Hollosi Information eXchange /HIX/
Copyright (C) HIX
Új cikk beküldése (a cikk tartalma az író felelőssége)
Megrendelés Lemondás
1 Re: Mezo"seg (mind)  31 sor     (cikkei)
2 Private fights - et tu, Eva? (mind)  26 sor     (cikkei)
3 Re: Orange blood (mind)  15 sor     (cikkei)
4 Re: Classical capitalist (was re:jargon) (mind)  75 sor     (cikkei)
5 Re: Literacy bias! (mind)  93 sor     (cikkei)
6 Re: Catching up (mind)  237 sor     (cikkei)
7 Re: Literacy bias! (mind)  80 sor     (cikkei)
8 Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind)  30 sor     (cikkei)
9 Re: Corresponding in Hungarian (mind)  47 sor     (cikkei)
10 Re: Literacy bias! (mind)  125 sor     (cikkei)
11 Re: Orange blood (mind)  9 sor     (cikkei)
12 Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind)  28 sor     (cikkei)
13 Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind)  96 sor     (cikkei)
14 Laborfalvy Benke csalad (mind)  16 sor     (cikkei)
15 Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind)  11 sor     (cikkei)
16 Re: The hotels and Horn (mind)  64 sor     (cikkei)

+ - Re: Mezo"seg (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

On Sat, 14 Jan 1995  wrote:

> Yes, Robert. It is called Partium. Eva BAlogh
There is an old Transylvanian saying: aki nem tud arabusul, ne beszeljen

The  Partium and the Mezoseg (Rom: Ci^mpie) are not the same area.
Partium was
the designation of those parts of Hungary proper, not ofhistoric
which in the 16th and 17th centuries were held by
the Transylvanian principality in a temporary capacity, with the intent
that they should eventually revert to the Crown. These "Parts" were
to Hungary in 1693, then again detached by the Habsburgs, who ruled that they
should revert back to the Crown. These "Parts" sere reattached
to Hungary in 1693, but again detached by the Habsburgs, who ruled
Transylvania separeately from Hungary. Historical details aside, we are
talking about parts of Hunyad, Arad, Szolnok-Doboka and Szilagy counties
(as they existed until 1918): Zarand (just north of Deva), and the area
around Szilagysomlyo, Zilah, Kovar, etc.

The Mezoseg, on the other hand, is a geographic region of historic
Transylvania, not a political subdivision: the meadowlands (hilly, in
part marshy pastureland) stretches from Torda and Marosvasarhely
(Turda, Tirgu Mures), i.e., the rivers Aranyos and Maros, northwest toward
Kolozsvar (Cluj) and Szamosujvar (Gherla), and north toward Beszterce
(Bistrit,a) and Des.

L. J. Elteto
+ - Private fights - et tu, Eva? (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Can someone tell me why some people can't resist dragging their private
arguments from another forum to this one?  I am especially disheartened when
someone of Eva Balogh's stature does this - not to mention the fact that she
did it in Hungarian, which not everyone here can understand.  Having too thin
a skin and imagining an ethnic slur in some statements where there may be
none may lead otherwise levelheaded and clearthinking people to quoting out
of context and accusing others, and taking public some private argument.


>Felado : Eva S. Balogh
>E-mail : 
>Temakor: Kerdes Pellionisz Andrastol ( 9 sor )
>Idopont: Thu Jan  5 16:20:58 EST 1995 HUNGARY #186
>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

>Pellionisz Andras "A konzervativ hatalomatvetel pontos leirasa" c.
>irasabantalaltam ezt a mondatot

>>O"sneokonzervativ libik jobbra-balra el [Becsbe/New Yorkba], >>kifosztott
magyar marad.

>Jol ertem, hogy az o"sneokonzervativ libik nem magyarok?

>Balogh Eva
+ - Re: Orange blood (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Jeliko writes:

J>Eva Durant defines:
E>> a westernised MacDonald freak.
J>Eva, I'll take a hamburger anyday rather than mutton with mint sauce.

When I saw the McDonald's on Vaci Utca ten years ago, and saw the
Hungarians standing in line for their big macks for twice the price of a
fekete and kre'mes (espresoso and napoleon [aproximate translation]) at the
bistro just down the street, I knew my homeland was doomed.  Give me the
mutton, it's real food at least!

+ - Re: Classical capitalist (was re:jargon) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Jeliko wrote' quoting me:

J>Tobor Benke writes:

My name is TIBOR!  If Americans or Canadians distort it or can't deal with
it I can forgive them for they know not what they do, but you should know
better and probably do.  I'm here for discussion, not ego tripping, and if
you want me to get off your list, just tell me, the internet is big enough,
I'll just shake the dust from my sandals and be down the road. (regu"l

