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Occupy Draws Strength From the Powerless

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Posted on Feb 13, 2012
AP / Evan Vucci

An Occupy demonstrator sprawls beside a police car in Urbandale, Iowa, during a protest last December outside Republican presidential campaign offices in the Des Moines suburb.

By Chris Hedges

There is a recipe for breaking popular movements. I watched it play out over five years in the war in El Salvador. I now see these familiar patterns in the assault against the Occupy movement. It goes like this. Physically eradicate the insurgents’ logistical base of operations to disrupt communication and organization. Dry up financial and material support. Create rival organizations—the group Stand for Oakland seems to be one of these attempts—to discredit and purge the rebel leadership. Infiltrate the movement to foster internal divisions and rivalries, a tactic carried out consciously, or perhaps unconsciously, by an anonymous West Coast group known as OLAASM—Occupy Los Angeles Anti Social Media. Provoke the movement—or front groups acting in the name of the movement—to carry out actions such as vandalism and physical confrontations with the police that alienate the wider populace from the insurgency. Invent atrocities and repugnant acts supposedly carried out by the movement and plant these stories in the media. Finally, offer up a political alternative. In the war in El Salvador it was Jose Napoleon Duarte. For the Occupy movement it is someone like Van Jones. And use this “reformist” to co-opt the language of the movement and promise to promote the movement’s core aims through the electoral process. 

Counterinsurgency campaigns, although they involve arms and weapons, are primarily about, in the old cliché, hearts and minds. And the tactics employed by our intelligence operatives abroad are not dissimilar to those employed by our intelligence operatives at home. These operatives are, in fact, often the same people. The state has expended external resources to break the movement. It is reasonable to assume it has expended internal resources to break the movement.

The security and surveillance state has a vast arsenal and array of tools at its disposal. It operates in secret. It dissembles and lies. It hides behind phony organizations and individuals who use false histories and false names. It has millions of dollars to spend, the capacity to deny not only its activities but also its existence. Its physical assets honeycomb the country. It can wiretap, eavesdrop and monitor every form of communication. It can hire informants, send in clandestine agents, recruit members within the movement by offering legal immunity, churn out a steady stream of divisive propaganda and amass huge databases and clandestine operations centers. And it is authorized to use deadly force.

How do we fight back? We do not have the tools or the wealth of the state. We cannot beat it at its own game. We cannot ferret out infiltrators. The legal system is almost always on the state’s side. If we attempt to replicate the elaborate security apparatus of our oppressors, even on a small scale, we will unleash widespread paranoia and fracture the movement. If we retreat into anonymity, hiding behind masks, then we provide an opening for agents provocateurs who deny their identities while disrupting the movement. If we fight pitched battles in the streets we give authorities an excuse to fire their weapons. 

All we have, as Vaclav Havel writes, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets—utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.

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Havel, who would later become the first president of the Czech Republic, in the essay writes a reflection on the mind of a greengrocer who, as instructed, puts up a poster “among the onions and carrots” that reads: “Workers of the World Unite!” The poster is displayed partly out of habit, partly because everyone else does it, and partly out of fear of the consequences for not following the rules. The greengrocer would not, Havel writes, display a poster saying: “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient.” And here is the difference between the terror of a Josef Stalin or an Adolf Hitler and the collective charade between the rulers and the ruled that by the 1970s had gripped Czechoslovakia.

“Imagine,” Havel writes, “that one day something in our greengrocer snaps and he stops putting up the slogans merely to ingratiate himself. He stops voting in elections he knows are a farce. He begins to say what he really thinks at political meetings. And he even finds the strength in himself to express solidarity with those whom his conscience commands him to support. In this revolt the greengrocer steps out of living within the lie. He rejects the ritual and breaks the rules of the game. He discovers once more his suppressed identity and dignity. He gives his freedom a concrete significance. His revolt is an attempt to live within the truth.”

This attempt to “live within the truth” brings with it ostracism and retribution. Punishment is imposed in bankrupt systems because of the necessity for compliance, not out of any real conviction. And the real crime committed is not the crime of speaking out or defying the rules, but the crime of exposing the charade.


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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, March 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

“Justin: I am totally anti-car. Someone should have shot Henry Ford when they had the chance.”
Holy, kats, forgetting something?
No cars = no trucks, no trucks & vans means nobody moving around a city and no deliveries with low cost low time and most important of all… NO AMBULANCES.
You sure about this?
Just think through the implications. I’m not going to be the arrogant asshole that Ardee accuses me falsely of being. Just think through all the implications, especially looking back to an earlier era of history with no way of knowing the negative consequences, and ask yourself if you can stick to that statement about shooting Ford. I shouldn’t be the one saying what the “right answer” is here.

“My job itself requires I drive 400 miles a day. If this isn’t a waste of time and energy, I don’t know what is. And it’s prefigured to waste MY energy, not my employers.”
Okay I’m not going to dictate your life to you but I’m curious if you don’t mind me asking: is there anywhere closer to live, with an affordable move & affordable rent/mortgage, near where you work? Is there any better place to work nearer to where you live? Even if it pays less on one hand, if you save your time in travel (and safety as cars are dangerous) and save in gas cost, insurance, maybe that actually is better. After all, every gallon of gas, every hour of time, equals resources that cost you so it’s like taking a pay-cut every day to get to work.

“On the other hand, I also own a dirt bike which can do no wrong”
Dirt bikes are the shiznit. Weight vs cost vs terrain you can take on with it: for the win. And in the northern areas where I am, add snowmobile to that. Yes, it’s impractical when the weather changes but if there was a nasty ice storm & roads & power are out, in the winter you can save lives with such a thing, including your own.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, March 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

And the television has brought all the kids in from outside. Note the silence in the neighborhoods…at least the suburban ones. See a basketball hoop anywhere? Oh! there’s one..wait! I’m too fat to play and there’s nobody around. Mom, where’s Dad? I need an XBOX. Can we have McDonald’s tonight???

The car contributed to urban sprawl, which is another separating force.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Nuts, I can’t find it…...I know there was a specific meeting in the Eisenhower white house where the decision was made to keep the wartime economy from crashing by switching over to consumer production.  It wasn’t an accident, and once started, natural forces took over and here we are siting among piles of broken junk, wasted raw materials, energy and the pollution it all produced.  Over 50 years of the stuff. 

But the stuff is only part of the waste/wreckage.  What about the human loss?  While we de-volved into materialistic consumers, we wasted the potential to use the massive energy reserves at our disposal to solve the problems of mankind for good.  There was even an optimism about the future in the 50’s that could have been directed intelligently, but nooooooo….  we were coached and coddled, psychologically manipulated to think of ourselves, our possessions, our position in society.  Taught to think we were better.  The perversion of ‘manifest destiny’.  The slick art of simultaneously nurturing of envy and hubris.

See?  We have become bad.  Good people are behaving poorly.  Madison Avenue led us astray.  Wall street laughed all the way.  Now they will move on to China, or somewhere else.  Perhaps we will remain enslaved, unable to find mechanisms to cooperate without the media ‘they’ control.  But, ‘they’ is us.  We all buy the stuff they are selling.  ‘We’ buy what ‘they’ sell, and ‘we’ are ‘they’.  The 99% IS the 1%, and we must wake up and change simultaneously and fundamentally.  We/they (99%-1%) are a chimera.  And we all wanted to believe what we were told.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 15, 2012 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

“After the war…WW11 ( not the Civil one ) the innovators came out with the modern washer and dryer”

Yup, Eisenhower’s administration (I think) intentionally made moves to switch us from a wartime economy to a ‘consumer driven’ economy.  Apparently We the People weren’t in on it. 

How much of that stuff was then financed?  How many women entered the workforce to pay extra bills?  How much advertising revenue has been generated from almost free use of the public airwaves?  How dumbed down have we become from the moronic and psychologically manipulative programming?  I do think we should develop the wisdom to know what the hell to do with our public airwaves if we did ever take them back.  Shit, now it’s all routers and fiber-cable.  How the hell do you take that back?  Sorry to go from washing machines to net neutrality, but if those bastards take away net neutrality, I say we should agree that is the last straw and storm the castles in both Washington and New York. 

Anyhow, back to the washers, I wish I had a nickle for every washer and TV set that ended up in a landfill.  With hindsight we can see many things, but decisions are made by spineless politicians who are afraid to offend anybody except the powerless and weak.

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By katsteevns, March 15, 2012 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Ed, What did you do before laundry trucks came around, during the Civil War? :D

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

John, I’ve often wondered at the way we ( the society )goes right ahead with new products and innovations without considering the possible consequences. But everything new has an impact and changes something that already exists. I remember when I was a kid my mother would put the soiled laundry outside the door to be picked up by the laundry man and a day ot two later is would comeback all freshly washed.(I don’t know why but there was something magical about that to me). After the war…WW11 ( not the Civil one ) the innovators came out with the modern washer and dryer. This was touted as a convenience and a luxury no modern household should be without. In a matter of a few years so many people bought washers and dryers that the laundries went out of business. And that’s how it happened that the home washing machines became not a luxury but a necessity because there was no longer any alternative.  What I’m driving at is that there is never any discussion, on a national level, as to whether or not we want nuclear power plants, federal facilities that produce germ and poison gas bombs, air bags in cars because the manufacturers are now producing cars that fold up like paper in a crash because the makers put much less metal in them, tuna fish cans cut down to five ounces where it was six and a half and sold at the same or a higher price, medical insurance where the primary priority is to enrich the insurance companies instead of caring for the sick, secretly dumping an inordinant amount of toxic waste in the ocean and poisoning the fish most of us eat, cigarette manufacturers pumping extra nicotine into cigarettes in order to make it more difficult to quit the habit.. etc. etc . The beat goes on. The point is that the population has no say in any of these or like matters. The decisions are left to those who profit from the offering. ....Let’s hope our little pal doesn’t decide to “educate” us on this matter. No doubt it would be somehow detrimental to consult the people on matters that directly affect them.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 15, 2012 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Yes Ed, a balance. Balance takes perspective of time and technology and scope of view into the long-term impacts on people and ecology’s. 

We’re rushed into making decisions with limited data ans limited short term goals.  Professionally and as the consumers we’ve become.  It’s all part of our intentionally and forcibly hurried lives.  In our general state of frenzy, we humans don’t think rationally, we thing emotionally, and that is right where Madison Avenue wants you.  It’s where Wall Street wants you too. 

As a society, we end up wasting a lot of our productivity to keep the average level of adrenaline up, which makes us crave more.  I tell you, we have a positive feedback mechanism at work here that’s worth at least a thesis for somebody somewhere.

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

John. ...a different era. What went on then was in the old country…. the U.S. of A. I filled up that Chevy on payday for $2.00 and drove around all week. There were…I’m guessing about 65 to75% fewer cars on
the road than today…going to work was like taking what is now a Sunday drive in Idaho… Folks today think we’re having progress, but I’d swap all the so called modern conveniences ( except for the advances in medicine) for the life style we had then. That’s an old fart talking it’s said. They can say that because they weren’t there. ...As for the cars….in an ideal world we might strike a balance between the iron daddies of yesterday and the paper mache babies of today where the paint is thicker than the metal. Of course, mechanically there is no contest. Cars today are a marvel of engineering.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 15, 2012 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Anarchissie,
What is correct, I’m not certain., but this agrees with what I was taught.  http://grammarist.com/usage/empathy-sympathy/

So, yes, in my depression era example, I was using my own definition of empathy incorrectly.  Those who developed the hoarding/greedy lifestyles (lasting into their 80’s!) didn’t often sympathize with those folks going through hard times, and they (the greedy hoarders) were not going to experience empathy and would do anything to avoid it.  The cases I’m recalling go to great lengths to suppress and deny their period of hardship.

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By katsteevns, March 15, 2012 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Thanks, Anarcissie, for clearing that up.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 15, 2012 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

People IMO are free to jump in with what they want…..the article/thread are old now.  If they want to return to the original article, let them, I’ll go along. 

But on the car thing, yes, they rusted but never got holes in them.  The tank-like naute aside, they were built for another era, and we must recognize what was good about the era, what was bad, and take from it selectively.  I know this is not your intent, but the notion of wrapping ones family in a massive safety blanket if steel does not exist in a vacuum.  Somebody is out there driving a little smart car, or an electric car to help the general good, and it’s not fair that they should be at such a safety disadvantage.  I’d not sure if I should go nuts on this particular issue or stop right now. 

I’ll just say that some of those SUV drivers have an anti-social attitude.  They drive in an intentionally intimidating fashion, and as long as their damn DNA (family) is safe and sound, to hell with everybody else.  I appreciate the nostalgia of the old cars, but, well, let’s just say I’d be in favor of taxing peoples gasoline right at the pump in exact inverse proportion to the gas mileage the vehicle got since the last fill-up.  We have the damn technology for that.

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

John, Don’t want to clutter up the site with car talk, but I didn’t find much fault with the fact that earlier cars were built like Sherman tanks. My first car was a used ‘33 Chevy. One night I hit a Ford convertible broad side ( he was drunk and sped in front of me). The Chevy had mechanical brakes and when you stepped on them the car kept right on going for another block ) Anyway, the Ford looked like it was hit by a locomotive. My car had a broken headlight and a small dent in the driver’s side fender. That weekend I jacked the car up, took off the wheel and proceeded to whack that fender with a ball peen hammer….trying to get the dent out. All I heard was BONG BONG. It was like hitting the Liberty Bell.
....Didn’t need no air bags with that baby.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 15, 2012 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Ed, an eco-electrified ‘34 coupe would be tough.  There was so much metal on the originals you’d have to fashion all aluminum body panels, hopefully from recycled pepsi cans from your neighbors solar powered electric furnace.  Think of it man….all aluminum castings.  Aluminum frame.  Use standard bolt patterns for the brake mounts and suspension parts so you can recycle parts from K cars.  Cast a motor adapter plate so you could switch from a little ethanol powered turbine up to a 10hp electric motor.  Who says you hae to get there fast, fast, fast?  That’s Madison Avenues game.  Just get there in style.  You could build a ‘34 coupe that was damn near 100% recyclable.

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Well, well, well. I think maybe…just maybe we are beginning to see a crack in the dome. He says….Weak people are oppressed for their resources….How long can it be before dawn comes up on Marblehead and he realizes this is the same logic used to show that poor people are oppressed for their labor ? No. NO. NO. he’ll say…It’s different because the planets aren’t aligned right this month or…Listen to me. My thinking is superior.
  Overthrow the Overlords ? Unlikely, he says…you’d just… ” meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss.“So, a person familiar with the English language must assume this means it would be nice alright to eliminate the old boss if only we were sure we wouldn’t get another just like him…. I’ll tell you it looks like the dam is about to burst. You can’t say a tree is a tree one day and a fire hydrant the next. Not for long you can’t….not outside the asylum anyway.
    Now, folks, as for the dream car. I’m afraid I’m not in the competition. Mine is a 1934 Plymouth or Dodge coupe with a rumble seat ( if you youngsters know what that is. )

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 15, 2012 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

Empathy—knowing what others feel—is probably a crucial survival characteristic in social animals, including humans.  People that are missing this ability have great difficulty in negotiating normal human society.  Hence, this disability is generally considered a sort of mental disease.

Possibly you may be talking about sympathy or compassion, feeling what others feel, or suffering because they suffer, which does indeed seem to be generally circumscribed by familial, tribal or other boundaries.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 15, 2012 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

It should be noted the ‘infratructure’ for ‘eco-rat-rods’ is a similar infrastructure for domestic energy production, conservation awareness, anti-materialism culture.  Local, but informed local. 

What I mean is not just that the tools and materials which are used to build cars, wire them, etc, are necessary for various home-grown energy production pursiots, but more subtle sorts of ‘cultural infrastructure’, namely, a do-it-yourself attitude, an education in mechanics, electricity, chemistry, physics, etc,.  How about a rejection of the digital society?  Revisit swap meets, build meets, physical hobbies.  Dig out those old ham and CB radio operators.  Backyard mechanics. 

How about a drive to get people to install (with a little help from friends) a DC powered LED lighting system in your house/apartment?  What’s this have to do with eco-rat-rods?  Infrastructure.  Social and technological, with recognition that pursuit of people controlled energy production is an underlying and essential principle of the eco-rat-rod ‘movement’, or, what is the point?  But to return to LED lighting…a DC infrastructure in ones home, low voltage and reasonably low current gives at least a reason to start installing a battery in a closet somewhere, chargeable from a single solar panel somewhere.  If all you can do is power a 24/7 nightlight from such a system, you hae a start, something from which to build.  Sharing knowledge, sources of materials, techniques, and most importantly, a reason to gather and understand human nature and the laws of nature (physics) which we must live by.  Energy and food use on a per capita basis must be something to which everyone has a sensitivity. 

The eco-rat-rod thing is just a vehicle (weak pun, yes) by which these more important social, tech and economic infrastructures might develop.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 15, 2012 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

Kat, with regard to, ” For sure! But that may come only through suffering and deprivation I’m afraid. Empathy towards others is a learned thing, I think.”

There is some truth in that, but there are those who go in the exact opposite way.  I’ve talked to old survivors of the Great Depression.  It inspired greed and hoarding behaviors in some.  Can empathy be learned?  Perhaps, but perhaps we should recognize that many people will be conditioned to ignore any tendency toward empathy.  Self-oriented materialism, inspired through media and social pressure, seems the polar opposite of empathy.  I think you have to try a bit to increase sensitivity toward others, but it might also be efficient to attempt to tear down the mechanisms and institutions that outright promote self-centeredness.  Zillions of little things, the prostitot pageants.  Look at all the stuff in our culture that’s coercing us toward consumerism…......that is stuff the 99% can fight.  If we don’t buy it, they’ll make stuff we will buy.  People need to get more active in the media, but first, they need to know what should be fought.  Carry on with the car thing.  Cars are a giant scam, they’ll drain you of more money over a lifetime than anything.  Talk about enslavement.

There are ways to avoid supporting the consumer,planned-obscolescence, eco-unfriendly environment.  Kat hit on a point worth digging down into…..car culture.  It’s a pinnacle of vanity fueled consumerism.  We can change ‘car culture’.  Check out ‘rat rods’.  Do it yourself.  Re-define ‘vanity’.  Set a trend that turns the ‘shiney new SUV’ BS upside down.  Re-use materials.  Abandon the fancy electronics and built-in tracking devices they put in supposedly for your protection (On-Star).

Similar grass-roots driven trends can be nurtured in other areas.  Build local community around these economies.  But, at the root of any meaningful grass roots movement must be: energy production.  Home-made energy production.  It is the only way to get free.  This is so fundamental…...there must be a popular movement toward off-grid living, but not entirely off-grid.  The overhead and cost of production is too high for most people.  WE must take advantage of economies of scale, so cooperation is required, or cheaper electricity controlled by the 1% will always dominate and enslave.  This is a multi-faceted problem and I can’t write more now, but if anyone is interested I would participate.

Back on that car thing…..
Eco-Rat-Association…...the association of ‘eco-rat car owners’.  Founding principles?  Interchangeability of parts?  Parts made ‘locally’?  Damn near everything recycled?  Give ‘SUV crowd’ no excuses.  Slogan: “We drive rat-cars so you can waste gas in your big fat SUV.”  (just kidding)  Avoid ‘grunge’ culture, or evolve it so little old ladies won;t have a superficial excuse to fight you politically.  (yes, I admit there’s ‘packaging’) Safe, slow driving which respects pedestrians and all other people’s safety and sense of well-being is strongly encouraged.  Political association travels to state capitals to ensure that “all rights which support driving a rat” are maintained, such as, the right to pursue health, wealth and happiness means you should have equal opportunity to sensible transportation, transportation which does not violate religious principles.  Other principles should be adopted which permanently excludes the profit skimming bastards who subverted our values into the materialistic consumer culture. 

My dream car?  A 911? no.  A bugati? no.  It’s a fiberglass porsche 356 body on a VW chassis with an electric motor I could change in and out for the flat 4.  No backseat, all batteries.  Yea baby.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, March 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

“Generally, humility and understanding is what we need more of in this world, not arrogance, self-centeredness, hubris, etc. “

  For sure! But that may come only through suffering and deprivation I’m afraid. Empathy towards others is a learned thing, I think.

Justin: I am totally anti-car. Someone should have shot Henry Ford when they had the chance. He was a part of the move to make people into wage earners and away from self-sustenance. I live only 30 miles from my job but hate every mile. I am a slave to it and I hate being a slave. My job itself requires I drive 400 miles a day. If this isn’t a waste of time and energy, I don’t know what is. And it’s prefigured to waste MY energy, not my employers.
  Unfortunately, the market has made the personal vehicle into a status symbol in which people go into great debt to acquire and maintain. I drive a shitbox and am under the hood as much as I am behind the wheel. I refuse to buy a new car….EVER! And if I could swing it, I wouldn’t have fuel injection either. This country is car crazy.

On the other hand, I also own a dirt bike which can do no wrong.

“arrest everyone in the IMF for war crimes & crimes against humanity.”

  Hell yeah!

I don’t think consumers have much “consent” at all. There is very little room for the use of the imagination. We are all damn near absolute slaves at this point. Wouldn’t take much to push us all over the edge.

With our lack of education, I agree, we would have new overlords in no time. So, why haven’t the great minds created a think tank at this point? Maybe it will happen. It would have to be covert in order that they might avoid getting “two in the turban”.

If the people will let Bush lead them to Iraq, maybe they can be lead somewhere else as well, a better place maybe. There is eveidence for this in those who stood up and voted for the “YES WE CAN” guy. He turned out to be the “same as the old boss” guy. But like I said, initially, people need to know what they are missing. They have to want a better world BAD enough to make the necessary sacrifices. And there has to be a visible light at the end of the tunnel.

To be honest, I don’t think that many people would know what to do with themselves if they didn’t have something to bitch about every day. Like being naked in public. As for myself, I would be in heaven…..but I’d also keep my cloths on.

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By Justin Case, March 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

“You said, “Demand should include consent….”  In a way it does, we agree to buy what they put before us because it’s more convenient.  “
NO, there is no choice.
You can’t pick product B or service B. There is no such product. They are all removed. You will only get what the Overlords (world trade organization, IMF, central banks) say you can have for energy, tools, food, and all else is terrorism or removed entirely.
Didn’t you get the memo? No choice is permitted. None. No convenience is permitted. None. Do what you’re told.

Ardee, arrogance? No, you are highly arrogant. I clearly stated there are lots of people smarter than me, better than me. Just not HERE. You think too highly of YOUR self, as does John, as does Ed. John, Ed and you Ardee suffer from megalomania of the highest degree. You wouldn’t last 10 seconds in a public debate, conversation or anything without giving that away.

“But ‘overthrow the overlords’?  Unlikely.  If it would happen, without a deep understanding of the public as to exactly what overlords they were overthrowing, we’d have new overlords in no time.  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

Precisely the reason for real de-centralized economies: there is no new boss. Ever again. Ever. The seat is removed, no one else can take it.

“Every damn American can go totally eco-friendly lifestyle, and ‘they’ would fire up the media machines in India, China, South America, the rest of Asia, etc, and instant widespread materialism and consumerism…....customers for the same old Istuff and other consumable goodies that feeds the machine which oppresses weak people for their resources”

NO, no no.
That didn’t happen the first time & it wouldn’t happen the next time. Here’s what REALLY happens:
#1 all local resources are destroyed
#2 all local businesses, any local currency, is destroyed
#3 if you refuse your nation is carpet-bombed or invaded “for your freedom”
#4 you will give ALL your work PLUS debt for the future to get “iStuff” and other crap even if you don’t want it because you will be FORCED into it. There won’t be real choices.
Right now we still have SOME choices left like non-Apple goods & non-Monsanto food. FOR NOW. Soon that will be gone. Very soon.
Your choice was NEVER an option & will not stop it. The overlords will decree other options illegal then you’ll be killed or imprisoned for any defiance.
UNLESS YOU ACT NOW.
If you wait, it’s game over.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

If it’s not too much of a nuisance, probably yes.  It’s somewhat entertaining to me.  I don’t demand much.

Again, nice bike.  I miss mine, especially on days like today. 

Hey, I just heard someone on the radio repeat something I wrote the other day here on TD.  About it being counterproductive to box people as good or bad, and to recognize what circumstance has to do with it.  Nobody wants to go near this human nature stuff.  All this ‘look in the mirror’ stuff.  The notion that OWS could be a leader in a far more fundamental movement than the ‘fight the 1%’ theme they’ve undertaken thus.  Funny too, the ‘look in the mirror’ focus ends up fighting the 1% in a far, far more effective and lasting way.  I guess it’s just a wrong-headed notion on my part.  Time to knock off work for the day, go move some dirt and get the garden ready for spring crops.  Good thing I don’t have that bike, or the damn garden would never get planted.  Dirty side down bro.

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By ardee, March 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

I slap down your fraud, John. I have no arrogance. I am incapable of it. I know who’s smarter than me because of physical evidence PROVING it. You are not one such person. There are plenty on Zerohedge, plenty in labs around the world. Not you. Not even close. That’s not arrogance, it’s honesty.

Err no, its arrogance, and with a liberal helping of megalomania.

John, why continue to converse with this obviously far too young and far, far too immature little rascal?

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 14, 2012 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

“I’m perfectly willing to admit wider implications could lead to further dangers & that we should tread with caution & NOT feed the military machine.”  << Thinking to myself, “Perhaps there is hope for Justin?”....Naw>> 

Anyhow, the ammonia idea?  Ammonia has applications and is a simple chemistry.  But it is essential to keep in mind, it is a carrier, of energy, like hydrogen, like wires.  One must put the energy IN to an ammonia system to take back OUT later.  IN = OUT + losses.

People need reminded that all energy on the planet comes from the sun and nuclear sources.  Oil and coal came from the sun long ago.  If ammonia is integrated into renewable systems as part of a transfer mechanism, great.  For instance, it used to be used in refrigeration before DuPont amplified the (very manageable) dangers, and saved us with their freons.  Certainly, ammonia can be a major carrier of energy in our system, and can work with energy harvesting systems (solar concentrators, geothermal heat pumps, etc) to dramatically reduce coal/oil use and unload the electrical grid.  This approach works well with a widely distributed ‘lower tech’ manufacturing economy, while slightly wasteful, it does return good wages to the population. 

But ‘overthrow the overlords’?  Unlikely.  If it would happen, without a deep understanding of the public as to exactly what overlords they were overthrowing, we’d have new overlords in no time.  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.  I suppose it depends if ‘overthrow’ is a metaphor.  You said, “Demand should include consent….”  In a way it does, we agree to buy what they put before us because it’s more convenient. 

Widespread education is needed, at least people would know what all they are buying into, but, even educated people are just people.  Jealous, selfish, flawed in many ways.  Easily manipulated vanity.  Every damn American can go totally eco-friendly lifestyle, and ‘they’ would fire up the media machines in India, China, South America, the rest of Asia, etc, and instant widespread materialism and consumerism…....customers for the same old Istuff and other consumable goodies that feeds the machine which oppresses weak people for their resources.  I often think of the poor dumb-shits in W.Va. and everybody that lives downstream of the mining they’ve been doing there.  That won’t stop just because Americans learn a better way. 

People must look in the mirror (lead by the 99%?) and truly understand our individual failings.  Our vanities, etc. because there are too damn many people on the planet to risk expanding the American model of consumerism.  I am talking about fundamental changes in behavior, and even that won;t do any good unless somebody is willing and able to stop cheating.

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By Justin Case, March 14, 2012 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

I’m perfectly willing to admit wider implications could lead to further dangers & that we should tread with caution & NOT feed the military machine.

Also, while you may not care, I have no iThings. None. I advocate no one get any at all. The real cost to society is too high & the real benefit to one’s personal life is so negligible it’s nonsensical to get them.

“You know how we got here?  Demand by various consumers of such products has driven the world to where it is.  Unthinking demand.”

NO.
Demand should include consent, choice. People have been given no consent. Fascist overlords shut down smaller operations, local shops & even used regulations to effectively outlaw some businesses by making regulation that fraudulently favored one company while fraudulently fined another.
All this intervention to honest production, local production (to some extent, at least not global 100%) has destroyed choice. Without choice there is no real demand: there is only hostage-taking. You have no choice to get non-slave cotton-clothing, non-murder oil and so on when all the safer, cleaner alternatives have themselves been murdered, bombed or defrauded out of existence.
That’s why there’s a new move in North America to make it illegal to grow your own food. It’s moving in steps slightly larger than baby-steps but with the momentum of a mountain-top being pushed by a glacier.

So… still no comments whatsoever about the ammonia idea? I posted it twice now. Is it just more convenient to argue with me about me than to look at something that may help save us all?

“The lower tech approach would have different types of inefficiency and waste but they would be more compatible with socially friendly economies”
This is a likely outcome but another likely (less likely) outcome is that a socially friendly non-military application will use the better technology I suggested.
Part of getting there to make it the MOST likely outcome is to actually overthrow the fascist overlords first.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 14, 2012 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

That high-tech flywheel in the link below is quite interesting…....unfortunately to do this sort of thing in the required quantities continue the extreme pressure put of ecosystems and raw materials.  Just look at the helium alone.

The lower tech approach would have different types of inefficiency and waste but they would be more compatible with socially friendly economies. 

Look at the companies involved with these high-tech devices you advocate…....the same old military industrial complex players.  There are no jobs there for anybody but the absolute cream of the crop.  That’s another price you pay. 

