It’s Official – Salon is Now a Communist Propaganda Rag

An Army of Strawmen

An Army of Strawmen

Jesse Myerson at The Daily Worker Salon:

Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

As the commentary around the recent deaths of Nelson Mandela, Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger made abundantly clear, most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is arrant nonsense. This is not surprising, given our country’s history of Red Scares designed to impress that anti-capitalism is tantamount to treason. In 2014, though, we are too far removed from the Cold War-era threat of thermonuclear annihilation to continue without taking stock of the hype we’ve been made, despite Harry Allen’s famous injunction, to believe. So, here are seven bogus claims people make about communism and capitalism.

1. Only communist economies rely on state violence.

Obviously, no private equity baron worth his weight in leveraged buyouts will ever part willingly with his fortune, and any attempt to achieve economic justice (like taxation) will encounter stiff opposition from the ownership class. But state violence (like taxation) is inherent in every set of property rights a government can conceivably adopt – including those that allowed the aforementioned hypothetical baron to amass said fortune.

In capitalism, competing ownership claims are settled by the state’s willingness to use violence to exclude all but one claimant. If I lay claim to one of David Koch’s mansions, libertarian that he is, he’s going to rely on big government and its guns to set me right. He owns that mansion because the state says he does and threatens to imprison anyone who disagrees. Where there isn’t a state, whoever has the most violent power determines who gets the stuff, be that a warlord, a knight, the mafia or a gang of cowboys in the Wild West. Either by vigilantes or the state, property rights rely on violence.

This is true both of personal possessions and private property, but it is important not to confuse the two. Property implies not a good, but a title – deeds, contracts, stocks, bonds, mortgages, &c. When Marxists talk of collectivizing ownership claims on land or “the means of production,” we are in the realm of property; when Fox Business Channel hosts move to confiscate my tie, we are in the realm of personal possessions. Communism necessarily distributes property universally, but, at least as far as this communist is concerned, can still allow you to keep your smartphone. Deal?

2. Capitalist economies are based on free exchange.

The mirror-image of the “oppressive communism” myth is the “liberatory capitalism” one. The idea that we’re all going around making free choices all the time in an abundant market where everyone’s needs get met is patently belied by the lived experience of hundreds of millions of people. Most find ourselves constantly stuck between competing pressures and therefore stressed out, exhausted, lonely, and in search of meaning. — as though we’re not in control of our lives.

We aren’t; the market is. If you don’t think so, try and exit “the market.” The origin of capitalism was depriving British peasants of their access to land (seizure of property, you might call it), and therefore their means of subsistence, making them dependent on the market for their survival. Once propertyless, they were forced to flock to the dreck, drink and disease of slum-ridden cities to sell the only thing they had – their capacity to use their brains and muscles to work – or die. Just like them, the vast majority of people today are deprived of access to the resources we need to flourish, though they exist in abundant quantities, so as to force us to work for a boss who is trying to get rich by paying us less and working us harder.

Even that boss (the apparent victor in the “free exchange”) isn’t free: the market places imperatives on the ownership class to relentlessly accumulate wealth and develop the forces of production or else fail. Capitalists are compelled to support oppressive regimes and wreck the planet, as a matter of business, even as they protest good personal intentions.

And that’s just the principle of the system. The US’s particular brand of capitalism required exterminating a continent’s worth of indigenous people and enslaving millions of kidnapped Africans. And all the capitalist industry was only possible because white women, considered the property of their fathers and husbands, were performing the invisible tasks of child-rearing and housework, without remuneration. Three cheers for free exchange.

3. Communism killed 110 million* people for resisting dispossession.


4. Capitalist governments don’t commit human rights atrocities.


5. 21st Century American communism would resemble 20th century Soviet and Chinese horrors.


6. Communism fosters uniformity.


7. Capitalism fosters individuality.


I’m not gonna bother refudiating everything that is wrong with that article because it is an army of strawmen. But I posted the first two “misconceptions” so you could see the lies and distortions Myerson relies on to support his bogus arguments.

