Ukraine and the current situation

This thread has been a real eye-opener to me. I didn't realize that the world is willing to allow an independent country to be butt-fucked with impunity (didn't realize the depth of hatred of America either).

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Maes said:

"Europe" means also Poland's Special Economic Zones that have little to "envy" to Chinese ones

Explain plz.

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Belial said:

Explain plz.


I take that you are not currently working in one?

http://www.paiz.gov.pl/investment_support/sez
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_economic_zone#Poland

machoman127 said:

I didn't realize that the world is willing to allow an independent country to be butt-fucked with impunity


FWIW, there's a very real precedent of a EU country having part of its territory under military occupation. Granted, in that case, the territory was occupied before joining the union by the free part, but that didn't seem to bother anyone in the EU except the "pictoresque and always self-victimizing" Greeks. At least it sets a clear precedent whereas a divided or partially occupied country is not automatically excluded from joining the union. The thorny question is what happens to the occupied/non-free part....a question whose answer everybody seems too happy to postpone.

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machoman127 said:

allow an independent country to be butt-fucked with impunity

Crimea belonged to Ukraine only from the 1950ies up until now. Therefore, by joining Russia it will be regaining it's independence rather than losing its independence.
The Pro-EU citizens need to go back to their western farms and shut the fuck up and stop trying to possess what was never theirs and where they never lived or established anything.

(didn't realize the depth of hatred of America either).

Believe me, I would've been glad if someone traveled back in time and prevented both George Bush and Barack Obama from being elected into office. It is not the population that I hate, it is the government.

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188DarkRevived said:

Crimea belonged to Ukraine only from the 1950ies up until now. Therefore, by joining Russia it will be regaining it's independence rather than losing its independence.

This logic is especially convoluted.

To be independent, they'd need to belong neither to Ukraine nor the Russia -- or any other country.

In Ukraine, they already have a rather independent status as an autonomous republic.

And the main Russian interest in Crimea, Sevastopol, is a special case, too. Sevastopol, legally, does not belong to the autonomous republic of Crimea.

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Independence doesn't really come into play with Crimea. It seems like the majority of the populace wants to rejoin with Russia. Whether Russia really wants this is beyond me.

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188DarkRevived said:

The Pro-EU citizens need to go back to their western farms and shut the fuck up and stop trying to possess what was never theirs and where they never lived or established anything.

Crimean Tatars are pro-Ukraine and pro-EU and they were there first. By your logic, Crimean Russians should pack up their shit and go home, because they don't belong. They stole the land from Tatars, then even forcibly made them move inlands. Only independent Ukraine allowed them to relocate back after the USSR disbanded. That clearly indicates Russia cares exactly zero about anyone's rights in the region (and in general) and the invasion is utterly self-serving.

Believe me, I would've been glad if someone traveled back in time and prevented both George Bush and Barack Obama from being elected into office. It is not the population that I hate, it is the government.

If I could go back in time, I'd prevent your family from migrating to the democratic west, because you obviously wanted to go east. But seriously, are you even thinking when typing that shit? Obama defeated two Republican challengers and both of them would shit all over your beloved Russia with much more enthusiasm, especially McCain. You can see him enjoying giving Russia as much pimp hand as he can.

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Maes said:

That I know about, I was wondering where you got the Chinese bit from.

That one sentence note in a Wikipedia article is funny, since both referenced articles are rather misguided in attributing the problem they are describing to SEZs.

The lowest paying jobs in Poland usually involve employment contracts that don't give you any health insurance, labor rights or retirement benefits, because you're not really an employee, you're a one man company subcontracting work. No paid vacation, no paid sick leave etc.

The case described by that Guardian article could've just as well happened anywhere in Poland. Just today I've read an article about a telemarketing center laying off all their staff at one of the local branches. They came to work in the morning, and 5 minutes later they were all fired.

That's just how the job market is in Poland these days. SEZs only highlight the problem as they seem to mainly provide basic manual labor assembly plant type jobs, which are actually highly sought after in areas with 20-40% unemployment created in the early 90s by dismantling the system of large state-owned agricultural farms.

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Belial said:

The lowest paying jobs in Poland usually involve employment contracts that don't give you any health insurance, labor rights or retirement benefits, because you're not really an employee, you're a one man company subcontracting work. No paid vacation, no paid sick leave etc.


Actually that's the preferred "hiring" method even in Greece and Italy, regardless of employee specialization or level. You may call it "freelancing", "free professional", "self-employment", "subcontractor" but the essence doesn't change: you're self-insured, you have no worker rights (as you don't even formally belong to any of the worker categories protected by union or other rights), etc.

