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The Problem with 1950s Nostalgia

It has often been said that the Right and social conservatives are very nostalgic for the past. This is especially true for the those who are apart of Generation Z who have nostalgia for the 1950s. In fact, some like Gen Z conservative political commentator John Doyle has adopted 1950s aesthetics into his YouTube videos.  Other right wingers have also incorporated 1950s art into their aesthetics to help spread their message. Many see the 1950s as a time where there were still strong family bonds, a strong middle class, religious morality, nationalism, and less crime. In other words, a more orderly society compared to today world that is socially dysfunctional with broken families and community, less religion, extreme class, race, and gender divides. Along with an extremely toxic consumer culture.  This idea is strengthened amongst social conservative when feminist, liberals, and other progressives talk about the 1950s in their view as a time of extreme patriarchy, sexism, racism, authoritarianism, reactionary, and many more buzz words that the liberals like to negatively throw at the past.

This all causes many social conservatives especially American social conservatives to wish for a return to the 1950s and its social values. Seeing the 1950s as the peak of American and Western Civilization. However, this nostalgia for the 1950s has blinded the Right. While it is true that society was more culturally conservative than it is today but many of the problems we have today originate well before the 1950s in facts some of these problems originated decades before hand. Only starting to get out of control completely after the 1950s. This article will be a brief overview of many of these problems along with what Conservative thinkers at the time positions on where the United States was heading.

Globalization In The 1950s and Prior 

Globalization the process of integrating of countries and expansion of corporations and government organizations to an international level had already begun on an economic, government, and was already a popular ideological idea amongst the American and Western ruling class well before the supposed “conservative golden age” of the 1950s.

There was a time when America was an isolationist and a country that was largely made up of small independent farms and shops that were mostly run by families. This is true for the late 18th and 19th century. However, this was already coming undone with the second industrial revolution in the 1870 which brought about the first modern American corporations and mass production that centralized production. Along with completely obliterating the small family farms and craftsmen.  These corporations would grow to national level and eventually to an international levels  after the second world war with the signing of America first free trade agreement in 1947 called the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or GATT. Which removed tariff and economic boundaries so that American corporations could grow more easily.  The GATT would be a predecessor to the world trade organization and is arguably the start of modern economic globalization. That would lead to outsourcing of jobs, material shortages, mass migration, and economic dependence on other countries that we have to this day. Even prior to the free trade agreement American corporation were already trying to expand globally such as United Fruit Company who had immense influence in Latin America and Ford Motor Company who helped illegally to industrialize the Soviet Union.

While American isolation lasted all the way up to 1941 with the bombing of Pearl Harbor which led to America joining World War 2 and becoming a superpower due to destruction of both European and Asian great powers. Unlike the first world war where America went back into isolation, America started to take a more direct part in world affairs taking a part in foreign conflicts such as Korean war and Guatemalan coup of 1954. The founding of international organizations such as NATO and the UN. NATO being used as way of expanding US influence globally and its values of universal human rights, capitalism, democracy, and liberalism. Making American liberalism a global ideology that should be adopted by everyone. This international liberalism that America began to espouse went hand and hand with global market expansion that America promoted along with foreign wars and conflicts that America became involved with. Same can be said for the promotion of social progressivism that came with market breaking down traditional barriers and Americas support for universal rights.

This international liberalism did not come out of nowhere. In fact, had already started to come to prominence in the American ruling class as late as 1918 with American President Woodrow Wilson advocating for his 14 points speech which advocated for a league of nations and expansion of liberal capitalism globally and open borders. This reason why America did not start taking part in global before 1941 was because of push back from America population over becoming too involved with foreign affairs. This vague notion of universal humans’ rights was also promoted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt or FDR who worked under Wilson as Secretary of the Navy. During FDR state of the union of January of 1941, FDR gave the four-freedom speech. The four freedoms being freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. This speech on the 4 freedoms especially the last 2 are extremely vague and can mean many contradictory things to many people. However, this mark the unofficial beginning of America abandoning of isolation. Isolationism fate would be completely sealed with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor later that year. The speech was also an inspiration to FDR wife Elanor Roosevelt who wrote for United Nations the “Declaration of Universal Human Rights” in 1948. Which furthered expanded upon the US and UN doctrine of universal liberal rights at the coast of other forms of governments and people’s traditional way of life both domestically and internationally. Such as the removal of religion from government, mass migration, promotion of nontraditional sexual norms, and the advancement of abortion.

