Register to reply

Interesting Video

by Economist
Tags: interesting, video
Share this thread:
Economist
#1
Dec12-07, 02:20 AM
P: 113
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...69901632007410

Edit:
Quote Quote by chroot View Post
Please don't post links by themselves with no introduction or discussion. It looks too much like spam, and doesn't really begin a discussion.

- Warren
Apologies (and I won't let it happen again). Essentially it is just a short video of a Hungarian woman explaining her experience with socialism. I just think it gives one a look into what life life might be like in such a system.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Wearable 4MM jetpack tested on speed, agility for runners (w/ Video)
How did evolution optimize circadian clocks?
Corn spots: Study finds important genes in defense response
chroot
#2
Dec12-07, 03:01 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
chroot's Avatar
P: 10,427
Please don't post links by themselves with no introduction or discussion. It looks too much like spam, and doesn't really begin a discussion.

- Warren
devil-fire
#3
Dec12-07, 03:34 AM
P: 40
It looks like a lecture on the economic short comings of the communist system. The lecturer is outlining how full of holes the socialist government Hungary was as she reflects on her youth.

opus
#4
Dec12-07, 08:04 AM
P: 42
Interesting Video

Quote Quote by chroot View Post
Please don't post links by themselves with no introduction or discussion. It looks too much like spam, and doesn't really begin a discussion.

- Warren
Agreed.. and looks too more like an attempt of indoctrination rather than discussion, as if there was nothing argumentative and the video was simply a 'fact'.
drankin
#5
Dec12-07, 10:39 AM
drankin's Avatar
P: 175
It looks like it is a fact to me. A woman is describing the differences between communism and capitalism from first hand experience.
opus
#6
Dec12-07, 11:16 AM
P: 42
I was not referring to the video content (haven't watched it yet) but posting any link as if it required no discussion (i.e. a "fact").

EDIT: after watching the video, I agree with her description. I'm going argue again though, that the USSR is not socialism, it was a collectivist oligarchy. In socialism, the people decide their future, not Moscow politicians deciding what to do, who to do what, etc. that this women describes. Most socialists also agree that that the "necessary" things need to be placed under state control. Obviously, what is "necessary" is always a contention. Capitalists believe believe few things are "necessary" under the state; socialists believe the opposite. Capitalists will criticize extreme socialists for needing to have government to decide how many brands of tampons there will be, whereas socialists criticize extreme capitalists on the need to have HD-DVD and Blu-ray.
drankin
#7
Dec12-07, 11:50 AM
drankin's Avatar
P: 175
Quote Quote by opus View Post
I was not referring to the video content (haven't watched it yet) but posting any link as if it required no discussion (i.e. a "fact").

EDIT: after watching the video, I agree with her description. I'm going argue again though, that the USSR is not socialism, it was a collectivist oligarchy. In socialism, the people decide their future, not Moscow politicians deciding what to do, who to do what, etc. that this women describes. Most socialists also agree that that the "necessary" things need to be placed under state control. Obviously, what is "necessary" is always a contention. Capitalists believe believe few things are "necessary" under the state; socialists believe the opposite. Capitalists will criticize extreme socialists for needing to have government to decide how many brands of tampons there will be, whereas socialists criticize extreme capitalists on the need to have HD-DVD and Blu-ray.
But, what's nice about capitalism is that the consumer has a choice as to whether he get's HD-DVD or Blu-ray, or both. In the USSR, you probably got VHS for another 10yrs.
mheslep
#8
Dec12-07, 12:00 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,098
Quote Quote by opus View Post
I was not referring to the video content (haven't watched it yet) but posting any link as if it required no discussion (i.e. a "fact").