And it's not something restricted to menial tasks, either: IT professionals, for example, are almost 100% self-employed, and many small-to-medium foreign IT firms investing in Greece only employ 100% "freelance" staff offering "freelance services to foreigners", and furthermore all the burden of taxes, insurance, office rent etc. fall on the "employees", without the actual firm getting their hands dirty with the Greek fiscal and labor laws at all.

That's different still than those jobs that hire "informally" (like agricultural, marketplace clerks and other unskilled jobs, or workers for small fast foods).

In any case, my initial point that "Europe" has, in the minds of many, been associated with positive concepts like prosperity and peace for everybody (the chocolates & waltzes I was talking about). But it's not just those, and realities such as the ongoing crisis, the poverty, the SEZs, the labor deregulation etc. are just as part of "Europe" as are the Belgian chocolates and the Viennese waltzes.

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dew said:

That clearly indicates Russia cares exactly zero about anyone's rights in the region (and in general) and the invasion is utterly self-serving

Your grasp of the obvious is truly phenomenal.

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Maes said:

Actually that's the preferred "hiring" method even in Greece and Italy, regardless of employee specialization or level. You may call it "freelancing", "free professional", "self-employment", "subcontractor" but the essence doesn't change: you're self-insured, you have no worker rights (as you don't even formally belong to any of the worker categories protected by union or other rights), etc.


This seems to be common just about everywhere. Lots of rich North-American companies pull that crap all the time.

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dew said:

They stole the land from Tatars, then even forcibly made them move inlands. Only independent Ukraine allowed them to relocate back after the USSR disbanded. That clearly indicates Russia cares exactly zero about anyone's rights in the region (and in general) and the invasion is utterly self-serving.


Are you aware that all present-day American citizens are living on land which was stolen? Poor Cherokee and Hurons and Micmacs and Iroquois natives didn't have anyone caring for their rights, and yet they've lived on this land much longer than any of us. :(

If I could go back in time, I'd prevent your family from migrating to the democratic west


Trust me, if you were to save the Soviet Union from collapsing then you'd be regarded as a hero. You'd have a statue built in your honour. The only reason why I'm living in the west is because the west crushed it. DUH. It shouldn't be so hard to see the obvious.
You really think that my father would've wanted to see me drafted by the new Ukrainian leader into the military to fight my own cousins?

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The Soviet Union wasn't crushed by the West, it was crushed by the weight of its own corruption. Apparatchiks taking ownership of public property and becoming oligarchs.

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188DarkRevived said:

Are you aware that all present-day American citizens are living on land which was stolen? Poor Cherokee and Hurons and Micmacs and Iroquois natives didn't have anyone caring for their rights, and yet they've lived on this land much longer than any of us. :(

Sure enough but hey, without us they'd have no firewater or gambling casinos.

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188DarkRevived said:

Trust me, if you were to save the Soviet Union from collapsing then you'd be regarded as a hero. You'd have a statue built in your honour. The only reason why I'm living in the west is because the west crushed it. DUH. It shouldn't be so hard to see the obvious.
You really think that my father would've wanted to see me drafted by the new Ukrainian leader into the military to fight my own cousins?


Good fucking riddance, my grandparents had a LOT to suffer because of them. All of their property was taken to be "fairly" redistributed. Only now are they getting compensation.

My grandmother from my mother's side had a prosperous farm. TAKEN by the USSR just like that and they had to live in semi-poverty for a long time.

My grandfather from my father's side had two textile factories. TAKEN by filthy communists.

How is this fair in any way? I understand that some upper middle class or rich people are corrupt or whatever but what about those who worked hard for what they had? How would you feel if you made a successful business and then some shitheads came and took EVERYTHING, under the pretense of justice?

Want to hear more? My uncle was sent to prison for 6 months for just telling a JOKE about our "benevolent" leader Ceausescu, who also had megalomaniac projects like the palace of the parliament, which is one of the biggest in the world. He sent people like my other uncle to work in disgusting and dangerous conditions to labor camps and so forth.

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DooM_RO said:

How is this fair in any way? I understand that some upper middle class or rich people are corrupt or whatever but what about those who worked hard for what they had?


Well, according to the Communist mindset, what you just said is considered impossible. If you are rich, you MUST have been stealing or exploiting the poor Proletarians somehow, and the concept of "ownership" (worse still if hereditary or based on old royal decrees or something) is considered a burgeoise plague on the Prolatariat. The concept of outstanding personal value, enterpreneurship and talent is also considered dangerous and suspicious, if not outright impossible.