Of course, one can argue that international organizations like NATO are justified due to the expansion of the Soviet Union and its very own universal ideology of communism. However, if we look at  current and former communist countries and their allies. We find that many of them our autarkic, nationalist, and far more conservative than those who sided with US during Cold War with few exceptions like Saudi Arabia.  Some of them like Cuba have only recently moved in the cultural direction of the US, while many others like Russia, North Korea, Hungry, China, Nicaragua, and Syria are moving in the opposite direction. The Conservative Historian Paul Gottfried believes that the reason why America became such as breeding ground for social progressivism is because of America adoption of universal rights and freedoms that the liberal order used to ideologically justify the breakdown of cultural norms. While the Soviets and many of their allies did persecute religion they did not go after other social norms like the family and in fact in some cases promoted families to have kids. Not to mention many of these societies were very militaristic, while not conservative necessarily but did help promote a strong sense of duty and responsibility amongst their people to their nations. It should also be noted that the Soviet Union and its allies abstained from voting on making the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the official document of the United Nations.  It’s also debatable on whether the founders of NATO even wanted to disband NATO after the Cold War with the organization still existing and still playing a major role in global affairs to this day. With NATO having objective of establishing liberalism across the globe regardless of what the people want.

Family Life

Family life is the most nostalgic aspect of the 1950s to many American Social Conservatives who see it as the peak family values and moral discipline. However, this is also extremely misguided and in fact the American Family has been under attack by the growth of corporate and government power since the industrial revolution according to historian Christopher Lasch.  The industrial revolution according to Lasch took economic production out of the family household and put into the factories.  Then later into other large corporate firms. Which forced first the father then of course later the mother to leave the children for work. Along with making the family more reliant on corporations for their basic needs.

What also came with the industrial revolutions was also the advancements of technologies in ways that the world had never seen before. That gave rise to things like mass media and birth control. Which furtherer undermined parental authority of children in case mass media like television and radio which was already prevalent in the 1950s. Birth control help to separate sex from its traditional understanding of procreation to now being more about personal pleasure and satisfaction.  Which gave the Sexual Revolution a technological advantage over traditional social norm. It was not just birth control that gave rise to the culture of seeking personal satisfaction over moral responsibilities but also as capitalists started to see workers as not as just workers but as consumers. Along with the rise of mass advertisement like radio and tv gave rise to this culture of self-seeking personal gratification over everything else. This new mass media and advertising even opening challenged traditional norms such as women not smoking in the case of the Torches of Freedom march which was backed by the American Tabaco Company which was already mass advertising to women to pick up the habit of smoking. This of course appleade to many feminists at time. Flappers were also another trend picked up by mass media and capitalist that also challenge traditional social norms like encouraging women buy and wear revealing clothing, wearing makeup, sex outside marriage, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes. At the time this was viewed negatively by more conservative elements of society and in case of drinking illegal. To paraphrase Lasch the propaganda of commodities became one of the agencies of social reproduction. It undermined traditional morality, pitting fights between women and men and children against parents. Often allying with women and youths in a common struggle against traditional social norms.

I know some conservatives would try to argue that things like divorce rates and non-traditional sexual norms were still low and not the norm in 1950s. This is somewhat true however even by 1924 one out of seven marriages ended in divorce. Birth rates were also already dropping in decades leading up to the 1950s other than briefly going back up after the second world war with the baby boom. Along with housing and other basic materials were already becoming expensive making couples put off having kids. Not to mention women started entering the work force because of these economic conditions. It should also be mentioned that first wave feminism which started up in the early 20th century was also encouraging this trend of women entering the work force.  In the fringes of the feminist movements, they were already criticizing monogamy, patriarchy, and condemned inference of sexual life by church, state, and community. Even when it comes to progressive reformist and academics such as Emile Durkheim were already advocating for society and its institutions like schools to take on more of the responsibilities that the family once did. Many of these reformers also had low expectations for parents to raise kids properly without state interference such as Ben B. Lindsey one of the pioneers of American juvenile court.

