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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meet-up: The Development of a Cooperative Economy in Practice (80 comments)

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  •  Wow, thanks for this excellent diary (11+ / 0-)

    with such an amount of research geminijen, this is an incredibly informative piece on so many levels. I will come back and make a substantive comment, but I wanted to thank you for your hard work.

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 03:26:36 PM PDT

    •  It's so long, I hope folks can take the time to (7+ / 0-)

      get through it.  Just couldn't leave anything out.  It all seemed to important.

    •  Second! NY brit expat. (7+ / 0-)

      Again, my thanks for all your work, Geminijen.  The section on Venezuela was especially good.

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

      by Justina on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:04:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks Justina. I hope to spend a year in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat, mint julep, Justina

        Venezuela next year.  am going to try and hook up with banco Mujer or a similar project.  Got any contacts?  Also for cheap housing as I'll be living on my pension.

        •  I am so jealous of all you adventurous sorts... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat, Geminijen, Justina

          I can't seem to disentangle myself from the capitalist pursuits (making enough money to survive) to do something so interesting. Enjoy it while you can!!!

          De air is de air. What can be done?

          by TPau on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:20:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that being retired has freed up (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mint julep, Justina

            people a bit from ensuring basic needs; honestly, making enough to survive is not a capitalistic pursuit, it is a desperate need of all those that need to survive in a system based upon wealth and income inequality and private ownership of the means of production and distribution.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:24:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Retirement....What's that??? I live in the States. (5+ / 0-)

              De air is de air. What can be done?

              by TPau on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:30:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I would laugh, but it is so true and it is not (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TPau, Geminijen, mint julep, DawnN

                only a problem in the US, the same thing happens in the UK as well. People simply cannot afford to retire due to insufficient savings, break-downs of pension agreement, insufficient state pensions. I do not know when my husband will be able to retire and we are desperately trying to put money away for the future.

                "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                by NY brit expat on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:41:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Or you just decide you'll never have enough (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TPau, NY brit expat, mint julep, DawnN

                  and lead your life "skating on thin ice," as the saying goes.  My pension helps, but since I started late and had to retire early (major medical problem), it's relatively small.  Still, it is something many many people no longer get at all, especially my son's generation.
                  One way I save money on the high rent in NYC is to live collectively -- seems like lots more young people are doing it these days.  NYC also has some older buildings that have rent restrictions (cheap).  You either have to get one of those or move to Podunk, Kansas and then you can't find work.

                  •  been trying to convince him of this, but I think (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mint julep, Geminijen

                    that this is a class difference between us perhaps. I can cope with genteel poverty (I've spent a large part of my life living in it), but he is middle class (the child of doctors) and he cannot get past his fear of poverty.

                    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                    by NY brit expat on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:16:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Who says we make enough money to survive? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat

            Seems like it's always a trade off.  Now that my son is out of the house I can take a break from my straight teaching job -- the glories of a pension!  we should only get it when we are young!

        •  Be Warned, Life in Caracas is Expensive. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geminijen, tardis10

          Here in Mérida, a city in the Andes, it is much less so and, from my view, much nicer.  It is also much more temperate, as it is about 5000 feet high and surrounded by mountains that are 5000 to 10,000 feet higher.  I actually saw snow on top of the mountains last week, although it never snows here in the city.

          That said, there are lots more jobs available in the Caracas area, so....

          Here in Mérida, you should be able to live fairly well on social security, especially if you shop in the government markets (Mercals) or the large open air market.  The one good thing about reaching 65 is, at least here, I now have free local bus transport and, I am told, those of us of the "tercera edad"(third age) get one/half off on air transportation.  That makes a difference, as air fares here are not cheap relative to salaries.  

          Most people from Mérida take the 12 hour bus trip to Caracas when they go.  Twelve hours sounds awful, but the buses are cheap, fairly luxurious and have films and air conditioning.  (Too much air conditioning, so bring a warm coat or blanket if you come by bus!)

          It is well worth a long time visit (or moving here, if you can.)  The countryside is varied and gorgeous.  The social welfare programs are excellent and, miracle of miracle, you don't need to worry about insurance as medical, dental, optical and hospitalization are free.  (Now, if they could only tame the bureaucracy and the high cost of transnational drugs....)

          Oh, and I almost forgot The Major Social Problem -- street crime is bad, especially in Caracas, but the government's new national police force, created because of locally controlled police corruption, is making a real dent on the crime problems.  If Chavez is able to cure that illness here, even the oppositionist Catholic Church will have him beatified rather than, as they would now like, crucified.

          But, since most of the crime arises from drugs, the cure for that actually lies in the United States, where the problems have their origin.  The U.S. is the biggest illegal drug consumer in the world. If the U.S. would only end it stupid "War on Drugs" and legalize them, crime around the world would be cut in half, if not by three-quarters.  It is the high cost of drugs which feeds the drug cartels (which in turn feeds the corruption) and causes addicts to commit street crimes.

          Given Obama's past record, however, we can expect that to happen on the same day we get universal health care in the U.S.  Don't hold your breath.  

          Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

          by Justina on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:49:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. I had considered Merida, but I need to go (0+ / 0-)

            to one of the spanish schools to improve my Spanish if I'm going to do anything constructive at all and I had heard that the Spanish school in Merida was no longer.  Do you know?  also, I'd like to go to a school that supports the Bolivarian cause (I think the one in Merida did).  

            Got any suggestions?  (I was there in 2008). I can live with a family as a boarder so I tend to live pretty cheap.

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