DooM_RO said:

Want to hear more? My uncle was sent to prison for 6 months for just telling a JOKE about our "benevolent" leader Ceausescu, who also had megalomaniac projects like the palace of the parliament, which is one of the biggest in the world. He sent people like my other uncle to work in disgusting and dangerous conditions to labor camps and so forth.


FWIW, Greece has a law that penalizes "insulting" certain public figures like the President of the Republic, as well as a law that penalizes "spreading false rumours" that "undermine social peace & cohesion". Seeing that the definition of "insulting", "falsity" and "social peace" are open to ad-hoc interpretation,s it could be possible to punish someone for telling a joke or for some inconvenient statement. And it's not something used sparsely, either.

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DooM_RO said:

My grandfather from my father's side had two textile factories.

I fucking swear every family in Europe owned a textile factory back in the day.

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Maes said:

Well, according to the Communist mindset, what you just said is considered impossible. If you are rich, you MUST have been stealing or exploiting the poor Proletarians somehow, and the concept of "ownership" (worse still if hereditary or based on old royal decrees or something) is considered a burgeoise plague on the Prolatariat. The concept of outstanding personal value, enterpreneurship and talent is also considered dangerous and suspicious, if not outright impossible.


I know, I just don't see how it makes sense. If someone works more or more efficiently, he should be able to enjoy the benefits. Why work harder or become more efficient at all when in the end my salary is the same as the next guy. I know jack shit about politics but to me, this communist mindset only promotes stagnation. If people are not motivated by rewards, why should they improve themselves or society?

Maes said:

FWIW, Greece has a law that penalizes "insulting" certain public figures like the President of the Republic, as well as a law that penalizes "spreading false rumours" that "undermine social peace & cohesion". Seeing that the definition of "insulting", "falsity" and "social peace" are open to ad-hoc interpretation,s it could be possible to punish someone for telling a joke or for some inconvenient statement. And it's not something used sparsely, either.


Oh my...

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DooM_RO said:

I know, I just don't see how it makes sense. If someone works more or more efficiently, he should be able to enjoy the benefits. Why work harder or become more efficient at all when in the end my salary is the same as the next guy. I know jack shit about politics but to me, this communist mindset only promotes stagnation. If people are not motivated by rewards, why should they improve themselves or society?

I'm not saying that you are wrong, however, this PoV reminded me of another argument that I've seen on here a few times:

Christian to Athiest: If you don't believe that there is salvation and eternal life, what is your motivation for leading a "good" life?

Athiest: Oh, you know, because it's the right thing to do.

The problem is, people are lazy, short-sighted and selfish. Communism would be great for a species where every individual pulled their weight and was prepared to give their maximum effort to the common good so that everyone could reap the maximum benefit fairly and equally. Human beings, however, are not that species.

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Work can be fun or fulfilling but let's face it, most people hate their jobs. Since a person dedicates at least 8 hours of his life per day for a job he doesn't like, why should he do more than is asked of him if there is no carrot on the stick?

What you said in your post is so painfully obvious that I wonder why people who created Communism thought it would work in the first place. Man is naturally selfish and self-serving and this goes hand in hand with Capitalism.

The problem is that Communism is so extreme. You can't just kick people out of their homes and not expect consequences. YOU CAN'T.

Just take a look at Sweden, they live a very good life. You think this could work in other countries?

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Capitalism kicks people out of their houses as often as communism does. Just not for the same reasons.

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It's very depressing, but I guess that political opinions will always depend on social class.
You see, most of my ancestors were teachers and engineers rather than farmers, so they felt that the Soviet authority treated them fairly and made them feel like real free people.
My grandmother, on the other hand, worked at an urban factory of some kind for her whole life, but yet the Soviet government still managed to reward her with a new apartment for several years of hard work.
So I'm really sorry to hear some of the stories here, but I can't change my opinion because of what I see and experience.
My dad actually cried today when watching the news about how the citizens of Crimea might have their referendum denied and outlawed!
For the first time in what seems like an eternity, I actually saw my father crying. You think that after witnessing this I would change my political opinion? I can't. I don't want to see him die from a heart attack, and something deep inside of me wants the referendum to succeed to show the world that we have just as much power as America does.

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Enjay said:
The problem is, people are lazy, short-sighted and selfish.

I think you joined too many adjectives there, and that specific combo is tied to an ideology spread onto the West since the '70s: "There's no such thing as society (only individuals)". It also beckons to an older idea of assumed sinfulness.

