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After Religion Fizzles, We’re Stuck With Nietzsche

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Posted on May 9, 2010
AP / Olivier Laban-Mattei

By Chris Hedges

It is hard to muster much sympathy over the implosion of the Catholic Church, traditional Protestant denominations or Jewish synagogues. These institutions were passive as the Christian right, which peddles magical thinking and a Jesus-as-warrior philosophy, hijacked the language and iconography of traditional Christianity. They have busied themselves with the boutique activism of the culture wars. They have failed to unequivocally denounce unfettered capitalism, globalization and pre-emptive war. The obsession with personal piety and “How-is-it-with-me?” spirituality that permeates most congregations is narcissism. And while the Protestant church and reformed Judaism have not replicated the perfidiousness of the Catholic bishops, who protect child-molesting priests, they have little to say in an age when we desperately need moral guidance.

I grew up in the church and graduated from a seminary. It is an institution whose cruelty, inflicted on my father, who was a Presbyterian minister, I know intimately. I do not attend church. The cloying, feel-your-pain language of the average clergy member makes me run for the door. The debates in most churches—whether revolving around homosexuality or biblical interpretation—are a waste of energy. I have no desire to belong to any organization, religious or otherwise, which discriminates, nor will I spend my time trying to convince someone that the raw anti-Semitism in the Gospel of John might not be the word of God. It makes no difference to me if Jesus existed or not. There is no historical evidence that he did. Fairy tales about heaven and hell, angels, miracles, saints, divine intervention and God’s beneficent plan for us are repeatedly mocked in the brutality and indiscriminate killing in war zones, where I witnessed children murdered for sport and psychopathic gangsters elevated to demigods. The Bible works only as metaphor.

The institutional church, when it does speak, mutters pious non-statements that mean nothing. “Given the complexity of factors involved, many of which understandably remain confidential, it is altogether appropriate for members of our armed forces to presume the integrity of our leadership and its judgments, and therefore to carry out their military duties in good conscience,” Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, head of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, wrote about the Iraq war. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on the eve of the invasion, told believers that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was a menace, and that reasonable people could disagree about the necessity of using force to overthrow him. It assured those who supported the war that God would not object. B’nai B’rith supported a congressional resolution to authorize the 2003 attack on Iraq. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, which represents Reform Judaism, agreed it would back unilateral action, as long as Congress approved and the president sought support from other nations. The National Council of Churches, which represents 36 different faith groups, in a typical bromide, urged President George W. Bush to “do all possible” to avoid war with Iraq and to stop “demonizing adversaries or enemies” with good-versus-evil rhetoric, but, like the other liberal religious institutions, did not condemn the war. 

A Gallup poll in 2006 found that “the more frequently an American attends church, the less likely he or she is to say the war was a mistake.” Given that Jesus was a pacifist, and given that all of us who graduated from seminary rigorously studied Just War doctrine, which was flagrantly violated by the invasion of Iraq, this is a rather startling statistic.

But I cannot rejoice in the collapse of these institutions. We are not going to be saved by faith in reason, science and technology, which the dead zone of oil forming in the Gulf of Mexico and our production of costly and redundant weapons systems illustrate. Frederick Nietzsche’s Übermensch, or “Superman”—our secular religion—is as fantasy-driven as religious magical thinking.

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There remain, in spite of the leaders of these institutions, religiously motivated people toiling in the inner city and the slums of the developing world. They remain true to the core religious and moral values ignored by these institutions. The essential teachings of the monotheistic traditions are now lost in the muck of church dogma, hollow creeds and the banal bureaucracy of institutional religion. These teachings helped create the concept of the individual. The belief that we can exist as distinct beings from the tribe, or the crowd, and that we are called on as individuals to make moral decisions that can defy the clamor of the nation is one of the gifts of religious thought. This call for individual responsibility is coupled with the constant injunctions in Islam, Judaism and Christianity for compassion, especially for the weak, the impoverished, the sick and the outcast.

We are rapidly losing the capacity for the moral life. We reject the anxiety of individual responsibility that laid the foundations for the open society. We are enjoined, after all, to love our neighbor, not our tribe. This empowerment of individual conscience was the starting point of the great ethical systems of all civilizations. Those who championed this radical individualism, from Confucius to Socrates to Jesus, fostered not obedience and conformity, but dissent and self-criticism. They initiated the separation of individual responsibility from the demands of the state. They taught that culture and society were not the sole prerogative of the powerful, that freedom and indeed the religious and moral life required us to often oppose and challenge those in authority, even at great personal cost. Immanuel Kant built his ethics upon this radical individualism. And Kant’s injunction to “always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as mere means” runs in a direct line from the Socratic ideal and the Christian Gospels.


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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, May 12, 2011 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

“It makes no difference to me if Jesus existed or not. There is no historical evidence that he did.”
- Chris hedges


  “As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah” - .Luke 11:29


“Only the intuition that there is a superior invisible order gives any significance and meaning to human actions, whether they be individual or collective.”
- Adrian Salbuchi

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By Night-Gaunt, November 28, 2010 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

http://www.nightguant@gmx.com/

I was explicit ThomasG so either your reading comprehension is lower than I thought or you are willfully blind. Why don’t you spell it out then for us?

Nietzsche is terribly misread if he is actually read at all. His ideal of the “overmen” isn’t the Nazi ideal or anything like that occult romantic view of the noble barbarian at all, it is the opposite. When he met a proto-Nazi who married his sister he disowned her and despised what she and herr Voirster believed when they went to Paraguay to found an “Aryan” colony called Nuevo Germania in 1886. It failed and she later returned home.

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By montymouse, November 28, 2010 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

I’ve been saying for many years that we live in a Nietzschian world. I am a Catholic but I’m a Christian Marxist and nothing frustrates me and angers me than the American Fundamentalist Christian Right. It terrifies me that people are throwing away the highly positive aspects of Christianity, such as developing a conscience, care for our fellow man, abstinence, anti-usur, etc. etc. I wrote a short story about Nietzsche and the modern world. I’d like to send it to you, it’s about 50 pages of A4. Would you be kind enough to send me your email address. Regards

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By ThomasG, August 18, 2010 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

If Night-Gaunt has something to say about specific standards to define moral behavior as either moral or immoral, right or wrong, that would have meaning but otherwise Night-Gaunt’s post is meaningless blather and drivel.

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By Night=Gaunt, August 13, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As usual ThomasG you complain and criticize in vagure terms. Haven’t you read & understood anything on this thread? That includes parsing out what would be universal for all. Murderers and rapists do not want what they do to others done to them. There is a starting point. Crude but stark. Most people would not be either anyway under most circumstances. [Situation is an important factor even for cannibalism such as when you are starving and there are no other corpses, of other species, to eat.]

The Jefferson quote has been used already about broken legs and picked pockets. But it doesn’t faze you does it?

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By ThomasG, August 11, 2010 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, August 11 at 9:19 pm,

“Caring about whether you do right or wrong is what morality is about.” —Shenonymous, August 11 at 9:19 pm

The problem with morality is the “agreed upon standard.” 

Amongst cannibals, the “agreed upon standard” is not acceptable if you are not a cannibal. 

And, the “agreed upon standard” of the Ancient Aztecs is not acceptable if you do not want your heart ripped out of your chest on the altar of sacrifice to their gods.

The problem with right and wrong is that, if you were a cannibal it would be “morally right” for you to eat your fellow man, and “morally wrong” for you not to eat your fellow man.

With regard to the Ancient Aztecs, it was “morally right” to rip the beating hearts from those who were sacrificed on the altar and it was “morally wrong” for the Ancient Aztecs not to rip the beating hearts from those who were sacrificed on the altar.

In our society the unifying standard of the cannibals and the Ancient Aztecs is “morally wrong”, there is no one unifying “standard of morality” and individual standards of morality means nothing to others who do not share that same individual “standard of morality”; therefore morality becomes a trope, to convey meaning of right and wrong without a standard of what right and wrong is, and meaningless as a concept because it is without agreed upon definition for any purpose other than condemnation by way of use as a trope to indicate right and wrong in the absence of a standard.

The dialogue about morality is flawed because it is based upon a binary construct that is one part of the three parts of propaganda, propaganda being binary emotional rhetoric.

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By Shenonymous, August 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

It might be that everyone has their own individual standard of
morality, but they are not born with that standard.  While a sense
of right and wrong and some sense of altruism, or caring for others,
might be natural to some degree, altruism is a learned behavior and
morality is by social agreement of what is thought to be moral usually
within closed social systems.  Caring about whether you do right or
wrong is what morality is about.  It is learned through life experiences
in a social ambience.  Within the context of a society, morals are
established by convention and agreement.  If you don’t live by them
you must leave or face the consequences of breaking the moral rules. 
That is exactly what morality means.  One does not need morals for
only oneself.  For what would that mean?  And to whom would it have
meaning?  Unless some wretch has dissociative personality disorder and
is immoral towards one of his selves.

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By ThomasG, August 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

All morality is meaningless without defining the STANDARDS; everyone has their own individual “standard of morality” and with no unifying “standard of morality”, morality means NOTHING.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 11, 2010 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The difference between a personal religion and a church-state one is the problem too. Some believe in the words of their religion to dominate all. They also read it in such a way that they can do so using any means up to anda including torture and murder. Being absolved from sin to accomplish it. Those are the dangerous ones, especially if they are part of our oligarchs and wish to remove our secular republic. They do, they are, and they are almost untouched as they continue to do so. The Islamic ones are fighting against the Christian ones invading their areas and are simply retaliating.

Religion & state, just as with corporation, must be made forever separate in this country and all others if we are to remain safe. We are far from safe.

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By omygodnotagain, August 11, 2010 at 6:22 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges, one of the constant criticisms of the Church in History is that it got involved in politics. In the modern era it has focused on personal morality, you criticize it for not being political.  It is a no win situation. If you connect morality and politics then you also have to accept the logical conclusions of that morality based on reason and tradition. Thus, there is no moral argument for abortion that can be made based on Christian principles. The Enlightenment seen as making Man the measure of everything, is rejected as God is believed to be the judge of those things.
The problems facing Christianity come down to how operate in a society where God is not the measure.
In a sense it is like asking someone opposed to capital punishment, should we hang, electrocute or shoot them. The only answer they can give is silence

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By ThomasG, June 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, June 28 at 11:19 am,

“Compassion distances itself when doing Gods work.”—Leefeller

It’s God’s Will, right, Leefeller?

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By Leefeller, June 28, 2010 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Compassion distances itself when doing Gods work.

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By kerryrose, June 28, 2010 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

My grandfather was from a very poor Irish Catholic family in Boston.  They had 10 children.  He was thrilled to be an alter boy at church.  The first day the priest walked behind the boys kneeling at the alter, and stopped at my father. 

‘How dare you come to my church to serve the Lord with holes in your socks?  Get out, you little tramp.’

The priest became a Cardinal.  Cardinal Spelling in New York.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

I would have little interest in it myself except that 100’s of millions believe it and use it and want to make it the law of the land. So it is always a good idea to have a look at least in case they come-a-knock’n on your door or one of them gets elected and want to change the laws, or just the text books.

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By Nixon is Lord, June 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You haven’t said anything that makes me take seriously anything Hedges said.  He knows that the Mainline is shrinking faster than a styrofoam cup on the “Titanic” and yet he’s unhappy about it.
  He doesn’t give a single reason for believing anything that any religious leader says.  If Jesus never existed, why should I take anything he’s reported as saying seriously?  If the Bible is only a metaphor, why should I read it?

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By Night-Gaunt, June 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Nixon Is Lord it isn’t religion, which is an evolutionary success to human survival, but those humans who corrupt it as bases of power. So if you want to blame anything, blame humanity where they fail. However such constructions can be the framework for either promotion of good actions or bad ones. Even so a psychopath can ruin any good thing.

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By ThomasG, June 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

Nixon Is Lord, June 13 at 2:57 pm,

Speak for yourself and let Hedges do the same.  Nixon is Lord??—“I am not a crook.”— Right????  And, checkers has left the building.

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By Nixon Is Lord, June 13, 2010 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges is so wrong.
  Religion was always part of the problem.  Belief in what you can’t prove was always part of the problem.
His lament for “mainline” protestantism is an instance of this; the “mainline” died because of demographics.  Fewer than 4% of those under 25 in the US are members of these churches.  They recruit ex-catholics and ex-fundiegelicals to replace those who drift away and die.
  Hedges wants it both ways; he wants individualism to be celebrated as the great gift of religions like the “mainline” and liberal judaism, but laments the lack of strong and authoritative voices from organized religion.
  No one can have this both ways.  Either organized religion is optional, both personally and politically, in which case it will not be as politically powerful as Hedges wants it to be, or individuals have to decide to go along with their religions to get things done politically, in which case the idea that the individual is a noble figure defying his backwards tribe is recognized as a myth as bizarre as the Uebermensch.
  “Mainline” protestantism wants to pretend that it can stand both in the rational center and on the “prophetic” fringe.  Rapidly shrinking, increasingly irrelevant, about as well integrated as Vermont (demographically, it’s NPR at prayer)it will continue to preach diversity while remaining as white as sour cream; socialism or “communalism” while keeping an eye on the markets and fighting like mad over property; sexuality will be its boutique issue of choice-the perfect issue to both celebrate its navel gazing while pretending to be prophetic and relevant.
The “mainline” churches thought that they could shrink away while still remaining automatically a source of influence.  Why should people sit through a “metaphor”, and pay for it, when they can join any political organization?  Why bother to watch someone swan around in robes at your expense when you can be politically active and still sleep in on Sunday mornings?  Even if the “mainline” head offices were to come out at openly Marxist-Leninist in every public statement starting tomorrow, they would still be face with the issue of why people should bother to listen to them: What authority do these people have to tell the rest of us what to do?
Because of their “old WASP money”?  Their education?  Their social prominence?  The “metaphor” they read every week?  All of these either contradict their “progressive” beliefs and statement or are irrelevancies.

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By Shenonymous, June 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Polytheistic religions are usually tolerant when faced with other
religions. It is in the very nature of polytheistic religions that the
world is inhabited with a pantheon of deities, and it is just a given
that other people have other gods.  Even so, as Schopenhauer said,
“Religious intolerance is specific for monotheisms.”

