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    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski on Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:49 am

    Interested to know opinion of posters, about military dictatorships. Under what circumstances, if any can they be justified. Can there be any rules for a military dictatorship. Looking at wiki list of military dictatorships, looks like democracies may be a historical abnormality. And the natural order, may be one of dictatorships. But can a military dictatorship be neutral. How should it rule. Should old laws be kept or enforced........

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_dictatorship
    starman
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    Post  starman on Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:48 am

    nomadski wrote:Interested to know opinion of posters, about military dictatorships. Under what circumstances, if any can they be justified. Can there be any rules for a military dictatorship. Looking at wiki list of military dictatorships, looks like democracies may be a historical abnormality. And the natural order, may be one of dictatorships. But can a military dictatorship be neutral. How should it rule. Should old laws be kept or enforced........

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_dictatorship

    Certainly democracy has been, historically, by far the exception not the rule. A military coup and dictatorship is justifiable IMO if monarchical or democratic government is unable to deal with critical problems or serve the national interest.
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    Post  nomadski on Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:37 pm


    Maybe you are right. I used to think about the rules of kingship. There were some rules, in some places, in the past. And we do know of various democratic forms. But there seems to be no rules for the military . Some military remove, functioning governments. By coup. Left or Right wing coups. Some military takeovers seem to fill the gap left by non functioning civil government. I do not agree with coups. But what of non functioning civil government. What should military do? When can military decide, that it should take over? Is it not best left to civilian population to sort it out? So what if Parliament shuts down? Or police unable to cope? Let the population suffer the consequences of their failour. And form new government......?

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    Post  starman on Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:07 pm

    nomadski wrote:
    Maybe you are right. I used to think about the rules of kingship. There were some rules, in  some places, in the past. And we do know of various democratic forms. But there seems to be no rules for  the military . Some military remove, functioning governments. By coup. Left or Right wing coups. Some military takeovers seem to fill the gap left by non functioning civil government.  I do not agree with coups. But what of non functioning civil government. What should military do?  When can military decide, that it should take over?  Is it not best left to civilian population to sort it out?  So what if Parliament shuts down?  Or police unable to cope? Let the population suffer the consequences of their failour. And form new government......?

    The civilian population can (theoretically!) sort it out through elected representatives. But they are hamstrung by constituents or public opinion. The fundamental problem is that relatively few people really understand a country's problems, or they consider their personal interests more important than the well-being of the State or environment. Therefore it's often highly improbable that the masses will "sort it out" properly. Also, in an emergence there's no time for that. The military can furnish immediate leadership with the power to act quickly and decisively.
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    Post  nomadski on Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:29 pm

    Sorting the problem out properly, is what I am thinking about.  The military is no more nor less likely to know what do, in an emergency. They are experts in defending from external enemy. How are they going to help the civilian population?

    To my mind,  there is little difficulty in understanding about what a functioning state looks like. It is where laws are made and applied. Where there is safety and security. But I think it is much harder to decide what a non functioning state or situation is. One where the military might intervene. But it must be in a situation, where laws are not made or applied. Where there is no safety or security. To the point that a country fails to be viable. Where it can be attacked externally or internally.

    In this situation, then the military can take on the jobs of civilian authority. But military is not fit to make laws. But it is fit to keep and apply laws. It is also fit to keep safety and security. But problem comes up, of what laws apply in emergency. During social upheaval and turmoil. Where large section of society disagrees with such laws.

    If military rule, applied old laws, then it will antagonise a part of the population. And if it gave in to demands of the opposition, then again it aggrevates the pro- government factions. And it will have to fight the population in both cases . So I think in this emergency situation, it must resort to applying some other standard. But what rules are these? How can the military be decisive, as you say?
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:59 am

    The west prefers military dictatorships... easier to deal with... consistent... normally don't result in economic growth or development of the country so they remain dependent... if given the choice the US would prefer all of central and south america be a military dictatorship... they have certainly supported enough of them... actually very useful when the alternative is communist or socialist. Can't trust a government to do as it is told when it actually cares about its people... Guano wouldn't care... Maduro does and that is why he has to go.

