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World & Current Events > Islamic State (aka. ISIS)

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message 1: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) We were discussing this in another thread, and decided to start a new one (as it was rather off-topic). The subject of ISIS has been a very heated one, and for obvious reasons. Where did they come from? What do they represent? And how do we deal with the existence of this threat?

A reminder to all people to keep it civil, and to bring your best fact-based arguments. Odd thing to say about a topic involving religion, but I'm confident we can do it! :)


message 2: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I believe that, in the case of ISIS, religion is only an excuse to impose their hatred, bigotry and intolerance on others. Most Muslims will say that the ISIS killers are not true Muslims, that they pervert the true notions of Islam, and I would agree with them. The best proof of that is the fact that most of the victims of ISIS are Muslims, not Christians.


message 3: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Michel wrote: "I believe that, in the case of ISIS, religion is only an excuse to impose their hatred, bigotry and intolerance on others. Most Muslims will say that the ISIS killers are not true Muslims, that the..."

True that. In fact, a group of Arab comedians produced a video which mockingly looks at an ISIS unit that is acting as a border security. They murdered everyone coming through their checkpoint for various bullshit reasons, but let an Israeli citizen pass without incident. It was funny, because it was true.


message 4: by GR (last edited Feb 04, 2017 12:02AM) (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments I saw an interview with a leader of the ISIS (I can't remember his name. The leader said, The only purpose we have is to fulfill prophecy.

In other-words: they don't have any plan once they accomplish their goal. Sad. Much like Bush's goal: not sure what to do next.

Like I've always said: An action begets a like reaction.


message 5: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2792 comments ISIS or Dash or Islamic State, are based on a sectarian version of Islam. The clash between Shia and Sunni branches of mainstream Islam compounded by the competing needs of the main state sponsors Saudi Arabia and Iran. The difference is that IS added the external terrorism angle taking on the mantle of Al Qaeda.

Since Saladin the Muslim world (very generalist statement) has felt disadvantaged and suppressed by the mainly Christian alleged 1st world.

Mix this mess up with Palestinian rights, power grabs, poverty unemployment and a group of fundamentalist viewpoints and we have the current situation.

The Al Qaeda distinction is the move from terrorism to attempted nationhood and when that does not work a return to terrorism outside the borders of the proposed state.

The Muslims of Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines have little in common with the Arabic based world except the general base religion, but all have their own problems and local issues that sometimes are associated with Al Qaeda and/or ISIS when in reality they are more independence movements. E.g. the Muslim Tamils in Sri Lanka

Like all terrorist organisations (see cooperation between groups in the 70s Black September, Red Army Faction, IRA) they will grasp on incidents claiming them as their own just to create the terror they wish to spread. The terror is only designed to subjugate the people in their control and spread fear and over reaction in the terrorised location

We have a habit of reacting extremely to terrorist actions and ignoring others e.g. 2,000 killed on the roads every year in the UK but we don't ban cars.

We have reacted badly and late to the threat of IS, wanting to pursue a different agenda - remove dictator Assad - allowing IS in. We did the same in Iraq, get rid of Saddam and let Al Qaeda flourish where it had never been.

Better the Dictator you know - not a happy lesson


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 12897 comments ISIS is a radical merciless militant group bound to superimpose their rules and ideology..


message 7: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2792 comments Nik wrote: "ISIS is a radical merciless militant group bound to superimpose their rules and ideology.."

Couldn't agree more and so was Bush's war on terror imposing US versions of world order on other countries. Arab Spring more recently destabilizing regimes (However horrendous) to further the avowed aims of a new world order with the British tagging belong and France for that matter in Libya.

Amazingly, for some commentators, the local people did not always agree with that view and fought back. Add in some real fanatics and you have a new grouping fighting off western imperialism. ISIS are horrendous, brutal and in my personal view mad. But I think all religious fanatics are nutcases.


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 8999 comments My view is that at least part of the problem is the Wahabbi version of Islam, and this very brutal and fanatical version is just what ISIS needs. There is little doubt that the inability of Bush to have a workable plan as to how Iraq should be governed after his invasion was the basic cause for where we are now.

