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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 9, 2012 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Rome: vast expansion of empire, debasement of currency, “bread & circuses” to keep the masses happy/distracted while producing little of long-term value / investment, corruption at all levels of government, rejection of the state by the down-trodden majority to a breaking-point where the state itself can no longer exist.

pathogens: corruption, fraud, violence, wilful self-deception / blindness to these problems. They are parts of human nature but are not part of economic systems like socialism or capitalism. They do damage but the economic systems do not invite or cause it. They are a conduit for our own human behaviour so we need to get a social non-economic immune system for this: a refusal to tolerate it, a refusal to be blind to it, a deep analysis of fraud & lots of comparisons of groups which are not violent to each other (even with competing interests) vs those who are violent to each other. No matter the economic system(s) we choose to use, these parts of human nature are external to them. This is the pathogen.

In nature I have noticed 2 systems (please feel free to tell me if I miss another). Evolution adapts around errors but this requires many losses of units (living things) & generations of replacement (attaching better improved living things to resources, reducing errors). Actual white-blood-cell type immune systems on the other hand remember past invaders & actively tag new invaders. Even that such system makes mistakes (autoimmune disorders, HIV virus can hijack immune system, etc.) but over-all life-forms which have an immune system would be devastated trying to live without one so I guess it’s a good thing (subjective). So for this system there must be a pattern to identify invaders, an immediate attack on those invaders (traits: theft, fraud; agents: identified person or groups), and there must be a living memory of past invaders so that re-use of past attacks is futile / minimally damaging.

To this end there should be a database of fraud-patterns & those guilty of fraud, little to no forgiveness & immediate, near-lethal action (that’s what white blood cells do). Rapid replication of the data ensures everyone’s informed to keep at this. Forever.

AFTER that you can establish things like capitalism & socialism in a way that has little damage from these external pathogens.

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By Ed Romano, March 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Sorry for the typo…. should be…. what did Proudhon mean when he wrote…Property is theft ?

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By Ed Romano, March 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Justin, No offense , please ...it may be simple to you but it made no sense to me….Can I ask what do you think Proudhon meant when he said   Property ius theft ?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Per Justin, “Rome’s gone now. Lessons must be learned.”

Care to enlighten us? as to the lessons of Rome? 

Again, per Justin, “The problems are definitely external”

And again, would you please enlighten us as to these external problems, the specific pathogens?

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, March 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

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

“I am thinking more along the lines of a “cancer” as opposed to an “infection”

I’ll stick with infection. 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.

“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. Empires collapse. Rome was a powerful empire. Rome’s gone now. Lessons must be learned.

““becuase capitalism is the only thing that can get you through a revolution to survival. It must come during , not after the revolution”. Maybe I’m getting senile, but you seem to have understood this. I confess that it leaves me scratching my head.Perhaps you’d be good enough to translate”

It’s pretty simple, Ed. Personal rights to property, to exchanging value of work & property, must be the strongest push into a revolution or there’s no point to have a revolution. They must be the foundation of what comes after the revolution or it’s a failed revolution.

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By Ed Romano, March 8, 2012 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Kat, I am sometimes baffled by the sentences I read on this site. You quoted Justin Case as writing ....“becuase capitalism is the only thing that can get you through a revolution to survival. It must come during , not after the revolution”. Maybe I’m getting senile, but you seem to have understood this. I confess that it leaves me scratching my head.Perhaps you’d be good enough to translate.

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By elisalouisa, March 8, 2012 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Michael:I was not trying to say that the photographer was making light of Occupy. I am saying that the photo does that inadvertantly.

What this photo conveys is in the eyes of the beholder and such interpretations may be a reflection of how the viewer feels about Occupy.

Glad you smiled at my poem ardee. Such smiles are good for the heart.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, March 8, 2012 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

By Justin Case, March 7 at 6:15 am “

“because capitalism is the only thing that can get you through a revolution to survival. It must come during, not after the revolution.”

So, the Russian Revolution was a failure? I think that Herbert Hoover would disagree. He would have made billions had they failed. The result was a form of siege socialism only because of the constant threats and attacks from the West.

“Fascism and monarchy are today’s systemic structure problems with an additional systemic “infection” of fraud & theft.”

I am thinking more along the lines of a “cancer” as opposed to an “infection”. It has a name as well, ultranationalism or superpatriotism mixed in a cocktail of divine providence. It is the survival choice of all classes of Americans when pushed into a corner. To say the least, we are going to need some Chimotherapy. Simply “flipping on the switch” doesn’t seem possible.

I’d say, the US is not prepared for what you propose, in body or mind.

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By elisalouisa, March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

The photo in eye catching. Even more, this Occupy takes place in Urbandale, Iowa, the center of what could be termed the powerless people who Occupy can draw strength from. The fact that Evan Vucci, a world famous photographer was there made it an event. Truthdig/Chris Hedges knew that and chose that photo to accompany Chris’s “Occupy Draws Strength From The Powerless” column.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, March 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

Cool backround on the photographer, elisalouisa. I was not trying to say that the photographer was making light of Occupy. I am saying that the photo does that inadvertantly.

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By elisalouisa, March 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Evan Vucci has taken many great photos including the famous shoe throwing at President George W. Bush, I suspect Vucci had advance notice of that event. Vucci knows how to set up a photo shoot and intended that this photo favor Occupy. It is not indicative of what Occupy is or really reflect on protesters at Occupy events. Again, this was a photo shoot setup by a great photographer who personally seems not to favor the oligarchy or what they stand for.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, March 7 at 10:08 am:

‘The photo illustrates that the Occupy claim to constant and severe state repression against themselves is largely theatrical. ...’

That’s rather poor logic.

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By OzarkMichael, March 7, 2012 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

The photo illustrates that the Occupy claim to constant and severe state repression against themselves is largely theatrical. It also suggests that Occupy itself is theatrical. That isnt the intention of the folks who staged the scene. Thats just what it expresses to me.