    Putin also has to go, I am sure the west would prefer a stupid inept military regime in power in Russia... it would mean economically it would not be a threat any more so over time the costs of competing militarily with the west will lower the standard of living to the point where they are no longer competitive...
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    Post  nomadski on Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:49 am


    Agree. The Liberal capitalism prevailing today, likes nothing more than to enrich itself and a minority in power in the underdeveloped ( underkept) world. Absolute power, in the hands of a strongman, or the unelected or unpopular elite, provides the perfect environment for capitalistic growth and needs democratic suppression. But according to these historic examples, after this period of economic enrichment, society moves forward with democratic progress.

    But my concern, is with what the role of the military should be. Ideally speaking. In practice, they may like most others who are bribed or coerced, protect interests of the minority and take sides. Through oppressive measures against the resentful population. The nation or the majority then paying for their excess and enrichment. But how should a moral military respond, in times of uncertainty?

    https://www.businessinsider.com/most-succesful-dictators-2011-6?r=US&IR=T#some-leaders-dont-know-when-to-say-goodbye-14

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    Post  starman on Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:02 pm

    nomadski wrote:Sorting the problem out properly, is what I am thinking about.  The military is no more nor less likely to know what do, in an emergency. They are experts in defending from external enemy. How are they going to help the civilian population?

    Often the problem is not knowing what to do, but lack of power to do it. That's what bedevils US democracy and others. Any fool can see the solution to deficits is to cut spending but try to get elected by cutting massive social spending--much of it for people in the last year of their lives. Likewise cutting greenhouse emissions, however necessary, is too unpopular to be easy or possible in a democracy.
    Of course authoritarian or military rule will antagonize a large part of the population, if its solutions are unpopular. But the military has the bulk of the firepower, and can get its way. Look at Tianamen. A military regime or one with military backing can make short work of civilian opposition. We've both noted how relatively common military dictatorships are, despite lack of much popular appeal.
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    Post  nomadski on Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:49 pm

    Agree that they are very common. In the absence of democratic and national governments, people settle for a strong unitary leadership. Be it military or otherwise. BTW, the old Kings were also heads of the military. Or the top general. So we are effectively talking about chiefdom or monarchy or tribal leadership. Or military Council.

    And I think that, even an absolute ruler, needs the consent of his army and large portion of population to rule. Or they get deposed. So they must rule, according to some guidelines or principles. But their rule, tends to be inefficient. Since they are the only ones deciding.  This article is about military rule in Nigeria. Can a strong military leader, avoid such problems?


    https://nigerianinfopedia.com.ng/disadvantages-of-military-rule-in-nigeria/

    And here an article points to problems emerging from dictatorships. Not all can do it.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/6-ways-a-country-could-benefit-from-a-military-coup-2016-8%3famp

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    Post  starman on Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:49 am

    nomadski wrote:
    And I think that, even an absolute ruler, needs the consent of his army and large portion of population to rule. Or they get deposed.

    Of course.

    So they must rule, according to some guidelines or principles.

    Serving the best interests of the State, or a great cause.


    But their rule, tends to be inefficient. Since they are the only ones deciding.

    Any ruler should be receptive to expert advice.
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    Post  nomadski on Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:07 pm

    For an absolute ruler to succeed, there needs to be a huge number of favourable conditions to exist in the same place or mind . A few external factors were mentioned in the previous link . I think that it is simply too much to realistically expect a single person or small group to be able to do this. Even the lack of a single factor, can lead to failour.

    Take for example, the very hostile elements that exist in disordered societies. This being necessarily the condition allowing for military dictatorships. These elements pervade all aspects of society. Even the military itself. And the military Council , under such conditions,  however well intentioned and neutral , can not make good and neutral decisions. He is restrained and expedient to prevailing political and factional forces. Forever handicapped. Military dictatorships don't work, because the society in which they form, also doesn't work.  It is like saying that a car can steer well, without an engine!
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    Post  starman on Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:56 pm

    nomadski wrote:
    Military dictatorships don't work, because the society in which they form, also doesn't work.

    The raisin d'être of a dictatorship is to mitigate the effects of factionalism and politics. True, in cases they may be able to do only marginally better but under democracy the country could fly apart like the USSR when communism collapsed. There could be a failed state, dominated by local mafias and warlords, with no regard whatever for anything but personal aggrandizement.
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    Post  nomadski on Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:26 am

    We could go into why the Soviet system failed. But socialism is a limited form of Democracy . A workers Democracy. But I think that even in  Socialist thinking, that stages exist in Democratic development. The first stage is supposed to be a capitalist Democracy.  A limited form also.