TB>> Jeliko wrote on January 10:
J>> > the first ape
J>> >that had tools was a "classical capitalist"
TB>> No, no, no!  The first capitalist was the one who got someone else to
TB>> her/his tool, then took most of the product and paid the tool user a
TB>>little bit (enough so the poor bugger could be used again a nother day)
.  It's
TB>> important to keep our definitions straight, eh?
J>Let's take this ape, he .while spending time observing and "developing"
J>tool, he was not spending his time munching on babanas or hand digging
J>termites, thus he was somewhat hungrier maybe he was even weaker, maybe
J>was a she and due to having babies did not have the time to hand dig
J>termites. All of you "let's take awy from somebody else" types, assume
J>the "capitalist", through some miracle starts out with having enough
J>capital to start a business. Here, where most new businesses are started
J>(probably more than in the rest of the world put together) the first
J>who is "exploited" is the fellow starting the business. Rather than
J>or entertaining himself (and others!) he spends a lot of extra time
J>to build up capital, before he is capable of employing someone else. He
J>the same obligations to pay gas bills and mortgages as others. (I never
J>heard the gas company forgive payments because one is trying to build up
J>capital to start a business). Earnings from EXTRA work are the most
J>ways of building capital.

Unca' Karl refuted this  BS in his writings on "primitive accumulation"
more then a hundred years ago, and this has nothing to do with the success
or failure of the asiatic* despotic state known as the USSR.  Since then,
there has been much written on the topic, think of the history of the poll
tax in British East Africa or see _The Fur Trade in Canada_ by H.A. Innis,
(Who was a Canadian conservative economic historian and not just another
commie).  It occasionaly happens that capital is built up by savings and
astute investment and also by invention and luck, but in the vast majority
of cases, it is gained by robbery in one form or another, (Vide: Kennedy,
Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc.- they weren't called 'robber barons' for
nothin')  .  I've never taken anything that wasn't due me according to the
actual rules in effect, nor do I want anything but everyone off my back.

Anyway,  I was just trying to point to the correct definition in a humorous
way and said nothing about exploitation.  But speaking of exploitation,
self exploitation contributes just as much to alienation as exploiting
others, thus I think it is time we stopped encouraging it socially. (Check
out, "Dear Landlord" and "I Pity the Poor Immigrant" by Robert Zimmerman
(aka Bob Dylan).


*I am alluding to the asiatic mode of production and oriental despotism,
which I think is the true reason for the failure of actualy existing
socialism (cf: Konrad and Szelenyi  _The Intellectuals' Road to Class Power
in Eastern Europe_, which explains both that and the current clumsy efforts
by the pigs to wear shirts 'n ties and eat bacon with forks and knives).
+ - Re: Literacy bias! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Eva Balogh wrote:

E>Tibor Benke takes issue with me on East European backwardness:
T>>I am all for objectivity, but Eva seems to have a definite literacy
T>>Just who is backward ?   Can backwardness be objectively discerned in
T>>present or the past?
E>Yes. This is what I said, and yes, I have "literacy bias." All sorts of
E>biases too. For example, I would have been delighted if Hungary had the
E>of capital accumulation the Netherlands had in the seventeenth century,
E>England in the eighteenth century. And, I would have been also delighted
E>we had a corresponding culture flowering in Hungary. Just think of all
E>wonderful painters we could have had.

On the other hand I am glad that my forbears were not colonialists and
didn't become rich and spoiled from  robbing the poorer nations of the
world just because they were 'less civilized'  (when they were into
robbery, at least they did it just because they could, and they did it to
people who were richer , without hypocritical BS about bringing
Christianity or taking up the white man's burden).

E>This is one of those untenable,

Calling it 'untenable' does not prove it to be untenable (whatever you mean
by that) nor untrue.

>(and stupid, I am afraid), politically
>correct, pious nonsenses. Yes, Eastern Europe was behind Western Europe in
>every which way and we are still paying for it.

But how was Eastern Europe behind and how do you know?  What criteria are
you using and what makes those criteria more valid then if I, for example,
maintain that 17th century aboriginal Australian or  Tlinglit culture (in
what is now northern Vancouver Island) was the highest  ever because both
maintained their economies and ecologies in ballance.  What if in the long
term scheme of things, it turns out that what we call 'civilization' is an
evolutionary dead end?

It is true that I am cognitively challenged (which is no joke!).  But at
least I am not so arrogant that I think I know everything just because I
might be in posession of information that someone else might be missing.
The fact that the total knowledge of one person is greater then that of
another does not entail (a logical relationship) that the second person
might not know something that the first does not, nor that the first is
never wrong.   But even if one were to grant, for the sake of argument,
that one group's or individual's knowledge was more complete and true in
every way than that of another group or individual, that would still not
exclude the possibility that the less knowledgeable group or person  is not
superior with respect to some other characteristic, ethical sensibility

As for the epistemological distortion that literacy causes, I suggest you
glance at _The Bias of Communication_ by H.A. Innis to see how literacy
alters perception . (Innis was a conservative economic historian who very
methodicaly studied the economic development of Canada; after dealing with
the fur trade, the cod fishery, the lumber and shipbuilding industries,
and finally wheat- all the staple products of Canada - he turned to the
next staple, pulp and paper; his researches led him to the discovery of the
bias with respect to thinking of every form of storing and transporting

