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Chris Hedges Talks Capitalism With Michael Moore

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Posted on Dec 12, 2011
YouTube

Let’s review, shall we? In this clip, shot for Michael Moore’s on-the-money documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” Chris Hedges lays it all out for anyone still mystified, as it were, about the devastating human costs of unfettered capitalism. Class is in session.  —KA

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By Foucauldian, December 31, 2011 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

By the way, I’m withdrawing my last question.  It was
inappropriately put.

Report this

By Foucauldian, December 30, 2011 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, December 30 at 6:24 pm

Worship is not my cup of tea. I tend to associate,
wrongly perhaps, with idolatry; and idolatry is kinda
stupid. 

But to resume the conversation from the other thread,
do you have any use for the faith concept?  Does it
have any meaning in your life?

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

And no one should think “lesser’ gotta keep on trying.

http://youtu.be/45yabrnryXk

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By Anarcissie, December 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 20 at 9:38 am:

‘... get happy, balkas, it’s Christmas Time…. Did the coming of the Christ diminish all the lesser beings on earth? ‘

That’s what hero-worship usually does, at least by implication and often explicitly, but since Jesus was turned into a magic doll it may not apply in his case.  No one is likely to think the less of you for not being able to walk on water.

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By heterochromatic, December 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

~~~~~  the 4 decades
underway Globalist-RED China set up, sellout and world
TREASON OP?  ~~~~~


  whatever the hell that means, how dare he not mention it !

How dare he !!!!!!!!!

Report this

By ymus ANon, December 29, 2011 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

——How can Moore even be pretending to treat the
ongoing takedown of the American, and western, economy
and culture w/o even so much as mentioning the 4 decades
underway Globalist-RED China set up, sellout and world
TREASON OP?

Report this
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By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 20, 2011 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Here is the best news and reality check you all have needed to hear / read for quite some time!

http://www.truth-out.org/why-iceland-should-be-news-not/1322327303

You’re welcome.

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By heterochromatic, December 20, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

~~~~not possible to put one person up and not at the
instant of doing that, putting another person
down.~~~~

not everything is static and zero-sum.  those who create do not, by definition,
diminish all others.

get happy, balkas, it’s Christmas Time…. Did the coming of the Christ diminish all
the lesser beings on earth?

Report this

By Jacques Laine, December 20, 2011 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think what kills capitalism is not the concept itself, but the fact that capitalism is driven blindly by greed.  Let’s take for instance the fact that over fifty million Americans have no health care coverage. Let’s take for granted the fact that those Americans are in all likelihood in dire straight to put food on their tables and feed their children. Now let’s juxtapose these two facts with CEO’s making ten, fifteen, twenty, fifty million dollars year, after year and after year while their workers, those who produce the actual goods keep making less and less, after inflationary adjustments.  Then, we have powerful useless charlatan politicians stumping on their heads to keep this madness on Wall Street intact.  Indeed, with the global economy allowing the greed of CEO’s to be ubiquitous, from China to Russia, with America being the mother of all greeds, we are only bound to see capitalism for the top 1 percent, front and center more potent, raw and unforgiving, while the rest of the world’s population continues to descend deeper into the pit.  And the cycle goes on, since the poorer one is, the less likely one’s son and daughter will attain an education; a sad state of affairs already ingrained, understood and accepted in America. Alas, capitalism only gives way for men of power to show their true colors.