There’s a reason there is a term ‘bleeding edge’, and we’ve already got widespread use products dependent on technologies with hidden social and environmental costs.  We, and the planet are bleeding.  This is because inexperienced, unknowledgeable young turks rush ahead without knowing shit about how to cost out the big picture impact of the decision.  It takes humility to stop and consider the wider implications of decisions.  It takes listening and time.  But apparently you’d prefer the “everybody follow the wunderkind” model.  We’ve lost too much blood for that.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 14, 2012 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Dear, dear Justin….....
Re-read your two posts immediately below.  Now, surely a technically advanced carbon fiber (or whatever) would perform better than some previous incarnation.  Nio argument.  That is what defines ‘advanced’, however; these ‘advanced’ technologies come at a price.  Part of the price is exactly the sort of highly integrated economy you rail about. 

Take your pick, less global and simpler technologies, or everything that comes with the space-age materials and products. 

You know how we got here?  Demand by various consumers of such products has driven the world to where it is.  Unthinking demand.  Demand which was ignorant of the true costs of this-or-that little iThingey in your pocket.  Demand unmodulated by concern with ‘externalized costs’.  ‘Externalized costs’ is the economists euphemism for human suffering.

To make such a blatant statement from the position of the all-knowing, and to have your statements below to be in such start contrast, and to completely fail to see the connection between level of technology and integration of the economy?  Then to go on criticizing others continuously degrading them and calling names?  Geez, if that’s not a clear fact demonstrating arrogance I don’t know what is.

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By Justin Case, March 14, 2012 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

“I go off on a related tangent here, but it is the very interconnectedness, the integration, and the efficiency of this massive global supply-chain, financial, security apparatus that makes it quite dangerous in the wrong hands”

It was built artificially against resistance from nations & communities and it can be taken apart easily. We must take it apart and NEVER do it again. A highly integrated economy is like monoculture in the ecosystem - a death sentence. It’s only a matter of time, lacking durability, hindering evolution.

I slap down your fraud, John. I have no arrogance. I am incapable of it. I know who’s smarter than me because of physical evidence PROVING it. You are not one such person. There are plenty on Zerohedge, plenty in labs around the world. Not you. Not even close. That’s not arrogance, it’s honesty.

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By Justin Case, March 14, 2012 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

“Do the calculations.  Use something a blacksmith could product, like a well balanced 8 foot steel and concrete disk spinning at 5000 RPM”
Absolutely NOT. May as well make it from WOOD BLOCKS and STONES.
Carbon-fiber layered wheels is the way to go because for every additional meter per second of rotation speed measured at the tangent of the curve you SQUARE the amount of energy stored. Only a fool would insist on using substandard techniques. It’s POINTLESS to build it worse. Nothing is saved long-term. The carbon-fiber layering is a semi-mature technology easily adapted for this. There’s no need to revert to the stone-age.

Again, as the anti-nutcase here, I stomp all over the fraud perpetrated by John and Ed.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/11/kinergy-20091124.html

PROVEN technology

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

it’s working NOW. This nonsense about reverting to the stone-age for only 24 hours of stored power is NONSENSE. Non-scientists & anti-scientists have NOTHING of value to input on this, apparently.

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By Justin Case, March 14, 2012 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

“If we didn’t GO IN to the “poorer” countries in the first place, they wouldn’t be poor now. “
Indeed, Katstevens, the IMF is directly responsible for this. They demand repayment on loans that exceeds a nation’s ability to pay. They put a gun to their heads to ensure loans are accepted. Gadafi refused IMF loans so they killed him. That’s evil.
We should arrest everyone in the IMF for war crimes & crimes against humanity.

“If we don’t get the long arm of corporate capitalism and our military out of everyone “

This is fascism, not corporate capitalism. It’s merger of corporation & government. Corporations acting without military protection would have to face rebel armies alone & would easily be killed. Even trained military are having a rough time facing insurgent rebels protecting their communities, kat.

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By Justin Case, March 14, 2012 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

As for biochar, it makes for years’ worth of fertilizer without significant run-off. Calling that “desperate” is a fundamental misunderstanding of how it works. Biochar is far more useful in the ground fertilizing crops without dangerous run-off than being burned for fuel. We have plenty of other fuels that can’t go into the ground as nutrients. Of course, someone who’s ignorant & wants to push anti-science would pursue such nonsense as dismissing it or calling it desperate but desperate fools with big fat yaps need not comment.

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By Justin Case, March 14, 2012 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

So, on to some personal solutions.
I think honestly if a person added up all the costs of a vehicle & all the things they need it for, they could switch up to leasing, bus, train & owning no car, save money, use less fuel and would only need to contend with one major issue:
cost of getting to work based in time. If one’s job is too far away from one’s home then a bike could be a problem.
I’m not quite sure about dealing with kids & bikes. It’s been done but the solutions look clunky, like maybe safety issues in traffic & weight issues with taking stuff needed to deal with food, diapers, snacks, etc. for kids. Thoughts?

Enough of this “nut-bar” talk. Clearly I’m the sane one. Ed, John: you are dismissed.

Kats, Anarcisse, OzarkMichael, thoughts?
Ardee, don’t even begin to think about wanking off a “so there” note because that’s all you’re good for.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 14, 2012 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

With regard to how widespread is the use of Maxwells equations,  Justin claims it is commonplace by saying, “telecommunications. cell phones…...”    Justin makes my point.  1% or less of the people who work in telecommunications development, let alone the entire field are involved in antennae theory and design, or design of exotic solid state devices which require field theory.  Similarly, the percentage of programmers who code up these particular difEQ’s is minuscule.  It’s extremely, extremely specialized.  Antennae designers and solid state physicists probably account for 90% of the use of Maxwells equations, and that is a small, small etite group among the many millions of scientists and engineers.

Now, has you discussed difEQ’s in general, then yes, there are many, many high level technical people who use them daily in a wide variety of fields, but we were discussing Maxwells equations, of which Tesla apparently had a rough practical working knowledge, but didn’t fully grasp.

Yes, I admit, I am poking Justin.  I had to.  After those comments about Justin being so, so much smarter than the rest of us?  But it’s partially well intended. If a slap-down moderates his arrogance a bit, it will serve him well in the future.  Generally, humility and understanding is what we need more of in this world, not arrogance, self-centeredness, hubris, etc.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 14, 2012 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

Actually, in matters of fact, it is quite possible for one or the other to be completely correct or incorrect. 

As an example, at the end of the day, people eat or go hungry because somebody followed correct practice for germinating seeds.  The physics and chemistry of the seeds don’t care who’s making an argument, there is no opinion which will influence the seeds, no ‘wishing them to germinate’ will work.  So, in the end, call it science, farming or whatever, one must be correct.  That is, there is a correct.  (Granted there is wiggle room with seed, and they are quite persistant, but you have to meet their conditions they don’t adapt to yours) 

So, apologies for the science, but peoples lives are impacted by the junk out there.  The ethanol fiasco is a very, very good example of policy driven by incomplete understanding, and a political compromise was made that enriches a few (1%?) at the cost of the many.  I’m not just talking high food prices.  This is related to the petro-chemical based industrial agriculture model we employ which impacts obesity, diabetes, intelligence, all sorts of general pain and suffering results domestically, not to mention world-wide. 

So, this is why, when I hear some dumb science, like the Tesla HAARP pipe-dreams, I challenge it.  Find someone you know who really knows electronics and physics and give them a print out of the conversations.  It is important that the general public has enough specific knowledge right at their immediate disposal (in their heads, not googled) to challenge bad ideas and rhetoric on the spot.  Otherwise a system like ours (highly integrated and global in every sense) can easily cause a lot of harm. 

I go off on a related tangent here, but it is the very interconnectedness, the integration, and the efficiency of this massive global supply-chain, financial, security apparatus that makes it quite dangerous in the wrong hands.  To the goal of improving the use of this global system, solid knowledge of science is a powerful tool in the hands of the 99%.

Just my 2 cents.

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By katsteevns, March 14, 2012 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

Plenty of “science” flying around here. But I guess no one here is adept at or cares to resolve personal conflicts. You both can not be completely correct or completely incorrect.

I guess that is why most of the great thinkers worked alone…less “politics” involved.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 14, 2012 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

Kat, you are of course right about going in to steal minerals.  I’ve been trying to highlight the contribution materialism, consumerism and demand contribute.  One thing we could be doing is to mandate that various products be serviceable, not designed for planned obsolescence.  It’s a seemingly small thing, but perhaps not.  Waste, coupled with multiplication of waste times an exploding population trying to reach western ideals of waste (throw-away brand consumerism) puts enormous pressures on the third world.

We have to dig down and explore consumerism.  This is something the 99% can do to change the economy, to un-empower the 1% and take it back.  Manufacturers will supply what we demand, but we have to ‘take a good long look in the mirror’, as I’ve suggested and come to broad consensus about the real underlying nature of the problems.  I don;t give the 1% a pass by any means, but we (the 99%) are really what drives things. 

But I can’t seem to get to this sort of conversation…....wasting too much time with Teslas’s protege.  He wants to see the world as good-vs.-evil, and that sort of view leads to maintaining the status quo.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 14, 2012 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

Yes, ED, you’re so right.  this guy is a nut case.  Frankly he’s the kind of extremist who would relish a Santorum.  Hey, why not Santorum-Palin??  This sort of nut imagines himself in a compound in a post-apocalyptic world where his meager knowledge of metals smelting will put him at the center of a self-sufficient micro-economy.  These little dogs see a world turned upside down as their chance to be the big dogs their mothers told them they were entitled to be. 

This Santorum phenomenon needs examined, but I’m not sure this is the place to do it.  Isn’t there another Hedges post we might jump to for that?

But as to the Justin experiment? Yes, I’m about bored with it.  Frankly, I might be a little sick, deriving some perverse pleasure from irritating the damn loser.  I did initially find the massive ego, attached to such an universally incompetent to be interesting.  People interest me, types of people, and what shapes them, but I don’t think I’ll learn anything from this one.  He’s very fundamentally dishonest and self-deluding about the vastness of his knowledge and worth. 

Ed, what do you think about the problems created by our seemingly intrinsic need to see the world as good-vs-evil?  And perhaps the Santorum forum is a better place for that too.

And for Justin, a few last jabs, then I swear I’ll quit…..
Justing says, “....telegraph, radio and Bloom Box transmission technologies are direct & concrete proof that Tesla is right.”  John says, being right about one thing does not make one right about everything.  Also, the bloom box is a modern fuel cell, it had nothing to to do with Tesla. 

John says, “... a manageable flywheel can store a good days worth of energy at present average consumption rates.”  Justin replies, “.....As it happens the flywheel battery can store YEARS of energy but the material constraints require carbon-fiber layers or it’ll blow apart.”  To which I reply: my statement stands.  I am not overreaching practical ‘do-able’ tech limits of existing materials.  Do the calculations.  Use something a blacksmith could product, like a well balanced 8 foot steel and concrete disk spinning at 5000 RPM.  About a ton of mass.  No blow apart using conventional materials if your design goal is to do what can be done with existing materials then see how much energy can be stored.  It turns out to be very practical and doable…..24 hours at the average use of a US home.  Again, your never-never land design goal of of YEARS, but oh, wait, it’s impossible because the technology doesn’t exist. 

Typical brick throwing based on fairy tales and pie-in-the-sky self serving ill-logic. 

By the way…..bio-char?  I once made a batch of charcoal.  We used it in a blacksmithing demonstration.  Made about 100lb of it.  There is no way in hell I would put that precious charcoal back in the ground.  It ‘s just too damn handy and takes too much work.  Again, bio-char like many ‘technologies’, people are so desperate they’ll latch on to anything before it’s thought through…...again, ethanol fiasco.  Great science there.  Probably a guy with ‘computer programming’.

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By katsteevns, March 14, 2012 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

If we didn’t GO IN to the “poorer” countries in the first place, they wouldn’t be poor now. If we would GET OUT of the poorer countries, they might stand a chance to revive. We don’t go into other countries because they are poor, we go in because they are RICH in natural resources, exploitable labor and the like.

The rich histories of many indigenous peoples are gone forever for precisely this reason. That and the missionaries who left a trail of burned books in their wake.

If we don’t get the long arm of corporate capitalism and our military out of everyone else’s business, how do we expect to make any changes that will endure?

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Again, Tesla’s understanding of AC was real good work, but the ionospheric power distribution is precisely the opposite of ‘proven technology’ as you claim.  It is pure crap, and keeps decent people from backing simple workable solutions.  What’s you plan to increase the protein supply in poorer countries?  Feed them unicorn meat?
___
utter horse shit yet again.

#1 the proven telegraph, radio and Bloom Box transmission technologies are direct & concrete proof that Tesla is right.
#2 you CAN’T feed the poorer countries. Those who remain WILL die without question of hunger. WILL. MUST. CAN’T BE AVOIDED. Removing immigration restrictions so the people can MOVE to where there is food, energy & a future is the only choice.

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

“leveling terrain just to lay the wires”


  Christ, haven’t we leveled enough terrain already?!? Why not use the existing roads which have done plenty of damage to the terrain already?
____
Kats, I think you misunderstand me. Using the HAARP/Wycliffe style transmission-induction means we STOP leveling terrain for wires because there are no wires.

““Individual consumers & other individuals share NO responsibility for this, unlike your harsh & fraudulent accusation.”

  Not even a passive complicity?”

No, Kats, not even passive. There is no means to measure the damage per person (or opposite) nor is there a means to measure intent. Not one human on this earth has such an answer.

John, Ed: for you to refer to me as a nutcake is like a screaming lunatic in the asylum declaring the whole world insane.

“See, the smart meter is evolving, and the architecture is focused toward top-down load control”
So far that I can see this top-down control drives up prices & removes transparency for end-users. Meaning fraud is a constant in top-down systems, and this top-down system is no exception.

“You’ll continue to be a dependent consumer, not an independent producer/consumer. “
Absolutely impossible. In the very near future all my energy use will be 100% off-grid.

“1.  DC storage port for batteries and/or electric car battery bank for local load stabilization and buffering ultra-local (neighbor to neighbor) power sharing and billing.  A normal house would use a minimum bank of the equivalent of about 12 car batteries. “

Utter horse-shit nonsense from the asylum. We’ll more soon see 25% of that energy usage from natural gas feeding the next generation of the Bloom Box which uses wireless induction AND bacterial remediation of sewage directly into electricity which already works TODAY. No shortage of sewage. No shortage of bacteria.

“Port for high volume local inertial storage (flywheel port).  Yes, good the old flywheel.  As opposed to your Teslitic visions, a manageable flywheel can store a good days worth of energy at present average consumption rates.  “

Utter horseshit yet again. As it happens the flywheel battery can store YEARS of energy but the material constraints require carbon-fiber layers or it’ll blow apart. It’s been made. Nothing is pie in the sky with me. 100% solid science all the way.

Tesla produced 100% solid science including the basis for EVERY AC turbine you’ve ever used. His “pie in the sky” designs are still being implemented today. The man produced so many inventions he couldn’t live long enough to build them all so others are doing it for him even 100 years later.

Save YOUR breath. I must and WILL rebut, John, all of your fraud. It is a duty and it must be done. You try to badly mislead readers and if they believe you society is DOOMED. Your horseshit nonsense is an instruction manual for suicide & complacency.

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

http://www.voxsolaris.com/ammonia.html

I posted this a while back & no one had any comment. I hope people will try again to pay attention. This was shoved in front of my doubtful face & made for very good reading.

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By katsteevns, March 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

“....there are many examples of supposedly ‘good’ people doing terrible things in times of desperation.  Were they bad all along?  Did they really go back to being good after the conditions changed?”

  I can name a few: Ben Franklin, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky…....

“Individual consumers & other individuals share NO responsibility for this, unlike your harsh & fraudulent accusation.”

  Not even a passive complicity?
 

“leveling terrain just to lay the wires”


  Christ, haven’t we leveled enough terrain already?!? Why not use the existing roads which have done plenty of damage to the terrain already?

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By Ed Romano, March 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

I’m watching the news tonight and Rick Santorum has won the Republican primary in Alabama and is leading in Mississippi. I think we must conclude that our nation is collectively ...mentally ill. The little arguments that are taking place on this site are so extraneous to the reality of the mental instuitution we are now living in as to be sadly laughable. I don’t believe the nation is so far gone at this point that Santorum can prevail, but the very idea that so many people would cast a vote for this authoritarian
hypnoid is enough to make a sane person think about heading for the North Woods. God help us.
  John, I think maybe it’s time to stop going around the carousel with this nut cake. Of course, that’s your call, but I’m sure you know it’s getting you nnowhere.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

I might not have much, but what I have isn’t fantasy.  Ever hear of USNAP?  I’m involved in it.  I’m trying to keep it from going the way the big players want, which will favor their stockholders, and not the chicken-tractor farmers who might just want to sell power back to the grid.  But, there’s no point in bringing up serious discussion because you go off into fantasy-land.

See, the smart meter is evolving, and the architecture is focused toward top-down load control, not toward a model of widely distributed sources…...with low cost of entry and simple user friendly interconnection standards. 

You’ll continue to be a dependent consumer, not an independent producer/consumer.  Oh, they’ll let you go off grid, and they’ll even let you sell power back to the grid…...at significant cost.  A cost so high you’ll never break even.  Standards are being developed which could make this cost very, very low, so we can put a bunch of renewable online and not have to wait until the 1% can control the profits.  However; the way the standards are being prioritized, it favors the top-down model.

Why?  In part because the general public is caught up in Tesla fairy tales and junk science like you promote.  I wouldn’t even begin to waste time with the dynamics of this smart grid situation with an under-educated programmer (yea, right) with delusions of grandeur. 

Now I am going to say again your Tesla bullshit is pie-in-the-sky dreaming which will waste peoples time and effort.  We can have a massive impact on the economy and planet by simply DEMANDING smart meters which allow the following:
1.  DC storage port for batteries and/or electric car battery bank for local load stabilization and buffering ultra-local (neighbor to neighbor) power sharing and billing.  A normal house would use a minimum bank of the equivalent of about 12 car batteries.
2.  Connect on demand ports, AC and DC which allows any ‘consumer’ to buy solar panels, small turbines, etc, and interface multiple devices to their smart meter for either local storage in 1, or immediate local use, or re-sale back to the grid.
3.  Port for high volume local inertial storage (flywheel port).  Yes, good the old flywheel.  As opposed to your Teslitic visions, a manageable flywheel can store a good days worth of energy at present average consumption rates. 

And save your breath with the no, no, no rebuttals.  If you were to attempt to influence legislation, a quick check would reveal your technical position are fantasy.  They are exactly how we end up with legislation that doesn’t work…..like the ethanol fiasco.  Yes, it’s guys like you who are responsible for that.  And no, the adult conversations which are indeed happening, are not going to happen here where a loudmouth young punk like yourself can blabber on and impede real work.

Again, Tesla’s understanding of AC was real good work, but the ionospheric power distribution is precisely the opposite of ‘proven technology’ as you claim.  It is pure crap, and keeps decent people from backing simple workable solutions.  What’s you plan to increase the protein supply in poorer countries?  Feed them unicorn meat?

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

telecommunications. cell phones. so no, you’re wrong again. Programmers deal with the equations just as often as physicists since it’s always computers doing the number crunching after we tell the computers HOW to do it.
Your fraud stands out as fraud. Your attempt to use social engineering or persuasion to spur a multiple-personal attack has no power & no meaning.
I call out real solutions like wireless power & reclamation of energy from garbage. You’ve had NOTHING significant, John, to input. Nothing. All you’ve done is attempt to sabotage real solutions so that people continue to be slaves under existing paradigms of fraud. Fraud in definitions, fraud to sabotage science, fraud about cultural & economic co-operation without singular top-down control by a dictatorship, fraud about what violence even is, and certainly you perpetrate fraud every comment about what I have even said. Your purpose is obvious. John, you are indeed the troll. This is the time when anyone writing in reference to you needs to question “am I feeding the troll?”
It is time you moved on. The grown-ups have a world to fix & it won’t be easy. We have solutions to work from. You have nothing.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Classic….I state, ” Hardly anybody uses these equations on a regular basis.”, and Justin attempts a refutation with, “Maxwell’s equations are critical.”  uh, duhhhhhh…... 

Maxwells equations are used by RD engineers, some materials people, and a few other elites.  What percentage of engineers and physicists is this?  What percentage of the technical workforce are engineers and physicists?  What percentage of the overall workforce are doing any math at all?  My statement stands….hardly anybody uses these things on a regular basis.  A few thousand or so, perhaps ten thousand at most worldwide.  Certainly, you don’t use them.  You avoided the question as to in what field you applied your vast programming knowledge so as to use Maxwells equations. 

You’re a fraud, and your ‘science’ is a joke.  You wouldn’t last a minute in a serious lab. 

I’m getting pretty bored with the whole exchange.  Unless somebody pipes up and says they’re getting some form of entertainment out of Justin and my exchange, I’m going to try and walk away from this wounded troll along the road. 

‘Troll call’, you heard it here first.  Like a ‘roll call’.  Anybody?  No cutsie points?

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

Utter nonsense. Maxwell’s equations are critical. NO, I don’t use Schroedinger’s equations regularly NOW.
Learn TO READ.
Literacy is a good thing.

“And as a very practical example, lightning strikes return massive power to the earth on a regular basis”
That’s not a practical example.
A practical example is existing wireless power transmission, such as that paired to the Bloom box which powers homes & even many google server-boxes right now this very second. Another practical example is what I listed before, which was radio powered directly by the power in the transmission signal. This was how radio started & that certainly consumed a lot of power.

This is real-world science, not hope, able to match grid-power easily. The savings in maintenance & in leveling terrain just to lay the wires the first time is immense.

You have not been civil, you have not been reasonable & you’re only lying to yourself if you believe your silly writings now.

“It’s time I unveiled a new word.”
No it’s not. John, you & Ed both trot out “new” anything-you-want to snake out of a corner & it`s the end of it.
The term you’re REACHING for is Obvious-Troll, not “troll-calling”. You’re maybe 60% on your way to qualifying.

“but your style of ‘debate’, is so ‘rightish’ “
This is not a debate. You’re putting up absolute nonsense, you and Ed, and I’m correcting you.
When I’m dealing with Kat, OzarkMichael, Anarcisse, I’d call it conversation which may edge to debate. The question is honesty & purpose. Clearly your purpose here is to distort truth very badly, same with Ed, so there’s no debate. Only correction of your lies.

I’m not “right-ish” or “left-ish”. I’m absolutely refusing to ever belong to any fictional spectrum with such primitive labels designed for brainwashing.

The closest relation I have to the definition you’re looking for is “troll-feeder” and I try to avoid actual troll-feeding so as to address the meat of the matter. if I was truly troll-feeding on you & Ed instead I’d just pretend to be a greedy capitalist, anti-socialist, to get you trolling specifically on tangents based on your frauds that have no purpose, no quality, nothing to learn from.
But I am no such thing so I do no such thing.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

What BS.  Hardly anybody uses these equations on a regular basis.  Some Maxwell, but very, very little Schroedinger, and rarely except for certain engineering and physics students, are they used together.  You show yourself to be the one telling untruths.  Say what you do for a living, or it is far, far more likely than not that you are lying.

And as a very practical example, lightning strikes return massive power to the earth on a regular basis, but try running your toaster from it.  Why give people a fictitious false hope?  We have to pursue real technologies not junk science. 

As to the rest of your post, I think I’ve been reasonably civil.  You accuse me of your crime….. again.  It’s time I unveiled a new word.  ‘Troll call’.  I googled it, no occurrences except in some role playing game.  Nothing in urban dictionary.

So, I’ll describe a ‘troll call’ like ‘calling BS’  It’s a call to anyone who happens to be following a thread to make a call as to whether someone is a troll.  To call them out.  To express a general group opinion.  Worthwhile web idea? 

So, I hate to do this troll call on you Justin, but your style of ‘debate’, is so ‘rightish’ for lack of a better word, or perhaps from the extreme, extreme left, where extreme right meets extreme left.  I think you’re a nut-job, and yes, I did a little mild name-call there, but by comparison, and considering the almost violent manner you so starkly oppose each and every thing, and the lack of reasonable rules of rhetoric in doing so, you deserve a troll call. 

So, anybody?  Perhaps Justin isn’t an out-and-out paid troll, but effectively?  A troll?  dunno.  don’t care.

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

“Back to the more serious scale…....there are many examples of supposedly ‘good’ people doing terrible things in times of desperation.  Were they bad all along?”
Completely invalid.
By nature itself all acts of violence are justified when survival is on the line. No matter the stealing, killing, sabotage, anything - 100% justified for survival means by definition it can not be evil. Any time ever.
The very point of what makes behaviour “bad” is that it is NOT necessary for survival but is harmful & it’s a further layer of discover to determine if that person is hard-wired to enjoy such unnecessary harm.

“Did they really go back to being good after the conditions changed?  These are important issues which need continuous examination if we are to avoid the catastrophes of history”
Absolutely wrong-headed. A person doesn’t switch from being good to bad back to good. If a mother must kill, 1, 10, 100 people to protect her children the act is GOOD because defense of child is GOOD by any means. NO exceptions.

Next Q & A: Computer Science, Bachelor of Science.

“The physics requirements are minimal even in the more advanced undergraduate programs.”
Math & experiments. Not minimal but easily handled in my field. Of course, probably too hard for you, who at best maybe attempted literature, perhaps philosophy.

“Have you ever solved a problem using Maxwells equations, or the Schroedinger equation? “
Yes, on a regular basis, which is why I know HAARP is quite useful.

“Tesla did very well for a guy who never finished college”
Tesla’s inventions were 100 years ahead of his time. He even invented a radio-guided boat. A precursor to a drone. The man should have been everyone else’s teacher.

“getting significant quantities (‘power levels’) efficiently is another matter entirely”
Thanks for repeating me, it shows a little respect. The distribution saves on materials. The energy extraction from the Earth is another story. I’ve addressed that issue separately many times.

HAARP already transmits gigawatts & Tesla showed how all this power can be returned to ground. Easy as pie, 100 year old technology. It doesn’t take gigawatts to run a toaster.

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

There’s several HAARP installations but this is not by any means the most impressive use. The most impressive use actually was Wycliffe tower. But it was costly in materials to build.
There’s no conspiracy in what I write: only science. Power induction through the ionosphere is large-scale & saves building infrastructure. It’s a proven technology.

John: you’ve been on with fraud & personal attacks for days. I call you out as a fraud not as any personal attack but because you are very dishonest and vicious about it. What you write has no place being treated as useful, honest, helpful in any manner whatsoever.
This has nothing to do about if you agree with me or not. Anarcisse or Katstevens may not agree with me but do NOT resort to fraud. John, you and Ed resort to fraud & lies on a regular basis.
There’s a big difference & it’s obvious to all readers here.

“You completely miss the point of “In an integrated economy, one does not have to be all that evil…...”  This is not a trivial effect, and it is the first time in human history the effect is so powerful.  “

I miss no such point. I flat out claim it is not true and is not happening. What’s happening is that a few key controllers at the top of a Fascist empire are raping everyone else who does not resist, and bombing a few who do resist, nation by nation.
Individual consumers & other individuals share NO responsibility for this, unlike your harsh & fraudulent accusation. On the other hand, the real negative effect on everyone from the entire population is making babies they have no way to feed. To some extent one can’t be sure, like if things go well then go bad really fast due to changing disasters around the world. Of course I have sympathy for that situation & the effect is not negligible.

“but the brain re-wires, and responds to conditioning.”
So far no one’s been re-wired to stop enjoying sadist torture & killing. No rapist or molester has been re-wired to stop doing it. Every manner of chemical & psychological training has been tried. Certainly more can be tried but that’s a future-unknown NOT something you can hang your hat on now as established.

I won’t tell you to stop dreaming but I put my foot down at you conflating your dreams into “reality” and conflating you imagined counter-arguments against my facts as the “reality”. It is not.

I have no model about good or bad people. Listen up. There is no model. I have no model. I refuse all such models. I observe the facts only. Again, fraudulently, you conflate your imagination into a counter-argument. A straw-man argument.

“and neglects huge segments of the population (who have the biggest impact), and who are not that good, not that bad, but their summed effects can be hellish good or bad”
Prove it. Any example. I tell you now it is imagination only - a fiction you present. Pure fiction.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 13, 2012 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Correction and addendum  

I wrote”…....getting significant quantities (‘power levels’) efficiently is another matter entirely.” 
This should have been “…....getting significant quantities (‘power levels’) BACK TO EARTH FOR RUNNING YOUR TOASTER efficiently is another matter entirely.” 

An aside…....
Various scientists have commented that HAARP is an attractive target for conspiracy theorists because according to computer scientist David Naiditch, “its purpose seems deeply mysterious to the scientifically uninformed”.*

*Naiditch, David (Spring 2003). “Is baked Alaska half-baked?”. Skeptic Magazine. http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/10-03-03/#feature. Retrieved 25 January 2010.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 13, 2012 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Again, a tactic I’ve seen by those with weak arguments.  Supplement with various personal attacks.  Sure, I slip and let an occasional opinion fly, but as a consistent pattern, no. 

You completely miss the point of “In an integrated economy, one does not have to be all that evil…...”  This is not a trivial effect, and it is the first time in human history the effect is so powerful. 

I do not ‘deny’ the brainscan data, idiotically or otherwise, but I can see it in a larger context.  The epigenetic context is a trivial one.  And you raise the questions about ‘hard wiring’ and the ability to change it.  There is some truth to ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, in that established ‘wiring’ is tough to change, but the brain re-wires, and responds to conditioning.  You would do well to resist your urge to latch on to a simplistic explanation based on just a few recent and limited studies.

But, the more important underlying point is that the model of ‘good people’ vs. ‘bad people’ is too simplistic at best it covers extremes and neglects huge segments of the population (who have the biggest impact), and who are not that good, not that bad, but their summed effects can be hellish good or bad.  The emphasis on good-vs.-bad distracts from the lesser good-bad behaviors, little things like consumer buying patterns, which are amplified.  And in these sort of little good-bad behaviors, people change all the time.  Back to the more serious scale…....there are many examples of supposedly ‘good’ people doing terrible things in times of desperation.  Were they bad all along?  Did they really go back to being good after the conditions changed?  These are important issues which need continuous examination if we are to avoid the catastrophes of history.  A simple good-bad view of the world I will say once again, subverts the more thoughtful and useful examination.

And lastly, ‘computers’?  ‘Computer programming’, perhaps?  Computer science?  Computer engineering?  Associated degree?  BS? MS?  In any of these cases, they do not qualify you in science by any means.  The physics requirements are minimal even in the more advanced undergraduate programs.  Have you ever solved a problem using Maxwells equations, or the Schroedinger equation?  The answer is an obvious no, or you would understand HAARP for what it is.

Tesla did very well for a guy who never finished college.  But, had he gone farther, he might have seen that one can deliver huge amounts of power to the ionosphere…....getting significant quantities (‘power levels’) efficiently is another matter entirely.

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By Ed Romano, March 13, 2012 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Pardon is the word to all because we are all human. Those faults we see in others are also in ourselves and it only takes the right circumstances to bring them forth.    Arthur Schopenhauer
  ( ...no doubt another f..ing fraud like Marx.Adorno, C.Wright Mills and Noam Chomsky )

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

“In an integrated economy, one does not have to be all that evil, and when you add up the effect of billions and billions of ‘not so bad’, but materialistic self-oriented consumers none the less, what you end up with is a massive amount of pain and suffering.”

IN ALL history, John, this condition has never been detected. It has not happened, it will not happen. So-called materialistic consumers are in fact ignorant of their OWN survival & while at one time-step may exploit another (despite being told not to do so) they are also sacrificing their own future. I guess you could call it Karma. Their day will come & soon due to their ignorance.

John, your idiotic denial of brain scans makes you a fraud. It’s PROVEN that pleasure-centers of the brain are stimulated by rapists and murderers by their violent acts. A murderer enjoys cutting a throat the way a normal person enjoys an ice-cream sundae or sex. It’s hard-wired, incurable & not common to most of the population. One type of person can’t ever be turned into another, any more than you can change a man’s XY chromosome pair to a woman’s XX.

“HAARP?  C’mon, that’s a signals intelligence application at best, not power distribution”
Absolutely wrong. The kind of power output going there for testing requires power distribution into the ionosphere. This is nothing more than the basis from the telegraph & old radio that directly was powered by the signal, not external batteries. This technology is more than a century old. Of course, you’re ignorant & a fraud, John, so I expect you to distort even this proven science.

I have a real science degree (computers), you don’t have any science degree. Nothing. Bubkis.

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By Justin Case, March 13, 2012 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

“We’re on our way to enlightenment becauise now we know that people are either all good or all bad”
Ed, I never said that. Your imagination destroys your ability to learn.
SOME people are not hard-wired evil or good. Some are clueless & some simply act in irrational ways. However, brain scans CONCLUDE pleasure-centers stimulated for “evil” people who enjoy killing or harming others, in the same way brain scans confirm this & other methods for sexual arousal for those who rape, same as those who have frontal lobe damage are PROVEN to lack inhibition (and so are prone to violence).
All of this is proven science, many times over. Go look it up, Ed, instead of acting out like a child.

“I just want to see the unnecessary suffering stop. That means an equitable redistribution of power”
It does not ever mean that. I have some bad news for you: every redistribution of power is both unequal and dangerous. Every last one.

“But you don’t have many suggestions, much less practice yourself, a way towards disempowering those who are exploiting man and the planet at an overwhelming rate”
Actually I have tons of experience. A combination of collecting information that can get a person fired, convicted, blackmailed is a start. Keeping all money out of banks is another start. Keeping all use of gas/fuel to a minimum is another powerful blow - I’ve been years free of a car. I’ve made concrete steps & advise others to do the same. These moves are a kick in the nuts to power brokers.

“You suggest that we kill them but you are not actually doing that, are you?”\
YES. I WILL. We all must. Lawfully many are guilty of treason & lawfully others are doing harm leading to death so then it’s only a matter of self-defense using lethal force. For all the other conditions I will not elaborate but I am 100% prepared. Weapons, poisons, weapons design, everything. So should we all be prepared.

“You say we should not participate in things that hurt others”
FIRST. Defense is OK. I do not go to kill a person for no reason. A person coming to kill me should be killed swiftly by any means no restrictions ever.

“What an idiot…..he says, “Do what’s right by your community & protect your survival of family & self. That’s good economics.”  It’s the credo of the Ayn Randians…....just worry about yourself,”

JOHN, you’re a fucking liar. I’m calling you out as being no better than Ed - a flat out fraud.

THE WORDS THEMSELVES prove you wrong. Protecting your COMMUNITY IS THE OPPOSITE of looking out for yourself. You need to get a real education, starting with LITERACY, leading to ETHICS and hopefully ending with learning the value of SILENCE.

“and through the magical invisible hand of the free market everything will be just fine”
NOTHING about protecting your community demands you must have a free market. Having a socialist non-market would ALSO work just fine.

John, your fraud will be stomped. It can not stand. Same with Ed. John & Ed clearly are here to distort all truth and to keep everyone a slave using false divisions, false definitions and getting everyone to better love their slave-masters by better-hating conditions & arguments which NEVER EXISTED. In fact there’s a term for your method of attack here:

the straw-man.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 13, 2012 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

There are those who follow her ‘philosophy’ knowingly and acknowledge her.  There are those who follow the ‘cult of self’ unknowingly, and basically, the core of consumer oriented culture, and materialism revolves around an over-emphasis on various forms of self gratification, as opposed to those less self oriented pursuits which might have a better long-term impact on society. 

A huge underlying problem is that so, so many people ‘look out for number one’ exclusively, and even in a very short term way.  There is very little or no regard to either others, excepting perhaps outside ones family, or to the future.  Even the pre-occupation with dynasty building, inheritances, etc, is a pre-occupation with the survival of one’s own precious DNA.  It is primal, and therefore easily exploitable. 

What is very, very difficult to nurture, (and correspondingly easy to destroy) is behavior which is concerned with the development of the general good of society.  People avoid the risk of self-sacrifice for fear of losing that long-term goal they set out to acheive.  It requires faith, which, is easily misplaced , creating cynicism and reinforcing the tendency to protect self first.

We’ve come a long way, many decades, along this path, and to me it seems more important to understand than trivial superficial descriptors such as capitalism and socialism.  This curtain of ‘isms’ seems to obscure a more fundamental understanding of how human nature interacts with available communication, distribution, and security technologies to shape the future. 

For instance, ‘socialism’ is superficially defined something like ‘the workers own the factory’ (or mine or farm, etc) but ‘ownership’ is just a mechanism for something much deeper, namely cooperation.  At the core of a ‘socialists’ belief is the idea people can ‘rise above’ primal individualistic modes of behavior, and cooperate to improve the condition of all concerned.

Capitalism, similarly has a superficial definition something like ‘private ownership of the means of production’, and ‘private’ is a very vague and broad term.  But as socialism has a sort of general core, some fuzzy ‘cooperation’, capitalism has a core.  It might be something like ‘competition’. 

If either system could exist exclusively, there would be an overhead to maintain it, namely a means to ensure people didn’t cheat.  Each ‘ism’ has particular ways it can be corrupted, and some fraction of the production must be expended on maintaining the system.  Theft and destruction of capital being a common overhead. 

So we’ve sen thousands of blends of the two systems, competition married with cooperation to get maximum production, presumably for the benefit of…...who?  That varies to.  Through history, the mechanisms for getting more production have gone back and forth between various ‘ism’s’ to acheive the goal of enriching somebody.  But we are in a unique time in history.  Finally, the interrelated systems have reached the extents of the planet, and everything is interrelated and maximally leveraged, yet, we are unable to satisfy the demands of the ever-growing population.  Additional optimizations within the narrow view of the current ‘ism’s’ is a futile effort. 

WE need to change the nature of the 99%.  The 1% can play with their toys, and it has minimal impact.  It is how the 1% use their privilege to inspire, (or fail to inspire and educate) the 99% which counts.  The 99% consume, consume, consume food and material goods which are grown and manufactured in ‘unsustainable’ ways.  It is human behavior, greed and un-thoughtlessness at the lower levels of humanity, which produce the majority of demands on our production abilities. 

So, yes, there is a problem with some of the the 1%, those who are irresponsible with wealth, but, the 99% should have a good long look in the mirror as well.  Occupy should draw strength from this introspection if possible.

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By katsteevns, March 13, 2012 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

For sure, Ayn Rand was surely part of the problem. She didn’t even know herself, let alone what was good for others. I suspect she still has a large following…too bad.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Correction, the incomplete sentence “It all results from people who one would not outright sure, there is good too.” SHOULD READ, “It all results from people who one would not outright call evil, and sure, there is good too.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

What an idiot…..he says, “Do what’s right by your community & protect your survival of family & self. That’s good economics.”  It’s the credo of the Ayn Randians…....just worry about yourself, and through the magical invisible hand of the free market everything will be just fine.  What a load of infantile crap.  This thinking is exactly the same as the ‘free marketeer right wingers’. 

Doing a little swap meet or whatever is a ‘feel good’, which does not do diddly squat within the larger ‘problem economy’, except, it wastes peoples energy on a task which accomplishes nothing more of a ‘feel good’ than a little tequila will accomplish.

But the big whopper is that conclusion that people are hard-wired good or evil.  In an integrated economy, one does not have to be all that evil, and when you add up the effect of billions and billions of ‘not so bad’, but materialistic self-oriented consumers none the less, what you end up with is a massive amount of pain and suffering.  But people are disconnected from it.  There is intense suffering, and more diffuse general suffering.  From rape to be-headings, to hunger, to increased cancer, infant mortality, etc.  It all results from people who one would not outright sure, there is good too.

But, we must look at the whole enchilada, and this idiotic selective model of good people and bad people, as I said, is an impediment.  There are indeed extreme cases, call them brain damages, or perhaps ‘wrongly developed’ brains, but two things: 1. they don’t even know yet how much of an effect epigenetics plays, and 2. it is a gross mis-generalization of the nature of people to be evil based on those extreme cases of ‘evil detectable by brain scan’. 

Taken together, this good-evil pre-deterministic view indicates the extremely shallow and I will say ideological ‘thinking’. 

And with Tesla again…...not a practical idea.  HAARP?  C’mon, that’s a signals intelligence application at best, not power distribution.  Any idea what the power transmission efficiency is?  Diddly.  How about microwaves?  Ha, a joke.  If your understanding of everything else is as good as your physics, Christ help us.  But I don;t discount about 90% of what you say based on your complete inadequacy in physics, all that fails on it’s own.  I’ll give you the 10% though.  There’s some good stuff if you pick through there…....like that chicken tractor.

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By katsteevns, March 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Justin: I have no unhealthy desire to gloat or be “right”. I just want to see the unnecessary suffering stop. That means an equitable redistribution of power. One would think that by now we could really make some big leaps in that direction. I think it’s possible, today.

But you don’t have many suggestions, much less practice yourself, a way towards disempowering those who are exploiting man and the planet at an overwhelming rate. You suggest that we kill them but you are not actually doing that, are you? :D ... You say we should not participate in things that hurt others. This you are doing. So, at least you are fulfilling one side of the equation. But fulfilling just one side will not do. It’s like putting a cast on your arm to fix a broken leg.

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By Ed Romano, March 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Did you catch that, John ? There’s “flat out” proof if I ever saw it. How can anyone argue with that….oops… I almost said analysis. ...And not only me but -” Others will learn “- from this absolute proof that is historical and recognizable because “too many people are jammed into one space.” We’re on our way to enlightenment becauise now we know that people are either all good or all bad. There is no in between. This will not change.EVER. as history tells us and anyone who questions it is a bad person and a liar who just wants to lead others to their doom.This is the infallible teaching of the Master who, let’s not forget,  is “far superior” to you and me. We had another infallible teacher back in the thirties as I remember. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us. But while he was here….boy, did he teach us a few lessons.

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By Justin Case, March 12, 2012 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

“Those who deny our nature, or cling to the model of ‘good prople’ vs. ‘bad people’, are impeding understanding.  And there will be those who are incapable of, or refuse to understand in any objective way”

Those very words are nonsense.
The MODEL is that humans are NOT “good and evil”.
The evidence, no model, is that good humans refuse to do harm to others and do not enjoy it. The evidence is that bad humans MUST enjoy and ALWAYS enjoy harming others and CAN NOT stop themselves. This has been clinically proven repeatedly.
Your very assertion is a denial of all objective reality and all evidence, all observation. it is true and pure denial of human nature.
Human nature demands that some people are born hard-wired from birth to harm others and love it. No choice. This is not a model, not a prediction, not any kind of assertion or opinion. This is flat out fact repeatedly observable in any large enough sample population no matter the language, culture, level of income, level of education, no matter the era in history. this is core human nature.

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By Justin Case, March 12, 2012 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Kat: I’d suggest you’re being defeatist. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong but there’s still time to be proven wrong. on the bright side if you’re proven wrong we’re all going to have a better quality of life. I guess if we all die you can gloat you were right.
:( obligatory sad-face.

I think with off-grid living & prepping skills which vary by geographic location we can do a lot to reduce waste, reduce fuel usage & plastic usage and perhaps still have a chance. Population is still a big issue. If I didn’t say it before I’ll push it now: I think immigration restrictions are bullshit. If there’s regional over-population it can be alleviated by letting people move anywhere. I’m sure that will make me popular.

Ed: your sarcasm shows your own attitude only. Capitalism & socialism while DISTINCT, as I’ve always said, can work together. Capitalism is not collectivist explicitly while socalism is. Socialism does not seek to protect individual property ownership but it does not REFUSE it either. That’s why they can work together. Of course your head is spinning but if you keep at it maybe you’ll learn. Other readers will learn.

John: extreme competition over scraps is a result ONLY of cramming too many people in one space. Not socalism, not capitalism, and sometimes not even fascism. These HARD definitons PROVEN by hard actions in history and defintions and NEVER EVER swaying as you pretend, do not ever change. Ever.
If you make less babies & you let people immigrate with ease then population problems go away. Competition for scraps CEASES. Capitalism is not even a factor.

Kat: “Even if they did and were in need of repair, it’s cheaper to buy a new one”
only by mis-counting. If one counts a “free benefit” at the cost of another’s life or safety that’s misallocation. Each person should honestly admit they’re getting $200 off something by causing 10 kids to eat poison somewhere in the world. Where I am aware, I refuse to do it. it IS hard to know but this era of data sharing is the best shot we ever had to tell each other.