    The problem I think with these predictions, is that they may not be accurate. Again we try to model the environment or the world , without taking into account many factors, by lack of observation or knowledge. Then errors come up.

    Who would have thought , two hundred years ago, that humans would face extinction by environmental collapse?  That they may not enter into a workers socialist utopia, or a Christian heaven or Muslim paradise or Shangriladida? Maybe the future of humanity is more disturbing and unexpected. Maybe humanity will evolve into different species. Like the predictions, in the time machine.

    https://youtu.be/5_S4eGrczdQ

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    Post  starman on Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:59 am

    nomadski wrote:We could go into why the Soviet system failed.

    Because of socialism not dictatorship. China turned capitalist, to a considerable degree, yet retained authoritarianism and is doing OK.

    Who would have thought , two hundred years ago, that humans would face extinction by environmental collapse?

    Malthus predicted population growth would outstrip food production. I don't think the environment would've been in great shape at that stage.

    That they may not enter into a workers socialist utopia, or a Christian heaven or Muslim paradise or Shangriladida?

    There were atheists two centuries ago and few in the West expected a socialist utopia.


    Maybe the future of humanity is more disturbing and unexpected. Maybe humanity will evolve into different species. Like the predictions, in the time machine.

    Current humanity may be replaced by AI, cyborgs etc.
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    Post  nomadski on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:00 pm

    Well, we seem to agree that the future could be quite unexpected. We can not predict it. Many different predictions could come true. And maybe as likely as any other. But why is this important?  I think if we do not know, where we are going, then how can we prepare for the trip? It all becomes a bit academic.

    But if I was a military man, and the Zombie apocalypse happened. Then I think I have to shoot all the Zombies first. Then collect all the uninfected together. Make sure there is water supply and agriculture. And keep everyone alive. So in an emergency, only those, who are armed and killing and eating civilians must be exterminated. This is the priority. Not politics.

    Once there is no Zombies left, then I leave it to the civilians to sort it out. The only criteria that I could have, is to stop the violence. And any zombification of society. That means no bias about ideology or religion. Nothing to do with army or airforce.......just save their bodies. In healthy condition.


    https://youtu.be/SzmtPYfCyPo

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    Post  starman on Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:45 pm

    nomadski wrote:Well, we seem to agree that the future could be quite unexpected. We can not predict it. Many different predictions could come true. And maybe as likely as any other. But why is this important?  I think if we do not know, where we are going, then how can we prepare for the trip? It all becomes a bit academic.

    I think a breakdown of US democracy, which has long been coming, will ultimately happen. Many perceive a parallel between the US and Ancient Rome. I think we're at a stage of history comparable to the 1st century BCE, when the obsolete Republic just had to go.
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    Post  Aristide on Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:11 pm

    GarryB wrote:The west prefers military dictatorships... easier to deal with... consistent... normally don't result in economic growth or development of the country so they remain dependent... if given the choice the US would prefer all of central and south america be a military dictatorship... they have certainly supported enough of them... actually very useful when the alternative is communist or socialist. Can't trust a government to do as it is told when it actually cares about its people... Guano wouldn't care... Maduro does and that is why he has to go.

    Putin also has to go, I am sure the west would prefer a stupid inept military regime in power in Russia... it would mean economically it would not be a threat any more so over time the costs of competing militarily with the west will lower the standard of living to the point where they are no longer competitive...

    ha ha ha ha ha

    Some fun facts for you. MAduro gives a shit for his people. While they starve, he flies Dubai and eats luxury steaks

    Military dictatorship ?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcf-images.us-east-1.prod.boltdns.net%2Fv1%2Fstatic%2F5615998040001%2Fd0537720-5643-4b54-a960-082f70388a16%2F68ab46e8-4e4e-4fa8-ac16-3a4d7d09b69d%2F1280x720%2Fmatch%2Fimage
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:49 am

    He has built a lot of schools and hospitals and housing for the homeless... that is why they supported him against the illegal and totally immoral coup attempt from the corrupt west.

    He is the president of a country... should he stave too?

    The reason his oil rich country is having financial problems is the natural combination of low price for oil and western economic embargo/siege... he is not responsible for either... so why should he suffer?