EDIT: after watching the video, I agree with her description. I'm going argue again though, that the USSR is not socialism, it was a collectivist oligarchy. In socialism, the people decide their future, not Moscow politicians deciding what to do, who to do what, etc. that this women describes. Most socialists also agree that that the "necessary" things need to be placed under state control. Obviously, what is "necessary" is always a contention. Capitalists believe believe few things are "necessary" under the state; socialists believe the opposite. Capitalists will criticize extreme socialists for needing to have government to decide how many brands of tampons there will be, whereas socialists criticize extreme capitalists on the need to have HD-DVD and Blu-ray.
Surely the definition of socialism does not depend on the various opinions of this or that group. Can we not simply say that socialism is the control of "the means of production" and distribution, of capital and land, etc, by the state, i.e. the dictionary definition? Then, to the extent then that any government controls the "means", it implements socialism to the same extent. The extent to which people exercise control over the actions of the state via elections would be the process of representative democracy.
opus
#9
Dec12-07, 12:39 PM
P: 42
You can't because socialism is much too broad an ideology. It could be anarchist, democratic, communist, Christian, etc.. Some variants believe that that the state should not control "the means of production" at all, like anarcho-socialism. Instead, if we look at what all the types of socialism agree on, then it is clear that all socialists agree that people (or their representatives) should control the means of production and not a select few. Whether this be through individuals under communism, the state, etc. depends on the school of thought. Many socialists generally believe that they have the right to decide their economic future the same way they decide their political future through voting. The thing is that you can have the ideas from the Keynesians to the Marxists.
Quote Quote by drankin View Post
But, what's nice about capitalism is that the consumer has a choice as to whether he get's HD-DVD or Blu-ray, or both. In the USSR, you probably got VHS for another 10yrs.
Touché, because that's exactly why they collapsed - they couldn't keep up with capitalism. That doesn't mean socialism has failed, it means that a Soviet model has failed. People don't go screaming capitalism is ending when the Japanese model ends up in recession, but American discourse has emphasized a "victory" for capitalism over the "defeat" since the Reagan years. I highly doubt most people can differentiate between socialism and communism, because it's essentially to many people "capitalism" and "not-capitalism".
Economist
#10
Dec12-07, 01:19 PM
P: 113
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Surely the definition of socialism does not depend on the various opinions of this or that group. Can we not simply say that socialism is the control of "the means of production" and distribution, of capital and land, etc, by the state, i.e. the dictionary definition? Then, to the extent then that any government controls the "means", it implements socialism to the same extent. The extent to which people exercise control over the actions of the state via elections would be the process of representative democracy.
Great points!

Quote Quote by opus View Post
Touché, because that's exactly why they collapsed - they couldn't keep up with capitalism. That doesn't mean socialism has failed, it means that a Soviet model has failed. People don't go screaming capitalism is ending when the Japanese model ends up in recession, but American discourse has emphasized a "victory" for capitalism over the "defeat" since the Reagan years. I highly doubt most people can differentiate between socialism and communism, because it's essentially to many people "capitalism" and "not-capitalism".
Socialism can't hold a candle to capitalism, even in the case mentioned above. Japan may be in a recession, but they still have a standard of living that is pretty good. Capitalism isn't perfect, but the truth of the matter is that even with it's problems it's still a great system. I agree though that we are always talking about mixed systems, as nothing is completely capitalistic or socialistic. But one must still compare relatively capitalistic societies with relatively socialist societies.

For a true analysis of why socialism is flawed, I recommend F.A. Hayek (who interestingly began his intellectual career as a socialist).
mheslep
#11
Dec12-07, 01:44 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,098
That definition appears circular, 'socialism is' ... what 'all socialists agree' on. So stated it would indeed make it difficult to distinguish it from something else. But anyway, fair enough, you've provided something to work from

people (or their representatives) should control the means of production and not a select few
Does this mean no private property?
Economist
#12
Dec12-07, 01:46 PM
P: 113
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Does this mean no private property?
Yep. Socialists tend not to believe in private property. They tend to think that everybody
mheslep
#13
Dec12-07, 02:11 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,098
Quote Quote by Economist View Post
...For a true analysis of why socialism is flawed, I recommend F.A. Hayek (who interestingly began his intellectual career as a socialist).
Eco: Have you seen Jeffrey D. Sachs' '06 article in SciAmer (provided by Opus)