The more interesting question is what to do about it? The Shia oriented Iraqi army will presumably take Mosul, so what happens after that? Will ISIS be able to destroy the Mosul dam? (Is anyone trying to protect that?) If that goes well, what next, as the ISIS fanatics go underground? If the Shia effectively control Iraq, and then help the Shia oriented Alawites in Syria, what happens to the non-fanatical Sunnis?


message 9: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2091 comments I thought, simplistically speaking, that ISIS fighters were former Al Qaeda recruits frustrated with the way they conducted terror operations...


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 8999 comments ISIS got a lot of fighters from Saddam's old army, not because they were Salafist, but because they were Sunni and the US had promoted the Shias, without ensuring a secular state. In other words, inept occupation.


message 11: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7000 comments To expand on Ian's last point. There are plenty of senior ex-Baathist in the upper echelon of ISIS.

Did they get religion or is religion just a front to impress the rank and file while they make a naked grab for political and economic power in the chaos of post Saddam Iraq?


message 12: by Mike (new)

Mike | 181 comments My understanding is that al-Maliki's tenure did not help things; and that his partisanship towards Shia Iraqis angered and alienated Sunnis.


message 13: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2792 comments Mike wrote: "My understanding is that al-Maliki's tenure did not help things; and that his partisanship towards Shia Iraqis angered and alienated Sunnis."

Correct - aided and abetted by Bush then Obama before they realised what a mess he was causing. Actually that is unfair blame the CIA seeing Al Qaeda everywhere where they weren't and hoping Iraq would keep Iran in check, it didn't.

Graeme's point on Baathist leadership is also well made.


message 14: by Michel (last edited Feb 06, 2017 05:35AM) (new)

Michel Poulin Frankly, I believe that it is a waste of time and efforts...and lives, to try to keep Iraq as it exists together. It is a totally artificial country to start with, thanks to British thinkering at the end of WW1, when the Ottoman Empire died. I believe that the people living in Iraq would be much better off forming three new states based on ethnically homogenous populations: A Shiite country in the South, a Sunni country in the center and West and a Kurdish country in the North. In fact, the Kurds have wished for a true country of their own for over a century and, through hard work and bravery in the field, have managed to form what is now known as Kurdistan, the only present part of Iraq that is stable, well governed and well defended. Right now, Kurdish fighters are about the only truly dependable partners for NATO in the fight against ISIS. Yet, the Turks, thanks to a century plus of ethnic hatred and abuse of the Kurds, still persist in fighting them rather than ISIS. It is high time that NATO calls out Turkish hypocrisy and abuses and supports Kurdistan fully.


message 15: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 8999 comments The problem is, the Kurds want to take a chunk of Turkey, Syria and Iran, and I can't see those countries giving that up. And before we talk about Turkish hypocrisy, don't forget the Kurds have carried out a number of terrorist attacks in Turkey that the US has seemingly not worried about those since the Kurds are helping fight ISIS. Hypocrisy may be two-edged


message 16: by Matthew (last edited Feb 05, 2017 10:46PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Ian wrote: "My view is that at least part of the problem is the Wahabbi version of Islam, and this very brutal and fanatical version is just what ISIS needs. There is little doubt that the inability of Bush to..."

This is true. The reason the Saudis have had little concern about the actions of Al-Qaeda (and more recently, ISIS) is because these fanatical movements are more extreme versions of Wahhabism, the very basis of Saudi authority. So when these Sunni extremists decide to slice off heads, murder Shias and other minorities, they really don't see a problem. Its pretty much what the kingdom of Saud has been doing for decades.

But Salafism is distinct in that it is not only a staunchly conservative interpretation of Islam, it is far more radical. It was also reinvented in the 20th century to become a movement that was dedicated to turning back the clock and purging all modernist and liberal trends from their midst.


message 17: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "To expand on Ian's last point. There are plenty of senior ex-Baathist in the upper echelon of ISIS.

Did they get religion or is religion just a front to impress the rank and file while they make a..."