Foucaldian wanted to talk about this:

(i)reason as a platform for informed action (rather than mere justification); and
(ii) the dual nature of OWS as both an exercise of “group-think” and a crucible for many individuals forming informed opinions and understandings.

What does this phrase mean- “reason as a platform for informed action” and then how does it contrast to “reason as mere justification”?

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, March 7, 2012 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

“I think your pro-capitalist arguments would serve us better after a revolution. If Communism wasn’t given the same courtesy before we tore it apart piece by piece, why should we listen to your arguments? “

because capitalism is the only thing that can get you through a revolution to survival. It must come during, not after the revolution. Communism is nonsense with no regard for reality.

Both capitalism & socialism can work together.

Fascism and monarchy are today’s systemic structure problems with an additional systemic “infection” of fraud & theft. The entire world economy is like a living organism with no immune system.

We just need to turn on that immune system, katsteevns.

“You’d like to dismiss Occupy as theater AS IF that’s all it is and AS IF”
PLEASE pay attention. Ozark Michael actually said THIS ARTICLE’s portrayal of the movement is of such theatrics not that the movement itself is of such theatrics! If at first you’re not sure it’s always safe to re-read & try again, RecoveringCatholic.

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By ardee, March 7, 2012 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

By elisalouisa, March 6 at 9:42 pm

Well done and thanks for the smile

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By RecoveringCatholic, March 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

@OzarkMichael I admire your denial mechanisms they are strong and serve you well.  You’d like to dismiss Occupy as theater AS IF that’s all it is and AS IF all police are nonthreatening to everyone and especially to Occupy because this one particular one in the picture is behaving himself.  IN FACT this picture contains in its context a history of police violence that makes it remarkable EVEN TO YOU for its apparent lack of threat.  Yes it’s SO GOOD TO KNOW that NOT ALL POLICE ARE VIOLENT THUGS but what you are missing is that this in no way translates to police violence against Occupy being excusable or excused.  THOSE POLICE THUGS AND THEIR MASTERS GIVING THE ORDERS are criminals and deserve to be indicted on multiple charges of civil rights violations.

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By elisalouisa, March 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

Once upon a time weapons such as drones had not been conceived.
Once upon a time college grads looking for work were well received.
Once upon a time you could go to the local park without fear.
Once upon a time jobs were plentiful not there but here,
Once upon a time corporations were not people,
Once upon a time people went to churches with a steeple  
One thing has not changed with the passage of time
Bad poems by elisa as is evident by this rhyme.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, March 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

@ Justin Case

I think your pro-capitalist arguments would serve us better after a revolution. If Communism wasn’t given the same courtesy before we tore it apart piece by piece, why should we listen to your arguments?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—How do you know what the photographer or the demonstrator intended to say?  Theatrical actions are generally supposed to be non-violent, non-threatening, even entertaining.  There was certainly a perceptible element of that in Liberty Plaza; I don’t know about elsewhere.

As for the police, I think I recounted on this web site my first experience with the people of OWS: on the sidewalk, at the edge of the rather loose perimeter, a well- if casually-dressed young Black woman was discussing higher education theory with two police officers and a third man who looked like an old-time plainclothes detective.  The police were taking what I thought was the more liberal line.  This was at a time when the corporate media were screaming that the protesters consisted entirely of dirty and violent middle-class White boys who were baiting and fighting with the police.

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By OzarkMichael, March 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Whenever I log in to truthdig i gaze at the picture that they place with the article. The editors always have a certain intention, whether it is to mock something or to praise something. It is gentle propaganda.

After logging in 30 times, I cannot help but form an opinion about each article’s picture.  Sometimes i dont like it because it is unfair. Sometimes i dont like it because its offensive. Sometimes I dont like it because it is an effective critique of something I believe in.

This picture isnt any of those things. This picture of an Occupier is meant to symbolize the repression that he is experiencing from the police state. Look at the photo with me for a moment. It is a real police car. It is a real Occupier sprawled on the on the ground with the theatrical “JAIL” sign. A real policeman in the backround.

But there is something wrong with the message. First, the police car is parked. Second, the officer in the picture is not menacing, since the Occupier isnt blocking traffic the officer lets him lay there as long as he wants. The Occupier performed his theatrical sprawl until the photographer got plenty of angles and adjustments of detail. When it was done, they both took down their equipment and they probably thanked the officer, who might have responded with his habitual ‘have a good day.’

The photograph symbolizes something about Occupy. Instead of repression, it symbolizes that Occupy is mostly theatrics. Perhaps mostly theatrics about being repressed by the police.

The photograph implies just the opposite of what it intended to say. The photograph informs the viewer that their isnt much repression in the USA. The officer might have been waiting to get in his car and drive off, but he let the kids finish their photo shoot first. He doesnt menace, one feels that at worst…he is worried the kid might scratch his car with the JAIL sign. Other than that the policeman just stays out of the way, perhaps for a long time.

As a nation we stayed out of the way while the Occupy kids had their prolonged theatrical sprawl. The picture accidently symbolizes our patience in the face of Occupy theatrics.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, March 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

Indeed, John, reigning in the bad actors, the predators in the system, is what’s needed. Without that, wouldn’t matter if we had socialism, capitalism, anarchy, etc., we’d have a serious fault. It’s with humanity itself, outside any system we design. Our participation in a system necessarily includes all our faults as a species.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, March 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

“But now other nations are in competition with the U.S. to use third world resources for themselves and the wealth is not flowing as freely as it did. So, to make up for the loss capitalism is squeezing the folks at home”

Not that I can see, Ed. What I see is the capitalists are moving to those nations with the resources & booms and are not coming back to their old homes. The squeezers are anti-capitalists. That’s why the squeezing is based on stealing not trade, purely anti-capitalist, on fraud not production or property, again totally anti-capitalist.

“Quite literally,imperialism means war”
Yes, Ed, this is completely true. Imperialism is conquering and anti-capitalist but it does always mean war.

