World Bank memos

Henry C.k. Liu hliu at
Wed Dec 9 11:47:31 PST 1998


I am with you. Socialism will flower, either as a modifying agent, like a baking yeast, acting on the evolution of capitalism or as an antibiotic that kills the capitalistic virus. The masses will eventually realize the fallacy of the argument that the mal-distribution of wealth will lead to socio-economic equality. Greed is destructive by its very nature. A rising tide only lifts all boats, but it does not change the size of boats, and not the leaky ones. Inevitably, the system' propaganda to justify greed as a tolerable or even positive force in a competitive society will loose credibility. Its like telling those who suffer from incessant hunger that hunger is good for the survival of the specie. The middle class is the most gullible because their illusionary aspiration to become rich still appear operative. The rich knows life is empty without community and mal-distribution of wealth separates one from community. The poor knows that system will keep them poor forever. When Reagon said: "there will always be poor people", he did not know of course he was making a revolutionary statement against capitalism. This is why capitalism goes around the world maximizing the size of the middle class. Socialism's first task is not to argue with capitalist intellectuals, but to change the mentality of the middle class.

Rob Schaap wrote:

> G'day Henry,
> >Citing the past does not say much about the future. No one disputes that
> >capitalism has made contribution to human civilization, although a debate to
> >evaluate the balance between positive and negative impacts is still open. Marx
> >acknowledged capitalism as a necessary phase in economic history, just as
> >theocracy and monarchy once did.
> >The question is whether capitalism has a future.
> My sentiments, Henry!
> If a doctor based all her prognoses on a patient's stats so far, that
> patient's eventual death would come as a great surprise to both parties.
> That said, just because the patient is coughing up blood, doesn't
> necessarily mean death is imminent. Institutions (of which capitalism is
> but one) reside in minds, and can outlive the conditions which imposed the
> idea onto those minds by a long stretch.
> I was thinking about Hiroshima a while back. It's only really here now
> because everybody agreed it was still here after its physical manifestation
> had been removed in 1945.
> Socialism, in this sense, is more like the Olympic Games. Its physical
> manifestation disappeared 2000 years ago. And everybody seemed to forget
> all about it. But the bloody thing is here now nevertheless - an idea
> whose time came when the institutions of the nation-state and imperialism
> mixed with such apparent volatility a century ago.
> Now, are the Olympic Games a deformed internationalism or just so much more
> imperialism?
> On second thoughts, don't anybody answer that ...
> Cheers,
> Rob.

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