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Arts and Culture

A Peek at Henry A. Giroux’s ‘Education and the Crisis of Public Values’

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Posted on Sep 30, 2011
Gottfried Helnwein

“We are more than a nation in decline; we are a nation moving toward the bittersweet simplisms, policies and values of a new form of authoritarianism,” writes Henry Giroux, in an article adapted from his new book on America’s shift away from democratic values toward a rigid, market-driven uniformity. —ARK

Henry A. Giroux at Truthout:

Since the early 1970s, the rich, corporate power brokers and right-wing cultural warriors realized that education was central to creating a viable populist movement that served their interests. Over the last 40 years, the financial elites and their wealthy accomplices have not only mobilized an educational anti-reform movement in the name of “reform” to dismantle public education and turn it over to hedge-fund managers and billionaires; they have also taken a lesson from the muckrakers, critical public intellectuals, left-wing journals, progressive newspapers and educational institutions of the mid-20th century and developed their own cultural apparatuses, talk shows, anti-public intellectuals, think tanks and grassroots organizations. As the left slid into organizing around mostly single-issue movements since the 1980s, the right moved in a different direction, mobilizing a range of educational forces and wider cultural apparatuses as a way of addressing broader ideas that appealed to a wider public and issues that resonated with their everyday lives. Tax reform, the role of government, the crisis of education, family values and the economy, to name a few issues, were wrenched out of their progressive legacy and inserted into a context defined by the values of the free market, an unbridled notion of freedom and individualism and a growing hatred for the social contract.

At the heart of this movement was a culture of cruelty and vulgarity that used education to produce a new form of political illiteracy in which there was no difference between opinions and arguments, reason and emotion and evidence and false statements. In this culture of illiteracy, science became a liability, thinking became an act of stupidity, anti-intellectualism became a virtue, social protections were described as a pathology and the social contract was dismissed as socialism. While social critic Michael Kazin does not mention the notions of education or public pedagogy in a recent New York Times article, he is right in stressing the centrality of education to the current right-wing-Christian-extremists takeover of almost every aspect of political and economic life in America - extending from the Supreme Court to the federal government to the dominant media-cultural educational apparatus. He writes: “Like the left in the early 20th century, conservatives built an impressive set of institutions to develop and disseminate their ideas. Their think tanks, legal societies, lobbyists, talk radio and best selling manifestos have trained, educated and financed two generations of writers and organizers. Conservative Christian colleges both Protestant and Catholic, provide students with a more coherent worldview than do the more prestigious schools led by liberals. More recently, conservatives marshaled media outlets like Fox News and the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal to their cause.”(1)

Education has become the political weapon of choice for conservatives, and they have had astounding success in using the mainstream and new media to drown out the voices of more progressive critics. The evidence is everywhere. For instance, The New York Times is currently advertising its Watch Education Take Center Stage initiative and the keynote address is being given by the politically and morally discredited champion of neoliberal education, Lawrence Summers. Given his failed presidency at Harvard, his utterly shameful role in contributing to the financial crisis of 2008 and the failure of Obama’s economic policies and his crude instrumental view of education, why would The New York Times select him as an educational leader and beacon of hope for any kind of educational vision designed to address future generations? Other speakers include the likes of Chester Finn, whose views on public education are as politically reactionary as they are theoretically bogus. Another example can be found in the ongoing Education Nation series sponsored on a number of platforms by NBC. It’s endorsement of market-driven anti-public education policies are evident in its parading of the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and their utterly anti-public, charter school, privatized and technocratic vision of education. Also included are the usual list of charter school, corporate funded anti-union, public school cheerleaders for defunding and privatizing American education. Of course, missing from these dog-and-pony shows are progressive public school reformers such as David Berliner, Stanley Aronowitz, Jonathan Kozol, Marian Wright Edelman, Donaldo Macedo, and others who have been fighting for real educational reform for the last few decades. Nor is there any mention of the many local struggling social movements fighting for public education and the ever-dissolving protections of social contract inherited from the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society programs. Education at all levels is firmly in the hands of the rich, reactionary and the powerful. Is it any wonder given how invisible progressive forces are in this country that young people are not in the streets as they were in the sixties, refusing the future being offered to them by Wall Street and the moralizing Christian fundamentalists?

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By diamond, October 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

The only prostitute I ever met had a scar that ran from one side of her face to the other because a sailor/client had slashed her face with a bottle. She was a person who had been kicked from pillar to post by life and had decided to make the best of it. It was a way of saying to herself ‘I’m not worthless. These idiots pay good money for me don’t they?’ There is a flourishing trade in trafficking women and also children that goes on worldwide. Of course there is a tiny minority of enthusiastic prostitutes but most of them are damaged and dysfunctional people who have been emotionally or sexually abused or are drug addicts supporting a habit or have been kidnapped or ‘tricked’ into going to a foreign country as ‘students’ only to find when they get there that their passport is taken and they have to service as many as 400 men a month and, as one of these women told the police after she was freed, they were only given one meal a day and were not allowed to leave the building where they ‘worked’ nor to leave the apartment where they were held and guarded by gangsters with orders to beat, rape or drug them if they tried to escape. You have a very old fashioned view of prostitution, Cyr. There is no dignity in prostitution and most women who are prostitutes are little more than slaves, either to drugs, violent men or organized crime which ‘owns’ them.

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By OzarkMichael, October 15, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: Education is intrinsically authoritarian, so the education industry is relatively easy prey for rightists, that is, the party of authority, the hard cops.

That explains why the initial Occupy protestors were freshly graduated from college. The kids had all been indoctrinated by the surging control(soon-to-be-total-control) of Rightists. They were robotically forced to follow… hey wait a minute… they are following something else, these children who are acclaimed as typical, and yet also the most wise and committed to truth among us, these freshly minted products of the American education system.

Does this really add up? Anarcissie, your claim that education is the propaganda outlet of the Right is very bold, especially in light of Occupy Wall Street.

OH YEAH!

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By Shenonymous, October 15, 2011 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Interviewing one prostitute Anarcissie does not make you an expert,
nor a believable proponent for prostitute dignity.  It is oxymoronic
to attribute dignity to prostitute who declare they “enjoy” their work
It is sort of like an executioner saying they “enjoy” their work. 
Enjoying sex is not a criteria for nor an exclusive emotion for being
a prostitute.  I suggest you read more about and interview those
overwhelming majority of prostitutes who say they have hated the
“occupation” into which they were forced.  Again, maybe you are
more involved in the industry than you admit, it would be
understandable for you to be entrenched in a defense of it.

The (D)evil Siren, the parenthetical liberal Democrat(evil) (evil) Siren, says
that the Republican faction contains all Republicans, whereas the
Democratic faction contains only some Democrats.  Cyr, you are
forewarned to watch your penchant for namecalling.

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By Anarcissie, October 15, 2011 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous—Many books about sexual practices, including sex work, are on the same level as Reefer Madness.  Again, I suggest you get the facts, rather than argue from ignorance and prejudice.  If you find Susie Bright too poppy, there is plenty of heavier stuff around.

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By David J. Cyr, October 15, 2011 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, of an anonymous avatar being a (D)evil Siren:

“While it generally seems to be the case, there really are only “some” liberals who are actually counterfeit liberals who vote in solidarity with the Corporatocrat Republicans.”
________________

The corporate party has its Republican and Democrat factions for the same reason that a football team has an offensive team and a defensive team. Its offensive team scores most of the goals for the corporate persons, and its defensive team is responsible for keeping the other team (natural persons) from scoring.

When the defensive players are on the field, they too can take offensive possession of the ball (or bill) to score goals for the corporate persons. The defensive team can sometimes score more goals than the offensive team does.

Whether they’re playing offense or defense, the corporate party’s (R) & (D) players are all on the same team; a professional team intent upon winning every game for their corporate person owners.


http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Shenonymous, October 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, October 14 at 5:16 am –
Conservatives believe that Democrat depravity justifies
Republican regressiveness.

Liberals believe that the regressiveness of Republicans justifies
Democrat depravity.

A rather dexterously clever verbal reversal that plainly is your
egocentric speculation with no rational basis provided. There is
nothing that requires agreement.

”Conservatives and liberals vote in solidarity together for a
continuum of corporatism.”
 

While it generally seems to be the case, there really are only “some”
liberals who are actually counterfeit liberals who vote in solidarity with
the Corporatocrat Republicans.  We all know they dip into the same
money well.  For the American jobs bill the U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote at http://tinyurl.com/3v9ek64 to
see the vote of each Senator and which ones to campaign to replace
when their reelection comes up.

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By David J. Cyr, October 14, 2011 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

Conservatives believe that Democrat depravity justifies Republican regressiveness.

Liberals believe that the regressiveness of Republicans justifies Democrat depravity.

Conservatives and liberals vote in solidarity together for a continuum of corporatism.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Shenonymous, October 14, 2011 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

There are not that many men who have personal dignity nor
integrity.  Betcha you would have a fitful time naming five!
As I was thinking about this discussion it struck to me Susie
Bright ought to become the poster face of the Republicans who
prostitute their integrity and dignity to the Corporatocrats.

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By David J. Cyr, October 14, 2011 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

Dignity exists when a person’s integrity is worthy of the respect of others.

Pride is the award that the dishonest bestow upon their unworthy selves.

I’ve never met a liberal who had personal integrity, nor one not proud of it.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Shenonymous, October 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

I’ve made no claim that everyone who is a sex worker is a prostitute. 
It is an industry and logically has more involved than those who are
hired to provide sexual action and interaction.  I’m not writing
definitively about the institution of prostitution, I am giving an
opinion about it based on several secondary sources, research by
sexologists, personal testimonies, and many of the 7,750,000
articles to be found on prostitution as an institution.  Take your
pick, meaning you in the collective sense, not any one in particular. 
One does not need to taste cyanide in order to know it is a deathly
poison and can caution others to avoid it without having first hand
knowledge of it.  I don’t have to interview prostitutes to have a good
idea of what the business is about. 

Unless you are Susie Bright, and possess firsthand facts, you are only
suggesting more reading, Anarcissie, and no literal facts are to be had. 
Sex literature is intentionally titillating and is nearly infinite in
availability, some classic some trash and really depends on personal
opinion.  In my view Bright’s $9.99 book is merely just one more
pedestrian piece of it with an eye towards more dollars only this time the
pimp is her publisher (herself) that no doubt will sell well for those of
that taste.  People will buy anything.  And as we both acknowledge, sex
sells.

Checking out Bright, I saw nothing of any merit.  It is another
example of sexpulp for those who have a need for that kind of
licentious testimonial and something sexually heightened pubescent
teens would certainly find stimulating.  One autobiography does not
knowledge make.  But an accumulation of many might give some insight. 
I suggest you and anyone else who is interested in the morality and
degree of dignity to be found in this industry visit the blogsite Secret
Diary of a Street Girl, also STREET CHILDREN - Latin America and the
Caribbean, the NACLA Report on the Americas, May/June 1994, LITTLE
GIRLS OF THE NIGHT
by Gilberto Dimenstein.  Get some “facts” at
http://www.object.org.uk/the-facts
at the human rights organization OBJECT and its subsite
http://www.object.org.uk/testimonies


”There’s a qualitative difference between the possession of personal
dignity and being pride possessed.”
  Really?  And that qualitative
difference is?

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By David J. Cyr, October 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, of an anonymous avatar being a (D)evil Siren:

“What percentage of the women involved in the sex profession do you think are proud of their sex trade professional life?”
__________________

There’s a qualitative difference between the possession of personal dignity and being pride possessed.

The corporate party’s Democrat activist political prostitutes have absolutely no personal dignity and their “principles” are putrid, but they seem tremendously proud of it.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Anarcissie, October 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Not everyone who is a sex worker is a prostitute.  As I said before, you need to learn something about the subject if you want to write about it.  This means something more than reading and posting articles you already agree with.  Get the facts.

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By Shenonymous, October 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

The institution of prostitution is called a profession but it is not
one for which girls are ever put in training for unless it is one of
those nations who have absolutely no respect for women.  Often
the youngest girls are sexually abused, babies really, to satisfy
dog-hungry sexual predators because females are not considered
humans of any other worth except for those who think their
penises give them ascendant rights to fulfill their carnivorous
sexual appetites.

While I won’t be getting even an associate of arts degree in sex
occupations, and will not be going around to talk with the horses’
asses for scholarly research, I have done copious reading and watching
many documentaries.  If I do not interview any prostitutes does not mean
I cannot qualify an opinion about one of the most atrocious conduct of
human commerce that as I’ve said illustrates man’s inhumanity to
women.  How unlimited an acquaintance do you have with prostitutes? 
Oddly enough, from your comments, Anarcissie, it is credible to imagine
you have more than a passing involvement in the “profession,” and have
personal Pimp & John experiences.  Or you are simply taking a perverse
moment to be contentious for the sport, pun intended.  It is all right if
you are, for I have lots more to say about this depraved “profession.”

If anything is clear, it is a calculated nearsightedness, for it is clear
from my point of view that the value of which you speak is tainted with
unending human cruelty.  For you it seems money is the measure.  It is
classic claptrap to say sexual performances of various kinds have value
because people are willing to pay for them.  People are willing to pay
for a lot of things and merely having that observation does not elevate
payers or the things paid for to have a share in any degree of human
excellence.

I think it is silly to claim prostitutes or “sex workers” (what a euphemism
that is!), have dignity due to their work.  It is understood that anarchists
put a premium on being free agents, being free agents does not signal
dignity, nor does it imply integrity.  Alan Dershowitz claims prostitution
is a victimless crime.  From what you say, you place yourself in his camp.
Moreover, you are also saying there are humans, females, who are proud
both of their vagina or their other orifices, and what monetary value they
can extort from them.  Possibly there are some.  Some make a lot of
money.  What percentage of the women involved in the sex profession do
you think are proud of their sex trade professional life?  The data I have
would say so few, if any,  that it is not even countable.

Comparing sex workers’ quotient of dignity to that of the GOTV political
prostitutes is evidence of fatuous mindlessness.  Prostitutes are
prostitutes wherever they are found and whatever kind they are. 

Just a couple of articles on the topic:
http://tinyurl.com/3dg2emh
http://womensissues.about.com/od/prostitution/a/VictimlessCrime.htm
http://tinyurl.com/3lzg6cb
http://tinyurl.com/6dhhcmw

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By David J. Cyr, October 13, 2011 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Sex workers possess considerably more personal dignity than the corporate (R) & (D) party’s GOTV political prostitutes do.

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By Anarcissie, October 13, 2011 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous—It is clear that sexual performances of various kinds have value, because people are willing to pay for them—often, pay quite a bit.

I don’t understand your assertion that sex workers lack dignity.  It seems to me they have as much dignity as anyone else.  In fact, since many of them are free agents, I’d say they have more dignity than a corporate wage slave.

In any case, I think if you want to expound on the subject, you should make a thorough study of it.  This study ought to include actually meeting some sex workers and discussing their work with them, or at least reading the related material (hence, my suggestion of starting with Susie Bright, http://www.susiebright.com.)

There are certainly abuses in sex work, but there are abuses in any kind of work.  Some agricultural workers labor under conditions of literal slavery, for example.  Stopping the abuse of sex workers is impeded greatly by puritanical attitudes which hold the sex workers responsible for the abuses.  The pimp would have no power without the cop.  You will find this out if you get past your prejudices and examine the facts.

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By Shenonymous, October 12, 2011 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment

You can’t be serious that prostitution and the sex industry have
much redeeming value for human integrity, Susie Bright or dim.
More than cruelly enslaved, there is absolutely no dignity in
prostitution.  I do champion some issues, so I understand the
fervent need to defend some segment of the population distressed
in some way.  However, there is no equivalence between the sex
industry and everyday occupations.  Hardly “just” man’s humanity
to man, rather it is man’s inhumanity to women.  But if you know
women who say they “enjoy” their sex work well I guess there are
self-delusionals in every occupation and in every society. 

What women working in the sex industry withstand on any given
workday ranges from rape and physical violence to life-threatening
abuse at the hands of her pimp, her johns, and often the occasional
rotten cop.  It is not in the least like what average female workers in
other forms of work experience at their places of employment.

The sex racket is not a case of free enterprise but it is indisputably a
treacherous business superstructed on the backs, blood, torn flesh, and
utter debasement of women.  If you think it noble to fend off criticism, of
this nefarious business that is your choice.  In my opinion it is to defend
something perfidious and yes that is a moral judgment.  Whatever the
circumstances are, whether a procured sexual encounter takes place in a
fashionable hotel or any place less dignified, it doesn’t reduce or
diminish the degenerate reality of what prostitution is.

Many of the acts of the sex trade you listed are all intended to degrade,
humiliate and express domination over women. They lie in the category
of misogyny. Women never proceed from sexual exploitation into
positions of power, respect or admiration. And unless the appointed
managers or overseers of other subjugated women, they remain feeble
as individuals will always be relegated to a very low social status. 
Prostitution and sex trafficking are extreme forms of gender
discrimination and exist as a result of the powerlessness of
women as a class.

I disagree that Don Giovanni has no lasting value. It was written in the
18th century, and as an artwork probably will be around, if humans are
still a species, for the next thousand years if not longer in spite of its
petty plot.

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By Anarcissie, October 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

The next performance of Don Giovanni by the Metropolitan Opera has no ‘lasting value’ either, but it’s probably still worth doing, at least to the people who do it and the people who attend it and pay for it.

I have known several sex workers.  All of them were pretty positive about their work, which contrasts strongly with the feelings of most corporate wage slaves.  But don’t believe me, read Susie Bright or someone like that.  Or go meet some of the people actually involved.  No doubt there are people who are cruelly enslaved and exploited, but that is true in almost every occupation and every society—it’s just man’s humanity to man.

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By Shenonymous, October 12, 2011 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

What do you mean by “goodness?”  Exploitive disqualifies it.
The sex industry is not anything of which I can claim to have much
significant knowledge except for the occasional vapid references in
the media and the ads for bitchin’ clothes sold at Fredericks of
Hollywood and the odd fascination men have with blow up dolls. 
Yeah, I suppose the sex trade is a colossal productive business of
erotica all right, but products without lasting intrinsic value (yeah…
temporary), so again commercially it dovetails right in with and has
some resemblances to the financial industry.  I don’t see any way to
get around it.  There might be a buzz session for this topic, since it
hovers on the edges of public values.

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By Anarcissie, October 12, 2011 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

The products seem very popular, so there is probably something to them besides disease.  Besides, a lot of sex work does not involve direct physical contact with the customers, at least not of an ‘intimate’ nature, for example acting in pornographic movies, ‘exotic’ dancing, commercial BDSM, and sex therapy.  The temporary nature of the products does not disqualify them from goodness; everything is temporary.

Given the extent to which market relations permeate our culture, it’s hardly surprising that a lot of sexual behavior is affected or even governed by them.

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By Shenonymous, October 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

I guess we will have to agree to disagree.  I can’t speak for most
sex workers, or even one.  But since physical pleasure or sexual
relief lasts only for the moment(s), about as long as the value of
any single dollar does for financiers, I suppose one could argue
propitiously that whores could deliver something of lasting value
to their customers, most likely STDs.  Et ainsi il va

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By Anarcissie, October 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

I disagree about the sex industry versus the financial industry.  Most sex workers deliver the goods, as far as I know.  They add some kind of value to their customers’ lives.  Financiers, at least the higher-level types, seem mainly to prey on people and institutions destructively.

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By Shenonymous, October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Expedient use of a group of people is hardly looking out for their
best interests but is really questionable conduct on behalf of those
economic/political elites (the euphemism you used is “organized
capital[ist]”) who would benefit by paying attention to how best to
exploit them.  It is a species of political prostitution.  Pimps make it
worthwhile (either through money or beatings) for a whore to have an
“occupation.”  Yup, I understand…  And my observation is still valid. 
Nevertheless, “In order to do this, the domestic working class had
to be secured.”
  Seems like the word procured fits better.  The fact
that seduction (a rather appropriate to use a sexual reference for
immoral mercenary profiteering of any kind)

Trivial pursuit information:  Did you know pimps are such wealthy users
of other humans that their vast accumulation of money often goes to
support various front organizations that work to steer political
discussion toward “free speech rights,” and away from the damaging
effects of the sex industry on the women and children used in it?  Gee,
that sounds very much like what the Koch Brothers, et al, do for the
Republican Party.  Only in their case, they want to direct the public
dialogue away from the damaging effects on the public of the financial
industry.  The sex industry and financial industry have a one-to-one
similarity in terms of operational functions.

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By Anarcissie, October 11, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, October 11 at 8:21 am:

‘...  When have the interests of the middle class,
ahem…yeah, the working class, had any importance or priority for the “ruling” class?’

During the early part of the 20th century in North America and Western Europe.  Between 1910 and 1970 or so, organized capital had to deal with their own inability to organize the economy, and with anti-liberal, anti-capitalist mass movements like socialism, fascism and Bolshevism.  In order to do this, the domestic working class had to be secured.  There was some dispute as to whether that should be done by repression or seduction; seduction, by and large, won out.  There arose a social contract in which loyal industrial and military service were to be exchanged for a Welfare state and a reasonable standard of living.  That contract began to be challenged in the 1970s and open war on it began with the election of Reagan, as the ruling class perceived its enemies to be in decline and thus the usefulness of a particularly loyal, obedient working class to be coming to an end.

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By Shenonymous, October 11, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

” The “progressives” believe that the (D)evil is Good.” is a
pointless melodramatic statement since gods and devils are
inventions of human imagination often appropriated by those
who are ill-equipped for explanations of reality.  If devilhood
can be a veritable adjective, then when lucidly comparing the few
to the many, the wealthy Corporatocrats appear precisely as devils
and the liberal progressives are the ‘real’ eradicators of devils.

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By Shenonymous, October 11, 2011 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

”... the sense of the (non-radical) ‘middle’ (that is, working) class
that their desires and interests no longer mean anything to the ruling
class;”
  What a hoot.  When have the interests of the middle class,
ahem…yeah, the working class, had any importance or priority for the
“ruling” class?

I’ll answer that.  Never.  The degree of resentment has reached an
extremely high pitch and the common people have been awaken
from their usual sleep walking state of mind, come to their senses
about being exploited by the financial corporate privileged class that
compose the ruling class, and have risen from the bedrock of common
life.  These are usually socially inured zombies negotiating life by way of
habits now up from that near dead state. 

It is reported that over 140 such protests have materialized throughout
the country in all the major cities, which have immense media visibility. 
All those people involved will be permanently conscious of the forces at
work to disenfranchise them and will retain that resentment which will
affect their voting habits from now on.  They will be kept alert by
movement organizers.  It is also an infectious movement which means
more and more people will be attracted to the machinery of protest.

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By David J. Cyr, October 11, 2011 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

A “progressive” is a person who believes that all natural persons require (D) corporate person control — that good can only come from (D) corporate party’s evil.

The “progressives” believe that the (D)evil is Good.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Anarcissie, October 11, 2011 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

I think a substantial part of the popularity of both the Tea Parties and the Wall Street Occupation come from a similar source, the sense of the (non-radical) ‘middle’ (that is, working) class that their desires and interests no longer mean anything to the ruling class; that they are being manipulated, cheated and abandoned.  Naturally, coming from different sensibilities and understandings of the world, they interpret this strong intuition—grasp of reality, I would say—in different ways.

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By diamond, October 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment

“Today’s Republicans are just retarded Democrats, conservatively seeking a return to the original racist roots of the Democratic faction of the corporate party.”

Splendid Orwellian twist there. War is peace. Black is white. Wrong is right. Republicans are Democrats. Boys are girls. Cats are dogs. Four is five. The possibilities are endless.

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By cpb, October 10, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

“Did anyone ever point out that your thought process is reminiscent of the nearly insane character Jack Nicholson played in the Shining? You know, the bar scene when he gets himself all worked up and confused.”

I love how trolls can with such straight face make such broad generalizations based on such limited input.  They do this well, some of them, and others do so with more pronounced desperation. 

Not up to the challenge Karzo?  C’mon troll, at least give us a lame troll-like response to at least one of my accusations! 

Deny deny deny.  And if that doesn’t work, obfuscate to beat the band!

Cheers Krazo! ..you of such pure right wing transparency.

You Go Krazo!  You Go!

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By Shenonymous, October 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

Simply stated, the Occupy Wall Street movement is nothing like
the Tea Party faction.

The one is a political organization whose only interest is to
deliver extensive harm on the American people to promote
their own political ambition of a severely dehydrated and
devitalized federal government that has been absorbed by the
Republican accomplices of Wall Street that commandeered the
political energy of Tea Partiers’ discontent with a chorus of
hawker spokesmen.