About Myiq2xu

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
This entry was posted in History, How Stupid Do They Think We Are? and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to It’s Official – Salon is Now a Communist Propaganda Rag

  1. The Klown says:
    • this argument has completely gone off the rails. Where does one draw the line? First of all, bullying imo is a serious problem. But to take the essence of bullying and apply it to religion is a slippery slope, red herring, whatever. The concept of bullying is quite different from one’s free religious expression. My guess is that when real bullying occurs in schools, the religious component is a very minor part of it.

      On the other hand, we have to make sure that people’s right to religious expression isn’t trampled on. But to juxtapose the two concepts, bullying and religious freedom, is far-fetched here in 21st century America.

    • The Klown says:
  2. The Klown says:

    Gawker is full of idiots too:

    Jerry Seinfeld, the most successful comedian in the world and maker of comedy for and about white people, isn’t interested in trying to include non-white anything in his work.

    When asked why he featured so many white men in his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee during a Buzzfeed interview on CBS This Morning, Seinfeld seemed offended by the very question. “It really pisses me off,” he said. “People think [comedy] is the census or something, it’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares?”

    BuzzFeed Business Editor Peter Lauria seemed hesitant to pursue the frank answer, but the comedian continued on anyway. “Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested,” he said. “I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.” He seems to suggest that any comedian who is not a white male is also not funny, though he’s also likely fed up with the amount of bad comedy he’s been forced to sit through in his (waning) career.

    Jerry Seinfeld DID NOT say that any comedian who is not a white male is not funny.

    Fucking idiots cannot understand basic English.

  3. The Klown says:
    • DeniseVB says:

      I think his “panties” are photoshopped on. Too white for the photo, plus that lady on the right certainly sees something we don’t 😉

  4. Lulu says:

    Jesse Whatsit Whoever, the author, is an Occutard. He is spinning his enormous success as a leader of “the easily fooled” into a career as a writer and wannabe edgy 1950’s style “crusty” French communist. He has been writing shit for a while but this is the first to be noticed outside the circle of profound “explanatory” journalists like Ezra Klein and his child prodigy Dylan Matthews who were recently departed from the WaPo and the adult supervision of “the wallet” Jeff Bezos. I really wish that someone, anyone, had taught a smidgen of history to this new breed of elite geniuses. As Vile Prog-ism dies an inglorious Obamacare death this is what is going to be left behind. Jesse hates the 1% but wants his cut and a little air time on MSNBC.

  5. The Klown says:
  6. underwhelmed says:

    What’s that you were saying about stupid should hurt????

  7. The Klown says:

    Will there be privacy protections?

    I can imagine the cops using this data as evidence against people in traffic ticket cases.

  8. The Klown says:
  9. DeniseVB says:

  10. The Klown says:
  11. Constance says:

    “Obviously, no private equity baron worth his weight in leveraged buyouts will ever part willingly with his fortune”

    What a dope Myerson is. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet took turns being the richest man in the world for years. Here is what they are doing with their fortunes after being taxed on the money and after creating many jobs.

    Do Liberals really think more could be accomplished with this money by giving it to government. Just look at the clusterfuck that is Obama care to see what government does with your money.

    • Constance says:

      Of course the Gates foundation is in Seattle and Buffet’s center of Operations is Omaha and I’m sure those western cities are outside the frame of reference of east coast elitists like Myerson. The World is New York and DC right?

  12. votermom says:

    I must be slipping. Haven’t gotten a single troll from this tweet

    • The Klown says:

      Too many big words.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Shoulda tagged it with #UniteBlue 😀

    • wmcb says:

      Actually, that’s truer than you think. You ignore the REALITY that human beings are fundamentally tribal at your peril. This is why the re-drawing the lines of nations and tribes that we engaged in in the Middle east and Africa after WWI has been such an abysmal failure, and led to MORE strife and killing, not less. They had separated themselves, over centuries, in ways that made sense for THEM, and enabled them to interact with surrounding tribes/nations. Not perfectly, no. But our ideas of where the lines should be were demonstrably not better. Pure hubris.