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By heterochromatic, December 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

~~~~I love capitalism.

It affords me the luxury to eat the last blue fin
tuna in my house built from the last grove of old-
growth forest and wash it down with water stolen from
Indian subsistence farmers. ~~~~

and it also makes it easy to not do those things.
makes it quite easy to have bean sprouts and freshly-
made tofu while sitting in a house made out of old
tires and recycled glass bottles and stuff.

http://mrsfakefish.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/earth-
ship-home-1.jpg

If there’s one thing that I’m sure of, it’s that
capitalism doesn’t force you to live extravagantly !

you get choices; some bad, many worse, but if you’re
careful and lucky you might find a few that suit you.

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By balkas, December 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

not possible to put one person up and not at the
instant of doing that, putting another person
down. tnx

Report this

By gerard, December 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

PS—and it’s definitely related to capitalism, war, white supremacy and all problems of that ilk. You can’t be an over-dog if there are no under-dogs.

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By gerard, December 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

PS—and it’s definitely related to capitalism, war, white supremacy and all problems of that ilk. You can’t be an over-dog if there are no under-dogs.

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By YoungGringos, December 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

I love capitalism.

It affords me the luxury to eat the last blue fin tuna in my house built from the last grove of old-growth forest and wash it down with water stolen from Indian subsistence farmers. 

Priceless!

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By gerard, December 16, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Piping in at the end of the “fight”, when the battlefield is already littered with bleeding bodies:

IMO, lots of women pass on “feminism” because they simply don’t grasp the fact that things could be otherwise. They are brainwashed into acceptance of rigid sexual discrimination; they believe they were simply unlucky enough to be born as females.

Lots more women pass on “feminism” because they enjoy a false sense of “being protected” as “the weaker sex”—whose job it is to “make a home into a pleasant place for men (who “work hard every day”) to come to for “release”, rest and rehabilitation, relaxation etc. etc. so they can continue to face the “cruel world” tomorrow again.) 

Some other women simply pass on “feminism” because they are “not interested in” or do not wish to “take responsibility for” what passes in their minds as “responsibility for politics or world affairs.” They prefer to hide behind domesticity and dependence. Their husbands tell them how to vote because they ask—as well as because he wants to.(This dodge is also popular with “liberated” women, too, of course.)

Last, a lot of women form their attitude toward “feminism” after they “divine” how “he"feels about it. Some women suffer greatly all their lives because they refuse to act on the basis of how some male family member feels on the subject.

In third world situations, particularly, many women (and their children) benefit enormously not from “feminism” as such, but from being taught how, and given the resources to make make a few bucks a month for extra food, clothing or shelter. 

Conclusion:  It’s a minefield!
I’m such an old crank at this point that my remarks may seem antedeluvian,but I still see the symptoms every day at close hand and far away.

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By truedigger3, December 16, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Re: By Anarcissie, December 16 at 5:28 am


Anarcissie,

Definitely, I did not mean to say that women would normally prefer an inferior political, economic and social position until they have to be pushed to demand justice and equality by an outside force.
What I meant to say is that the push to make work and the strive to move up the corporate ladder almost compulsory for women, even if they have small children at home was a big win for corporate America and very small number of women and had left most women with children feeling very conflicted, guilty and stressed.
I just theorized that the gain for corporate America from this situation was enermous that it is likely that corporate America encouraged this situation and promoted the idea that women can DO it all and HAVE it all which is extremely unrealistic and unfair.
If you thought that I emplied that women accepted their previous unfair situation and or were not aware of it until a conspiracy from Corporate America alerted them, then I didn’t express my ideas clearly and I apologize for that.

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By Anarcissie, December 16, 2011 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

truedigger3—The depiction feminism as a scheme of the elite to increase the size of the labor force is a theory.  Constructing and promoting the idea is theorizing.  When you theorize, and people ask you for the reasons for your theory, saying ‘It’s just my humble opinion’ is bullshitting.  I’m sure you have some reasons for your thoughts, even if they’re only fables.

Again, I’ll ask you why you think women (or any other category of humans) would normally accept inferior political, economic, and social status if they didn’t have to—in short, why women would not be feminists.  Let’s get started with that, and then we can go on to explore who the ‘elite’ was and how you think they stirred up feminism back in 1901 or whenever.

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By EmileZ, December 16, 2011 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

@ truedigger3

Which “ugly disgusting and repulsive picture” are you referring to???

Did I provide an explanation???

Please be more specific.

I am here to accommodate your every need so don’t be shy.

Report this

By truedigger3, December 16, 2011 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

EmileZ,
What is your motive for putting such an ugly disgusting and repulsive picture??!!

Report this

By truedigger3, December 16, 2011 at 2:01 am Link to this comment

Re: By heterochromatic, December 15 at 4:37 pm

heterochromatic wrote:
” access to education isn’t really restricted and the internet is a huge part of keeping information widely available.”
——————————————————————————-
heterochromatic,

The problem is not lack of access to education, but the problem is lack of access to a GOOD education.
If you didn’t notice, there is concerted orchestrated campaign against public education and teachers and the call to replace public schools with corporate private and charter schools.
Many school districts had their budget reduced and consequently are laying off teachers and staff and cutting down supplies and subjects. Many public schools are in dire shape now.
The internet is not only a source of good information but also a source of disinformation, misinformation and bullshitting. In order for a person to benefit from it, S/he has to had got good education and learned to think, reason and distinguish between the wheat and the muddy shaff.
So, in short, the internet will never substitute a good education for most people.

Report this

By truedigger3, December 16, 2011 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

Re: By Anarcissie, December 15 at 3:49 pm

Anarcissie wrote:
” your theory needs to explain why women would normally prefer an inferior political, economic and social position, so that they would not make trouble about their position until inspired to do so by whoever you have as the architect of this plot.”
———————————————————————-
Anarcissie,

I was not theorizing but just musing and observing stating that was “IMH”.
I just noticed that as a result of feminism, corporate America and few women came out big winners, while most of the women didn’t fare well.
Yes, women were in the labor force long before feminism but not when they had small children at home. Feminism made work almost compulsory for women even if they have small children at home and promised women the mirage that “they can have it all”, which resulted in many women being very stressed, confused and conflicted.
Yes, some good things came out of feminism, especially the fight against sexual harassment and coercion at work. But don’t forget, sexual harassment and hanky panky at work is , again, bad for business!!

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

EmileZ—I always appreciate your efforts, along with your avatar.

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By ElkoJohn, December 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

The Republican Party is a quicker death for unregulated global capitalism,
the Democratic Party is a slower death for unregulated global capitalism.
You choose.

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By EmileZ, December 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

I apologize.

I was muddling your first comment with Oddsox’s first comment.

There were just so many… my poor little feeble brain short-circuited.

Still, I hope you appreciated my heroic effort at trying to say something meaningful.

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

EmileZ, December 15 at 5:42 pm:

‘@ Anarcissie

Your “critique” of folks like Hedges and Moore, is absurd. ...’

Which critique is that?  I thought I was leaving poor Hedges alone for once.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

Fou~~~~ I don’t think that they’re just playing, I think that they have opted, and
only to this point in time, to insist on NOT having leaders or even much in way
of structures, for fear of being in any small way “undemocratic” .


It’s somewhat laudable, somewhat impractical.


but mostly it’s gonna change. of necessity, it will change.

Attendance at meetings has shrunken, and folks at meetings are commenting
to each other that they’re all starting to recognize that it’s the same people
showing up.

That’s got to lead to some change.

Report this

By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

So what are you saying? White girls and boys playing
revolutionaries just for the heck of it, so they
could tell their grandchildren of the swell times
they had?  If your conception is even halfway true,
it’s a sordid state of affairs.

I should think that ideas such as social justice,
irrespective of OWS particular complains, would be
the underlying leitmotif.  And if it’s not so, then
I’m not very hopeful.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

Fou~~~  I thinks it’s a bogus excuse, especially now
since
they’ve set up headquarters.  Besides, contact with
“leadership” shouldn’t prevent NOW, let’s say, from
making a public announcement, just for the hell of
it.  ~~~~~

got a nephew that lives with us and who goes to OWS
meetings about 3 times/week.

it ain’t all that bogus. the nephew has spent six
weeks trying to get OWS to consider working with
another, older radical/socialist group in Manhattan
for which he works.

the meetings are 5 hours long and the first 2 hours
of each, he reports, is devoted to establishing the
procedural ground rules of that particular meeting.

two days later, another 2 hours again discussing the
procedures of the day.

it’s S-L_O-W; geared to discussion and not very
conducive to building a coalitions with other
groups….

I can’t see any reason or space for an organization
with a different primary focus to do any more than
issue a generally favorable statement endorsing the
general goals or intentions of OWS.

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By EmileZ, December 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

Your “critique” of folks like Hedges and Moore, is absurd.

It reminds me of Ayn Rand enthusiasts who say “It is selfish to breath, therefore selfishness is the greatest virtue” and go on from there.

I don’t know to what end you persist.

I feel that way at times, don’t get me wrong, but still… you’ve got to get out of your own head from time to time and try to engage in a positive way to the best of your abilities. You know what I mean???

To try and demonstrate that I think I know what you mean, view this Pulitzer Prize winning photo (the one at the top) here…

http://kimberlywillis.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/pulitzer-prize-winning-photograph/

It is kind of sick that someone should recieve a prize for taking this photo especially with the commentary below about its emotional impact…

Unless it is part of a broader effort to never let this sort of thing happen again etc.

(I don’t know anything about the photographer or his or her efforts).

The photographer got the prize, what happened to the kid???
Maybe that kid was the “best thing” that ever happened to the photographer???

I dunno.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Hetero,

I thinks it’s a bogus excuse, especially now since
they’ve set up headquarters.  Besides, contact with
“leadership” shouldn’t prevent NOW, let’s say, from
making a public announcement, just for the hell of
it.  Again, Anarcissie may have a better pulse on
this than I.

Further, I don’t think we can replenish ourselves
anymore than we already have.  The Silicon Valley
teems with people from India, China and Korea, and
more than half of the business lots are empty.  If
you’re thinking of picking lettuce in Salinas, yes,
I agree, but I don’t think this is your idea of the
future.

As to scholarships, they’re passe.  I have gone
through most of my graduate studies at NYU and CUNY
without paying a cent.  Those days are gone,.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

true~~~ access to education isn’t really restricted and the internet is a huge part of
keeping information widely available.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

Fou~~~ the feminist organizations aren’t behind OWS en masse because it’s not
possible for an interest group with a separate agenda to form an alliance with
OWS.

Pretend you’re an official of (fr’instance) NOW. You pickup to phone to call OWS
and talk to a counteprart…and…then…...you realize that ...there isn’t any
person you can talk with.


————-
Different issue, America replenishes itself through immigration as well as
public education and easy access to university ed for promising, but
impoverished, students.

scholarships are good.

Report this

By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

The straightforward explanation is, American
economy in the sixties was still booming, and that