The other is a dynamized overwhelming public nationwide coalition, a
leaderless resistance movement of all political persuasions that have in
common the united will to no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of
the wealthy corporate elite epitomized by the financial district of New
York.

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By OzarkMichael, October 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

You really are hard done by Krazo, I don’t know how you can take it.  Poor repressed rightist, doing your best to build a bridges!  But you don’t really want a bridge do you Krazo?  Really?  So you can hang out with folk who are ‘just like every other leftist’.  Hmmmnnn…
                      -cpb

Did anyone ever point out that your thought process is reminiscent of the nearly insane character Jack Nicholson played in the Shining? You know, the bar scene when he gets himself all worked up and confused.

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By OzarkMichael, October 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

That’s beautiful Krazo.  Way to show yourself.  Every single Leftist?  All of them Krazo?

Enough that the accusation needs to me made.  I did not invent the concept of describing people as a class. That is what leftists like yourself taught me.

So take you medicine, troll.

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By cpb, October 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

High fives.  Don’t know how you do it.  You rock.

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By cpb, October 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

“You cant get your head around the fact that Leftists reserve certain forceful means for their own causes, while you deny those exact same means to my causes. You cannot be objective about yourself. That shows that you arent much of an intellectual

As you showed in your post, as diamond showed in his post. As every Leftist shows in every post. Its a double standard all the way to the end.”

- OzarkM.

“As every Leftist shows in every post.”  !! 

That’s beautiful Krazo.  Way to show yourself.  Every single Leftist?  All of them Krazo?  What’s a leftist anyway Krazo?  Who are these Rightists you speak for?  You exist here to polarize, as exemplified by your words above, but you keep on with the mister hard done by, hardworking representative of the under-represented ‘rightists’, working to expose the ongoing hypocrisy that holds you down!  Yeah man, you’re definitely on to something; clearly it is somewhat uncomfortable for you and shoved a little too far in.

Skipped right by the KKK stuff I see hmmmnnn…  Oh but wait, perhaps the idea that the KKK represent the extreme and most hateful end of ‘the right’, that’s just a leftist conspiracy eh Krazo?! 

You really are hard done by Krazo, I don’t know how you can take it.  Poor repressed rightist, doing your best to build a bridges!  But you don’t really want a bridge do you Krazo?  Really?  So you can hang out with folk who are ‘just like every other leftist’.  Hmmmnnn…

Me thinks that’s a little dishonest there Krazo!

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By Anarcissie, October 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

There is nothing special about being infiltrated by provocateurs, saboteurs, informers, and trolls, if you have powerful enemies.  This has sometimes been given as an argument for centralized control, but the Black Panthers had centralized control and were sabotaged by COINTELPRO anyway.

I think it’s funny that the Spectator removed the page.  Maybe the author was a little bit too enthusiastic for their tastes.

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By OzarkMichael, October 10, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

But it does demonstrate how even the most resolute dedication to nonviolence can be sabotaged.

I think you feel like something special is happening against you guys, as if it proves you are on the side of the angels. I dont think so because its unfortunately part of the game for everyone. I dont like it any more than you do.

However, lets take your specific case and look at the infiltrator of the washington march. An excerpt from the article:

At that assembly, the “Action Committee” for the protest movement organized by October2011.com suggested storming the museum in order to state their opposition to American militarism…

Sounds like the “Action Committee” had a plan. The conservative guy didnt brag about influencing that. Sounds like their plan didnt have ” the most resolution dedication to nonviolence”.

Now, lets discuss sabatours and infiltrators. Did you know that we have had infiltrators at the Tea Party?

The sabatours make racist signs and walk next to us. We notice the sabatour. One of us makes a sign that says “Not one of us” with an arrow pointing at the Leftist sabatour and we walk along next to him so the media taking pictures will see what is going on. Wanna see pictures?

Sometimes (or maybe it was only once) someone was able to identify exactly who the sabatour was and traced them to a Leftist activist group. I forget where that happened but i can look it up if you would like to see it.

Of course we dont catch them all fast enough and thats a victory for the Left when the racist photo gets in the paper.

Thats just how it goes Anarcissie.

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By OzarkMichael, October 10, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

But it does demonstrate how even the most resolute dedication to nonviolence can be sabotaged.

I think you feel like something special is happening against you guys, as if it proves you are on the side of the angels. I dont think so because its unfortunately part of the game for everyone. I dont like it any more than you do.

Lets take your specific case and look at the infiltrator of the washington march. An excerpt from the article we read:

At that assembly, the “Action Committee” for the protest movement organized by October2011.com suggested storming the museum in order to state their opposition to American militarism…

Sounds like the “Action Committee” had a plan. The conservative guy didnt brag about influencing that. Sounds like their plan didnt have ” the most resolution dedication to nonviolence”.

Now, lets discuss sabatours and infiltrators. Did you know that we have had infiltrators at the Tea Party?

The sabatours make racist signs and walk next to us. We notice the sabatour. One of us makes a sign that says “Not one of us” with an arrow pointing at the Leftist sabatour and we walk along next to him so the media taking pictures will see what is going on. Wanna see pictures?

Sometimes (or maybe it was only once) someone was able to identify exactly who the sabatour was and traced them to a Leftist activist group. I forget where that happened but i can look it up if you would like to see it.

Of course we dont catch them all fast enough and thats a victory for the Left when the racist photo gets in the paper.

Thats just how it goes Anarcissie.

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By Anarcissie, October 10, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Earlier in the discussion of this article I mentioned the possibilities of provocation by the police or rightist organizations.  It turns out that one was occurring even as I spoke.  A writer at The American Spectator, a rightist journal, masqueraded as a protester and led an invasion of a museum in Washington, D.C.  Later, he bragged about it on the Spectator’s web site.  Since then, the page was taken down, but was first copied by a number of people.  Here is one URL to a copy: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/AltarEgoCache.html

As far as we know this was a private act rather than something coordinated with the police or a hostile organization.  But it does demonstrate how even the most resolute dedication to nonviolence can be sabotaged.

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By Anarcissie, October 10, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, October 9 at 8:38 pm:

‘... Imagine that the Right ‘occupied’ a privately owned space without permission, and without a stated purpose other than a vague threat to stay until our demands were met. You would wonder if someone was behind such an event. You would examine evidence, and you wouldnt need much to raise your suspicions. ...’

Well, I took the Tea Party (-ies) on faith.

One of the problems with the liberal rights of free expression, association, assembly and so on is that the speakers, associators and assemblers have to have a place to stand.  As the social order becomes more and more privatized, these spaces disappear.  This problem has been illustrated by the Occupation: the protesters were not allowed to gather on Broad Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange, which is theoretically a public street with plenty of room.  So they gathered nearby in a ‘park’ which is actually not a park, but a piece of private property which was put in a park-like state in a zoning agreement having to do with the legally excessive height of a nearby building owned by the developers (the black corporate tombstone to its north, present called the Equitable Building).  You can see the problem here: because the agora which is assumed for public discourse in the liberal state had been taken away, the protesters had to create a new one if they wanted to exercise their right to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.  They could do this only by bending or breaking the law.

This is not a new problem.  Many years ago there was a analogous civil rights issue in a major city.  It seemed that there was a club to which only White males of a certain age and degree of prosperity could belong.  The problem with this club was that important decisions involving the whole city were negotiated and concluded on its premises.  Civil Rights, feminist, and poor people’s groups began to picket the club and made an issue of certain politicians’ membership in it.  The club’s members of course complained that their rights of privacy were being violated. I don’t know how this came out; I’m just using it to illustrate the conflict.

To some extent the mass media were supposed to replace the physical agora, but here we observe a similar problem: except for the Internet, they are all owned, operated, edited and filtered by the same ruling class which owns or dominates all the physical space.  This is why the Occupation was shut out of the news until someone made a video of a police officer macing a couple of innocent demonstrators, which was too exciting to forgo.

I think this dispute, which is basically a conflict between the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights and others generally assumed, on the one hand, and the right of the wealthy and powerful to dominate and subjugate everyone else through the property system, is inherent in liberalism-capitalism, which is one of the reasons I find it unsatisfactory and work to encourage people to emerge from it.  Liberals, however, want to continue to live with it, so they have to find at least a provisional solution to the conflict.  Cynical maneuvers on the part of the ruling class like ‘free speech zones’ half a mile out of sight aren’t going to fool anybody, so the sort of political conflict we observe around the Occupation seems inevitable.  There doesn’t have to be anything ‘behind’ it; both sides of the conflict are now out in the open.

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By David J. Cyr, October 10, 2011 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, of a liberal historian’s ahistorical adulation of Nelson Rockefeller’s liberalism, posted by the (D)evils’ Siren:

“Even so, that didn’t stop the extreme right-wing KuKluxKlan, who frightened even conservative Republicans, from bombing churches, in 1963 killing four young black American girls, in 1964 murdering three civil rights workers, two black teenagers…”
___________________

The history of the KKK is a solidly Democrat history. Bull Connor was, like all the other Klan member public officials, a Democrat. The vicious “nigger hunting” cops, of Waterbury, Connecticut, who raided our political collective’s house in ‘68, looking for the Black Panther we were protecting were “good” Catholic Democrats.

The liberal racists intelligently MovedOn in the 60’s to covertly make America’s racism more sustainable than the Klan could. Liberals cleverly established a bureaucracy to affirmatively take action to helpfully maintain blacks in a permanent underclass.

Today’s Republicans are just retarded Democrats, conservatively seeking a return to the original racist roots of the Democratic faction of the corporate party.

Only a liberal could believe it’s “historic progress” for a half-black man to be allowed to commit the greatest crimes that only white men could before.

It’s their remarkable ability to make every evil more sustainable that makes liberal Democrats the greater evil.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By OzarkMichael, October 10, 2011 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

@Project Mayhem. I am correct about the inequality and double standard between us, and the fact that you still want to argue about ends makes me wonder if you are a little thick.

We are talking about means, not ends. You could not engage on the correst topic of means(which was the whole point of my post about Rightist occupation, I was not trying to justify any such end, I was merely being critical of the method no matter who uses it. Co-opting the police? Really?)

If I must answer for others who arent even present in the conversation, then you must answer for others who are present and aiding you right here and right now. Fair? Oh yes it is! So here is diamond yesterday:

One of the things that led to the debt ceiling debacle is that some gullible fools believed the crap in the media and voted for Tea Party or Republican candidates, removing the Democrats’ majority. The Republicans can now use this to block any useful legislation the Obama administration might want to pass. The Nazis did the same when they got in the German parliament:

See, merely resisting Fearless Leader turns the Tea Party into Nazis. Here is a person who wanted to disagree with the President and even thought it was patriotic to do so. Shameless Nazi that she is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJxmpTMGhU0&NR=1

Ah but wait there is more, and you need to explain this little gem:

The Nazis did the same when they got in the German parliament: disappearing whenever the parliament was voting on something they didn’t agree with, turning the parliament into a zoo

Yeah. Like in Wisconsin when they were disappearing all the way across the state line because the senate was voting on something they didnt agree with, turning the state capitol building into a zoo. Damned Nazis!

We need to do something. Maybe damned Nazis shouldnt be allowed to even…ah wait a minute… I just remembered…those were Democrats who walked out of Wisconsin, and those were Union folks who turned the state capital into a zoo. Hmmm. 

I guess Democrats and Union folks are allowed to use Nazi methods, right? So its all ok, right? But just wait till we catch a Republican doing it! Man, Truthdig will call him a fascist, and it will be cool because we can grumble about how its just like Hitler all over again.

Yeah Project Mayhem, there is no double standard at work here! 

 

You cant get your head around the fact that Leftists reserve certain forceful means for their own causes, while you deny those exact same means to my causes. You cannot be objective about yourself. That shows that you arent much of an intellectual

As you showed in your post, as diamond showed in his post. As every Leftist shows in every post. Its a double standard all the way to the end.

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By Shenonymous, October 10, 2011 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

Excellently said Project Mayhem.  As said on other forums,

The Republican Party is the Party Against the People.

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By Project Mayhem, October 10, 2011 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

ObfuscatingMouthpiece: “In this imaginary scenario the Right is pressuring or making demands upon an institution that we consider to be abusive and bad(Lets say Planned Parenthood). Imagine that we go right up to the line of the law, but also every day we cross that line, hoping for a mistake by the police during the confrontation so that the protest gains more sympathy in the piblic eye. Mace is used by the police because we keep pushing into the Planned Parenthood building. People get arrested. Imagine that some of us are talking about storming the building. This keeps emotions at a fevered pitch. Imagine that we hope our direct action would spread to every town. Imagine that it did.”