Yep, you've pretty much nailed it with that latter suggestion - at least, that is the popular consensus. The Baathists, knowing that their days were numbered once Saddam regime was ousted and the Coalition Provisional Authority fired them all, began embracing anyone who would fight for them. Zaqawi and Al-Qaeda in Iraq was one such movement, and since ISIS moved into Iraq, its been them.

Maliki was a an extreme partisan and his successor has been even worse. They both effectively turned the Iraqi system of government into a corrupt, exclusive club of Shias only. But of course, their actions were understandable given he way the Sunni's embraced the people who tore Iraq apart along partisan lines.


message 18: by Matthew (last edited Feb 05, 2017 10:44PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Philip wrote: "Mike wrote: "My understanding is that al-Maliki's tenure did not help things; and that his partisanship towards Shia Iraqis angered and alienated Sunnis."

Correct - aided and abetted by Bush then ..."


Hehehe, right you are. The history of CIA operations in the Middle East reads like a comedy of errors. First they help the British overthrow the democratically-elected Mossedeq in 52' (because he tried to nationalize Iran's petroleum) and backed the Shah becoming dictator of Iran. After 20 years of corruption and brutality, the Shah is overthrown and the Ayatollah's seize power. Now you've got fundamentalist Iran!

About the same time, they start giving money and arms to the Afghani religious tribes because they want to undermine the USSR-aligned Afghani government. The Soviets invade to stabilize their neighbor, and then the CIA starts funneling money and weapons to the mujahideen. The Soviets withdraw, and you have the Taliban seizing power.

In the 80s, they decide to support Saddam's war with Iran - giving him biological and chemical agents to murder civilians - because they don't want Iran to win. Then Saddam invades Kuwait because he thought he had tacit permission from the US to do so, so they support an invasion of Iraq in 1991, and another in 2003. All the fallout, sectarian violence and insurgency, and you've got Al-Qaeda in Iraq and ISIS.

It is seriously comical that people think that democracy in the middle East will breed fundamentalism, or that Islam breeds terrorism. In truth, its the CIA that does that! If fact, one could argue that this is all they do in the Islamic world!


message 19: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7000 comments Michel wrote: "Frankly, I believe that it is a waste of time and efforts...and lives, to try to keep Iraq as it exists together. It is a totally artificial country to start with, thanks to British thinkering at t..."

Hi Michel, it's an interesting idea and has been proposed before. The problem is that the Sunni's end up with a nothing country w/o any oil, while the Kurds and the Shias bag the goodies.

Net result - the Sunnis have no interest in the solution.


message 20: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments It was a lie, an ill planned, ill advised, unorganized effort that led to a war that should not have happened. It reminds me of a child being told, don't open Pandora's Box.


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 8999 comments Matthew raises an interesting point about the CIA. Does anyone know of any action that have carried out that led to overall beneficial results?


message 22: by Michel (last edited Feb 06, 2017 08:40AM) (new)

Michel Poulin Ian said: Matthew raises an interesting point about the CIA. Does anyone know of any action that have carried out that led to overall beneficial results?

