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The Root of Madoff’s Evil

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Posted on Jul 1, 2009
AP photo / Louis Lanzano

Bernard Madoff arrives at Manhattan federal court.

By Robert Scheer

How convenient for the judge and the media to paint Bernard Madoff as Mr. Evil, a uniquely venal blight on an otherwise responsible financial industry in which money is handled honestly and with transparency. 

Madoff, sentenced Monday to 150 years in prison for bilking investors of billions, should be exhibit A in why the dark world of totally unregulated private money managers and hedge funds should be opened to the light of systematic government supervision. Instead, he is being treated as an aberrant menace, with the danger removed once the devil incarnate, as his victims describe him, is locked up and the key thrown away. 

For goodness’ sake this was not some sort of weird outsider who flipped out, but rather a key developer of the modern system of electronic trading and a founder and chairman of Nasdaq. Madoff often was called upon to help write the rules on financial regulation and therefore became quite expert at subverting them. 

As Securities and Exchange Commission Inspector General H. David Kotz testified before Congress, the inspector general’s office is looking into “[t]he extent to which the reputation and status of Bernard Madoff, and the fact that he served on SEC Advisory Committees, participated on securities industry boards and panels, and had social and professional relationships with SEC officials, may have affected commission decisions regarding investigations, examinations and inspections of his firm.”

  Those relationships were close (the personal ties included the marriage of one of Madoff’s nieces to an SEC official) and stretched out over the decades during which Madoff was a major player on Wall Street. At the very time back in 1999 when the SEC was being formally warned that a Madoff scam was under way, Madoff was consulting with then-SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. on regulatory matters. When Levitt retired a year later, Madoff was quoted in the trades as paying tribute to him: “He brought all of us to the negotiating table time and time again, on a whole host of issues, and to a greater extent than any other SEC chairman.”

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Levitt wrote in a January 2009 opinion article in The Wall Street Journal, “I knew Bernie Madoff and had no reason to believe he was not a legitimate market maker, nor did anyone at that time know he was acting as an adviser to outside investors.”

Nor was he required to tell anyone. And even if he had been, it’s unlikely that part of Madoff’s business would have been looked into. In the deregulatory mania of the preceding two decades, it had been assumed that such managers did not need regulating, and funding for the SEC kept getting cut. As Levitt noted in the article, it would only get worse:

“Since 2002, the number of investment advisers—such as Madoff Securities—has increased by 50%. Yet enforcement resources have been flat or even reduced. … As a result, only about 10% of investment advisers can expect to be examined every three years, and the goal of inspecting every adviser once every five years—laughably light oversight in its own right—has been abandoned.”

Money for proper oversight was not allocated because the prevailing ideology regarding private investment firms—embraced by President Bill Clinton ever as fervently as President George W. Bush would later—was the gospel of radical financial deregulation, a practice that has landed us in the larger banking mess. As with the trading in unregulated derivatives, all of the operations of private investor groups, such as hedge funds, were thought not to require government supervision because these were conducted by professional financiers dealing with sophisticated investors who knew what they were doing. If the investment went south, it was on their dime and there would be no innocent victims. 

As we saw with the collapse of AIG and now Madoff, that notion is false because private investment contracts can involve the resources of charitable organizations and pension funds and can end up costing the homes, savings and jobs of ordinary citizens who have no idea of which end of this arcane stuff is up.

When Levitt worked for Clinton as head of the SEC, he teamed up with Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers to destroy what remained of financial service industry regulation imposed by President Franklin Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. In recent years Levitt, alone among that gang of four, has criticized that action and accepted some personal responsibility for the subsequent financial meltdown.

He was right again when he stated in his January article: “The Madoff scandal should be a wake-up call for more consistent, uniform, and rigorous regulation of investment advising … the final prod for a fundamental reform of the financial regulatory structure. … ”

He gets it. Let’s hope that Congress does too and is not fooled by the argument of Wall Street lobbyists that Madoff was a lone rotten apple now safely discarded.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Sepharad, July 16, 2009 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

KDelphhi, it might be possible and is still being tried among the people of the West Bank and Israelis (both Arab and Jew) who have relations and small joint agricultural operations there. But Hamas has Gaza locked down tighter than a barrel, and it sending increasing numbers of its people into the West Bank. Meanwhile the Israelis, again both Arab and Jew, are getting close to despair. It’s a very sad situation. There was another small attempt to trade land for peace, but the Arabs who live in Israel say they are citizens and don’t want to be traded. Also, though Netanyahu wouldn’t do it, Tzipi Livni proposed negotiating East Jerusalem and the peace groups are still talking about it, but many Arabs in East Jerusalem want to continue as Israeli citizens and not to be part of a Palestine East Jerusalem. Crazy. I wish there were a starting point even with a clear way. There aren’t numerically that many religious Israelis and the extremely religious ones have disproportionate influence, as do the Islamist extremists. The Palestinians do generally feel betrayed by their present and past governments, but they don’t trust Israelis either. Many Israelis are pushing back hard against the ultra-religious, and the IDF is trying to purge extremely religious officers right now, but there are all kinds of civil rights involved and it’s very slow. There have been in the past significant numbers of West Bank Palestinians and Israeli Jews and Arabs who collaborated on a variety of business coops, but most of the participating Palestinians were shot—along with their Israeli partners living in the West Bank—during the second intifada by militants for the horrible crime of economic collaboration with Israel. A major deterrent for the Israelis to being more openhanded and trusting is the knowledge of how very small their land is. When the West Bank is returned to the Arabs, Israel’s narrowest point will be nine miles which, if closed in war, would cut off the north and south, the only international airport, and make self-defense almost impossible. This is why there’s all the foot-dragging, but also why people who feel as I do think the first priority is to make a solid peace with understanding between both peoples. No one is going to like the division into two states, both sides are going to hurt at losing parts of their history, and that will translate into less empathy for one another. But that’s OK because the feelings will eventually pass. In one or two decades surely. And all they have to do in the meantime is not kill each other! But getting to the point of division will require much reassurance by other countries that they will stand by and assist both the Palestinians and the Israelis. And it wouldn’t hurt to have an international force at the borders of the two states for awhile. Thanks, for understanding and making good suggestions that would probably work in a not-so-tight situation.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 16 at 4:55 pm #

No, no, Inherit, not quantitative modeling, what I am referring to is holistic conceptual structures, in both words and math symbols.  For example, I have used the term ‘polity’ to refer to all the organs the ruling class uses to rule a power system, whether they are governmental, corporate, or non-profit corporations, such as churches or fondations.

Such a holistic conception is ideologically illegitmate in liberal ideology.  It subverts the fundamental liberal distinction between governemnt and Private Enterprise essential to distingushing the electoral system from the economic system.

If a polity consists of all power organs, than simple concepts can be developed to create a simple theory of power that is realistic, how the powerful actually rule.  No one person can develop such a theory, but it can be developed collectively to generalize marx’s notion of oppressive capitalist power to all forms of oppressive power.

But doing so subverts the underlying preconceptions and presuppositions of the Western worldview, including the pressupositions of the Western scientific worldview.  This is why Western social science hasn’t done so.  It subverts the worldview of the power structures that sponosr and subsidize political and social theory.
*****************************************

ROFLMAO!

Folktruther, you should go into the fertilizer biz cuz this is nothing but a stinky pile of manure.

I can’t believe you can actually spout this religious dogma with a straight face!

LOL!

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By Folktruther, July 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

No, no, Inherit, not quantitative modeling, what I am referring to is holistic conceptual structures, in both words and math symbols.  For example, I have used the term ‘polity’ to refer to all the organs the ruling class uses to rule a power system, whether they are governmental, corporate, or non-profit corporations, such as churches or fondations.

Such a holistic conception is ideologically illegitmate in liberal ideology.  It subverts the fundamental liberal distinction between governemnt and Private Enterprise essential to distingushing the electoral system from the economic system.

If a polity consists of all power organs, than simple concepts can be developed to create a simple theory of power that is realistic, how the powerful actually rule.  No one person can develop such a theory, but it can be developed collectively to generalize marx’s notion of oppressive capitalist power to all forms of oppressive power.

But doing so subverts the underlying preconceptions and presuppositions of the Western worldview, including the pressupositions of the Western scientific worldview.  This is why Western social science hasn’t done so.  It subverts the worldview of the power structures that sponosr and subsidize political and social theory.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 16, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

FT:

If you want to say that social sciences need to be based on quantitative modeling, then just say so.  Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, and Psychology have ALL been modeling human behavior for 75 to 100 years, or longer.  I only got to use it in economics, but I know the other fields use similar methods.

Talking about some other mathematical language of human relations is simply more refusals of Marxists to recognize that Marx used methods of analysis that were long ago super-ceded.  Go out and hand-crank your flivver, Folkie—I’ll just turn the key in my car.  Hey! Electric starters have been around almost as long as…..social science modeling.

You are starting to sound like Christian96 whose comments come across as:
“I just can’t understand how and why you don’t believe in Jesus, the Savior. Do you really want to go to hell?”

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By KDelphi, July 16, 2009 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Sep—Sorry. I was referring to some of what Folk was talking about, ( I think)I didnt know you were talking about Israeli/Gaza.

But, even in that situation, what if the peoel of the Israel/Gaza area, the working classes, decided that the govt(s) were not representing their needs and wishes and that they had more in common with each other than they did with govt officials? I am not saying how likely that is to happen, I am just saying, dont you think that it is probably true, if all govt pretense and religious bullshit were suddenly brushed aside?

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By Sepharad, July 15, 2009 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, I was referring to the frequent calls for the one-state solution in which Israel would disappear and Jews would live among the Arabs. They would be killed very quickly. I have no doubts about this at all. In the past Jews were able to live in Arab countries but only as second-class citizens (not voting, paying more taxes, in some not being allowed to practice their religion). Today, the presence of the extremists (Hamas and Hezbollah) in the area would be a death sentence. One of the Hamas guys said a year ago that he hoped the American Jews would also come to Israel so they could kill them all at once and be done with it. Not all Arabs feel this way, but in the Israel/Palestine region for the last few decades kids have been raised in madrasses, toddlers watching kiddie shows exalting martyrdom, praising suicide bombers etc. A two-state solution has to be found and quickly ... because daily Hamas is becoming stronger, rounding up and killing Fatah people in Gaza and more recently in the West Bank. Israel has done many things I consider very wrong, and so have the Arabs, but there are many people on both sides still trying and WANTING to work it out. They have a lot of obstacles, and the current Israeli government is one of them. Both Israelis and Palestinians are increasingly distrustful, fearful, and there is good reason on both sides. People I love there are doing everything they can, I believe the IDF soldiers in coming forward in telling what went wrong on their part in the Gaza invasion are proving that there is still a basic sense of decency even in the army, but the other side is going to have to police its extremists too. Unfortunatley the extremists have no problems killing people who disagree with them. A Palestinian I know whose family has lived in East Jerusalem for many generations says he is selling and moving to the United States because he has friends on both sides and can’t stand the paranoia and violence. He’s mostly afraid of Hamas in the West Bank, where just being seen talking to us could get him in trouble. He loves Jerusalem and all of its people but Minnesota is where he’s going to raise his family.

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By KDelphi, July 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

Sep—How was the Holocaust caused by a “one-state solution”? Couldnt a “global” worldview eliminate govts and, hence, wars, poverty, etc.? (ie there really is NOT a “shortage of food”) There are things that simply cannot be changed by nationalistic govts. (global climate change, scarcity of resources for some while others drown in “stuff”)I mean, arent current western govts the problem, rather than the solution? When has a govt prevented any type of Holocaust? In fact, we are perpetuating them by refusing to indict our own war criminals.’

Fascism was instigated by nationalism, not socialism.

I know that the intl Crim Courts that we have now dont prevent much of anything. But, if we wont even back them, how do we know that they cant?

What we are doing now is NOT working. That is clear.

I do understand that western capitalism has a stake in having us believe certain concepts, which are them doled out to us in ‘universities”.

I dont understand “string theory” either, and, maybe I dont understand ecionomics, but I do know that the gross inequality of capitalism is not working, as it stands now.

Trying to set up franchises of neo-liberal capitalism, when it isnt working in our own country, is just downright criminal. But, the west doesnt seem to know another way to exist. Its always about “
growth” even when it doesnt make any sense. Capitalism is self-perpetuating, it seems to me, and, either “grows” or “stops”—-I think its “stopping” now…everyone keeps talking about a “recovery”—but of what?? Its unsustainable and completely unjust.

It seem to me that, as long as they can give us this fear of “world govt” and faux pattriotism (“best country in the world”) the multi-natls can keep the best interest of the people of the world from being realized…I have alot more in common with, say, an Iraqi poor person tham I have in common with Chris Dodd…so do you, I suspect…

They have everything to gain—and nothing to lose—by keeping 90% of the world’s population—living on less than $10 a day (the poverty rate for US—you cant get social services with more than that…)

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

I believe that you don’t underestand it, Inherit, and it bothers me a great deal.  I must be assuming sosmething about Americans that isn’t true.

On the other hand, what is hard to understand about TAO’s view?  It must be that both the American truth conesnsus AND the Zionist truth consensus, and a generous dose of Ayn Rand, must have given you a worldview so different from mine, or TAO’s that there is no intercommunication.  If this is the case with you, it must be the case with many Americans.

And the whole point of the worldview is that it is simpler.

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By Sepharad, July 15, 2009 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Inherit, The way things are going these days, I laugh at anything that isn’t positively lethal. Gotta have your fun where you find it. (It does worry me that so many people here are pushing for a one-state solution, given that it’s a guaranteed second holocaust.) Am going on a read-Philip-Roth tear, starting with “Exit Ghost” and working backward.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

I STILL don’t know WTF you are trying to say FT, or how you come at it.  My best guess is you think scientists and especially social scientists should all use Marxism as their fundamental assumptions for how people and the physical universe work.