      I’m a cold-eyed realist. Noting “Human beings have characteristic X” is not the same thing as saying “I think it’s a wonderful thing that human beings have characteristic X”. What the fuck does approval have to do with it? It simply is. Best work your policy around it, or there will be hell to pay.

  13. The Klown says:
    • piper says:

      Donations will be condoms and birth control pills.

      • Lulu says:

        She will have to mooch off the Wendy Davis bucks. And then the really big money is already going to Hillary for 2016. So that does leave expired condoms and BC pills and maybe some old Code Pink costumes. This is not a good year to be a first time Dem office seeker.

      • DeniseVB says:

        That would be funny …. mail a condom to her campaign war chest 😀

  14. Propertius says:

    Publishing an essay by a Marxist doesn’t make you a “Communist Propaganda Rag”, anymore than publishing an essay by David Koch makes you a “Libertarian Propaganda Rag”. Marxists may well be incapable of digesting the fact that history is pretty grossly out of sync with their personal mythology, but so are a lot of other folks (Alan Greenspan, Dick Cheney, etc.). Self-delusion is the common lot of humanity, whether your delusion be that “the State will wither away” and we’ll all willingly share everything and work for the Greater Good without any personal incentives, or you believe that markets can “self-regulate”, or you believe that Iraqis will greet invading Americans as “liberators”.

    Or, for that matter, you believe that electing Barry Lightbringer will restore the environment, end wars, and bring universal prosperity.

    • wmcb says:

      Most Grand Causes in the history of mankind are a pile of shit. There is no Universal Theory of Absolute Rightness in politics. Ever.

      The best ideologies are the ones that readily admit we are not going to save the world, so let’s have some modest goals like not killing each other and having mostly order and lack of starvation and brutality.

  15. votermom says:

    My state’s GOP governor’s plan to win re -election is to promise more spending than the Dems. Just check his timeline

  16. helenk3 says:

    this is a must see video. how much info can be gotten from a used copier

    • helenk3 says:

      got this from a commenter at No Quarter

      A few things….

      1) This is an old report

      2) Some of what is said is true but much of it is not. For one thing this is not “potentially” a violation of federal laws. It is a direct violation of HIPPA law, just for one. And letting a police department off the hook for their violations and lack of comment is truly frightening.

      3) It does not cost $500 to remove information from a hard drive. It can be accomplished rather easily and inexpensively by taking out the hard drives and wiping them. Some of the professional software used for this is practically free, in fact. The $500 software sham wow does nothing but wipe the information after each use so that nothing can be stored. It’s an efficient but foolhardy method of doing this.

      4) Most corporations are fully aware that the copy machines they “lease” contain hard drives that record their every use. Their IT Departments are lazy if they are allowing these machines out the door without either yanking the hard drives or wiping them on the spot which is the SOP.

  17. wmcb says:

    The progs are becoming more shrill because they are losing power. No, not political and media power – they still have plenty of that. But they are losing social power, the power to keep everyone herded into Goodthink and faithfully eschewing those who Badthink. The edges are fraying, and rebellion is in the air. They are trying very hard to shame the fringes back into the herd, lest a stampede ensue.

    I just read a piece where sci fi author Sarah Hoyt was talking about this. Read the whole thing. It’s about people being tired of putting on the hair shirt avoidance du jour. About people tired of being told that authors (or comedians, or whatever) they enjoy are outside the pale. People are perfectly capable of reading or whatever and making distinctions between “I enjoy this, he’s smart” and “I make total obesiance to this author’s world view.”

    People are tired of being policed for “correct” social attitudes. They may still enjoy a two-minute hate, because people are bastards, but they are fucking SICK of who it shall be (and shall not be) being an assigned thing.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about authority, and human nature, and how they interact. I’ve decided that human beings can tolerate absolute authority if it’s very limited in what it addresses. They can also tolerate a weaker authority that is very pervasive. But they cannot and WILL not tolerate absolute authority that at the same time invades every aspect of life. One or the other, but not both at once.