“How could all these hundreds of scholars like Marx, Adorno, C. Wright Mills, Noam Choamsky etc…..how could they have gotten things so wrong”
Because, Ed, add in Adam Smith, Ayn Rand and Hayek and I’ll let you in on a little secret.
THEY’RE ALL FUCKING FRAUDS.
Do what’s right by your community & protect your survival of family & self. That’s good economics.

“We live in an unbelievably integrated economy, let’s get a handle on that shall we?”
Only if you let it, John. When you do swap-meets, grow your own food, barter & trade services for services then you FIGHT this integration. It’s a good fight. Please consider it.

“It is not a lie to look at a words popular definition, especially when such an examination may yield insight”
It is in fact the biggest lie ever told and must be fought at every moment of every life. It IS a matter of life & death. EVERY such fraud is used to perpetrate theft & murder, the very things Occupy stands against.

“And there are a lot of words we don’t have.  For instance, a word for an investment broker who sells bonds he knows are high risk, but knowingly promotes only up-side scenarios, leaving no clue as to the downside”
OH?
We DO in fact have a word for that. BULL-TARD. The investing community is well aware of this definition & word. Picture in dictionary: JIM CRAMER.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 12, 2012 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

“The value of preserving a human life and it’s liberties must be cranked up quite a few notches in the minds of everyone before positive systematic change will take place”  I agree.  It’s quality of each life that counts.  WE have to come to terms with the good bad and ugly in each of us, and how those traits manifest in an integrated global system. 

Those who deny our nature, or cling to the model of ‘good prople’ vs. ‘bad people’, are impeding understanding.  And there will be those who are incapable of, or refuse to understand in any objective way.  They will cling to the modes of thought which are approved for them.  Hey, it works for some people…....and they say to hell with everybody else.

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By katsteevns, March 12, 2012 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

“We need to step up on that, all of us.”

That’s just not going to happen. That would require a spontaneous mass awakening of some sort. Systematic mechanisms against dissent are aggressively being forged large scale as we speak. 

And it won’t happen before the planet resembles the landscape from The Matrix, Terminator, 1984 or A Brave New World.

Think of the damage to humanity thus far. There needs to be a reaction to that synonymous with Newton’s Law of Motion. The value of preserving a human life and it’s liberties must be cranked up quite a few notches in the minds of everyone before positive systematic change will take place. Short of that, only revolution and force can take it’s place.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 12, 2012 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Yes, Ed, wrong has been turned to right…....no longer do we need to employ ethics in business, we offload that responsibility to the consumer with ‘buyer beware’.  No longer is there a concept of a ‘reasonable profit’, under the laisse faire ‘free’ market, what we used to consider gouging is considered the preferred practice, since the hand of the market will allocate products and services to those who will pay the most.  It is no longer connected to need.  These are two examples, but your examples, the tricks with language are also insidious.  Orewell was right in general about the importance for vigilance wrt language, but naturally he couldn’t predict the specifics.  We are exactly in the midst of this. 

And there are a lot of words we don’t have.  For instance, a word for an investment broker who sells bonds he knows are high risk, but knowingly promotes only up-side scenarios, leaving no clue as to the downside.  poo-pooing by ommission. If there were a single short word for that sort of behavior, people would be better ‘consumers’, and the market might work better to favor ethical brokers.  But, such words do not materialize.  Why? 

But on the other topic…...people, understand Integrated.  INTEGRATED.  It is impossible to adequately separate out products such as plastics or fuel (except perhaps firewood and home grown food) that are free enough from ‘conflict’ to claim moral high-ground.  Even in those examples, firewood and food, it is very easy to become dependant on products which are thoroughly integrated into the material and cash streams which are unbelievably tainted.

It reminds me of marketing ‘organic’ vegetables.  Let’s go buy ‘conflict free’ plastics.  Ha, Ha, Ha.  Imagine somehow a little collective sets up a little eco-friendly plastics manufacturing facility somewhere.  How conflict free could it be?  Do some research, by all means.  Dig down one layer, and there are more ties to the nastiest things can imagine. 

‘Conflict-free’ is right in line to be the next marketing buzzword sort of like ‘organic’.  I once drove by a dry cleaner in Washington DC who had a big sign out front which read, “We use 100% organic chemicals”.  ‘Conflict free’....gimme a break.  Understand the full measure of what integrated global economy really means.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 12, 2012 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Capitalism is as self-proclaimed capitalists do.  This is a real-world working definition.  Clinging to a theoretical definition which is only applicable in a highly sterile classroom environment only serves to give cover to self-proclaimed ‘capitalists’, which I call ‘free marketeers’, because they cry so loudly of the virtues of the freee market, yet do whatever they can (often illegal) to raise barriers to competition in their particular markets.

You throw the word ‘LIE’ around very easily, a trait of one who defines the world in terms that work to their self advantage.  Absolutist, no room for debate.  An extremist, right or left, it matters not, an extremist personality.  If indeed you are on the left, it is so, so far to the intolerant extreme that you might as well be on the right. 

It is not a lie to look at a words popular definition, especially when such an examination may yield insight.  It is factual that ‘capitalists’ proclaim modern so-called ‘free-market’ practices as ‘capitalism’.  And, in reality, such so-called ‘free-market’ practices often merely destroy regulations which prevent either the cornering of markets, or the conduct of wholesale fraud.  Insistence on a narrow definition of ‘capitalism’ assists those who carry out fraud and lies. by example, the CDO’s which destroyed Iceland and Irelands central banks.  The narrow definition of capitalism assists liars throughout the corpo-oligarchy.  Typical ‘defense by good offense’ strategy of extremists…...call the other guy a liar first, then go on with you own facilitation of lies.

Words like faschism have less meaning than they used to, less applicability anyway.  We are dealing with a corpo-oligarchic-plutocracy sort of beast.  Thoroughly diffused into supply chains and cash streams in which we all participate.  Cries of ‘I don’t use tainted this-or-that’ are unbelievably naive and self-serving.  We live in an unbelievably integrated economy, let’s get a handle on that shall we?  Almost everything is fungible.  Technologists have been making processes which use fungible derivatives of materials for decades.  People are fungible.  Labor markets.  Chemicals, metal alloys, wood stocks, food base materials, etc.

The high priority examination in light of the extreme economic integration and fungibility of manufacturing pre-cursor materials, believe it or not, is a self-examination.  Human nature, when amplified through a system of consumer driven behaviors, behaviors driven by vanity, jealousy, greed, all of our ugliest traits, when amplified by our extreme numbers, creates hell from earth.  It is time we stopped shielding human nature as a noble thing, behind noble words like ‘capitalism’, and ‘free will’, and saw ourselves for what we are now.

If ever we had potential to rise to some kinder and enlightened way, that time has passed.  We are set against each other to compete like rats for scraps, and in this competition, do our best qualities come out?  Look around.

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By Ed Romano, March 12, 2012 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

John, I wonder if you have had a whole new world opened up to you as I have on this site.  At last I’ve been truly educated.For example, I’ve learned that capitalism and socialism are the same thing.I mean. think about that. That must mean that black is white and down is up. When workers own the means of production that is actually a form of capitalism. When capitalists extract value from labor that is merely socialism by another name. How could I have been so dense? How could all these hundreds of scholars like Marx, Adorno, C. Wright Mills, Noam Choamsky etc…..how could they have gotten things so wrong. It’s really amazing. I’ll tell you…my head is still spinning.

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By Justin Case, March 12, 2012 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

It’s a matter of research & timing in some cases. Generally all of us use plastic & fuel and that’s far from conflict free. We need to step up on that, all of us.

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By katsteevns, March 12, 2012 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

Justin,

Ok, I apologize. It was a cheap shot and a misunderstanding on my part.

It seems you are concerned and have taken steps to ensure that you, personally, do not abuse the system and that you, personally, have no, shall I say, blood on your hands in regards to how your world effects others either directly or indirectly. And there is no arguing that this has many honorable qualities. But I do not see how this type of behavior is going to stop the destruction now taking place in order that your world will flourish and expand.

Very few have access to conflict mineral free computers, cell phones, video game systems and digital cameras, let alone knowledge of there existence. Even if they did and were in need of repair, it’s cheaper to buy a new one.

And you are correct, I can not read or write. But, I suppose that needed clarifying.

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By Justin Case, March 12, 2012 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

Who’s a libertarian? Where did that come from, John?

“I’m quite disgusted by the loyalty to a particular narrow and theoretical definition of a word, as opposed to the practical usage of it”

That’s why I’m using the actual and practical definition of “capitalism” at the same time. Everyone saying otherwise is literally lying with deliberate purpose to do harm.

“Case in point today, the word ‘capitalism’.  All manner of control and cartel over free markets (including market manipulation by fiat currency, dubious financial ‘instruments’, etc, is carried out behind the sacred word ‘capitalism’, “

CASE NOT IN POINT. THIS IS A FRAUD.

What’s actually happening is removal of all capitalism and using FASCISM. MERGER OF CORPORATION AND GOVERNMENT.

You lie, John, and I will stomp that lie.

This is not any kind of socialism or capitalism. This is 100% fascism. It is NOT a cartel. It is NOT a free market. It is NOT collective ownership by workers. It is ONE THING ONLY: FASCISM.

Mussolini’s blueprint. Look it up some time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOPhd9LCJPQ

“The echos through the posters (posers?) comments have been ideologically consistent with “anti-social, survivalist, every-man-for-himself, buyer beware, libertarian extreme right-wing area of our political space”. “

EVERY WORD there is a dirty fraud and a lie. I am NOT a libertarian. I am NOT “every man for himself”. I am NOT anti-social. I am NOT right-wing. You are a fraud. Shame on you.

““But I personally have got no benefit whatsoever by any measure - food, oil, electricity, freedom, steel, bricks, etc. - from the events in Iraq.”

And that seems to be all you are concerned about…..yourself…..and the “future”, of course. “

KAT: fraud on you. SHAME. You’ve been pretty good until now. Unlike Ed & John.

You accused me DIRECTLY of benefit from the situation in Iraq, word for word. You didn’t clarify or even hint that you meant a larger group of people including me. I am NOT GUILTY of the accusation. My words say ONLY that. Nothing about being selfish or self-serving. It’s defense only.

LEARN TO READ & WRITE or keep it to yourself if you only want to be rude. You’ve been pretty good up to this point, don’t be another Ardee.

“Because your computer comes from Asia doesn’t mean the materials the make it up did.”

24 months ago, yes that’s exactly what it means. Changes in distribution for silver & gold are afoot in Asia. I’m watching it as a gold investor.

“They travel to the east coast of Africa and make there way to Thailand, Malaysia, China and India to be refined along with other minerals from around the world. Then they are processed and shipped to you.”

At most tin in a tin can or tungsten in a light bulb, to me personally. To some around me perhaps more but it’s not in my computer.

Sys Admin: stop blocking my ip addresses just because you hate free speech. 5 so far? I can get 50 more.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 12, 2012 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Don’t you love the brand of ‘libertarian’, who neglects real civil liberties in favor of a view that ‘freedom’ really just means the ‘freedom to do whatever the hell I please’, regardless of how it impacts others?  This brand of ‘libertarian’ acts to promote the freedom from a responsibility to maintain a legal system to assure constitutionally enumerated civil liberties.

I’m quite disgusted by the loyalty to a particular narrow and theoretical definition of a word, as opposed to the practical usage of it, and the opposite of that mechanism, when it is self-serving to shield nasty behaviors behind some sacred word.  Case in point today, the word ‘capitalism’.  All manner of control and cartel over free markets (including market manipulation by fiat currency, dubious financial ‘instruments’, etc, is carried out behind the sacred word ‘capitalism’, yet some cling to an obsolete theoretical definition.  I no longer give the benefit of the doubt that this insistence is due to any noble purpose.  The echos through the posters (posers?) comments have been ideologically consistent with “anti-social, survivalist, every-man-for-himself, buyer beware, libertarian extreme right-wing area of our political space”.

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By katsteevns, March 12, 2012 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

“Nothing that happened in Iraq, good or bad, affects my life today.”

“But I personally have got no benefit whatsoever by any measure - food, oil, electricity, freedom, steel, bricks, etc. - from the events in Iraq.”

And that seems to be all you are concerned about…..yourself…..and the “future”, of course.

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By katsteevns, March 12, 2012 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

Because your computer comes from Asia doesn’t mean the materials the make it up did. From the Congo, the deadliest conflict in the world since WW11, 4 conflict minerals are extracted at a great loss to human life: gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten. They travel to the east coast of Africa and make there way to Thailand, Malaysia, China and India to be refined along with other minerals from around the world. Then they are processed and shipped to you.

The proceeds from these minerals buy weapons for the local militias. But the main weapon of choice is not a gun, it is sexual rape of women.

5.5 million deaths in Eastern Congo so far. You want to be concerned with the future, be my guest. I choose to remain in the present.

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By Justin Case, March 12, 2012 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

“The reason we don’t have enough green technology at this time is for the simple reason that it’s not filling someones pockets to bursting with greenbacks”
No… I think perhaps no one has any clue how to design such things. I wasn’t kidding about the tidal power, it takes a lot but it’s a potentially amazing global source of energy. The HAARP/ Tesla stuff is complete. Ionospheric induction & microwave transmission is functional NOW.
Maybe if there was a way to turn living cells into reliable batteries so we could grow bacterial cultures into power sources… that would be cool & easy to replace/repair. They need to feed. Someone’s done that with sewage-waste. We have NO shortage of that. I don’t know how scaled up that one is, Kat. It sounds like a very good one.

“not filling someones pockets to bursting with greenbacks. And you can thank capitalism for that.”
As a matter of fact I thank anti-capitalism for that - greenbacks are anti-capitalism. All fiat currencies managed by central banks are 100% anti-capitalist. Real capitalists deal with PRODUCTION and WORK and ACTUAL MONEY (gold, silver, oil, etc.). Papers, debt notes & electronic versions are all fraud. A real capitalist must reject this fraud. AT BEST a debt has POTENTIAL future trade-in value for hard-currency, for real goods of real value, for real services. At worst these debt contracts are fraudulent by promising ratios of values, multipliers of values, divisibility of total value into useful units, all fraud. Currency itself today is a fraud. Euros, yen, dollars: ALL FRAUD. Garbage.

“Why don’t you go and ask the Iraqis about quality of life issues. It was the sacrifice of their people and their culture that brings you your standard of living right now”

It is not. Nothing that happened in Iraq, good or bad, affects my life today. If you want to look back far enough to Assyria then we can credit the early innovators of the day for some things we enjoy today. But I personally have got no benefit whatsoever by any measure - food, oil, electricity, freedom, steel, bricks, etc. - from the events in Iraq. Nothing.