Many of the pagan religions were not really polytheistic, as they had
one supreme god, a kind of secluded omniscient universal force. A kind
of omniscient universal consciousness, manifested through all living
things The supreme god often had a variety of different deities
representing different aspects of the supreme god, as in Brahma, or
various animal forces the world as in Native American’s religions, who
acted as intercessors between the believers and the divining force.
These deities often came in the form of personified gods and
goddesses, meaning humanized, with responsibility for different
provinces of life, so to speak. Even if Christianity is considered
monotheistic, there is the wacky notion of the trinity, three gods in
one. We have the Father, the Son and the ingenious theological
invention of the Holy Spirit. Judaism and its offspring Christianity differ
from the pagan religion by having a personified supreme God– and thus
this God has a rather fixed way of operating.

Where the pagan supreme gods are more like actors who can play every
conceivable role for their believers, the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim
God (who actually are the very same God, even though they
vociferously deny it
) has only one role to play.  In this sense
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are a lot more crude, apathetic and
primitive religions than many of the earlier religions of the Antiquity.
And they have no room for change or development, nor does their
deity.
TBC.

You may be right Night-Gaunt about a present Inquisition going on. 
How can we be more accurate so that something could be done?  Can
we really do anything except make note of it?

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By Night-Gaunt, June 8, 2010 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

For another the Inquisition operated across continents and was very organized. They had their own courts and judges operating independently of the various empires and nation-states they resided in. So you couldn’t escape to a nearby kingdom unless it was expressedly separate from the Holy Roman Christendom. You would either have to go to one of the Moslem califates or to one of the wild places and even that wouldn’t give you full freedom from fear because there is always danger somewhere.

I made the observation before that the way the previous Bush/Cheney administration were setting up our courts Inquisition model as our military to follow the Crusader model from what I call organized barbarity. It hasn’t really changed under Obama though so far not too much has been done with the Military Tribunals fortunately. However torture is still involved and we have a hidden constellation of prisons to hold those brought in off the streets without legal council or protections. Baghram AFB (Afghanistan) being one of the prisons heard about recently.

So I would submit that the Inquisition is alive and well and wears the stars and stripes.

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By Anarcissie, June 8, 2010 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

It seems to me that societies that refrain from torture are the exceptions.  If Christians torture, then that’s just doing what comes naturally.  The interesting people would be those who didn’t torture—the exceptions.

What I find unique in the Inquisition is that they were the first organization that I know about who were concerned about what people thought, rather than what they said or did.  The initial concern seems to have been heresy, but in Spain they were also worried about conversos—Muslims and Jews who converted in order to avoid expulsion—who might not have been sincere in their conversions.  Why had this suddenly become important?  In the ancient world, as long as you sacrificed to the official gods, including the emperor, no one cared what you thought.

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By Shenonymous, June 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

The discussion that had started but fell into a hiatus, if there is
still to be such a discussion, is not really going to be about the
Spanish Inquisition nor about Torquemada or Pope Sixtus IV.  They
may be actors in the staging for a discussion, as in a kind of morality
play.  But in reality, it is going to be about what it is in Christianity,
within its composition, its very nature, that gives birth to such
phenomena as inquisitions, crusades, and the violent actions of
Popes and figures like the sadistic Torquemada who carried out the
oppressive will of the church.  What is it about Christianity itself? I say
this because the reasons for the Inquisition, what the involvement was
of the Pope, and what prosecutor Torquemada did are easily recounted
from the history books.  We have only to cull them out of the books
and give a chronicle of what happened. 

What is not put into printed history is how it is that a religion, allegedly
a religion purporting to be of love, and brotherhood, and unending
kindness could possibly be responsible for the atrocities perpetrated by
these three institutions, the instrument, viz., the Inquisition, the
approver of the Inquisition, the pope, and the deliverers of the
Inquisition the prosecuter and executioner. 

Therefore, this is not to be a judgment of the Inquisition or its
perpetrators.  It is to be a judgment of the religion.  At least that is
what it seemed to me that was proposed.  If I am wrong, I can only
expect to be corrected.

While there are many places to begin, a look at the Sacrament of
Penance, otherwise known as the confession of sins or reconciliation, is
a likely place to start. This is what is known as an admission of guilt If
others have a different idea, I would be more than willing to see them. 
The Sacrament of Penance, or Confession of a person’s sins, of
sinfulness, has its essence in the story of the fall from the Garden of
Eden and confession, absolution, and atonement is seen by some
churches as a pre-requisite for becoming a Christian.  Sin, in religion,
is the concept of acts that violate a moral rule.  A prime belief in
Christianity is that humans are born under the inescapable condition of
original sin committed by the original biblical parents Adam and Eve. 
Humans commit many other sins of immorality and therefore have to
be absolved, or excused, before other benefits could be granted.  The
intent of the Sacrament of Penance is to provide healing for the soul as
well as regain the grace of God, which had been lost by sinning.  The
early church was Catholic, so all the sacraments of confession or
penance in Christianity are derived from the Catholic system of beliefs. 
Priests are given the authority allegedly by Jesus to exercise forgiveness
of sins of those alive on earth.  This practice was set at the Council of
Trent and uses biblical quotes as Scriptural proof for its authority. 
After confession a sinner is granted absolution, a petition of
forgiveness.  The priest acts as an intercessor asking god to forgive
the sin, or transgression.  Confession is also a large part of other
denominations of Christianity, but also found in other religions as in
Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism and was a practice of the ancient
Romans and Greeks.

I am hoping others would add to this and/or suggest corrections.  This
is what I know from my upbringing in the Catholic religion.

Of course, if it be wished, discussion of the Spanish Inquisition and the
actions of Torquemada is certainly available.  I did not mean that was
to be discarded in lieu of what I have tendered.

For instance, the seeds of the Inquisition actually start as far back as
311 A.D. with a movement known as Donatism.

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By OzarkMichael, June 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for the links Anarcissie. But more than that you did a good job explaining Gavrilo Princip before I even asked you to. I was also thinking about the guy who killed Stolypin.

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By ThomasG, June 7, 2010 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

To Leefeller, a rubbish collector, a rose by any other name is rubbish; this perspective, however,  is nothing more than rubbish from the perspective of a rubbish collector.

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By OzarkMichael, June 7, 2010 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, welcome back.

In my post June 2 at 9:41 pm I opened up the Inquisition and the counter-current to it, using Henry of Bracton as an example. The post was titled: The year is 1252.

The level of interest ebbed all around. Whatever it was I was trying to accomplish didnt work out. Perhaps we will get back into the moment. Momentarily.

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By Leefeller, June 7, 2010 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael, I came back to check on the Inquisition, now have some time on me hands. So where in hell is it? From what I understand Sodium allowed you to write on it, so before I dig through 10 tons of ThomasG rubbish, just let me know if it is buried someplace, then I will dig through the refuse.

Speaking of rubbish, our county is closing many of the rubbish transfer stations because our county is out of money, this means BP will make more money because everyone will need to drive 25 miles to town to dump the rubbish!

I was enjoying and it seems some other were also your historical accounting on the Inquisition, it was becoming like, every time I saw the Pope on TV I was reminded of Ozark Michael.

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By ThomasG, June 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, June 6 at 7:12 am

Social, Cultural and Moneyed Capital:

(Page 1 of 2)

Culture is that which people do that is passed down from generation to generation.

Capital is an asset that provides a revenue stream.

Culture/Education that provides a revenue stream is cultural capital.

Moneyed Capital is money that is used to provide a revenue stream.

A co-operative is not that much different than a corporation; under privatized capitalism, a privatized capitalist corporation is used as socialism for the few at the expense of the many.  Both corporations and co-operatives can be used in combination with Social Capital to fuel a Manufacturing/Agricultural Demand Economy.  The use of co-operatives in the United States has been around for a very long time and has provided community benefit from social capital for the members of the co-operatives.

In Soviet style communism, law and order was implemented as a matter of edict; this type of a system cannot result in benefit to anyone other than those who impose law and order from the top down.

The making and enforcing of legislated law and order must include all classes and cultures in a society, to be truly representative of that society as a Representative Democracy.

In the United States at the present time, the combined 30% minority population of the American Aristocracy and the Professional Middle Class are represented by the Republican Party and the Democratic Party in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order.

The 70% majority Common Population of the United States, the American populace, Back Street America, must be politically represented along with the American Aristocracy and the Professional Middle Class in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order.

When privatized capitalism was implemented in Britain, the 70% majority population of peasantry was not represented in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order, and as a result, the law and order of the “Enclosure Movement” was made and enforced to dispossess the peasant population of their land and personal property, and force them to be a work force for privatized capitalism and thereby enable privatized capitalism.

The making and enforcing of legislated law and order must be inclusive here in the United States to enable social capital and social capitalism; inclusive of the 70% majority common population of the United States, the American populace, Back Street America,  not selectively for the Aristocracy and the Middle Class as was the case with the implementation of privatized capitalism in Britain.

It is up to the legislature and the other branches of government, as representatives of all of the people,  to make and enforce legislated law and order.  I am not for law and order being imposed from the top down and I am not for the American populace being left out of the making and enforcing of legislated law and order, so that they can be dispossessed as was the case in Britain with the “Enclosure Movement”.

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By ThomasG, June 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, June 6 at 7:12 am

Social, Cultural and Moneyed Capital:

(Page 2 of 2)

It is difficult for me to relate to your apparent claim to a lack of understanding of what the making and enforcing of legislated law and order is, and that the making and enforcing of legislated law and order is a process; surely you can understand that the absence of the rule of law would be dictatorship, which is unacceptable, and that legislated law and order that is not inclusive of the 70% majority common population of the United States, the American populace, Back Street America, would be class and cultural oppression and tyranny by the American Aristocracy and Middle Class, much the same as existed with the British Enclosure Movement.

With regard to your question about cultural capital being in demand,  those possessing cultural capital would have the ability to run the businesses and industries of an economy based upon Social Capital in the same way as they do presently for Moneyed Capital, but with Socialized Capitalism those who have cultural capital would have other options for employment other than from Moneyed Capital.

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By Anarcissie, June 6, 2010 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, June 4 at 1:53 pm:
‘Shenonymous said; The basic argument on the anarchist side is to what degree is it ethical that the individual be oppressed by the majority?

Paradoxically, whenever an anarchist makes their mark in history, the majority are effected by it. One anarchist act changes the course of history, and we have to ask: to what what degree is it ethical that the majority be oppressed by the individual?

Not that i know the answer to these things. i have no knowledge of the philosophy of anarchism and never even met one until Anarcissie. ...’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism
http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/anarfaq.htm
http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

Most of human life is anarchistic, that is, it is not governed by state authority but grows out of or is constructed between more or less free and equal individuals.  History generally records not this ongoing life but the exceptions to it, as Gibbon put it, “the sorry register of man’s crimes and follies”, that is, the deeds of its rulers.  An occasional misguided anarchist or quote-anarchist-unquote may pop up in the record, but probably really out of place.

Often, the term anarchist must be quoted because many are called anarchists who are not, such as Gavrilo Princip.  He certainly made his mark in history, and was called an anarchist, but he was in fact a Serbian nationalist and associated with authoritarian nationalist organizations.  Those under the sway of authoritarian ideology frequently attribute that desire for violence to others which they themselves embody.

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By Shenonymous, June 6, 2010 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

Somethings were nagging at me ThomasG after I re-read
your post of June 4 at 8:54 pm.  It was where you said, “If the
United States as a nation institutionalized Social Capital and Social
Capitalism, Cultural Capital would be in demand as management to
run corporations and co-ops based upon Social Capital, and would
once more have more in common with the populace, rather than the
American aristocracy, because they would no longer be in competition
with Moneyed Capital.” 

What did you mean by Cultural Capital would be in demand? I think I
understand what is meant by cultural capital. Bourdieu somewhat
defines it as high cultural knowledge that ultimately returns or fortifies
directly into the owner’s financial and social advantage.  How would
that fit into the political theater?  And What did you mean by co-ops? I
am not aware of any discrete co-ops of any significance unless it is the
farmers’ granges. Co-ops smells of communism and that bothers me. I
would not like the idea of Social Capital or Social Capitalism to slippery
slope into a neo-communism. 

Then on June 5 at 2:22pm you said, “All law and order is implemented
as a matter of process.  Law and order implemented the process of
Privatized Capitalism and law and order can implement the process of
Socialized Capitalism.”  It isn’t clear what you mean by law and order
implements the processes of Privatized Capitalism and Socialized
Capitalism.  What laws and who is to enforce them?  What enforcement
agency?  I don’t trust this idea at all either.

I tried looking up the elements of my questions but I can’t put them
together in a coherent understanding of what you mean. Thank you for
being patient and taking the time to address my questions.

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By ThomasG, June 5, 2010 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, June 5 at 10:04 pm,

Amorphous nonsense from OzarkMichael spouting 1950’s time warp Soviet Doctrine.

The dialogue, OzarkMichael, is about the successful 234 year old model of American Socialism, not the failed model of Soviet Socialism of Marx, Engles, and Lenin. 

If you have something to contribute, you will have to come out of your time warp and join the rest of us here in the 21st Century; otherwise, my answer to you is a well deserved blah.

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By OzarkMichael, June 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Martha/Thomas said: If the United States as a nation institutionalized Social Capital and Social Capitalism, Cultural Capital would be in demand as management to run corporations and co-ops based upon Social Capital

Yes, the “Cultural Capital” of the Professional class would be in demand, and must fulfill its role and assume responsibility to ensure the best performance of “Socialized Capital”.

This is an incredible task, with hidden risks for the “Professional class” and for “Socialized Capital”. There are two problems.

First, according to Marxist practical experience, the Professional class is not reliable. Martha/Thomas’ “legally legislated law” which weakens and soon destroys the old system, convinces the Professionals to side with “Socialized Capital”.  But to some degree Professionals will all yearn for the old ways. Some elements will be more hostile. Some will be more friendly. However, even the friendliest Socialist Professional is not the same class as the proletariat. Isnt that right, Martha/Thomas? Or do you think that Back Street America and the Professional class are one and the same class with exactly the same interests?

Dont count on me, by the way, to be included in any of the above choices. I will be dead already, for the sake of my foolish religion. Yes, but lets not dwell on that. We are having an interesting conversation about hopes and dreams. 

Perhaps voluntarily at first, the Professionals will sooner or later find themselves a captive class.  Their “revenue streams”(ie their own hard work) and their “private capital”(ie money and stuff) are continually and completely harnessed for the sake of “Back Street America”. It is not hard to imagine the potential for resentment even by Professionals who supported the revolution at first.

Knowing all this ahead of time, the wise “Legislators of Legal Laws” along with their “Enforcers of Law and Order”, will naturally view the Professional class with suspicion.  Martha/Thomas, care to expand upon that?

