader.

Yahoo... well... I guess they have Alibaba.

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"It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we're dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa