13 Comments

Very nice essay. I loved the anecdote about hitting the top of the taxi with the umbrella.

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I think the "socialist" driver stopped because he saw a lady with an umbrella which is one of the most dangerous human beings you can confront...!

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Amusing!

«the superiority of the socialist mode of production»

Oh one of my pedantic pet peeves: that is a common shorthand for the society-capitalist (where "society" owns the capital) form of the industrial mode of production. This pedantry matters to me because by using shorthands a lot of people end up forgetting that in first approximation it is the industrial mode of production that has delivered development (and it is the use of coal and oil in that mode that has delivered almost all of that), not "the markets", not "the plan", not the form of ownership.

«and the forthcoming end of capitalism.»

Nothing lasts forever, so that is an easy prediction. The question is how long is that "forthcoming": the feudal form of ownership of the agricultural mode of production ("ancien regime") did last, changing in details over time, around a thousand years.

«I thought it was strange that we had to beat the socialist taxi driver with an umbrella to drive us home but said nothing.»

To me that has nothing to do with "socialism": whether an employee of a privately or society/state owned business, or self-employed, a taxi driver may well decide that as their shift has ended they just want to go home. The alleged purpose of society-capitalism is just to ensure that the surplus goes to society of which the vast majority is workers instead of private owners, not to turn all of them into stakanovites. :-).

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Reads like poetry, Branko

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Maravillosa anécdota!

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I always enjoy these reminiscences of life in Yugoslavia. I was born just after the end of the Cold War, and while you can find lots you can find on life in East Germany, USSR etc., there's not as much on Yugoslavia- truly very interesting!

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I think the "socialist" driver stopped because he saw a lady with an umbrella which is one of the most dangerous human beings we can confront...!

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"Time it was, and what a time it was, it was

A time of innocence, A time of confidences

Long ago, it must be..........."

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Not sure Anwar will take kindly to being called a neo-Ricardian!

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"We read many neo-Ricardian writers but among all of them, for some reason (perhaps because of clarity of his writing), I liked Anwar Shaikh the most."

Don't think he's being called neo-Ricardian here.

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I read "all of them" as "all of the neo-Ricardian writers" but maybe Branko meant something else

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You are right.

Not sure what planet of misreading I was on there!

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