Now the second problem: Every ruling class from the dawn of time enjoys the exercise of power. So there will be constant “oversight” of the Professionals by the Communist ruling class. The “Legislators of Law” will make even more policies which favor “Back Street Americans” and “Socialized Capital” at the expense not only of “Private Capital” but also of the Professional class.

But that wont be enough. Legal Legislated Laws must also be made to keep the Professional class chained to “Socialized Capital”. Coercion of this type is absolutely neccessary for the new system to function, and it must be applied continuously and increasingly(!) to keep Private Capitalists from returning to power. That cant be allowed to happen at all costs. The power of the State is tied to Socialized Capital and nothing should be allowed to harm it at all costs. 

Next time we will discuss the coercion and the oversight. Maybe if Martha/Thomas is forthcoming we will learn the Legislative Legal Laws. (Has it been planned out, Martha/Thomas? Or are you just going to wing it? Just governing on the fly, without some idea of where you want to go beforehand, you will never succeed. So please tell us you have put some thought into it. Are you ready or not?)

We will discover the inevitable consequences for the Professionals who have exchanged their “Private Capital” for the highly risky adventure which Martha Thomas calls “Cultural Capital”.

Before I go on, is there anything Martha/Thomas wants to correct? Anything at all? Would you like to explain the worker’s “oversight” of the Professional class? Why it exists. How it works.

Just remember to be real polite, Martha/Thomas.

Here you are at the party wearing a dress and sipping latte like a normal person, so dont blow it. In other words, try not to mention guns and knives. You can pull those out after the Revolution but not before, ok?

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By ThomasG, June 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, June 5 at 3:37 pm,

The problem is awareness.

Legislative power comes from political awareness and political activity based upon awareness.

It was a process of political awareness that originated and maintained Privatized Capitalism from its inception to the present, and it will be a process of political awareness that originates and maintains Socialized Capitalism.

One thing of which I am certain that we can all agree upon is that a system imposed from the top down is NOT a system that will serve the greater good of the American populace.

I do not believe in or endorse political expedience as a means of serving the greater good. 

If the greater good is to be served, those who would serve the greater good should make the populace aware of what the greater good is, in this case Socialized Capitalism, and lead the American populace to support legislators and legislated law and order that will establish, institutionalize, and maintain Socialized Capitalism.

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By Shenonymous, June 5, 2010 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

ThomasG, I know it is a process.  But I do not see that the
process is any different than what is now installed in America to
legislate through representative government.  Granted the legis-
lation we have so far does not work in the best interests of the
American Population.  That is exactly why we are having this
conversation, why all conversations are taking place in the media,
in academia, and in the local pub and here even on TD and all the
other blogsites.  You say, and I am not arguing against you, that if
the American populace and the Middle Class want Socialized
Capitalism, that huge majority is sufficient (I’d say more than
sufficient) to legislate law and order that would institutionalize
Socialized Capitalism. However, that is not an action currently
activated or if it is, it is very very quiet almost imperceptible.  I
can’t hear it.  Can you?  Mass movements are lucidly described in
Hoffer’s True Believer.  To get any action, passions have to be excited
enough to motivate the action.  It is emotion that gets the physical
body to move.  Therefore, it would seem to motivate socialized
capitalism (I’ll put it in lower case so that it applies directly to human
bodies and not remain in the theoretical realm), something has to get
these real bodied 90% moving.  To legislate here in the USA we use our
politicians.  So it would seem a strong effort in needed to put into
office politicians who understand that socialized capitalism is what will
bring the country back to health.  Back from a long time ago, I know,
before my time probably. But regardless, that seems to be your
process.  The problem as I see it is a lack of those kinds of politicians. 

It seems we have not got too far from months ago when you were
yelling at me and such.  But nevertheless I do think we have made some
progress.  So what, Sensei ThomasG, how to we get enough
legislative power? What do you see as the logical steps.  Local
elections, state, and national? An organization?  Democracy at work. 
Right?  Legislating law and order.  I want to rest easy that all our
rancor over the months has now been fruitful worth all the visceration
and that we can see a way through the labyrinth of the kind of
unbridled self-interest that seems to be a canker on the system we
now have.

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By ThomasG, June 5, 2010 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, June 5 at 1:14 am,

It’s a process.

The process of Privatized Capitalism was implemented against the interests of the populace.

The process of Socialized Capitalism can be implemented in the best interests of the American populace and the Middle Class.

All law and order is implemented as a matter of process.  Law and order implemented the process of Privatized Capitalism and law and order can implement the process of Socialized Capitalism.

If the American populace and the Middle Class want Socialized Capitalism, together these two classes and cultures of the American populace represent a 90% majority population of the United States; a sufficient majority to legislate law and order that will implement the process of institutionalizing Socialized Capitalism.

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By Shenonymous, June 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

Let us say I am naïve and that you present a believable
argument, ThomasG. “If the United States as a nation
institutionalized Social Capital and Social Capitalism, Cultural
Capital would be in demand as management to run corporations
and co-ops based upon Social Capital, and would once more have
more in common with the populace, rather than the American
aristocracy, because they would no longer be in competition with
Moneyed Capital.” 

As a nation, do you honestly think this is possible?  How is it
realistically possible if the answer is yes?

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By ThomasG, June 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, June 4 at 8:54 pm,

The best solution that I know of to implement Social Capital and Social Capitalism that can compete with Privatized Capitalism is mass awareness of the benefit that would be derived by the American populace and by the Professional Middle Class.

The Professional Middle Class were forced to develop Cultural Capital to compete with Moneyed Capital.

If the United States as a nation institutionalized Social Capital and Social Capitalism, Cultural Capital would be in demand as management to run corporations and co-ops based upon Social Capital, and would once more have more in common with the populace, rather than the American aristocracy, because they would no longer be in competition with Moneyed Capital.

Essentially, Social Capital and Social Capitalism would be a Win-Win Situation for the Professional Middle Class as corporatist managers and employees of Socialized Capitalism’s businesses, industries, and commerce and would, like the populace work force, have their tax burden reduced by the surplus of Social Capital generated by business, industry, and commerce.

The losers to Social Capital and Socialized Capitalism would be the Private Capitalists of Privatized Capitalism, who would no longer be rescued from the collapse of the economic cycle and would find that, rather than rescue, that if their business, industry, and commercial enterprises collapsed, that their capital assets would be sold off in bankruptcy for whatever the market would pay to make markets for business, industry, and commercial enterprise of Socialized Capitalism.

If Privatized Capitalism could not, over the long term, compete with Socialized Capitalism; Privatized Capitalism would become weaker and weaker as the economic cycle of the collapse of Privatized Capitalism drained its resources until in the end, most likely, Privatized Capitalism would cease to exist.

However, I doubt seriously that the Professional Middle Class or the American populace would be too concerned about the reverses of Privatized Capitalism, since both would receive benefit proportional to the losses of Privatized Capitalism.

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By Shenonymous, June 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

I have to admit ThomasG when we cross forums on topics I get a
bit mixed up and sometimes lose my train of thought on subjects that I
am ignorant in. I try to bounce back and forth to the various forums I
am posting on (must cut the way down as they take too much time). 
Please bear with me as I will catch up and if I ask a question a second
time again please indulge as it is not on purpose.  I really do want to
learn. 

Now on this forum, the Hedges Communists Wanted forum, you said
something that tweaked my mind.  You said under Socialized
Capitalism, working people would pay ‘far’ less taxes.  It seems to me
that the conservatives would jump at the chance to do that! Isn’t that
one of their mantras?  Isn’t it funny how some dynamics can overlap
two completely opposite political ideologies?

Now if the US already has Social Capital as the financial infrastructure
of much of its capital then what is the next step to increase the ratio of
social capital so that more benefits go the working population. You
said legislation.  Who how is that different from what is already a
skeleton of structure.  As I remarked above conservatives out to click
their heels at the thought of reduced taxes.  I think the Democrats and
other liberal minded folks would be ecstatic as well.

Why is it, you ask.  Is it that the social capital of the American populace
that is in the form of capital assets is till being used for purposes of
the few who know how to arrange the financial architecture so that
they benefit and little goes to the general population?  Since I do not
know I am only taking a logical guess, and it might be way off the wall. 
I’d be happy if you did explain. It would seem that the only way The
American People can force what essentially is our own Social Capital is
to elect representatives who represent that idea so that legislation can
be passed that does the trick?  I don’t mean trick in a pegorative way.
But more in wiping ones’ hand together for a job done? 

Night-Gaunt has a good point and I agree with him.  Being a
fringy anarchist, I also tend to approve of social programs, a bit
schizoid I guess, and I still want my autonomy.  How can the twain
meet?  I want to know just how much I would have to give up for the
Social Capital program to work.  I don’t agree that religion has a place
in government.  But some basis for morality meaning watchdogs for
corruption and an installation of an ethics awareness program must
become part of the internal body of what you are proposing.  Though I
don’t’ see it clearly yet.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

One of the problems is private prophet and tax payer funded support of Capitalism’s failure.

I am not a full Anarchist. Though I do want the utmost autonomy for the individual, do no direct harm. and a social safety net so no one lives hand-to-mouth or to die neglected in the streets. The gov’t should be under our control. Checks and balances. It should be our helper not our slave or we it. Just for starters.

Religion has its place too as does most any philosophy. But checks and balances must be there.

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By ThomasG, June 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, June 4 at 1:25 pm and Shenonymous, June 4 at 12:53 pm,

“The only reason the newborn does not perceive is because it has to
learn what is coherent.  The new world into which it is born is
amorphous, fuzzy.  The organism seeks patterns to make sense.  This
organistic habit lasts throughout life and in every single domain of
experience.  It is the way organisms negotiate the world to survive. It is
the phenomenal capacity to make comparisons then assess them.  I am
trying to rid myself of preconceived notions and I don’t deny that I have
them having had a lifetime of education both academic and extra-
academic, I live in the world, not in the university.  I am making
comparisons with what I thought I knew with new apparent knowledge.
Do say what, then, is your version of Social Capital.  And I hope you do
not mind if I do some independent research and independent thinking.”
——Shenonymous - June 4 at 1:25 pm


I live in a world where all but a few that I come into contact with have patterns of perception within them that are ossified and not subject to admittance of new patterns of perception; it is difficult to have any kind of meaningful dialogue with this type of a person, because all they are capable of is contention with all patterns of perception other than their own ossified patterns of perception that rejects admittance of other patterns of perception.

With regard to Social Capital; capital is, as I have said before, an asset that provides a revenue stream and, as I have said before, socialism is a form of community.

Social Capital is therefore Community Capital and can be money as well as other assets. 

The infrastructure of the United States is Social Capital and all of the property and assets of the U.S. Government is Social Capital.

When people gather together into a Community Project, such as a corporation or a co-op and commit money as an investment, an asset that is meant to provide a revenue stream, they are committing Social Capital.

When the U.S. Government capitalizes a corporation to operate as a separate entity apart from direct control in pursuit of profit, the U.S. Government is committing Social Capital that can then be used in accordance with the bylaws of the Corporation for social benefit and the production of additional Social Capital, in the same manner that Private Capital is used, except for the fact that a socially organized corporation or co-op would have to have legislated law and order and or constitutional authority as a framework for the bylaws of the Social Corporation or Co-op in order to regulate capital benefit and reinvestment.

As I have said before, I personally believe that surplus capital could be used quite effectively to reduce taxes and provide benefits for the workforce, education and the populace as a whole.

When the Europeans first came to North America, they saw capital assets all around them; they perceived that the native populations were not using their capital assets and decided that they would take and use the capital assets of the natives for their own purposes;  this process was used with the native populations, the slaves, and the American populace, and is used to this very day to expropriate Social Capital and use Social Capital to provide private revenue streams.

The Social Capital of the native populations and the slaves were used to build America to what it is today, and the Social capital of the American populace is used to maintain America without benefit to the American populace.

If you can tell me why this is so, I would be gratified by your awareness and perception but, if not, I will explain those areas where you do not understand.

We, the American populace, must force our own Social Capital to be used to provide a revenue stream of Social Capital that can then be used for Social Benefit, rather than Private Benefit.

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By OzarkMichael, June 4, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous said; The basic argument on the anarchist side is to what degree is it ethical that the individual be oppressed by the majority?

Paradoxically, whenever an anarchist makes their mark in history, the majority are effected by it. One anarchist act changes the course of history, and we have to ask: to what what degree is it ethical that the majority be oppressed by the individual?

Not that i know the answer to these things. i have no knowledge of the philosophy of anarchism and never even met one until Anarcissie.

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By Shenonymous, June 4, 2010 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

To reply to you last post, ThomasG.
In his‘Aristotle and Anarchism,’ D. Keyt, writes “The single
objective [is] avoiding coercion, even if it creates disparities in
power. Within the realms of academic philosophy this version
of anarchism has become so successful that the term is used
almost entirely to refer to this form of right-libertarianism.”  But
those non-right-libertarians, the liberal demos, who insist on
freedom own this concept as well. 

I think perhaps because I prefer to keep the discussion on the
philosophical level, you and I can communicate better.  It is amazing
how far you and I have come such that we can actually have a
conversation sans most name-calling as there are vestiges in your
comments but I prefer to ignore them unless they become too
astringent! 

I am also able however to appreciate Warsong’s more pragmatic
approach.  You two seem to be poles apart but I find that most
instructive to myself lest I become too dazzled by one side.  That
would be the philosopher’s way!  But it could be a dangerous well to
fall into for an ordinary citizen, a place I also occupy.

So I will not call either of you wrong, nor either of you absolutely right! 
That however does not make me a fence sitter although that is a
position I have occupied with comfort before.  I am listening so I can
make informed conclusions, make better arguments.

Most definitely a thing is a thing, a snake is a snake and a sophist is a
sophist, as Gertrude Stein was so famous for saying about the rose, but
using words in a pejorative manner, whether they are naturally non-
pejorative or not, is a species of name-calling and all I can see is that
you enjoy that manner of battle.  I see it as infantile and I always prefer
the adult way, much as Lao Tzu preferred his Way.  Tolstoy’s insight
seems academic into what the slow of wit or the most intelligent have
access to in terms of understanding as often the pragmatic might be at
odds with the logically reasonable. 