If it’s that, then it’s what I’ve always said that is: unadulterated, 100% pure garbage, disproven multiple times.

If it’s not that, then I STILL don’t know WTF you are talking about.  It sounds like a Marxist version of Tao Walker’s Native American philosophies—sorta.

If you can’t say it in clear language, it means you really do NOT have any idea what you are talking about either.  Maybe one of your fans can explain your “brilliance” to me…

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

It seens to me a very simple concept, KDelphi, but it appears that people have difficulty understanding it.

Earthpeople have been ruled throughout history by national or regional ruling classes that promote a truth tradition from a national and regional worldview, a restricted worldview.  But with capitalist globalization it is possible to begin a truth tradition formulated from the worldviews of the world’s people.

this would be an historical worldview about relations among the past, present and future persons of the earth.  In order to tell this truth in a simple way, it is necessary to develop a simple conceptual language to convey it.

This includes a mathematical conceptual language, which is much simpler than common language.  But the development of these simple conceptions transforms our worldviews of reality which have been formed from a national or regional perspective.

This includes the scientific perspective of the Western worldview.  But scientific conceptual structures, formulated in social science, subvert the scientific ideology that historically has justified them.  they have ideological implications that conflict with the notion of SCIENTIFIC LAW AND ORDER, which historically has legitimated the law and order of capitalist Democracies.  Just as an Absolute God legitimated the Absolutism that legitimated feudalism and slave polities.

religion, and science, are power ideologies, legitimating the power of class based hierarchies.  An earthperson worldview, generated by the simplifying conceptual stucutures, would subvert this hiearchial Elitist class view.  It would also transform our conceptual derangement caused by the the imposition of power delusions, including scientific delusions, to legitimate oppressive power.

In the Zioist view, this is all anti-Semetic, since it projects a earthperson worldview rather than their worldview of a few million people.  Zionists, and all nationalists, must restrict their conceptions to justifiy their nationalism, especially when it is fascistic.  So in their view, genral conceptions that expand and broaden the way we think about and perceive people are anti-semitic, or the product of self-hating Jews, in the Aipac lexicon.

But what is happening historically is that the Western worldview, and therefore the Jewish element of it, is rapidly losing world power, and as new forms come into place, will de-legitimate them.  Especially if they can be formulated in a simple way for people to understand. Possibly I’m not able to do this.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 15, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Hey, FT! You have a fan!  Congrats.  I won’t spoil it by telling her what a twit you really are who either can’t spell or can’t type, if you keep it secret that Joisey has poisoned my mind (must be the water—seems to flatten the brain as soon as people get behind the wheel).

OTOH, one of the last round of Nobel Laureates (a chemist) was a Jersey Boy.

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By KDelphi, July 15, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

I will probably seem hopelessly “under-educated” to Ivy Leaguers here, but, I was honestly asking to find out more about the “earthperson” concept. I get the “revolution” in thinking from socio-economic viewpoints, and, , perhaps, “universalism” vs “globalisation” (I may not be using the right words here), but I am not sure I understand an “unscientific” theory of socio-economics.

I’m just trying to learn! ; )

I guess this thread is about done now…anyway….been running around applying for charity care to get my non-union fracture operated on—-wish me Capitalist good luck!!!

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Elisalouisa-  I was so startled by your post that I read it many times, and had my wife read my previous post to see if there was anything ‘beautiful’ about it.  I consider my task creative destruction where beauty doesn’t play a large part.  Also, it never occurred to me that I was in any way like James Carroll.

But you are quite right. Carroll is a comitted Catholic, because he was raised as a Catholic, who thinks, and feels, that not only should the Church repent, but that it should deny some of its basic Scriptures in doing so.  I was raised as a Jew who is denying the Judaism current morphing into a destructive Zionism that is bent on death, destruction and nuclear war.  these values are both implicitly and explicitly supported by the ideology of both the American right wing fundamentalists and the Zionist progressives.

I knew accepting the historical truth required courage, but not that it required accepting pain.  Again, you are quite right.  Tnank you for you insights.

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By elisalouisa, July 15, 2009 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Folktruther:How beautifully your words flow. I refer especially to your post where you mention James Carroll, one of my favorite authors. His autobiography, “An American Requiem: God, My Father and the War that Came between us” is especially poignant.  You both share the talent of the pen and the ability to see what is and move on. Perhaps this can best describe progressive truth, which can take courage and also a certain acceptance of pain.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 14, 2009 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Y’know, Seph, there are people that SWEAR if you jump off a major bridge you won’t get hurt.  I once saw a guy taste motor oil and encourage me to try it.  NFW!

Sometimes it’s obvious and funny, like the snake and the motor oil.  Other times it’s not funny and insidious, like insisting that in a one-state solution there won’t be another holocaust.

Sometimes you can laugh at it. Sometimes you dare not.

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By Sepharad, July 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Inherit, if the brew on hand had nothing in it but chrysanthemum leaves I’d try it. Though your friend’s cure is persuasive. If only he hadn’t put the scorpion and snake in alive. (They’re not anymore. Assume the idea was to get them to eject venom in extremis. The thought makes me even more swuearmish.)

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By Folktruther, July 14, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Both Zionism and anti-Semitism are religious presuppositions underlying the Jewish and Christian religions.  Zionism is largely a response to Christian anti-Semitism inherited in the religious tradition.

In his book on the Catholic church and Jews, James Carroll traces in CONSTANTINE’S SWORD how the Catholic church defined itself by its opposition to the Jews.  He was a Catholic priest and still a committed Catholic but traced for the first time the role of the cross and the emphasis on Christ’s death, rather than on his life, was used as symbols to brand Jews as god-killers.  The cross as a symbol was initiated by Constantine when he made it a state religion, and used the cross as a war symbol, Christianity being popular in the army because it decreased the fear of death.

the Church was threatened by the Jews who didn’t accept Jesus as a god, and systematically degraded them throughout its history.  As well as torturing and murdering them during the Crusades, Inquisition, etc and forcing them into ghettos in Europe, which isolated them from the main economy.  the religious anti-Semitism led indirectly, according to Carroll, to the racial anti-Semitism of Hitler, which the Vatican implicitly supported.

This led to a historical reaction among Jews against anti-Semitism, held by Sepharad, Inherit and Ardee, and to a lesser extent, myself.  This reaction against anti-Semitism is used by Zionists to oppress the Palestinians and steal their land and resources.  And to carry out in the US the War on Terrorism to steal oil from the Muslims. 

What the Jews are now doing to the Muslims repeat what the Christians have done to the Jews historically. It is a feeling that historically it is the Jews turn to oppress.  Sharon, for example, withdrew the Jews from Gaza and turned it into a giant concentration camp, like those of the Jews under Hitler, which is now undergoing a starvation blockade.  What is less noted is that it is a giant ghetto as well, like the Roman Ghetto that the popes constructed in Rome to degrade the Jews.  the economy of the Palestinians have largely been destroyed in the same way.

In order for the zionists to maintain the horror of this oppression, they exclude Jews who object to it, like Falk, Vanumu, Finklestein, who are categorized as ‘self-hating Jews.’  this is the equivence of hersy in Christian religion, truthers like Spinoza being not only excommunicated, but cursed by the Jewish power structure.  In the same way that Sepharad denied I was ‘really’ a Jew. 

Israel is therefore not a homeland for Jews, but for Zionists, ‘self-hating Jews’ not being admitted.

It must be understood that we are dealing here with religous values, even while the more intellectually backward Jews maintain that they are not religious. It is a corrupt and delusive religion, as is the fundamentalists on the right, leading to a corruption and delusiveness in the left truth conensus. 

In my view a religious or spiritual ideology is essential for progressive truth, but traditional religion has been hijacked historically by power. and the results are currently being played out in the US among both Dems and Gops.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 14, 2009 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Ah, the old snake-venom cure!  Yech…One friend many, many years ago got a boil on his face and it had to be a staph infection. He didn’t go to the doctor to get Keflex but instead drank gallons (or so it seemed) of chrysanthemum tea and he got better.

One time a young (Chinese) colleague commented on how well and easily I used chopsticks.  I smiled and said “Well, I should. I’ve been eating with them longer than you have!”  That got a laugh because it was perfectly true—I was eating with them long before she was born!

Self-hate and paranoia are NOT the same thing.  My wife knew an old guy who made zillions but had fled the Nazis.  He never owned ANYTHING that could be seized—rented, didn’t buy. Kept vast amounts of portable wealth like diamonds. It all had to be rapidly fungible.

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By Sepharad, July 13, 2009 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

Inherit, are you sure Folktruther is a Jew? Even one of David Mamet’s self-hating ones? (That’s what I originally thought, but his disdain seems so deep and angry that it’s hard too imagine coming anywhere but from a non-Jew. You’ve been conversing with him longer than I have, though, so you’re probably right. Like you, my country is America, but I’d be very upset if anything happened to end Israel’s existence. It seems likely to me that our country will hit such a bad patch that people will fall back on looking for someone internal to blame—though unlike in Europe, there are many other groups besides Jews who are considered “different” enough to satisfy the mob’s anger and temporarily if irrationally calm its fears.

Post WWII, my grandfather told all of his grandchildren to marry non-Jews because Jews needed to blend in to survive. Most of them didn’t, and I didn’t intend to either, but when you meet the soul mate, that’s it. Even so, Grandpa—who looked like a very dark Arab sheik—wasn’t completely satisfied because my poor husband LOOKED more “Jewish” than I did at the time—him, curly black hair and eyes, dark skin; me, pale-olive skin, green eyes and curly blondish-auburn hair—but if he were still alive he’d probably be relieved to see that we’re both getting more silver-haired like everyone else.)

Grandpa was not a self-hating Jew, just a very wary one who trusted no people, no government—just the capacity for people to become genocidally excited even during small set-backs. He DID approve of all the family still in Israel, though he periodically fretted about there being so many Jews in one place at one time, predating a similar yet cross-purpose Hamas comment by about 15 years. I still have a copy of Philip Roth’s “Attack on America” in my “to read” pile but keep putting off as I have no wish to add to my paranoia.

You’re right about the Chinese government—it IS pretty successful, and I hope we can remain on good terms with them because we could use their friendship re Mideast and North Korea, and because I like the people I know so much. I’m sure you do miss your Chinese colleagues, though even if you aren’t working with them you can still stay close and in touch. One of the nicest things anyone ever did for me—though pretty horrifying—was to give me a huge jar with Chinese herbs, a scorpion, alleged tiger’s blood, a venomous snake and some anonymous-looking fruit that had been put together by one of our Chinese friends. He said that it was guaranteed to cure rheumatoid arthritis, was an old family secret recipe, and was proud of himself for catching a rattlesnake to include in it. I asked him what the main liquid was and he was very vague. Told me to dip out a quarter-cup daily, drink it, and I would be cured. Still have it, sitting atop our fridge. But could never quite bring myself to drink it. When you open it there is a horrible formaldehyde-like smell. However I occasionally dip out a cup of the stuff and dump it down the drain so if our friend comes back up here instead of meeting in San Francisco, I can lie and he can see the diminished liquid. Who knows? Maybe I’m denying myself a cure. And sometimes I’ve resolved to drink it. But just looking at that snake floating in there is too much.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

RD,
FT is the classic self-hating Jew.  Yeah, he’s Jewish, like I am. I got over that self-hate without becoming religious. While I want Israel to survive, and see it as the last refuge for my family if the Hiterites come back to power, America is my nation. 

I’m not like some Palestinians who, because Grandpa was born in Israel, figure he’s entitled to that land.  If that were so, I’d be demanding Ukraine make me a citizen and make me wealthy ‘cuz Grandpa and Grandma came from there.

You got a Harley? I got an FJR.  If I ever cash it in, it will be for a Beemer. While TMC products aren’t for me, 2 wheels are 2 wheels.

Seph, I’ve worked with a lot of Chinese people over my career and while there are cultural differences some have become dear, dear friends and colleagues whom I miss not working with—desperately.  And there were others I fired.  And as you know people, you stop seeing the cultural issues, stop hearing the accent, and see the person.

But the Chinese government is not too different than most dictatorships.  After all, the Chinese have been practicing rule by kings far longer than the rest of the world, so those kings have learned where they must adapt in order to survive.

In some ways the Chinese system is totally corrupt, yet in others one cannot deny it’s working, perhaps better than ours.  But the corruption poisons us as well, both figuratively and literally.  We had to take most of our little one’s Thomas The Tank Engine toys away because…they cheated and put lead in the paint of various toys.  They sent toothpaste to America sweetened with Ethol Glycol, anti-freeze, because it was cheaper—and it crystalizes in the kidneys and slices them to sushi.

But you can hardly buy a toy today that is NOT Made in China.  Why?  Back to Ronald Reagan and the tax cut to corps for moving off-shore.  To break the unions, it was worth it to the Reaganites to drill holes in the hull of the Ship of our Economy—and tell us it was to let the water in the bilges run out.

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By Sepharad, July 13, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

ardee, thanks for your most recent and intelligent post. Inherit and I and probably many other truthdiggers who value rationalism and civility would be sad to see you depart these threads, which are fraying increasingly toward more heat than light. Hope you will reconsider.