Well, at first thought: none! The CIA truly screwed up all over the World since it was created in 1947 and is only now starting to regain some common sense in its actions. Here is an abbreviated list of its past major operations (I will let you judge from it what you think of the CIA after that):
- The failed attempts at infiltrating expat agents inside Eastern Europe in 1949: all the agents were captured by the Soviets, turned and then executed.
- 1950: the CIA tells the President that the Chinese won't intervene in Korea. Then, 300,000 Chinese troops cross the border into Korea and nearly push the U.N. forces into the sea. Then the CIA parachutes Korean and Chinese agents into N. Korea by small groups, to fight as guerrilas and saboteurs. All of them (hundreds) are captured and executed.
- Project Artichoke, started in 1948: brutal interrogation program of suspected double agents, using drugs, at CIA clandestine prisons in Germany, Japan and Panama.
- 1952: Start of illegal mail-opening operation at N.Y.C. international airport.
- 1953 Operation Ajax: combined CIA and British operation to depose Iranian PM Mossadeq by a coup that installed the Shah.
- 1954 Operation Success: CIA-organized coup against President Arbenz of Guatemala.
- 1958: CIA-organized insurrection against President Sukarno of Indonesia. The operation ends in failure.
- 1960 CIA-organized assassination of President Lumumba of Congo. President Mobutu will succeed in power.
- 1961 CIA-supported assassination of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.
- 1961 failed Bay of Pigs landings: CIA-backed anti-Castro Cuban rebels fail in invasion attempt of Cuba.
- 1962-65 surveillance of American reporters in USA by the CIA.
- 1962 Project RIFLE: CIA recruits the service of the American mafia to try assassinate Fidel Castro.
- 1963 CIA-supported coup to depose South Vietnam President Diem. Diem is murdered. A series of military juntas follow in power.
- 1965 secret CIA war in Laos.
- 1967 Operation CHAOS: illegal domestic surveillance program by the CIA. Will go on for nearly 7 years.
- 1973 CIA-sponsored military coup against President Allende of Chile. This brings in Pinochet in power and the start of a long history of arbitrary arrests, torture of political detainees and assassinations by the Chilean military, all with CIA support.
- 1982: Start of CIA support of Contras, Nicaraguan rebels opposed to the communist Sandinista regime. Will result in the infamous scandal of Arms-for-Contras, implicating Colonel Oliver North.
2001: Start of CIA rendering of terrorism suspects to black sites worldwide for interrogation and torture.

I am sure that I missed a few things in there, but I would say that the CIA got a lot better and less amateurish in the last decade or so. Let's not forget too that a lot of those illegal/clandestine actions were done following direct orders from the Presidents of the time.


message 23: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 8999 comments Ouch! Not exactly a great CV is it?


message 24: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2792 comments Michel wrote: "Ian said: Matthew raises an interesting point about the CIA. Does anyone know of any action that have carried out that led to overall beneficial results?

Well, at first thought: none! The CIA trul..."


Great list.


message 25: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 12897 comments Well, they have a nice site with free maps on it - that's quite a success -:)

I'm sure a lot is not in public knowledge..

What if for example the big bang of the USSR were attributable to CIA?
If I remember correctly Putin claims internet is CIA's invention.
What if Stuxnet was from there?
What if all/some cell phones, apps, were turned part-time intel collecting devices?
Some political figures in the Eastern Europe are claimed to be 'American' influenced/implanted, etc, don't know whether true and how CIA related...


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 8999 comments Nik wrote: "Well, they have a nice site with free maps on it - that's quite a success -:)

I'm sure a lot is not in public knowledge..

What if for example the big bang of the USSR were attributable to CIA?
I..."


I think the collapse of the USSR was inevitable. In my first version of "Miranda's Demons" I predicted it, and how it would develop. Unfortunately, I got the date wrong, and it happened while my MS was in transit, while I had it about now. Oops. Never saw drunken Yeltsin coming either, nevertheless I predicted the "giving away" of the Soviet industrial assets to oligarchs, so if the CIA claims that as a success, I think anything they did would be only trivial.
The internet was "commissioned" by the US Department of Defense, who defined what was wanted, which led to how it ended up, although by subcontracting it ended up not attributed to it.
Stuxnet could well have come from them.
The intel collection through cell phones, etc is, as far as I am aware, due to the NSA. Anyone know anything different?
Political figures may well be American influenced. The one thing the CIA is good at is handing over large sums of dollars, and from what I gather, a lot of those politicians are nothing if not corrupt.


message 27: by Mike (new)

Mike | 181 comments Michel wrote: "Ian said: Matthew raises an interesting point about the CIA. Does anyone know of any action that have carried out that led to overall beneficial results?

Well, at first thought: none! The CIA trul..."


great list, Michel.