Even though arguably the trends of feminism, divorce, and low birth rates were still not as prevalent as they are now. The fact of matter is that many of the corporate and government bureaucracy along with the technological advances that help to lead to decline of the family and still presently were already there well before the 1950s. In fact, many feminists in the 1920s particularly the flappers understood that technologies advances like cars and birth control would furtherer advance their goals of “women liberations.” Seeing these technologies as way of having more control of their own lives. However, this was simply a fantasy. In reality corporations have more control over not only women lives but even men’s lives too, through money power and mass media that influences and manipulates public opinion in corporations’ favor. I highly recommend the reader to read “Haven in Heartless World The Family Besieged” by Christopher Lasch for those who want a more in-depth explanation.  

The Conservative Intellectuals take on the 1950s

What about conservative and traditionalist intellectuals of the time such Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, William F Buckley, Donald Davidson, James Burnham, and many others’ views on the 1950s? While many of these intellectuals had many differences with one another on a variety of issues and subjects, none of them saw the 1950s as peak of traditional values or  traditional ways of life. Some like Donald Davidson and his literary group called the Southern Agrarians were already very critical of the direction that American society was heading in the 1930s.  The Southern Agrarians were critical of the Industrialization of the country that uprooted traditional agrarian communities, destroyed the family farms and traditional morality.  Industrialism had centralized wealth and power in ways not seen before which was another core criticism of the Southern Agrarians. Davidson in particular also criticized industrialism for its commodification of art and its mass production of lower quality art and media. Whereas Agrarian society at least to Davidson had created the conditions to make quality art.  Many of these ideas of loss of community, traditional morality, and criticism of corporate and government power were also shared by many influential   conservatives who wrote in or around the 1950s such as Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, William F Buckley, James Burnham, and Robert Nisbet. In fact, many of problems they discussed in their books are still problem today or even much worse problems.

In Richard Weaver 1948 book “Ideas Have Consequences” Weaver writes on the harmful effects of Nominalism and moral relativism on Western Civilization since the late Middle Ages. Weaver also discusses media manipulation that is accelerating or at least prolonging conflicts inside the West. Along with critiques of the egoism or radical individualism that has engulf America.  At the end of Russell kirk 1954 book called “The Conservative Mind” Kirk was extremely concerned about the direction that America was heading in, such as the growth of consumerism that devalued quality and America corporate and government bureaucracy negative effects on the traditional cultures of not the only America but also other countries. Along with America liberal expansion ideology that the US openly embraced after the second world war. Which was destroying many of the traditional cultures throughout the world and had made many these people side with the Soviets out of spite. Kirk even briefly mentions that divorce rate was going up at the time. Kirk even went as far to say that Americans more than any other people have come to the worship of Mammon or the demon of greed.

In William F. Buckley 1951 book “God and Man at Yale” Buckley criticizes American universities particularly Yale for their promotion of Atheism and social progressivism. James Burnham 1941 book “The Managerial Revolution” goes over the rise of bureaucracy and how bureaucrats had become the new ruling class. Along with how world power has become more consolidated to a few nations. While Burnham book was not giving a moral judgement on managerialism, he did become more hostile to it as he became more conservative. And finally, Robert S. Nisbet 1953 book “The Quest for Community” went over the decline of local community and institutions such as the Church, the family, neighborhoods, and guilds which  is happening due to radical individualism and the rise of modern state that began in the Middle Ages. This according Nisbet has produced alienated, isolated and spiritually depleted people.

In short none of the major conservative thinkers were happy with the direction that the United States was heading in. The only thing that the conservatives at least would be happy about in the 1950s was Conservative intellectual resurgence and the founding of many major conservative magazines such as National Review and Modern Age. That said they would be completely horrified if they saw modern America compared to the 1950s America.

         A Future with Limits

It is understandable why so many Americans have nostalgia for 1950s because even if the problems we face today started way before the 50s.  The 50s was still a time that was a lot more sane compared to the present day. Like stated earlier however many of the problems that we face today had already started way before the 1950s.