The only reason the newborn does not perceive is because it has to
learn what is coherent.  The new world into which it is born is
amorphous, fuzzy.  The organism seeks patterns to make sense.  This
organistic habit lasts throughout life and in every single domain of
experience.  It is the way organisms negotiate the world to survive. It is
the phenomenal capacity to make comparisons then assess them.  I am
trying to rid myself of preconceived notions and I don’t deny that I have
them having had a lifetime of education both academic and extra-
academic, I live in the world, not in the university.  I am making
comparisons with what I thought I knew with new apparent knowledge.
Do say what, then, is your version of Social Capital.  And I hope you do
not mind if I do some independent research and independent thinking.

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By Shenonymous, June 4, 2010 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Seems like this response to you ThomasG was lost among
the casualties of the TD hacking.  It expressed sentiments I’d
like to look at, I’m repeating it. Forgive if I’ve posted it elsewhere
as it seems pertinent to this forum, and I just can’t find it.  Such
are the vicissitudes of electronic happenstance.  I’ve read some of
Tolstoy, War & Peace, of course, the classic, and I think the best.  I
haven’t read the other works much so my value judgment is without
much basis.  I was blown away by W&P, its profundity and scope.
Your quote came from The Kingdom of God is Within You, Tolstoy’s
seminal text for Christian anarchy, which is very close to communist
anarchy.  Tolstoy wanted to separate the merged church/state
condition found in Russia from what he perceived to be the “true”
message of Jesus found in the gospels.  The Sermon on the Mount
was pivotal for him.  His view is that all governments who wage war,
and the churches that support such government, are an offense to
the Christian principles of nonviolence and nonresistance. 

A variation of Christian anarchism besides its proximity to communist
anarchism, is seen in individualistic anarchism, which refers to a group
of ideological philosophies that are not in agreement with each other. 
From 19th c. Wm. Godwin up to the present Michel Onfray, French
atheist politicophilosopher, a Nietzsche-ite, opposes democracy
supporting only “negative liberty” eschewing positive liberty.

It’s a complex topic. Food for a much larger discussion to satisfy my
huge quotient of ignorance?  GB Shaw concluded that individualistic
anarchism was actually a negation of socialism and is unsocialism
“carried as near to its logical conclusion as any sane man dare carry it.” 
Shaw’s polemic was that even if wealth was initially distributed equally,
the degree of laissez-fair would result in the distribution of wealth
becoming unequal because it would permit private appropriation and
accumulation. This does not fit with the American anarchist’s
acceptance that free competition results in unequal wealth distribution
not seeing it as an injustice. They tend to be pro-capitalists. If a
neighbor is better off, one ought not to cry about it is what the free-
from-state-intervention promotes and as written Benjamin Tucker’s
Economic Rent.

Those who oppose democracy fear what they think is the oppression of
the individual by the majority. However there are antidotes to that
possibility.

The basic argument on the anarchist side is to what degree is it ethical
that the individual be oppressed by the majority? That oppression is
the inherent evil that resides in socialism.  Failsafe mechanisms must
be in place to preserve a significant level of individualism.

Are centralization and freedom compatible? This is a very
uncomfortable dilemma.  Democracy fosters a major threat to liberty by
the re-concentration of power.  What are possible solutions?  From
reading some of de Tocqueville, it became clear to him that 19th
century America had the appearance of having no government
attributing it to extreme decentalization.  Also taking similarly an
Emersonian perspective, de Tocqueville said “One of the happiest
consequences of the absence of government (when a people is happy
enough to be able to do without it, a rare event) is the ripening of
individual strength which never fails to follow therefrom. Each man
must learn to think and to act for himself without counting on the
support of any outside power which, however watchful it be, can never
answer all the needs of man in society. The man issued to seeking his
well-being by his own efforts alone stands the higher in his own
esteem as well as in that of others; he grows both stronger and greater
of soul.”  An anarchist perspective, can it work in a huge population? 
Given there is the tyranny of the many.  Still have to ask what of the
tyranny of the few?

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By ThomasG, June 4, 2010 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, June 2 at 9:33 am,

Your talk about name calling is really funny, Shenonymous; to call a snake, a snake; or a sophist, a sophist; or a propagandist, a propagandist,  is not name calling, it is nothing more than saying what is——a snake by any other name is a snake and a troglodyte by any other name is a troglodyte.  I found nothing useful in what Warsong had to say and I terminated my dialogue with him.

The understanding of Communism and Socialism is the same as expressed in 1897 by Leo Tolstoy:  “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”

Understanding Socialism and Communism is the same as expressed by Tolstoy above, and to dialogue in contradiction to preconceived perceptions is not productive.

Understanding must not be a sole function of accepted preconceived patterns of perception for causality, the beginning— the end — and all points in between.

The light that hits a newborn baby’s eyes forms no pattern:  the baby sees, but it does not perceive.

I cannot dialogue with preconceived and misleading patterns of perception that you and Warsong have in your minds, and I do not feel that Warsong has the ability toward perception of Social Capital as a basis of perception.

Unlike Warsong, I think that you have the ability to form new patterns of perception and have ability to move past the fossilized preconceived perceptions within your mind; if so, we can start with Social Capital and form a perception of what Social Capital is that is independent of preconceived patterns of perceptions.

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By OzarkMichael, June 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

BillG said: Fixating on one period of time in regards to a particular era of history is not enough. You must deal with history all the way into this “modern era” of self enlightenment by those who wish to gain authority by any means necessary.

Actually there is a project underway. The goal is to “own” responsibility for what Christianity has caused in history. The topic suggested by an atheist here was the Inquisition. This began a few weeks ago. The whole goal for me was not to push the blame to or away from any Christian sect, but to pin the whole thing on Christianity. I only asked the atheists to help explain if there is anything specificly Christian that would cause the Inquisition and sustain support for it, but there wasnt much interest in that.

The consensus here on Truthdig and by some atheist authors seems to be that Christianity contributed negatively to history, being a drain and a halt on progress until we were all saved by the Enlightenment. Many atheists here(not all) express that view but when challenged to stand and defend it they melt away. The person who begged for this has disappeared.

Nevertheless with De Bracton I introduce a Christian counter-argument to the Christian Inquisition and I ought to follow it further.(thank you for the encouragement, Night-Gaunt)

I found something quite worthwhile in the link you provided, BillG. Also, please understand that I am not discussing this as if the Papacy is the source of trouble, as if to blame Catholics and exhonerate other Christians. That is exactly what is not allowed in this project. Christianity in history is one undivided thing, and is taken as a totality.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 3, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Very interesting Ozark Michael, please continue as does Shenonymous and her historical narratives.

However as I have said before as long as the evolutionary impetus to believe in deities is conductive to survival than most of humanity will do so. That is what Evolution does. We are the sum of our parts and our environment as it affects our genes and our abilities.

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By Warsong, June 3, 2010 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

By truedigger3, June 2 at 10:46 pm #

Digger…actually, the most sinister Trafficing in Persons takes place in the East and Far East, with lines reaching into the Middle East, that links up with the Eastern European flow of Prostitutes. However, a lot of that coming from India and that general area, involves Passports that sorta vanish when they arrive at their place of employment.

In Indonesia, there are government licsensed “Praklas” (Place of Practical Wives” everywhere, and, every woman in them was sold into that Prakla, by Government Procurment Agents, or, Husbands and Boyfriends. A House on the Bontang Prakla Pier, East Coast of Borneo, Wisma Gembira Tiga (Happy House #3), had a girl in it, that was the last known survivor of the Cambodian Royal Dance Troop. She escaped to Indonesia, met and married a man in Jakarta, and, was instantly sold into the Prakla’s. The Bontang Prakla Pier was set afire right at the bank, about a week after I left Bontang, and, it burned all the way to the end (1/4 Mile). Of the more than 2,000 girls on that Pier, less than 50 survived.

The individual ‘Houses’ within each Prakla are owned by the four most powerful families in the Nation: Jayawardin, Sriwijaya, etc (forgot the names of the other two). Those four families, heavily intermarried, have ruled Indonsia for more than 900 years, controlling all commerce, but, in this latter day, they call the latest Dictator, “President,” for the sake of appearance.

In Iraq, it’s mostly slavery of the confiscated, then missing Passport type. Usually, these are Male Hindi’s, but, in Saudi, this would be mostly Bangladeshi’s. Without a Passport they cannot leave the Country.

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By BillG, June 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Mike writes:

And that he(the king)ought to be subject to the law appears clearly in the analogy of Jesus Christ, whose vice-regent on earth he is, for though many ways were open to him to redeem the human race, the true mercy of God chose this most powerful way to destroy the devil’s work: he would not use the power of force but the reason of justice.


Bracton is saying that if the King leads his subjects as a Christ figure, then the King must be subject to the law just as Christ was. For we know that Jesus did not use force but instead used a better and “more powerful” way, the “reason of justice”, to accomplish his task. If the reason of justice is good enough for Jesus, then the British King is also under the law, and must appeal to reason and justice instead of force.

The use of force to protect those to whom you are given authority has been unfortunately been used by Christs universal church on earth. It is obviously used by the secular state since way before Christ was born on earth. Hense he came to break the devils yoke on the world, through as you say the sacrifice of his own life to satisfy God’s ultimate justice through him. Well put.

Fixating on one period of time in regards to a particular era of history is not enough. You must deal with history all the way into this “modern era” of self enlightenment by those who wish to gain authority by any means necessary. And nation states that wish to deny allowing any type of ordained authoriy from overstepping it’s bounds, even though the secular states regularly do.

So for a lesson in the relationship of todays church in the world and modernitys impact on it, and it on the modern secular states, you need to get into more than just the middle ages.

Heres a start. Read the part “In the process of change through continuity”.

There are plenty of instances where the church reaches out to and makes itself more available, when it’s not the popular thing to do within it. Yet holding on to it’s mandate of authoritative teaching to a regularly hostile audience outside and many times within.
A fact Hedges likes not to ponder in his limited outlook clumping together all christian religion using the pope as poster boy to his work. Yes unity of faith is the goal. The dark always resists.

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1343575?eng=y

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By OzarkMichael, June 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: One of my close relatives calls the Internet “a write-only medium”.  But I think the sort of speech I am pointing out here does have a purpose: it’s to stop people from thinking.

There is a theory I have about that. I think the Age of Reason has ended. In the past, people had to think to survive. Now, other people do our thinking for us in a constant flow. We flip a light switch, we open a package of food, we use a pencil. Each step was created by someone else. Everything comes to us pre-packaged. The brain isnt sharpened by constant use for the sake of survival. One hundred years ago even an illiterate could do math in their heads when they went to market. The constant use of the brain by the average person was far greater than it is today.

The habit of brain disuse effects everything, even those areas where we are proudest of our thinking, such as choosing a philosophy or a politics or a candidate. We do not realize that the habit of disuse steps in immediately.  I dont think it is a conspiracy, its just where we are and its going to get worse.

Much of what people ‘think’ is prepackaged. They do choose, I mean at some point they do think a little, or at least express a preference, deciding upon a certain product line. No matter what it is: Communism, or conservatism, or atheism, Christianity, whatever… the product line is chosen but after that- all the thoughts arrive prepackaged for you.

Anarcissie said No matter what I said, the drone went on, and goes on today, “Socialism socialism socialism, ....”  It’s not the only one.  I could carefully explain that what Rand Paul said was not racism, but that drone would go on as well, “Racism racism racism racism….”


The reasoning, the real work, the process of understanding what it means, pushing it to its logical conclusion… that is all “outsourced”. It does not matter if its the ‘fizzled’ old product line or the fashionable new one. The packages are at your store of choice. You just open the package and pop it in the microwave and ‘ding!’... you instantly understand what today’s news really means. The packages are completely coherent and complimentary to each other, the product line is as endless as the days ahead.

We know this is true of the Other(they are all “mind numbed robots, getting their misinformation from a biased source”) but it is the rare person who can walk around the whole thing and see himself in the same predicament. Even if you suspect this is the case, there isnt time to consistantly walk around it, the swirl of events pulls you back in. Everyone imagines that they are free but no one is immuse to this.

You will always have a package to open, ie something to ‘think’ about, but that process doesnt require you to use reason, because someone else already did it for you. We accumulate a lot of thoughts, tons of facts… more than ever in the history of mankind. But for all that we arent pondering. Most of the facts are left out of the equation. They have to be or you will never keep up.

In ancient times just one event was enough to ponder for a lifetime, but the wisest person still felt that the job was not complete on his deathbed.

Now we understand everything that ever happened.
We also understand everything in the news that happened today, even before today is finished unfolding we already know what it means! Tomorrow promises us that we will know even more ever more quickly. Since this is seen as progress let us push it to its natural conclusion:

In the future the entire population will on a daily basis attain an instant opinion of what it all means, and who is to blame. Then the pollsters report that very important piece of data: what everyone else thinks of the event, and who is to blame for it. And on that democratic basis, an immediate sentence is passed and the shotgun sings the song of justice. History written right before your eyes.

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By truedigger3, June 2, 2010 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

By Warsong, June 2 at 9:00 pm #

All I know is that most of the trafficking in persons going on right now is done to East European young women to supply prostitution rings mostly in Europe and the USA. This is done by East European crime syndicates.
Only two countries have been accused of looking the other way and ignoring body parts trafficking going on within their borders. These two countries were China and Israel. These were just mere accusations and the whole thing died out.
It looks like OzarkMichael has an interesting post, I will be reading it and I have no interest in starting another fight with anybody. Life is too short for that shit, but it pains me when people slander, falsify, lie and single out a group of people who are down.  Kicking people when they are down is not nice and as a matter of fact it is mean-spirited,  vicious and evil.

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By Shenonymous, June 2, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Lots of Muslims were killed!  You should do some research
yourself and provide sources. The difference is there is not a
“long” history of Muslims being persecuted. But they certainly
suffered many massacres.

Nevertheless, The Armenian–Tatar massacres (also known as the
Armenian-Tartar war and the Armeno-Tartar war) refers to the
bloody inter-ethnic confrontation between Christian Armenians
and Muslim Tartars throughout the Caucasus in 1905–1907. The
massacres started during the Russian Revolution of 1905, and
claimed hundreds of lives. The most violent clashes occurred in 1905
in February in Baku, in May in Nakhichevan, in August in Shusha and in
November in Elizavetopol, heavily damaging the cities and the Baku
oilfields. Some violence, although of lesser scale, broke out also in
Tbilisi. According to professor Firuz Kazemzadeh, “it is impossible to
pin the blame for the massacres on either side. It seems that in some
cases (Baku, Elizavetpol) the Azerbaijanis fired the first shots, in other
cases (Shusha, Tiflis) the Armenians.” The clashes were not confined to
the towns, and, according to an Armenian estimate, 128 Armenian and
158 Muslim villages were destroyed or pillaged, while the overall
estimates of lives lost vary widely, ranging from 3,000 to 10,000, with
Muslims suffering higher losses
References:
Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Azerbaijan. History.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenia#World_War_I_and_the_Armenian_
Genocide
Willem van Schendel, Erik Jan Zürcher. Identity Politics in Central Asia
and the Muslim World: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Labour in the
Twentieth Century.
And most damning, see
http://www.justiceforkhojaly.org/?p=timeline

While the Armenians suffered much massacre they are not with clean
hands. http://www.azerigenocide.org/hist/hist09.htm

Russia’s ruling circles also had played a double game for their purpose
in Armenian-Muslim’s conflict between 1905-1906. The imperial
officers were afraid that dissatisfaction would be turned against the
government, they stayed out of sight as the massacres committed in
the areas where Muslims lived by Armenians. This is said in the book
published in Istanbul by Jahangir Zeynaloglu, about setting up a special
spy network for this purpose in 1924: “However Azeri-Turks still were
in QEFLET and were supporting the empire in the conflicts. Using this
QEFLET of the Muslims, Russia specially sent a delegation of 130 spies,
using its propaganda against the Turks and Armenians, duplicitously
agitated them to raise weapons against each other and made the two
nations, who had lived in peace for centuries, to massacre each other.” 
Armenians had committed more massacres in Irevan and many other
murders of Muslims in various places and attacked Muslim villages.

But the Jews were the prime victims throughtout time. And Muslims
were the inflictors death and destruction as well.

In the 1066 Granada massacre, a Muslim mob crucified the Jewish
vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred about 4,000 Jews - 
“Granada” - Richard Gottheil, Meyer Kayserling, Jewish Encyclopedia.
1906 ed.

In 1033 about 6,000 Jews were killed in Fez, Morocco by Muslim mobs
- http://www.usa-morocco.org/moroccan-jews.htm  and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogrom - cite_ref-9
The Forgotten Refugees - Historical Timeline

Mobs in Fez murdered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, in 1465
- The Treatment of Jews
in Arab/Islamic Countries - Mitchell Bard

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-
semitism/Jews_in_Arab_lands_(gen).html

The history of the Pogroms would yield even more accounts of Jewish
genocide.

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By OzarkMichael, June 2, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

The year is 1252

Henry of Bracton is serving in both the church and the state of England. His service to the church involves managing several parishes. His service to the state is that of judge, traveling from town to town and judging the legal cases on his circuit and occasionally at the royal court in London.

On May 15, 1252, the very night that the Pope signs his name to the final version of Ad exstirpanda(you will remember that this instructs the Inquistion to use torture), on that very night Henry of Bracton is also writing.

What is he writing?  A book on legal matters entitled De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae (On the Laws and Customs of England),

Henry explains why he writes:

vol 2 page 19

England has as well many local customs, varying from place to place, for the English have many things by custom which they do not have by law…

Since these laws and customs are often misapplied by the unwise and unlearned who decide cases according to their own will rather than by the authority of the laws…

I, Henry de Bracton, to instruct the lesser judges, if no one else, have turned my mind to the ancient judgments of just men…  their decisions, consilia and responsa, and have collected whatever I found…

A side note: Bracton “collected” a great deal. Towards the end of his life, before his book was finished, many royal records were found in his possession and he was forced to give them all back.

... putting it in the form of titles and paragraphs, without prejudice to any better system, by the aid of writing to be preserved to posterity forever.

Henry de Bracton describes the basis of the law, and deals with thorny questions such as Papal authority, the King’s authority, and their relationship to the law. Here is one sentence which, as we look over his shoulder on that night, we must ponder:

And that he(the king)ought to be subject to the law appears clearly in the analogy of Jesus Christ, whose vice-regent on earth he is, for though many ways were open to him to redeem the human race, the true mercy of God chose this most powerful way to destroy the devil’s work: he would not use the power of force but the reason of justice.


Bracton is saying that if the King leads his subjects as a Christ figure, then the King must be subject to the law just as Christ was. For we know that Jesus did not use force but instead used a better and “more powerful” way, the “reason of justice”, to accomplish his task. If the reason of justice is good enough for Jesus, then the British King is also under the law, and must appeal to reason and justice instead of force.

Even if you consider the story of Jesus to be fabrication, you can still understand that Bracton’s “reason of justice” idea is consonant with Christianity. Also, the authority of the (assumed) truth of Christianity is the necessary condition for the idea to have any validity.

In 1252 the Pope’s writing speaks far louder than Henry De Bracton’s writing. The Pope wrote from the position of authority, De Bracton was only a cleric under the authority of the Pope.

On the one side, the Pope proclaimed the Inquisition should use force to establish Christian truth and a better society. On the other side, the use of force by any authority who represents Christ is called into question.

Henry of Bracton’s book would be influential for centuries, attaining its height of popularity in Queen Elizabeth’s reign. It is so monumental that, like the works of Shakespeare, some reckon that several people wrote different parts and Bracton merely edited it and got all the credit.

As for my post today, no one wrote it but me. The 1252 theme is completely original. I hope to continue the Inquistion idea with your input. More to come. Lets find out where Christianity takes us before it ‘fizzles’.

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By Warsong, June 2, 2010 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

By truedigger3, June 2 at 8:08 pm #

Have you noticed that the British, Spaniards, Portuguese and the Dutch have had very little to do with the Slave Trade in the last couple of hundred Years? And, it is much larger today than it was then? You do know this, don’t you?

I’m forced, once a year, to take a Course called, “TIPs”...you wanta take a guess at what that stands for? Ah, well, you’re probably not really good at guessing, so I’ll tell you, it stands for “Trafficking in Persons.” I don’t know why they think I might be prone to this, but, we get all the latest statistics, and, they show us Maps on the expected trade routes, all kinds of stuff.

Today, this doesn’t just include whole Human Beings of all colors, shapes, races, ages, genders, etc, it also covers body parts. The mobile Spare Parts will be removed in the Operating Room where the Transplant will take place, while the donor lays around dying. If they don’t die quick enough, they’ll bury them, and, see if that helps.

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By truedigger3, June 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Warsong, June 2 at 7:12 pm #


Warsong,

So, according to you, the British, Spaniards, Portogese and the Dutch have nothing to do with the slave trade and that all the slaves sold in the western Hemisphere were sold by Arab Slave traders and transported by Arab ships.
Are you serious??!! You gotta be kidding!!
You better heed my previous advice.

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By truedigger3, June 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, June 2 at 7:23 pm #

Shenonymous,

You wrote:“the Russian Anti-Jewish cleansing that accompanied the Russian Revolution,”

So, anyone who will read that will deduce that the Russian Revolution had singled out the Jews for persecution.
The Russian Revolution was against Religious Institutions whether they were Christian, Jewish or Muslim.
As I said, many Jews were very prominent and influetial at the top of the Russian Revolutin. Yes, one can assume that, all of them were non practicing atheist Jews.
Yes, most likely some practicing Jews, like some practing Orthodox Christians and Muslims were persecuted and some got killed.

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By Shenonymous, June 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

A history of the Jewish Problem in Russia:
Part 1
Penetration of Jews into territories of Russia began in at the border
beyond the Caucasus mountains and the shores of the Black Sea in
the 7th c. BCE; inscriptions on tombstones testify to the existence of
Jewish communities in the Greek colonies on the Black Sea
shores. Religious persecutions in the Byzantine empire caused Jews to
emigrate to these regions.

The invasion of the Mongols (1237) brought much suffering to the Jews
of Russia. In Moscow, the center of the future Russian empire, a
negative attitude towards Jews was connected with a negative attitude
towards foreigners in general, who were considered heretics and
enemies of the state. In the 1470s the religious sect known as the
‘Judaizers’ was discovered in the city of Novgorod and at the court in
Moscow: the Jews were accused of having initiated its establishment.
When Tsar Ivan ‘the Terrible’ (1530-84) annexed the town of Pskov he
ordered that all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity be drowned
in the river.

The next two centuries brought decrees issued by Russian rulers denied
the entry of Jewish merchants in their territories.  In 1738 a Jew Baruch
b. Leib was arrested and accused of having converted an officer to
Judaism. Both were burned at the stake in St Petersburg. In 1742
Tsarina Elizaveta Petrovna ordered the expulsion of the few Jews living
in her kingdom, stating: ‘I do not want any [commercial] benefit from
the enemies of Christ.’

At the end of the 18th c., hundreds of thousands of Jews were placed
under the domination of the tsars as a result of the three partitions of
Poland. From the beginning of its annexation of the Polish territories
the Russian government viewed the Jews there as the ‘Jewish problem’,
to be solved ultimately by assimilation or expulsion. The early 19th c. 
saw the restriction of Russia’s Jewish population to the Pale of
Settlement, which extended from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

The promulgation of the first ‘Jewish statute’ in 1804 led to the
beginning of the expulsion of Jews from the villages. In 1822 this
expulsion was systematically resumed. In the 1840s Tsar Nikolay I
divided the Jews into those who were ‘useful’ - wealthy merchants,
craftsmen and agriculturalists - and ‘non-useful’ - small tradesmen and
the poorer classes - an act that provoked the intervention of Western
European Jews.

The emergence of Jews into mainstream economic, political and cultural
life under reformist Tsar Aleksandr II provoked sharp reaction in
Russian society. Leading opponents of tJews included several of the
country’s most prominent intellectuals, such as the authors Ivan
Aksakov and Fyodor Dostoevsky. The Jews were accused of maintaining
‘a state within a state’, an accusation exemplified in the 1869 Kniga
kagala (Book of the Kahal) by the apostate Jacob Brafman, and the
blood libel charge was renewed by agitators (e.g. Kutais in 1878). The
principal argument was that the Jews were an alien element, invading
Russian life and gaining control of economic and cultural positions, and
a destructive influence. The anti-Jewish movement gathered strength
especially after the Balkan war of 1877-8, when a wave of Slavophile
nationalism swept through Russian society. The year 1881 was a
turning point in the history of the Jews in Russia. In March
revolutionaries assassinated Tsar Aleksandr II. The Russian government
encouraged the notion that the Jews were responsible for the
misfortunes of the nation. Pogroms broke out in southern Russia;
similar pogroms were repeated in 1882-4. Commissions appointed by
the government of Aleksandr III stated the pogroms had been caused
by ‘Jewish exploitation’. In 1886 the number of Jewish students in
secondary and tertiary institutions was limited by law to 10% in the Pale
of Settlement and to 3-5% outside it.
http://www.axt.org.uk/antisem/countries/russia/russia.htm

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By Shenonymous, June 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Part 2
Konstantin Pobedonostsev, the head of the Holy Synod, the
governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church, formulated
the objectives of the government when he declared that 1/3 of
the Jews will convert, 1/3 will die and 1/3 will leave the country’.

In 1903 many Jews were murdered in a pogrom in Kishinev. In
subsequent years pogroms became a part of government policy. The
establishment of the imperial Duma brought no change to the situation
of the Jews. While there was a limited Jewish representation in the
Duma it was confronted by the Soyuz russkogo naroda (SRN, Union of
the Russian People) and related parties whose principal weapon in the
struggle against liberal and radical elements was a virulent
antisemitism.

In 1913 Mendel Beilis was acquitted after a celebrated trial in Kiev
involving the blood libel. The pogroms, restrictive decrees and
administrative pressure caused a mass emigration of Jews from Russia,
especially to the USA. From 1881 to 1914 about 2 million Jews left
Russia.  The October 1917 revolution brought to an end
institutionalized antisemitism and accorded the Jewish minority equal
rights.

In 1939-40 over 2 million Jews, residents of the territories that had
been annexed by or incorporated into the Soviet Union, were added to
the Soviet Jewish population. As a result of the annexations, on the eve
of Hitler’s invasion of the USSR, the Jewish population of Soviet Russia
numbered over 5 million.

The first few weeks following the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union in
June 1941 German invaders occupied most of the areas annexed by the
Soviet Union in 1939-40, including all of Byelorussia and the greater
part of western Ukraine. Vilna, Minsk, Riga, Vitebsk, Zhitomir and
Kishinev were all taken by mid-July. The total Jewish population in the
areas occupied by the Germans was 4 million. Of these, about 3 million
were murdered.

From late 1940s to early 1950s what remained of Jewish institutional
life was virtually obliterated. The Jewish Anti-fascist Committee was
dissolved and those associated with it were arrested. The Soviet media
conducted a vicious campaign against ‘cosmopolitans’, directed
principally against the Jewish intelligentsia. Stalin’s anti-Jewish
campaign culminated in the so-called ‘doctors’ plot’, the supposed
discovery of an assassination attempt on the Soviet dictator by a group
of Jewish doctors. Rumours of the impending mass deportation of Jews
to regions in the eastern USSR began to circulate. Stalin’s death in
March 1953 brought some relief.

Despite his policy of de-Stalinization, Khrushchev’s rule was not devoid
of anti-Jewish elements. This was particularly demonstrated by the so-
called economic trials, in which an apparently disproportionate number
of defendants were Jews. Although officially proscribed in the Soviet
Union antisemitism found expression in violent outbursts such as riots
in Malakhovka in 1959, blood libels in Tashkent, Vilna and elsewhere,
and literary controversies such as the reaction to Yevgeny
Yevtushenko’s poem ‘Baby Yar’. In 1963 Judaism bez prikras (Judaism
without Embellishment), a book by the Soviet Ukrainian writer Trofim
Kichko, provoked a worldwide protest, in particular over its Nazi-style
cartoons. Eventually withdrawn by the Soviet authorities, Jews continued
to be barred from the higher echelons of the Communist Party, the
foreign service and the senior military command.

In the Brezhnev era an anti-Zionist campaign aimed at countering the
emigration fantasies of Soviet Jews was heavily influenced by
propagandists who introduced antisemitic themes in a Marxist-Leninist
guise.

During the Gorbachev period of liberalization of Communist rule
antisemitism was a characteristic feature of ultra-nationalist and neo-
Stalinist groups which emerged on the fringe of Russian politics,
including Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s LDPR, which subsequently penetrated
mainstream politics.

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By Shenonymous, June 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Your defensiveness is atrocious truedigger3.  When a faction cannot
criticize themselves that is tyranny. 