I think you have Folktruther figured out. Sometimes he is correct and makes good points but mostly is handicapped by his anti-Zionist/semitic dementia. Your description of what Zionism actually means is right. The reason I (and I suspect others both in and out of Israel) continue describing ourselves as Zionists is that the mid-‘40s reestablishment of Israel is increasingly questioned, and we feel its justification is still an issue. (My sister and I still end our phone conversations, “Next year in Jerusalem,” though strictly speaking it is for the high religious holidays.) You’re also right to question the policies of the Israeli government when it is wrong, and it’s been wrong a lot lately. Sometimes I react overprotectively on this thread for obvious reasons, though I know better, but when talking with friends and family and party colleagues in and out of Israel I’m quite blunt and as critical as is warranted—though sometimes it’s hard because the fear there can be quite overwhelming emotionally.

Anyway, have fun fishing. (My father and grandfather loved it but would never take me with them as I would get restless and squirmy just when they were getting well settled.) But please don’t disappear permanently. Truthdig needs more well-informed, moderate, rational posters.

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By Sepharad, July 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, either you don’t know enough people from China or they don’t trust you enough to tell you the truth. My husband has spent time in central China and Wu Han province as well as Beijing, has half a dozen friends with homes and families both here and there, among whom are highly-skilled technicians as well as many-generations-rich people who are into various types of business mainly for the good of the Chinese people as a whole. Some of his contacts are also in the government. He’s had to give speeches and press conferences there. During the SARS outbreak, he found a German company willing to donate the bioengineered drug formula to combat the outbreak, and he and one of his Chinese friends were able to get the biomed instruments requisite to produce the drug and other materials necessary for the doctors to administer it in a selected state hospital pilot project. The project foundered not only because of the money that had to be spent on officials approving it—they were salaried and described their demands as bonuses, but they really were bribes—but after that hurdle the dozen doctors involved also demanded bonuses (on top of their regular state salaries) to administer the medicine. Husband’s friend, who was paying for most of this because he felt his family’s longtime good fortune allowed him to give back, became so disgusted after appealing unsuccessfully to the Ministry of Health that he cancelled the whole thing. (The leg-breaking etc. is in more routine business deals, equipment selling and reparing, consumer goods, etc., and in personal feuds.) I personally like and respect the Chinese people we’ve gotten to know, and look forward to seeing them. Our son spent a year at the University of Shanghai and speaks and writes Mandarin; our daughter, just from growing up in San Francisco with friends in the Chinese community, speaks Cantonese. (Husband stumbles along in Mandarin but has trouble with the tones. I am a linguistic klutz and speak no Chinese, but most Chinese working internationally speak English—from excellent to almost but not quite incomprehensible.)

Oh—none of these Chinese people mentioned are Zionists or even Jews—though the are a handful of Chinese Jews as well as a significant Jewish community in Shanghai. Indeed, Israel and Jews are basically well-regarded by the Chinese, who consider them generally smart and resourceful. Before you put China on your “bad” list, you should also consider that when the Chinese do business in Arab countries, they take the trouble to see that their business reps and diplomats speak, read and write flawless Arabic.

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By ardee, July 13, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, July 13 at 3:12 pm #

I am an inveterate fisherman, my loves are my grandkids, fishing, golf and my Harley. I am not a bait fisherman, so worms are not in the repertoire.

But they are where I stated them to be. I do not know, nor do I care much, whether FT is ‘baiting’ me with his constant referrals to Zionism, a political dead end now that Israel has an actual nation. I think it shows a bent towards anti semitism frankly, but that is certainly only my opinion.

What it does illustrate is what is missing from that posters casual and hateful rant, any real understanding of what Israel means to all Jews. For hundreds of years the first toast during the high Holidays was always,“next year in Jerusalem”.

Well, next year came and went and Israel is an established nation, so that toast is out the window now, as is the purpose of the Zionist movement, which always was the establishment of the Jewish State. Those who continue to call anyone recognising Israel’s right of existance “Zionists” are simply guilty of sloppy intellectual thinking or motivated by other reasons.

That there is an Israeli lobby in Washington DC is true, as there is a Ghanain lobby as well, or a West Indies lobby, or a steel industry, health industry etc. To say that the Jews in America work in “sinister ways” to subvert American foreign policy to the betterment of Israel over the best interests of the USA is pretty damn stupid. Israel as a symbol is one thing but American Jews are Americans first and foremost. More and more are calling out the Israeli govt ,in fact, for its heinous policies towards the Palestinian people.

But FT thinks Shylock a real character and one who uses his wealth to alter American policies in the Middle East, yeah right, Shylock couldnt even get in to see a mover and shaker as the places those movers occupy have a strict no Jews policy.

You know, ITW, this place has become something of a vipers nest, what with nut jobs using two names, with folks who think anti semitism is fun and all. I think Ill take a sabbatical…...The Striped Bass are plentiful, the weather is perfect for riding, and there are some things Ive neglected for too long.

Have fun, give ‘em hell, see ya around.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Worms can be good bait for fishing, you know.

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By ardee, July 13, 2009 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

Thank you FT for so eloquently proving ITW’s poor opinion about your motivations, not to mention the worms in your head as well…..

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By Folktruther, July 13, 2009 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

It is true, Inherit, that the Chinese were never classical marxists since they applied revolution to an underdeveloped peasant society, not workers.  But they did have some marxists ideas in making their revolution.  It morphed into a kind of power system for which there is no accepted name, which they call “socialism with Chines charactersitics.”  What it is is capitalism with Chinese characteristics.

The US economic stats are so distorted they are largely fabrications, as Paul Craig Roberts calls them, and this applies to those of China.  China in 2008 had a real industrial prduction perhaps twice that of the US, and will increase that to four times as much in the next five or ten years.  Therefore in the next few years, because of the Bushite economic and military disaster of the US , they will replace the US as the leading economic power.  They are being very cautious because this often leads to war.
Asia is replacing the West as the leading power.

Sepharad, I know perhaps ten people who do business or worked in China, and never heard anything remotely like your story. The chief complaint is that the Chinese often wouldn’t pay the last installment that they contracted for , so one had to get all of one’s money before that.

the only explanation that I can thing of for your experience is that those people must all be Zionists.

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By Sepharad, July 12, 2009 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind, re your July 12 5:35 post & the Chinese mafia—they really do permeate the doing of business in China, and so does a mind-boggling amount of corruption, so much that it makes you wonder how China manages to be as successful as it is. My husband does a fair amount of business there and would do more if it weren’t for the mind-blowing corruption factor. He has good friends who live there, others who shuttle between China and the U.S. The way the mafia works is fairly simple, as explained to us by an engineer colleague of husand’s. This man was badly cheated by someone influential in the Chinese government, and his only recourse—which he did—was to go to the mafia and get them to break they offender’s legs, for which he paid them more than they asked. The reason for the overpayment was that if on arriving to break someone’s legs, that person was able to offer them a little more money to break the legs of the person who hired them in the first place, they’d do it. It is a double-edged sword and only to be used for most egregious behavior because of the potential boomerang factor. (This engineer is from a fine old Chinese family, good family man, good guy, utterly trustworthy. We figured that if he resorted to the mafia it is truly a widespread accepted phenomena. As weird as it sounds.)

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By Inherit The Wind, July 12, 2009 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

FT,

I KNOW you don’t like simplification of your abstruse arguments into simple, clear, understandable English.  It loses its mystery when I do that. 

Just because China’s leaders liked to wear uniforms (until recently) and spout the sayings of Mao, doesn’t mean they are or ever were truly Marxist (at least not since Mao and those in the battles of the Gang of 4 passed away).

Marxism has had a lot of chances in the 20th century and it failed every single time.  The proof of the pudding….

Capitalism has succeeded for most of the 20th century, not completely and not without problems, but it either survived or rebounded when given half a chance.

I know you consider anyone who isn’t a firm believer in the dialectic to be an inferior mind, but that’s YOUR short-coming, not mine.

As fer yer atroshus spellling, yoo may jest nede two lern hou too tipe bettur! to fenger tipeing ken doo thet.

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By Folktruther, July 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, I don’t mind being called an anti-semite but continually commenting on my spelling is hitting below the belt.  My wife is a real good speller and she usual edits my formal stuff, but you can’t expect her to edit these comments.  She doesn’t like to think, it hurts her brain.  She does enough of it at work, supervisng the editing of briefs of appelate lawyers, and prefers cyrptic crosswords and bad movies when she isn;t being paid.  I’m sure she’d spell you under the sink in a spelling shootout.

That you don’t identify with the barbarous policies of Israel is not enough.  YOU HAVE TO OPPOSE THEM!  They are doing to the Jewish people what the Holocaust did to the Germans.  You equate Zionism with the Jewish people, Jewish power with the people ruled by power.  This is dumb, Ardee. Those people like Lieberman and Natanyahu, who are currently increasing settelments in Israel and continuing the stravation blockade of Gaza, are dumb as well as corrupt and bloodthirsty.

But the Jewish people are dumb.  I don’t how the myth that Jews are smart ever got current.  Maybe in Pre-Israel days, but certainly not now.  But Jewish influence in the media I suppose circulated it. My relatives are a dumb as doorknobs about historical politics, and you seem to echo them.  Pay attention to Arcissie’s comments, Ardee.  He is much smarter than you are.  Of course he is bored by the Zionist arguments.

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By ardee, July 12, 2009 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

However it does, as you do, identify with an Israeli policy that is historically sucidal as well as murderous.

You descend into the depths ,FT, as you always seem to do when anyone challenges your assumptions about the power of the Jewish people to influence governmental decision making.

I have never, ever ,not once identifies with the murderous and illegal policies of the Israeli govt. But, unlike you I fear, I do not see the world wide Jewish conspiracy, nor do I ever look for the Zionist under my bed. I guess you modern day anti semites are as touchy as the old jackbooted ones were….

You really need a spell checker too….

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By Folktruther, July 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t call you a Zionist enabler, Ardee, you did.  I was just being courteous in echoing you.  It is true that I am a fanatic but of course I do not think Zioism is the root of all evil. However it does, as you do, identify with an Israeli policy that is historically sucidal as well as murderous.  The American power struture uses it to delude and neutralize Dems the way it uses religous fundamentalism to neutralized and delude Gops.

Inherit, thank you for your Ayn Rand analysis of the Chinese power system.  IT displayed your customary brilliance and matruity at political and economic theory.  As to voting one group out of power and puting another group in, we already did that.  Now we have Obama promotting neoliberal policies instead of Bush promoting neocon ones.

the American people can’t do anything because we don’t know what to do.  Or rather we know a great many things to do that are controdictory.  the American people have to develop a truth consensus that opposes the conventional mainstream truth consensus of power.  This is required for class struggle against the Educated classes. 

Since marxist truths have been ideologically repressed by the US power structure during the War on Communism, we have no truth remains of class struggle to hook on to.  this will therefore take a historical period while the US continues its military, economic and ideological decline.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 12 at 10:35 am #

I see what it is.  The Western categories that underly its ideology prevent thinking about economics in power terms.  Money is not only an economic commodity, it is a power commodity.  It is used by the ruling class to influence people to win conflicts or decisons.  Classical economics and its vulgar offshoots, like Ayn Rand, is formulated only in economic-moral terms, excluding the class power that the economic system creates.

So Inherit, who is so unknowledgeable about historical power relations that he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know, can conceive China as a capitalist system like the US, with marginal deviations.  In reality they are two different power systems.  In the US, the owners and managers of the banks and orporations cnotrol the state.  In china the state owns a third of the economy and the banks, which is controled by a party bureaucracy.  The Chinese party considers this capitalism, but from a communist perspective, differently than from a neoliberal pespective.

The neoliberal capitalism of the US can’t compete with the party capitalism of China.  It sufferes from the conditions that marx detailed a century and a half ago.  The Chinese can invest 40% or 50% of the annual GDP producing a groth rate five times that of the US and Western powers.

that is why the US has adopted a militarist policy of the War on Terrorism instead of the usual economic imperialism.  It can’t compete economically with its neoliberal power system, and can’t change it.

Since it is so militarily topheavy now, spending investment money for military means, it won’t be able to compete militarily either in the future.

And as the world sees this, the US can’t compete ideologically as well, the world’s people being disgusted with its violence and barbarism. So it is losing power militarily, economically and ideologically, and at an astonishingly rapid pace historically.

But Americans can’t see this clearly because we are taught that economics is one thing and politics something else: a electoral system.  Economic power being different than state or government power.  They can be considered equivilent from a marxist perspective but not from a neoliberal perspective.  And Zionists tend to have noeliberal presuppositions and preconceptions, often without knowing it.

that is why Zionist are for imposing a neoliberal police state in the US.  This is the only way the neoiberal system can survive as class inequality becomes os monstrous.
***************************************

Buried in FT’s usual didactic crap is a fairly astute analysis of how the Chinese capitalist economy is working.  I can explain it simpler, though:

The “mafia” controlling China allows any and all entrepreneurs to do pretty much anything as long as the state gets its cut—it’s BIG cut.  However, any cheat or failure that gets discovered and embarrasses the leaders gets you a summary death sentence—like the melamine in the animal food products.

FT’s analysis of the US is mainly shit. The economy could have been saved and/or fixed numerous times—but electing to let corporations move production off-shore and give them a TAX BREAK to do it was the big, negative push. All that needs to be done is for you, me and FT—and everyone else to actually hold our politicians responsible for their actions—and vote ‘em out of office when they don’t. 

You don’t need media conspiracies, etc, to do that. You just need more Americans to actually care and think about it—so you don’t get idiocies like 75% of Re-thugs saying they’d vote for….Sarah Palin.

If we can just get Obama and the Dims to KEEP THEIR PROMISES, we’d be far better off and back to getting competitive again.

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By ardee, July 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 12 at 10:35 am #

You know, I follow your perceptive post with interest and even agreement, right up until you reveal the fanaticism that haunts your efforts here ( an opinion not meant to be as insulting as it sounds); that you see Zionism as the root of all evil.

As Zionism was a movement solely concerned with the creation and building of a Jewish homeland, Israel, and as this movement is losing relevance within the borders of Israel itself now that the State is both established and secure ( to a point of course) one remains almost flabbergasted at your continual references to its all powerful control over US policies.

For those less familiar with Zionism I offer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zionism

I know that we have had these conversations before, FT, and I know that this one will end no more successfully than did all the others, and that they will include your refering to me as a ‘Zionist enabler’ or some other such to cover and avoid an honest and difficult self analysis by you. This despite my continual criticism of the actions of the state of Israel and the USA in their respective acts against, or lack of support for, the Palestinian peoples.
...Sad really, as this dark trait marks you and diminishes your excellent efforts in other, more rational areas.

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By truedigger3, July 12, 2009 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

ITW wrote:
“Now Holder is moving forward on investigating the crimes of the Bush admin, and basically keeping Pres. O out of it.  I’m OK with that, but I’d like it to move more quickly.”
____________________________________________________

ITW,

Keep dreaming. These “investigations”, if they ever take place, which I doubt it,  will be nothing but one more theatrical performance and make believe bullshitting from “team Obama”.
No wrong doing will be found, and the most that may happen, they might sacrifice couple of small fishes, who will spend maybe a year or two in the slammer.
The whales and sharks will escape untouched.

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By Folktruther, July 12, 2009 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

I see what it is.  The Western categories that underly its ideology prevent thinking about economics in power terms.  Money is not only an economic commodity, it is a power commodity.  It is used by the ruling class to influence people to win conflicts or decisons.  Classical economics and its vulgar offshoots, like Ayn Rand, is formulated only in economic-moral terms, excluding the class power that the economic system creates.

So Inherit, who is so unknowledgeable about historical power relations that he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know, can conceive China as a capitalist system like the US, with marginal deviations.  In reality they are two different power systems.  In the US, the owners and managers of the banks and orporations cnotrol the state.  In china the state owns a third of the economy and the banks, which is controled by a party bureaucracy.  The Chinese party considers this capitalism, but from a communist perspective, differently than from a neoliberal pespective.

The neoliberal capitalism of the US can’t compete with the party capitalism of China.  It sufferes from the conditions that marx detailed a century and a half ago.  The Chinese can invest 40% or 50% of the annual GDP producing a groth rate five times that of the US and Western powers.

that is why the US has adopted a militarist policy of the War on Terrorism instead of the usual economic imperialism.  It can’t compete economically with its neoliberal power system, and can’t change it. 

Since it is so militarily topheavy now, spending investment money for military means, it won’t be able to compete militarily either in the future. 

And as the world sees this, the US can’t compete ideologically as well, the world’s people being disgusted with its violence and barbarism. So it is losing power militarily, economically and ideologically, and at an astonishingly rapid pace historically.

But Americans can’t see this clearly because we are taught that economics is one thing and politics something else: a electoral system.  Economic power being different than state or government power.  They can be considered equivilent from a marxist perspective but not from a neoliberal perspective.  And Zionists tend to have noeliberal presuppositions and preconceptions, often without knowing it.

that is why Zionist are for imposing a neoliberal police state in the US.  This is the only way the neoiberal system can survive as class inequality becomes os monstrous.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 12, 2009 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

ardee, July 12 at 8:30 am #

For ITW

I care little for who invented them or when social safety nets came into being, only that they flourish under a true Marxist environment and are secondary or non existent under a system which allows rampant and unrestricted capitalism to flourish, a system that always usurps the definition of government as a tool under which all men share equally .
************************************************

Social welfare is not a Marxist exclusive and the Marxist states used it as a weapon of control, not a RIGHT of the people.

Strict free-booter “capitalism” isn’t….as we’ve seen over the last 8 years.  It’s ideal is no more practiced than Marxism is.

*******************************************
Have the distortions of Marxism destroyed lives? Of course they have, but so have the systems which allow rampant and unrestricted capitalism to flourish. Do you fail to read the news?
***********************************************

See above. Like you, I suffered through the Reagan and Bush 43 years.  I can’t defend unrestricted capitalism because…..I’ve never seen IT practiced either.

**************************************************
This democracy of ours is owned, lock,stock and barrel by the forces of capitalism, I fear it is a democracy no longer. To fear to move forward because of what has happened in the past is a specious or fearful argument that seems, on its face, to doom the human race to the status quo.
***************************************************

It is true that our system has been co-opted by people with short-term vision, long-term greed, Everest-sized egos, and fruit-fly-sized moral centers.  I don’t and never argue that point. I’ve reiterated that it began in earnest in 1981 and has, with few slowdowns (primarily in the Clinton years) in the head-long rush for corporate feudalism, which is NOT, by any means, true capitalism.

But “change” shouldn’t mean adopting the OTHER failed national system of the 20th Century: Marxism.

************************************************
In the face of current events, possibly a million dead Iraqis and counting alone, how can you not call for change?
************************************************

That’s a leading question “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

As I’ve said, calling for change is something I HEARTILY endorse.  Like many Americans I hoped it would begin when Dems won Congress it 2006.  It didn’t.  I then hoped it would begin when they DOMINATED Congress when they were seated in early Jan and take off when Obama took over.

I have been disappointed. I would have thought they would have IMMEDIATELY called for a negation of the MCA, the Patriot Act and the FISA revision—all obvious attacks on our freedom.  They didn’t.  Now Holder is moving forward on investigating the crimes of the Bush admin, and basically keeping Pres. O out of it.  I’m OK with that, but I’d like it to move more quickly.

The bailout has been, of course, immediately corrupted by the same thieves who caused the crash. One would have thought with the obvious mis-use by Paulsen to crush a rival and bolster his home-base, Goldman, Sachs, that Pres O would have preferred Paul Volcker calling the shots to Sumner.

Why hasn’t re-regulation come up in Congress as needed? Why isn’t the FDA being strengthened and given the tools it needs to prevent future Vioxx atrocities?  Why isn’t the EPA being given muscles again?

And why aren’t the Dems in Congress and the WH moving to break the back of corporate feudalism and boardroom socialism?

Corporate feudalism and broadroom socialism should not be mistaken for TRUE capitalism.

I’m not advocating free-boot capitalism—I think it causes as many problems as it solves.  But you MUST realize that’s not what we have at all.  Even Rand’s “Objectivism” and its bastard offspring, Libertarianism are not being practised either, despite the neo-cons Big Lie that it is.

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By ardee, July 12, 2009 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

For ITW

I care little for who invented them or when social safety nets came into being, only that they flourish under a true Marxist environment and are secondary or non existent under a system which allows rampant and unrestricted capitalism to flourish, a system that always usurps the definition of government as a tool under which all men share equally .

Have the distortions of Marxism destroyed lives? Of course they have, but so have the systems which allow rampant and unrestricted capitalism to flourish. Do you fail to read the news?

This democracy of ours is owned, lock,stock and barrel by the forces of capitalism, I fear it is a democracy no longer. To fear to move forward because of what has happened in the past is a specious or fearful argument that seems, on its face, to doom the human race to the status quo.

In the face of current events, possibly a million dead Iraqis and counting alone, how can you not call for change?

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By ardee, July 12, 2009 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

Truedigger3, July 12 at 7:55 am

As James Madison noted,“Government must be administered by men, and men are not angels.”

I agree with your assessment, as did Madison as well. I also believe that Capitalism is not a system of governance and thus your insertion thereof requires a bit of clarification. I agree that it should be the duty of government to regulate, for the betterment of all its people, whichever economic system a nation chooses.

We do see, today, nations incorporating both socialism and democracy, so I think it not an either or situation. In fact, I believe it is the future of good governance.

By some happy coincidence I was thumbing through one of my favorite books while awaiting the morning jolt of caffeine to brew, and would cite a piece of it here:

” But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on govt would be necessary. In framing a govt. which is to be administered by men over men, the greatest difficulty lies in this; you must enable the govt. to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”  Federalist Paper # 51

I wholeheartedly concur with your sentiment that we must continue to try…...thanks for the thoughtful reply.

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By truedigger3, July 12, 2009 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

ardee wrote:
“Well, not really, ITW. We have never seen a correct application of the theories of Marx, instead we have seen them used to create an elitist and dictatorial authority, a very corrupted version of Marxism”
____________________________________________________

ardee,

You can say that about any system. All of them assume each human being is honest, competent, benevolent and will put the interests of society before his interests.
Many people are that way and many people are not.
That is why you will never see the correct application of the theories of Marx, or any other theory because these theories assumed that all humans are perfect as I mentioned above.
In my humble opinion, the best system is a strictly regulated and controlled capitalism, where the government take control of the Central Bank and the issuance of money, not the privately owned Federal Resrve which is not Federal at all.
The corporations and the banks are not allowed to grow beyond certain size, after which they are broken up.  The government shoud own oil and gas ,large scale logging and large scale generation and distribution of electric power.
There should be adequate social safety net, universal health care and secure retirement.
This system is not fool proof as we saw how Rosevelt’s NEW DEAL have been repealed gradually to the current deplorable situation, but we have to keep trying.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

You disappointed me with this post, RD.  Read why.

ardee, July 11 at 9:31 pm #

“The difference between the scientific theories of Darwin and the social theories of Marx is that Darwinian logic has not only stood the test of time, it has been strengthened, whereas Marxism’s continual and total failures have proven, emphatical that Marx was wrong.”

Well, not really, ITW. We have never seen a correct application of the theories of Marx, instead we have seen them used to create an elitist and dictatorial authority, a very corrupted version of Marxism. I think your comparison is both unfair and over the top.
***********************************************

Social welfare systems are in no way Socialism or Communism, which Marx advocated, taught and refined.  Nor did he invent social welfare systems—Frederick The Great of Prussia implemented free education and Social Security almost 100 years before Marx.  There is NOTHING about a Capitalist society functioning correctly that rules out government management of public goods, be it roads, bridges, air traffic control—or assuming the citizenry have education and safety of existence in old age.

***********************************************
We do see, in a number of nations, the application of parts of Marxist theory , especially in the areas of social safety nets, education and health care.
********************************************

As I showed, if Marxism claims ownership of these, then it has usurped them from the proper owners, the humanitarian thinkers of the 18th Century. In fact, our own Constitution CALLS for our government to do these very things in the Preamble—Marx had yet to be born.

***********************************************
Thomas Edison tried over one thousand combinations before getting the light bulb to function. Had you been there for the 900th would you have noted it to be an abysmal failure? Thank goodness you werent!
************************************************

Thomas Edison was experimenting with filaments of light bulbs, not thousands and millions of peoples’ lives.  Nobody gives a rat’s ass if he destroyed beard hair and carbonized cotton and what else a 1000 times or 2000 times.

The failed “experiments” in Marxism, however, destroyed millions of peoples’ lives, and ruined 10’s of millions of others. Are you suggesting we, as a species, should have no problem rolling the dice again with other peoples’ lives, their children’s and grandchildren’s lives as well?  By what right?

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By ardee, July 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

“The difference between the scientific theories of Darwin and the social theories of Marx is that Darwinian logic has not only stood the test of time, it has been strengthened, whereas Marxism’s continual and total failures have proven, emphatical that Marx was wrong.”

Well, not really, ITW. We have never seen a correct application of the theories of Marx, instead we have seen them used to create an elitist and dictatorial authority, a very corrupted version of Marxism. I think your comparison is both unfair and over the top.

We do see, in a number of nations, the application of parts of Marxist theory , especially in the areas of social safety nets, education and health care.

Thomas Edison tried over one thousand combinations before getting the light bulb to function. Had you been there for the 900th would you have noted it to be an abysmal failure? Thank goodness you werent!

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By Sepharad, July 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

ardee—husband is amused by the idea; his friends are serious. Not that I understand string theory anyway, but would be shaken if Einstein was wrong about ANYTHING. (He’s right up there with Woody Allen in my constellation of the few people who actually understand important facets of existence.)

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By Inherit The Wind, July 11, 2009 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

What’s hard to understand, FT, is that you really believe this crap, that a mid-19th century economist and social theorist, is the future for 21st century development, when every 20th century society founded on him, has either collapsed or abandoned him.

The difference between the scientific theories of Darwin and the social theories of Marx is that Darwinian logic has not only stood the test of time, it has been strengthened, whereas Marxism’s continual and total failures have proven, emphatical that Marx was wrong.

Also, if you think Einstein wasn’t a major contributor to the Quantum Theory, you obviously aren’t familiar with his work on the photoelectric effect and photons, FOR WHICH HE WON THE NOBEL PRIZE!

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By Folktruther, July 11, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

The idea then is to increase the conceptual and perceptual size of the Big Picture of political and social reality both in space and time.  The simpliest part is, instead of, for example, taking the US as our conceptual envolope, we take the world. The more difficult part is increasing our historial consciousness.

In the Western tradition the basic unit is the individual, and an individual lives a short time in history.  Americans haven’t much of a historical conscuious of the past, so we tend to think in terms of years rather than decades, even though some of our children may live to see the 22nd century.  But the media isolates us conceptually in space and time, producing what Gore Vidal calls the United States of Amenesia.

This is part of the mainstrream conceptual language that conveys the mainstream truth.  this conceptual language, which restricts, fragments and complicates our conceptions and preconceptions of political and social reality can be revolutionized, and in doing so simplified.  One holistic world historical truth can substitute for a multitude of specialized truths, simplifying it, making it easier for the population to learn, understand, remember and apply.

It is true that initially people are offended and insulted by new ideas that conflict with their Educated ideas indoctrinated by power.  But as the initial ideological absurdity wears off over historical time, a new worldview develops generated by the gestalt transformation of our holistic patterns of reality. 