was before computerization.  Consequently, there
was a demand for labor, especially at the low end,
and women fit the bill.  Naturally, women
responded, since the American Dream and keeping up
with the Jones’s was still on.  Eventually, the
wages got depressed even for the male workforce,
and the American industry was the winner.

See John Kenneth Galbraith,  Economics and the
Public Purpose.

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, December 15 at 3:14 pm:

Re: By Anarcissie, December 15 at 1:04 pm,

Anarcissie,

I think femminism was initially encouraged and nutured by the elite to flood the labor market with working women and cosequently with the abundance of laboor wages has to come down! ...

And this plot was implemented how?

If you look at the percentage of women in the industrial workforce graphed against time from 1900 to 2000, you observe what is almost a straight line, with a small dogleg at the point of World War 2, first up (Rosie the Riveter) then down as the boys came home, and finally resumption of the line.  So if there was a plot it was hatched back before World War 1. 

Also, I think your theory needs to explain why women would normally prefer an inferior political, economic and social position, so that they would not make trouble about their position until inspired to do so by whoever you have as the architect of this plot.

Finally, the instigation of radical feminism in the late 1960s doesn’t seem to fit into the plot at all.  Women were, as I have said, already being increasingly taken into the industrial workforce.  A bunch of radicals complaining about patriarchs and jocks seems unlikely to speed this process.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Let me think.

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By truedigger3, December 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Anarcissie, December 15 at 1:04 pm,

Anarcissie,

I think femminism was initially encouraged and nutured by the elite to flood the labor market with working women and cosequently with the abundance of laboor wages has to come down!
Feminism , IMH, is a corporate ploy to get cheap labor.! And yes, the corporate elite does not mind accepting the creme of the creme of women in higher positions and elite status but the basic tenet is that the culture has changed and women almost inevitably HAVE to work!
When feminism started, a man can soley support a family, and now a husband and wife have both have to work to support a family.  The work of two for the price of one and that is very good deal for the elite.
Yes, there are other factors which contribute to the stagnant wages of the working class primarily are off-shoring of jobs to China, India, Vietnam , Mexico etc.., the flood of illegal immigrants and automation.

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

So, if you don’t like ‘ruling class’, what term would you prefer?  There’s ‘power structure’, I suppose, although a structure made up of separate living beings is a sort of organism itself; a ‘metaorganism’ or ‘hyperorganism’, perhaps.  But if I say ‘the ruling hyperorganism’ no one will know what I’m talking about.

I like ‘bourgeoisie’, too; it’s guaranteed to get somebody watching out for creeping Marxism thoroughly riled.

I’m not fond of ‘the 1%’ because it seems to refer to income or net worth, and the powerful are not always interested in money (although they usually are), and there are many very wealthy people who are too incompetent to be powerful; they just got lucky, usually by having the wisdom to be born to very wealthy parents.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

“So, IMH, unless the ruling elite, at least, modify
course, there will be not enough “able bodies”, to
replinish the lost vigor, and inevitably, decay will
set in.”

Well, we’re seeing this decay already in the
political sphere, if we are to take Anarcissie at her
word.  And as to our business elites, I think the
manner in which our financial sector had deteriorated
to the level of casino gambling speaks for itself.

Report this

By truedigger3, December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

Re: By heterochromatic, December 15 at 9:10 am mment

heterochromatic wrote:

“The availability of access to power based on merit rather than birth is designed to mitigate against disconnection from the whole of the population”
—————————————————————————-
heterochromatic,

Unfortunately, gradually, merit is associated with who the parents of the person are and what chances and opportunities a person had growing up. So, gradually, merit will depend on birth!
Gradually acces to good schools, mind expanding teaching and experiences and good higher education are being restricted to members of the well to do who can afford it.
Most, if not all, of the recent “New Money” were made by individuals like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs ..etc who had access to these chances which are becoming more difficult for similar individuals in the future.
Yes, I know Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are college dropout, but they grow up in mind expanding enrcihing environment and well to do upbringing!
So, IMH, unless the ruling elite, at least, modify course, there will be not enough “able bodies”, to replinish the lost vigor, and inevitably, decay will set in.!

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Foucauldian—I was just giving an observation which shows the way in which the power structure of a liberal-capitalist polity decapitates certain kinds of dissident movements by absorbing the most aggressive, talented members of the dissident category.  The same sort of thing can be observed about Civil Rights/Black Power and the labor union movement.  Whether this sort of outcome should be considered a failure is a matter of opinion.  Ms. Rodham says there are now 18 million cracks in the Glass Ceiling, so from her point of view feminism was a big success.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Hetero,

Does your account explains why the feminists aren’t
en masse behind OWS?  I’m not aware of any statement
by the leading figures expressing their view on OWS
one way of the other.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Excellent analysis, Anarcissie, what a way to connect
the dots.  So Hillary because the poster child in a
manner of speaking.

Goes to show that good quality thinking always
emerges from delving into details.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Ana, I certainly can agree with your observation, but again wish to make sure
that we’re observing a particular and assert some greater, inevitable truth.

I will question that stuff about feminism/radicalism. Yeah, I understand the
point that feminism grew from radical roots, but would say that the feminists
made huge gains, and that it’s not that feminist/radicals disappeared, but that
the feminist message of the originals was echoed by so many others who didn’t
share the greater radical vision.

When the battles for feminism produced gains, the less radical were satisfied.
And most expect that the future will produce a rough political and economic
equality for women as women.

The feminist/radical remained radical, but moved their radical efforts to other
fronts.

Perhaps what you perceive as the failure of feminism was that it didn’t move the
feminists, in vast numbers, to a more generally pervasive radicalism.

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 15 at 9:10 am:

‘~~~~This strategy indeed makes the state stronger and the lower classes stupider
and weaker. ~~~~

Not necessarily in any significant fashion.  The demonstration of merit that
affords absorption into the ruling class takes place prior to elevation and the pool
of talent and wisdom isn’t static. New people are born and replace the those who
have gone. ...’

I’m going by what I observe.  To take one example, feminism.  In the 1960s and ‘70s, feminists were often radical and were not only pushing for political and economic equality within the liberal-capitalist scheme of things, but were asking fundamental questions about the culture and society in which male preference and domination were embedded.  They were asking these questions not in academic ivory towers, but in the streets and houses of the people in general.  Almost all of that is gone now, because the more talented, aggressive members of the oppressed class, Hillary Rodham, for example, were accepted into the ruling hierarchy at a high level, and far beneath her, innumerable young women became assistant associate vice presidents at suburban banks.  The few radicals who remained were, like the poor old Marxists, starved into academia.  Similar editing was performed on other dissident classes.  Was feminism destroyed by success, then?  Well, it didn’t obtain political or economic equality except in a nominal sense, as anyone can tell by looking at the Senate, the top managers of big corporations, or wage statistics.

In answer to the second part of your message, which I haven’t copied, again, I’m going by observation.  The quality of leadership which I observe in the U.S. has definitely deteriorated since my youth.  Sure, there was a lot of Barnum & Bailey stuff then, too, but there were people behind the scenes actually taking care of business.  There doesn’t appear to be any more.  I mean, hyping the economy by printing money—this is worthy of the dictator of a banana republic, and not the best sort of banana republic, either.

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

balkas—When I say state I’m referring to a government and all the systems, institutions and relations which are organized and upheld by the government, for example in the U.S. business corporations.

There are certain crossover points; for instance, while people would certainly form families without a state, all states that I know about institutionalize some forms of the family, and exclude others.  Families, then, have a dual nature, partly natural and partly ‘statal’ (if I may borrow from Spanish and Italian; we don’t seem to have the appropriate adjective in English).

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Oh yes, Peter O’Toole is superb as always.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, I can agree with “the ruling class” having only limited utility in discussion,
but must assert that the movie was extremely enjoyable.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Keep on pluggin’, my man.  It’s great you stay
intellectually active.  That and meaningful
relationships is the only fountain of youth.

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By balkas, December 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

foucauldian,
thanks for the link. i also think that believing a god is ok, but like, ursula k leguin,
i, too, think we do not need priest. in fact, priesthhod shld be banned. tnx

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

gerard, December 15 at 10:27 am

Yes, gerard, but don’t you think once we realize
we’re all in the same boat will prove to be the
eventual leveler?  You can employ the policy of
divide and conquer but only for so long, and you can
exploit the people only for so long.

The clock is ticking.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 15 at 9:41

Just for the record, I don’t find the concept of “the
ruling class” particularly helpful for the purposes
of in-depth analysis.  The situation is far too
complex for that concept to be especially revealing,
except perhaps in the most abstract as well as
rhetorical sense.

I wonder what Anarcissie might think here.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

balkas,

Here’s the link to Ursula LeGuin piece, “The Ones Who
Walk Away from Omelas”:

http://harelbarzilai.org/words/omelas.txt


Courtesy, Anarcissie

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Bloomberg, I would say yes, although I like the
European term better, especially the one used in
Greece:  the political class.  I think it more
accurate, because it suggests a distinction.

Bill Gates, definitely not a manager.  A ruling
class, not by any conscious choice, I’d like to
argue; not so certain about “the consequences” of the
Gates’ Empire.

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By gerard, December 15, 2011 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Once a nation of widely differeing, individuaistic people have become sufficiently pitted against each other (by distance, by educational level, by financial differences, by ethnic and political identitification etc. etc.) it is hard (maybe impossible) to re-unite them. 
  This separatism is indigenous in the U.S. from the beginning.  That’s why “... in order to form a more perfect union…” was recognized as an essential from almost the beginning. But it was not maintained.  Differences were insurmountable, especially as ‘authorities” and “elites” became increasingly aware of how to exploit differences.
  Now, unity has to be achieved by conscious effort—communities rebuilt, families reunited, population segments mutually understood, common ethical standards created and maintained to strengthen feelings of mutuality.  Otherwise the society will continue to disintegrate and self-destruct.
It’s vital that we all recognize the grave danger of being used, one against the other for the benefit of power-greedy political/financial elites. That’s the primary and powerful significance of the “99% slogan and the essence of the OWS struggle.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Fou~~~~ Is Bil gates a member of the ruling class or a just a manager?  Mayor
Bloomberg?

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Sure, the ruling class needs its managers and the
bureaucracy.  Who would collect taxes, for example,
if those tasks weren’t delegated?

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Fou~ thanks for the link. will get back to you after doing the reading.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Fou~~~ yes the US does all those things,  and why should it not?  upward mobility
is quite a good thing.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

I also think it would help to bring the historical
perspective into this discussion.

One can’t help but laud the formation of the Russian
State, if one takes Eisenstein’s classic, Ivan the
Terrible, as a fairly accurate depiction of the
historical reality.

But that was then.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 14 at 7:12 pm

As per request, here’s a link to my writer’s
profile:  http://tinyurl.com/86ukk2q

The articles 40, 42, 43 and 44 (page 2) try to
establish the conceptual foundations.  If you’re
interested in the application aspect, you might
look at “... Mao’a Little Redbook” series.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