“Part of the ‘good old days’ syndrome is imagining things were better than they actually were”
Perhaps, Anarcissie, yet the rate of improvement may have been the focus of some nostalgia instead of the given state at any time. Certainly the steam-age is nothing fanciful to us but if you were the first in it compared to what came before you’d be very very happy. I guess some context is relative.

“Just so is a society. As it matures, it improves in many ways, but much is also lost. It is not wisdom to dwell only on what was lost”
Indeed, OzarkMichael. Society today has largely lost the “I can build anything” can-do attitude of the steam & coal age entering the nuclear age, now people can’t build anything they use. Software is about as close as it gets but that has hard limits (for now: we’ll see about 3-D printing & DNA-computing)

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

“....the future of capitalism and how the Occupy movement might figure in such a discussion…..” 

I propose that without discussing the ‘burn rate’ of society, whether we have capitalism, or socialism, or whatever-ism isn’t going to make much difference.  That is to say, unless ‘Occupy’ gets serious about something more fundamental than the traditional bastions of rock throwing, right against left, it’s a waste of time or worse. 

Or, a slightly different topic…..Capitalism isn’t necessarily bad, it’s the behavior of certain bad actors hiding behind a capitalist ideology who need reigned in.  But, that’s just a matter of enforcing laws on the books and bringing back laws that have
been abandoned in the last few decades.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, March 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Apologies for the derailment. Before I try to repair it I would like to share a decades-old vignette from a conversation I had about “progress” vs “the good old days” with an elderly black lady ... eh no, the story is so good that it would make the derailment permanent.

I must refrain. Instead I will fashion a good close to the derailment.

I want you to begin by imagining a boy or a girl, perhaps yourself, dear reader.  As the child matures his strength increases. He ages more and grows to have his own thoughts. Older yet and he becomes full of the wisdom of years. Much is gained, no doubt. But something is also lost, and a wise person would realize that not every change is for the better. Old ages forces that understanding on us all eventually.

Honesty about the inner moral elements of life certainly leads one to admit a few wrong turns. There are many trade-offs that we make along the way, but sometimes what was lost is irreplaceable.

Just so is a society. As it matures, it improves in many ways, but much is also lost. It is not wisdom to dwell only on what was lost. When we praise the good old days, this does not mean that we can praise every aspect of it. Solomon warns against such praise in the book of Proverbs.

When we speak glowingly of the modern improvements, that too needs to be brought up short. We must look over our shoulder and admit that we have lost much along the way. Those who denigrate the backward glance are just as out of balance as those who worship the good old days.

Alright, thats done. Not much to argue over, is there?

There are some topics that demand an immediate response and a flurry of words before the moment passes, but this topic of “progress” vs “the good old days” is not one of them. It will still be here tomorrow. To insist otherwise is vanity.

I advise we let it go for now. Surely the topic will come around again. Until then, think about your life and the changes, and think about the neighborhoods you have lived in and how they have changed. Expand it to the wider world, where so much has changed. Yet though all the changes, dear reader, we must also pause and ask with Solomon, “Does anything really change? Isnt it the same thing all along?”

In a week, or a month, or a year, the topic will come up again. Then the time will be right because you and I will have more mature thoughts and more important things to say. Perhaps one of us will say on that future date that these were the good old days because some good things began to happen and we were part of it from the beginning.

It is wisdom for us to argue about events today. Let us search for the truth, each one standing boldly for good things and resisting the bad things as best we can. Let it be right here and right now, because in this moment some good things might begin to happen, and we must do our part while we can.

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By Foucauldian, March 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

If that’s what you were talking about, fine, but by
now it’s hard to keep track.  Somehow, the discussion
went south.

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By Ed Romano, March 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Foucald, Not quite sure…. are you saying Ozark was making some sense before he tangled with me and John Best? I’m sure that can’t be what you’re saying.  I’ve been trying to get some discussion going here about the future of capitalism and how the Occupy movement might figure in such a discussion…. because unless we can talk about that, and develop a strategy to bring it under some control, we really are just beating our gums.

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By Foucauldian, March 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Pardon me if I interject, but I find this entire
discussion sterile, going nowhere and solving nothing.

In retrospect, I have only Michael Ozark to blame for
succumbing to the temptation to make points with Ed
Romano and John B.  As a result, this thread had
deteriorated beyond any hope of salvaging it, unless
Ozark owns up to the foolishness of it all.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Part of the ‘good old days’ syndrome is imagining things were better than they actually were.  I saw plenty of misery among White men in the good old days.  It was less than that which they inflicted on the lower castes, women, the non-White, those judged to be deviant from the sacred norm, but it was still genuine misery.

However, it’s the fantasy we’re dealing with, not the reality.

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By Ed Romano, March 6, 2012 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

John, You’ve got it nailed concerning the post war prosperity in the U.S. Following WW11 this nation had a free hand to extract the resources and wealth of third world nations. This is what allowed the middle class to have an extra car in the driveway and a swimming pool in the back yard in the 60’s. But now other nations are in competition with the U.S. to use third world resources for themselves and the wealth is not flowing as freely as it did. So, to make up for the loss capitalism is squeezing the folks at home. While we were frolicking in the amusement asylums, provided by the vampires, a writer named Felix Greene explained what the U.S. was doing overseas in a 1970 book titled - The Enemy - What Every American Should Know About Imperialism - Of course, every American didn’t know it about either then or now. Most of us still think our government actually gives away free money in the form of “foriegn aid “. Let me quote something Greene said in the book….  Wars for colonies and markets are not merely accidental appendages on the imperialist system which, with skill, can be avoided. They do not arise because of the machinations of “evil men”, or “mistakes” in diplomacy.They are an inherent, inescapable, built in feature of imperialism. Quite literally,imperialism means war. ....Greene went on to give numerous examples of this in his book, which is probably no longer available, but the beat goes on as the saying goes,as we have added new victims to the list of the ones he quoted. A more modern writer who is the master of this type of information is Noam Chomsky.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 6, 2012 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Suppose Anarchissie we just look at ‘the good old days’ from the white mans perspective. 