Absolutely true:  Many pogroms accompanied the Revolution of 1917
and the ensuing Russian Civil War: an estimated 70,000 to 250,000
civilian Jews were killed throughout the former Russian Empire; the
number of Jewish orphans exceeded 300,000. Referenced in And Now
My Soul Is Hardened: Abandoned Children in Soviet Russia, 1918-1930
- Thomas J. Hegarty, Canadian Slavonic Papers
Continued in the next two posts…

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By Warsong, June 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

By truedigger3, June 2 at 6:40 pm #

I agree, digger, and, you really should pay heed to that.

What do you think the Janjaweed Guerillas are in Africa? It is the motivation of their frenzy to wipe out the Karamojong Tribesmen, and, Christians in Kenya, Uganda and half a dozen other countries in central Africa…they’re Muslims.

I’ve lived in Muslim Countries for most of the last 30 years (Algeria, Syria, Saudi, Iraq, etc.), and, it is no secret that Muslims have ruled the Slave Trade in Africa for more than a thousand years, with the collusion of the Major Black Tribes (Tutsi, Zulu, Matabelli, Hutu, etc.). Almost every country in West Africa still allows Slave ownership, and, there are Slave Markets in several of the Western Equatorial countries (South of Moroco and west of Algeria), including the Congo…with Cannibalism known to be practiced in the Congo and several other countries.

Patrice Lumumba was a Cannibal, as was Idi Amin.

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By truedigger3, June 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Warsong,

It is much better to keep your mouth shut and keep people guessing, than to spout drivel and make people sure.??!!

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By truedigger3, June 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous wrote:
“How about those wretches in Africa under the totalitarian oppression of the Muslims in charge?
____________________________________________________

Shenonymous,

The suffering and exploitation of the Africans happened under and by the colonial rule of the British, French, Belgian and Dutch Empires.
How about apartheid in South Africa??!!
Where and how was that “totalitarian oppression of the Muslims in charge”??
I cann’t help it but to see that you don’t spare a chance to brown your nose with the Jews and pile shit on Arabs even if you have to lie and falsify history to do that??!! It has become a pattern.! I guess, this is must be good for your career.!!
And please don’t respond by listing a list of those freaking web-sites!!
You have been exposed. STOP IT.!!

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By truedigger3, June 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous wrote:
“the Russian Anti-Jewish cleansing that accompanied
the Russian Revolution, “
___________________________________________________

Shenonymous,

This statement is absolutely not true. The Jews were very prominent and powerful in the Russian Revolution.
Trotsky, the commander of the Red Army was Jewish.
Out of the five who formed the council that governed under the leadership of Lenin, three were Jews who were: Trotsky, Zenoviev and Kamenev. The other non Jews were Stalin and Bucharin.
In the second and third tiers of the Revolution, many, many, were Jews.
There were some pogroms against the Jews in Russia, but only During Tzarist Russia, before the Revolution.

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By Warsong, June 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, June 2 at 4:08 pm #

Ach, just noticed the typo in Henley…do that when I’m typing and talking at the same time.

David and Wayne were both Condemned to Death, then they outlawed the Death Penalty in Texas, and, when they renewed it, they couldn’t reinstate the Death Penalty for Brooks and Henley, because of “Double Jeopardy.”

David grew up about 5 houses down from where I grew up, and, I dated his sister. Then they moved across town, but, David would deliberately get on the wrong school bus, and, hang around with his old friends. He would spend the night with different ones, just so he wouldn’t have to go home to his new neighborhood, and, “mind his Mama.”

I left home some time before this, but, every time I was in the neighborhood, I’d see David with someone I didn’t know. I asked some of the kids who the druggie was that David was hanging around with, and, they told me it was Wayne Henley, a kid who lived on the north side of Houston.

Then, strange things started happening, kids began vanishing, David and Wayne were found sleeping in peoples garages, in vacant houses, and, our attic.

And, I started having run-ins with them on a regular basis. Then, I found out they were running with a fat dummy that I suspected of being gay, and, I’d never been able to stomach…Dean Corel. I didn’t know what it was that I didn’t like, but, I knew there was something slimy about him.

I could tell the rest of this story, but, suffice to say that my run-ins with them turned into a series of events where I wound up pulling a gun on two of them. Then, chased one through the back yards of a row of houses with a Knife, jumping Fences in pitch black darkness, when I caught him window peeping at my neighbors kitchen window. He was pushing his face into the screen so she could see him, and scratching the Screen. I didn’t know which one it was, I only knew it was either David or Wayne (same size, build) as a payback for a run-in several days before, they started harassing my neighbor.

By this time, I suspected they had something to do with all the missing kids in town, and, a major clue was that they always smelled like they’d been handling dead bodies. They knew I suspected something, and, began pushing me…not nice, that.

I contacted the Police, told them what I suspected, and, they blew it off, until the two Cops that worked at Gilley’s pulled them over for a bad Tail Light. As soon as the Cops walked up to the car they began spilling their guts…they had killed Dean Corel, and, thought they were caught.

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By Anarcissie, June 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael:
’... Meanwhile, all the fashionable falsehoods are not forgotten, instead they are repeated ad astra. Unchallenged and untended the little darlings grow like weeds. I have to wonder if my method of ignoring some falsehood is in some way enabling it. I take one special chosen step forward in exchange for five lesser steps backwards, only to find that my one chosen step forward has slipped away, and the five falsehoods established themselves as facts. ...’

I first got on the Internet around 24 years ago—Usenet, BBSes, and the like.  Almost immediately I ran across the use of the term socialism the way it was just used in this forum today, yesterday, the day before.  “Gee,” I said to myself, “that’s not right; I’ll just suggest a little correction.  Hey, folks, socialism is not government control of everything, and it’s not Welfare; socialism is the ownership and control of the means of production by the workers.  Or at least that’s what it’s originators were thinking of.”

As you can see, my little correction had absolutely no effect whatever.  In fact, I probably should have given up after the first hundred tries or the first thousand tries or so.  Trying to straighten out the terms of discourse, to make it possible to think and communicate, has been almost like a knee-jerk reaction.  Or maybe it’s a sort of addiction.

No matter what I said, the drone went on, and goes on today, “Socialism socialism socialism, ....”  It’s not the only one.  I could carefully explain that what Rand Paul said was not racism, but that drone would go on as well, “Racism racism racism racism….”

One of my close relatives calls the Internet “a write-only medium”.  But I think the sort of speech I am pointing out here does have a purpose: it’s to stop people from thinking.  After all, God knows what they might think.

In any case, OzarkMichael, I think one’s equilibrium depends upon not expecting to be heard much.  If someone does hear you, even if they totally disagree with everything you say, it’s like a miracle, and those who hunger for miracles often grow mighty thin.

And now, back to your favorite drone.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

I’m waiting for the day that some Progressive/Liberal Judge, with tears in her eyes, decides “these poor dears have suffered enough,”

Such a grotesque parody I must say. Not at all the reality but it is real to the Reich wing fanatics and their hangers on though. As for the serial killers it is all about them isn’t it? Even Elmer Wayne Henley. So strange so many of them have middle names isn’t it? Or maybe not. But then this is Texas and they would rather murder a dozen innocents railroaded to prison then let the possibility of one truly evil one go. That is a fact so you are fine unless the survivors escape. That is the only way, other than death for them that is.

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By Warsong, June 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Ah, yes, Right Wing, chanted like the mantra it is…point fingers everywhere to keep from admitting that Socialism is the failed system it has been, and, ever will be.

Yes, I’m familiar with the little twerp who rules North Korea, and, Patrice Lumuba was trained at Bill Clintons old alma mater, which the KGB named “Patrice Lumumba University,” in Moscow, in honor of their favorite Cannibal/Terrorist Alumni. It is lovingly known worldwide as, “Terrorist U.”

I suppose you’re going to to tell me that Marx, Lenin, and, Engles weren’t “Left Wing.” And, you do realize that Benito Mussolini, an International Socialist, invented Corporatism. It’s an Economic system designed to usurp power over Industry, while leaving the actual owners as Symbolic Patsies, so Il Duce will have someone to wave an admonishing finger at when the bottom drops out due to Government over management, and literal theft. It’s called a “Planned Economy” whereby they are told ‘what’ to make, how many to make, and, how to make it, through Rules, Regulations, Policies, Procedures, Edicts, Decrees, and, brute force in the hands of Bureaus, Agencies, Departments, Offices, and, lone Tyrants that surround and strangle an industry to death.

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By Warsong, June 2, 2010 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, June 2 at 9:39 am #

Well put…I like that, and you’re totally correct, in that socialism is replete with Pathological Narcissists, like Oedipus (loved his Mother, but, loved himself a lot more), which ultimately led to his downfall. The “I Syndrome” is the ultimate form of Pathological Narcissism, and, is the only known common characteristic of Serial Killers, Mass Murderers and Professional Snipers/Assassins.

This was part of a study I did on Serial and Mass Killers after about a dozen run-ins with Dean Corel, David Allen Brooks, and, Elmer Wayne Hensley. If the Police had listened to me when I first told them they had killed somebody, maybe half of the Teenagers, young Men and Women they butchered would still be alive (total of 17). The last I heard, my name was still at the top of a list found at TDC, of people David and Wayne would get even with if they ever got out of jail.

I’m waiting for the day that some Progressive/Liberal Judge, with tears in her eyes, decides “these poor dears have suffered enough,” and, I’ll be headed home to meet them when they step through the gate at “The Walls” in Huntsville.

They won’t have to hunt or stalk me.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 2, 2010 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Now, that is the most ridiculous statement in the history of the world: Hitler was a National Socialist, Mussolini was an International Socialist, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, and, Idi Amin all copped to being pure Communists, and, we all know that they were actually nothing more than Left Wing Genocidalists.

Ever heard of the Democratic-Republic of North Korea? Democratic-Republic of the Congo? Are you going to tell me that what they call themselves is what they really are Warsong? Spare me the infantile Reich wing slant on reality. National Socialism was a name they adopted for convenient propaganda use. (Hyek understood that Socialism isn’t just a Left wing thing as you should know.) The fact that they destroyed all the other political systems especially the Socialist and Communist ones should have told you something about their true nature. The Capitalist-corporate base was maintained, the businesses were given freedom. All they had to do is to conform to the ruling party. Anti-Capitalist? Not on your life.

Now for Russia & China they did away with religion all together wanting to replace it with the state. Businesses weren’t given to the workers but instead the rulers of the new state took control. They became the elites, the rich the be-all & end-all of society. Everyone else became peasants. No Marx/Engles to be seen in substance, just effigies and pictures. Almost right wing except for the slogans & the state they owned owned all the industries as a single conglomerate monopoly.

Oh and in case you haven’t noticed Warsong, ThomasG is equivalent to a Tar Baby in posting.

Religion isn’t “fizzling” but in fact rising especially in a more virulent form. But so are some other ideologies. As the economies get worse, climate makes things harder overall so will the civilization run the risk of becoming universally despotic to “protect” the modern world at human rights expense. We are in dire danger of that. Though as I have state before the religion or any such operational philosophy functions as the framework to promote whatever the kind of people they are who run it. If they are good it will be good, if they aren’t they will use it to further their quest for power. That is the ultimate dilemma.

Who was it that said “history doesn’t repeat but it often rhymes,” was it Marx or Clemens?

BBoy56 another useless complainer. You too do it by not adding to it. So do it!

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By BBoy56, June 2, 2010 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These comments have nothing more at all to do with the original piece any more. Mostly just P-babble in reguards to the masses.

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By Shenonymous, June 2, 2010 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

Before morning coffee!
History might repeat, because it never teaches.  The Oedipus
complex?  Love thy mother, hate thy father?  Maybe fathers
needed to pay more attention to their sons.  The ‘I Syndrome,’
caused by having let the Empire of Production, the Manufacturing
Magistery, determine what children will wear, eat, drink, snort, and
play.  Now who is to stop them?  Do we want to handicap producers
of new products?  Shall we have a eugenics of things as well as
people?  Put designers of new things out of business, put them on
the unemployment line?  It is the Age of Defiance that the ‘I Syndrome’
is simply a bi-product.  “Pretty times” to live are far and few between.
Life wasn’t so great under the Romans, or the Hellenistic Greeks, or the
Germans in two world war dictatorships, the dynamics of WWI and the
Ottoman ethnic genocide of the Christian Armenians, Assyrians, and the
Ottoman Greeks or the Russian Anti-Jewish cleansing that accompanied
the Russian Revolution, the abject lives led in pre-Industrial
Revolution! The Pretty life before, during, and after WWI is hardly ever
discussed, or under Stalin, how about Chile under Pinochet, or Ho Chi
Minh?  Pretty times does not mean only in the United States, does it? 
Can you imagine what the serfs of Russia were thinking when they were
starving, freezing, dying under the Stalin regime?  How about those
wretches in Africa under the totalitarian oppression of the Muslims in
charge?  Pretty good times for them.  Name the times when there ever
was a Pretty time to be alive.

One does not need to be on any side, ultra-conservative or ultra-liberal
to see that more often than not cultural insanity prevails.  Both sides
have their crazies, their maniacal would-be Captains of the Change. 
And those other political vultures looking in the window of
governments keep a vigil for an opportunity to slip right in and “take
over” to put things right. 

Lots of rhetoric, little clarity to implement a sensible program except
for the insane on this and other forums for bloody revolution.  The
sight and sound and smell of blood really gets the rabble moving!  Just
watch how far that will run.  In other words the sickness of ignorance
allows subjugation to be the theater of life, until the rabble decides
their freedoms are more important.  They have ideological clubs too
and they won’t buy the ticket.

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By Shenonymous, June 2, 2010 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

So ThomasG, I see you are reduced to name-calling again when
you cannot argue against the points being made that criticizes
your point of view.  Here I thought I was learning from a wizened
one, but in fact, the real thuggery peeps through again. I can’t help
but recall with felt bodily bruising the barrage of denigration I and
many other Truthdiggers suffered at the hands of your keyboard. 
Show us the marrow of your vision!  Not your blistering tongue. 
I will continue in the vein we have been and hope that your “new”
self re-emerges.