Von Hayek was wrong. In strong and vibrant democracies, a generous social-welfare state is not a road to serfdom but rather to fairness, economic equality and international competitiveness.
There's little detailed data in there to see what he's basing this upon, and there is a ton of criticism of the piece. Nonetheless Sachs is a highly noted economist, and a (used to be?) free market economist at that. So I was surprised given the author. As you probably know Sachs was the man in the 90's, Mr Market Economics, in the role as an on the scene adviser to many of the former Warsaw block and Latin American countries after the Berlin wall fell; Sachs interviews about his role in these changes are sprinkled in Friedman's PBS series Free To Choose (90's updates). I noticed in the last interview there he emphasized the pain incurred by the market transitions, perhaps hinting at the future of this article.

I'm wondering if you have any perspective on this from Eco academia?
Economist
#14
Dec12-07, 06:37 PM
P: 113
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Eco: Have you seen Jeffrey D. Sachs' '06 article in SciAmer (provided by Opus)?
Not yet. But I will definitely read it. I am familiar with Sach, but not in the way you mentioned below (in the 90s), I guess because I was only a child during the 90s.

Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
There's little detailed data in there to see what he's basing this upon, and there is a ton of criticism of the piece. Nonetheless Sachs is a highly noted economist, and a (used to be?) free market economist at that. So I was surprised given the author. As you probably know Sachs was the man in the 90's, Mr Market Economics, in the role as an on the scene adviser to many of the former Warsaw block and Latin American countries after the Berlin wall fell; Sachs interviews about his role in these changes are sprinkled in Friedman's PBS series Free To Choose (90's updates). I noticed in the last interview there he emphasized the pain incurred by the market transitions, perhaps hinting at the future of this article.
I am aware that Sachs and William Easterly have had some debate back and forth about foreign aid. Specifically, Sachs thinks it works while Easterly doesn't. But that's mostly where I have seen Sachs.

I would also like to point out that I am not claiming that F.A. Hayek's opinion is the be-all-end-all. With matters like these, which are generally less scientific in nature (in comparison to things like the effects of a tax on consumption) you're going to have more debate. I do however think that what F.A. Hayek has to say, is still very applicable, and anyone who reads it will come away more informed (even if you totally disagree with what he has to say).

This is one of his most classic works (it's just an article):
http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/hykKnw1.html

Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
I'm wondering if you have any perspective on this from Eco academia?
I'm not exactly sure what you're asking here, so if I don't seem to answer your question feel free to ask again.

Are you asking about most Economists ideas regarding Hayek? If so, I would imagine that you'll definitely see a good deal of variation. Most modern academic economists probably agree with him that socialism is doomed to fail (although some won't) and that capitalsim does a great good as a feedback mechanism of information, etc. However, on issues such as what is the proper role for government, you'll find much more variation.
Economist
#15
Dec12-07, 07:00 PM
P: 113
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Eco: Have you seen Jeffrey D. Sachs' '06 article in SciAmer (provided by Opus)
I just read it. I imagine there are many economists critiquing that article. I recommend that you check out some of what they have to say, because they can analyze the validity of his claims much better than I can.
mheslep
#16
Dec12-07, 09:15 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,098
Ok I was mistaken about the Sachs video source. Its the 2002 PBS (Frontline?) series the "Commanding Heights" (not Free to Choose). The production quality is good and the entire thing is online. It starts off with the formulation of Hayek's and Keynes's economic theories pre WWII and then follows the market economics changes in E. Europe/Russia/Latin America from from the 70's up to now. The interviews are great, featuring every player you can think of, including a tale of Hayek and Keynes pulling air warden duty together on a roof in WWII. Uncle Milton of course appears numerous times.