I suppose it was good to be a white man int he 50’s, but I would argue much of the wealth which supported the ‘good lifestyle’, was due to the US having the only remaining big economy, and having dominance over the oil to fuel it.  I remember the old Italians saying how horrible the ‘old days’ were, even the caucasians (it olive skin is white enough for you) didn’t have it so good.  But I digress….

Even, OM if those particular ‘good old days’ were the ones to which you refer, the conditions for the average white American male to share in so much of the ‘booty’ no longer exist.  And, one might argue that a lot of the prosperity following the 50’s was due to so many GI’s getting an education at the hands of no-nonsense European professors who came to the US post war.  That knowledge might have been responsible for a lit of the lingering prosperity and why we still have the number one economy world wide.  These may be the good old days, as we spend down all the the capital, the booty, we derived from WWII.

As for Tesla?  Anyone who’s passed physics and basic electrical engineering at undergraduate university level knows a hell of a lot more about the subject than Nikolai Tesla.  He had some good ideas for their time, and some flops.  Everything he did was precisely within the laws of Faraday, Ohm, Henry, Coulomb, Maxwell and a few others.  Wireless power transmission, at any serious level is impractical to say the least.  Wireless signal transmission, as is evidenced everywhere you look, was a good idea, and he must be congratulated for his wireless remote control, but wireless power?  It’s possible, but the infrastructure and waste with existing and imaginable technology would be extremely, extremely inefficient.  The topic (physics and electricity) is now so thoroughly understood that we can abandon the remaining mysticism which some attach to Tesla.  Period.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, March 6, 2012 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Well, I can’t argue cultural changes were big from those events. I might add though: adding automobiles, adding refrigeration and adding electric light was a pretty big deal too, culturally. ‘Twas a time when “the night life” was just for burglars, murderers & hungry animals that had no fear of silly humans with no night vision / street lights.
Now just imagine if Tesla’s original wireless power had become ubiquitous. We’d have NO jokes about wire-elves tangling everything 2.2 seconds after you turned your head.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 6, 2012 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

I don’t know what people mean by ‘the old days’.  The 1950s or the 1850s?  Or 1850 BC?

In living memory, the great cusp of cultural change was the mass Civil Rights movement, which began to get traction in 1960.  The Civil Rights movement in turn inspired the hippies, the New Left, feminism, the sexual revolution, Gay Rights, and so on by successfully challenging the American caste system of its day and knocking the icon of the Superior White Man off its pedestal.  It seems to me that ‘good old days’ would have to refer to the period before those events.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 6, 2012 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Says OM, “You do realize that i made generalizations which intentionally made both sides look a little foolish and a little wise at the same time. I might try to make something up about how many years ago just for grins.” 

More grins sure can’t hurt. 

I think the notion of ‘the good old days’ is certainly real.  The notion, not necessarily the quantitative measure of ‘goodness’ of them.  Somehow, we each remember when we were younger, and we were certainly less aware and less informed, and hadn’t seen so much BS.  I read somewhere the human mind suppresses bad memories as a defense mechanism. 

So, individually, I think we each have that notion of the old days being better, and perhaps in a group we reach a consensus that indeed the ‘gold old days’ were better.  And I have no doubt that politicians have their techniques to exploit this. 

It’s another example of an intrinsic human quality being harnessed by lazy bums who want to get rich and powerful on the backs of others.  Take down names, perhaps the day of reckoning will come.

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By OzarkMichael, March 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

OM, my post of 3:51 was not about you specifically, there is a wide variety of purposes and places on the so-called ‘political spectrum’.  And yes, TD’s regular authors are ‘leftish’, to be sure, but here among the proles, it’s less-so.

I would say we have many posters further Left of the authors

The ‘gold old days’?  Were they really better?  We’d like to thinks so, it’s a comforting thought.  I have to ask, how old do you mean?  Can you give a range of dates?  Be wary OM, it’s a trap.

You do realize that i made generalizations which intentionally made both sides look a little foolish and a little wise at the same time. I might try to make something up about how many years ago just for grins.

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

God deliver us from the true believer. The ones who claim to “speak only the TRUTH.” I choose not to enter into the verbal spider web of anyone who says they only want to “dialog” when that person has demonstrated that they wouldn’t understand the world dialog if it kicked them in the gonads.

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

John, Can’t argue with the idea that the Church is in cahoots with capitalism. That’s the reason I’m no longer a catholic. Traditionally it demanded that its members not use birth control. But when parents find themselves with a bevy of kids and are trapped in an economic system that insures their poverty….suddenly the Church is silent. There’s a hell of lot more more wrong with the institution but that will do for starters. So yes. I agree. Quality of life should preceed quantity.

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By Justin Case, March 5, 2012 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

“Frankly, I think many churches are merely tools of ‘capitalists’.  They facilitate a surplus in the labor market, right? “

Frankly no, your entire concept is upside-down.

grow-grow-grow is NOT a part of capitalism.
It has IMPLICATION through anti-capitalism central banking.
It has DIRECT COMMANDMENT through the Catholic Church.

Aside from these 2 details “grow grow grow” does not belong in capitalism and it’s a lie to say so. That lie has been perpetrated to convince you to kill capitalism to help make your children into slaves.

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By Justin Case, March 5, 2012 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

“Ed, your educational system is also set up to let the cream (as defined by who??) rise to the top. “

John, it really isn’t. It’s designed to take the most compliant & make them into slaves. It does so 2 ways: #1 is by debt, those who have not enough money borrow to go to college or university & this pays banksters. #2 those who are emotionally weak will be re-programmed to whatever nonsense their teachers put to them even if it’s 100% defiance of reality.

“Anyhow, Justin and OM are both interesting folks.  I might or might not like them in real life, but they represent some larger demographic, so as long as I’m interested, I read on.  Justin’s positively fooling himself though giving ‘natural’ laws so much credence. “

Absolutely not, John, I’m teaching you and you’re fooling yourself. These natural laws have been greatly discussed in entire fields of science. You ignore all that? Fine. Lie to yourself.

