View Full Version : Europe’s Philosophy of Failure

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008, 09:18 PM
Europe’s Philosophy of Failure

By Stefan Theil

In France and Germany, students are being forced to undergo a dangerous indoctrination. Taught that economic principles such as capitalism, free markets, and entrepreneurship are savage, unhealthy, and immoral, these children are raised on a diet of prejudice and bias. Rooting it out may determine whether Europe’s economies prosper or continue to be left behind.

Millions of children are being raised on prejudice and disinformation. Educated in schools that teach a skewed ideology, they are exposed to a dogma that runs counter to core beliefs shared by many other Western countries. They study from textbooks filled with a doctrine of dissent, which they learn to recite as they prepare to attend many of the better universities in the world. Extracting these children from the jaws of bias could mean the difference between world prosperity and menacing global rifts. And doing so will not be easy. But not because these children are found in the madrasas of Pakistan or the state-controlled schools of Saudi Arabia. They are not. Rather, they live in two of the world’s great democracies—France and Germany.

What a country teaches its young people reflects its bedrock national beliefs. Schools hand down a society’s historical narrative to the next generation. There has been a great deal of debate over the ways in which this historical ideology is passed on—over Japanese textbooks that downplay the Nanjing Massacre, Palestinian textbooks that feature maps without Israel, and new Russian guidelines that require teachers to portray Stalinism more favorably. Yet there has been almost no analysis of how countries teach economics, even though the subject is equally crucial in shaping the collective identity that drives foreign and domestic policies.

Just as schools teach a historical narrative, they also pass on “truths” about capitalism, the welfare state, and other economic principles that a society considers self-evident. In both France and Germany, for instance, schools have helped ingrain a serious aversion to capitalism. In one 2005 poll, just 36 percent of French citizens said they supported the free-enterprise system, the only one of 22 countries polled that showed minority support for this cornerstone of global commerce. In Germany, meanwhile, support for socialist ideals is running at all-time highs—47 percent in 2007 versus 36 percent in 1991.

It’s tempting to dismiss these attitudes as being little more than punch lines to cocktail party jokes. But their impact is sadly and seriously self-destructive. In Germany, unemployment is finally falling after years at Depression-era levels, thanks in no small part to welfare reforms that in 2005 pressured Germans on the public dole to take up jobs. Yet there is near consensus among Germans that, despite this happy outcome, tinkering with the welfare state went far beyond what is permissible. Chancellor Angela Merkel, once heralded as Germany’s own Margaret Thatcher, has all but abandoned her plans to continue free-market reforms. She has instead imposed a new “rich people tax,” has tightened labor-market rules, and has promised renewed efforts to “regulate” globalization. Meanwhile, two in three Germans say they support at least some of the voodoo-economic, roll-back-the-reforms platform of a noisy new antiglobalization political party called Die Linke (The Left), founded by former East German communists and Western left-wing populists.

Many of these popular attitudes can be traced to state-mandated curricula in schools. It is there that economic lessons are taught that diverge substantially from the market-based principles on which the Western model is based. The phenomenon may hardly be unique to Europe, but in few places is it more obvious than in France and Germany. A biased view of economics feeds into many of the world’s most vexing problems, from the growth of populism to the global rise of anti-American, anti-capitalist attitudes.
Complete article: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/c...?story_id=4095


According to this article there's different between America and Europe in the areas concerning our societal structure and also how the economic system are constructed. I believes just by taking a quick read of the article some of the topics taught in Europe were leading to anti Americanism.

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008, 07:02 AM
A biased view of economics feeds into many of the world’s most vexing problems,
from the growth of populism
to the global rise of anti-American, anti-capitalist attitudes.http://www.capitalism.net/

Adam Smith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith) -
The greatest tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.

Monday, November 24th, 2008, 01:46 AM
hahahahaha you guys are kidding me right? Everything they are teaching is true! When I work my butt off and earn $5,000 a day for my employer but have to walk three miles to work and can't afford to pay rent or to buy food to eat because they give me about $40 keeping the other $4,960 just because they own the business (means of production or shall we say- capital). I think its self evident that this is a cruel and inhumane system. In fact free market capitalism unrestrained by government was allowing kids to work and die by the thousand every day and would be paying people a wage of about 50 cents an hour.

The only reason society survives at all is government intervention (socialist intervention) in the Capitalist "free market". Thus we have labor laws, minimal wages, quality control etc. Some of this may be over the top and bad like farm subsidies but take the individual issues up with law makers.

Most of Europe is more of a "social democracy" as they call it. A blend of socialism and capitalism. Their minimal wages are higher than the U.S. It is harder to fire people from jobs and there are more social safety nets. It doesn't mean they are communists.

This type of propaganda is put out by the very rich. It is akin to getting all these poor libertarians to scream "do away with the income tax". Do you know why they want to do away with the income tax yet don't care much about sales tax or property tax? They call it socialism. Here's why:

If you make $8,000 a year you pay taxes, but not federal income tax. Why? Because you are basically at or below the poverty line and can barely afford to pay your bills.

You make $20,000 you pay $3,000 or so.
You make $400,000 a year you pay about $120,000.

You pay a higher percentage the more you make. But I think we can all agree that if you make $400,000 a year and that is shaved down to $280,000 that it maybe isn't the worse thing in the world for you. But what these people who are all for "freedom" and "democracy" and "capitalism" argue is that we should cut taxes on the guy making $400,000 a year and increase taxes on the guy making $8,000 a year. I can be a cold hearted bastard at times but come on!