The major problem is that conceptual revoltuion of this kind requires a change of class perspective.  This was true in the natural sciences as well.  The modern scientific tradition could not develop historically until the rising capitalist class replaced the landowning class to eventually become the ruling class of capitalist Democracies.

The class problem is much more difficult in a revolution in political and social theory since it is necessary to develop conceptons from the earthperson population rather than from the ruling and professional classes, the Educated classes.  So it has to be intiated in a mediated way, through the Educated classes.

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By ardee, July 11, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Oh FT you are a giggle.

ARDEE, Einstein was NOT one of the founders of quantom theory, which he always disliked.  Currently there is a revoltuionary move to overthrow string thoery, by what one truth revolutionary called ‘simple’theory.
..........................................

http://www.spaceandmotion.com/quantum-theory-albert-einstein-quotes.htm

Quantum Theory: Albert Einstein
The Wave Structure of Matter and Standing Wave Interactions (which only occur at discrete Frequencies) explains the Quantum Energy States of Matter and Light ‘Quanta’ (Photoelectric Effect) as formalised by Albert Einstein in 1905

http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/einstein/section9.rhtml

Albert Einstein


Quantum Theory

In November 1922, when Einstein and Elsa were visiting Japan as part of an extended tour of the Far East, they received the news that Einstein had been awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. Although Einstein was most famous for his theory of relativity, the prize was officially awarded for his work on quantum theory. Throughout the first quarter of the century, Einstein made many important contributions to this field, the first of which was his 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect. From 1905 to 1923, he was one of the only scientists to take seriously the existence of light quanta, or photons. However, he was strongly opposed to the new version of quantum mechanics developed by Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schroedinger in 1925-26, and from 1926 onwards, Einstein led the opposition to quantum mechanics. He was thus both a major contributor to and a major critic of quantum theory. .

FT, you tend to obfuscate and over complicate. You also ignore the fact that science is a most dynamic discipline, that which is fact today is in dispute tomorrow. That is how science is done, always testing, always questioning.

As to your increasingly superstitious offerings about the evolution of science, whether ‘social’ or not, you conflate two things that are not compatible, doing science and culturally evolving.

Further, and I am sad to have to note this really, not wishing to be insulting to you, but your overly complicated and convoluted explanations are an indicator perhaps that you yourself are uncertain as to what you postulate. If you cant keep it simple, well, perhaps it is wrong.

Of course, and in fairness, Shaw noted that:

“For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong.”

But then again:

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

I would lastly offer, well penultimate anyway, the words of F.Scott Fitzgerald, pertinent here because of your lack of what he notes below, with regard to Einstein’s ability and your lack thereof:

“The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

I would as the ultimate end of this , hopefully not too very insulting piece, request that you utilize a browser with a built in spell checker, I prefer Mozilla. Well my grandchildren prefer it and thus I am forced to use it….

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By Folktruther, July 11, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Let me try again.  Our truth traditions are formed from the perspective of national and regional politiess since there has been no effective world power system with its own learned and mass media and other truth organs.  However capitalism has installed world networks of communication and transportation that begins to view political and social reality from a world perspective.

The people of the earth are therefore beginning to develop incipient worldviews which view people from a global perspective rather than from a national or regional perspective.  In his book on world economics ONE WORLD READY OR NOT, William Greider refrerred to this incipient worldview as “global humanism.”

This worldview can be legitimated by math conceptual strutures formulated from a world historical perspective rather than from a national or regional perspective.  But it cannot be legitimated in the usual way because it subverts ideological implications of the Westertn worldview.  Consequently it can only be legitmated by a conceptual revolution similar to the scientific revoltuions in the history of the natural sciences.

but those revolutions subverted the religious-philosophical worldview that legitimated feudalism.  A revolution in social science, however, subverts the Western worldview that has legitimated captialist Democracies the past few centuries.

Including Western scientific ideology, scientism.  Therefore the revolution in social science must be an UNSCIENTIFIC revoltuion.

ARDEE, Einstein was NOT one of the founders of quantom theory, which he always disliked.  Currently there is a revoltuionary move to overthrow string thoery, by what one truth revolutionary called ‘simple’theory.

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By ardee, July 11, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, July 11 at 2:36 am #

Your hubby and his friends are up against some real heavyweights in their opinions re: Quantum Mechanics..Good luck to them.

Science is all about constantly challenging the “facts”.

I include a few tidbits on Quantum Mechanics for those, like me, who, when thinking about Schroedinger’s Cat, get a severe migraine:


Quantum mechanics is a set of principles underlying the most fundamental known description of all physical systems at the submicroscopic scale (at the atomic level). Notable among these principles are simultaneous wave-like and particle-like behavior of matter and radiation (“Wave–particle duality”), and the prediction of probabilities in situations where classical physics predicts certainties. Classical physics can be derived as a good approximation to quantum physics, typically in circumstances with large numbers of particles. Thus quantum phenomena are particularly relevant in systems whose dimensions are close to the atomic scale, such as molecules, atoms, electrons, protons and other subatomic particles. Exceptions exist for certain systems which exhibit quantum mechanical effects on macroscopic scale; superfluidity is one well-known example. Quantum theory provides accurate descriptions for many previously unexplained phenomena such as black body radiation and stable electron orbits. It has also given insight into the workings of many different biological systems, including smell receptors and protein structures.

Quantum mechanics has had enormous success in explaining many of the features of our world. The individual behaviour of the subatomic particles that make up all forms of matter—electrons, protons, neutrons, photons and others—can often only be satisfactorily described using quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics has strongly influenced string theory, a candidate for a theory of everything (see reductionism) and the multiverse hypothesis. It is also related to statistical mechanics.

Since its inception, the many counter-intuitive results of quantum mechanics have provoked strong philosophical debate and many interpretations. Even fundamental issues such as Max Born’s basic rules concerning probability amplitudes and probability distributions took decades to be appreciated.

The Copenhagen interpretation, due largely to the Danish theoretical physicist Niels Bohr, is the interpretation of quantum mechanics most widely accepted amongst physicists. According to it, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics predictions cannot be explained in terms of some other deterministic theory, and does not simply reflect our limited knowledge. Quantum mechanics provides probabilistic results because the physical universe is itself probabilistic rather than deterministic.

Albert Einstein, himself one of the founders of quantum theory, disliked this loss of determinism in measurement (this dislike is the source of his famous quote, “God does not play dice with the universe.”). Einstein held that there should be a local hidden variable theory underlying quantum mechanics and that, consequently, the present theory was incomplete. He produced a series of objections to the theory, the most famous of which has become known as the EPR paradox. John Bell showed that the EPR paradox led to experimentally testable differences between quantum mechanics and local realistic theories. Experiments have been performed confirming the accuracy of quantum mechanics, thus demonstrating that the physical world cannot be described by local realistic theories.[43] The Bohr-Einstein debates provide a vibrant critique of the Copenhagen Interpretation from an epistemological point of view.

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By truedigger3, July 11, 2009 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

Folktruther wrote:
“What’s hard to understand about that?  All that is necessary is to extend our view of space and time in viewing political and social reality.

But for some reason its hard for people to do this and I don’t know exactly why.”

...................................................

Folktruther,

I am still finding extreme difficulty in understanding what are you trying to convey as a solution for world problems.
So, out of this lack of understanding, I have two questions:

1) Assuming what you are saying is undersandable, 
  then how you will get the average people to
  understand it and get motivated by it?, since, in my humble opinion, it is very
  difficult for the average people to understand it
2) Assuming the average people understood it. How
  this understanding will solve the world problem
  when it collides with the human nature and its
  flaws and shortcomings?
  Intellectually understanding something is one
  thing, but behaving according to this
  understanding is something else when it
  collide with the human shortcomings.

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By Sepharad, July 10, 2009 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

ardee & Folktruther, my husband says some of the biotech guys and physicists he knows are suggesting that the theory of quantum mechanics is proving to be wrong. Might as well go look at the stars and see if the truth is there yet.

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

“But for some reason its hard for people to do this and I don’t know exactly why.”

The failure is not in our stars but in ourselves.

Two posts and I am none the clearer, though I reject your almost religious view of political growth.

I think Ill go out into my back yard and watch the stars for a bit.

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By Folktruther, July 10, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

What is difficult to understand?

In the 17th century a scientific revolution occured in the physical sciences, what is now classical mechanics, that change our worldview of the universe and our place it it.

IN the 19th century the scientific revolution extended to biology and the legitimation of evolutionary theory.

In the 20th century the scientific tradition extended to social science and in particular to marxist theory which was the major warld theory.

In rhw 21st century marxism, which is based on a theory of economic power, will be generalized to included other types, notably truth systems.  Classical marxism was concernted with socialism primaily in Europe and the concpetual structure can be generalized to the world, to all earthpeople, the past, present and future persons of the earth.

as in the other conceptual revolutions this will change the way we think about and perceive people.  Since the way we think about people now is instilled by national and regoinal power, we will think about people differently, as occurred down throug

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By Folktruther, July 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

What is difficult to understand?

In the 17th century a scientific revolution occured in the physical sciences, what is now classical mechanics, that change our worldview of the universe and our place it it.

IN the 19th century the scientific revolution extended to biology and the legitimation of evolutionary theory.

In the 20th century the scientific tradition extended to social science and in particular to marxist theory which was the major warld theory.

In rhw 21st century marxism, which is based on a theory of economic power, will be generalized to included other types, notably truth systems.  Classical marxism was concernted with socialism primaily in Europe and the concpetual structure can be generalized to the world, to all earthpeople, the past, present and future persons of the earth.

as in the other conceptual revolutions this will change the way we think about and perceive people.  Since the way we think about people now is instilled by national and regoinal power, we will think about people differently, as occurred down through the centuries.

What’s hard to understand about that?  All that is necessary is to extend our view of space and time in viewing political and social reality.

But for some reason its hard for people to do this and I don’t know exactly why.

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Join the crowd, KD!  RD, TD3, Sepharad and me are ALL trying to figure out WTF FT is talking about! smile
............................

OK I confess, I sorta gave up a bit ago…Waiting for the Excedrin to kick in now.

But what can one expect from a lowly Zionist enabler after all…....(insert frowning face)

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By Inherit The Wind, July 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, July 10 at 5:24 pm #

Tell us more about the earthperson worldview. An internationalist worldview, but not “globalist”, in terms of economics…I’m just trying to figure out what you guys are talking about here…
*************************************

Join the crowd, KD!  RD, TD3, Sepharad and me are ALL trying to figure out WTF FT is talking about! smile

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By KDelphi, July 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Tell us more about the earthperson worldview. An internationalist worldview, but not “globalist”, in terms of economics…I’m just trying to figure out what you guys are talking about here…

It would be a radical change from the Western worldview for there not to be any socioeconomic unipower or bipower.

USANS seem to be obsessed with this, “Is china or india next?” but, if western dominance is finished (as i’m sure it is and should be)what is to prevent another power giant.

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By Folktruther, July 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, the American people could not be decieved by Bush if we did not have a previously instilled tendency to want to be deceived by authority.  That is the great tragedy of the human condition.  Freud attributes this, in FUTURE OF AN ILLUSION,  to the long childhood that humans have relative to other species.

During this childhood we are dependant on the power of our parents for our very survival.  So the tendency is to rely on authority when adults for the Security provided by our parents in childhood.  This childish wish fulfillment, in Freud’s view, is the basis for the illusion of Divine power of religions, and he hints also forms the preconceptions of our political regulations.

That is why our religous, political and scientific worldviews are so delusive.  We have incorporated in them the power delusions instilled by the Educated classes to legitmate their power.  And that is why ideological revolutions are necessary, to create worldviews that more nearly copy reality, including political and social reality, that serve the interests of people rather than power.  and fundamental to these worldviews is not a change in our politics, but in our moral and spiritual valaes.

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

With all due respect to FT, if we dont get excited now when the heck will we? Our nation is sliding rapidly into third world status as the money and power migrates to fewer and fewer, our foreign policies create quagmires and Iraq is slipping rapidly towards chaos, with Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan to follow.

Our Legislature has dissolved into a cat fight for dominance with the lobbyists and the “dreaded special interest crowd” for the money and retirement careers as six and seven figure lobbyists. The interests of we the people are being left high and dry. The fight over health care is doomed from the start as the profit motive dominates and ruins any and every chance for a decent and inclusive system.

But why get excited?

Oh, and as far as Reagan and Bush; Reagan poisoned the well, Bush showed us how really, truly easy it is to fool the American people.

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By Folktruther, July 10, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

No need to get excited, friends.  Although the simple truth is exciting.  We are living at a time in history when it is both politically and technically feasible to transform the way we think about and percieve people.  this occurs in a revolution in social science similar conceptually to the scientific revolutions in the history of the natural sciences.  A transfermation of worldview is necessary to legiitmate the simple holistic truth about people and power.

Simplifying preconceptions, such as underlay the heliocentric theory that eliminated the neeed for the complicated epicycles of Polemaic theory, are necessary to convey the simple truth about reality. 

the simple truth in the natural sciences subvert the religious-philosophical worldview that legitimated feudal polities.

however a revelution in social science will subvert the western worldview that has legitimated capitalist Democracies the past few centuries and the preditory imperialism of the White Man.

This is necessary in order to legitmate the simple truth about the past, present and future peersons of the earth.  Doing so creates an earthperson worldview, as I shall refer to it, that sobverts the view of people conceived from a national or regional worldview.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 10, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Reagan Democrat???  Are you out of your MIND???

I couldn’t believe Reagan actually won the nomination in 1980.

I couldn’t believe Reagan actually was elected in 1980.

I couldn’t believe Reagan was RE-elected in 1984.

I thought Reagan was a cheap, pandering bigot to whom an idea had to fit on a bumper-sticker and a doctrine had to be a paragraph, a SHORT paragraph.