Do you not see how absurd this is? Besieging Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides care and support for single mothers and poor women? And you offer this up as some sort of equivalent to OWS? In fact, people who would (and do) besiege Planned Parenthood and similar organizations are beneath contempt; as are those who shout down the handicapped in town hall meetings when they attempt to describe the inequities of a health care system that has abandoned them; as are those who applaud and cheer when it is announced that their candidate for President has executed more people in his state than the rest of the country combined.

Such people are filth. And they are your people.

There is no equivalency between them and those involved in the OWS movement. To argue otherwise is simply further evidence that you are oblivious, disingenuous, or both. Furthermore, there is no moral or intellectual “equality” between the sort of movement your people represent (the systematic destruction of what democracy still remains) and what the OWS represents (an end to corporate autocracy). Diamond is quite correct when he points out that the party whose ideology you embrace has never once represented anything that might be thought of as a boon for the common citizens of this country. And, yet, you blather on about “equality”. Nonsense. Tolerating the intolerant, bestowing upon them some sort of legitimacy, is not helpful. And, certainly, attributing them the same moral legitimacy as the OWS movement is just transparently absurd.

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By diamond, October 10, 2011 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

“Check out civil rights in the 60s. Republicans in Congress, dude.”

Dragged to it kicking and screaming and it was Congress that passed a law that slaves were not people but property and it was Congress that spent years making it possible for the abuse and violence used against slaves to remain legal and for runaway slaves to be recaptured and returned to their ‘owners’. There is a long list of their crimes against morality and decency in ‘A People’s History of the United States’. The Congress is an abomination and only behaves morally when it has no other option, as it had no other option in the 60s. The Republican Party never did anything moral in its existence if it could avoid it: even the Civil War was only fought to prevent the South from seceding from the Union. The Republicans as a party have corrupted the entire political system in the service of the corporations and have no shame whatever about doing so. Reagan, Nixon, Cheney and George W. Bush - all Republicans and all dumber than the dirt and all with morals a psychopath would be ashamed of.

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By OzarkMichael, October 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie says: “Needless to say, I prefer my own opinions to other people’s.  But I recognize that they prefer their opinions to mine.  This is one aspect of equality.”

Another aspect of equality is that we both play by the same set of rules, that we apply the same rules equally to each ourselves and each other. One of us does not get a free pass. One of us does not have the right to play the game differently just because we prefer our own ideals.

Imagine that the Right ‘occupied’ a privately owned space without permission, and without a stated purpose other than a vague threat to stay until our demands were met. You would wonder if someone was behind such an event. You would examine evidence, and you wouldnt need much to raise your suspicions.

In this imaginary scenario the Right is pressuring or making demands upon an institution that we consider to be abusive and bad(Lets say Planned Parenthood). Imagine that we go right up to the line of the law, but also every day we cross that line, hoping for a mistake by the police during the confrontation so that the protest gains more sympathy in the piblic eye. Mace is used by the police because we keep pushing into the Planned Parenthood building. People get arrested. Imagine that some of us are talking about storming the building. This keeps emotions at a fevered pitch. Imagine that we hope our direct action would spread to every town. Imagine that it did.

Imagine that we planned to ‘co-opt’ the police to our cause. You would be very concerned about the police force taking sides in a political argument and not enforcing the law equally like they are supposed to. You damn sure would not be hailing that as ‘democracy’. You would call it intimidation, and you would realize it is a prelude to much worse.

Even if we Rightists had perfect manners while we did all this, you would not be ‘very impressed’ with our ‘self control’. You would not be breathless at the variegated people commited our direct action. You would not weep over how much we care, nor would our ability to show how evil abortion is make you feel better about what we were doing. You would not marvel at how committed we are to make a change for the better. No.

Instead you would be looking to see who stood to gain from it, who had organized it. Most of all you would be screaming that we are breaking rules, that we are bypassing democracy. You would ask “why dont you just vote to change the rules like everyone else?”

I would answer, “We tried that for years and it didnt work. We have to do something now. I cant help that I prefer my idealism to yours.”

You would correctly see our Rightist occupation as a type of force, and you would figure that our demands ought not to be met because if our force meets with success it only encourages more force. You would not call that process freedom and equality. You would call it fascism.

And now wake up from that nightmare. Even i would be horrified at such a thing, i would speak out against the Rightist occupatio, i would denounce it for using force… even if force could gain the political change i wanted. And that is the difference between us. I apply the rules to my own idealism and accept limitations based on principle. You do not.

That is inequality.

I accept critique based on any method you want to use on me… if you will also apply it to yourself. Which you wont!

That is inequality.

You want to maintain that inequality, and grow it, dont you? If your Leftist Occupation succeeds you will need to do just that.

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By Shenonymous, October 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

Let there be no mistake, the Republicans of the 60s were
moderate Nelson Rockefeller versus the Mr. Conservative
Barry Goldwater, totally unlike the blockheads of today. 
Moderate Republican Rockefeller found political capital in
supporting the civil rights movement. (PDF African American
Civil Rights and the Republican Party document available on
google)

Excerpt:  “The conflict between liberals and conservatives
culminated in 1964 as Rockefeller and Goldwater battled for
the Republican presidential nomination.  Like the vast majority of
Republicans in Congress, the New York governor strongly supported
the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. The law contained important
provisions that outlawed segregation in public accommodations and
created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to combat
employment discrimination. These two sections drew the wrath of
Goldwater, who criticized them as unwarranted intrusions of federal
power into the rights of private property owners and accordingly voted
against the bill.”  While not an hysteric, Goldwater did however have his
name put to the book, not written by him, None Dare Call It Treason.  It
is mild compared to the screeching voice the whacko zealots of today
give.

Even so, that didn’t stop the extreme right-wing KuKluxKlan, who
frightened even conservative Republicans, from bombing churches, in
1963 killing four young black American girls, in 1964 murdering three
civil rights workers, two black teenagers, in 1965 Viola Liuzzo ad Detroit
mother who happen to be visiting Alabama to attend a civil rights march,
in 1966 a firbombing death of a NAACP leader. In 1978 five protesters
were murdered by the KKK and the Americn Nazi Party.  In 1980 the KKK
shot four elderly black women after a KKK initiation rally.  In 1981,
Michael Donald, a black man, was lynched.  Sort of cancels out a lot of
the Republican effort since the Klan was against the Party moderates
involvement.  Their violence is not forgotten.

More recently,  the article “Republican House Member Misrepresents
History On Civil Rights Legislation” 2009, at http://tinyurl.com/yzgdm7v
recounts a glaring Republican prevarication.

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By Anarcissie, October 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—I can’t grant you equality.  You already have equality.

Needless to say, I prefer my own opinions to other people’s.  But I recognize that they prefer their opinions to mine.  This is one aspect of equality.

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By OzarkMichael, October 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

diamond said: I don’t believe you’ll find a single reform ever put in place for the working class that came from the Republicans, or, in most cases, legislation that was moral and just from the Congress overall.

Check out civil rights in the 60s. Republicans in Congress, dude.

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By diamond, October 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

“Better to have a social justice movement led by political virgins than by political prostitutes.”

Perhaps. But no good ever came of throwing the baby out with the bathwater - a tendency that can be observed all through American history. I don’t believe you’ll find a single reform ever put in place for the working class that came from the Republicans, or, in most cases, legislation that was moral and just from the Congress overall. The Congress has a long and shameful history in that regard. The Republicans are the party of Wall Street and the corporations and they make no bones about it. That, as George W. Bush proudly proclaimed, is their ‘base’. I agree that the corporations and corporate culture, including globalization and free market economics are destroying the world and destroying democracy and if another political party came out of the Occupy Wall Street movement that would be a good thing. But at the moment there’s no sign of that and I don’t think that’s their plan.

They want politicians to hold Wall Street accountable for its numerous crimes and that’s a good idea too but until the political/ideological tide turns and regulating the banks can not only be discussed but put forward as a realistic and politically credible thing to do and some bankers start going to jail and the Democrats have the numbers to get such changes through - which they never will have if people follow your advice and don’t vote or vote for fringe groups with no political power- then it’s all just talk. It’s not enough to be right and on the side of the angels you have to have the votes. That’s how parliamentary democracy works.

One of the things that led to the debt ceiling debacle is that some gullible fools believed the crap in the media and voted for Tea Party or Republican candidates, removing the Democrats’ majority. The Republicans can now use this to block any useful legislation the Obama administration might want to pass. The Nazis did the same when they got in the German parliament: disappearing whenever the parliament was voting on something they didn’t agree with, turning the parliament into a zoo, until the right made Hitler Chancellor so they could have him pissing out of the tent instead of into it. Didn’t work out too well for them, as I recall. The Tea Party has now taken up this proud legacy or anarchy, disruption and irresponsibility and some of their members have stated openly that they don’t care about getting re-elected, they just want to destroy Obama. If Occupy Wall Street did form a political party and run candidates who could win it might at least provide a counter balance to the monkey house that is the Tea Party. But most people are still going to vote for the established parties and it will take a long time to change that, if ever.

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By OzarkMichael, October 9, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, today I gave you a chance to treat me as an equal, and in exchange i promised to be helpful(see post in other thread) You respond by requesting information, asking me to publish more criticism. In my last post I wasnt promising more criticism, I was promising help, but on one condition: equality.

By asking for more criticism you have let me know that equality is one thing you will not grant.

Criticism it shall be then. You are pushing half truths here and I think you know it. Yes, you did it for the sake of your beliefs and you consider it symbolic, but I would prefer an honest discussion.

You still want special status for your political views, which I cant blame you for wanting. I cannot settle for that, but since you insist on it where do we go from here?

If Leftist dialectic (such as your favorite, Reduction) was a tool for you to use against me, but when its your turn to face similar music, you wont do it, I have to wonder what sort of arguments were we having all along?

If the rules dont apply to you, why should they apply to me or anyone else? If the priviledges you claim for yourself are not mine as well, what sort of relationship are we establishing?


If by some miracle your side wins out someday, am i supposed to believe that your side will suddenly grant equality to people like me? Will be more truthful with people like me?

Acquiring power doesnt make revolutions more principled. And this is proven historically. Whenever the revolutionary Left succeeded, the inequality only gets worse, much worse. The seeds of inequality and falsehood exist within the Revolutionary Left. Blaming the Right for what communist, anarchist, and socialist success leads to(Lenin and Stalin) is a way to ensure that you never learn from your own prior mistakes.

From now on I must understand that every appeal you make to law, every appeal you make to principle or morality is only a tool for leverage and nothing more. Very much in line with Saul Alinsky, the patron saint of the Left.

Every rule you appeal to when you criticize me is only a disguise. The same rule, when it needs to be applied to you, suddenly vanishes. Very nice slight of hand.

Nevertheless I would like to prove that my offer to help was genuine. Here is an ounce of good advice:

Tell the kids that they need to compromise or the media will make them look like nuts. The Tea Party learned that the hard way. Tell the kids, for example, that they need to compromise with the corporation which owns the land they are camped out on.

First, stop lying about how the plaza belongs to the Occupation, as if its theirs ‘in the name of the people’. Its making bad press for the kids and it will make independents very nervous when they find out about it. But worse, the plaza needs cleaned up, and maybe the kids need cleaned up too. Tell them to make a contract with the owners of the square…whereby the kids vacate for an afternoon every week so the owners can clean it up. Yes that involves admitting that the plaza is not theirs, but its the truth, and the truth tends to help. Compromise also makes a movement look more responsible and trustworthy.

“How things look” is unfortunately an introduction to “what it is”. “How things look” are what TV camaras will show, what reporters will discuss, and what the masses will remember. Saul Alinsky would agree with me. Clean and scrubbed works. Shitting on police cars doesnt.

The Occupation is becoming a health hazard, and that gives the authorities an excuse to vacate you forceably. So get a step ahead. Maybe someone thought of that already? If not, please inject the idea into the Occupation if you can.

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By Anarcissie, October 9, 2011 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—If you have some interesting information about the Occupation, I think you should just go ahead and publish it, regardless of other people’s supposed honesty or lack of it.  If you’re going to charge that people are engaged in some kind of deceptive, nefarious activity, though, you’re going to need evidence and logic, not just assertions of similarity.