So here's a question. What if we in this thread were left in a room in the beginning of 2009 to advise Obama on foreign policy in the middle east? We know that Obama wants to get out of Iraq as soon as possible and present a different face to the world than what they'd gotten used to with the Bush administration. But also, knowing what we do now about the rise of ISIS, how would we advise him?


message 28: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I am afraid that, whatever we would have told President Obama then, the damage was already done. The major part of that damage was caused when Paul Bremer, in his stupendous ignorance and arrogance, fired ALL the members of the Baath Party from their government positions and dismantled the Iraqi Army, thus throwing hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Sunnis in the streets. He then compounded that mistake by promoting Nur al Maliki, an intransigeant Shia, as a prime minister. Maliki then blatantly discriminated in his policies against the Sunnis, promoting solely the interests of Shiites in Irak, pushing many Sunnis in joining al Qaeda and ISIS out of desperation and frustration. Talking to Obama would have helped little. What would have been needed is to hammer some sense into Bush and to tell him to choose somebody more competent than that Bremer clown.


message 29: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 8999 comments Mike, I think it was too late. The horse had bolted. Before Rumsfeld fired the then Chief of General Staff, he was advised that to occupy and govern Iraq he needed to deploy 600,000 troops. The US has not got that many, and Obama could hardly bring in conscription to recover from GWB's mistakes. The only way to avoid that was to retain Saddam's forces, but it was too late to do that because they were part of the basis of ISIS. Obama was forked on this.


message 30: by Matthew (last edited Feb 08, 2017 05:17PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Well, they have a nice site with free maps on it - that's quite a success -:)

I'm sure a lot is not in public knowledge..

What if for example the big bang of the USSR were attributable to CIA?
I..."


Ian is right Nik. The CIA had as much to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union as the Vatican, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher - that is to say, very little, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to claim they were single-handedly responsible.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was an inevitability thanks to all debacles they had failed to overcome in their history. Stalin's collectivization had done immeasurable harm to the Russia's agriculture, his policy of terror had led to the deaths of millions, and his 5-year programs had achieved a massive military build-up, but did nothing to build a real economy.

When he died, he left a system in place that was rife with corruption and incompetence, dependent on terror for short-term stability, but unstable over the long-term. Attempts were made after his death to redress this - like the Virgin Lands program and Glasnost and Perestroika - but they failed. By the late 70s, it was obvious to Russians that the system was on borrowed time.

When it finally collapsed in the 90s, few people in Russia or the Eastern Bloc nations were actually surprised. However, observers in the West experienced varying degrees of surprise and shock.


message 31: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 12897 comments Matthew wrote: "Ian is right Nik. The CIA had as much to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union as the Vatican, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher - that is to say, very little, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to claim they were single-handedly responsible.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was an inevitability thanks to all debacles they had failed to overcome in their history...."


Maybe one day we'll know for sure and whether Rasputin was a British spy or assassinated by a British spy -:)
Stalin died in 1953 and the system was running for a long period thereafter. Even if the system was doomed (although I'm not so sure), why the break up? The country switched from monarchy to republic without breaking, arguably could've changed to something else. Ukraine and Russia were united for roughly 300 years, Georgia and Russia for centuries, Central Asia countries.. Communist/capitalist is not necessarily connected to break up..
China switched pretty smoothly. Maybe that what Gorbi had in mind....


message 32: by Matthew (last edited Feb 09, 2017 11:59AM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: "Ian is right Nik. The CIA had as much to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union as the Vatican, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher - that is to say, very little, but that hasn't ..."

Nik, you seem to be off on a few historical facts. For one, there WAS a breakup after the Russian revolution, where the same countries - the Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, Georgia, etc. - sought and gained their independence. It was the Red Army retaking these countries during the Civil War that followed that brought them back in.

The fact that it happened again in 1989 and after should come as no surprise. The Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, Georgia, the "Stans" (i.e. central Asia) et al, were all part of Russia because of conquest, in some cases, repeatedly. They were not willing members of the Soviet Union. And yes, the breakup and the economic system were very much connected. They were both dependent on force, and both were part of the Soviet system's complete dominance over all aspects of society - from politics and education to the economy and property. Hence why the system was rejected as a whole.

And China has not switched smoothly. The Party is still firmly in place and commands the economy through government control of the stock market, banking industry, and industry. It's just that they have opened the economy up to foreign investment in a way that has ensured the existence of state-run capitalism. And in so doing, they have created a situation where the Party is faced with eventual demise.

Since 1989, the Party has seen economic growth as the key to buying loyalty and convincing the people that they are still needed. But by ensuring the growth of China as a develop nation with a large population of monied, well-educated individuals, they are essentially ensuring that there are greater challenges to its authority.