~~~~This strategy indeed makes the state stronger and the lower classes stupider
and weaker. ~~~~

Not necessarily in any significant fashion.  The demonstration of merit that
affords absorption into the ruling class takes place prior to elevation and the pool
of talent and wisdom isn’t static. New people are born and replace the those who
have gone.

~~~~  However, as the state becomes stronger its rulers become more arrogant
and more disconnected from the life of the community as a whole, and they begin
to fail to take care of business. ~~~~

That contention in that sentence isn’t a necessary consequence of anything
expressed before it. It simply needn’t occur, even if there’s a statistical likelihood
that, at some moment or other, it will occur, it needn’t be fatal or irremediable.

The availability of access to power based on merit rather than birth is designed to
mitigate against disconnection from the whole of the population

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By balkas, December 15, 2011 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

anarcisssie,
while thinking about the state, let’s not forget the people who live in that state.
and we cannot se the state. we can, tho, fortunately for us, see people of region which we may call a country,
empire, or state.

we can also read a country’s laws, constitution, what MSM, educators, generals, politicians, clergy say and this is
what u call a state? right? and u may think of the state as the state’s affairs?

as i said, we can see people and that is very good. the battle for enlightenment is 99% over by just that one act.
how lucky can we be! and how lucky wld we be if the 99% knew only that one fact and nothing else.

unfortunately we do not see all that the ‘elite’ does or read all it says. however, not yet is all lost; we, very luckily,
see what results from their seen and unseen actions, don’t we? ok, still not all of the results, but enough, tho!

if that is what u mean by state, then, fine! what if u mean s’mthing else? then, tell us about it!
so, i put it this way: the ‘elite’ seeks ever greater dominance over the servant class of people.
for that is nature of supremacism or meritocracy: a personal supremacist can never have enough of it! and s/he’s
or may be in mortal fear of losing it all.

the addiction to econo-military-politico-educational power over serfs cannot be quenched. when threatened, the
addicts know no bounds in order to maintain their addiction.
OWS may or may be not underestimating enormity of problems it faces. a social democratic party, however, wld
not ever make that mistake!
i hope this clarifies the notion of the state. tnx

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 15 at 8:30 am:

‘~~~~~Any state is fettered to its need to preserve its power.  This is a constantproblem for its ruling class.~~~~

and a decent response by the “ruling class” is to make membership elastic and available to members of the underclass who demonstrate desire and ability.’

In other words, the state can decapitate the lower classes or discriminated minorities by absorbing their most talented and energetic members into its ruling hierarchy.  This strategy indeed makes the state stronger and the lower classes stupider and weaker.  However, as the state becomes stronger its rulers become more arrogant and more disconnected from the life of the community as a whole, and they begin to fail to take care of business.  They come to rely more and more on propaganda, surveillance, and police repression.  This, in fact, is pretty much what happened to the United States in the 20th century, especially after World War 2.  But one can also notice similar moments in the career of the Roman Republic and Empire.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

But don’t you think the state is already doing
that, Hetero?  It recruits its police force and the
military from the lower orders.  It allows for
reasonable upward mobility.  It creates the
illusion that anyone can be the president or become
a millionaire.  The state must do all of those
things because the ruling class is insufficient in
numbers to fend for itself.

As to those who won’t comply, the troublemakers, we
either incarcerate them or put them away in mental
wards (Foucault).  Only good, law-abiding citizens
are left more or less to their own devices.

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By heterochromatic, December 15, 2011 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

~~~~~Any state is fettered to its need to preserve its power.  This is a constant
problem for its ruling class.~~~~

and a decent response by the “ruling class” is to make membership elastic and
available to members of the underclass who demonstrate desire and ability.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

My goodness, balkas, and please forgive me.  I
certainly won’t see that age.  In any case,
Anarcissie is much better than I to put things most
succinctly, as evidenced by the immediately
preceding comment.  She’s been much longer at the
game, and compared to her I’m but a novice.