In reality pure capitalism is so insane that it's like Communism. It can't exist. It leads to collapse and social revolution. We all have modified forms of capitalism to some degree. U.S. is the most "free". The result is in Europe rich people aren't as rich and poor people aren't as poor, but there is still a pretty good quality of life. In the U.S. some people make 10 million a year and others are laid off so that their jobs can go overseas and make the millionaires and billionaires a few extra points of profit.

We can debate the finer points but the general gist of what they are teaching is %100 true and self evident. Much to the dismay of these zillionaires who keep spreading propaganda on the web trying to scare regular folk into thinking they are communists if they don't want to cut taxes on the rich.

The fact is the system is unfair. Capital makes more capital. So let's imagine for a moment that I'm some drooling retard born to wealthy family. I can sit around pooping my pants all day and make millions of dollars a year for it. All in the form of returns on investments. Real Estates, stocks etc. We all know the story "If I could just live off the interest on a million dollars".

So generally once you get passed a certain normal amount of earnings a snowball effect occurs where that additional wealth makes more wealth, which makes more wealth etc. all at the expense of the workers at the bottom. That's why we have exemptions. Your house is tax exempt up to $100,000 and anything over that has a high tax rate. It is to give people a high quality of life but minimize the snow ball effect of extra wealth. Same with income. Once you make more than $100,000 a year it is reasonable to ask that much of it goes to taxes. That is also why we have "capital gains" taxes. Which is taxes on income you make from doing absolutely nothing. That is the "interest" payments on all your wealth (stock dividends etc.).

You see but rich people aren't happy with that. They like pooping their didy all day and getting treated like a god for it. It's like the old aristocratic system all over again. So they make up a bunch of bullshit to the public about capital gains taxes being evil or a graduated income tax system is bad or all gee "why should pay more taxes on my second mansion. Average Joe doesn't pay that much on the used oldsmobile that he lives in. It's unfair!!".

The result is it depresses the nation as a whole. You get the bear and sterns incident. You get the mortgage collapse. You get presidents like George Bush. Our nation becomes run by people who are borderline retarded, but who were born into money. At the same time all the real talent at the bottom get stuck at the bottom because poverty creates more poverty and wealth creates more wealth. Socialism in its controlled form allows those who work hard and have ability to rise up to where they are needed.

But as I said the rich try to take this terd sandwhich that they invented and present it in an appetizing way. So unsuspecting average joes think that what they say makes sense "oh no! hell na. You ain't gonna teach that unrestricted capitalism is bad! You's a communist". or "The evil government is making us pay income taxes! Why we should do away with it I tells ya!".

If you really knew what you were saying: the Bush admin for instance has been repealing environmental protection laws left and right because it "restrains the free market". Those poor zillionaires are making slightly less because they can't dump toxic ooze in your drinking water. Poor little guys. Or say that current fiasco with the banks. Do you know it was caused by deregulation by people who believe in the "unrestrained free market". lol

Kudos France and Germany: I live in the American Capitalist system and that's why I'm against it! I've been sh*t on enough. Unfortunately if I was anything but a white male I would have had welfare that would have helped minimize the problems. So really it seems to me that the whole American system is inherently more racist as it allows people to push each other down then the government has the job of picking and choosing who it wants to help. Though to Europe and America: cut the welfare checks off to those who aren't willing to get sterilized and cut off the payments that reward incompetents with bigger checks for the more babies they have. That fundamental problem seems universal.

Monday, November 24th, 2008, 08:05 AM
But as I said the rich try to take this terd sandwhich that they invented and present it in an appetizing way.

I've been sh*t on enough.

Life is like a $#!+ sandwich,
the more bread you have - the less $#!+ you have to eat.

So go make some bread!

...Pangloss, Candide, and Martin, as they were returning to the little farm, met with a good-looking old man, who was taking the air at his door, under an alcove formed of the boughs of orange trees. Pangloss, who was as inquisitive as he was disputative, asked him what was the name of the mufti who was lately strangled.

"I cannot tell," answered the good old man; "I never knew the name of any mufti, or vizier breathing. I am entirely ignorant of the event you speak of; I presume that in general such as are concerned in public affairs sometimes come to a miserable end; and that they deserve it: but I never inquire what is doing at Constantinople; I am contented with sending thither the produce of my garden, which I cultivate with my own hands."

After saying these words, he invited the strangers to come into his house. His two daughters and two sons presented them with divers sorts of sherbet of their own making; besides caymac, heightened with the peels of candied citrons, oranges, lemons, pineapples, pistachio nuts, and Mocha coffee unadulterated with the bad coffee of Batavia or the American islands. After which the two daughters of this good Mussulman perfumed the beards of Candide, Pangloss, and Martin.

"You must certainly have a vast estate," said Candide to the Turk.

"I have no more than twenty acres of ground," he replied, "the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labor keeps off from us three great evils - idleness, vice, and want."

Candide, as he was returning home, made profound reflections on the Turk's discourse.

"This good old man," said he to Pangloss and Martin, "appears to me to have chosen for himself a lot much preferable to that of the six Kings with whom we had the honor to sup."

The little society, one and all, entered into this laudable design and set themselves to exert their different talents. The little piece of ground yielded them a plentiful crop.

- Voltaire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois-Marie_Arouet)

Thursday, January 29th, 2009, 08:34 PM
The Guardian, Thursday 29 January 200

Tanya Gold

What if the doomsayers are right ... what if society, as we know it, really is about to collapse? Do you have what it takes to make it in a world without electricity and running water? Tanya Gold offers an essential survival:

Saturday, January 31st, 2009, 06:41 AM
That scenario doesn't sound too plausible. Far more likely that there will be too many people for the infrastructure to support than too few people to maintain the infrastructure.