His economics were ultimately disastrous for this nation. More than Carter, Bush 41 or Clinton, Reagan laid the foundation for the collapse we are experiencing.  I knew it then, I know it now.  So did Bush 41, correctly labeling it “Voodoo Economics”.  And was it ever…

I didn’t think I could hate a President more than Nixon, but Reagan proved me wrong.

I didn’t think I could THEN hate a President more than Reagan but Bush 43 proved me wrong again.

Reagan Democrat??? I would have sooner cut my hand off than let it pull the lever for that dangerous, destructive man!

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

truedigger3, July 10 at 6:17 am #

From one former E.E. to another…Apology accepted. My track record includes such gaffes rather frequently….

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By truedigger3, July 10, 2009 at 3:17 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, ITW, ardee and sepharad,

I am sorry.

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

The “blue collars”, Inherit The Wind, ardee and, oh ya, the “smooth slithering” sepharad are joining the foray. What kind of “blue collars” are these charachters??!!
I bet they were some of those “Reagan Democrats”, who shot themselves and the rest of the working class in the ass.
........................

How to win friends and influence people….if you are a ten year old with ADD perhaps.

Get a freaking clue.

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By truedigger3, July 9, 2009 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

Re:By Folktruther, July 8 at 4:51 pm #

Folktruther,

I am not sure what the F*** you are talking about??!!  Ya, Ya, I am just a dumb electronic enginineer (retired), who is not steeped in socioeconomic theory or history, but I think I have an idea about economics, sociology and history.
What are you realy trying to convey? Is that your ideas or are you just another copy and paste charachter.
Millions of people are out of work and thousands of them are joining “tent cities” and you are pulling on us that abstract ununderstadable pie in the sky theoritical mumbo jumbo and may I say nonsense.
The “blue collars”, Inherit The Wind, ardee and, oh ya, the “smooth slithering” sepharad are joining the foray. What kind of “blue collars” are these charachters??!!
I bet they were some of those “Reagan Democrats”, who shot themselves and the rest of the working class in the ass.

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By Sepharad, July 9, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

Just a note re the nature of science: to prove scientifically that a result or outcome is valid, it has to be able to be reproduced. (I’m not the science junkie in our house; my husband is. But I recall being extremely disappointed when cold fusion could not be duplicated.)

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By ardee, July 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, you’ve been lucky enough to have had an interesting life.

Leading an “intersting life” is a chinese curse you might understand…well living in “interesting times” is the exact reference but it amounts to the same thing.

  Unfortunately, however, a standard American Education.  that science is unpreconceived Truth and religion entirely superstition is the usual Educated bullshit.  This is evident in the current intellectual corruption of social science, which has incorported this depraved Western ideology.

Scientific ideology in its way is as delusive as religous ideology, but suffers from a poverty of affect that makes it have a lower profile.  There are scientific heretics, such as the 19th century philsophr-physicist Eanst Mach that influenced Einstein, and J. D. Bernal, a noted British scietist and marxist, who wrote the 4 volume SCIENCE IN SOCIETY.

If I understand delusive correctly you are stating that Science deludes us…Below is a defintition of science that you might peruse.


Science Definition

The word science comes from the Latin “scientia,” meaning knowledge.

How do we define science? According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”

What does that really mean? Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system. Less formally, the word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.

What is the purpose of science? Perhaps the most general description is that the purpose of science is to produce useful models of reality.

Perhaps it is your own frame of reference that is “delusive”?

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By Inherit The Wind, July 9, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 9 at 2:33 pm #

Inherit, I know why you and many others live in New Jersey.  Nevertheless, when Hitler exiled Einstein to the academic concentration camp there-the institute of advance study- it completedly destroyed his productivity. Be warned.  I attribute the New Jersey air to your not understanding what I am saying. To you its yada, yada, yada.  I workeed ten years loading trucks on truch docks and this doesn’t seen to penetrate your consciousness, such as it is.
***********************************************

Wellll, it’s hard to get over the fact that Einstein’s greatest years were behind him before he was forced to leave Germany.

I’m only going by what YOU said—that in 10 years you were totally unable to communicate with your fellow dock workers.  Whether you were building your biceps and triceps and quads or not, clearly you never figured out what was important to these guys, and therefore how to reach them.  And you never seem to have asked the question “Is what I’m trying to tell them really just bullshit and they see through it?”

So…it either left you in great shape, or, like most of us you went to seed, or…it left you with a bad back and aching joints (got some of that myself).  But clearly it didn’t teach you how to talk to workers—by your own admission.

I even worked with a WWI vet—yeah WWI, not WWII.  He was fascinating with his tales of trench warfare.  His memory was going, but the War? That was still as crystal clear as yesterday. He remember names and conversations, practically verbatim.  And “Old Joe” was glad somebody was interested in him.  An old Southern red neck, he made the comment: “I swore I’d never go to another war. I’d rather die than go to war again.”

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By Folktruther, July 9, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Inherit, I know why you and many others live in New Jersey.  Nevertheless, when Hitler exiled Einstein to the academic concentration camp there-the institute of advance study- it completedly destroyed his productivity. Be warned.  I attribute the New Jersey air to your not understanding what I am saying. To you its yada, yada, yada.  I workeed ten years loading trucks on truch docks and this doesn’t seen to penetrate your consciousness, such as it is.

Ardee, you’ve been lucky enough to have had an interesting life.  Unfortunately, however, a standard American Education.  that science is unpreconceived Truth and religion entirely superstition is the usual Educated bullshit.  This is evident in the current intellectual corruption of social science, which has incorported this depraved Western ideology.

Scientific ideology in its way is as delusive as religous ideology, but suffers from a poverty of affect that makes it have a lower profile.  There are scientific heretics, such as the 19th century philsophr-physicist Eanst Mach that influenced Einstein, and J. D. Bernal, a noted British scietist and marxist, who wrote the 4 volume SCIENCE IN SOCIETY.

Their views of science are perfectly compatible with spritual ideologies which include scientific conceptual structures.  But in order to understand how, you have to be de-Educated and de-Informed of your morally depraved Western worldview.  Since you are not from New Jersey, you have a better chance of realizing the gestalt concpetual transformation of our holistic patterns of reality that is currently occuring among the (non New Jersey) people of the world.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 9, 2009 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 9 at 2:05 am #

thank you for your midbrow critique and advice, Inherit.  If you feel this way, than lots of people from New Jersey do and possibly people from other places in the country.
***********************************************

Aah, I’m just a transplant—came to NJ in the early 90’s.  Easy access to the NYC without having to actually LIVE in “The Ripoff State”.

***********************************************
I was considering science and religion not as definitions, but as historical traditions formulated from a class-based Western perspective.  Scientific ideology, like religion, is a pathologically irrational tradition, whose SCIENTIFIC LAW AND ORDER legitimates the liberal law and order of capitalist Democracies the way the Absolutist Deity legitimated the Absolutism of early feudalism.
***************************************

Well, you are wrong.  Science, unlike religion, is subject to the great equalizer: Reality.  Sooner or later Reality has to be addressed.  Terra-centric, flat-earth, capricious gods all fell by the wayside of observation.  Science, unlike religion, has the capacity to say “Oops! Gotta go another direction”.

************************************************
a major reason that science is irratonal is that it was formulated historically conceptually backwards…...
******************************************

yada, yada, yada…if that were so you’d be writing your words on cured sheepskin with a quill pen, not tapping on an integrated circuit machine dependent on Maxwell’s electro-magnetics and Quantum Mechanics.  Your presence on the Internet makes your words plainly ridiculous.  A “Creationist” has more foundation.

*********************************************
But this can’t be done within traditional scientism, because the notion of an objective truth about Scientific laws is a religous notion, and a delusive one.  So science can be conceived as simply a special kind of truth and be combined with emotional truths, but differently than Ayn Rand does. Much differently.
********************************************

Right. So when you are driving down the highway don’t bother wearing your seat belt because the laws of physics that say it can save your life in a crash are an illusion.  And, when you have a staph infection don’t take Keflex because the idea that anti-biotics work is really a religious dogma.

FT, sometimes your dialectic dogmatism makes you say the most profoundly and blatantly stupid things.

**********************************************
Your working class days was an inspirtation to me, Inherit, but I can’t aspire to them.  I did however work on the truck docks for a decade as a communist organizer, but I never did learn how to talk to dock workers. “what the fuck are you talking about, you demented cretin’, being common plaint. But then that was the same complaint that professionals would voice too, and I never learned to talk to them either.

And, as you see, I don’t do so good with people from New Jersey, either.
**********************************************

Yeah, I can see that.  You NEVER were actually able to empathize with those truck dock workers because you were never one of them. You never actually walked a mile in their shoes, as Tao Walker might say. 

You do fine with me from NJ.  You say stupid stuff and I laugh at it.  What’s wrong with that?

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By ardee, July 9, 2009 at 3:07 am Link to this comment

Maybe, like Ardee, you should go out and work with your hands for a while, if you haven’t.
.........................

Yeah well,work is work, regardless. I began as an A/P clerk in a major dept store chain, while completing my college education.After returning from my govt sponsored tour of Southeast Asia I worked a shrimp boat out of Pontchartrain for a few months until the opportunity to ride out to S.F. presented itself. That damn book “On The Road” is to blame!

Out in the golden west I used my E.E. degree to get in on the ground floor of the Silicon Valley “revolution” and had the opportunity to travel all over the world installing, repairing and maintaining (primitive) mainframe computers, back when that meant using an O-Scope to isolate faults to the chip level. Wound up, Peter Principle and all that, running the West Coast for that company..etc.etc.etc.Hated that….Became the DP manager for a large school district, secretary, office , enormous salary, hated that worse. Started my own trucking company, loved that but made everyone rich but me,but I had those stocks that went through the roof, so sold it, then I was richer too…..Now I do blue collar work, not because I have to, hell I havent had to work since 1995 really, but because I love it.

Anyway, the point is that work is its own reward, or should be. Whether executive or laborer, showing up every day, making the right decisions, earning ones pay, being a member of a team is what counts I think. If your job doesnt provide that you are in the wrong field.

Folktruther

You lost me here:

“I was considering science and religion not as definitions, but as historical traditions formulated from a class-based Western perspective.  Scientific ideology, like religion, is a pathologically irrational tradition, whose SCIENTIFIC LAW AND ORDER legitimates the liberal law and order of capitalist Democracies the way the Absolutist Deity legitimated the Absolutism of early feudalism.”

I always believed science to be the antithesis of religion, and doing science required both an open mind and no preconceptions. What you postulate here seems confusing. In fact science and religion have been deadly enemies for centuries precisely because the former is a pure intellectual pursuit and the latter is superstitious nonsense designed to keep an enslaved people content.

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

thank you for your midbrow critique and advice, Inherit.  If you feel this way, than lots of people from New Jersey do and possibly people from other places in the country.

I was considering science and religion not as definitions, but as historical traditions formulated from a class-based Western perspective.  Scientific ideology, like religion, is a pathologically irrational tradition, whose SCIENTIFIC LAW AND ORDER legitimates the liberal law and order of capitalist Democracies the way the Absolutist Deity legitimated the Absolutism of early feudalism.

a major reason that science is irratonal is that it was formulated historically conceptually backwards.  In a reasonable society where people ruled themselves, people would condition the conceptual language historically first in social science, since people are more intersted in and concerned with people than with organsisms or with bodies or particles in motion.  Starting with the simple holistica truth about people and power, it would be natural to than go on to form simplifying conceptual structures about evolutionary organisms, and then bodies in motion.

But it happened exactly backwards largely because the ideological pressures against conceptual revolution is greatest the closer we approach to power.  So the first scientific revolution began in the 17th century in those areas most remote from people, the heaveans.  In the 19th century the revolution in biology occurred, and in the 20th century marxism, in scientific ideology, was the major world social theory.

In the 21st century an econommic outlook will be generalized into a power outlook and the revolutionary math conceptual structures will transform the way we think about and perceive people. 

But this can’t be done within traditional scientism, because the notion of an objective truth about Scientific laws is a religous notion, and a delusive one.  So science can be conceived as simply a special kind of truth and be combined with emotional truths, but differently than Ayn Rand does. Much differently.

Your working class days was an inspirtation to me, Inherit, but I can’t aspire to them.  I did however work on the truck docks for a decade as a communist organizer, but I never did learn how to talk to dock workers. “what the fuck are you talking about, you demented cretin’, being common plaint. But then that was the same complaint that professionals would voice too, and I never learned to talk to them either. 

And, as you see, I don’t do so good with people from New Jersey, either.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

consequently it must be an unscientific revolution, since it subverts the scientific ideology-scientism- of the Western tradition.  The separation of science and religion is a highly artifical one, and holistic math scientific conceptual stuctures are compatible with a spiritual humanism, rather than Western secular humanism.
*************************************

Did you REALLY write this nonsense?  I would expect one of our sky-pilot denizens to express such an irrational idea.

The only thing wrong with Science is when we fail to practice it honestly and without personal ego.

The only thing RIGHT with religion is when it prevents someone from doing something to hurt someone else.

One is BY DEFINITION based on observation and logic.

One is BY DEFINITION based on faith—the acceptance of things being true explicitly WITHOUT using observation and logic.

To say that the “separation” of Science and religion is artificial is meaningless, because BOTH Science and religion are artificial—tools created by humans.

Maybe, like Ardee, you should go out and work with your hands for a while, if you haven’t.  I spent a few years after getting my BA doing physical labor, first unskilled, then skilled. It changes your perspective forever, ripping out the most insidious of ivory tower elitism:  That, of which you are not even aware.  You’ll learn that the workers are NOT some homogeneous ideal at all. You’ll find some really amazing people—and some really disgusting ones, too. I’ve worked with men (and women) who just had natural wisdom, sense, generosity and decency, and I worked with some who were perverts, wife-beaters, racists, cheaters, thieves and drunks. And even some who were some of each.