You certainly don’t sound your age, there’s still
vigor and youth in your thought, and that’s all
that matters. 

BTW, Anarcissie might provide a link to a nice
parable by Ursula Le Guin depicting an utopian
anarchistic community.  You’ll certainly enjoy it
as it expresses your sentiments to a T.

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2011 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

balkas, December 13 at 3:18 pm:

the fact is one cannot separate religions, meritocracy, law making, capitalism [finances-private ownership of whatever], etc., from the state.  and it is the state [definitely in india and u.s] which is unfettered, to borough that term from hedges—provided he is using the label.

Any state is fettered to its need to preserve its power.  This is a constant problem for its ruling class.  That the slave is bound to the master means that the master is bound to the slave.

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By David J. Cyr, December 15, 2011 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

RE: “Democrats are progressive, Republicans are regressive”
________________________________________________

The corporate party’s Democrats are “progressive” in the same manner that a malignant cancer is medically termed to be “progressive” when it moves on to be more malignant.

The corporate party’s Democrat means pretending to provide “progress” for good is through collaboration with evil, and capitulation to evil… the liberal means to progress toward evil ends.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By balkas, December 15, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

foucauldian,
i am now 90 y o and i have the right not to listen to any more or learn
anything—-i have the right to be stupid. it is more peaceful that way.
but thanks for the advice. or was it a command? ok, whatever, i have the
right not to know!
oh what i wdld’t do to be stupid once again. i tell u fella, it’s a bliss!  try
it u might like it, too!

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By Foucauldian, December 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

Will do, Hetero, since you ask.  Give me till
tomorrow, though, if you don’t mind.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, December 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

I wonder how long these two sock puppets (possibly corporate paid and created) will waffle on. It is a great way to try and hide or discourage political discourse. Real political discourse that is.

Just saying. My question to Mikey Moore remains.

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By heterochromatic, December 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Fou~~~~ how bout you put up a link or two anyway. I’ve
always had a yen to hear someone explain how anarchism
isn’t just a silly theory founded on the lunacy and
error of German Idealism.

I’d love to hear how a city could operate in anarchy.

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By Foucauldian, December 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

I don’t care what the dictionaries says, Balkas.  I
offered you a link to some of my articles on the
subject, at askance, and if you choose not to avail
yourself of the opportunity, that’s your business. 
But as I said, I’m not going to make it easy for
you by trying to condense it all into a single
comment.  You’ve got to do some work too rather
than spout what passes as conventional wisdom.  And
if you’re not prepared to make the effort, then we
really have nothing more to say to one another on
the subject, since I certainly don’t cherish the
idea of having to repeat myself.

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By balkas, December 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

foucauldian,
unfortunately for anarchists and anarchic ideology
[u do not mind me calling it and ism, do u?] even dictionary defines it as “lawlessness”.
it seems to me that that’s how most people look at it.
did i at one time? i don’t remember what i thought about it, i think i just thought of it in my prethinkig
days [was i ever ignorant until early eighties—i am now 80 y o] as nonsense.
i am so busy posting, reading them and pieces by columnists, i had no time [to tell the truth nor
desire] to pick at the library a book on anarchy.
so, wld u kindly, adduce here on truthdig its main ideas, plans, etc.

i am aslo strongly wedded to interdependence, using/wasting less, greater equality, apodictic truth
[aristotle’s invention] better use of language, and i am scared of having my dreams shattered by any
other ideology whatsoever.
i am aslo aware that chomsky is also an anarchist. he, as u may know, denies ROR for palestinians.
i think he also disapproves of socialism.
he’s also against one state solution in palestina even tho we all know that palestinians can obtain their
sate only thru war.
it is well known that what’s won in a war can be returned only via another war or via swap of goodies.
and palestinians got nothing to trade with israel. tnx bozhidar balkas vancouver

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By Foucauldian, December 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

... than I would be willing to ...

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By Foucauldian, December 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

You’re packing way too much into anarchistic
political philosophy (to be distinguished from
anarchy), balkas, that I would be willing to grant. 
In essence, the position has evolved from a
realization that statehood is a defunct institution
and the need to come up with alternative forms of
governance.  That’s my take at least.

If you wish, I could direct you to a series of my
own articles on the subject, in the course of which
I trace the development of the anarchistic thought,
its genealogy as it were, from the conceptual
standpoint.  To try to condense this account to a
single comment is something I simply couldn’t do. 
So if you’re interested, do let me know.

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By balkas, December 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

foucauldian,
as i see anarchy or anarchic ideology, it itself must constitute some order and be set up or imposed perforce
by some or all people.
for, even absence of an order results in a peculiar order and one which cannot be set up unless—and
whatever [dis]order it may turn out to be—s’mhow-s’mwhen imposed on people—by people; most of which
have no clue what that ism means or entails.
and we once again must come back to some kind of order, regulations, system of thinking, ideology, etc.

surely, we wld produce [unless nature wld have mercy upon us and stopped making such people] from our
genetic pool also deceivers, pedophiles, murderers, robbers, et al. what if not? unfortunately, we cannot
know that it won’t generate such people.
and we wld have to deal with that.

and how wld anarchy deal with religions and about 5bln of their apsolutistic thinkers and their eternal
verities? and who wld gladly kill anyone who casts doubt on their truth.

now when we are talking about anarchy or absence of laws, religion, priests, whorehouses, jails, taxes,
armies, spies, ‘schools’, parliaments, flags, books, land ownership, imperialism, colonialism, nobility,
governance, etc., didn’t zunis, hopis, haydas, crees, mohawks, sioux, apaches have s’mthing like that?
all the poor souls had was elders’ guidance and tutoring.
so what happened when priests saw such ‘primitiveness”. they went ballistic, didn’t they? and they’d do it
again and again.
which means we need constant protection from them or accept the mental serfdom. tnx

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By heterochromatic, December 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Marian~~~~ you can consider it, and you can rightfully fear it, but it isn’t the
present reality and there’s no need for it to be the reality of the future.

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By Foucauldian, December 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

balkas, December 14 at 7:31 am

balkas,

I appreciate your sentiments, especially when you
say “we need to think whether we can have any
progress w.o. some regress or some harm to even one
person or animal.”  Of course that’s the right kind
of stance, who could argue with that? but only as a
stance.  We both know, however, that’s not how
things usually work out in history.  The road to
progress has always been paved with all kind of
suffering and struggle.  The first, at least in
some aspects, concerns what we might call
“collateral damage,” all the unwitting victims, and
there are bound to be many, whenever radical social
change is afoot; the second, a rather stark reality
that no gains can be made unless you fight for it. 
And it’s got nothing to do with our druthers, with
how we wish things would happen; it’s got
everything to do with how they do happen.  So I’m
merely being realistic; haven’t advocated an open
revolt or undue suffering.