    If his people thought he was screwing them over they could easily have overthrown him multiple times... I am sure the US would be handing out cookies and blank cheques to anyone who stepped up to do it... why are they not protesting like they do in France or the US because their governments don't give a shit about them or their problems?
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    Post  higurashihougi on Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:14 pm

    nomadski wrote:We could go into why the Soviet system failed.

    The Soviet system failed when the class of bureaucrat officials gained more authoritative power and began to remove the role of the grassroot Soviets out of the governing affairs. The common workers lost the access to the government affairs, no longer be able to intervene in the governing and management affairs. Therefore the collective ownership became nominal only, the bureaucrat officials nearly took all the management, distribution and planning works and the common workers became the wage labourers for the Soviet state.

    The last step was done in 1991, that was the complete destruction of abovementioned nominal collective ownership because, although nominal, this collective system still prevent the full control and ownership the bureaucrat officials over state properties. As capitalism has been legitimized in the SNG countries, nothing except themselves can stop the bureaucrat officials to appropriate the state properties and turned themselves into new capitalists.

    Tell you a secret: don't tell any of these things to either the social democrats or the conservatives in the Western countries. Because you will be hunted down by both of them. The right wing parties conservatives the individual capitalists and the social democrats represent the bureaucrat officials, white-collar workers and the intelligentsia who based their economic power on the institutional authorities. As you can see both of them are the people who want to appropriate the means of production for only themselves and prevent the working class from taking control of the society.

    nomadski wrote:But socialism is a limited form of Democracy . A workers Democracy. But I think that even in  Socialist thinking, that stages exist in Democratic development. The first stage is supposed to be a capitalist Democracy.  A limited form also.

    The working class is the bulk of the society and the ones who feed the society. Why the democracy for workers is "limited" ? I see that is a huge advance. Slaveowners, feudal, and bourgeoisie democracies are the democracies of the minority and they enforce the domination of the minority exploiters on the exploited majority. Meanwhile workingmen democracy serve the domination of the majority and it aims to eradicate exploitation once and for all.

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    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski on Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:21 am

    Agree that a workers democracy is more democratic than an owners democracy. But  in an owners democracy, the guiding light are the capitalists. They tell everyone to be capitalists. Even all the workers. They must also become slumdog millionares. But not all can be. Or will be. In a workers democracy, the guiding light are the communists. They tell everyone to be communists. Even all the capitalists. They must all wear austere decor. But not all can be or will be beautifully austere.

    The nature of the world, is such that, there is no permanent or absolute uniformity. There can be no permanent equal environments. No indefinetly equal or identical persons or situations. Only degrees of permanence with periods of turmoil . In human society now , there are groups and classes and individuals. Some stick to more exploitative ways. Some do not. It is almost part of their nature.

    I , for example, was forced by circumstance to act in more exploitative ways. Like some others. To step on others to get ahead. To save my neck. But every time, I had problems with this. I had the idea in my head. Why should I not do it ? If others do it?  But when it came to it, I could not do it. But some others can. And will do it.

    This is because we are all different. But most are destructive. Will always be different. With different outlooks. But the problem is I think, that those who eat the flesh of their brothers to get fat. Must I think face the consequences of their own actions. Pay the cost for the destruction they cause. And not make others pay the cost of their misdeeds.

    So progress is slow. But I think the best that can be done, is to identify the exploiters. And have laws to force them to compensate for their excess. If we can ! But this may not be enough to save mankind. With the huge problems it faces. There was I think no reason that communism failed, other than the destructive nature of most  humans. Not because it was not yet time for it. But because it will never be time for it.

    Therefore humanity faces extinction. Since the best and only  chance for stability and order and communism failed. And humanity can not live in community. In balance with nature. With science. Then it will die out. Replaced by another race of creature or people. That do have a chance to live in accordance with nature. Live among diverse community in peace. In stability and greater if not eternal permanence. I do really believe this.
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    Post  flamming_python on Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:53 am

    Indeed the USSR ended up suffering the fate of the 'degenerated workers state' penned by Trotsky in the 30s. I really recommend the book 'The Revolution Betrayed'. Apart from its chapter on family and relationships; that's just a matter of Trotsky's opinion and has little analysis going for it.

