We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Viet Nam’s Economics Miracle Haunts US-DPRK Talks

Click here to access article by Caleb Maupin from New Eastern Outlook.

The author argues that Russia, China, and other such states are socialist because they use central planning by their governments, have nationalized key industries, and allocated significant resources to acquire technological expertise. I would not identify them as socialist, but mixed economies. Also these countries have failed to take major steps to prevent the destabilization of the climate, but they are vigorously challenging a uni-polar world with the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire as the dominant power. Perhaps it can be argued that it was impossible to do both.

However, this may be an issue only of semantics. Otherwise his argument that these mixed ("socialist") economies perform much better than neoliberal economies, that is, the advanced capitalist economies that make up the Empire or that of former governments in eastern Europe that used central planning, sounds convincing. Regarding the latter, he writes:
In eastern Europe, capitalism, not socialism, brought about an economic collapse. As free market policies swept the region, the results were utterly catastrophic. Governments sold off state enterprises and let Wall Street and London set up shop. The result was mass unemployment; mass starvation accompanied a drastic rise in crimes such as the drug trade and human trafficking. However, amid the failure, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund thundered that “free markets” and neoliberalism were the only way forward. Milton Friedman and Jeffrey Sachs became the respected voices, and their policies of deregulation and economic plunder expanded far beyond the former Eastern Bloc. In South and Central America, and in Africa, the promises of free market capitalism creating prosperity and abundance never materialized. 
His main thesis that the Empire fears the success of DPRK's economy is well argued. 

(His reference to Jim Roger (sic) should have a link to Jim Rogers.)