I worked for one sub-contractor who went on a bender every 2 months.  He couldn’t stop drinking and was mean, rotten and abusive—obviously hating himself.  But sober, he was bright, funny, someone good to learn from, and generous.

Another guy on the construction site was mild, thoughtful, a good worker and a good foreman.  But he had to explain to his wife that he was in the hospital, shot by another woman’s husband.  Later, he was arrested for molesting a very young girl.

I saw guys with K-K-K tatooed on their arms, long before “tats” were fashionable.  And I saw simple, hard-working men who cared about their wives and children and, while hard as saddle leather, would get soft and mushy talking about their grandchildren “graduatin’” from kindergarten.

It’s not idealic.  But it is real.

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, July 8 at 10:16 am #

ardee wrote:
“The question is not how many can be employed in new technologies, but how much revenue it brings to this nation.”
_____________________________________________________

ardee,

But these revenues are not shared with the rest of the society or invested in this country.
Most of it goes to the super-rich where it is mostly invested off-shore to further ship more jobs outside of the country and the situation of the common people is getting worse and worse and millions are now in dire
...................................

Yup,most of the profit goes exactly where you claim it to go, as it always has in fact. But the job creation was the point, and the salaries and wages, and profit sharing and tax paying these new jobs bring with them.

As to the offshoring , the whole point I tried to make is that with America becoming less a manufacturing base and more a technological base offshoring impacts us less and less.

Can you consider that the entire offshoring, or globalization movement if you will, might very well be a good thing? Down from the ceiling yet? I’ll assume so and continue.

For far too long a time the third world was a place the industrialized nations raped for natural resources in one fashion or another. Offshoring will certainly be considered an extension of this rape for now. But, in the fullness of time unionism will inevitably come to rectify wage inequities and secure safe jobs, just as they did here in the west.

I really do see offshoring as a re-balancing of the world community, honest I do. That it brings a certain hardship to these shores and our workers is a sad but inevitable, and hopefully impermanent, situation that could be made an easier transition by govt assistance to emerging technologies and green industry , retraining of the work force to meet these new job requirements, etc.

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Sephared, those are good questions and comments, except for Sharon, who is a political monster.

What is happening historically is that earthpeople, due to the installation of world networks of mass communication and transportation, are developing a worldview that William Greider in his book on world economics, ONE WORLD READY OR NOT, called “global humanism.”  earthpeople are emerging from their local, national and regional traditonss to see earthpeople as a whole.

But there is not a truth tradition from a world historical perspective, an d consequently no conceptual language that can tell the simple truth about relations among the past, present and future persons of the earth.

However conceptual innovations associated with American social science can develop simplifying conceptual structures that can begin such a conceptual language, exptessed in both words and math symbols.  These conceptual structures unfortunately have implications that are both unpatriotic and uneducated: they subvert the homeland and class values that legitimate the rule of national power structures.

Therefore they can only be legtitimated by ideological revolutions conceptually similar to the scientific revolutions in the history of the natural sciences. How simplifying conceptusl structures, such as the heliocentric theory, change our worldviews is outlined by Thomas Kuhn in his influential essay THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS.

These scientific revolutions subverted the religious-philosophical ideologies that legitmated feudal power systems.  the problem in social science is that the new worldview will subvert the Western worldview that has legitmaed capitalist Democracies and the predatory imperialism of the White Man the past few centuries.

consequently it must be an unscientific revolution, since it subverts the scientific ideology-scientism- of the Western tradition.  The separation of science and religion is a highly artifical one, and holistic math scientific conceptual stuctures are compatible with a spiritual humanism, rather than Western secular humanism.

But such an earthperson ideology can’t be imposed on people, it must be integrated into the non-oppressive traditions that people already possess.  Some of which comes from theology.  A jewish rabbi, for example,  I forget which one, maintain that God was a splintering that must be united to heal the world, called tikkum.  Such views from all traditions can be used to integrate them into a common view which evolves over historical time.

This is not utopian, merely subversive and thus not discussed.  On 15 February 2003, perhaps thirty million people from countries from every inhabited continent, for the first time in history demonstrated in concerted action to stop a national power from aggressive action, the invasion of Iraq.  To the exent an earthperson worldview can be legitmated, it would increase the power of world opinion to stop aggressive actions and other criminal actions.  It would serve as public opinion and law does in nations, which deter individual criminal actions.

Unfortunately, conceptual transformation has ideological implications that are ideologically absurd.  this was true in the natural sciences as well, simple truths like THE EARTH MOVES AROUND THE SUN, or that PEOPLE EVOLVED FROM OTHER SPECIES being ideologically repressed for many centuries.

The problem with conceptual revolution in social science is that it transformas the way we think about and perceive people. What I am doing on the neternet is seeing what is more or less acceptable to progressives to determine how to present this gestalt transformation in our holistic patterns of reality.

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By KDelphi, July 8, 2009 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

The Dems just keep doing half-assed “reforms” of the allocation of resources that never should have been theirs to allocate in the first place, that may slightly benefit the middle class and up, so that they will keep ther lower and working classes from interrupting the march to private ownership of everything. (ala Keynes and FDR—no, not even that good)

I agree with Folktruther:

“What is needed is an anti-imperialsit left to counter the mainstream pro-imperialist left.  And this requires a conceptual transformation in our conceptual language that allow us to tell the simple truth about relations among the past, present and future persons of the earth.  This generates an earthperson worldview that allows people to conceive people and power from a world historical perspective.  And thus say with Paine:  the world is my country and its people are my brothers.”

Making more “stuff” is unsustainable and not everyone can participate “technologically”.

There is true racism here, but, in the MSM, it is used as a way to draw peoples attention away from class. You can discuss almost anything in ‘Merkin politics, unless it is CLASS.

“Black nationalism, “Chicano” nationalism, women’s liberation and gay liberation all emerged, to name only the most heavily promoted forms of identity politics. In each case, real social grievances of significant sections of the American population were divorced from their connection to the socio-economic foundation—the division of society between the relative handful of capitalist owners of the means of production, and the vast majority of the population who must sell their labor power to make a living.”

The Democratic Party became the principal party for peddling the politics of race and gender, while doing nothing to promote actual “resolution” of the inequalities and, often making them worse. (ie the “post-racial society” proposed after Obama or “post-sexist after Hillar/Palin)
The political development of US society requires the direct and open discussion of the class realities. No other country is as deeply divided along economic lines as the United States, where the top 1 percent of the population owns 40 percent of the wealth and monopolizes 20 percent of the income.

I think that it is a mistake to think that we are somehow “biologicaly” evolved to be Imperialists and Capitalists. In the few socieities left that have not been heavilty “globalized”, it simply doesnt exist.

When people propose a kind of ‘stealth collectivism”, outside of the govt (which the govt would surely destroy if it could) I have to wonder not only, if it could work, but, if it could , why are more people not doing it right now? I am not being thetorical, and, perhaps many are. But, how in the world is that going to be enough to make a dent in the horrible social and societal ramifications of the policies of the last 5 decades? How could small groups ever “undo” the military/economic structure, and, keep from being killed in the streets? I dont know the answers to these questions, I am mulling them over…


BTW(-It IS a “question of how many it employs” if yu are in need of employment.)

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By truedigger3, July 8, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

ardee wrote:
“The question is not how many can be employed in new technologies, but how much revenue it brings to this nation.”
_____________________________________________________

ardee,

But these revenues are not shared with the rest of the society or invested in this country.
Most of it goes to the super-rich where it is mostly invested off-shore to further ship more jobs outside of the country and the situation of the common people is getting worse and worse and millions are now in dire strait.
The economy should serve the people not the people serve the economy e.g. piling more pork on pigs.
In the early eighties when off-shoring of jobs started in earnest, we heard all the talk about these jobs will be replaced with the new so called knowledge jobs, and that new technologies will emerge which will provide replacement jobs.
Here we are, almost thirty years later, the millions of off-shored jobs have been replaced only by mere tens of thousands while million became unemployed or underemployed in the prime of their lives.
And to add insult to injury, the gates have been wide opened to a flood of illegal immigrants who competed with the local workforce for the small number of jobs left!!

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By truedigger3, July 8, 2009 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Folktruther wrote:
“Truthdigger, it is not BIOLOGICAL evolution that is needed, but SOCIAL evolution.”
_____________________________________________________

Folktruther,

Social evolution when it collides with lack of biological evolution, always falls flat on its face, mortally wounded.
Many socioeoconomical systems were devised to advance the human society forward, but all these sytems required the perfect humans to be successful.
All of them required that every human is honest, not greedy or selfish,  puts the welfare of the society ahead of himself and be competent at his work and make always correct decisions.
Of course, that is never the case, human greed and selfishness and incompetency always ruins what was a dream society on paper.

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

Truedigger3, July 7 at 11:19 pm #

The question is not how many can be employed in new technologies, but how much revenue it brings to this nation. I think that the Silicon Valley may be a model for the new economy, though I hasten to add I am not an economist (thankfully).

That industry spawns trillions (really) in revenue, sparks many businesses as peripheral to its own products, and, if taken overall, creates many millions of jobs nationwide. Multiply that example by the new Green technologies, the need to rebuild our power grids, our yet to be invented future is a positive one I believe.

You may mourn the passing of a manufacturing based industry, much as the buggy whip manufacturers mourned the passing of the horse and carriage. I am saddened and angry, not at the decisions to offshore, that is an inevitability if profit is the motivation, but at the stupidity of a government that provides no seed money to build the new to replace the old, no training to assist the fired worker in obtaining a new and perhaps brighter future in the newly emerging economy.

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By Sepharad, July 7, 2009 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, I think I see where you’re going with the earthperson consciousness, and can buy into it myself, but if we are to be left-anti-imperialists and non-racists, does that mean that worldwide every culture and society will be forced to also buy into that human structure, even if it conflicts with their traditions? If they don’t the whole scheme might not cohere, and if they do because left-anti-imperialists are forcing them to, how is that not imperial and racist? I’m not trying to split hairs here, just trying to understand where things we decide are good for us end and forcing them on others begins.

Anarcissie’s cooperative might be a component. And one approach might be to let other people from other countries look at whatever structure you engineer here, and decide whether it’s compatible with them or not.

Kibbutzes are as varied as the groups that chose to establish them, even the handful that survive now. In ‘48, the new state and its patchwork military drew officers from various sources. E.g. Ariel Sharon was 17 and not in a kibbutz but on his family’s orchard/vegetable crop/horse ranch. He was designated leader of the local Palmach—one of the regional militias that were formed to defend the locals, independent farmers and small desert communities. The Palmach joined kibbutz fighters and the fledgling Haganah, not so much the the Irgun/Stern gang fighters, who were terrorists. Kibbutzes were socialist collectives, moshavs another version, with families living together in individual quarters but sharing meals and work and pay. Amos Oz, born in Jerusalem in ‘43, spent much of his life on a kibbutz then moved to the desert town of Arad. Kibbutzes are not for everyone; communal living with everyone in everyone else’s pocket can be tiring. (I’m a more solitary person and wouldn’t fit in.)

My husband thinks socialism alone can’t work as well as a combined society including collectives, small individual businesses that foster and strict government regulation—otherwise you end up with the post office, which didn’t provide overnight mail until a competing mail system started doing it—i.e., socialism doesn’t tend to foster innovation.

Your’re right about the unemployment rate soaring far beyond what it is now. That point may bring the collective shrugging you’re waiting for.

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

truthdigger is right, ardee. Once the world is off the dollar and the debt comes home to roost, there is going to be massive unemployment. There is now, but the unemployment stats are fabrications disguising it.  it will get worse.

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By truedigger3, July 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

ardee wrote:
“As to this nation of ours, we have moved , and for some time in fact, to a technological based economy. Rather than making the stuff we invent the stuff, or invent ways to make the stuff easier, cheaper and less costly”
____________________________________________________

ardee,

How many people can be employed in these jobs? Will be several millions of these jobs to replace manufacturing jobs?
How about the millions of people, who don’t have the mental ability for such highly technical and in many times abstract work but can work productively in manufacturing plants??!!
The jobs you mentioned will provide jobs for several tens of thousands and will leave millions high and dry.

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By ardee, July 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, July 7 at 6:18 am #

Some posters, expressed the sentiment or the opinion, that globalization and off-shoring of jobs, and consequently the gradual erosion of the middle class, is like “heavenly ordained” or dictated by nature, and there is no escape from that result.
...........................

As “some poster” I will try to defend that position, if I may. I do not believe that the American economy is doomed, not by any means. I do , however, believe that we are no longer a manufacturing based economy for several reasons.

If a company sees plainly that it can pay ten cents an hour, not worry about safety, environmental concerns, taxes or unions it is gone, and gone for good. That is the nature of capitalism,plain and simple. No power on this earth can force that company to pay union wages, spend large sums on safety, pollution controls and various taxes as well.

Now I do believe that , in the coming decades, the emerging third world countries that now look so attractive to these offshoring, profit seeking folks will be the focus of unionism, and the efforts to curb the rampant despoiling of the air and water. But that is in the future.

As to this nation of ours, we have moved , and for some time in fact, to a technological based economy. Rather than making the stuff we invent the stuff, or invent ways to make the stuff easier, cheaper and less costly. We do not manufacture any longer and the manufacturing base in this nation has been shrinking for a longish time, but that doesn’t spell disaster, it spells opportunity. For the middle class as well as the working class, though we definitely need to retrain many folks for the new economy. How about using some of the stimulus billions to actually stimulate?