    Essentially the condition where it is not the dictatorship of the proletariat, but the dictatorship of the bureaucracy over the proletariat
    Sooner or later the bureaucratic caste will grow tired of the privileges they are afforded while in office, and will seek to legitimize their personal hold over property.

    In the USSR this was a slow build-up starting from the 70s or so, with various socialist bureaucrats installing themselves into republics like Azerbaijan and Georgia and building up their own power base there to remain seated. The centre, even if it wanted otherwise, gradually had to reckon with the interests of regional bureaucratic elites.
    It happened in the centre too.
    Lenin was a true socialist. Stalin, while a Napeoleonic Emperor, was a true socialist as well but decided that only he knew best and rival opinions were seldom tolerated, and was not able to manage the bureaucratic pyramid developing under him as he was reliant on these people himself.
    The rest after that were basically just careerists who had climbed to the top of the ladder with a mixture of ability and court intrigue, through the stiff structure that Stalin had created; because Stalin was apparently sure that he'd live forever.
    Apparently Brezhnev even admitted in private in the 70s that Marxism was a load of hogwash, or some such.
    By the 80s it was clear that reform had to be made because state planning had reached some limits. The elites increasingly started to turn to Western advisers and well-wishers, while the economy faltered due to poor reforms and an over-reliance on oil revenues; the price of which had collapsed. With a shrinking pool of resources, all the would be elites started fighting over it - much as a pack of wolves fighting over a single slain deer as opposed to a bunch of them that they can all kill and leave each other alone to eat. And eventually it was everyone for themselves, already increasing nationalism and discontent had started to be adopted and further fanned by elites and officials eager to ride the wave and assume control over their own fiefdoms, and so on.

    In regards to the Soviets; I don't think there was any real democracy through them at any time after Lenin. It was yet another managed power structure, with strict political correctness ideological filtering for any issue made to it. People who insisted on voicing opinions contrary to the ideology or current system were imprisoned or lost their jobs, instead of being able to express their views and engage in dialectic with socialist officials.
    In the Baltic States dissenters ended up writing to human rights organizations over their fears of russification, instead of being able to take it up with their local Soviet and work out a compromise.
    And this lack of worker's democracy killed the whole thing too. It made everyone cynical in regards to the system, what the Soviet Union claimed to stand for, and how it actually worked in practice.
    There wasn't really a Marxist economy in the USSR either; rather a planned one; which prevented workers from building up wealth on the basis of parity off of profitable enterprises.

    People are nostalgic for the Soviet Union now; because what we have now is worse in a lot of criteria. The USSR had its successes but it really did need radical reform and leadership. It didn't get it.

    China is essentially in the same boat. It keeps to some principles of Marxism, tries to develop its ideology and system by claiming an adherence to it.
    In reality in the 70s it had its own people coming to power that told everyone to stop this revolutionary rubbish, and started to move towards capitalism
    The mix of capitalism, centralization, authoritarian control and planned economy, mixed in with some socialist principles and meritocratic structures - has been working very well for what concerns the economy.
    But should a new socialist state actually be established in Russia or some other major country that adheres to Marxist economic principles and gives people's democracy and at least partial control of the economy to the workers; then China will probably move to readopting its old national symbols again and get rid of the vestiges of socialism in the country.
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    Post  nomadski on Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:20 pm

    Interesting what you say. I keep thinking that capitalism works like a slow cancer. And socialism works like the wings of Icarus. I think progress is possible, but too slow for most human societies.

    Essentially what you describe, is the lack of adherence by the public to certain ideas of common ownership and social responsibility and cohesion and true universal democracy. I think, that the public had every opportunity to move in a positive direction. But as I said this lack of movement, was not because of lack of consciousness or understanding. Nor any material condition. But a selected path by some. Who were in potentially advantageous positions, to corrupt the system. Like a bad apple among many.

    I do not know about Chinese economic model. But in the initial stages, during capitalist growth, the economy seems to work. The problems pile up slowly. Cumulatively. Diminishing returns. It is in the nature of capitalism. And one can derive it's demise a priori and by definition. I think that to justify capitalism as a yellow brick road, is wrong. This prediction is over optimistic. At the end of the rainbow, there is no pot of gold.  No developed economic capitalist state, for workers or population to take over. But a planet destroyed by over production and pollution and war. Collapse of human society.


    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus


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