Calling me names does not disprove my suggestion that the culture of the
'honfoglalo' Hungarians was not neccessarily inferior.   Nor that their
knowledge was not destroyed by actually existing Christianity.  One need
not be a post-modernist (which I am not) nor 'politicaly correct'  (which I
am not ashamed to admit, I am - all is fair in love and war and rhethoric
and one must struggle for rhethorical space as much as for real space) to
dispute that Western Civilization may not be the greatest in every way.
American anthropologists disvovered a century ago that one cannot hope to
understand the culture of another if one assumes one's own superiority,
(Cf.: Boas).  The methodological cultural relativism they adopted proved
fruitful and remains the dominant perspective, though evolutionists are
mounting a comeback, how successful remains to be seen.  In the philosophy
of history (something you should probably check into - your historical  _ex
catedra_ statements so far do not indicate that you have considered the
subject in any depth ) the school of historicism (Ranke, Dilthey, etc.)
also showed that different historical periods have their charecteristic
forms of knowledge, which can never really be refuted completely.  Ah, so
much to learn, so little time!

Tibor Benke
+ - Re: Catching up (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Andras Kornai  wrote:

A>Laborfalvi Benke Tibor writes:
T>>       I respect Marx for being one of the three founders (with Max
T>> and Emile Durkheim) of the scientific study of society.

A>On this we agree.
T>> Marx's concept of 'science' [..] was more in tune with the German
T>> of "Wissenschaft" which acknowledges systematic thought about history,
T>> language and philosophy as capable of being 'scientific'

A>True but why do you find that attractive? If there is one thing that I
A>find really insufferable about Marx it's the constant Hegelisms,
A>the grandiose schemes, and the pathetic effort to try to be universal
A>and include everything while being ignorant of anything outside the
A>European tradition.
Hegel and Marx had their shortcomings and Eurocentrism and grandioseness
were certainly two.  But one can forgive it as a part of the Zeitgeist.
Nevertheless, their approach to history took both structure and process as
well as meaning into account, which in my view, is an improvement over the
'one damn thing after another' approach that some still favour.

T>> 2)  science does not consist of the body of
T>> true facts, but on the contrary, is a process of ascertaining reality
T>> constant trial and error through practice informed by theory - PRAXIS.

A>Again quite true, but strongly contradicting the first one, especially
A>when it comes to theories of society aiming at universality: where do
A>you find the replicable experiments?

There are many sciences which lack the possibility of experimentation
:paleoontology, astronomical cosmology, to name two.

T>>  As for his predictions, it seems to me, we will have to wait to see
T>> the capitalists will do when the next crisis hits after they
T>> the social safety net everywhere claiming that it is too expensive
T>> into profits, that is while the falling rate is still in effect).

A>As for his predictions, how come he completely failed to predict the
A>emergence of a capitalist system *with* a safety net? Engels described
A>terrible condition of the working class in England, but neither he nor
A>predicted that a broadly social-democratic system, in which the workers
A>not the capitalists) are the most important consumers, will emerge, or
A>the condition of the working class will in fact be far from terrible in a
A>hundred years. If I have to single out one social change as *the* most
A>important, it was the emergence of a broad middle class which completely
A>changed the harsh bipolar world of haves and have-nots that Marx based
A>theories on. Never mind global warming and ecological breakdown -- how
A>he completely failed to predict the emergence of the middle class?

It is true that workers are, for the present, fairly well off at least
those who still have jobs.  It is also true that there is a safety net, but
you find out how humiliating it is to use it and how many hidden catches
there are only when you are reduced to using it.  And what there is,  is no
thanks to capitalism as such, but a result of the social struggles in the
first part of the century, the union movement and workers political
demands.  Not one demand was granted out of the goodness of the heat of the
capitalists or the state.  Many heads had to be nocked together in the
"land of the free" before unions even gained legal recognition and the
prosperity only happened after WWII and then only for white men.   I am not
even sure that the very existence of actually exissting socialism didn't
have anything to do with it.  Now that communism is no danger, the labour
movement is under attack again - here in B.C. there is a real vicious
strike with scabs being escorted through the picket line by police and
stuff the like of which hasen't been seen since the 'thirties.  As for the
emergence of the middle class, it is an illusion.  There are small business
men and women who usually own some franchise business and work 70 hours a
week and the head office tells them when to go to the bathroom, there are
'proffessionals' and middle managers who are slowly getting squeezed  by
automation and down sizing, and finally there are the high seniority highly
paid skilled industrial workers who will be extinct after this generation
while the X-ers do McJobs 'till they are old.  And looked at in terms of
world capitalism and the global market, all three strata put together are
hardly enough to even consider.

T>> But _it is_ the eve of the Twenty-first Century and we do need new
T>> While the jury is out about Marx's critique of political economy,

A>I think this is way too charitable. The jury already came back in 1989.

The demise of actually existing socialism corroborates Marx rather then
refutes him.  It shows that socialism, defined as a historical social stage
rather then a utopia, must follow full capitalist development.  The area of
the former USSR had not even moved out of oriental despotism and the
asiatic mode of production at the time of the GOSR. One could argue that
the GOSR was necessary as a substitute for feudalism to create the
preconditions for capitalism. So the Jury is still out.  The real wages of
workers in the developed countries (The U.S. and Western Europe at any
rate) have already started to decline in accordance with what one would
expect in consequence of the "law of the falling rate of profit" (I read a
thing on Hix that said Audi built a factory in Gyo"r for 200 million marks
and it will employ 200 people, that's a million marks a job).  This and the
unemployment developing as a consequence of deindustrialization may bring
about exactly the situation Marx predicted.  On the other hand, world wide
ecological collapse might overtake the process.  It may also happen that
capitalism will colonize space and continue to expand indefinitely.  But
the jury is still out for now.