In any case, I think you should be aware that I am not the Occupation.  I’ve visited it several times, and on earlier visits brought some supplies, but it’s not my kind of scene and my visits were somewhere on the scale between collegial and curious.  In any case they no longer need my stuff; they have so much food, for instance, that they called up some food distribution projects to give the surplus away.  I’m also familiar with some of their procedures from observing them on other occasions, which is one of the reasons I am dubious about external manipulation having much effect on them as things stand.

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By Shenonymous, October 9, 2011 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Those who listen to the Siren’s Song and are seduced are already
ready and seeking change because they are not satisfied with stasis. 
As a metaphor, a Siren’s Song can be towards a constructive and
healthier mode of being.  As Nietzsche expressed one has to die
before a new life can begin.  Hence the Benefactor Siren beckons
for a more excellent life. 

When one has to advertise their unique political point of view,
such as is presented on chenangogreens, it shows the majority
have different ideas.  The strategy voiced there does not appeal to
the essential social democratic sense that is common to societies. The
eruptions seen worldwide this year is existential evidence not merely
theory that people are becoming conscious of their own power. The
same explosion is happening in America and the evidence is the OWS
and is happening countrywide that will be vitalized continuously by
the new age of electronic communication.  It is a climax, a culmination
of a festering dissatisfaction with the slippage of democratic ethics
appropriated by the political power elite. And although there are
anarchistic implications, there is no reason to think anarchy will result. 
Anarchy, while its injunctions seduced some notable noetic thinkers,
including Plato and Tolstoi, has no significant history as a permanent
political flavor of social organization.  It does provide the motivation for
individuals to find their own values and while elements of anarchy
remain, the values of the society transcend them.  Groups of people
hunger for government, for the protections governments provide which
is the basic and quintessential reason governments developed from the
tribal form of social structure.

The question of fairness that is at the bottom of the biggest protest
movement since civil rights is really a question of justice and justice is
the most important virtue of a society.  Justice, Plato said, would be a
simple matter if men were simple, and therefore an anarchist
communism would be sufficient.  The idea of returning to nature, as is
one of the basic creeds of anarchists, or let us say, primitive simplicity,
sounds seductive, so the Siren observes, since it is her job to pay
attention to what is seductive. 

But the bigger question is to ask why it is that the simple paradise of
the anarchist never comes about, or if it does why it is on such a small
scale, which could work on a small scale?  Why is it utopia simply does
not materialize?  We all know why?  We who are introspective that is. 
Greed and luxury and humankind is not content with the simple life,
as Will Durant so astutely detected.  The Farengi’s Rules of Acquisition
is the choice of modus operandi.  Men are acquisitive, ambitious,
competitive, and jealous, the latter having the highest position in the
list of their distinguishing marks.  This results in the oppression of one
over another at the moment one shows any frailty to contend with the
vicissitudes of life.

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By Anarcissie, October 9, 2011 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Actually, the Occupation is highly variegated, as you can see if you look at the signs in the videos.  Next to ‘Restore Glass-Steagall’ (in other words, reform mostly okay capitalism) is ‘Abolish Capitalism’.  As I’ve said several times now, we have a situation in which liberal social democrats, maybe a majority of the electorate, have been driven into the political wilderness, or rather, the streets, where they are learning about how to do street actions from the anarchists, socialists, communists, etc. that they have found there.  It’s an interesting situation.

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By OzarkMichael, October 9, 2011 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

I’d say the Democrats are by far a worse problem than any rightists.  The Occupiers know the rightists are their enemies, because the rightists are explicit about contempt and hatred.  But the Democrats are creeping up on every side, ready to ‘help out’ and destroy the movement (possibly after using it).  The example of UFPJ was well chosen.

                    -Anarcissie

Millions and millions of us on the Right have no hatred for the Occupation. We disagree with the goal, we find the method to be disingenuous, and we dont see any reason why the MSM shouldnt expose your inconsistancies. Most of all… we saw who the intended benefactor was from day one even if you did not.

And we dont like being lied about any more than you do. Apparently you will never treat us as your equals. We dont like that either. For all that, no hatred here. Just clear eyed realization of how it is and a determination to not be fooled.

I have contacts in six different Tea Party organizations. From casual conversations amongst ourselves I report not a single one of those expressed any wish for the Occupation kids to be harmed. The situation at Wall Streetwas designed to make you guys feel more ‘surrounded’ and ‘shut in’ and ‘trapped’. Do not blame conservatives for that. It was the plan of the organizers. They knew this from the start and didnt I warn you about that?

As far as the Democrats taking over and benefiting in some way, geez, its a little late for you to worry about that now.

I warned from day one that certain people set this in motion. The exact result was not foreseeable, but it was always certain that Obama would benefit from your success or failure. he wins no matter what. You were Pawns from the start.

You might call it “explicit contempt and hatred”, but its actually sympathy that i have for you Pawns. I expressed it from day one.

True, I have used Leftist analytical methods on the Occupation, and true that it might be a little rough for you to endure. But you have two choices. Either thank me for beating some consistancy into you, or admit that the Leftist analytic method should not be used… ON ANYBODY. Not on you and not on me either. Then we are equals at last. Hmm, that would be a revolutionary development.

Meanwhile please stop whining about ‘hatred’. You started with whining about not getting much press, I told you that you were getting more than your share.

Then you started whining about too much press because it was often critical. Anarcisse, i tried to tell you, getting big press means scrutiny. Big press is like a dogwhistle for all the nutcases on your side to show up from everywhere. Big press also issues a call for politicians to glom on to you. 

It is not a plot against you, its just the way it is. Puppetmesters know full well how this stuff plays out, and they pushed the kids into this mess. I could have told you that. Actually i did tell you that, damn it.

For you to demand special treatment at every turn is a little tiresome, but it is also ruining whatever chance you have of making a difference. The press is picking up on the bad angles now. I know what comes next and I suspect that you dont. You need to clean up your act pretty soon.

I actually have some good advice for you to consider. But i do not give my best to those who consider themselves my superior. We will either play by the same rules or not at all. If you were honest with me you would have a friend instead of a foe.

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By David J. Cyr, October 9, 2011 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, of an anonymous avatar being an ancient artifact’s depiction of a Siren:

“It is expected that an anarchist would worry about Democrats infiltrating the OWS movement since the two are akin to each other and I would say the anarchists do have reason to be worried as their cause will evaporate once again as the movement gets it land legs and become a force for democratic change.”
_________________

The roots of the OWS movement are democratically anarchist, which is why people of good intention supporting the OWS movement have good reason to be worried about the “change” that Democrats joining in will bring with them. There’s nothing democratic about the corporate party’s Democrats.

The songs of the half woman and half bird Sirens of Greek mythology were intended to lure sailors into the rocks, where their ships would be wrecked and the sailors would die.

Deception is what Democrats do.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Shenonymous, October 9, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

The Occupy Wall Street has been going on now for a month. There
is no evidence that Democrats are attempting to “take over” or
usurp the energy and intentions of the movement.  If anything they
are being stellar in their circumspection about not intruding.  The
fact that unions are joining and adding their voices to the outcry of
the throng testifies only to their own discontent with the actions of
Congress and the President.  The movement does however dovetail,
harmonize as a natural affinity with Democratic principles regardless
of the politicians who have cravenly bartered those values for personal
political security.  It is expected that an anarchist would worry about
Democrats infiltrating the OWS movement since the two are akin to each
other and I would say the anarchists do have reason to be worried as
their cause will evaporate once again as the movement gets it land legs
and become a force for democratic change.  Fairness is what this
movement is about and Democratic ideals are about fairness.  Hence
fairness = fairness.  Their ambition and morals are the same.

The density of the liberal mind is dictated by the degree of oppression
those who have governmental power imposes and have inflicted on the
aggregate American people. 

The Latin for diamond is adamas, from diamant of Middle English, and
the French aimant or aziman meaning magnet.  The substance is hard
enough to carve facets that create prismatic effects when light is present. 
The choice of the word diamond for one’s blog ID is superior in that it
represents the many sides one has and upon which one can reflect as in
self-reflection as well as offer for others to see themselves in the mirrors
of the facets.  I would urge those who have criticized this commenter to
attempt to be as introspect.

I agree with you, diamond, on all but your characterization of the Tea
Partiers as Nazis.  I think it is too easy to throw that appellation onto an
opponent, as noxious as they are, and should save it for those whose
actual behavior mimics the vile murderous and savage treatment the
Nazis inflicted on millions of people, thereby keeping the descriptive
term from becoming too used and lose its effective dramatic meaning. 
While I have not one shred of respect for the Tea Party or any of its
members and I do believe it is a shill and shrill group for the Repiglicans
funded by the Corporatocrat wealthy such as the Koch Brothers, et al, it
is their own selfish interests that motivates their every breath, not
democratic and economic fairness, that determines their every act to
exploit the population towards that end.  It is this sole intention that the
Wall Street protest is about, the confiscation of the economy of this
country by the greedy who sit on the thrones on Wall Street.

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By David J. Cyr, October 9, 2011 at 4:49 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, diamond:

“Who does that leave? Political virgins? Especially since the Democrats are the party of labor and are supposed to represent workers.”
______________

What liberals claim that the corporate party’s Democrats are “supposed to represent” is not what Democrats do represent.

No union representing workers would support the corporate person representing Democrats. If unions had socialist leadership their unions would support good policies for all workers, rather than (D) misled greedy capitulations just for their members (e.g. they’d support Single-Payer healthcare for all, rather than shackle union members to employers with a SickCare insurance “benefit” that requires the members to obediently serve that employer or loose their “benefit”.)

When the either consummately evil or dumber than cows corporate party (R) & (D) corporate person serving operatives are excluded that leaves sane and sensible experientially educable people who represent natural person interests… and the rights of Nature.

The mineral name “diamond” comes from the Greek word for “unbreakable” owing to the hardness being a property of the great density of that stone. The mental chains that imprison liberal minds are as dense as diamonds.

Better to have a social justice movement led by political virgins than by political prostitutes.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By diamond, October 8, 2011 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment

“Unless there’s a clearly stated (and held to) unified Occupy movement express declaration of firm solidarity in opposition to the corporate party and all of the corporate party’s candidates — both Republicans and Democrats — the Occupy movement will be, like UFPJ was, just another GOTV drive for more mandates for Democrats to get done the greater evil that Republicans can’t.”

Oh, I see. The unions are excluded, Democrat voters are excluded and Democrat politicians are excluded. Who does that leave? Political virgins? Especially since the Democrats are the party of labor and are supposed to represent workers. Are they to kick the unions out of bed to get your tick of approval? Or are the unions to be banned from all political activity? I don’t see why when corporations have managed to have themselves declared ‘persons’ in the eyes of the law. You are spouting arrant nonsense because I pointed out that the Tea Party is not a real party but a cat’s paw for the Republican Party- the Nazi wing of the conservatives- and the so-called party with more loonies to the square inch than any political party outside of the nutters that govern Burma and North Korea. They say and do all the things that the Republicans don’t dare in case their cover as fascists is blown. Barney Frank said it best: ‘The Republicans believe life begins at conception and ends at birth’. They never saw an injustice they didn’t love and embrace and they never saw a worker they didn’t want to grind into the dust. If the Republicans’ activities during the debt ceiling crisis didn’t make the scales fall from your eyes you’re not trying.

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By Anarcissie, October 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

I’d say the Democrats are by far a worse problem than any rightists.  The Occupiers know the rightists are their enemies, because the rightists are explicit about contempt and hatred.  But the Democrats are creeping up on every side, ready to ‘help out’ and destroy the movement (possibly after using it).  The example of UFPJ was well chosen.

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By Project Mayhem, October 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Cyr is correct. The so-called “Left” is no longer represented in any meaningful way, shape, or form in the United States. The aggrieved bollockry of such as OzarkMichael is so much empty spleen; his so-called challenges to “Lefties” are a laughable farce considering how absurdly Right “reasonable” political discourse has shifted in this sorry excuse for a democracy. The simple fact remains that what is (rightly) considered a retrograde element in true democratic societies (i.e. political/religious fundamentalism) has, in the pursuit of a dogmatic & economically “pure” United States, been elevated to quasi-sainthood. The pathology involved in this transference is to me, as the recipient of a public & classical education, mind-boggling. But then, presumably, it is the people who received a more pedestrian education than I who are out on Wall Street day after day after day, doing the real work of democracy. So, after all, perhaps I am not so unlike OzarkMichael; just another ideological windbag who prevaricates from the sideline, standing in the way of true human evolution and social justice. OM, you are a piece of anachronistic trash, a Luddite sucking marrow from the bone of an utterly hollow & discredited system. But take heart, my worthless friend, for most of us “Lefties” are just as bloated and addicted to the remains of democracy as you are.