You say that privatized capitalism has dried up and blown away but
you speak in esoteric figures of speech to support your thesis when you
say that social capital and socialized capitalism must replace it.  What
is your unique definition of social capital.  I know what it means
generally but you are using the term in a specialized way.  How would
your socialized capitalism work?  What institutionalizations would have
to be erected?  I cannot argue that economies that are based on
privatized capitalism not only collapse but cyclically collapse.  As you
say, history is the witness, but that’s all.  Your proofs are simply a
catalog of these cyclical collapses.  How about ‘No argument there?’ 
You state that awareness is the key for the population to see that their
social capital, I imagine their liquid wealth, is being used for private
benefit.  It seems that a yard-long theory is not needed, only simple
regulation.  I have stated that I would fight for my freedom and would
fight to keep my property.  I would be glad to ‘donate’ to the general
welfare since there are those quarters of the population who cannot
even subsist without assistance. But I would not be willing to yield all
the fruits of my labor.  I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again. I could
not live under a communistic structure.  Nor do I believe would the
masses of American people.  Yours seems to be a kind of pipe dream
that is also historic.  Who is to say what a decent standard of living
would be?  Where is the dividing line to be drawn between decent and
indecent?

You may be bluntly snippy, it is an effete effort.  Seems to me
humanity has always blinked when it comes to charlatans who would
use them for ideologies.  The populace blinks because they are
ignorant, the mental myopia is the color of their mind.  Shall we have
an enormous public educating program?  Seems that is the first step.

Every murderous totalitarian government begins with a confined group
of faux-intellectuals theorizing how their vision will solve world
problems.  The fantasy is how their special blend of economic control
will remake the country for the General Population.  For lack of a better
term, let’s call it the Vision of the Consecrated Political Astutes.  The
‘neo’ Socialists/Communists, would coerce equality, when history has
shown over and over that a hierarchy without fail has permeated every
socialist structure and what was idealistically thought would but did not
benefit the ordinary man, but actually benefits those who enjoy the
power structure.

From my view, Warsong has not refuted what ThomasG theorizes, nor
does ThomasG respond in an intelligent way to Warsong’s criticisms. 
Warsong has not suggested that socialism should bow down to
Conservative Right-Wing depots.  Communism is more than just a
degree different than democracy!  Communism is forced, coerced
standard of living that defies the human spirit and people do not have
a voice at all.  Communism has been the sole calamity in the world.  If
private capitalism has the feature to let opportunists rob and deprive
the general population of their due rights their due ‘wealth,’ then it is
“academic” to put in regulations, which are in effect socialization to a
degree but not to the total degree that Communism would impose. 
Just the word Communism give me the creeps.

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By Warsong, June 1, 2010 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

By ThomasG, June 1 at 10:42 pm #

Yes, yes, Troglodite, Neanderthal, ex-King of the Punching Bag at “Gilley’s,” ex-Professional Motorcycle Racer, Ex-Professional Archer, ExPatriot Millwright building Oil Facilities in about a dozen countries…been there, done that, coined th’ talk, created th’ walk.

Y’all have a good night, now, ya heah.

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By ThomasG, June 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Warsong, June 1 at 10:21 pm,

Give my best to all of the other neanderthal troglodytes in your cave.  I am certain that they are very interested in what you have to say, but I am not.  Therefore, I will leave you to dialogue with those of your kind there in your cave.

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By Warsong, June 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

By ThomasG, June 1 at 10:20 pm #

“Either your wife is overly intelligent to make up for your lack of good sense, and your son has benefited from her genetic inheritance, your son is an aberration that made a leap forward in spite of you, or, perhaps, you are a cuckold.

Hah, yeah, I suspect I’ve been that. It’s what you get when you’ve got a sweet tooth for “Wild Wimmen,” and, hung out in a place called, “Gilley’s.”

Unfortunately, my first wife has little more intelligence than a Poodle, and, my son is a bit too much like me in all other ways to allow me to disclaim him. But, fortunately, my Grandsons, and, even my Grand Daughter look just like me, unfortunately for them.

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By Warsong, June 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, the last edit didn’t ‘take.’ Try that again.

By ThomasG, June 1 at 9:43 pm #

“You make me laugh.  Are you trying to be funny or are you stupid enough to believe what you are saying?”

Heh, heh…sure, right out of the Book of Alinsky, “Rules for Radicals.” You’re very clever, ya know? How long did it take you to get that down pat? Did you have to attend a special school to learn how to do that? Special Education is really beneficial for some people.

Or…wait, maybe you were just another “Peace Corps Alumni,” like my son…? If so, I apologize for being so harsh, I know how sensitive Peace Corps members can be. My son was totally incensed when the Marines landed in Grenada. He was trapped in St. Georges University, forced the share a bed with two Irish girls (twins) for two weeks. This caused him to miss two meetings of his Communist Party Leaders group in Sautier, on the back side of the Island.

Tragic, that.

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By ThomasG, June 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

Warsong, June 1 at 9:55 pm,

Sounds like your son has an education and is a smart fellow.

Either your wife is overly intelligent to make up for your lack of good sense, and your son has benefited from her genetic inheritance, your son is an aberration that made a leap forward in spite of you, or, perhaps, you are a cuckold.

I don’t really know what the explanation is for the father being a knuckle dragging troglodyte, and the son being as intelligent as you say your son is.

Seriously though, I suggest genetic testing.  If what you say is true, I suspect that you are a cuckold.

Is OzarkMichael reduced to talking to troglodytes, or what?

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By Warsong, June 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

By ThomasG, June 1 at 9:43 pm #

“You make me laugh.  Are you trying to be funny or are you stupid enough to believe what you are saying?”

Heh, heh…sure, right out of the Book of Alinsky, “Rules for Radicals.” You’re very clever, ya know? How long did it take you to get that down pat? Did you have to attend a special school to learn how to do that? Special Education is very beneficial for some people.

Or, wait…maybe, you’re just another “Peace Corps Alumni,” like my son?

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By Warsong, June 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

By ThomasG, June 1 at 9:43 pm #

“You make me laugh.  Are you trying to be funny or are you stupid enough to believe what you are saying?”

Heh, heh…sure, right out of the book of Alinsky, “Rules for Radicals.”</i> You’re very clever, ya know? How long did it take you to get that down pat? Did you have to attend a special school to learn how to do that? Or, were you just another “Peace Corps Alumni,” like my son?

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By ThomasG, June 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Warsong, June 1 at 8:19 pm,

You make me laugh.  Are you trying to be funny or are you stupid enough to believe what you are saying?

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By Warsong, June 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

By ThomasG, June 1 at 7:07 pm #

“If so, we all know what happened to the Right-Wing despots mentioned in your post.”

Now, that is the most ridiculous statement in the history of the world: Hitler was a National Socialist, Mussolini was an International Socialist, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, and, Idi Amin all copped to being pure Communists, and, we all know that they were actually nothing more than Left Wing Genocidalists.

What I catch in all of your Posts is an Academic who’s never had to think for himself in his life, you’ve always had someone to tell you, “...this is right, that is wrong, these are the talking points for the day.” I also catch the word twisting of the “True Believer.”

You’re exactly the type of person that caused me to take my “...somewhere north of 170 IQ” and walk away in the Seventh Grade (1952). But, yes, I’ve read Marx, Lenin, Engles, Trotsky, Mao, and, a host of others, such that I would know my Enemies better than I know myself (Hat tip: Sun Tzu).

Unfortunately, I was not around to guide my Son during the time that he was falling victim to word twisters just like you at the University of Houston. He teaches Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, and, reads, writes, speaks and teaches 13 different languages, all with a socialist bint. He has been the President of a Regional division of the International Mathematics Association for 9 of the last 10 years, hosted their International Convention last year, and, he’s still a dummy.

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By ThomasG, June 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael is singing a sad song in support of his failed efforts at getting his sophistic frames accepted——how sad.

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By ThomasG, June 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

Warsong, June 1 at 2:35 pm,

What are you saying, that socialism should bow down to Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMISTS to save itself?  If so, we all know what happened to the Right-Wing despots mentioned in your post. 

Socialism and communism are the same thing, socialism is a lesser degree of communism, and communism is a greater degree of socialism—— both are social systems that are the same as democracy; the difference is only a matter of degree of community.

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By Warsong, June 1, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

By OzarkMichael, June 1 at 9:04 am #

Very good post, that.

What some here don’t seem to understand is that Socialism is the Philosophy, and, Communism is the Tool used by Socialists to force Streams of Revenue and Labor into channels benefitting those who would not deign to work for a living.

Generally speaking, those who are the most active at promoting Socialism are primarily Academics (like my son) that Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Idi Amin, and, dozens of other little Great Leaders began shipping off to extermination camps as soon as they were able to begin consolidating Power.

You can show them the road paved with the Bones of those who came before, and, they’ll throw their heads up, square their shoulders, and, go marching off down the road to the beat of a Drum they’ve never seen, a Drum without a beat, chanting a song without Melody, Rhyme, Reason or Logic.

They’ll ignore all warnings about the bloody Lamp Post at the end of the road that once was decorated with the bodies of Mussolini and his mistress, dreaming that they will never face that fate, never face the Gates of Dachau or Buchenwald.

History repeats.

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By OzarkMichael, June 1, 2010 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

In the world of a Communist, wealth is not something you work for. Instead, to the Communist, wealth is a natural resource, much like oil or water. It is only a matter of controlling the flow, directing the naturally existing “streams of revenue”. It is the same as directing a river into the most advantagous(not to the river itself, but advantagous to those who skillfully direct it) locations. This direction is accomplished by the intelligent and proud Communist.

These “streams of revenue”, seen as a natural resourse, are considered to be there for anyone to plunder who has the muscle to do so.

In the world of Communists, those of us who generate these ‘streams’ of revenue will go on producing under any and all circumstances, much like a force of nature.

But my work is not a resource to be plundered by you. I will not produce for you.  Since you already know all this, you need your ‘legalized legislated law’ to force me to give in. It will be completely unconstitutional, but that isnt going to stop you.

Even after you pass your laws I will not submit to you. And you already know this will happen. Thats what the bullet is for. Nice and legislated, of course.

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By ThomasG, May 31, 2010 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

It is good to see that all pretense at defending the bankrupt and dead zombie of privatized capitalism has dried up and blown away.

I agree with the sentiment that privatized capitalism is indefensible and needs to be replaced by social capital and socialized capitalism.  However, I would have expected those who are benefiting from the reanimation of the privatized capitalism zombie to put up a more spirited defense of their Walking Dead Idealism of Privatized Capitalism.

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By Warsong, May 31, 2010 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, May 31 at 11:04 pm #

“Things have gotten more complicated since the days of Locke, though.  So far most people are buying the offer of the statesmen (state’s men), which is “We’ll give you more stuff if you give us more power.”  I don’t think this will end well.”

I agree, and, of course, you’re right, this is not going to be a pretty time to be alive. One of the major reasons is right here in front of our faces: we’ve lost most of our social graces, lost much of our ability to associate one on one, face to face. We live in a virtual world where we seldom have to watch our mouths, be nice, and, use terms like, “Yes Mam/Sir” and, “No Mam/Sir.”

Courtesy has given way to surliness, with a dramatic rise in young people suffering a thing called the “I Syndrome” (I, Me, My, Mine), or, Oedipus Complex.

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By OzarkMichael, May 31, 2010 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

Simply logging in to Truthdig i am greeted with Truthdig article titles(even the pictures which illustrate the articles) designed to insult people like me. The bloggers, even the ones that i enjoy reading, eagerly follow suit. It is the atmosphere of Truthdig.

The amount of falsehood and slander by bloggers here against what i believe is so vast that if I fought against every instance for honor’s sake i would never be done with it. Instead I take one point and with some dramatic effect prepare to drive it home, ignoring much falsehood and heckling in order to eventually establish the one fact, challenging others to strive against me in case I am wrong.

This week I learned that even if in the past i successfully established one fact, for the Truthdiggers it fades to nothing later. Why? Nietzsche said that life demands a great deal of forgetting in order to make any sense of it. History is like that too. The history which does not fit with our current understanding becomes forgotten and for us it never happened. The age we live in has long ago developed its blind spot in order to make sense of itself, and no amount of clumsy artificial attempts to change it(such as the Texas textbook debacle) will make any difference. The spirit of the age is going where it will, and even an intelligent resistance to it doesnt change it.

Meanwhile, all the fashionable falsehoods are not forgotten, instead they are repeated ad astra. Unchallenged and untended the little darlings grow like weeds. I have to wonder if my method of ignoring some falsehood is in some way enabling it. I take one special chosen step forward in exchange for five lesser steps backwards, only to find that my one chosen step forward has slipped away, and the five falsehoods established themselves as facts.

The resulting disappointment is no one’s fault but my own. I chose to come here to Truthdig. I chose my methods. If they didnt work i can choose to change my ways.

So no apology needed from anyone, Night Gaunt. Thank you, though. Certainly I have my weakness, my own forgetting, although like everyone else i consider myself an exception to Nietzsche’s rule.

Besides, i might be wrong about people like Martha/Thomas.  There might be some slim chance that dialogue and conversation could bring about a change of heart and not merely of manners.

An evil genius(like Lenin) is rare, and the circumstances for such a person to gain power is rarer still. The risk of Martha/Thomas achieving the ‘greatness’ she dreams of is very very small, balancing that risk against the slim possibility that you will save her soul(figuratively speaking) is something you must decide for yourself. It isnt for me to judge anyone who tries to do a nice thing like that.

You should do what you think is best, and make no apologies for it. In fact, I ought to apologize to you on that count. You are vigilent enough without me to remind you.

Night Gaunt, you manage to stay on an even keel no matter what, and you are admired for that.

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By Anarcissie, May 31, 2010 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Warsong, May 30 at 3:28 pm:
‘You’re both right, up to a point, and, we need to understand that the “Constitution for the United States of America” was built around a form of benevolent anarchy. ...’

You could say that liberalism, which is what the U.S. Constitution more or less exemplifies, is a paradoxical mixture of feudal and anarchistic relations.  On the one hand, one observes property (in women, children, employees and slaves, as well as land and stuff), law and law courts, civil and military authority, and so on, which existed in the feudal era.  And on the other, considerable areas of personal freedom, which is the anarchic element.  Roughly speaking, the nascent bourgeoisie who created liberalism wanted feudalism below and anarchy above, although the latter not completely since they were afraid of each other as well as of foreign enemies and the lower orders.  Things have gotten more complicated since the days of Locke, though.  So far most people are buying the offer of the statesmen (state’s men), which is “We’ll give you more stuff if you give us more power.”  I don’t think this will end well.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 31, 2010 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

I agree with you Ozark Michael & I was probably one of those that facilitate their change of tactics. I apologize to all for that. The least thing I want to do is help the enemies of us. A stupid shortsighted thing indeed. It makes it that much harder to counter them when they have subsumed and camoflaged their true meanings.