T>> It is clear that command economies work even less well then market

A>Yup. And dictatorship works even less well than democracy.
I dunno, according to all the free enterprisers Pinochet didn't do too
badly applying Freedman's reforms.  Of course the refugees I meet at La
Quena (A coffe house frequented by us slimy lefties) might tell a different
stories, even the padded coats could learn from the Generalissimo.

T>> IMHO, Market economies don't work either, else the state would have
T>> arisen independently in so many different places (Mesopotamia, Egypt,
T>> China, India, South East Asia, Central America, etc).

A>Are you seriously suggesting these states emerged as a response to the
A>excesses of free market economies?

Yes, I think the archeology shows that states arise  a considerable time
after large scale trade is detectable.  From economic anthropology we know
that there is a striving for predictability especialy when long range
travel is involved. (What? you wanna get five quamquats for a stick of
ironwood, when since my father's father's time three is what it was? We'll
see about that.)  In general, market relationships are heavily ritualized
and striving for stability is always present.  Eventualy things change and
disruptions occur.  More powerful actors will try to gain monopolies,
smaller actors will want the security of laws and standard measures.  And
the rest, as they say, is history.

>> Free markets never existed and cannot exist in principle because some
>> rules must exist to make a market possible

>Never in a "chemically pure" form, but then even dictatorship is hard
>to find in an absolutely pure form -- some decisions based on tradition,
>free will, etc. always remain. This is not to deny that markets need rules,
>as do any other form of social activity. But they need to be agreed upon by
>the players, who can (and often do) choose an enforcement mechanism other
>than a state.

No argument here.

>> and whatever rules are adopted always disadvantege some
>> players  (see Aesop's fable of the Fox and the Stork).

>Who are the players disadvantaged by the current rules of foreign exchange
>trading, those selling the peso or those buying? It takes quite some work
>(often the work of centuries) to come up with fair rules, but it seems to
>me that the current laws about renting an apartment are not particularly
>biased in favor of the renter nor in favor of the owner. How about the
>rules for lending money? Do you find them biased in favor of the lender,
>or in favor of the borrower? How about the rules for employing people?

You are setting up a false dillemma.  The one who looses on currency
speculation is the poor peasant who finds his expenses rising while the
price for his goods stays the same or falls.  In the case of renting, I
don't know what the rules in Hungary are, but here in Canada, it's a
landlord's market, one's rent can be raised any amount with two months
notice and the vacancy rate hovers around .5% while real estate prices are
rising rapidly partly because anyone who can is coming here from Hong Kong
to get away from the actually existing People's Republic.  As for lending,
my housing co-op has a mortgage at 12 % guaranteed by the federal
government, is the lender being compensated for a risk?  Is the 12% a
measure of that risk?  The rules for moneylending definitely favour the
lender and in the rare cases when  they still loose  the government bails
them out as it did the S&Ls in the states.

T>> For this reason
T>> states always arise where market specialization creates enough surpluss
T>> make banditry profitable, and states always interfere with market
T>> functioning to the benefit of some at the expense of others.

A>Banditry has its own cost-benefit analysis, and if the costs are made
A>high enough the benefits are no longer appealing. Anyway state
A>with free markets need not be a zero-sum game, e.g. the protection
A>monopolies tends to favor both the consumer and the competing producers
A>(as long as they are competing, that is).

A lot of what prupports to be competition is a shell game.  Take the
grocery market around Vancouver here.  I've lived here since 1968.  When I
came there were three chains of supermarket retailers: Safeway (an American
owned chain), Owerwaitea (an eastern Canadian chain based in Ontario) and
IGA ( Independent Grocers Association, a franchise).  There was also
Woodward's which was a department store with a food floor, but they aimed
for a high market niche and didn't even try to compete on price. (I
occasionaly went there to buy  szegedi paprika and piros arany and french
canned goose liver) These  other three chains competed but not on service
and price but in stupefying customers with give-aways and loss leaders.
Unless you strictly kept track of what price you bought things at, you
never knew if you were getting the best deal.  You would have had to go to
all three stores and check the prices on every item  you wanted each time,
I was poor (still am, worked in a factory was raising three kids, now I am
a welfare bum 'cause I'm too sick to work) so I tried it, seriously keeping
price lists and comparative shoppping, but eventually I gave up.  The
constellation of prices was different every week and one would need to do
multivariate analysis or something to figure out what to buy and where.
Then a new wrinkle appeared, warehouse style stores where one bagged one's
groceries after paying for them and where the shopping carts were chained
so that you would have to put in a coin (first 25 cents know a dollar) to
use them, and if and when you returned them and chained them you could
(can) get your coin back. These stores are also so big, I get lost in them
and they keep moving the merchandize around so as soon as one learns where
something is, they move it somewhere else.  Supposedly (and to begin with,
actually) the prices at these warehouses were lower then in the regular
chain stores.  After a few years though, the old chains closed many of
their stores and now there is hardly a difference between the prices of the
remaining stores and the warehouses.  But I can't go back to the stores
that still provide service because they are now fewer of them and they are
too far for me to shop at without a car (I can't drive because my eyes
don't work well enough).  I am now trying to organize a food co-op that
works on a catalougue, and phone order scheme and delivers.  But the
regulatory scheme is much too complex, and I doubt if I'll succeed - my
energy is pretty low.