In my opinion of course…..

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Truthdigger, it is not BIOLOGICAL evolution that is needed, but SOCIAL evolution.  And this occurs through social struggle, including ideological struggle. What I am interested in as a truthdig commenter is what will change the background values of commenters. 

that is why I like Inherit, a person who has some interesst in the truth but caught in a corrupt and duelsive american truth consensus and and even more corrupt and delusive Zionist truth consensus.  Can this congenital midbrow be saved?

Who knows.  But you are sincere and have been subject to the same delusive media that we all have. Americans don’t realize how intensive and broadly they have been deluded by the fake idealism and moral uplift of the US truth consensus.  And I certainly include myself.  US deceit disguises and conceals a bloodthirsty racism that is now being played out against dark-skinned Muslims in the fraudulent War on Terrorism all over the world.

What is needed is an anti-imperialsit left to counter the mainstream pro-imperialist left.  And this requires a conceptual transformation in our conceptual language that allow us to tell the simple truth about relations among the past, present and future persons of the earth.  This generates an earthperson worldview that allows people to conceive people and power from a world historical perspective.  And thus say with Paine:  the world is my country and its people are my brothers.

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By truedigger3, July 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther wrote:
“What is needed is an earthperson ideology that fights BOTH class and homeland values,”
____________________________________________________

Folktruther,

In my opinion, I think what you are calling for will require an evolved type of new humans that does not exist currently. There might be some current human who fit your requirement, but they few in number and what is required is that most human fit your discription.
Evolution might solve this problem, but I doubt that homosapiens will survive that long into the future.
Possibly, at least thousands ,if not tens of thousands of years or more are needed to evolve to that.

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, racism among workers is NOT ancient history. American workers are very racist, as is the entire Aerican power structure.  Worker racism is based on the ruling class using non-White racists for cheaper labor, taking jobs away from workers and lowering their wages.

In addition, raism is fostered by the ideologies of marxism and liberalism, which emphasize the economy and ecomonic class struggle, while ignoring HOMELAND struggle.  One can fight the company and the power structure that supports it, but unite with them against Foreign companies and Foreign power structures, and workers, and their leaders, do.  It is what allows wars to be fought vastly against the interests of the masses of the warring peoples.

What is needed is an earthperson ideology that fights BOTH class and homeland values, and Educated and Patriotic truths of the Educated classes. And identifies with the liberation of people everywhere.  Such an earthperson worldview has yet to be constucted conceptually, and this is necessary before Paine’s aphorism can be implemented: the world is my country, the people are my brothers, and to do good is my religion.  This is the future of mankind, assuming we survive.  Indeed, it is necessary for our survival.

I don’t think unions are the future of workers in the US, since the US power structure is descending into a neoliberal police state.  It is conceivable that Anaracissie’s notion of cooperatiaves may be viable, if they are integrated in some way that doesn’t destroy their character.  I don’t know anything about this movement, although a hundred million workers are claimed worldwide. 

The Israeli kibutzs were highly racist, excluding Arabs and their leaders forming officers in the ISraeli military, as Chomsky, who lived on one, reported.  this kind of thing may be true in other countries as well.

Truthdigger, I don’t think it is possible to go back to protectionism, which nationalists and racists like Bucannon advocate. Which means that things are going to get very bad in the US.

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By truedigger3, July 7, 2009 at 3:18 am Link to this comment

Some posters, expressed the sentiment or the opinion, that globalization and off-shoring of jobs, and consequently the gradual erosion of the middle class, is like “heavenly ordained” or dictated by nature, and there is no escape from that result.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and is completely wrong. What is done by man can be undone by man.
Globalization and off-shoring of jobs can be stopped and reversed, and the good living wage jobs could be brought back to this country and the only result will be that the super-rich and the CEOs will make less money while everyone else will prosper and the gap between the super-rich and the rest of the country will return to normal from the current obscene big gap.

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By Sepharad, July 6, 2009 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, it may be necessary to revive unions to have any sort of basis or willingness to act. But all is not sweetness and light in the history of American workers. Some of the initial battling was racist in nature, even in the eyes of a Marxist socialist pro-unionist like Jack London. Remember his book “Valley of the Moon,” in which his protagonist railed against the swarthy Portuguese farmers taking up the land London felt belonged to working white guys? Also California has had some nasty head-bashing over Chinese workers, people who despised the Okies fleeing the dustbowl, now Mexican immigrants, legal and otherwise, we also had the Wobblies (genuine heros; wish we had a few such now) and Harry Bridges with the Longshoremen’s union in San Francisco. In Chicago the “hunkies” were despised, last hired first fired, also the blacks and the poor whites coming from Appachia and farther south.

Now all that is ancient history, but perhaps suggests an area that will again fuel unrest. (The Great Depression was bad but FDR, WPA and WWII kept any excess resentment safely channeled.) Bill Clinton told union workers—during his first campaign; he didn’t fly in under false colors anyway—that their jobs were going out of the country to the cheapest bidders and that the only muscle that counted now was the one between their ears. Guess his candor was appreciated, because he won, but I doubt most foresaw the impact a global economy would have on their livelihoods. By then Americans had seen what happened to the auto business and the steel mills, but NAFTA was far more sweeping. And there’s no paradigm similar to that which galvanized workers when Mr. Rockefeller had strikers machine-gunned. There is no industry except oil and coal to speak of—Pier 1 and Cost Plus have gutted the furniture makers in North Carolina and elsewhere. All we have are the service industries, the government employees, the military,  the factory farms, and high-tech industries (which jobs are flying out of the country to countries like India), and we aren’t even in the first five countries developing clean energy jobs. Meanwhile California schools rank 49th in this country, and I don’t even want to think about how our best students stack up against the rest of the world.

I see I’m rambling and not reaching a point. Need to think some more. Just trying to figure where we have to be before people shrug again and say “Enough, no more.”

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By Folktruther, July 6, 2009 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,Sepharad, How bad must things get before revolution occurs?  Astonishingly, nobody knows.  Badness may not have much to do with it.  Were things worse in the Soviet Untion in 1990 then they were in 1980?  Not really. 

in 1905, there was an uprising in Russia caused by the defeat of Russia by Japan, so the weakness of power has something to do with it.  But in Dec of 1916, Lenin famously declared that his generation might not live to see revolution in Russia.  Two months later the women workers, not any of the socialist parties,  called the workers out on strike.  And they all came!  Revolution!  recognized by everyone, including the Csars ministers.

The February revolution couldn’t end the war, the communests attained a majority in the soviets, which Lenin insisted on, and the communist sentries replaced the Kerensky senteries in a vast consensus. Thbere was very little resistence, which is why the Winter Palace is famous. 

Why, when, what detonates it, mo one could say in Marx’s time and no one can say now.  We simply don’t know how these tipping points are reached.
 
But when power systems reach the end of their life cycle and their economic and political systems are obsolete for the historical tasks facing it, then the masses shrug their shoulders and history is made.

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By ardee, July 6, 2009 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, July 6 at 6:48 pm #

ardee, “One giant corporation making everything”? What a nightmare. How bad must things get before we start serious regulation, socialize health and other similar life-and-death-needs? I don’t understand what is so objectionable about socialism that we have never really so much as tried it.
.................................

Of course you understand, socialism is a direct threat to unbridled capitalism, therefore must be diminished, belittled, distorted and bashed down whenever the mere thought of said system raises its populist head.

How bad must things get? In the most powerful and well armed nation on earth, one that educates its citizens towards docility and uniformity of thought? Pretty damn bad I think.

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By Sepharad, July 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

ardee, “One giant corporation making everything”? What a nightmare. How bad must things get before we start serious regulation, socialize health and other similar life-and-death-needs? I don’t understand what is so objectionable about socialism that we have never really so much as tried it. (I know, all those communes in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, but the ones I experienced were inhabited by people sort of playing house and fully expecting to get a grown-up job some day and get rich.) Some things work better created and run by individuals, but most of the basics should be covered by well-organized coops.

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By Sepharad, July 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, I’m afraid you see things all too clearly this time. As for the violence, so far all I notice in the paper are increased domestic violence, suicide-homicides, gang viiolence—i.e., turning against one another.

The last instance of serious economic-related violence was told to me by my father, re the Teamsters in the St. Louis area. The union commanded such high prices that finally all the barge traffic coming north on the Mississippi from New Orleans didn’t go to Teamster trucks in St. Louis but farther up a dozen miles to the railroad for shipment to Chicago and all points west. Trucking industry in the area collapsed, lots of people out of work, union guys sabotaging railroad tracks, shooting at guys off-loading from barges onto the train cars. And that was just a small segment of the economy, also just the beginning of economic changes that made St. Louis a small, poor city surrounded by suburbs. It never really recovered.

I am curious as to where, why and how you see people doing enough to trigger government violence.

If a good public health plan is put together—which I doubt—that might have a quieting effect. But people can watch their lives fall apart only so long before they start looking for ways to express themselves when the ballot box isn’t working.

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By KDelphi, July 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

As Capitalism collapses in the US, it will be “interesting” to see how well it ‘holds up”, not being propped up with disgustingly wealthy USAns.

Just keep concentrating on Madoff, Palin, Jackson, Warner and others, peeps.

Pay no attention to Stealth Bush.

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By ardee, July 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 6 at 5:34 pm #

Kudos for a seemingly accurate description of events and trends.

As to how widespread, or why now, unanswered questions both. Perhaps we simply reached a tipping point under Bush, when the freedom from regulation bore bitter fruit indeed.

I personally think that Capitalism always leads to such as we see here now, it is the ultimate fighting championship after all, last corporation standing gets all the cash. As a fan of science fiction I see our future as one giant corporation making and selling everything. I see this despite having used no drugs for years and years…...

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By Folktruther, July 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

What has happened historically is that the US ruling class has destroyed unions through globalizaation.  the Dem party, like the Gops, increasingly relied on the rich and professionals for money, endorsements, management and votes, since the unions had less and less power.  Consequently, both the Dems and Gops are in favor of finacial poliices that favor the ruling and professisonal classes, and differ only on social and cultural questions, the neolibs vs the neocons.

This guarantees increasing economic inequality, which is already monstrous.  This must be maintained by violence, since people will eventually see how the social injustice affects them.  The whole process must be legitimated by deceit and diverting attention to trivia. 

we have witnessed in plain sight Obama giving trilliions of taxpayer money to the banksters, with the media generally remaining silent aobut the enormity of the swindle.

The usefulness of discovering the truth about Madoff is how Wall Street routinely operates now to steal money.  If Madoff does it, and is not even questioned about it, it must be widespread.  But what exactly is widespead?  That is what inquiring minds want to know.

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By Sepharad, July 6, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, Yeah. The billions that Madoff stole is a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions that the AIGs and Goldman Sachs et al stole before, during, and after the crash ... not to mention taking more and more every day, like planning to use stimulus money to recruit some bright unemployed investment banker types at $700,000 per year.  Doesn’t it make you want to kick some pinstripe suit’s shins, or worse? Even more infuriating is knowing that NOTHING we do or say is going to change anything at all. Still. As appealing as the temptation is to go into emotional meltdown over these disparate evils, to do so only paralyzes one’s ability to do anything useful at all ... not that I have a clue as to what might be constructive vis a vis this financial looting perpetrated under our noses.

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By KDelphi, July 6, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad—You have that exactly right.

That is the problem with half-assed “reform” proposed by people like Kennedy—they pacifiy the middle class for one more campaign season and people at the bottom continue to die.

Or, they put Madoff in prison and refuse to regulate Wall St..sigh..

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By Sepharad, July 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, Good question. Best guess is that the Dems are no more concerned about people on Medical (Medicaid) than are any other politicians, with a few exceptions. I truly believe that most fast-lane people (which includes politicians) are unable to empathize, let alone want to help, people who have financial problems beyond the fast-lane comprehension. Of course the Dems are supposed to be the liberals, the good guys/gals, the ones we are supposed to depend on to protect all the peoples’ interests because their party’s platform says that’s what they do. But there is a HUGE gap between the sort of noblesse-oblige measures people like Ted Kennedy promote (because these measures are supposed to keep the rest of us sufficiently contented to not revolt) and the measures—such as a mandatory public health plan that covers everything the posher private plans cover—that would transform this society. There just are not that many people who really, really want extreme changes. (Because I already know what’s wrong with the Republicans and social conservatives, I’m reading “Liberal Fascism” to understand what is wrong with our side.

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By KDelphi, July 5, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

If Dems are concerned about the cuts states are having to make, why didnt they accept amendments from Sens Brown, Sanders, etc to give more of the “stimulus pkg” money to the states?

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By truedigger3, July 5, 2009 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

Sepharard wrote:
“The fallout the rich are suffering is nothing compared to what’s happening to the rest of the country.”
____________________________________________________

Neither Ruth Madoff, nor the rest of the super rich are “suffering”. They lost a small fraction of their money , which to them is unforgivable and forgettable terrible event.
The court left Ruth Madoff with two and half million dollar, and no one knows how much more is stached away in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and Israel.

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By Sepharad, July 4, 2009 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

ardee, of course you’re right. Also Folktruther & Inherit. Interesting how we are doled out details—such as a fur coat. Didn’t think it was tragic, as FT suggests, but absurd beyond all absurdity. Purpose of wild sentences and lifestyle alterations are probably meant to draw attention from the huge con our finances have turned out to be. The fallout the rich are suffering is nothing compared to what’s happening to the rest of the country. As California slides into bankruptcy, they legislature is slashing Medical and education and state park and road repair money with no regard for the pain it’s causing most many people. (If they actually cared, they’d cut their ridiculous salaries as well as those of the judges, and the governor’s and all mayors’.

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