What does free markets, human rights, consumerism, and free love all have in common? It not only that there all apart of neo liberalism but none of these concepts respect limits. All of these concepts want to constantly expand. The free markets want to constantly expand the market to other areas such as other countries and into private life at the expense of tradition and national autonomy.  Human rights want to constantly expand what are rights at the expense of responsibility and duty. Consumerism and Free love advocates preach that we should buy and sleep with as many people or buy as many products as we want too regardless of how unhealthy, wasteful, and personally destructive that it can be.  None of these concepts or their advocates plan for the long-term problems that this can cause. They are always about living in the moment and in the case of free markets the fastest way to make money.  These concepts that make up neo liberalism have all become possible due to the growth of technology and capitalism use of technology.  It is hard to underestimate the power of technology on modern society. Technology has made all of this possible at the expense of the old spiritual and traditional values.

America and the West are truly governed by the Faustian spirit as German Conservative Oswald Spengler pointed out. Spengler pointed out in his book “Man and Technics” that it would also be the Western World destruction. One of the ways Spengler pointed out how technology was going to destroy the Western world was through the outsourcing of technologies and industries to other countries that would come rival the West. This is definitionally true now when it comes to countries like China and Russia.

Of course, it also true that the Western world use of technology is not only cultural destructive as it’s been shown throughout this article but is also wasteful. Think of how many useless consumer products are out there and how those resource could be better used on other projects.  We could also argue that Western use of technology is also mentally destructive just look at how social media like TikTok and Twitter has errored attention spans and has caused mental illness.

One of the biggest reasons why technology will be our destruction is because there are limited resources. We have relied on technology like computers, robots, nonrenewable resource-based technology so much that many have forgotten how live life without them or never did to begin with.  But the liberal order never seriously thought about limited resources and how to deal with resource depilation or more particularly peak oil. Even with the devolvement of technologies such as solar and electricity still rely heavily on oil. Now we are still far from peak oil but we have begun see for first time in America how some resources have become scarce or at least more expensive due to limits of resources and reliant on resources from other countries that have become more difficult to rely on due to pandemic and war in Ukraine that has probably destroyed liberal economic globalism for good.  Due to short-term thinking of the international market that thought it would be better to make and buy products and resources from other countries because it was cheaper.

I am not saying that all technology is bad or that we should abandon technology. After all many of you will be reading this on some type of technological device. Not to mention I typed this out on my computer and did some of my research on this subject through the internet. What I am saying though is that we need use technology more wisely and understand limits. Not just limits on resources but their limits on life and time, and we need use that time and resources more wisely so that it can benefit future generations. We should also understand that we should limit our own personal desires in exchange for commitment and responsibilities that will build not only pollical movements but also families and communities. In other words, we should use technology and economic resources in ways that will benefit families and traditional values in the long term. Along with to find ways to be able sustain society when we finally reach peak oil and began to suffer technological decline. One of these ways is through the return of local production of things such as food and clothes.  Along with the revival of local community institutions that has help with resources and spiritual guidance when the community has fallen on hard times such as the Church.

What also stop this change from happening is of course is that it is radically different from the modern global liberal order and the corporations and liberals would be ones to loss out. Having their ideology and organizational structure completely thrown out. So, the Liberal order has every reason to be against this change. When it comes to the average person, we see they maybe have sympathy to some of our ideas but for most part they do not pay attention to them at all due the abundance of material wealth. This bought off the working class and has made them complacent or in state of comfortism as Marxist Ernst Niekisch calls it, which was probably began in the 1950s when Niekisch wrote on the matter. However, as class and cultural divides has continued to grow and more recently with the Covid Pandemic and Russian Ukraine War has made for the first time were resources and supplies are becoming scarce. Not to mention these last 3 years has accelerated the class and cultural divides that had been growing for decades. This has now finally started to shake Americans out of their state of Comfortism and look for alternatives to the modern world. What the American working-class needs is not nostalgia for some past time but the lessons and the positive values of the past so that we do not fall down a similar hole in the future.