+ - Re: Literacy bias! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

On January 14, Charles wrote:

C>On Fri, 13 Jan 1995 16:55:09 -0500 > said:

E>>Tibor Benke takes issue with me on East European backwardness:
T>>>I am all for objectivity, but Eva seems to have a definite literacy
T>>>Just who is backward ?   Can backwardness be objectively discerned in
T>>>present or the past?
E>>This is one of those untenable, (and stupid, I am afraid), politically
E>>correct, pious nonsenses. Yes, Eastern Europe was behind Western Europe
E>>every which way and we are still paying for it.
C>--This probably won't convince Tibor Benke, but one of the better-known
C>books about Hungary is Andrew Janos's *The politics of backwardness in
C>Hungary, 1825-1945* published by Princeton University Press in 1982.
C>Further, Misha Glenny's *Rebirth of history*, published by Penguin in
C>1990 titles the chapter on Hungary "The politics of backwardness."
C>One can make the argument that Metternich was the villain of the
C>piece, but surely the Old Order of Hungarian nobility were conscious

I'll check it out.  But tell me, how did the Hungarian Nobility differ from
colonial elites in general?

>Of course, if one takes the position that all
>cultures are equally legitimate, as a good post-modernist must, there
>can be no such thing as a backward culture.  And no such thing as
>progress, either.  Or even change.

Post Modernism is admittedly over my head.  As far as I can see, it is a
way of talking over everybody's head in order to gain the rhetorical high
ground and be able to tell a truth without actually giving up one's tenure.
 I don't think that all cultures are equally legitimate.  Western  Culture
is considerably *less* legitimate then any fourth world culture.  My
cultural relativism is the old fashioned kind developed by the anthropology
I learned in the U.S. and Canada.  It is a venerable tradition and has been
with us for a century.

To call a culture backward _in toto_  is an overgeneralization.  With
respect to some sequence of development of some specific area  or trait
(e.g.  digging stick, wooden share plow, metal share plow, metal share plow
and shoulder harness, tractor, combine) one can say that culture x was at
some point and culture Y had not reached that point.  Not all traits are
amenable to this kind of analysis however. Is cubism more valid then
impressionism or Kwakiutl ceremonial mask art?  Is Islam (being more
monotheistic then Christianity) a more advanced religion ?   Progress in
any one area may be accompanied by degeneration in another area.  European
kinship systems are practically completely degenerated.

Eva was talking about literature oral and written and claimed that just
because some monk wrote down Beuwolf and it got copied while nothing got
written in Hungarian between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, Hungary
was more barbaric.  I merely pointed out that the Hungarians may (probably)
have  had comparable oral literature which due to its theological
incorrectness was supressed by the first group that tried (and that time
succeeded) to install an alien ideology (in that case Christianity) over
the Hungarian people.  I alluded to Vazul who tried but failed to resist
this imposition.  There are people who claim that tenth century Hungarians
even had a writing of a sort (rovas iras=runes) and although there is no
solid evidence, christians in the heat of saving the heathen have been
known to obliterate literature, that of the Mayans, for example, whose
writing was not discovered until a decade ago because the Spanish
methodically burned their books and defaced their inscriptions.

Comparing the cultures of peoples who are on different historical sequences
in different ecological circumstances is even more chancy, because
illegitimate values are involved.  One can make a solid case for the
superiority of Australian Aboriginal culture if one chooses the right set
of criteria.   The only achievement that argues for Western Civ being more
"advanced" is that we can blow up the whole world, blow it up good!

+ - Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Charles wrote on January 13:

>--What I said was that Marx was dead and the Left is stuck in a time
>warp.  I think that a vigorus Left is good for political discourse.  The
>trouble is that the Left in America at least, is still talking in the
>same terms as it was in the 1920s.  Check out Giroux and McLaren's book
>at your local library.  Except that it is written in post-modernist
>doublespeak, the ideas are the same as if it were written in the 1960s--
>or the 1920s.  Michael Harrington finally made a breakthrough in his
>posthumously-published book--I've misplaced the title--but after his
>death, little new has been done.  Most of the ideas in your posting--
>and this will read as a rude comment in type, but I don't mean it
>that way--were the stuff of late-night discussions when I was a student
>in the 1940s.  We didn't have the Internet of course, but if you
>substitute "communication" in general, the discussion would be similar.