“Take the raw materials out of your sacred computer and cell phone and put them back into the African soil”
They didn’t come from there, actually. Most of them came from Asia. Japan, China, Korea, Russia.
I’m sure there’s still gold & silver from Africa trading on markets but given the location of the manufacturing of the circuit-boards & the locations of the gold, silver, rare-earths there & the time I bought the computer, I know it’s from Asia.

“and put them back into the African soil, thus improving the quality of life for that war torn region.”
I say no such quality change is possible. The quality of life is NOT improved for Africans by putting metals back in their soils. I’d say giving them things they need, like food, for things they have, like copper or gold, is a good trade. The only question is if it’s good enough. If the people are being given too little in trade or poisoned during any mining then it’s a bad trade & they should defend their territory from any invaders.

“Return your car to the factories in Asia where they toil from dawn to dusk”
I’ve been car-free since 2005. If everyone went car-free then we’d require robotic trains that can predict schedules & deliver both goods & people across rugged terrains. Standard bus & train combined can not replace car usage in all human terrains. PERHAPS humans would be able to retract from those terrains BUT again this is societal suicide. Maybe another society could emerge but today’s society would be killed.

“Let’s concern ourselves with the people who walk the planet today, not those, like Walt Disney, who wants to be thawed out at a later date”
NO.
I concern myself MOST with the future and not only with the people today who sell their neighbor’s kids for meals today. I stand against such evil.

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By Justin Case, March 12, 2012 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

So let me just ask to clarify, someone would like to see figures on a worker co-op, for example, to explain from the budget & inflows, material expenses, the sharing of ownership, that this is capitalism? Or to show that it is socialism? So maybe someone thinks if the numbers come up one way it’s only capitalism or another way it’s only socialism?
really?
The question itself actually shows a fundamental misunderstanding. Consent & trade no matter the numbers makes it capitalism. Deciding to collectively share ownership & risk makes it socialism, no matter the figures.
Is there any more detail to this question?
I think there’s a huge difference between say, 10 people sharing equal ownership & work, vs 1 person having a majority of the work, or 1 person having a majority of ownership. Not sure where anyone wants to draw a line getting into details of “how much” work / ownership.
Anyone here think that’s really the right question?

“All your talk about salvaging large swaths of capitalism is only a hindrance at this point in time.”

I have no such talk.
Re-read.
I am stating you *can not* kill capitalism no matter what you DO. Ever. Period. Impossible. The drive to be free, not a slave, the drive to produce, not to be raped, is capitalism at its core. You can not erase it, you can only kill people or steal their stuff to hinder capitalism. Free people choose capitalism. It’s that simple, Kats. The instant 2 free people get together & trade any things, or services to each other, they are capitalist. Done & done.

“It is now time for action, if we want to survive”
Then, Kat, it’s time to choose freedom. Reject all fraud, all war, all murder, and protect what is ours. Protect it from others’ taking it, others’ destroying the value (contamination, war/impact/damage, etc.) & defend against fraud (vast information network exposing sources of fraud, naming names, showing techniques to watch out for). This is where a basis for “hard currency” comes from too, avoiding what’s called “counter party risk” and of course this has to be the basis for environmental protection.
If we can’t protect where we can drink, breathe & sleep, what will be left? Nothing.

A strong defense is needed NOW. Force WILL BE REQUIRED. People will KILL you for defending your survival. Sorry but that’s the reality. You will be told “submit to slavery or be killed now”. If you choose non-violence you will be a slave forever. If you non-violently refuse to submit you will be executed. That’s the future for most of the planet for the next 20 years. Sorry.

“If you want to save DisneyLand, be my guest, I won’t try and stop you”
Not me, I’m not any big fan, been there once only, just questioning if I should have the right to say there “should not” or “can not” be such a thing. I can easily discourage it, got plenty of good reasons, but I question if it’s crossing a line, Kat, to say it “must not” exist by designing some kid of “economy” which somehow denies it a right/chance to exist. What else would that effect?
It’s a complicated question, that’s all. I’m not trying to deliver an edict on Disney Land, Mount Splashmore or anything else in that category. Sorry if the tone of Ed & a couple others suggests I am a “know it all” only here to “deliver teachings from the mountain on high”. I’m not. I’m not dumb, I’m very well informed but I do actually ask questions if I think we all need to ponder them instead of jumping to an answer.

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By Ed Romano, March 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Kat, You are not far from the Kingdom.

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By katsteevns, March 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

Justin, you should really come up with some figures to back up your assertions.

SOCIETAL SUICIDE, as you say, is where we are headed if we don’t throw in a monkey wrench to stop it. All your talk about salvaging large swaths of capitalism is only a hindrance at this point in time. We have dithered away the time and gone beyond the point of self reflection. It is now time for action, if we want to survive.

If you want to save DisneyLand, be my guest, I won’t try and stop you…at least not yet. And too much of the technology we have now can take a flying leap as far as I am concerned. It’s all done essentially in the name of profit anyway. The reason we don’t have enough green technology at this time is for the simple reason that it’s not filling someones pockets to bursting with greenbacks. And you can thank capitalism for that.

Why don’t you go and ask the Iraqis about quality of life issues. It was the sacrifice of their people and their culture that brings you your standard of living right now…and an undeserved standard at that. Take the raw materials out of your sacred computer and cell phone and put them back into the African soil, thus improving the quality of life for that war torn region. Return your car to the factories in Asia where they toil from dawn to dusk, seven days a week for pennies an hour and improve their lives as well.

Let’s concern ourselves with the people who walk the planet today, not those, like Walt Disney, who wants to be thawed out at a later date so he can bilk us for yet some more of our hard earned wages at the maximum profit margin.

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By Justin Case, March 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

in that case, John, I’d suggest your experience is very limited. I’m dealing with proven facts, time-tested over centuries in some cases. If something’s really unclear and only likely true or false I’m not afraid to say so. I’d say so if I see such a grey-zone.
It’s not my “personal truth” to apply capitalism at the personal level: it’s the only definition of capitalism. Modern education has deliberately blurred (lied) definitions of fascism, socialism, communism, to create false divides on emotions rather than facts, rather than explaining what the benefits or detriments are of each useful system. When you work from real history & step forward you can trace both the failures & the propaganda. Communism simply failed. Fascism benefits the few at the top (today’s systems). Socialism & capitalism act in the benefit of freedom but don’t have magical immunity from human nature interjecting gigantic errors. Long-term planning is the best shot one has to avoid long-scale business-cycle collapses or nature’s regular smack-downs & this requires innovation beyond socialism or capitalism’s full reach.

Ardee, John, Ed: clearly I’m superior to you in every way possible. It’s sad you think you can speak down to me. Anyone reading over what you’ve had to write would conclude you have not a clue. At least OzarkMichael can credibly prove he is not stupid or easily misled. Anarcisse also is far far above you 3.

Hopefully those who choose to read but not comment will learn a few useful things. Still pretty impressed with the chicken-tractor idea myself.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 11, 2012 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

In my experience, those who assert with authority as to what is truth or what is a lie, are usually the last ones who should be making such absolutist determinations.  Your selected model of applying capitalism at the atomic (personal) level and proclaiming ‘truth’ is disgustingly convenient for your personal existence/power, and hides profound realities which you ignore.

Ardee, tell me to stop wasting my time with this bozo and I will.  I tried, but it’s like having to look over at road kill and see what kind of mangled critter is laying there stinking up the highway.  You just can’t pass without looking.

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By Justin Case, March 11, 2012 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

“Justin, You are here to educate EVERYONE (your emphasis)? That stoped me in my tracks, man. “
Good, Ed, good.
If you were under the mistaken impression that I reply to you PERSONALLY because you PERSONALLY are that important, you’re wrong. What I write is educational to the entire planet & I never expected you to clue in.

Ardee: once again proving your input is negative in value by all metrics. Shut your pie hole.

John: I have not tied up the board. I have only made sure that if someone lies about what socialism is, what fascism is, what capitalism is, or what freedom is, that I correct the lie. Lies have a way on the internet of spreading virally if they are not challenged.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 11, 2012 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

I agree with Ed’s comment, “........a perfect example of someone who is educated far beyond your intellectual ability.” 

He can use ‘ism’s’ to argue in circles and never accomplish anything productive.  Also having an ego unwarranted by the lack of ability to see the more complex position of various ‘ism’s’ as either tools or shackles in the larger picture.  A fool who thinks himself master of smoke and mirror to the point of assuming title of ‘teacher’.  Indeed.

Let’s not lose sight of one issue…...he has tied up the forum for some time, and I am suspecting, given the dogmatic ideology based style, and the particular positions on that sacred word ‘capitalism’, that he is effectively (fill in the blank).

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By ardee, March 11, 2012 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

By Ed Romano, March 11 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

Justin, You are here to educate EVERYONE (your emphasis)? That stoped me in my tracks, man. That’s really sad. Sorry I bothered you. I won’t again. Ed

About damn time too!

wink

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By Ed Romano, March 11, 2012 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

Justin, You are here to educate EVERYONE (your emphasis)? That stoped me in my tracks, man. That’s really sad. Sorry I bothered you. I won’t again. Ed

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By Justin Case, March 11, 2012 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

“Justas, Worker coops ? Wouldn’t that be by passing the capitalists?”
nope. Such a thing is both socialist and capitalist at the same time.
The capitalist part is the interaction with customers & raw materials for delivery. The socialist part is deciding to make equal shares ownership.
If you remove the condition of equal-shares ownership then it’s not socialist but it’s still capitalist.

“I’ll tell you Justas….such flagrant flip flopping and stupidity makes me angry…Oops”

There is no flip-flopping. You are in a state of total denial, Ed, about reality. I’m a shock to you like ice water on a sleeping dreamer but it’s about time it was done. If not for your sake then for the other dreamers. This is the harsh reality: capitalism and socialism can work together and DO work together.

“any merit to this site why don’t you move on”
NO. I am what fools fear the most: I am here to educate EVERYONE not just you. I am not here for argument. I am here to set the record straight so that EVERYONE reading can learn & fix things. You can’t have your way. You aren’t convincing enough so you hope that I’ll leave. I will not. The bottom line is that capitalism has done NO harm, that socialism is also useful and that they can work together constantly, Ed.

Kats: “I hope you are not saying that people are incapable of making their own fun”
I hope you’re not suggesting we banish all kinds of fun that require investment, workers, etc. It’s okay to have yo-yo’s and scrabble but to banish disneyland, cotton-candy, skittles, chocolate… uh you sure about that? I’m not saying “do not” just asking…

“Going even further, I’d say there is no need for the television or the car being mass produced.”
That’s CRAZY TALK.
If they’re not mass produced they cost 100x as much or can’t be done at all.
If they can’t be done at all then quality of life is slammed down the shitter. Television is more than a device: it’s a video communications tool. Just because today’s use of it can be stupid (broadcast) doesn’t mean all uses will be (early computer monitors are TV’s and computers are NOT idiot-broadcast-tools).
This line of thinking is societal-suicide.

“Technologically, we have all we need right now in order to stabilize the eco-system and the population”
not even REMOTELY close, Kats.
To do such a thing we need to control all hurricanes and be able to control all albedo across the entire planet. We have no such technology. We also need the power to remove toxic industrial waste from the oceans including this nonsense radiation from Fukushima. We have NO such technology. We’d need to replace oil & gas energy with tidal wave energy & there is not enough machinery or understanding yet. Not even close. Baby-steps have been made which look promising.

“Worshiping technology as we do”
There is no such worship.
There is only survival. Your very idea of “worship” baffles me. People are not worshipping. They are dying with a lack of technologies for food, fuel, shelter (that includes earthquake tolerant buildings). Zero worship. Death or no death. Survival or no survival. That’s it.

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By Ed Romano, March 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Justas, Worker coops ? Wouldn’t that be by passing the capitalists? Wouldn’t that be diminishing freedom ?  I’ll tell you Justas….such flagrant flip flopping and stupidity makes me angry…Oops. Where did that come from…. Now that you have posted your little opinionated essay I’m sure we can look forward to one where you back it up with something other than invective, and a pretense of enlightenmment. Of course, this is said tongue in cheek.Based on your previous postings all we can expect is fag ends of a flag waving rant containing nothing whatsoever of justification for the ranting. You sir, are a perfect example of someone who is educated far beyond your intellectual ability. Since you have nothing to add of any merit to this site why don’t you move on to one where you might really make a contribution   ...say like… The best ways to peel a banana.

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By katsteevns, March 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

“I’d like to agree but that also means an ideal economy has no goal ever to let people have fun.”

I hope you are not saying that people are incapable of making their own fun. I see no need for industries centered around entertainment. The natives of this land managed without it. Going even further, I’d say there is no need for the television or the car being mass produced.

Technologically, we have all we need right now in order to stabilize the eco-system and the population. Worshiping technology as we do, as if it will save the future, is a false pipe dream.

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By Justin Case, March 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

“I’d say worker ownership would be a good solution to many workplace ills”
I would agree, Kat. This adds risk to the workers - what if the business starts to go down for whatever reason - but it adds benefit that the worker is the owner, is the boss, has a real stake not just a wage. Be it capital equipment or shares, risk is there, as is the control/benefit of ownership.

“Managers should share equal gains with the workers, not more. Managers are freed from the labor process and this should be enough incentive for him to be dedicated to working for the advancement of the whole.”
Indeed, Kat, it’s a powerful argument for workers to say “see how much planning you get done when you’re on the line because we all leave”. Indeed. A fair, and also capitalist, argument for a good wage matching the market-share & value of the product to the customers.

“I feel that an ideal economy would not produce things people don’t need merely for the purpose of accumulating capital”
I’d like to agree but that also means an ideal economy has no goal ever to let people have fun. Is a good economy one that doesn’t allow for candy, disney land, go-karts or bars? Can people strictly trade fun-stuffs for fun-stuffs in a secondary economy detached from the important stuff like food, oil, land, steel, bricks & gold? Cotton-candy-dollars?

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By Justin Case, March 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

or maybe… maybe Ed you have something else entirely in mind. Maybe you think that when nature strikes someone down with illness or death we can actually reverse it, all of it. Maybe you think we can take people who aren’t good planners, inventors or savers and upgrade their minds & lives using some magic so everyone can be a Tesla or a smart investor. Is that what you were thinking? Because if you have any idea, Ed, of taking away the hard work of one who accumulates more, but let loose in advance you will do so, that person will refuse to exist or will be very well armed so you can’t ever find the resources or you’ll get killed trying to steal them. No one busts their ass to make a million KNOWING you’ll come steal it well in advance.

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By katsteevns, March 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

“If a manager figures out a better place to advertise & better slogans to boost sales, then more work is there for the factory workers, should the manager keep none of the gains since the workers have no idea what/when/where got them more work but they just did the same thing anyhow?”

I’d say worker ownership would be a good solution to many workplace ills.