Gravity is real. Hunger is real. Conversion of energy to physical work is real. These are 100% enshrined laws of nature & I work with them.

Capitalism is not a “natural law” if you’re trying to conflate your ignorance into some transformation of what I’ve said so you can “disprove me”.
I speak only the TRUTH.
People have benefit from freedom. Benefit is not a law.
That freedom instead of slavery is to retain ownership & all benefits of ownership from PERSONAL use of energy (work) and property (tools, land, home), and ownership over your own body.

That’s not “natural law” that’s a question of benefit & gradient.
Certainly humans CAN live as slaves with much less but they SHOULD not. That’s not a natural law. That’s me giving my opinion & daring you to defend slavery by any twisting of words but BE UP FRONT, admit it or drop it.

I stand for freedom and I do so BASED ON speaking truth and SOME of that truth is making it clear there are natural laws.
Your attempted twisting failed. I am too clever for you.

“Outside a few hard sciences and math, this idea of ‘natural law’ really is a tool. “
90% of what you need to survive is the math and hard sciences. The rest is for entertainment, suggestion & comfort. 10% or less.

“C’mon, ‘natural laws’ of economics?”
False premise? Who offered up natural laws of economics?

“I confess I am astounded at some of the delusionary statements”
Ed, YOUR comments are delusionary. I’m astounded you won’t see reason but I chalk it up to your OLDER age that you are stubborn in your ways. It happens to all of us. I regret the future days when I’m too old to learn very well & start dismissing things out of hand because I’m “older and know better”. Won’t that be a sorry day.
But, like dying of old age, maybe having to deal with a walker or a wheel chair, maybe even dementia, it sucks but what can I say. We all get old so I’ll be reasonable in seeing it happen to others. My day sadly will come for that too.

“I would appreciate a little honest dialog on various positions and issues instead of the constant name calling”
ED, you refered to me as a mosquito and dismissed the facts of my presentation while doing nothing to disprove them and you refused to answer various important detailed questions I put to you.
I said you could refuse as they were personal but YOU brought up personal detail so you let that arena be open.
You slandered ME and encouraged others to do so, and now fraudulently, you back around like you’re the one under attack.
You are not.
Your lies are under attack. You as a person are just a person.

Ed, you have NOTHING to say about the nice man who busted his hump cutting metal 10 to 12 hours a day but is now WORKING IN THE OFFICE AS AN ENGINEER?
Ed, why didn’t you do that? How come you stayed a lump-humper and blamed everyone else for making more money? What’s the deal, Ed?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 5, 2012 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Right or wrong?  Can’t say.  I think we should try to better ensure quality of life before facilitating increases in quantity. 

Those who would proclaim an answer to your right or wrong question won’t be the ones to carry a significant portion of the burden following from it.  In either way, really.  Sure, the church does charity, but do they fully compensate for the full consequence of spreading the grow-grow-grow ideology?  Frankly, I think many churches are merely tools of ‘capitalists’.  They facilitate a surplus in the labor market, right?

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

John, John…Of course, most of the schools are institutes of training not education in the classical sense. I have a relative who graduated from a 4 year State College and one time , during a conversation, the name Harry Truman came up. She said, “Who’s that ?” 12 years of elementary schooling ( in an affluent suburb ) and 4 years of college. Is something wrong with this picture? I only use this tale to make a point. It’s not an isolated incident.I’m aware of the fact that schooling is a business second only probably to the medical industry…..Now please don’t squeeze me into a corner where it makes me seem like I’m an advocate for an indiscrimate production of babies…. I’ve sometimes told my wife that potential parents should be given an I.Q. test and if they fail…. have their sexual apparatus dismantled. And I’m only half kidding. My concern is that I don’t trust human beings. I don’t trust them to look out for others when their own self interest is involved…I don’t trust them when they’re proceeding on illusions for which there is no concrete proof…I don’t trust them when they think they are capable of making life and death decisions for millions of other people….I don’t trust them period. Philosophically I am an anarchist. Realistically, I am just trying to reach the end of my days with as little mental and physical pain as possible. I try to proceed according to the light that’s given me and I refuse to be an apoligist for inequity. I don’t trust men/women to make decisions regarding another person’s right to bear children. This creates social problems I know. But I think the alternative would be worse. A few years ago I was a member of an Arch Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission. At times the question of abortion would come up. Being Catholic the members would argue the best ways to curb abortion. Personally, I am not comfortable with the idea of interfering with the possibilty of human life. But what I always said, when it was my turn to speak, was until we are ready to go into a housing project where some poor woman, who already has a few kids, and gets pregnant after a couple of beers on Saturday night trying to escape her daily misery… until we are ready to go in there and put ourselves into her situation… we should keep,our mounths shut and stay out of her life.
The church is strong on telling people how to conduct their sexual lives. We could only hope it would speak out as strongly on a social system geared toward insuring that millions of people become poverty stricken. I believe that if we provide people with the means to live relatively safe, decent and human lives they will ,for the most part, make right decisions concerning the production of off spring. Am I wrong ? Perhaps. I still don’t like the idea of interfering.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 5, 2012 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Ed,  I’m not sure I’d tout that particular fact about our graduation rate.  It includes majors such as ‘Parks and Recreation’, ‘Hospitality Management’, etc.  4 year degrees that aren’t worth anything to the degree holder, don’t provide any real value to the employer, but which accomplished their true goal, which was to make money for the University.  We send kids off to college who shouldn’t be there.  We tell them ‘follow your dreams’, and they end up frustrated, unemployed and in debt.  It’s sad, but hey, it’s private enterprise, and the kids made their choice of their own free will, right? 

But the other comment, on being so politically infantile, yup.  Two party government.  People don’t need to think, both the left and the right has already done all that hard work for you. 

And have I made you re-think those population issues a bit?  Should we be producing babies to feed into the machine, or should we be considering quality over quantity?