Just because you choose to ignore alternative political literature, does
not mean there isn't any.  Just off the top of my head, working in the
Marxist tradition, there is Eric Fromm, Habermas, Wallerstein, Laclau,
Parente, and from Canada Teeple as wellas Marchak.  There is also Rudolf
Bahro. Each of these is different, puts her/his own spin on Marx and there
are many debates about substantive issues.  There are also several entirely
uneque critical approaches that go well beyond any version of Marxism, Post
Modern, Radical Feminist, Ecological, Anarchist.  Given time, I could come
up with a bibliography.  Have a look at Eric Wolfe _Europe and the People
Without History_ or Peter Worsley.  Both writers are straight up
anthropologists and not Marxist, but definitely left of liberal.

+ - Re: Corresponding in Hungarian (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

>>Paul wrote
>>P>emil wrote:
>>E>>Seems to me that a language which has NO WORD for
>>E>>"explain" has many other deep problems than to get sucked into minor
>>P>Doesn't 'megmagyarazni' mean to explain?
>>Yes, but literally it means "to render hungarian", which still must say
>>something about how we think.
>   Now, this is taxing even my patience. This is outdoing Imi
>Bokor's *dictionariness*.
>   "To render Hungarian" would be "magyarozni", not "magyaraz-
>ni". But I will assume that this was a slip. And please talk
>for yourself when you are talking about strange *thought

Hi Amos,

I don't see why you are upset.  My point was that the hungarian word for
"to explain" contains the root "magyar" or "hungarian" and how one
translates the "a'z" suffix is not simple.  I could have "render into" or
"turn it into" or just "- ize" as in "hungarianize".  Nowhere did I use the
word "strange".   But the expression does indicate that at least when the
word was coined hungarians equated something clearly understandeable with
something in hungarian, perhaps also assuming that anything in hungarian is
naturaly understandeable to any hungarian.  We were (in my family) all
amazed when we saw americans look things up in an englis dictionary.  We
thought "why would a person need a dictionary to understand their own
laanguage?". Why this should try your or anyone's patience, is beyond me.
And why is everybody dumping on imi,  he has his opinions, I have mine, and
presumably you havve yours.

Have a nice day,

+ - Re: Literacy bias! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

On Sun, 15 Jan 1995 06:42:43 -0800 Tibor Benke said:
>I'll check it out.  But tell me, how did the Hungarian Nobility differ from
>colonial elites in general?
--Not so much in kind as in their ability to hold out longer than most.
Again, much of this can be attributed to their allegiance to Metternich,
but it also had to do with the feudal tradition in Hungary which
apparently died hard.  One could speculate that had Hungary not been
attached to Austria, things might have been different, but it was and
they weren't.
>Post Modernism is admittedly over my head.  As far as I can see, it is a
>way of talking over everybody's head in order to gain the rhetorical high
>ground and be able to tell a truth without actually giving up one's tenure.

--Well, I agree that it is a way of talking designed to gain the rhetorical
high ground while earning tenure, but the post-modernists have no better
claim on truth than anyone else.

> I don't think that all cultures are equally legitimate.  Western  Culture
>is considerably *less* legitimate then any fourth world culture.  My
>cultural relativism is the old fashioned kind developed by the anthropology
>I learned in the U.S. and Canada.  It is a venerable tradition and has been
>with us for a century.

--Sure.  And common among anthropologists.  Your position, of course,
is as value-laden as any other.  The fight starts around the notion
of legitimacy.  But that, of course, is a Western critical view.  I
doubt that many fourth-world cultures worry about it, but simply engage
in a struggle for survival.  As a matter of fact, I can't think offhand
of anybody but Westerners who have been preoccupied with legitimacy.
>To call a culture backward _in toto_  is an overgeneralization.

--I'd agree that it is a generalization made with some model of
moderninity before one.  I would agree with you that Eva Balogh
is on dangerous ground in using the term "backward."  My post
was intended to show that her position was a widely-shared one
and the writers that I mentioned clearly are thinking from a
perspective of contemporary Western civilization.  Their position is that
Hungary was--and is, in the case of Glenny--backward compared to
Western Europe.

We can't settle this.  If your preferred model is the Tlinglit, then
all other cultures--other than those that resemble the Tlinglit--are
inferior.  I suppose that my position is a cop-out, since I really
don't want to argue which culture is morally superior to another.  I
think that to do so is a mug's game.  One can argue that one culture
or another has solved some environmental challenge in a way that has
improved the culture's chances of survival and growth, but that is a
purely pragmatic argument, since the surviving culture may have done so
simply by killing everyone else off!

                                                       Not all traits are
>amenable to this kind of analysis however. Is cubism more valid then
>impressionism or Kwakiutl ceremonial mask art?

--I don't want to talk about validity.  This implies that there is a
moral standard about art.  This issue is so clearly a function of
time, place, and taste that the argument ends up out in the car park.

  Is Islam (being more
>monotheistic then Christianity) a more advanced religion ?

--Again, the answer depends on the model in one's head.  Probably
it would help if everyone recognized that they had such a model and
made it explicit.  We might not all agree, but at least we would
know where each of us was coming from.  As long as humans are
individual units and not linked together as are some fungi, we will
look at reality with the eyes that we have developed in interaction
with the environment and with each other.

   Progress in
>any one area may be accompanied by degeneration in another area.

--And not all change is progress, vide instant coffee and McDonald's.

>Eva was talking about literature oral and written and claimed that just
>because some monk wrote down Beuwolf and it got copied while nothing got
>written in Hungarian between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, Hungary
>was more barbaric.