In reality, the Communist system as we know it (i.e. government control, command economy) is entirely dependent on there being a One-party state and the use of military force and domestic security forces (secret police) to back it up. That's what Marxist-Leninism, Moaism, and every other variation thereof has always been about. You can't have a free economy without a free society, and vise versa.


message 33: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 12897 comments Matthew wrote: "Nik, you seem to be off on a few historical facts. For one, there WAS a breakup after the Russian revolution, where the same countries - the Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, Georgia, etc. - sought and gained their independence. It was the Red Army retaking these countries during the Civil War that followed that brought them back in. ..."

Nah, the independence was a secondary issue in the revolution's aftermath and during the Civil war, as Russian were fighting Russian as much as anyone else anyone else. It was more about previously deprived against old elites and their supporters..
My own evaluation of communism is that in the conditions of scarcity it doesn't comply with human nature that much. Classless, perfectly equal society becomes a bit Utopian when you can't make it materially equal. Oppression is only the means to prevail over old elites.. Shouldn't be a part of doctrine.
Arguably, all those who say I don't need more than a house and a car and communism could easily supply that + freedoms, might be happier with it. It's the 'competitors' who need competing conditions and our current reality where private jets ain't available for every teenager.
Free economy is not an aim in itself, if it rewards only a small bunch, while others are unhappy.
Nordic socialistic capitalism in my eyes looks a fair compromise..


message 34: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: "Nik, you seem to be off on a few historical facts. For one, there WAS a breakup after the Russian revolution, where the same countries - the Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, Geo..."

Yes, "White Russians" were fighting "Red Russians", but armies from the Ukraine and other nations were also fighting for their independence. This was hardly secondary to them, it was the reason why they fought. And the fact that the White Russians were fighting to restore the monarchy is what complicated their alliance with Ukrainian, Baltic and Central Asian armies. It's why the Red Russians ultimately won.

And your opinions on communism notwithstanding - I agree, btw - the entire aim of Marxist-Leninism was to achieve socialism by direct action and force. It didn't allow for evolutionary socialism or balance. The entire basis of the Soviet system was control of all aspects of society so they could force socialism into existence, mainly because they weren't willing to wait for such conditions to develop on their own.


message 35: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 8999 comments Nik, I don't know about human nature, but the so-called free market is the cruel system in times of scarcity. Feudalism arose through scarcity - the land was entirely owned by the rich families, and the poor were heavily in debt, and the conditions were such that they stayed in debt. Life in the 1930s depression was not exactly charming for many, if what I have heard from my father's generation is true (and I see no reason to doubt it).

At present, we have no idea of scarcity, but In still think that those times are coming. We are growing too fast for the planet.


message 36: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Ian wrote: "Nik, I don't know about human nature, but the so-called free market is the cruel system in times of scarcity. Feudalism arose through scarcity - the land was entirely owned by the rich families, an..."

Good point, Ian. In truth, industrialization and automation (one of the cornerstones of modern capitalism) helped break feudalism by attacking it at weakest point - which was scarcity. Communism has been an attempt to redress the ills of industrial economy, but it failed because its central predictions - that industrial capitalism would result in increasing impoverishment and division between the classes - didn't come true.

From the mid-19th century to the late 20th, the middle class did nothing but expand and more working people escaped poverty than at any time in history. Granted, the US has been going down that road for the past 40 years now. But globally, extreme poverty has been cut in half in the past 2 decades alone.

Of course, Ian is right about how this could change quickly. If we don't get our act together vis a vis Climate Change and population growth, we could be seeing a new dark age.


message 37: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 12897 comments Matthew wrote: "industrial capitalism would result in increasing impoverishment and division between the classes - didn't come true. ..."

May be coming true now -:)

Sufficiently big middle class is a safety for societal turbulence


message 38: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: "industrial capitalism would result in increasing impoverishment and division between the classes - didn't come true. ..."

May be coming true now -:)

Sufficiently big middle class ..."


Indeed it is, though I feel like I'm spitting on my working class buddies by agreeing with it :)


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