Sources

Globalization In The 1950s and Prior 

Strange Death of Marxism by Paul Gottfried

Declaration of Universal Human Rights by Elanor Roosevelt

Free Trade Fallacy by Michael Lind

Family Life

Haven in Heartless World The Family Besieged by Christopher Lasch

The Conservative Intellectuals take on the 1950s

Ill Take My Stand by the Southern Agrarians

Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver

The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk

God and Man at Yale by William F. Buckley https://isi.org/modern-age/god-and-man-at-yale-at-70-a-new-introduction/

The Managerial Revolution by James Burnham \

The Quest For Community by Robert Nisbet

A Future with Limits

Living in the Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler

Man and Technics by Oswald Spengler

Americanism and Comfortism by Ernst Niekisch

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7 thoughts on “The Problem with 1950s Nostalgia

  1. Albino Squirrel,

    Yes, Franco’s Spain and Pinochet’s Chile are examples of countries that tried to apply an Illiberal Capitalism at one point, only to yield Liberal Capitalism. In Franco’s case, National Syndicalism did not receive a proper chance to develop into an ideology that could stand on its own during the Cold War. Speaking of non-Neoliberal applications of Technology, Chile was also notable for its experiments in Automation-Type Economic Planning (ATEP) through Project Cybersyn. While dated by contemporary standards, its basic fundamental principles remains relevant for anyone interested in envisioning a “National Intranet,” a nationalized computer network on sovereign and legal grounds, not just technical or economic.

    Make no mistake, I do in fact recognize the importance of maintaining a balance between the Economic Planners that oversee a steel mill for instance and the people who run and operate their own Cooperatives and Small Businesses. In fact, a “VCS Economy” in practice should be split between State, Social, Student, and Foreign Enterprises, relying on its own distinct interpretations of Property Rights. Today’s Marxist-Leninist economic discourse, recognizing the fundamental flaws of Soviet-Type Economic Planning (STEP), has either favored Market Socialism (“Worker’s Self-Management”) or a democratized type of economic planning. The former involves the workers controlling and planning for their Enterprises, whereas the latter involves planning at the most local political level under a functioning Council Democracy. We certainly have yet to see if both models will serve as viable models for the 21st century.

    Speaking of “peak oil,” a Socialist Planned/Command Economy would find that to be more of a blessing in disguise. For one thing, peak oil will provide its Council State with a newfound Intent to invest in alternative energies. Not wind, solar, hydroelectric, or geothermal, but a “Zero-Carbon Synthetic Fuel” converted from already existing carbon emissions in the atmosphere. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but there have been efforts over the past two decades to develop it. My argument in favor of “Zero-Carbon Synthetic Fuel,” in addition to environmental considerations, is based on the idea that the Socialist Nation should be autarkic when it comes to its energy needs. It should neither be export-dependent like the Soviet Union nor import-dependent like Mainland China.

    Based on the current literature and ongoing experiments, a “Zero-Carbon Synthetic Fuel” is feasible, and a Socialist Nation has a better chance at implementing it. The real challenge is how to design the Technology required for large-scale production for even a small nation. Everything else, like the competition from other fuel sources or the finding ways to mitigate the high costs of large-scale production, is secondary to the need to develop the Technology.

    The Technology needs to be able to introduce an entire production and distribution system that best demonstrates our aforementioned balance between central planning and localized production. It would involve capturing carbon emissions created from every building and converting them into fuel at specialized facilities elsewhere. A new-old Guild System could even be reintroduced to implement the Technology at the local level. While that may seem like a daunting task, let us not forget that people around the turn of the 20th century were also thinking the same thing about running water and electricity.