    Flashing in-group signs and engaging in out-group shunning only works so long as your group is the group everyone wants to be in (the cool kids table.) Once the tipping point is reached, where people aren’t so sure that your table is the one they want to sit at, all the frantic signing and shunning goes laughable, very quickly.

    We are on the verge of laughable, thus the “cool kids” are cracking down on even tentative rebels more and more. The very fact that they feel the need to crack down is an indicator of their diminishing influence.

    Here’s Sarah’s piece:

    • swanspirit says:

      Meanwhile , back at the ranch , we have a Prezzy who is so accustomed to being the most popular kid at the in table ;that he feels completely comfortable telling ( out of his own mouth , no proxies this time ) the most watched cable news network, that the only reason there are “scandals” at His table; is because that self same network is reporting them as scandals. He is working the “perception is reality” scam on such a scale , it is bound to fail .
      With a smirk on his face the whole time , he had the hubris to tell the country yet another grand lie . This is who he is , this is the source of the attitude , the perspective and the sentiment . No one else . No advisers, no consultants , no counsel , no assistants . He is the vessel of hubris, the center of pretentiousness about which the sycophants revolve . He has proved it . I wonder how long it will take for this realization to reach the greater populace . His brand of lying isn’t even original .
      When the bubble of pomposity in which he lives finally bursts , and it will eventually burst ; not much of his fragile ego will remain . Who will care?

      • Constance says:

        I don’t know, I think the cult of Obama will go on for a long time after he is out of office. They will find some group outrage to organize themselves around and continue to issue decrees like people should care. But the Democrats will probably be really disorganized in 2016. I don’t see the young Obots going for Hillary. And if Hillary runs I bet Jeb Bush runs as the “we need new blood not another Clinton/Bush” will be neutralized as both parties will be running someone with a family dynasty. Also the Kennedy wing of the Dems would kill Dems to keep the Clintons from having more power than the Kennedys. Jeb Bush was a Governor and is actually a more promising leader than his brother and he isn’t stupid enough to be Cheney’s puppet. I think a Clinton/Bush match up could give us someone who is actually capable of running the country.

        • swanspirit says:

          I definitely can see Obama hanging around D.C. reminding everyone he was the first black president , and trying to throw his weight around ; and he absolutely will have a set of sycophants to spew to , when he feels the need for attention . But the spotlight will have moved on , especially if we have a woman POTUS .

    • votermom says:

      I like Sarah Hoyt. I was reading one of her novels ( A Few Good Men) when Obama was doing his SOTU.

    • elliesmom says:

      I might lose another Facebook friend today. She posted again about how the Republicans are like the Nazis. So I linked the political platform for the Nazis when Hitler rose to power to her post. Showed her if she took out all of the eugenics and nationalism, it’s a platform Elizabeth Warren could run on today. Substitute ” the one percent” for “Jew” and you can put some of what you took out back in. She knows I support same sex marriage and choice for women, the only issues important to her vote, but she’s sputtering about how I’ve become “intolerant and nasty”. I’m just sick of people trying to rewrite history. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. A larger percentage of Republicans supported civil rights legislation than Democrats. Robert Byrd and Al Gore, Sr. were Democrats and Klan members. They didn’t become Republicans. The Nazi Party wasn’t right wing. The people of Germany voted for them because they were in a depression, and the Nazis offered them lots of “free stuff” and chose a scapegoat a lot of people didn’t like to blame for the country’s troubles. She’s entitled to her own opinion, but not her own facts.

  18. helenk3 says:

    something is not right about this article. did they change the law? On my 18th birthday I was no longer in foster care it was the law. when did it change to 21?

  19. Constance says:

    Too funny! I love the final dig that Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murry has a spouse/wife named Michael.

  20. Nancy says:

    Sent from my iPhone


Comments are closed.