Socialism Still No Darling in the USSA
Americans first heard about the "march toward socialism" as the financial crisis reached a fever pitch last fall. Since then, the rhetoric on socialism's return has grown central to political conversations on both sides of the Atlantic.
Scions of the right have caught a strong whiff of socialism in post-election United States. Referring to the interventionist double whammy of the stimulus bill and bank bailouts, Representative Mike Huckabee of Arkansas said, "Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff." Though Mr. Huckabee's statement may show a shallow reading of Marxist thought (would Lenin and Stalin have handed billions of roubles over to free market megabankers?), it highlights the touchiness over direct government action. Similar alarms were sounded in the Washington Times where a "distinct Politburo ring" was noted in Obama's inner circle. For the time being, as the Republican Party regroups, it seems anything to the left of Clintonian democracy is part of the new red menace.
Europe--which it is important to remember has very little socialism and very much social democracy--sees a potentially more viable spectre of Marxism re-emerging east of the Danube if economic discontent worsens. Latvia and other countries have already seen burly street riots as unemployment has jumped. Signaling the prospect of a new iron curtain if frail Eastern European economies slip further, Hungarian Prime Mininster Ferenc Gyurcsány requested a €180 billion loan from the European Union for eastern economies to bolster themselves. It was rejected today by Angela Merkel.
Socialism a la USSR did not win many adherents in the West in the twentieth century for good reasons, but was that enough to put a hex on it forever? Will Marx and Lenin always have a bad rap or could bad times soften the naysayers who see the USSA just around the corner? Big Thinkers of all political stripes are encouraged to let us know what you think about state ownership, class struggle and the means of production.
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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