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By David J. Cyr, October 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, diamond:

“The Occupy Wall Street movement is real, the Tea Party is a fake”
______________

With corporate party Democrat controlled union members and droves of cognitive dissonant “progressives” joining the Occupy movement?

Unless there’s a clearly stated (and held to) unified Occupy movement express declaration of firm solidarity in opposition to the corporate party and all of the corporate party’s candidates — both Republicans and Democrats — the Occupy movement will be, like UFPJ was, just another GOTV drive for more mandates for Democrats to get done the greater evil that Republicans can’t.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By diamond, October 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

“The Tea Party activists and the Occupy movement people have far more common interest with each other than either has with any of the corporate party’s corporate person representing (R) & (D) candidates.”

The Tea Party are a wing of the Republican Party so they’ve got you completely fooled on that point. The Occupy Wall Street protesters are mostly of the left or unaligned and have nothing in common with the lunar right as represented by the Tea Party - a faux movement created by Fox News and lovingly addressed by Michelle Bachmann as ‘patriots’ while she told them how the ‘Founding Fathers’ fought to end slavery, when they all owned slaves and did nothing to end slavery because it would have sent them bankrupt.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is real, the Tea Party is a fake ‘indie’ party created by the Republicans to soak up voter rage over the Bush administration, two failed and futile wars and the Global Financial Crisis while keeping those voters in the Republican Party camp. Tea Party voters tend to be even more out of touch with reality than people like Mitch McConnell, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul, which is a frightening thought.

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By David J. Cyr, October 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Time for insertion here of an objective reality:

Democrats aren’t in any part of the Left; and they never were.

The function of Democrats is to persuade half the voters to vote for the corporate party’s Republicans.

The function of Republicans is to persuade the other half to vote for the corporate party’s Democrats… same shit, different wrappers.

Everyone who votes for Republicans or Democrats votes together to affirmatively support the neoliberal policies of the Right that both the Tea Party activists and Occupy movement people are protesting separately against.

Natural people have a common corporate enemy that 99% of the participating electorate carelessly chooses to collaborate with.

The Tea Party activists and the Occupy movement people have far more common interest with each other than either has with any of the corporate party’s corporate person representing (R) & (D) candidates.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By OzarkMichael, October 8, 2011 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

However, the Occupation has come in for savage abuse from the Right, which much of the paid media belong to.

The same paid media amplified the savage abuse of the Tea Party by the Left. Remember? You seemed to go along with that happily. Think of all the biased attack articles which Truthdig spewed at the time, which were later reflected in the paid media. If you dont believe me i will begin to create links to them.

However, I’ve seen worse, including explicit demands that the Occupation be cleared out violently

You have continually referenced such threats and even solitary statements as if it proves good about the Left and bad about the Right. Really? Lets talk about that.

Listen Anarcissie. There were many comments here on Truthdig by your fellow Leftists about what ought to be done to the Tea Party. Many rude comments. many violent comments. Many threats.  It was right under your nose. Do you just overlook that?

I am not accusing you of being one of those people. But I too “have seen worse”. For many years. Right here on Truthdig. The funny thing is you have seen it too, but by some incredible mental gymnastics you dont attribute it to the Left.

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By Anarcissie, October 8, 2011 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

If things ‘go wrong’ for the Occupation, who I blame (if it matters) will depend on circumstances.  At the moment I think the greatest danger to it are from its pretended friends, rather than its overt enemies. Naked Capitalism and others call this possibility ‘elite capture’.  (See http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/10/on-occupywallstreet-and-the-danger-of-elite-capture.html)

However, the Occupation has come in for savage abuse from the Right, which much of the paid media belong to.  A selection of some of the remarks have been collected by Gary Trudeau and have been published on his comic strip site (http://www.doonesbury.com/strip)  in the ‘Today’s Mudline’ section (see them now, because the feature changes every few days).  However, I’ve seen worse, including explicit demands that the Occupation be cleared out violently.  These may have some influence after awhile.  After all, the mayor of New York City, although seemingly a reasonable man, is a member of the set of people the Occupiers are complaining about, and so are most of his friends and business and political associates.  No doubt he is under a certain amount of pressure to get rid of them by whatever means.

Finally, Liberty Plaza being wide open, there is also the possibility that the situation there will attract one or more people who are too crazy to be controlled, although thus far the self-disciplined commitment to nonviolence of the Occupiers has been very impressive.

In any case, it is pretty obvious that ‘the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances’ is contested territory, like so much of the Bill of Rights.  As ever.

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By OzarkMichael, October 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Well, then tell me, since you claim the Left is for peace, equality, truth, goodness, sweetness and light, who are you going to accuse if things go wrong for the Occupation?

Who do you always blame when Leftist revolutionary plans go awry?

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

Well, that’s not what I said, but suit yourself.

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By OzarkMichael, October 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

ok then you have all the bases covered.

If anything goes wrong, it will be the Conservatives you will blame. Thats what i call planning. And doesnt that help our fearless leader come in to save the day? You betcha!

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

No, I mean a provocation engineered by their opponents (official or volunteer).  It would be pretty easy to do.  Forgive me if I don’t go into details, but I don’t want to give anyone ideas.  I’ve seen it done and I’ve heard lots of stories.  Thus far things have been pretty peaceful, considering, and I hope they stay that way.

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By OzarkMichael, October 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: If I had to bet on the outcome of Occupy Wall Street, I would bet on its physical dispersal through police action following an engineered provocation.

By the Occupiers? Is that why they wont get a permit like everybody else? They want a provocation?

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous—I began this particular discussion by refuting Lafayette’s proposition that the abstract theoretical power of the electorate to turn out the government and make new and different laws did not mean there was no ruling class.  He has apparently retired from the engagement, and you now appear to agree with me, more or less, so maybe we have thrashed the question enough.

If I had to bet on the outcome of Occupy Wall Street, I would bet on its physical dispersal through police action following an engineered provocation.  However, there are many other possibilities.  Whether leader types will emerge will depend on how OWS evolves, how long it lasts, and what outside people do to it.

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By Shenonymous, October 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

It is so fine of you to help those 99%ers in protest.  Not living in
close enough proximity, I have sent money and other kinds of help. 
It must please your residing anarchistic feelings to no end that no
extant leader has emerged, but I would admonish, yet since it is
still in a chaotic state.  I would argue there will be one or even a
few out of the throngs who will become spokespeople, that it is the
natural progression of societies from tribal times.  And I would say
the Wall Street protest is a movement and movements eventually will
need a leader or leaders (i.e., Castro, Che Gevara, et al).  We can see
that happening in the Arab uprisings. But it is not worth arguing about
at least at this early stage.

You might consider there is a flaw in your point.  It seems to me
potentiality rarely equals actuality, and therefore the point appears
vacant. Also it seems academic, while in itself potentiality of the power
of voters does not determine whether or not there is a ruling class, there
is a decisive correlation to whether or not there a ruling class exists and
further, since for all intents and purposes, almost all societies have a
ruling class, it becomes crucial what kind of firm fist that ruling class
can exert. 

My point was, and from my end I find it odd it escapes you, so perhaps I
am guilty of the same species of flaw, that the fact of the existence of a
ruling class is a significant feature of any society and a society’s ability to
instigate changes through voting rights depends, and I reiterate, on the
strength and benevolent nature of that ruling class.  This structure, or
framework, decides the quality of education in a society (any society
generally speaking).

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous—I’ve been down to Liberty Street several times, and have been supplying them with food, space blankets, coffee, books, money, and some other stuff.  I did not manage to get arrested on Brooklyn Bridge or anywhere else.  In fact, I did not even try to get arrested.  However, you seem to be misunderstanding the point of what I wrote, which is that potentials (the voters can vote for anyone or anything) do not equate to actuality, and therefore the potential powers of the voters do not mean there is no ruling class.  I don’t understand why this is proving so difficult to grasp.

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By Shenonymous, October 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

“...should get out and do some practical politics sometime, not
the sort where you go along with what’s happening already, but
where you try to go against ruling-class policy, like, say, trying to
stop one of their innumerable wars.”
  Quite true, and so I do more
often than sometime, but cannot speak for anyone else.  Going along
with “what is going on already” is not my habit.  But is that what you
do to perpetuate your PITW anarchistic perspective, go along with other
bemoaning?  Were you among those 700 rounded up on the Brooklyn
Bridge?  Naw, regular truthdippers only sit at their keyboards zoned
out in ideology.

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By Anarcissie, October 7, 2011 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, October 7 at 12:19 am:

To what particular election was I referring?  None at all.  I made a
generalization and no reference to any specific tendency or any
election.  Whether or not ruling classes exist or not is not a
negligible factor in the power a common demographic has to
instigate change. ...

You and Lafayette should get out and do some practical politics sometime, not the sort where you go along with what’s happening already, but where you try to go against ruling-class policy, like, say, trying to stop one of their innumerable wars.  You’ll have the opportunity to find out how far abstract potentials will carry you.

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By David J. Cyr, October 7, 2011 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

Yes.

Liberals have been conditioned to mindlessly perceive every evil and stupid thing that any Democrat does as being just an aberration from their “ideologically sane” creation myth, even though the reality is that those evil and stupid “aberrations” are normative behavior for Democrats.

Note how, even though the Rubin/Clinton administration was directly responsible for removing the wall between banking and finance (to allow the most amoral sociopathic people on the planet to **LEGALLY** with full impunity commit the biggest crimes they could possibly conceive), with the predictable result being a global economic collapse; even though Clinton succeeded like no Republican possibly could in advancing neoliberal policies that savaged poor and the working class people in other countries and here at home; even though Clinton near daily bombed Iraq for 8 years to pre-invasion destroy its defenses and infrastructure, while he collectively punished all the people of Iraq; even though Clinton lied and people died in Yugoslavia so Clinton could convert the European defense forces (NATO) into an aggressor war expeditionary force to be used wherever poor people living over rich resources resist foreign domination… the devote solely faith-based liberal voters believe everything done wrong was all about Cheney/Bush. Apparently the only thing liberals were paying attention to during the Rubin/Clinton years was Clinton’s pleasure providing genital wart.

Sane and sensible morally principled people have no ability to use elections for the good purposes that they could and should be used for because too many millions of liberals perceive every evil thing with a (D) appended to it as being what the meaning of “good” is.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Project Mayhem, October 7, 2011 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

Cyr’s point, as I understand it, is that the Democrats will lead the country to the same eventual endpoint: a kind of klepto-fascist corporate state, completely unsustainable economically and ecologically disastrous. He argues (I believe) that liberals fail to understand that voting for an “ideologically sane” political party (i.e. Democrats) that is nonetheless fully funded and controlled by the same monied interests that control its “ideologically insane” opposition cannot logically lead to any meaningful reform of the system. The idea seems to be that voting Democrat can, at best, only delay arrival at that catastrophic endpoint, because both parties, in fact, share the same core political and economic ideology.

There are, to be sure, some interesting counterarguments offered here by posters like JDMysticDJ, but they’ve yet to convince me that Cyr’s foundational premise is unsound. The national policies of Democratic presidents supports his rational, as do the State-level initiatives of so-called “progressive” governors like Andrew Cuomo, who can’t seem to cut services & education, lay off State workers, and open the Marcellus Shale up for drilling fast enough.

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By Shenonymous, October 7, 2011 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

To what particular election was I referring?  None at all.  I made a
generalization and no reference to any specific tendency or any
election.  Whether or not ruling classes exist or not is not a
negligible factor in the power a common demographic has to
instigate change.  It seemed clarification for the term “social class”
was needed to point out that a “ruling class” is a natural development
among animal populations, humans not excepted, which is what I did.

The idea of a classless society was more or less the structure of early,
primitive tribal societies. As humans evolved higher intelligence in their
learning to manipulate tools better and ways to negotiate the physical
environment, spatial reasoning was probably not selected for in order
to better engage in scheming intrigues.  But as intelligence continued
to grow and sustaining life eased up, humans became better able to
form alliances against the dominant males of the tribes thus increasing
deal making and hence the genesis of ruling classes.  This capacity has
not changed except in the direction of intensity. 