--Yes, but you understand that Eva B. is writing from the point of view
that there is a continuum whose anchor points are civilization vs.
barbarism, and that civilization, as we know it, has certain demonstrable
advantages for survival, growth, variety in life style, and so on.

                 christians in the heat of saving the heathen have been
>known to obliterate literature, that of the Mayans, for example, whose
>writing was not discovered until a decade ago because the Spanish
>methodically burned their books and defaced their inscriptions.

--I have no wish to apologize for the Roman Catholic Church, but I
understood that it was the civil arm of colonization that was responsible
for most of the destruction in their search for gold.  Of course, I
haven't read anything that said that the priests openly opposed the
soldiers, so I guess that they were accessories.  Don't expect me to
defend cruelty, greed, or avarice.  But, on the other hand, don't
expect me to wear a hair shirt for events of a history for which I
have no responsibility, either.  I weary of colleagues who argue for
noble causes while living comfortable lives.  I realize that you are
not one of them, but it is from them that I have most often heard
the argument that Western Civilization sucks.  None of them have
given up the comforts of it to live among the Tlinglit.
>Comparing the cultures of peoples who are on different historical sequences
>in different ecological circumstances is even more chancy, because
>illegitimate values are involved.

--There's that word again.  How do you decide that one set of values is
legitimate while another is illegitimate?  Only by applying a set of
selected Western ideas.

  One can make a solid case for the
>superiority of Australian Aboriginal culture if one chooses the right set
>of criteria.   The only achievement that argues for Western Civ being more
>"advanced" is that we can blow up the whole world, blow it up good!
--I am indeed sorry that you find no more of value in Western Civilization
than advanced knowledge of explosives.  We should never have listened to
the Chinese when they told of dragon fire.

+ - Re: Orange blood (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Paul wrote:
> people think about it.

> Now, on to something new.

Well, before you run away, how about subjecting humans to the proposed
diversity criteria of the Rio convention?

+ - Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

On Sun, 15 Jan 1995 06:43:05 -0800 Tibor Benke said:
>Just because you choose to ignore alternative political literature, does
>not mean there isn't any.

--Good heavens, man!  I can hardly be said to be ignoring it when I
cite it!  I have to read it in order to write!  There is a difference
between not accepting it after having read it and ignoring it.  I
suspect that your comment, when deconstructed, is:  If you read it,
you would agree.  Since you don't agree, you must be ignoring it.

--I have had recurring discussions with people who say, when I
disagree, that they must not be communicating effectively.  The
implicit notion is that if I understood, I would agree.  Sorry.
I have not found the Left any more convincing than the Right.
I don't like Milton Friedman's political viewpoint, because I think
that it is naive.  I'm not sure, from reading him, that he ever
actually read Adam Smith all the way through.

--If you can give me one really fresh idea, I'll be happy.  I have
very few of my own, and I'm afraid that "new" ideas are mostly a rehash
of old ones.  The Right unabashedly embrace the past.  That is the
source of their problems.  The Left claims to have progressive ideas,
and they turn out to be warmed-over Marx or Proudhon.  Both extremes
are captives of their ideological past.  No wonder that the world is
stuck in position.

+ - Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Thomas Breed writes:

> Part of the problem with the old "dictatorship of the proleteriat" is
> once members of the proleteriat stop working in their class capacity and

Could you please explain where the proletars were establishing this. My
recollection of the Russian revolution was that non of the leadership came
from the proletariat. Same for Castro & Co or the Sandinistas or most of
the initial Hungarian or other bloc original leadership. The leadership was
generally the "wild eyed liberals" who always seem to know better than
anybody else how to run everything in spite of never having run anything
successful before.(or thereafter). In the US, the drang nach link is the
hobby horse of academia where the costs are rising fastest and the quality
is dropping at the same rate. Is that a good experience to emulate in
running anything?
How many leftists do you know who are industrial workers?

> begin acting as bureaucrats, they are no longer members of the same
As stated above, they never were.

> they will have new needs and desires (which may conflict with their

power, power and unlimited power, why not they do know everything better,
so they have to be right.


> This all seems rather distant from Marx, who I believe favored a violent
> revolution.  It IS cheering to see people moving beyond him...proves what
> Charles said (the Left is dead - rough quote) is wrong.  Several
> however.  First:  information (necessary for ANY revolution to occur) is
> controlled and dispersed by people who have a stake in the existing
> It costs money to publish, etc, so it is not terribly surprising that
> who publish usually have money and a natural desire to protect that
> Secondly, not only is publishing restricted to the wealthier, but
> is also restricted.  TV's, newspapers, etc. are not free:  in order to
> receive the information that IS available, it demands money that the
> most likely to be interested in revolution hardly has to spare.

So how come that the majority of the published info is leaning to the left.
Are you therefore claiming that the left has more funding than the center
or the right? Maybe they are just more prolofic?!

> example is the Internet.  If not associated with a university, it is
> expensive to have access.  In America (where I live), university prices
> rising while financial aid is becoming more difficult to obtain.

Yeah, that is the bastion of the left. You forgot the decrease in the
quality of the output.