Sure they say things we agree with but what of those others we don’t? Another example is Tennessee-Socialist who has said some horrendous things supporting armed revolution and murder as had Lenin done in Russia in 1920. Not good, not cool, not for me and you. We must be ever vigilant to protect our liberty. There are always those who wish to take it away. Both then and now. semper vigilius

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By Shenonymous, May 31, 2010 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, May 30 at 2:23 pm #
Shenonymous—The conflation of anarchy (absence of leaders)
with disorder is a product of the authoritarian mind, which can’t
conceive of self-organization although it occurs ubiquitously in
nature. ”

Your analysis, while brief but in your usual succinct way, of the
authoritarian rings true.  It is ubiquitous in nature because all natural
things, except humans, are not attached to things.  They use things to
further their survival, but they do not have commerce with them.  They
are also species bound socially speaking.  It is not like the Disney films
where different species get together for a square dance. 

“whatever authorities are set up are going to be made of the same
stuff as those whom they rule, and are going to be subject to the same
faults and errors, if not worse ones. ”
  They could be worse because
the faults and errors become magnified when the rulers self-elevate
themselves to a hierarchy over the rest of their clan. It is a logic of a
sort, it is where the premises could be changed ever so slightly that the
logic still holds but the people fare better.  It is true, that most people
have given up the old mythologies of divinity. 

Much in the science of anthropology is disconnected, as you say,
desultory mainly because not enough information has yet been
unearthed so to speak.  As new investigations produce more evidence,
a better understanding of those primitive people will be brought to
light.  It would seem logical that a coercive institution would be lacking
in pre-hunter-gatherer phases, because these humans had to keep on
the move hunting their game.  But the hunters did learn (from evidence
in bone burials) that killing a huge animal would be a good exchange
for assistance on the hunt if it were shared.  There were several
benefits coming out of that intuition.  Once humans became civilized,
meaning having formed cohesive societies in discrete locales, is when
the institution of slavery, euphemistically called coercion, became an
option.  The domestication of animals and agriculture gave them more
time to conquer weaker tribes. 

It is plain that we both see the how the change in equilibrium from the
hunter-gatherer to the balanced comfortability of city/state structures
was a natural phenomenon.

Seeing this, and great anthropological and sociological minds have
wrestled with the problem of human organization for at least a century,
yet no definitive account or prediction is forthwith coming.  Lots of
speculation, in scientific crystal balls maybe.  And it behooves us to
keep up with it since we are a more enlightened population, but there
is still a lot more sociological evolution to happen.  I like awfully much
that song by David Byrne, “In the Future,” from a production of the
Knee Plays.
 
Here this is for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGyLrZIyY1E

With the assistance of the electronic age, and global access, I think the
new sociological structures to come are being accelerated.  It is just
that we are in the middle of the transformation and one never sees
from that perspective their own history.  We are only able to reflect on
the information we have.

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By OzarkMichael, May 31, 2010 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

I will not say where this quote is from because it only invites your derision. But I use the following wisdom as a starting point:

Faithful are the wounds from a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy

Just as kisses are better than wounds, a polite conversation is better than name-calling. Or it is most of the time. Kisses and polite conversation at certain times might be the wrong thing.

For example, if a fascist could be taught how to have a polite conversation instead of raving about the people he plans to kill when he attains power, then, instead of naked death threats the fascist can clothe his plans in a shroud of diplomatic talk. We could say that was an improvement.

But its only an improvement in appearance. The death threats are still there, referred to obliquely or not mentioned at all. One should understand that the threat, far from diminishing, is increasing because the fascist has become more suave and sophisticated in conversation.

I am not talking about something that never happened before. After all, someone had to teach Hitler not to be so specific about his plans for the Jews. Should that someone be credited with making Hitler a better person? Or wouldnt we agree that instead of credit, the person deserves to be called a useful idiot because they helped Hitler along his murderous path?

I want you to know something, my Truthdiggers. I would never enjoy the insights of a fascist. I would never find common ground with a fascist. I would never help him explore his ideas.

Also, I would never be proud of teaching a fascist how to have a polite conversation. It may be that some Conservatives would stupidly do these things. i would not. Certainly Progressives can understand that polite conversations with fascists is not a good idea.

But when it comes to Communists, the Progressive has been and is entranced. The Left engaged in glittering polite conversations with Lenin and Stalin, and to this day the Left continues in that tradition with people like Martha/Thomas, who just like Lenin has murder in his/her heart.

It was not that long ago that I effectively sketched out the ‘Fascism’ of Martha/Thomas. Why did I say Martha/Thomas was a fascist? Because it was entertaining for you while I taught you the truth about Communism, for without the entertainment you wouldnt pay attention long enough to learn anything.

So now straight out: Martha/Thomas is a Communist, not a fascist. But I dont need to tell you that, do I? After all, the glittering polite conversation is well underway, and mutual understanding grows, as Martha/Thomas learns how to present herself more diplomatically. No more concentration camps, no more bullets in the head. Not that Martha/thomas has better intentions than before, just more sophistication and glittering conversation.

Truthdiggers, dont expect that I will try to expose Martha/Thomas like I did last time. For one thing it is rather unlikely that i will be able to trip up Martha/Thomas so perfectly again even if i tried. Suave and sophisticated conversation goes a long way to hide murderous intent.

For another thing, the whole show of “Martha/Thomas- the Fascist” took a great deal of effort on my part, and to perform it solely for your amusement was not much of a payoff. If you had learned something it would have been worthwhile. As it is, the whole thing was a waste of time, at least for me.

The amount of effort it takes to gain your attention, the insults along the way that i ignore, and the roles that i must play in order to keep your interest, not only takes a lot of effort but it doesnt always work out(witness the fiasco on this thread).

There are times when I am not so easy to get along with. You will at least note that whether I succeed in polite conversation or whether I fail, whether the show is a glittering success or a stormy failure, my intent is never hidden and it remains exactly the same.

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By Warsong, May 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, May 30 at 7:04 pm #

Actually, Night-Gaunt, the only thing that was intended to be “centrally controlled” was Border Security, Trade between the States (specifically, anything that would smooth the flow of commerce), International Relations and Treaties, and, Defense. There was to be no Standing Army (it must be conscripted for a particular purpose, not to exceed two years). Everything else was reserved as the power of the individual Sovereign States, or, the People.

There are only 18 specific enumerated Powers in the Constitution…none of them allow the Federal government to restrict trade between States, or, Commerce with foreign nations. The Federal Government has no Police Power, and, has no Power to Grant Powers to anyone.

This is where the Train Wreck began, when the Federal Government usurped a Power to Grant Power.

If I may, I’d like to encourage you to read David E. Young’s, “The Origins of the Second Amendment” (USSC Reference Book) which actually traces the entire history of the process of writing the Constitution, using only documents written during the time of writing (all documents, pro or con, without personal comment).

Also, anything written by Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D., such as the item below, a good example of his work, “Registration: The Nazi Paradigm: http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/registration_article/registration.html

Stephen P. Halbrook has never lost a case before the Supreme Court, and, has written dozens of Amicus Curia Briefs on cases covering a wide variety of subjects, and, is cited in many different US Supreme Court and State Supreme Court cases.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Actually Warsong it was Regressive Conservatives that started the stripping not Progressives. Taking out Lincoln & Jefferson replacing them with Jefferson Davis & Joseph McCarthy are part of it. Just as when they worked to mislabel & evolution in science text books to put creationism on par with it just a few years before. We and other states go through these cycles where Progressives get comfortable and the Regressives come in force get elected then start pulling this revisionism and theocratic intrusions. Time and again it happens in a sad periodic cycle. We are at the nadir again of that.

We had a confederation from 1776-1787 somewhat similar to what Switzerland adopted in 1848, after that we became a Federalist centrally controlled nation-state. Too bad they didn’t just revise the Articles of Confederation instead of essentially performing a bloodless coup behind closed doors. If it weren’t for the Bill of Rights the talks would have failed because not too many wanted just the Constitution as it was alone.

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By Warsong, May 30, 2010 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, May 30 at 9:31 am #
By Anarcissie, May 30 at 2:23 pm #

Shenonymous, Anarcissie,

You’re both right, up to a point, and, we need to understand that the “Constitution for the United States of America” was built around a form of benevolent anarchy. It was intended to ensure that no-one would be able to amass enough coercive power over the people, to force their will upon anyone. Each level of Government was to be granted only certain Powers beyond which they could not go.

Even in a society of total anarchy there will be dominant personalities, but, this is not bad. If it is a normally functioning society, there will be natural Leaders that everyone will turn to when there is need of their wisdom and sense of justice.

By General consensus these men will be turned to in time of need, but, will be nothing more than citizens in any case, like Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Henry, Washington, et al…even when serving terms of office. They were chosen by the people to represent the will of the people, and, history has proven them right.

However, it has been noted by Historians, that a Civilization has reached a damgerous point in its history, when the ‘Great Ladies” of the realm begin using the phrase, “We are civilized.”

In case you hadn’t noticed, in the majority of Tribal societies, Men rule in time of war, and, at all other times the tribe is under the benevolent but firm rule of the Matrons of that tribe (except where religion is the dominant force). In several American Indian Tribes, it was the women who trained their sons in the art of war (ie. Comanches, Kiowa Dog Soldiers, etc).

As a general rule, in any Tribal dispute over authority between Men and Women, the women whip out their Weapons of Genderbat, and, the fight is over.

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By Anarcissie, May 30, 2010 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Leefeller—it’s just an observable fact.  It’s one of the things the Established Order has been crying about with regard to the decline of the media-related industries.  Anyone can say anything to anybody, and large numbers of people can read published information without the rich, great leaders, or their servants passing on it first.  In short, it’s anarchy.  And most people evidently prefer it.

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By Anarcissie, May 30, 2010 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous—The conflation of anarchy (absence of leaders) with disorder is a product of the authoritarian mind, which can’t conceive of self-organization although it occurs ubiquitously in nature.  There is a logical problem for the authoritarian, however, and that is that whatever authorities are set up are going to be made of the same stuff as those whom they rule, and are going to be subject to the same faults and errors, if not worse ones.  (History and daily life confirm this simple logic.)  In the old days, the authorities declared that they possessed divine right and guidance to rule, but people stopped believing this a long time ago as all the evidence is to the contrary.

My beliefs about the formation of early states are based mainly on desultory readings in anthropology.  You can find pretty much any kind of political organization you want among pre-civil peoples, but a lack of permanent coercive institutions seems to me to have predominated during the hunter-gatherer phase.  Before you can keep slaves and standing military forces successfully, that is, form a state, you need to have agriculture and fortified places, which is not usually available for hunter-gatherers.

I’m not interested in psychoanalyzing Jefferson and Madison in detail.  Both seem to have experienced considerable internal conflict between their liberal beliefs and the facts of slavery in which they participated, whereas according to their professed theories, they should have been unequivocally opposed to it.  Samuel Johnson asked, “How is it we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the drivers of negroes?”  The mystery remains unsolved, although endless speculations (and especially juicy ones in the case of Jefferson) can be produced with little effort.

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By Leefeller, May 30, 2010 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Anacissie stated:

“We live in a different world where the superiority and wisdom of the rich can no longer—will no longer—be taken for granted.”

Is this a proclamation it will be accepted as fact?

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By Shenonymous, May 30, 2010 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

You know very well, Anaarcissie, that I was using the word
adjectively to describe a “possible effect” of direct democracy and
was referring to the definition of anarchy that says anarchy is a
political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental
control in the sense that there can be confusion, chaos, and yes,
nihilism. It can also mean without rulership or enforced authority
which is what I was describing as the kinetics of rule by the
majority, mob rule. 

I wasn’t saying that anarchy implies mob rule, rather that mob rule
can lead to an anarchic condition.  Anarchy has several meanings
and yours is one of them but so is the sense in which I used the
word.  Often, if not usually, anarchic reaction occurs when a
government or state collapses, such as the Reign of Terror with
respect to the French Revolution and the anarchic condition that
occurred with the English Civil War.  There are several cases but
discussion of when anarchy occurred is not what I was talking about. 

Trying to avoid a digression, and without getting too deep into when
humans first arrived into history, about 5 million years ago, that is,
when Australopithicus Afarensis appeared, or even waiting until our
species showed up homo sapiens about 200,000 years ago in Ethiopia
and became clan cultural around 100,000 BC. from anthropology
findings there were a few different social organizations such as the
patrilineal or the matrilineal where the head of the family was the entire
political organization, and other kinds such as tribal hierarchies,
kingships, chiefs, etc., benevolent totalitarian structures and as we
work up to modern civilizations where institutions of coercion
developed.  But cannibalism as a form of nihilistic anarchy also existed
among primitives.  But since you didn’t give any references, I assume
you are just giving an opinion about the leap from primitive institutions
of tribal control to the forms of coercion seen in civilizations today.

If an anarchist is nihilistic, today, free and “equal,” there would be no
respect between him and others since respect is not in his vocabulary. 
However, anarchy does not necessarily imply nihilism, or the total
absence of social rules.  Most anarchists would argue that the best
form of society is one where the order of free individuals is
spontaneous, because they want to be “orderly.”  That still remains to
be seen as there is no such society.  If there were such a society
among primitive people they have gone bye the bye into a civilization
structure, for a reason: the natural impulse to domesticate. 

However, if the number of anarchists, today, were to achieve a level
where influence on the state was possible, what makes you think
coercive relations would not just transfer one form for another?  There
would still be jealousies and the desire for power if at a lesser level
than government.  And then again, teaching the populace to be
anarchistic would be a brobdingnagian endeavor.  And yes, it is not the
case that I use the word brobdingnagian very often.

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By Warsong, May 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

By Leefeller, May 30 at 12:41 am #

Thanks, Leefeller,

I’m not sure what is going on with Jefferson in the Texas Schoolbook revamping…I’m from Texas, but, I’m not ‘in’ Texas right now. I’ve been following some of the controversy, but, news of this is a bit short in Baghdad.

All I know is that a bunch of Progressive Liberals had taken over the reins of the Texas board that controls the content of Books, and, were steadily stripping anything that might present the founding fathers in a favorable light out of every History Book Published in Texas. The war started when the People of Texas started reading the books that were being used to teach their children American History.

I wish I was there, I’d be standing kneedeep in it

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By Leefeller, May 29, 2010 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Warsong, I am really glad to find out the moron on these very threads who said Jefferson was a filthy rich bigot who seduced his virgin slaves was full of absolutist horse manure and the same imbecile said Jefferson didn’t free his slaves when he died. 600 slaves in his life time sounds kinda nice to me? 

If I recall you are from Texas, what the hell is going on with the Jefferson text book thing?

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