If there is an overall idea of consistent behavior, it would be the
tendency to lean either liberal or conservative.  Liberals are disposed
to be egalitarian and democratic, and conservatives hierarchical and
class conscious. Under most circumstances knowledge is power, yet in
many cases it has been found those who crave power are complacent
and stupid and think they already know it all, they are not usually
seekers of a depth of broad spectrum knowledge.  It does seem to be
true though, that those who have assumed power work to keep the
knowledge of others they want to dominate at a minimum thereby
keeping a weak quality of education funded.  Funny thing though, a
seeping of knowledge into the oppressed is enough sometimes to get
the rabble rousted for a raging rebellion. 

Generally secrecy in the American government is not intended to keep
the population in bondage.  But there is mendacity in corporatocrats to
suppress knowledge to detain the population’s rights and liberal
institutions.

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By diamond, October 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

“deeply depraved Democrat voters…”

Not only depraved but deeply depraved. And would that be because they vote Democrat or just because they vote at all? You seem to be confusing voting with depravity. That’s a hard-to-justify statement if ever I saw one.

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By David J. Cyr, October 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, diamond:

“The voters don’t agree with you, by the way, since the Democrats have 20 million more registered voters than the Republicans do. And they re-elected Clinton.”
________________

Yes, that’s why we have the complete corruption of government; economic collapse now, and total ecosystem collapse imminent — because 99% of the people who vote are really retrograde Republican voters and deeply depraved Democrat voters… getting what they deserve also imposed upon everyone else who does not deserve it.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By diamond, October 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

“Good people do not choose between the corporate party’s fascists. The only votes a good, intelligent, well informed, and moral person can responsibly cast in the corporate-state’s elections are protest votes for non-corporate candidates. Protest votes are the only votes that are actually not wasted.”

Well, if you want to throw your vote away, that is of course your choice but to recommend your foolishness to others as if it was some kind of political plan is beyond dumb. If the Democrats could rely on a reasonable amount of time as the government they could actually change things but when a democrat president has to spend most of his (or in future, maybe, her) time simply defending wanting to change the status quo and fending off claims that they ‘pal around with terrorists’ and are ‘Marxists’ when they’re no such thing and by European standards are right of center politicians, actually getting anything done becomes one of the labors of Hercules. Which of course is how the conservatives play it and always have. They also prefer to leave office (when they finally have to leave)with the country almost destroyed because this means the naughty Democrat president can’t find the space to change anything much at all because so much time and effort has to be dedicated to fixing the godawful mess the conservatives have left. Reagan left a $4 trillion deficit. The Bush legacy is a $14 trillion deficit. Bill Clinton balanced the budget and switched off the debt clock. He put in place an economic plan that would have produced surpluses for the next 25 years. His reward? To be demonized by the media as a criminal for getting a blow job from a honeytrap. Then the Republicans run around braying that the Democrats are no different to the Republicans because they haven’t done anything. Knowing all the time that they engineered a situation where they couldn’t change anything or could only change things if they were prepared to be publicly humiliated and impeached or vilified as traitors.

The voters don’t agree with you, by the way, since the Democrats have 20 million more registered voters than the Republicans do. And they re-elected Clinton.

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By Anarcissie, October 6, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous—In saying ‘What is given is that they actually vote as they do, not as they might’ I was referring to overall, consistent behavior, not any particular election.  I am surprised this needs to be explained.  Yes, the people could vote 100% Communist, turn out the government, seize the corporations, and expropriate the rich, just as we could all fly to the moon by flapping our arms at exactly the right moment.  Are they going to?  Why do we have to discuss the silly proposition that there is no ruling class any further?

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By Shenonymous, October 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

“The fact that the people have the theoretical potential to order
their society differently through elections does not bear on the
question of whether or not there is a ruling class.”
 

If political policy in any society comes to be decided not
democratically, that is, not by all the members of that society, but
is decided by a subgroup regardless of the number of individuals,
then that society has a ruling class. It s said that among the social
animals, which include invertebrates (such as ants, bees, termites
and wasps) as well as vertebrates (bats, dolphins, hyenas, humans
and other primates), the stables ones develop a ruling class, those
who make the decisions for the operations of the society.

Even though the commonly held idea of a classless society is the primary
goal and province of communism, libertarianism, socialism and most
forms of anarchism, ostensibly, in democratic societies that can order
their societies’ behavior differently at different times through the process
of voting, such as is America, allegedly an egalitarian society, and while
there are definite strata of economic classes, no one is born into a
particular social class, they are classless societies having no specific
measures of class identity.  Although some might separate people into
institutional classes such as academics, political, entertainment, religious
etc., these are not social classes per se.

But economic class in fact has much to do with the education of the
society where access to education and opportunities that are often
facilitated by having an education, perpetuates an upper class even in a
democratic society where upward-mobility is possible.  The quality of
education available and provided is also a class-dividing factor, and
affects the voting intelligence, or as some would prefer to say, the voting
ignorance, of the population.

What is given is that they actually vote as they do, not as they
might.”

All politics is predicated on how a voting population “might” vote. Since
humans are fickle-minded creatures, how a body politic has in fact voted
in the past can only yield a provisional prediction.  As witnessed, upsets
in elections occur.

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By cpb, October 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

@ OzarkMichael

Hi Karzo!  How quickly you come out swinging!  As predictably as ever - the troll branding the other as such!  That never happens!!

Hey Karzo, did you know that a healthy fraction of those that bother to read comments and follow a forum are non-account-holders with some intelligence?  Do you understand how utterly shallow you can be at times?

I’m a troll!  That’s hilarious Karzo!  Hey just a question, maybe a long shot - are you in television?

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By Anarcissie, October 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, October 4 at 1:01 pm:

‘POLITICAL APATHY
  Anar: It’s obvious that some people have more political power than others, that political power is arranged hierarchically, and that it is associated with wealth and social status.

Not to me, it isn’t.

Power derives from the ballot box in a democracy. ...’

The fact that the people have the theoretical potential to order their society differently through elections does not bear on the question of whether or not there is a ruling class.  What is given is that they actually vote as they do, not as they might.

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By David J. Cyr, October 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, diamond:

“It’s never smart not to vote. It’s about the dumbest thing anyone can do… Blaming the voters for a system they had no part in creating is extremely unfair. The basis of the American political culture is corruption.”
________________

Therein lies the grave illness of liberal logic. Liberals castigate those who refuse to participate in a completely corrupt electoral system, but it is the liberal voters themselves who are most responsible for the complete corruption of the system.

It is the liberal voters who have perverted the good purpose of elections, by regularly and reliably (D) voting against what they say they are for, and for what they say they oppose.

Republicans vote for war because they think it is the answer. But it’s the corporate war party’s “antiwar” Democrat voters who ensure that war will be the only answer.

It is the liberals who have most fiercely engaged in voter suppression — their truly evil and vicious “wasted vote” campaign to suppress the votes of people who would vote for good policies that liberals claim they are for, but liberals refuse to vote for.

We have perpetual war; we have no actual care for health, we have the economics of a kleptocracy; we have the destruction of the human habitable ecosystem; and we have young people now facing a futureless future because for too many decades deeply depraved liberals have joined in solidarity with retrograde conservatives to be corporate state collaborators together — routinely providing popular vote supermajority mandates for sociopathic corporate persons to decide everything that government will do to natural persons and to Nature.

Every vote cast for a corporate party candidate (any Republican or Democrat) is an immoral act — a heinous criminal act. Those who vote for the corporate party’s (R) & (D) candidates make a personal choice to be free-will accomplices in all the crimes of the corporate-state. When a person votes for a Republican or a Democrat, they, by their votes cast, commit war crimes and crimes against humanity and Nature.

Good people do not choose between the corporate party’s fascists. The only votes a good, intelligent, well informed, and moral person can responsibly cast in the corporate-state’s elections are protest votes for non-corporate candidates. Protest votes are the only votes that are actually not wasted.

If liberals were actually supportive of the good policies they advertise themselves to be for, they wouldn’t be corporate party Democrats… and they would then be putting 70 million votes in the protest ballot line, instead of in (D) corporate crimes collaborator ballot line they’ve dedicated themselves to.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By OzarkMichael, October 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette said: “If we, the sheeple, refused to exercise political power wisely, then we relinquished it to those who will employ it to their own purposes.”


cpb responded in his usual trollish fashion: “Hypocrisy in a single sentence.”

Try to be less judgemental and not such a troll, cpb.

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By diamond, October 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

“While I’ve always voted (unrequited, in protest), it’s amply evident in the results of elections that the disingenuousness and duplicity of liberals has made the smarter half of the electorate be the half that refuses to vote.”

It’s never smart not to vote. It’s about the dumbest thing anyone can do. And can you seriously put your hand on your heart and tell me you think Ralph Nader has a prayer? Or the Greens? And could you also seriously claim that the gang of psychos, loonies and misfits that the Republicans are putting forward as candidates for President has a shred of credibility?  Blaming the voters for a system they had no part in creating is extremely unfair. The basis of the American political culture is corruption. The corporations have huge amounts of money at their disposal to bribe politicians and get what they want, whether it’s ludicrous levels of taxation for the rich or nothing done on climate change.

This system has been around since at least the 19th century so the voters who are alive now and for a long time back can hardly be blamed for a system that is not in their interest and which they, as a class, resisted to the best of their ability for generations, often paying with their lives for their resistance.

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By David J. Cyr, October 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, diamond:

“The working class fought for their rights for a long time but the elites have the corporations (money) and the military (guns) on their side.”
________________

The elites also have the votes, near all of them being routinely carelessly and mindlessly cast for the corporate party’s “electable” candidates.

The corporate state wouldn’t allow elections if the liberals didn’t force the “ignorant” fools to vote for the corporate party’s Republicans, and the conservatives didn’t force the “intelligent” fools to vote for the corporate party’s Democrats… same shit, with different wrappers to appeal to different cultures — retrograde conservatives and depraved liberals.

Boomer liberals have diligently wasted no opportunity to waste elections on voting for the corporate party’s Democrats; ever reliably voting against what they say they are for, and for what they say they are against. In their perverting the purpose of elections, the liberals ensured that elections could serve no good purpose.

While I’ve always voted (unrequited, in protest), it’s amply evident in the results of elections that the disingenuousness and duplicity of liberals has made the smarter half of the electorate be the half that refuses to vote.

“Republican? Democrat? It don’t matter. Ain’t gonna change my life either way.”
— TV interviewed poor black woman, explaining why she wasn’t interested in voting in 2004’s “most important election ever”

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By diamond, October 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

“The above is Tired Nonsense. Of the kind, “It is all NOT our fault! It’s the fault of our elite!”

If they want educated citizens why do they put every obstacle they can in the path of a working class person who wants an education? And you can’t possibly deny that the public schools teach obedience and conformity - of course they do. Education is not a right in America, as it is in many other nations, it’s a privilege for those who have the money to pay for it, meaning those who come from the elites or share their beliefs and accept the polyarchy they run. It would be highly dangerous to educate the American working class, they would then rise up and put some heads on pikes. It is to prevent this nastiness that they give them God, the Bible and the gun in lieu of equal opportunity and an education worthy of the name. The working class didn’t always accept this arrangement, such as the incident during the Depression when World War I veterans marched on Washington demanding their military bonuses be paid out in full in a lump sum. The elites you refuse to believe exist simply sent in the national guard who used machine guns on men women and children who were unarmed. Nor was this an isolated incident. The working class fought for their rights for a long time but the elites have the corporations (money) and the military (guns) on their side. And they have continued to use both to prevent any sniff of social justice being meted out to those workers. It’s inevitable that they give these people an appalling education, since they are simply wage slaves and cannon fodder.

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By cpb, October 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette:

POLITICAL APATHY

Anar: It’s obvious that some people have more political
power than others, that political power is arranged
hierarchically, and that it is associated with wealth
and social status.

Not to me, it isn’t.

Power derives from the ballot box in a democracy.  END
QUOTE

That last one points to the cognitive dissonance option
I think.  Power derives from the ballot box!! 

It could, in theory.  It should, in practice.  It does,
on occasion, make some concessions to the ballot box,
certainly. 

Any other sources from which power might derive? 
Anyone?  Anyone? 

Awe-shucks I guess you’re right Laf - the US is the
beacon of democracy responsible to the people who are
just too stupid to pull the lever for the ‘correct’ head
of the beast.  We should all be ashamed of ourselves!

That’s pretty tired really.

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By cpb, October 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

“If we, the sheeple, refused to exercise political power
wisely, then we relinquished it to those who will employ
it to their own purposes.”