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

John, Appreciate your thoughtful comments. Believe me, I’m not losing any sleep over the stuff I see posted on Truth Dig.I confess I am astounded at some of the delusionary statements I see and I’m more convinced than ever that rational discourse will never find a stable home in the U.S. The true genius of this nation is that it has managed to graduate a larger percentage of the population from colleges and universities than any other country and at the same time produce a citizenry that is more politcally infantile than any other industrialized nation. Whenever the U.S. is mentioned overseas the rest of the world scratches its head.  And no, Ozark. I don’t think a majority of people will eventually wake up to the truth of what “lefties” believe. I am not a fortune teller….I would appreciate a little honest dialog on various positions and issues instead of the constant name calling and slandering of a person’s character when inconsistencies in an argument are pointed out. But I’m astute enough to realize that’s not going to happen. Keep plugging.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 5, 2012 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Ed, I’ll tell you how I look at TD…...I don;t hope to accomplish much, perhaps to vent on occasion, but I do see different types of people here, and see how they like to argue, and what their opinion is of other people.  I think you just have to not take it seriously.  It’s just a way to sample what’s out there, and it is a biased sample indeed.  Everybody can read and write and run a computer a bit, so how many that excludes I can’t say.  Take this process ahead, and you find TD commenters are a strange little hodge-podge of odd ducks. 

Anyhow, Justin and OM are both interesting folks.  I might or might not like them in real life, but they represent some larger demographic, so as long as I’m interested, I read on.  Justin’s positively fooling himself though giving ‘natural’ laws so much credence.  Outside a few hard sciences and math, this idea of ‘natural law’ really is a tool.  It’s hard to actually say if people truly are caught up in their pre-dispositions to believe in a nice neat ‘natural law’ to bring order and comfort to a chaotic and possibly frightening world, or if it’s just something that is adopted for a self-serving economic purpose.  That’s the concept I’m turning over at the moment. 

C’mon, ‘natural laws’ of economics?  Fools who buy that crap are soon separated from their money.  It’s a religion, but that’s a different topic.

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

John, WOW !  Judging from the irrational furor I read this morning I certainly seem to have riled up the inmates….. It seems I’m an ...ignorant, blind, liar wallowing in a world of mist and lies, and they have “no arrogance. Only truth “. Boy, if these folks are a fair example of America’s mental capacity I’d say God has a lot to answer for…. The post you mentioned is my feeble attempt to emmulate their style. I am encouraged by your kind words. Blind liar that I am I sometimes find it difficult.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 5, 2012 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

OM and Ed agin…..

OM, I’m not agreeing to be labeled a ‘moderate’.  It puts one neatly on a one dimensional number-line which we are pre-disposed to view as ‘natural.  That model works to preserve the thinking of the left and right extremes, who both view their end of the number-line as the good end, and the other end as evil, and little old me somewhere in the middle, neither as good as them, but better than the other extreme.  Nope, that’s your game, the ‘two-party system of government’ game.  The first time I heard that phrase, ‘two party system of government’, somebody had made a mistake answering a question as to what our system of government was.  But the more one considers it, indeed, we are governed by the two-party tool. 

And that quip about joining in with one side or the other was sarcastic.  All the ‘good old days’, or ‘brighter future’ rhetoric just serves to distract us from the present, which is very good, and there is always room for improvement.

Ed, your educational system is also set up to let the cream (as defined by who??) rise to the top.  The systems (educational and others) suck, but more-or-less, We the People have what we deserve.  I tend to think Hobbes was right when I see what happens in a vacuum of control/power.  Pessimistic?  Realistic?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 5, 2012 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Ed Romano, that post of March 4 at 8:07…..cool.  The metaphors are too deep for me, but it sounds like truth.  I’m sorry if my attempts at prose go so far out on a limb.  It’s true.  But this ‘riding a wave over the teeming masses’?  That’s worth digging into.  Our society is not set up for cooperation and rational behavior.  We’re set to compete, the ‘best’ (as defined by who?) supposedly will prosper.  The whole thing supports a fairly well hidden oligarchy.  But what’s the alternative?  People don;t seem to be able to exercise any restraint or discipline.


OM, my post of 3:51 was not about you specifically, there is a wide variety of purposes and places on the so-called ‘political spectrum’.  And yes, TD’s regular authors are ‘leftish’, to be sure, but here among the proles, it’s less-so.    The ‘gold old days’?  Were they really better?  We’d like to thinks so, it’s a comforting thought.  I have to ask, how old do you mean?  Can you give a range of dates?  Be wary OM, it’s a trap.

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

I truly wonder, Ed, and others, what do you hate about personal freedom?
People should have a right to the full value of their property & their energy output, their labour & their innovations. That is capitalism.
Anything removing capitalism requires that a person’s home, tools, garden, land and even their life span, their body parts are the property without consent by others.

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

“Early exposure to the beauty of math and hard sciences pre-disposes one to search for ‘natural’ laws.”

No, Johh, exposure to nature shows there are such laws. They are coded in physics itself. Hard-coded.

It is a height of pure ignorance and stupidity to pretend it is not so. It is a sign of immaturity &

lack of education. It is a sign of denial of reality. We’re talking about principles as simple as the

need for a hungry animal to seek food or the inevitability of gravity’s force acting on mass. Nothing to

question, no possibility for deviation to an opposite result.

“intrinsic unfairness-es of life with a model which allows him to not only be politically acceptable to

his ‘betters’, his boss(es), “

I have no betters, I have no bosses, I am no one’s boss and intrinsic unfairness of life is the very

nature of all life even down to single-celled organisms. If you try to defy nature itself & pretend your

defiance is reality you have only yourself to blame, John, for failure. You can’t defy nature.


“Ed, I’ve experienced the same frustrations, when it deteriorates into dogmatic twisted arguments. I

quietly declare victory and bow out.”

John, Ed : that’s called fraud.

I’m not here to guide your ignorance.