    Signed,
    -DAH

    Like

  2. Albino Squirrel,

    There is a WordPress Blog literally devoted to the 1950s nostalgia that you criticized throughout this article. Sally Edelstein, the authoress of “Envisioning the American Dream,” devoted several articles on her Blog about 1950s nostalgia and how it was made possible by what I had describing throughout “The Third Place” as that synthesis between “Production for Profit” and “Production for Utility.” I discovered Edelstein’s Blog around the same time I was writing “The Third Place,” which is significant because I was writing about the topics, she covered but from the standpoint of the Work-Standard. In an ARPLAN post from a few months back, where I spoke to Bogumil about Pan-Germanic Socialism’s approaches to housing and urban planning, I mentioned how the following posts were already being subjected to scrutiny by Rudolf Jung in “Der nationale Sozialismus (2nd Ed.)”:

    A Blueprint for the Middle Class: https://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2012/09/24/a-blueprint-for-the-middle-class/

    A Soaring Economy: https://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2013/09/26/a-soaring-economy-2/

    In Praise of the Small Businessman: https://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2014/11/28/in-praise-of-the-small-businessman/

    Plugged into the American Dream: https://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2014/09/25/plugged-into-the-american-dream/

    The Gold Standard for the American Dream: https://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2015/12/17/the-gold-standard-for-the-american-dream/

    Feel free to browse those posts if you are interested. I say that because a lot of what Edelstein wrote in the preceding posts can be scrutinized from the perspectives of those involved in architectural design, urban planning, mass communications, and financial technology fields. Everything gave credence to my suspicions that the Bretton Woods System in particular was what created that false semblance of prosperity in the 1950s and 1960s. After all, it is very peculiar to know that American perceptions of this faux-prosperity’s end neatly coincides with the Death of Bretton Woods under the Nixon Presidency.

    I have levied my own criticisms of the Jeffersonian conception of American Suburbia before in “The Third Place,” specifically in “Training for Political-Economic Statecraft (Pt. II of II),” “Are There Two American Dreams” and “The Shopping Mall and American Suburbia.” My conclusions in those Entries is that the Jeffersonians decided on their own accord that American wartime economic activities should be converted to peacetime ones in order to restart the US economy. They did not want a repeat of the economic downturn that occurred towards the end of the 1910s. Thus, the sort of Producerism and Consumerism associated with 1950s went on to be justified as propaganda, to convince Americans that Jeffersonianism–American Liberal Capitalism–is superior to anything out of the Soviet Union, the German Reich, Maoist China, Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, and so on.

    Of course, there was, to use Liberal Capitalist ideological language, an “Unintended Consequence” to promoting such propaganda and taking them too literally. You cited the degradation of American social, cultural and communal norms. Playing devil’s advocate in “The Third Place,” I argued that the 1960s Counterculture which exploded throughout the West was initially a genuine reaction to the Producerism and Consumerism 1950s, only to be later subverted and taken over by the Jeffersonians, who have gone on to create the Woke Capitalism that is now on full display nowadays. The problem with the Counterculture was that they did not realize that what they were rebelling against is in fact the same thing that Conservative and Socialist movements have been opposing prior to the 1960s. That is the most obvious one.

    Another issue, which you also somewhat mentioned in reference to the technological angle, has been environmental degradation. The rise of American Suburbia has been rather spontaneously wasteful and disorganized, yet boring and dreary at the same time. So much so that it is understandable for somebody like Charles L. Marohn Jr. of Strong Towns to express his own criticisms about the long-term financial insolvency and architectural impracticality of sustaining American Suburbia.

    The problem that I see with Technology is that people oftentimes assume that Technology and the people who wield it are neutral political forces. In fact, I have entertained some credible suspicions that Technology can be designed in such a way that it can be used as vehicles to convey specific ideologies. If somebody like a Friedrich von Hayek could write The De-Nationalization of Money to justify what would later become Cryptocurrencies or a Milton Friedman could advocate for a “Negative Income Tax” that later became reconceptualized as Universal Basic Income (UBI), surely somebody will come along and envisage Technologies adhering to other ideologies?

    Seeing how your description of Technology was in reference to Spengler’s Man and Technics, we should never forget that Spengler also understood the etymology of Technology as being derived from “technique” which is why he chose to refer to Technology as “Technics.” What he was trying to point out is that a given Technology is only just one way of doing something. Even Jünger (both Ernst and his brother, Friedrich Georg), Schmitt, Heidegger and Arendt of all people realized that implication within their own works in relation to Technology.