> Secondly, if Marx's dialectic is real (I've yet to be convinced), then
> information should not matter.  If the economic situation detiorates to
> point where working people are willing to revolt (politically or

Most of the same leftists of academia have the barest minimum contact with
the working people, they look down on them most of the time.

> they may express this at the ballot box.  It's an unfortunate human
> characteristic, however, that, when a situatin deteriorates, people vote
> for a conservative party, which promises a return to the "good old days."

Mayhap it was because the good folks were telling them in the past that
going away from the "good old days" will create a better life and it
obviously did not. I have never met a leftist who felt that his philosophy
could or should be rejected by the people. Whenever the good folks vote
other than left they always are mislead, misinformed, etc. Apparently, it
is the people's duty to follow. I wonder what is your analysis for Hungary
where the Socialists were offering to go back to the "good old days" and
apparently they succeeded in convincing the voters to do that.

> Perhaps the recent election in America could be taken, perversely, as a
> sign that Americans are ready for Socialism (though they don't know it).

Well lets tell them in a hurry, some know it better than the people who
just voted the way they wanted to. Regardless of the vote, you are going to
have socialism because that is what you should have.

> This might be a sign that information available is of PRIME importance
> (which contradicts Marx - but so what?)
If that was the only thing that contradicted Marx, it wouldn't be bad.

+ - Laborfalvy Benke csalad (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Tibor wrote,

>BTW my name is BENKE. That's LABORFALVI BENKE TIBOR, if that means anything
>to you.

For those of you who are not from Hungary, let me tell you that Tibor's
family name is a very distinguished one. One of the most famous bearer of the
name was Laborfalvi (Benke) Ro1za, Mrs. Mo1r Jo1kai, the famous nineteenth-cen
tury actress and the wife of the beloved Romantic writer, Mo1r Jo1kai, friend
of Peto3fi, and one of the young revolutionaries of 1848. Her dates are:
Miskolc, April 8, 1817--Budapest, November 20, 1886. Her father, Jo1zsef
Benke, was also an actor. She was a member of the National Theater from its
establishment on, that is from 1837 on. Retired at the end of the 1850s.

Eva Balogh
+ - Re: XIX C. & XXI C. (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Eva Durant writes:
> If the proletar dictatorship includes ALL PROLETARS actively,
And if they do no want to we have ways to make them participate or we have
them in reeducation camps.

> lovely wither. And this is still not utopia, should happen in
> 20 years or we all had it.

Wanna bet?

+ - Re: The hotels and Horn (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Eva Balogh wrote:
>I agree with Greg 100% concerning the deal on the Hungarian hotel chain. I
>was hoping that the American firm would say no to the changed deal.

Note, however, that the Budapest stockmarket
fell IN ANTICIPATION of the rejection of the deal by the government.
This would indicate that the deal may not have been seen as very
attractive to Hungary, and one that the government would not approve.

THere are indications why this may be so.  A few years ago, in the
middle of the recession, the Hotel Duna Intercontinental sold for US$53.
The hotels in the present package include one (whose name escapes me)
just up on the Danube bank from the Intercontinental that is much newer,
similar size, just as flash and, as far as I could tell, well maintained.
Assuming that the Intercontinental fetched a fair market price, the
value of the remaining 12 hotels would be US$4, or US$333,333 each.
Now, even without knowing which those hotels are, I cannot image them
to be so bad as to be worth only the price of a better apartment in
a Western city.  On the Hungarian-language discussion forum someone
mentioned that last year the 13 hotels in the package turned a profit
of $10 million.

So, either the price paid for the Intercontinental was above fair market
price, or the one offered by the US hotelier chain was too low.  Whether
Hungary can get a better price or not will answer the question about the
justification or otherwise of Horn's action.  Till then, most other
comments I have read so far are irrelevant, including the one about
Horn's academic qualifications above.

>cannot conduct business this way. The old Soviet Union used act in such
>manner--but what does one expect from a man who studied "finances" in the
>Soviet Union in the 1950s.

>Horn must learn a few things about
>international finances and about behavior in the West.

I agree that the Hungarian Government's action was not very edifying
and it created bad PR.  However, it is hardly exceptional by Western
standards.  Renegotiation of government tenders is a fairly common
ploy in even the most advanced countries, if the government changes
its mind.  A recent example is the Australian Government tender (worth
some A$200 million) for the air-traffic control system for Sydney
airport that was awarded to one tenderer, then cancelled due to
questions by interest groups about the procedure: exactly the same

Charles wrote:
>--I expect that you also noticed, Professor Balogh, that there was a
>parallel of sorts with the McDonald's deal in China.  McDonald's had
>a long term lease on a prime location, and the Chinese cancelled it
>after several years in favor of a higher bid from a man from Hong
>Kong.  It is very hard to do business with people who do not
>understand that a contract is a contract and one has to live with
>the terms once they have been negotiated.

I try not to be flippant about people who do not seem to understand
what a contract is.  In the case of McDonald's, they had a valid
20-year lease on the site.  In the case of the US hotel chain, all
they had was a letter from the State Property Agency saying that their
offer was accepted: a letter of intent, yes, but not a signed contract
about the sale of the hotels.

George Antony