I’m here to make sure THOUSANDS of people reading your nonsense understand in fine-level detail why it’s

nonsense & do not follow you into the pits of ignorance.

“Please keep in mind that this is a very Leftist soup. Truthdig routinely has Communists and Anarchists writing articles”

Yes, apparently Ozark Michael. I can suggest only that some leftist or right-wing position is in error & the only correction is to seek grounded facts & not a biased side.

I can’t even imagine how many anti-capitalists here perhaps imagine me to be anti-socialist while in fact I am both capitalist & socialist for they belong together for maximum efficiency.

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

** zerohedge excerpt **
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/ifoodstamps#comment-2220302

The closest any man ever came to Galt was Tesla, and he was a neurotic geek with a pathological fear of

germs who died penniless and whose closest companion was a pigeon he fed in the park.  I appreciate his

contributions, and respect that awesome mind of his- but you don’t want to be Tesla any more than you

would want to be Galt.

I’m not Galt- I’m not a beautiful and unique snowflake- I’m the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the

world, and that’s why I’m here with the rest of the tinfoil hat wearing hedgetards.  I put in my 50

hours a week, and like to think I do solid engineering work and make my fair contribution- but at the

end of the day, Palahnuik and Kafka are the guys calling the shots, not Rand.  You want to win in this

world, forget Galt and be Rant Casey.  Gold and rabies are going to get you a whole lot further than

injured nobility and pretending that your farts are the only ones that don’t stink.

I’m opposed to food stamps, yes.  And you don’t need to print off the comments and give them to your

impoverished friends- I am more than willing to stand face to face with any of them and explain in clear

and unambiguous terms that my family and my children come before them.  I have worked for 18 years in

conditions that were often appaling and dangerous, cutting metal 10-12 hours a day and then going home

to study so that I could improve my own life.  I am scarred all over my body from the stitches, burns

and broken bones that come along with busting ass in the trenches with the rest of the dogs- and now

that I’ve finally worked up to actually having the title and office as an engineer, all the stupid fucks

that I watched waste their lives playing video games and joining dart leagues are bitching and crying

that I make more money than them, so I should not only feed my own family, but theirs as well.  Hell,

I’m not even supposed to wear a clean shirt to work according to the asshats on the shop floor, because

it makes them feel inadequate.

** end zerohedge excerpt **

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

I have NO arrogance. Only truth. The world speaks, acts, changes and I hand you pieces of it as I come

across them. That doesn’t make any of us all-knowing, certainly not me, nor does this confer arrogance

upon any of us.

If I was to take my PERSONAL skills & knowledge, not just that of the world, and present them here, that

would probably be too much for you to handle. I write algorithms that predict stock markets & produce

charts showing future prices every single day weeks ahead for gold, silver, oil and such. That wasn’t a

cogent topic for this thread so I didn’t bring it. No one here seems to share an interest & it’s NOT the

topic.

About that ONE topic, sharing MY findings not THE WORLD with you, I could show arrogance. There’s a BIG

difference.
Showing you the WORLD and your blindness to it shows your failure but speaks NOTHING to my ability, only

my acceptance of the truth without brainwashing. Sharing with you something I personally made, however,

means sharing the result of a skill I have seen no one else has. It’s not a part of the world. It’s a

part of me. If I so choose to show that and to be arrogant about it, I’ll probably suffer the same fate

anyone would suffer for showing actual arrogance at that time.

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

“Always a population close to desperation, somebody ready to take your place in line.”
This has nothing to do with capitalism. It can easily happen with socialism too. This depends on one

function only: how many babies did you make? That’s it. Nothing else factors into this statement.

“The reason you are a phony, or rather only one such, is held within your statement that intimates

concern and a desire to help”
Ardee, shut your pie hole.
I have personally helped people out of life-endangering situations whether it be a car crash, a drug

overdose or about to walk into some trap that will get them killed. Of course there are others who I

could not save & died in those situations. I teach everyone I can how to live more healthy at lower cost

& lower RISK of danger from other people. For you to call me a phoney makes me think of you as some kind

of evil nasty person who tries to tell everyone to hate and kill the good guys.

Ardee, flat out: At least Ed can be peaceful in his detailed blindness & lies. YOU only want to attack

the person because you are at core a bad person & completely ignorant. Shut it. You contribute nothing

whatsoever. No detail, no point, nothing to claim or correct, nothing to teach. Nothing. You’re sitting

in a corner acting like you’re better than everyone. At least try to participate with the big boys &

girls. We’re having a grown-up conversation about economics & personal freedoms.

Foucouldian: I’m probably older than you are so don’t you dare say “arrogance of youth”.
I’ll contend that Ed and probably Ozark Michael are older than me. As far as I’m concerned the rest of

you are children, clearly younger than me.

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

“Ozark,  When you are” wrong you want to know about it” ? I told you where you were wrong and you

cpmpletely ignored it. You wrote that it is often said by leftists that people will evolve to the point

where others will understand their point of view. I asked you to give us a few examples.”

ED, half your replies to me prove Ozark Michael right word for word. You keep telling me the world will

somehow evolve past the freedom of capitalism which you call a crime and theft (it is not) into your

wild imaginary “leftist” dream that somehow no one has any rights to property or trade and capitalism

yet all will be free and well. Like somehow you and those saying your lies are superior, morally and

physically.

You did yourself in & OM called it.

“The grow-grow-grow mentality of the ‘capitalists’ might bear on that.”
John Best, there is no such mentality.
There is actually only a survival mentality 99% of the time and the different 1% is the start-up of the

business. At that initial stage without growth there is no business since there’s no established

market-share, customers and patterns of experience to work from to minimize cost-increasing mistakes.

Time erases that with experience.

CENTRAL BANK CURRENCY is the cause of “growth” chasing. It’s throwing people down an icy hill and

ordering them to climb up or be killed. It’s 100% anti-capitalist. It’s telling society, every person &

business, that the punishment for not “growing” is death / poverty. Without the central banks enforcing

inflated currencies there’d be NO need for “growth” and there’d be none. There’d be stability.