- Lafayette

Hypocrisy in a single sentence.  “Sheeple” huh?  You
like to throw that out there once in awhile it seems. 
And then contradict it, routinely.  You can’t be
“sheeple” and have any meaningful political power at the
same time; something I can’t imagine needing to point
out to someone of your demonstrated intellect, but this
seems to be something you choose to overlook.

And “employ it to their own purposes” they most
certainly do.  But you deny any class based
machinations! 

You say schools have done a poor job of teaching civic
responsibility at the same time that you deny any impact
of our class structure on said education!  Who are you
kidding?

Anarcissie, David Cyr, EmileZ and others are right.  If
you’re genuine then you are either in denial or
demonstrating cognitive dissonance. 

US Democracy is a sham, in terms of any meaningful ‘by
the people, for the people’, and it always has been. 
Read Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History..” for a start. 
If you get through that and still have an explanation
for how stupid people get what they deserve in
governance I’d love to hear it.  Or maybe I wouldn’t…

Your arguments go full circle to absolutely nowhere. 
The education isn’t controlled by the elites, but the
people are stupid nontheless, and because they are
stupid they get a government that abuses them (and
teaches them false history, on top of a lack of civics),
and it’s all the peoples fault.  How wonderfully
convenient!

So far as disinformation goes, it’s pretty impressive. 
(Your presentation is nice also!)  Aside from that, it
is pretty Laf-able.

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By Lafayette, October 4, 2011 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

POLITICAL APATHY

Anar: It’s obvious that some people have more political power than others, that political power is arranged hierarchically, and that it is associated with wealth and social status.

Not to me, it isn’t.

Power derives from the ballot box in a democracy. And, when only 48% of the nation’s voters decide to make the effort, then, clearly, we have a national insufficiency of civic duty. (America has one of the worst voting turnout records amongst nations - see here; Scroll to the bottom of the comparative listing.)

Which seems to indicate that our educational system has failed to inculcate our children in the importance of voting as central to our democratic process. We have become a politically apathetic nation.

This thread’s postings are showing the usual signs of a wrongheaded penchant to blame those who have power for our present plight. But, I ask, who gave them that power?

If we, the sheeple, refused to exercise political power wisely, then we relinquished it to those who will employ it to their own purposes.

MY POINT

A people will get the democracy for which they voted. Which is a sad reflection upon ours.

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By David J. Cyr, October 4, 2011 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Henry A. Giroux:

“Since the early 1970s, the rich, corporate power brokers and right-wing cultural warriors realized that education was central to creating a viable populist movement that served their interests.”
___________________

How slow the retrogrades were in learning to do what the enlightened liberals had been doing for so long before them.

I had an unusual education, in the 50’s and 60’s.

My parents were the head servants of a woman whose enormous “old money” wealth came primarily from the exploitation of slave labor in South American copper mines. She wanted my parents to always travel with her, in her frequent migrations from estate to estate in different states. I was a travel inconvenience requiring a solution. In the early grades 2 thru 5, I attended private day schools not meant for me, and was cared for by other servants who were permanently attached to particular estates. From 6th grade on, she enrolled me in private boarding schools not meant for me to enter. I got an experiential education in class and caste before I ever read any Marx.

I was sent to a prep school, at which the son of the then Governor of Massachusetts was one of my roommates. But then, midway through, in reaction to an indiscrete remark, my parents were summarily fired. I attended a public school for my junior and senior years, while supporting myself working second shift.

In the ruling class schools I was encouraged to question everything, to observe reality, and think for myself.

In public school I observed young people being indoctrinated into authority obedient submission.

The primary reason that the corporate party regularly receives 99% popular vote mandates for policies not in the best interests of 99% is that near all Americans have been public school “educated” to be experientially uneducable.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Anarcissie, October 4, 2011 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

It’s obvious that some people have more political power than others, that political power is arranged hierarchically, and that it is associated with wealth and social status.  The logical conclusion is that there is a class of people at the top of this pyramid whose will, interests, views and ideological framework dominate those of the remainder of the population.  We can call this class of people the ‘ruling class’.

Since knowledge is power, it seems necessary that this class must increase their own knowledge and reduce the knowledge of those they rule.  We observe this in, for instance, the secrecy and mendacity of our government and corporations, and in the strong attempts to silence whistleblowers, e.g. Wikileaks.

However, I disagree that education is synonymous with either learning or knowledge.  Education is often a vehicle for indoctrination and ignorance.

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By Lafayette, October 4, 2011 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

CURSING THE DARKNESS

diamond: The elites decided a long time ago that they didn’t want educated citizens

The above is Tired Nonsense. Of the kind, “It is all NOT our fault! It’s the fault of our elite!” 

Why insist that there is some “elite class” manipulating the body politic by keeping we, the sheeple, ignorant? (Which is all too common on this forum.)

If one insists on this tired nonsense, then do the research and obtain the proof that it is not nonsense but veracity. We’re all eyes to see it here in this forum.

We should go further back in history to obtain an understanding of what has been happening within our society. We, the sheeple, abrogated any right to determine our future by becoming mesmerized by Conspicuous Consumption, an economic theory first introduced by economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in his 1899 book The Theory of the Leisure Class.

From WikiP here :

Veblen used the term to depict the behavioral characteristic of the nouveau riche, a class emerging in the 19th century as a result of the accumulation of wealth during the Second Industrial Revolution. In this context, the application of the term should be narrowed to the elements of the upper class who use their enormous wealth to manifest social power, whether real or perceived.

Ever since, which means more than a century, we have idolized the Idle Rich for their standard of living. We’ve become addicted to celebrities, stardom and notoriety of any sort. Why? Because the thought propels us out of the ordinariness of our often humdrum lives.

AND WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?

Giroux’s book gives a prescient idea of why. Because we are not prepared with the sorts of personal values that allow us to achieve individual “greatness” without a financial metric to measure it. (Like sports, where the difference between “winners” and “losers”, all so important in our exaggeratedly competitive society, is clear and indisputable.)

Money is not the be-all and end-all of our lives. The more wise amongst us adopt another set of values in social terms - such as a marriage that works, children that are nurtured and well-educated, within a community in which we pursue small pleasures that we share commonly.

The above is no definition of transitory “happiness”. (For some, that can be procured with a cannabis fix.) But it is a good standard for an individual state of “well-being”; which, by means of progression, constitutes collective our well-being as a nation.

WHERE WE WENT WRONG

We’ve gone wrong by adopting an Ayn Randian notion (her book, Atlas Shrugged) that the individual must maintain primacy over the collective. And yet, without the collective (our community, our town or city or state, our nation) we are all helpless fools awash on a deserted island.

We can change this overbearing insistence on the dominance of the few over the many. At the ballot box, by electing representatives who put the People at an importance above that of Moneyed Interests (the plutocrat class).

Which is not as simple a process as we might think. It takes a great deal of time, so let’s not be looking for (abracadabra! some Quick Fix - because it does not exist.

Changing cultural values is an ongoing process that takes decades upon decades.

But, as Eleanor said, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”. (Which means we must start somewhere and that somewhere is now.)

NB

And if one does not know to whom the reference “Eleanor” is made, then, they need FIRST a grounding in the political history of our nation.

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By Lafayette, October 4, 2011 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

NAIVENESS

HG: We are more than a nation in decline; we are a nation moving toward the bittersweet simplisms, policies and values of a new form of authoritarianism

This is one of the more poignant résumés of a socioeconomic tendency that has prevailed over the last 30 years since the advent of the Rabid Right into the Oval Office under Reagan.

One might ask with pertinence, “How did education let us down?” That question has a very easy answer - from one who was brought up inside the system, then has lived abroad to see how other systems educate their young.

We seem to have become too fixated on “get a job”, meaning that the objective of an education is just this very simple end. In fact, otoh, its purpose is far more varied. It is to render to individuals an all-round education that allows them to perceive/think/act in a highly rational manner. Rather than be led by the nose by attractive Media Messages, whether their purpose is commercial or political. The naiveness of the American public – as seem from abroad – is both amazing and fearsome.

We’ve lost, amongst other learnings, our notion of history … along the lines of that which George Santayana once summed aptly in his well-known dictum (I paraphrase),

Those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

  Our present mess is a much milder version of the Great Recession (1929 to 1939) that unleashed tremendous upheaval upon American society. 

If one looks at the historical cause of the Great Depression, they are hauntingly similar to the present. The Roaring Twenties created a bubble of consumption and erratic financial investment that brought America’s economic House of Cards down around our ears … just as did the 2004/2008 period has done.

Americans binged on cheap credit, living way beyond their means on borrowed money, whereupon the hard-landing from a burst bubble was the Great Recession of 2009.

And of course, it is all the fault of the Obama Administration. Which, I add, is the sort of inept reasoning that captures the simplistic minds of those who have no notion whatsoever of our economic history.

We, the sheeple, have thus become manipulated by the erroneous and immature notions of a reactionary Right Wing whose sole purpose is to regain political power to further its control over the American economy – namely by means of a highly advantageous system of personal taxation, which assures that the profits of our industriousness are channeled upwards to a select and undeserving class.

Which derives Income Unfairness for the rest of us sheeple.

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By cpb, October 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

To whatever extent corporate forces are in control of
education, let’s not forget their control of media, and
how the two can work hand in hand so effectively.

It isn’t the MIC anymore, it’s morphed into the MIDC;
the Military Industrial Disney Complex. 

Disney does a great job of distorting history, and then
substitutes so much mental candy-cane and popcorn.  This
is nothing new of course, but if you look at what some
call ‘Princess Culture’ as an example, it is hard not to
be frightened at the expanse of it all in more recent
times, the utter ubiquity, and the moral
reprehensibility.

By the time children might typically outgrow Disney
they’ve already been taught what is ‘important’ in this
world.  So long as (most of them) continue to be
‘entertained’, they will not be asking tough questions.

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By EmileZ, October 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

A long time ago (relatively speaking), I read all the books co-authored John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton among them “Trust Us, We’re Experts”, “Toxic Sludge Is Good For You”, and “Banana Republicans”. They really clued me in as to how the PR industry works, and the direction our society is going in.

For whatever it may be worth to anyone out there.

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By diamond, October 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

What’s happened to American education is a disgrace but it’s not something that happened last week. The elites decided a long time ago that they didn’t want educated citizens: they are just troublemakers who not only know when they’re being ripped off but who is doing it and why.

A genuine education teaches a person to think but American education teaches a person to obey and to conform. You only have to look at the sad travesty that is American history and the myths and outright lies that are fed to kids until they get old enough to know they’re lies. But by then they’re out in the world and most of them can barely read, are stunningly ignorant of the rest of the world and have no idea of what the elites have done to generations of their forebears. Events occur but they have no context for understanding why they occurred or what significance they have. But, of course, to prevent them seeing the big picture is the purpose of American education. If they could see the big picture they would be out in the streets rioting.

Any fair minded person contemplating the University of Chicago and its economic teachings would know something was terribly wrong. Unlike John Maynard Keynes (author of ‘The Economic Consequences of the Peace’ and ‘A Treatise on Money’ and numerous other economic writings) who believed that ethics were absolutely essential to economic policy, the economists who follow this model have only one god and that god is profit. This is also the only ‘good’ they recognize, and any amount of harm can be done in pursuit of it. For them ‘get rich quick’ is the eleventh commandment, they have no interest in public policy and believe, in fact, that public policy is Marxism.

As Irene Khan pointed out in ‘The Unheard Truth’, India is currently caught up in this ideology. The lie of ‘trickle down’ economics and the belief that ‘a high tide lifts all boats’ is being slavishly followed to deal with problems that only good public policy can fix. An example of why this won’‘t work is the cholera epidemic that broke out in Sydney in Australia in the early 1900s. The source was traced to a large slum. Did they wait for the market to fix it? Did they wait for a high tide to lift all boats? Of course not. They demolished the slum, built new housing and moved the slum dwellers into it. The alternative was to let the epidemic ravage the entire city, including the wealthy parts. That was politically impossible and economically crazy so immediate action was taken. But to understand this you have to know how to understand history and the meaning of class and why social injustice is dangerous; but an American education treats history with contempt and as an arm of political expediency, creating false heroes such as Thomas Jefferson while pretending that there was never a war between labor and capital, which labor lost. Without a good education it’s also impossible to understand why free market economics and corporatism are destroying the world. But that suits the elites who enrich themselves from both just fine.

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