I'd agree most with the validity of the last adjective, yet there's irony in it because often altruism is the best way to be selfish in a longer and stabler sense, and that's when the egoism isn't really that short-sighted.

As for being lazy, how much of that is a projection from a personal lack of meaning in life, how much does it have to do with being dumped into situations without real incentives? People who have covered their basic needs tend not to have strong or immediate incentives because there's nothing essential or critical to go after, and people who are hampered and allowed little opportunity soon lose any interest in participating. Those two factors say a lot about what we call laziness.

The more satiated (and thus arguably somewhat lazy), which have reserved for themselves the best of the main mediums of expression in society, more easily see or label the inhibited and disoriented as lazy without acknowledging their own contribution to laziness nor the difficulties that enforce that presumed laziness in "the masses". After all, it's hard to not see others as shades of aspects or flaws in ourselves, because (aside from our egoism) our own experience is much more concrete than what we interpret from without.

Thus, the satiated carrot wielders "get to work" waving carrots in front of disheartened carrot wanters to delusionally shake off their consequent loss of interest and keep them working. Efficiency was brought up above, but how efficient, and for whom, is the carrot game, when the motor of the idea is that the carrot wanter should not get the carrot? Sooner than later, the carrot wanter is going to start losing interest in the unreachable carrot.

It's one thing to acknowledge our egocentric nature as an underlying factor, but another to assume that since we're egoistic, the rules we make must underpin it. In that case, our genetic ego is coupled with exponential norms which lead us to short-sighted egoism and an unsustainable deconstruction of society pinpointed by unemployment, inequality and violence.

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Enjay said:

The problem is, people are lazy, short-sighted and selfish.

No they're not.

But when they hear people saying that over and over again, they might just become like that.

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DooM_RO said:

What you said in your post is so painfully obvious that I wonder why people who created Communism thought it would work in the first place. Man is naturally selfish and self-serving and this goes hand in hand with Capitalism.


Well, if the intended recipient of the Communist message are miserable campesinos, drudge peons, muzhiks, children working 16 hours in a coal mine (or, to make a more modern example, sewing footballs in a Bangladeshi sweatshop), it's equally obvious that terms like "performance bonuses", "upwards mobility", "opportunity" etc. (the "carrot" you were probably talking about) just don't seem to exist, or even seem conceivable, so you need an entirely different kind of "carrot".

What do you think would sound better to a 1920s Russian muzhik (peasant) or a Latin American campesino? The promise of equality for all and abolition of "riches" (at least in the old-fashioned meaning of aristrocracy, padrones, land-owners, royalty and tzars), or some weird mumbo-jumbo about "upwards mobility", "enterpreneurship", "free enterprise" etc?

Guess why most workers' rights in the West were gained exactly during the period where the USSR was strong: to avoid creating excessive sympathy for Communism or even defections. With that out of the way though, it can all revert to pre-20th century hardline, industrial-revolution-like capitalism.

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Maes said:

Well, if the intended recipient of the Communist message are miserable campesinos, drudge peons, muzhiks, children working 16 hours in a coal mine (or, to make a more modern example, sewing footballs in a Bangladeshi sweatshop), it's equally obvious that terms like "performance bonuses", "upwards mobility", "opportunity" etc. (the "carrot" you were probably talking about) just don't seem to exist, or even seem conceivable, so you need an entirely different kind of "carrot".

What do you think would sound better to a 1920s Russian muzhik (peasant) or a Latin American campesino? The promise of equality for all and abolition of "riches" (at least in the old-fashioned meaning of aristrocracy, padrones, land-owners, royalty and tzars), or some weird mumbo-jumbo about "upwards mobility", "enterpreneurship", "free enterprise" etc?

Guess why most workers' rights in the West were gained exactly during the period where the USSR was strong: to avoid creating excessive sympathy for Communism or even defections. With that out of the way though, it can all revert to pre-20th century hardline, industrial-revolution-like capitalism.


You have a point, I've been thinking about the situation from a 21st century middle-class perspective.

P.S The word carrot makes me laugh for some reason.

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DooM_RO said:

You have a point, I've been thinking about the situation from a 21st century middle-class perspective.


The existence of that middle-class you're talking about is precisely the byproduct of the counter-communism policy pursued by the West for nearly a century.

What would be the point of being pro-capitalist if, as a little guy, you would be equally miserable as your "commie" counterpart, no? At least the "commie" got to stick it to the "big guys" through this whole class equality thing.