To give you an example, the anarchistic position
is, to my mind, the right ideological position at
this historical moment, and it would be, if an
anarchistic “state” were to be even partly
realized, less harmful in all the respects you
mention insofar as our environment, use of our
resources, and people are concerned.  But it’s one
thing to be able to envisage such a state of
affairs; getting there is another.

Besides, in my post you responded to, I do present
some ideas as to how to get there, and these are
non-violent means.  If you recall, I spoke of
passive resistance and strategic withdrawal, of
creating alternative political and economic
structures which bypass the existing ones, all of
which, IMO, would go a long way towards rendering
the present system less and less relevant.

Your thoughts?

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By oddsox, December 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

I know TruthDig is his home court, but I’m impressed by Hedges’ ability to ignite a long stream of comments with his columns and now, his interviews.

ABOUT CAPITALISM & FETTERIN’:
“Unfettered” capitalism ultimately gives way to monopoly. 
Properly “fettered,” and driven by
consumers and investors acting in their own perceived best interests, capitalism works everywhere it’s applied.
What makes Capitalism work is the high probability of win-win transactions. 

WHY CAPITALISM WORKS:
Many of the false beliefs about Capitalism (some proffered on this thread) are centered in the “zero-sum game” myth.
But most transactions result in both buyers (or investors) and sellers being better off—at least that is their belief. 
Of course, even when free to make their own choices, people make mistakes, but over the long haul, it trues-out.

Contrary to some of the comments on this thread, Free-Market Capitalism is not a political concept, so it can work under any political model: democracy, representative republic, fascist dictatorship—even in a communist state, as the PRC is proving.

The Chinese have learned that economic freedom and political freedom are distinct.  For their leadership, giving much of the former compensates for allowing none of the latter.

Here in the US, Capitalism worked very well before we let loose of the proper fetterin’ in favor of over-fetterin’ and un-fetterin’.
But Free Market Capitalism will again serve us well once we invite it back.

HOW TO FETTER:
The best “fetterin’” is maintaing fair competition in the marketplace.
That’s why we need to have and use our Anti-Trust Laws—most imporatantly the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Act of 1913 that specifically addresses acquisitions and mergers.
(.. and why right now we need to Break up the Too Big to Fails)

IMHO, Hedges & Moore have no clue about any of this. Thus, though they’d love to, they are in a poor position to do or recommend proper fetterin’.

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By balkas, December 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

no, i did not know that moore and moyers begged nader not to run for presidency.
i had also been against him running for presidency also. but probably for diff
reasons.
i thought that if he got elected [i never expected it, tho] he’d have to swear
allegiance to the same structure that every prez before him swore to or if he
wldn’t…...
swearing allegiance to the system maintains the system, that means no change of
whatever kind that system forbids explicitly or implicitly or via interpretation of u.s
constitution.
and the wagons are circled. nothnig gets in or out!!
but, hold it!! i am not saying that moore and moyers have not changed their
positions. tnx

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By Foucauldian, December 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

JD,

Apologize for belated response, but was forced to
respond first to another challenge.

You’re not offending my sensibilities, I only tried
to be helpful. Your depiction of the system no
doubt deserves far greater attention and feedback
as a standalone than it possible can while buried
somewhere among the myriad of comments on this or
any other comments space.  And I didn’t mean to
suggest your posts weren’t on topic; of course they
were.  Still, you haven’t address anyone in
particular.  I don’t know about other people, but
in my instance, the virtue of a public bulletin
board such as this lies precisely in being able to
engage particular individuals and, hopefully,
resolve certain points of contention.

You say where else can I publish.  Well, there’s a
variety of blogsites where you can do precisely
that.  Let me suggest one with which I’m affiliated
- http://blogcritics.org/politics/

They’re looking for capable writers, and I’m
certain you’d qualify.  I’m also certain you’d get
considerably greater feedback to your articles in
the comments space allocated to those articles than
you can possibly get here.  You really ought to try
it. 

And whatever gave you the idea that I’d want to
discuss the virtue of capitalism?  You must have
misread me somewhere.

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By balkas, December 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

more on systems.
perhaps, supplanting the label “system” with the label “structure” with its strictures, aims, permissions,
bans, taboos, myths, etc., may impart more knowledge than the label “system”?
a structure [probably any] can be seen with naked eye or by an eye via telescope or microscope, looking
glass, etc.

since we can gain knowledge only via our ‘god’ or god-nature given five senses, seeing the structure of
cancer or any other cell or structure of u.s or any other governance, we need to assiduously teach
children this fact.

the longer and the deeper a look in any structure, the deeper our knowledge of it.
after seeing anything, we use the language to describe what we have seen and verbally inviting others to
see what we have seen.
the next step wld be to decide if we wld destroy, change, or remove any structure.

teach them that endlessly theorizing [guessing—no politico {or priest} wld ever use that word even tho
that’s what s/he’s doing almost all of the time], complexifying symplicities [the latter solely impart
knowledge], simplifying complexities, making promises [all promises are lies] leads them to serfdom.
of course, it is not late for adults to be taught and to learn these facts.

u.s structure of governance, with its numerous substructures, can be seen—no education for that is
needed. in fact, the cause of not seeing it, is the ‘schooling’. [recall what happened to pavlov’s dog after
hisher ‘education’]
and that’s why schooling is mandatory.
at one time, priests vigorously opposed education for peasantry. but once seeing [note, please, the word
“SEEING”] what a tool for enslavement it had been, they then demanded it and particularly the teaching of
godology. tnx

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By heterochromatic, December 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Ana, amen to that, sister.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, December 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Did anyone ask Michael Moore about his appearance on Politically Correct, where he and Bill Mayer actually got down on their knees and BEGGED Ralph Nader not to run?

Or more currently, hey Michael Moore. Which pro-war, Wall Street owned presidential candidate do you support now?

Perhaps Chris Hedged can ask since Michael Moore does not answer my e mails. Or that people like myself do not get to ask that question at the stage managed events that Mikey Moore speaks at.

Inquiring minds want to know.

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By Anarcissie, December 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 14 at 9:13 am:

“unregulated capitalism” ain’t what we got here and Hedges is again reducing everything to the extent that he’s avoiding any description of reality in favor of his own mental pictures. we don’t derive great benefit from crayola-level depictions.

The folk like the hear the word preached, though.

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By JDmysticDJ, December 14, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

By David J. Cyr posted tautologically with no variance ad nausea

I must point out that neither paintings nor Dorian Gray like photographs (not at all a true representation of that which the photograph is intended to represent) talk, so quotations can be attributed to neither. My quotations are mine and those quotations do not come from a pleasing painting in shades of blue portraying a tranquil and serene scene of nature. That being said, I suppose your identifying me the anonymous person with a painting had some value of some sort perhaps once, but over, and over again, and over again? No matter, I only bring this up to point out your seemingly endless repetitions in all respects.  It’s called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Are you here to advertise

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1?

