The most important of all arts…

…is the cinema, according to Vladimir Lenin.

So, because youtube is there, I’ll link two scenes that stuck in my head since I watched these films for the first time decades ago.

First is the assassination scene from Il Conformista:

The second is, as far as I am concerned, the best friggin’ scene in the history of cinema, and consequently the most important 2 minute-long piece of art in the universe. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the finale of Le notti di Cabiria:


  1. tim
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    You seriously need a better hero than Lenin. How about Mozes? You know, Harriet Tubman.

    And hat second clip is the wrongest art that ever existed period.

  2. Posted April 11, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Why, what’s wrong with Lenin? And why is it “the wrongest art”?

  3. tim
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Because Lenin was a commie which is against freedom which is bad. Tubman is for freedom which is good. Stop acting numb albert.

    and I ain’t gotta explain shit about that art

  4. Posted April 12, 2009 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Tubman was also a commie, and against freedom to own slaves.

  5. tim
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    OK you’re funny; but the question is, is it ‘Ha Ha’ funny or ‘what’s wrapped in that old newspaper’ funny? 😀

  6. Posted April 12, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    What’s funny here? It is what it is. As Chomsky says:

    I think what used to be called centuries ago ‘wage slavery’ is intolerable. I don’t think people ought to be forced to rent themselves in order to survive. I think that the economic institutions ought to be run democratically by their participants, by the communities in which they exist, and so on. And basically through various kinds of free association.

    He doesn’t like Lenin much, though. Says he was a right-winger.

  7. tim
    Posted April 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Wait a minute… you seriously believe in socialism? I thought that was a joke. Don’t you see the logical fallacy there? Putting “I think” in front of all your points makes them worthless for any logical argument. I’m sure he said in his arrogant tone “I think we can basically categorically classify Lenin as a right-winger, I mean lets look at the facts dur dur dur. Basically, I think stupid shit so you zombies should believe it, and so on you stupid motherfuckers.”

  8. Posted April 12, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    No, he actually explains why Lenin was a rightwinger. I can’t be bothered to look for a quote now, but it’s all about the ‘vanguard party’ and all that shit.

    Basically, Lenin is one of those guys who know exactly what people need to be happy, and he is determined to make the stupid ‘masses’ happy whether they like it or not; and that’s a typical right-wing approach. Something like that.

    Of course I believe in socialism, why not? Is there some obvious reason why companies can’t be employee-owned and land and resources community-owned, like he says?

  9. tim
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    The problem with socialism is that people think it’s a good idea to take family values (which is all socialism is) and apply them at a federal level. It’s a concept that has never once worked and never will by the laws of nature.

    Giving the government social powers is like giving you a nuclear bomb because your family is having a barbecue. It starts with the best intentions but is sure to not end well.

    Is there some obvious reason why companies can’t be employee-owned and land and resources community-owned, like he says?

    No, but that sounds like individual capitalism to me, not socialism.

    Down with corporate capitalism and socialism and all other forms of collectivism. They are all just crude perversions of the family structure.

  10. Posted April 13, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The problem with socialism is that everyone has their own definition of it.

    In fact, socialism (hopefully) doesn’t require any government at all. The government only exists to protect property; where the land belongs to the people who live on it, and the factory to the people who work in it – there should be no need for a government at all.

  11. tim
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Ok, so your goal is for everyone to be taken care of, which is the goal of a family. I suggest you start breeding then.

    But as soon as your plan includes who owns the land and factories, someone is going to try to use the government to enforce your enlightened ideals. Such a government is socialist by definition, and socialist governments destroy the family structure. No exceptions, and the current US government is the archetype.

    Since family is the keystone of society and everything we do comes from it, don’t you see how destructive any socialism above family is? And yes, everyone thinks they have their own definition, but the only thing that really matters is that it destroys the true fabric of society.

    It’s like trying to save a tree by making an ax handle out of one of it’s branches in order to cut it down.

  12. Posted April 13, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really have any goals; just killing time.

    The point of socialism, just like that of the anti-slavery movements, is not to take care of anybody, but to prevent the powerful from taking advantage of the powerless, that’s all. If you understand what motivates anti-slavery activists, you should have no problem understanding what motivates socialist activists. Whether their (socialists’) ideas are feasible or even desirable is a different issue, but the abolitionists’ ideas were subjected to the same kinds of doubts and criticisms.

    What all this has to do with the family I don’t know, and I’m not a big fan of family life in general. That’s, in my experience, one thing that really does limit one’s freedom more than anything else.

  13. tim
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    The point of socialism …. to prevent the powerful from taking advantage of the powerless, that’s all

    Comparing socialists, who take away individual freedom as their first measure, to anti-slavery people is so fucking wrong it hurts my face. Where do you get this shit?

    It has everything to do with family, can you not see that socialist government is a half-assed replacement for family? Is that really a non-obvious point? Yes, the point of family is to limit the freedom of newborn idiots who know nothing, and easing them into life as a (supposedly) free individual, a productive member of an interconnected society. But instead people don’t learn to operate as an individual and are taught the roles of nice pacified consumerist sheep who don’t give a damn about anyone but #1. Keep grazing and paying your taxes for the wars you don’t want to fight, and Big Uncle Sam will keep you safe.