The entire thing is well worth the time, IMO, but I've noted the episodes where Sachs is featured. Transcript of all Sachs' Commanding Heights interviews

Links to quicktime videos by chapter.
Episode II
Chapter 10 Bolivia at the Brink - Sachs advises Bolivia in '85
chapter 12 Miracle Year - Sachs advises Poland
Chapter 15 Soviet Free Fall - Sachs advises Russia
Chapter 18 - same
Chapter 21 Decade of Radical Change - Sachs commenting on pain/shortcomings of market economies.
Episode III
Chap 18 Global Divide - Sachs on the poverty gap in developing world.
Chap 20 Bottom End of Globalism -same



Hayek and Friedman first appear in Episode I.
Chapter 8 - Pilgrim Mountain. -Hayek's '40s conference where, with people like Friedman and Hayek there, one of the attendees stormed out saying "you are all a bunch of damned socialists'
Episode II
Chapter 7 Chicago Boys and Pinochet - Friedman advises Chile in the 70's.

Perhaps my greatest takeaway: Its absolutely amazing how much direct influence the theories of a couple economists, both Hayek and Keynes have had on the history of the 20th century.
opus
#17
Dec13-07, 05:52 AM
P: 42
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Does this mean no private property?
No, only communists believe in the abolishment of private property and money. Most socialists, I think, want private property distributed evenly first to the public. This is often what historical "land reforms" were all about, because private property used to be disproportionately in the hands of a few. In the example of many countries in Africa, it was white farmers that owned a majority of the land (with Africans working it) despite the Africans being a large majority.

EDIT: In the developed world though, many socialists see property as a "contract" in addition to just being a "commodity" like capitalists see it. It's along the lines of a "good neighbour" clause.
Socialism can't hold a candle to capitalism, even in the case mentioned above. Japan may be in a recession, but they still have a standard of living that is pretty good. Capitalism isn't perfect, but the truth of the matter is that even with it's problems it's still a great system. I agree though that we are always talking about mixed systems, as nothing is completely capitalistic or socialistic. But one must still compare relatively capitalistic societies with relatively socialist societies.
Yes, that is true, because mixed systems work best. However, comparative economics is much more complicated than that - that is, you can't simply compare a system "leaning more" towards capitalism against a system "learning more" towards socialism.

This book is a good read on the subject as it conveys the diversity of economic systems - and why you can't just say, "capitalism is better than socialism". The models all used throughout history are each complex and different from each other that to believe that the outcome of USA vs USSR means the end of a "capitalism vs socialism" debate is narrow-sighted and narrow-minded. Societies can be successful with many types of models, it depends on a whole lot more than just "market fundamentalism" vs "statism". Unfortunately there are not too many "socialist" models left, aside from the remnants of Europe, Cuba, and arguably Venezuela. (After all, socialism cannot compete with capitalism's inherent globalization)
Economist
#18
Dec13-07, 11:41 AM
P: 113
Quote Quote by opus View Post
No, only communists believe in the abolishment of private property and money. Most socialists, I think, want private property distributed evenly first to the public. This is often what historical "land reforms" were all about, because private property used to be disproportionately in the hands of a few. In the example of many countries in Africa, it was white farmers that owned a majority of the land (with Africans working it) despite the Africans being a large majority.
But can you sell your property in socialism? There is a difference between living in a place actually owning it. In Economics, this distinction is very important, and if I am not mistaken we define it as legally being able to sell it.

For example, in some countries an individuals may kind of own the land, such as his family has lived there for centuries. However, he doesn't own the land in a legal sense (the law does not recognize the land as his property). This is a very important distinction when it comes to the economic implications.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Video Requests, Do These Video Tutorials Exist? Math Learning Materials 2
Interesting video about ants! General Discussion 1
Very interesting article requires math I don't have, guru? If not, interesting NTL Introductory Physics Homework 12
Interesting Video about Psychiatry Current Events 2