Or do you have some other purpose for endlessly posting the same inanity over and over again.

Quote of an inane and endlessly repetitive person who uses a false image to falsely represent who he is.

“The corporate party’s Democrats are always advertising good reasons for not supporting the corporate state’s sick paradigm, while they continue to be stalwartly (D) dedicated in their support of every evil thing in that tired old sick paradigm that they say they are against.”

It was me who first referred to the “Tired old sick paradigm” as a “Tired old sick paradigm” on another thread, but at least you’re varying, ever so slightly, your endlessly repetitive condemnations of people who prefer Democrats to Republicans. Your contention that people who prefer Democrats to Republicans support every evil thing in the “Tired old sick paradigm” is nonsense, a quantum leap in illogical thinking and poorly concealed demagoguery.

You conclude your brief repetition by writing:

“Democrats advertise progress, while they MoveOn backwards.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:”

pro•gress
1.  positive development: development, usually of a gradual kind, toward achieving a goal or reaching a higher standard

2.  advance of human society: the general advance of human society and industry over time toward a state of greater civilization

3.  motion toward something: movement forward or onward

Synonyms: development, growth, advancement, improvement, evolution, headway, steps forward, movement, evolvement


Democrats are progressive, Republicans are regressive, and only those who lack political acuity are ignorant of that fact, and only demagogues assert that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Every vote for Jill Stein will be a vote against progress and a vote for regress in the final analysis, in other words, a MoveOn backwards.


In a democracy a consensus is necessary in order to achieve objectives. You and your ilk will destroy a consensus for progress, and empower a consensus for regress or at the least empower a status quo of failed and unjust policies.

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By Marian Griffith, December 14, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@heterochromatic
—-“unregulated capitalism” ain’t what we got here—-

If I had to put a name on the American socio-economic system then unregulated capitalism certainly is one of those I would consider.

Yes, I am aware that there are still laws limiting capitalism in the USA, but the political trend for the last 3 decades at least has been to do away with them.

That they have not all gone yet is because there were a fair few of them and because it takes time for lobbyists to get ahead of the pac(k) and put their pet law repeal at the top of the agenda, push it through the legislative process (it may take a few elections to get enough support) and then smooth out the inevitable outrage when the people are reminded through the resulting scandals why those laws were introduced about a century ago.

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By gerard, December 14, 2011 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Systems are sets of more or less coordinated ideas about process—capitalism, communism,democracy, dictatorships—coordinated enough to hold societies together over time and prevent dissolution.
Within systems, forces are installed to maintain consistency at least among the sources of power.
  Systems are created and maintained by people, through sheer force or a combination of force and mutual agreement. Those who have achieved positions of power within systems abhor change because of their fear of losing power.  Therefore, systems are difficult to change—but not impossible. However, even when changed for the benefit of some, others will seek change for their benefit, and succeed or fail depending upon a host of variable circumstances.
  Capitalists, communists, dictators, democrats are only words attempting to describe ways thatpeople with different prejudices and sympathies have arranged to live together. All human beings being basically similar, their sytems are also basically similar.
  The systems they develop and cling to are not the people who created and maintain those systems both by what they do and what they do not do— cooperate or refuse, acquiesce (to one degree or another) or resist (to one degree or another).
Those whose lives seem to benefit will adquiesce, and vice versa.
  Those who wield the most power will resist change the most fiercely.  Those the most abused will harbor the most resentment and the greatest desire for change. If resistance achieves benefits for them.  Systems are objective ideas and social mechanisms, not people (no matter what the Supremes may say).
  Degree of popular cquiescence or resistance defines the strength or weakness of systems. If large numbers of people resist, something in the system needs to be changed or eliminated. If those with the most power refuse systemic changes, eventlually the system itself will collapse due to increases in destructive behavior on the side of both resisters and perpetrators.
  Main point of this harangue:  People make and/or break systems.  People change, and then they change systems. If people in power do not disconnecte themselves from those who are relatively powerless, they themselves will sponsor change when needed. Disconnection, however, seems to be the rule nine times out of ten.
  Here’s the gap:  We do not understand how and why people in power separate themselves from those over whom they hold power.  Yet it is essential to fill this gap, because nonviolent change, in its attempt to avoid violence, must—absolutely must—understand how to recreate and maintain connections that have been severed and engage the cooperation of those in power in orer to “overthrow” it.  Violent overthrow may temporarily succeed, but the basic problem will recur with time.
  So ...... why do people holding power tend to set themselves apart?  What happens to systems when this occurs?  How can such “divorce” (which appears to be intentional) be avoided?  A sense of community is known to be essential to human beings.  How and why is it so easily destroyed?  Is “the system” geared to encourage or discourage disconnection?
  Measuring human (economic/political) systems against each other, how might it be possible to build a system integrated in such a way that all the parts work together most of the time for most of the people instead of repelling each other, cracking up and eventually falling apart?
  How much does a learned ideology of “rugged individualism” have to do with this question? Does rivalry tend to decreased empathy?  What is empathy, anyway?  Where does it come from and why?  Are empathy and competition mutuallly exclusive?  If so, what are the implications for the human future? Is it possible to re-orient the way we think?  etc etc
  Sorry for raising such “imponderables”—but I think we won’t get far if we do not raie them.

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By heterochromatic, December 14, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

“unregulated capitalism” ain’t what we got here and Hedges is again reducing
everything to the extent that he’s avoiding any description of reality in favor of his
own mental pictures. we don’t derive great benefit from crayola-level depictions.

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By balkas, December 14, 2011 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

david j cyr,
i was against nader’s run for president. i saw it actually as a negative
action to take.
and i do not care what jill stein stands for [individualization of politics
and running a country cannot bring us any good; this is, to me, cultic
behavior] i am against her running for president.
she’s welcome, tho, to join OWS or a second political party and then i
won’t even ask what she stands for! tnx

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By balkas, December 14, 2011 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

foucauldian,
i can see now that by using the directive “subdue capitalism” i had been
quite vacuous.
but even the ‘explanation’ that we have unfettered or fettered capitalism
does not explain it.
how about regulating it? and by laws? having in mind diminishing
resources and global warming and need to produce and use less and
less; even if time wld show that we were in error by doing that? 
ensuring also that no progress causes any regress/harm; to biota,
weather, people.
the times of “full progress ahead, damn the regress” and its undying
support by, say, 99% of earthlings, shld be finally over.
we need to think whether we can have any progress w.o. some regress or
some harm to even one person or animal?
we definitely can and need badly not only to stop all ‘progress’ in arms,
cars, planes, gadgets making, but do away with much of it?
and, of course, use/waste less and less in our daily living. tnx

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By Rose Alexander, December 14, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Capitalism is a parasite on the body of the republic. The capitalist makes his profit by ripping off the fruits of another mans labor, keeping that person dependent and poorer for it.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 14, 2011 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, of a painting in many (D)evious shades of blue:

“Eliminating the abuses and injustice of Capitalism will require a new paradigm of thinking regarding Capitalism; a new paradigm that Capitalists, by all definitions, are not willing to embrace.”
_______________

The corporate party’s Democrats are always advertising good reasons for not supporting the corporate state’s sick paradigm, while they continue to be stalwartly (D) dedicated in their support of every evil thing in that tired old sick paradigm that they say they are against.