But now that -supposedly- all of the world (except some pictoresque regimes like North Korea Venezuela and Cuba- play "on the same team" (yup, everybody except these three is supposed to be staunchily capitalist, these days), there's no more reason for this middle class to exist. Nor are the overheads associated with keeping it afloat (good salaries, nice homes, affordable consumer loans, welfare state...) justified anymore. It's pretty much the same as giving a child a nice toy just for shows, but taking it away from it just when it was starting to have some fun with it.

Why do you think that it's always the "middle class" that's considered to be stricken the hardest from any recession?

The condition of the dead-end, terminally poor won't change much through recession or growth: they won't have much or anything to lose or gain. The rich & powerful are pretty well-shielded, should it rain or shine. Those that get the short end of the stick are those that at some point find themselves with some property/money but not the necessary political connections and influence to defend it (the "middle class").

It will soon be back -figuratively, but for some quite literally- to the coal mines and the latifund for everybody.

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Maes said:
But now that -supposedly- all of the world (except some pictoresque regimes like North Korea Venezuela and Cuba- play "on the same team" (yup, everybody except these three is supposed to be staunchily capitalist, these days), there's no more reason for this middle class to exist.

You said it: Supposedly. Comes to show how badly news and information flow globally from Latin America, as they're channeled mostly by a bunch of corporations that digest and regurgitate it beyond recognition, on purpose. Venezuela has a capitalist economy, just with a higher level of State intervention and socialist aspirations, even Cuba's economy is gradually opening up, such as by recently allowing people to buy cars, and a large chunk of the region (mainly on the Atlantic side) tends toward Keynesian or similar economics.

Obama more or less wants to join the fun, actually, but the right is there to make the government inoperative, as is usual in this hemisphere, so he promised he'd do everything he could by means that don't rely on the legislature.

Nor are the overheads associated with keeping it afloat (good salaries, nice homes, affordable consumer loans, welfare state...) justified anymore. It's pretty much the same as giving a child a nice toy just for shows, but taking it away from it just when it was starting to have some fun with it.

Justified in what sense? Over here we have programs that offer poorer people allowances in exchange for studying or sending kids to school, mortgage backing for lower or middle class people, many public school, universities and hospitals being built, key companies nationalized to ensure the economy serves the population and not huge foreign funds, higher or increasing salary buying power through strong unions that can negotiate in each sector, pricing agreements to mitigate inflation, central banks that respond to national policy rather than the needs of banking cartels, subsidies to ensure access to energy or transport, considerable infrastructure developments to ensure sewage and energy reach more and more people, free netbooks for all kids in school, policies that empower many sorts of local cultural events, and so on.

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myk said:

Justified in what sense?


I'm glad you asked. The most recent mantra of neolibs is that "today's world is faced with ever-growing competition and globalization, and there are hundreds of millions if not billions of aspiring, driven, motivated, ambitious and hyper-competitive people out there, no matter who you are, where you live and what you do! You have to OUTCOMPETE every single one of them just to stay afloat! Therefore, you must work harder (since they are willing to), you must be paid less (since they will work for less) and you must STFU (since they would give blowjobs to have your lifestyle). STFU, suck it down and COMPETE!!! RAAAAAAWR!!!! (<- The Battle Cry of the Tiger-Neolib)"

myk said:

Over here we have programs that offer poorer people allowances in exchange for studying or sending kids to school, mortgage backing for lower or middle class people, many public school, universities and hospitals being built, key companies nationalized to ensure the economy serves the population and not huge foreign funds, higher or increasing salary buying power through strong unions that can negotiate in each sector, pricing agreements to mitigate inflation, central banks that respond to national policy rather than the needs of banking cartels, subsidies to ensure access to energy or transport, considerable infrastructure developments to ensure sewage and energy reach more and more people, free netbooks for all kids in school, policies that empower many sorts of local cultural events, and so on.


If that's indeed true, then it seems that your country successfully managed to take a different direction after it got beat to a pulp after the well-known crisis that affected it. You can understand why it's not exactly straightforward to hear this aspect of the story outside -the powers that be would like news about Argentina to be just focused on how badly you're living and why you shouldn't have shunned the IMF and "The Man". If a "third way" is viable, among this recession, the powers that be will have every interests in hiding/downplaying it.

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Gez said:

Capitalism kicks people out of their houses as often as communism does. Just not for the same reasons.

True enough -- here in the good ol' US of A it's a law principle called 'imminent domain'. Was supposed to be used for obtaining rights of way for highways (public good) but has been used to clear up land issues for shopping centers. Money talks, bullshit walks.

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