Managers should share equal gains with the workers, not more. Managers are freed from the labor process and this should be enough incentive for him to be dedicated to working for the advancement of the whole.

In regards to slick advertising and slogans, I feel that an ideal economy would not produce things people don’t need merely for the purpose of accumulating capital. This is a waist of time and resources and a major problem in this consumer driven society.

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By Justin Case, March 10, 2012 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Ed, if 3 families were supported each by the father of the family each at the same work place, same job, same pay, worked there from the same hire-date, and one died early of a heart-attack, would you stupidly insist that “equality” be made? Like mandating suicide for the other 2 fathers? If one person breaks a leg must all the other workers? If a manager figures out a better place to advertise & better slogans to boost sales, then more work is there for the factory workers, should the manager keep none of the gains since the workers have no idea what/when/where got them more work but they just did the same thing anyhow?
How ignorant can you be? Ed, you live in a world of nonsense delusions. It’s for the benefit of everyone else reading that I make sure to reply.

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By Justin Case, March 10, 2012 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Your premises, Ed, are the height of arrogant anti-reality illusion. I reject them as fraud so severe that life would be lost and society destroyed by using them. your premises are as logical as declaring executions to be medical exams. They are nonsense. I have no illusions. I am 100% immune to ALL belief systems or assumptions. I simply can not tolerate them. I work ONLY from evidence.

“Force is only force if it is applied with a weapon??? How about the threat of starvation?”
There is no such threat without a weapon. EVERY instance of forcing starvation, not by means of nature, requires a weapon. Fire, pollution, caging people, salting fields - that’s all weapon use.

“I did NOT say that the two instances were both rape in the acceptable sense of ther word. I said ” What is we expand the word”
same thing. Expanding the word, changing the definition, word-play to turn initial fraud into accepted bullshit replacement of reality. Not accepted.

“and cannot simply go next door if they resent being used in ways that diminish their humanity”
They can and they DO. People even migrate around the world at great risk to do this but they manage. Life is not without risk. Freedom is not without cost. You give cases only of submission with no resistance, no adaptation. I would never strike in the winter. I’d used my stored food to LEAVE & never return.
Fools store no food or cash, of course. For them there is only death. You can try to warn them but many refuse AND then try to kill you for admitting you stored food.

“Justin, you are an apologist for inequity”
It is the core of all nature and MUST be defended. if you can FIX it without breaking something else then please do so. So far your “fixes” are actually causing MORE inequity by expecting others to work very hard, produce a lot then lose it all to parasites who did NO work to get the goods.
I’ll tell you one thing that steams me about capitalists, though. People who feel so rich they can literally DESTROY good materials, land, etc., instead of finding someone else to give it to, or sell it. Such flagrant stupidity makes me angry.

“We are not living in a world or a country where everything is equitable, just, and reasonable”
such a world is impossible by all measures and all attempts to create it require the killing of millions and stealing from 100’s of millions worldwide. The “solution” is worse than the problem, like burning all forests to remove all termites.

“And as it now seems to be rapidly destroying this nation”
It is not whatsoever. Inequality has done NO harm. What’s done harm is FRAUD. Misrepresentation of action, value, contract. VIOLENCE, taking land, gold, food, water, using GUNS AND MURDER. That’s the problem. It’s a pretty big one. THAT is what’s collapsing EVERY nation, not just yours.

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By katsteevns, March 10, 2012 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

For sure, the American workplace is not a democratic institution. It is authoritarian with a window dressing of civility.

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By Ed Romano, March 10, 2012 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Justin, Of course you reject the premises. They shake your illusion. Force is only force if it is applied with a weapon??? How about the threat of starvation?
In a city where there was only one industry and that industry paseed around a black list from one company to another. that was a definite possibility. In fact, the workers were so desperate they went out on strike in the dead of winter because the mill owners had cut their pay by what amounted to 2 or 3 loaves of bread a week. Those mill owners were the big daddies of capitalism. The mansions they lived in are still standing. One of them had a heated garage for 12 automobiles I think you must live in a bubble. You don’t seem to realize that in the real world solutions are not as simple as you believe….. Of course, I realize that pouncing on someone for personal gratification is different than taking advantage of them because they are not in a position to refuse. I did NOT say that the two instances were both rape in the acceptable sense of ther word. I said ” What is we expand the word….”. I’m trying to get myopic folks to see that workers are not as free as you would like to believe, and cannot simply go next door if they resent being used in ways that diminish their humanity.  Justin, you are an apologist for inequity. It’s evident that’s not how you see yourself. Maybe that’s your saving grace. If you don’t understand how the system, that you’ve been living in all your life, works it is really a waste of time conversing with you. We are not living in a world or a country where everything is equitable, just, and reasonable….where it is perfectly okay for some folks to get ahead in life by using others as objects to be manipulated….The system cannot be perfected with a little tinkering. It needs to be drastically changed. And as it now seems to be rapidly destroying this nation perhaps you will come to realize that before you are throughj.

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By Justin Case, March 10, 2012 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

“Justin neglects a key point regarding Rome, the obsession with ‘self’, hubris, and unhealthy obsession with private property to the point of complete disregard for the ‘commons’.”

It is not true so I do not neglect it.

Rome suffered much more from systemic encouragement of pleasures. Not obsession with ‘self’ but obsession with pleasure, waste, irrationality. Hubris does not therefore always result but when it does, it’s a side-effect. There was no obsession with private property. There is no commons.

I already identified all the external pathogens. All human nature traits are EXTERNAL to socialism and capitalism. Socialism & capitalism systems are EXTERNAL to all human traits of emotions, desires, hubris, greed, theft, etc.

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By Justin Case, March 10, 2012 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

“Interesting proposal. But the power must first be wrested from those who possess it.”

No, first you do the executions, then the power is yours. it must always be in that order.

I assure you I am not contradicting myself. Re-read what I wrote:
the loss of property rights is the loss of capitalism. The loss of property & property value without consent by harm of others is anti-capitalist. The delusional self-deception that property rights hurts people, the delusional idea that capitalism is bad, actually gives the supreme power to the anti-capitalist thieves and polluters because you have already declared your rights to be dead.

“The exploitation of public lands and water IS hurting people.”

100 times as much damage is from non-exploitation dumping on PRIVATE land by external forces - no consent, trespass & dumping. This is far far more important than “public lands”.

Ed: “I live in a city where 100 years ago supervisors in the mills sometimes forced women to perform sex acts at the risk of losing their jobs if they refused.”
indeed this happens even today. All one can do is try to fight & leave. Do not submit. Use whatever force is necessary.

“but they were forced to paint the houses of supervisors, cut the grass, or offer gifts of food etc.”

force means guns. Killing. Assault. Words are not force. Threats are not force if they do not get backed up by guns, knives, killing. If any person could just walk away and lose their job it is NOT force. It’s not good but it is NOT force.

“In these cases I would say that it is reasonable to claim, that both the woman and the man had been victims of a form of rape”

I must 100% reject your premise. If you can only continue on this premise we are done. I will reply for the sake of others to learn who read all this but I have no interest in teaching you in the face of that premise. The premise is logically faulty. Also, it really diminishes the real damage of real rape by conflating a non-violent act to a violent intrusion of the body.

“There is another kind of property however. This is property that in intangible…”

I reject this premise 100%. I reject all copyright and intellectual property as a form of terrorism using money and/or reputation to stifle free speech, innovation & education.

“It is a bogus argument to suggest that the worker go to another place of employment if he/she feel they”
It is the most powerful NON-bogus argument ever: if you are forced at gun point you have no choice. If you are not, you have choice. Done and done.

“when all other enterprises where they might apply operate exactly like the one they are attempting to escape”

This is impossible future knowledge. Without having tried to leave and tried a new job you have only a very imprecise prediction based on a lack of data. It is a wrong prediction. It simply is not true.

“If a work force is employed to manufacture, for example, bicycles….wealth will be produced. This wealth is produced by the human beings who labor to produce it”

Work is not wealth. Materials are not wealth. Wealth depends on quality, rarity. If what is produced is not rare or has little quality then there is no wealth.

“Therefore,in order for the owner of the building ( that he considers to be his private property).... in order for him to become wealthy he must skim off some of the wealth created by labor and claim it as his own.”
Untrue. Instead the owner trades the use of the building & tools with workers so the workers are skimming off the marginal benefits. As it happens many factories use machines so expensive, complicated, large that no workers alone could make them. Without the owner making such machines available there is no production, no work. The worker is skimming a wage without ANY risk of up-front factory-installation cost.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Justin neglects a key point regarding Rome, the obsession with ‘self’, hubris, and unhealthy obsession with private property to the point of complete disregard for the ‘commons’.

Additionally, you (Justin) neglect to identify ‘external’ pathogens.  Those you mention, being part of human nature are internal.  This is applicable to the Roman parallel.

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By Ed Romano, March 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Re: Property is theft. Rather than go rummaging around on the upper floors of a building without any foundation I think it sometimes helps to see if there is anything holding the building up. Perhaps this will open up an area of discussion that will give us a foundation to build on….When the word ‘rape’ is used we understand this to mean forcing someone to perform a sexual act against their will for the gratification of the rapist. What if we expanded the concept to mean forcing someone to do ANYTHING against their will strictly for our own benefit ? I live in a city where 100 years ago supervisors in the mills sometimes forced women to perform sex acts at the risk of losing their jobs if they refused. I would classify this as rape. Now, some of the males were not forced to perform sex acts, but they were forced to paint the houses of supervisors, cut the grass, or offer gifts of food etc. at the risk of losing their jobs if they refused. In these cases I would say that it is resonable to claim, that both the woman and the man had been victims of a form of rape.
  As to property….several things. Property can be described as the tangible assests that belong to a person…their house, television set, roller skates etc. We cannot reasonably argue that this property should not be controlled by the owner. There is another kind of property however. This is property that in intangible… In recent centuries it is argued, for example, that people have a right to “intellectual property.” I say that the labor a person performs is just this type of intangible personal property. ....When tangible private property is used to expropriate the labor of others for one’s own benefit it is theft and large amounts of private property is the accumulation of past theft.
The phrase- property is theft - refers to this type of property. It is a bogus argument to suggest that the worker go to another place of employment if he/she feel they are being raped when all other enterprises where they might apply operate exactly like the one they are attempting to escape….I ask the reader to examine how wealth is created. If a factory lies abandoned , for example, no wealth is produced. If a work force is employed to manufacture, for example, bicycles….wealth will be produced. This wealth is produced by the human beings who labor to produce it. The building they occupy does not produce wealth. This is evident because when the building is abandoned no wealth is produced. Therefore,in order for the owner of the building ( that he considers to be his private property).... in order for him to become wealthy he must skim off some of the wealth created by labor and claim it as his own. It may be argued that this system is beneficial for any number of reasons (bogus arguments in my estimation) but I don’t see how it is possible to argue that the expropriation of labor by capital does not happen without standing logic and reason on its head.

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By katsteevns, March 9, 2012 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

By Justin Case, March 9 at 6:59 am

” a revolution has to actually improve the lives of the people. It didn’t, so it failed. “

Well, that would depend on which version of history one subscribes to.

“how about executions for the thieves & frauds just because they’re thieves & frauds?”

Interesting proposal. But the power must first be wrested from those who possess it. How do you suggest we do that…..AND in time to save the ecosystem?
            ———

This:

    “....execute those who steal the land, food & water of others for any personal benefit (e.g. that includes mining, oil spills, industrial dumping). Stealing the value using contamination/poison is still stealing (there is profit)”

and this


    “because of delusional self-deception that property rights are hurting people,”


  statement appear to be contradicting each other. The exploitation of public lands and water IS hurting people.
        ———-


“the delusional deception that by not using extreme force with those who are killing us using theft & fraud that we’ll somehow come out okay.”

“At the cellular level that doesn’t work. At the level of any small segment of the ecosystem that doesn’t work. In fact, it doesn’t work anywhere.”

Agreed.

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By Justin Case, March 9, 2012 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

no, kats, a revolution has to actually improve the lives of the people. It didn’t, so it failed. Pretty simple.

“So, what do you suggest, we execute all the liars and cheats in order to create unadulterated capitalism”
how about executions for the thieves & frauds just because they’re thieves & frauds? I mean really, do we need to state a further goal (capitalism) on top? Why? Isn’t the act in and of itself bad enough?

“What do you say we just take some baby steps first and begin by stopping the killing?”
I’d like to take some baby-steps towards adding some killing. Lawful executions for treason & changes to the law to execute those who steal the land, food & water of others for any personal benefit (e.g. that includes mining, oil spills, industrial dumping). Stealing the value using contamination/poison is still stealing (there is profit)

“And lessons are not being learned because…...? “
because of delusional self-deception that property rights are hurting people, combined with the delusional deception that by not using extreme force with those who are killing us using theft & fraud that we’ll somehow come out okay.

At the cellular level that doesn’t work. At the level of any small segment of the ecosystem that doesn’t work. In fact, it doesn’t work anywhere.

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By katsteevns, March 9, 2012 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

By Justin Case, March 8 at 11:36 am

”  “So, the Russian Revolution was a failure?”
Looks like it to me, yes.  “

Because it didn’t outlast capitalism?

” The problems are definitely external, not a defect of the system itself, definitely not any kind of transcoding or mutation. It’s definitely a foreign injection of hostile activity. Capitalism & socialism each have no qualities whatsoever leading to the disasters of today. “

So, what do you suggest, we execute all the liars and cheats in order to create unadulterated capitalism?”

”  “I’d say, the US is not prepared for what you propose, in body or mind.”
That’s really too bad. Without the solution, the cure, there is only death.”  “

What do you say we just take some baby steps first and begin by stopping the killing? Then we can feel free to kick back and discuss the virtues of capitalism.

” Lessons must be learned.”

And lessons are not being learned because…...?

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By Justin Case, March 9, 2012 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

Proudhon: what he meant is that property outside of his influence / control is theft. So long as he & persons aligned with his interests control all the benefits of the property he wouldn’t call it theft. Unfortunately some socialists do feel that way. Some OTHER socialists on the other hand realize the value of both consent & containment. With property ownership there is containment against damage from fraud, theft and even entropy as those who own property collectively wish to maintain it at maximum utility for collective benefit. CONSENT is always key to theft: theft can only ever occur when there is no consent & property leaves ownership of one person/group to go to another.

wikipedia - “Proudhon favored workers’ associations or co-operatives, as well as individual worker/peasant possession, over private ownership”
... and yet that IS private ownership. There’s private INDIVIDUAL ownership (not socialist) and private COLLECTIVE ownership (collective non-state ownership: socialist) e.g. worker’s co-operatives. Both such ideas are good ideas.

“He believed this would transfer control of economic relations from capitalists and financiers to workers.”
... whereby if said transfer is consenting with equal-value trade and/or reversal of any crimes (taking proceeds of crime by force) this is sensible & valid BUT if Proudhon intends to tax/steal without consent it is in fact Proudhon that plans the stealing.

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