    To me, someone who calls them self a socialist betrays the fact that they know very little about government and society in general. (And calling Harriet Tubman, an illiterate slave, a commie makes the point better than I can).

  14. Posted April 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    What you’re describing is not socialism (as I understand it), but the welfare-state model of capitalism. The idea here is to preserve capitalist economy (owner/wage-earner paradigm), while using the government to mitigate the excesses that would otherwise cause it to self-destruct.

    Or, if you insist on calling this “socialism”, than what I (and Chomsky) describe should be called “libertarian socialism.”

  15. tim
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Free trade is really the only defining feature of capitalism. If you have something, ie capital or time, you are free to go find someone to trade you something for it. THATS ALL FOLKS. It has nothing to do with the bouge/prole paradigm, that is just an effect of capitalism, despite what Marx tried to tell you to get you to swallow his hippy bullshit.
    But hey, go ahead believing in Utopia when we can’t even get Jews and Arabs to stop killing each other, hell we can’t even stop our own country from going to war when we don’t want it to. If you really want a scientific explanation of why Marx’s theories of central planning are not physically possible read Rothbard. The core of it is that central planning cannot work (ever), because central planners have no way of determining prices. (Hey, don’t that plus the fact that it has never worked in real life change your mind though).

    The idea here is to preserve capitalist economy (owner/wage-earner paradigm), while using the government to mitigate the excesses that would otherwise cause it to self-destruct.

    It’s called a Republic, and we had one until they started bolting welfare programs to it. The Republic is nothing more than a bare minimum of central control to keep people from hurting each other.
    And as soon as some well meaning sops get some power and decide to use the central power to “fix” some problem, it’s socialism. Don’t try to paint grey areas, because that’s how they get people to accept it in the first place. (Not to mention the fact that usually the “well meaning sops” are anything but well meaning, and the actual well meaning sops are nothing but their dupes).

  16. tim
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    “fix” a social problem that is.

  17. Posted April 14, 2009 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Man, you really need to read something, you’re totally confused.

    Trade means ‘market’ and it has nothing to do with capitalism; market is used in pretty much any economic system.

    Republic is a political system with representative democracy and elected president, this doesn’t have anything to do with anything we are talking about here either.

    In ancient Rome they had republic and trade, yet the economy there was based on slave labor.

  18. tim
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Free trade has nothing to do with Capitalism now. You know you can’t just say something and make it true, or not retarded for that matter. Are you having fun?

  19. Posted April 14, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    This is not about true or not true, it’s about definitions of things, concepts. To have a discussion people need to agree on what words mean.

    People have been practicing trade/commerce for thousands of years; tens of thousands of years, probably. Trade defines nothing.

  20. tim
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    capitalism \cap”i*tal*is`m\ (k[a^]p”[i^]*tal*[i^]z`m), n.
    An economic system based on predominantly private (individual
    or corporate) investment in and ownership of the means of
    production, distribution, and exchange of goods and wealth;
    contrasted with {socialism} or especially {communism}, in
    which the state has the predominant role in the economy.

    Well if all I had to do was post a definition; there’s everything I said only much more concise.

  21. Posted April 15, 2009 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Under capitalism the means of production (factories, land, etc) are owned by individuals and workers sell their labor – under socialism factories and land are owned collectively. That’s all the difference there is.

    Your definition is trying to bullshit you by equating the name of the party in control with the socio-economic system. For example, major Western-European political parties (parties of capitalist welfare state) have “Socialist” is there name, the Soviet and Chinese parties are called “Communist”. So, they equate the capital S Socialist with small s “socialism”. This is like saying that a Democratic administration is the US defines what the word “democratic” means.

    In fact, both marxist communism and (obviously) anarcho-communism explicitly reject government, any government. Libertarian socialism (anarcho-syndicalism) rejects the concept of ‘government’ as well.

  22. tim
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Working backwards:
    1.) How exactly are you going to get everyone to give up their self interest without the ‘concept of government’?

    2.) Where in that definition does it say anything about political parties?

    3.) If you think that ownership of capital is the only difference between the two, I wouldn’t go examining any data if you want to keep your fantasy alive. For instance the number of people killed by their own government under socialist governments compared to just about any other type. Of course if you have kept the dream alive this long, I wouldn’t expect millions and millions of people dead by their own government’s hand to change your mind.

  23. Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    1. Why would you want anyone (let alone everyone) to give up their self interest? I don’t get the question.

    2. It doesn’t, but how else would they come up with “the state has the predominant role in the economy” for socialism and communism? If you asked them, that would be their explanation: look at Europe, look at the USSR. They are not talking about the concepts, they are talking about political regimes self-identified as ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’.

    3. What socialist governments do you have in mind?

  24. Posted April 16, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    i wonder how old tim is and what proportion of that lifespan was spent in complete ignorance of the wide range of political thought in the world.

  25. Posted May 4, 2009 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Damnit. I read this thread in the hopes that I would learn something about these two movies. Instead my brain power was reduced by half. I must now drink a quart of pomegranate juice to undo the damage.

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