Democrats advertise progress, while they MoveOn backwards.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By JDmysticDJ, December 14, 2011 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

RE: Foucauldian, December 13 at 3:35 pm

“How in the hell can you expect anyone to respond to
your dissertation, JD?”

I would expect that people respond or not respond to my “dissertation” based on agreement or disagreement with the “dissertation” and those that disagree would have specific points of disagreement. I would also expect that people, you for example, would respond with criticisms of style rather than of substance, or a perception of lack of substance. Your response, and a response it is, lacks substance from my perspective, but that is merely my response to you. How in the hell should I respond to your response?

Forgive me for pontificating my opinion on the matter under discussion here which I believe to be of great importance, or don’t forgive me, it matters little to me if you forgive me or don’t forgive me, the truth, as I see it, is that the issue of Capitalist abuses merits a spirited discussion, a discussion not so much enjoyable as existentially necessary.

You write:

“Don’t you think that connecting with what the
people are saying is a more effective way of making
whatever points.”

No I don’t, I think that making points is the best way to make points, whatever.

You write:

“I should think this forum isn’t best served for
people speaking out ex cathedra but for person-to-
person engagements.  And but keeping it nice and
sweet.”

I am not the Pope nor am I an authority of any kind. I am merely an individual who voices a belief providing evidence statistical as well as observational in support of that belief. Saying that I am speaking out “ex cathedra” is inappropriate. Perhaps it is your belief that my method of speaking out on this matter is too moralistic or that a reference to the spiritual is grounds for your using the term “ex cathedra” in respect to me. I am not a foucauldian I am an existentialist and being such I am compelled to speak out on issues I consider to be of great importance. If such irritates your sensibilities then so be it. My sensibilities are irritated by foucauldian theory for reasons having to do with the man Foucault himself, reasons which I am sure I need not specify to you. I have to confess that I give credence to the works of philosophers based on my perception of that philosopher’s personal virtue rather than the vagaries of his intellectual dialectic. Foucault states certain truths that I believe are universal while others of his assertions strike me as being cultish and, frankly, looney. I wonder if Foucault’s assertions regarding the Iranian revolution and the virtues of Khomeini and of a new Muslim movement encompassing the entire world might be considered ex cathedra-esque and a bit looney. Foucault’s history as a certified looney that devoted much of his life to studying the looney, finally becoming a credentialed expert in the study of loonies is suspect, to me if to no one else. Oh well “to each his own” which is a concept Foucault appears to have given great credence to, if you catch my drift. Sadly, Foucault was one of the early victims of AIDS, who knows what kind of loony theories he could have come up with if only he had lived longer, I understand he was writing about sexuality when he died.

(More below)

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By JDmysticDJ, December 14, 2011 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

RE: Foucauldian, December 13 at 3:35 pm (Cont.)

You write:

“If you want to do the former [?], write an article, for
Pete’s sake, and provide us with a link.”

Pete will never have a chance to read an article by me, because I don’t now, nor will I ever have, a publisher willing to publish an article by me. So Pete’s out of luck unless he catches one of my little contributions here in the comments at truthdig. I don’t do links; I generally grab bits of information i.e. (facts) here and there and post them here to support my dialectic. (Anyone interested in a brief study of Foucault can go to Wikipedia.)

Finally, I must say in all honesty that if I have irritated your sensibilities I couldn’t care less, I’m now very much in favor of irritating your sensibilities.

The regret I have now is that I have diverged from this existentially important issue here to respond to your response to my “dissertation” apparently not worthy of a response. Would you like to argue the virtues of Capitalism, if so, I’ll be glad to discuss the issue with you seeing as I how I believe any virtues in Capitalism are far outweighed by Capitalisms vices.

Just sayin’.

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By joegod, December 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe it’s not always the particular -ism that doesn’t work, but the
human pigs and dogs who twist and manipulate people and systems for
their own greedy ends. I cannot for the life of me understand how people
of wealth and influence can be this way.Or anyone for that matter.As for
our capitalist overlords, it must be some neurotic or psychological
disorder(God-complex?) because it defies all logic and morality that this
vile elite minority hold enough power and resources to, if they so desired,
instantly transform this planet into the kind of world it ought to be,but don’t
want to.And why? Firstly,most of them are likely to be under the delusion
that it is the way it ought to be and that they are among the ruling class
because they are superior. Are some people better than others?  Of
course,but it’s relative, and it certainly has nothing to do with materialism.
We instinctively know this to be true,because outwardly we hold ourselves
up to what have so far been unattainable standards. So because the few
with most of the power and wealth refuse to do the right thing,it will be up
to the many to assert themselves as an equal power.We have got to get
genuinely good and humble people into the upper echelons of power. We
must start to think hard about how this could be done, because it will be
the most difficult thing ever attempted. Who doesn’t agree that things are
going to boil over into some kind of Critical Mass in the not-too-distant
future? Half of ourselves are even hoping for it, if it’ll bring about some
kind of drastic changes. What do we do? Carry on about our lives,block it
all out and only care about ourselves and our inner circles of friends and
family? Thats happening already, because we’re getting overwhelmed with
all the crisis and bad news, perpetually escalating, we can’t even process
it, it’s too much to bear. But we can’t do that,the external world and our
own private worlds are inextricably linked,and by tuning out we’re helping
to make things worse and don’t even realize it.Ignorance is not
bliss,ignorance is ignorance and it’s one of the reasons modern society is
in this shape. I apologize for the overwrought,rambling post but as of late I
have been brought to tears and fits of rage daily after less than an hour of
reading some news or catching up on my favorite websites, the state of
things paralyzes me with despair. We have to do something.  I don’t
believe in a perfect human being so I know it will never be a perfect world.
But I do know humans can do better than this.

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By Foucauldian, December 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

You don’t have to “subdue” capitalism, Balkas, only
render it less and less effective, help it along
(to attain its final, equilibrium and harmless
state), as the saying goes.

Use the Foucauldian/Gandhian approach of strategic
withdrawal consisting of non-participation and
passive resistance.  Learn not to be dependent on a
system that sucks the blood out of you.  Cut the
legs from under it by saying no.  Either bankrupt
the suckers or make ‘em go elsewhere, where there’s
some more blood to suck.  They can’t force you to
go to Walmart at the point of a gun.

Be surprised, given sufficient time, even the
guardians of the gate, our finest, whether in NY or
LA, will join you, if for no other reason there’d
be nobody to pay them. nothing left to protect. 
Learn the lesson of history:  the riffraff that
defends the ruling class invariably joins the plebs
once they sense the ruling class had had it.

Most importantly, the people have got to learn to
be self-sufficient.  That’s the one and only
ticket.

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By Foucauldian, December 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

How in the hell can you expect anyone to respond to
your dissertation, JD?

Don’t you think that connecting with what the
people are saying is a more effective way of making
whatever points. 

I should think this forum isn’t best served for
people speaking out ex cathedra but for person-to-
person engagements.  And but keeping it nice and
sweet.

If you want to do the former, write an article, for
Pete’s sake, and provide us with a link.

Just sayin’.

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