    The problem that I notice with people not being interested in Conservative Socialism depends on what the “Conservatism” and the “Socialism” have to offer. Is the “Conservatism” a malevolent to draw the Proletariat toward the development of an “Illiberal Capitalism,” which is what the Political Left is constantly about when they misidentify it as “fascism?” Are we basing it on an earlier version or are we blazing the path toward a new Revolutionary Conservatism? Has the “Socialism” learned from the mistakes of the past century and has it found a Financial Technology (Fintech) to sustain all of its ambitious undertakings?

    Signed,
    -DAH

    Like

    1. Thank you for the response I will definitionally check the websites you mentioned. I remember reading one of your articles on technology right after I publish this and I agree that technology can be made with social and political end goals in mind. I am glad we came to similar conclusion on the issue. Now regarding your last question I would say a Revolutionary Conservatism is the way forward as illiberal capitalism will just devolve back into liberal capitalism eventually. Good examples being Franco Spain and Pinochet Chile. On socialism I believe it can be if socialists abandons the ideas of historical progress and other forms of utopian thinking like end of history and classless society. Socialism also needs to have a health balance of local production and centralize planning. Along with being pragmatic about issues such as small businesses and state industries. I think the main issue is how will a socialist economy mange a resource collapse like peak oil. Personally I believe the best way to would be to localize production through local guilds were the average person learns how to make basic items that their community needs. I am of course open to other ideas as well.

      Signed,
      -AS

      Like

  3. Albino Squirrel,

    Yes, Franco’s Spain and Pinochet’s Chile are examples of countries that tried to apply an Illiberal Capitalism at one point, only to yield Liberal Capitalism. In Franco’s case, National Syndicalism did not receive a proper chance to develop into an ideology that could stand on its own during the Cold War. Speaking of non-Neoliberal applications of Technology, Chile was also notable for its experiments in Automation-Type Economic Planning (ATEP) through Project Cybersyn. While dated by contemporary standards, its basic fundamental principles remain relevant for anyone interested in envisioning a “National Intranet,” a nationalized computer network on sovereign and legal grounds, not just technical or economic.

    Make no mistake, I do in fact recognize the importance of maintaining a balance between the Economic Planners that oversee a steel mill for instance and the people who run and operate their own Cooperatives and Small Businesses. In fact, a “VCS Economy” in practice should be split between State, Social, Student, and Foreign Enterprises, relying on its own distinct interpretations of Property Rights. Today’s Marxist-Leninist economic discourse, recognizing the fundamental flaws of Soviet-Type Economic Planning (STEP), has either favored Market Socialism (“Worker’s Self-Management”) or a democratized type of economic planning. The former involves the workers controlling and planning for their Enterprises, whereas the latter involves planning at the most local political level under a functioning Council Democracy. We certainly have yet to see if both models will serve as viable models for the 21st century.

    Speaking of “peak oil,” a Socialist Planned/Command Economy would find that to be more of a blessing in disguise. For one thing, peak oil will provide its Council State with a newfound Intent to invest in alternative energies. Not wind, solar, hydroelectric, or geothermal, but a “Zero-Carbon Synthetic Fuel” converted from already existing carbon emissions in the atmosphere. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but there have been efforts over the past two decades to develop it. My argument in favor of “Zero-Carbon Synthetic Fuel,” in addition to environmental considerations, is based on the idea that the Socialist Nation should be autarkic when it comes to its energy needs. It should neither be export-dependent like the Soviet Union nor import-dependent like Mainland China.

    Based on the current literature and ongoing experiments, a “Zero-Carbon Synthetic Fuel” is feasible, and a Socialist Nation has a better chance at implementing it. The real challenge is how to design the Technology required for large-scale production for even a small nation. Everything else, like the competition from other fuel sources or the finding ways to mitigate the high costs of large-scale production, is secondary to the need to develop the Technology.

    The Technology needs to be able to introduce an entire production and distribution system that best demonstrates our aforementioned balance between central planning and localized production. It would involve capturing carbon emissions created from every building and converting them into fuel at specialized facilities elsewhere. A new-old Guild System could even be reintroduced to implement the Technology at the local level. While that may seem like a daunting task, let us not forget that people around the turn of the 20th century were also thinking the same thing about running water and electricity.

    Signed,
    -DAH

    Liked by 1 person

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