Consider yourself corrected, John.

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

“But I know you. You would ignore the work i do and merely change your line of attack. “
Indeed, Ozark, that’s what Ed’s trying to do in replies to me and about me.
It won’t work. I’m too crafty with words to be fooled or let others be fooled. I’m too deep in the facts

to let Ed stray or let others stray.

“There is nothing messier and more full of contradictions than real life, yet the bottom line is found

there.”
indeed Ozark Michael & this is the same meaning as “the markets teach you, you don’t teach the markets”

that Ed seems to not understand. He is not lucid but claims he is. It’s like he’s been sleep-walking,

living in a world of mist & lies.

“In a sense, this a reply to OM, although I strongly suspect he or she is a sock puppet (if you don’t

know, look it up,,). If not, certainly someone who would pretend to never realize that what one is

defending is fascism.”
Litl Bludot, fascism is the corporate control of government, the merger of government and state.
Ozark Michael has not at any time I can see proposed any defense of this.

“by asking if nonviolence can be an effective resistance to fascism, once it is in place.”
by itself: NEVER.

http://youtu.be/ZOPhd9LCJPQ “What is Fascism?”

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

“Non violence doesn’t just mean turning the other cheek:.it means also taming the tongue:. I wouldn’t

have posted this if I didn’t think you were a person capable of understanding this. “

No, Ed, that’s not what non-violence means. Non-violence very strictly means you’re not causing injury

to the body of the person. Offending their mind using language or damaging property is NOT VIOLENCE.
I’m done with your deliberately dishonest presentation and I will tear a new hole in it every time.

“Ozark, You can’t maintain two levels of humanity ?? Isn’t that what we’ve had now for at least several

millenia?”
NO, it is not. We’ve had one level of humanity. Pay attention.

“” Leftists want to restrain some people:.”
Restraining is bad hey ? So when are you going to start petitioning for burglars, pedophiles and axe

murderers to be set free?”
Ed, more invalid, dishonest conflation of arguments to attack another (Ozark Michael). Is that all you

do, Ed? Is this how you live your life? Think maybe your dishonest approach combined with bad attitude

is why others like employers want to do you no favours?

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

“And if they ever get it all together and stand up as one the whole edifice of capitlaism will

collapse.”
On such a day all people will be in chains or dead. The instant free people are alive and not in chains

capitalism is strong and ever-present.
Your lies about what capitalism even is make you a fraud.
Capitalism is 100% core anti-theft and all acts of theft are 100% anti-capitalist.
AND anti-socialist.

“Better get back to work now Justin. One of your workers may be getting ready to screw you. “
I’m not working. I have no workers. I stacked up gold bars from my last job’s pay and I am only going to

be working when I find a FAIR employer because I know the difference and I have the power of consent.

Honestly, Ed, I have too good a conscience to let myself complain the way you do & conflate my problems

with real slaves who are really starving, really beat up & potentially murdered when they’re not

“useful” anymore. You should be ashamed of your whining & comparison to people REALLY suffering. You’ve

had it easy all along & act like you’re in so much danger. That’s very dishonest.

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By Justin Case, March 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

... continued now the site is up again…
And admit on top of there being no god that self-interest is true for everyone &

that your self-interests are served by lying.
You lie about capitalism because you want to steal. You want to get more

(stealing) without working for it (capitalism) by blaming those who work equal

value for equal pay (capitalists). You want to trick others into consenting to

this. No deal.
Again, this is being lucid, walking into a situation needing high levels of

perception. Not emotional.

Do you understand?

“You say you made yourself into a person “not easily replaced” then screwed

your employer who was evidently screwing you…and left to join the ranks of

those who are screwing others”

You do not understand, then. Ignorance. I did no such thing. I retracted my

services & stopped getting paid. Start & end of story. I have in my life never

screwed others to make money and plan to never do so. You’re letting your lies

get ahead of you, Ed.
Do you lie to yourself before you lie to me and about me?

“Can I suggest that we now give this a rest ?”
NO.
This is the single most core issue to all society, capitalism is survival and

justice, and if you want to rest it then you can turn away and stop.
I will continue to add corrections where I see them fit.

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Now how does this fit together?  Power elite minions and wanna-be’s are right here in the soup with us at TD, and their agenda is to disrupt.  Disruption is sport with a purpose, to maintain power and the status quo.  Don’t expect well-meaning discussions in good faith from either extreme.

Yes we are in a soup together, but in the sugary sweet soup of Truthdig even a diced apple tastes a bit sour. If the same diced apple went into a different soup, it would be the sweetest thing around.

Please keep in mind that this is a very Leftist soup. Truthdig routinely has Communists and Anarchists writing articles. There are any number of radicals posting here.  So yes, here on Truthdig you get to play the moderate and i get to be the right-wing extremist. But please dont mistake this Truthdig soup for reality.

If we went into a different soup, say National Review Online, then I could play the moderate and you would be the Left-wing extremist. I would be the one gently disagreeing with both extremes to my right and to my left. Then I could counsel patience, and encourage you to avoid the extremes and work with me to strengthen the moderate course. And mark this well: I, the moderate, would have the moral authority to define what moderation entails.

If we were on National Review Online and i tried that jive on you, I am pretty sure you would protest. Oh, but i could just explain to my fellow ‘moderates’ that you are on the cusp of extremism and maybe you should be ignored. I might write something like your post at 3:51 today, just change some of the words around. You have written several like that about me before. 

Except i dont think i would do that to you.  I am a person who knows where i am, and i know that just because I am quite moderate in a roomful of ultra-conservatives, that doesnt make me really moderate.

Well, this isnt National Review Online with articles written by Rush Limbaugh or Andrew Breitbart with posts written by fascists that complain that Limbaugh doesnt go far enough. This is Truthdig with articles written by Robert Sheer or Chris Hedges, and Communists complain that they dont go far enough. This is the environment where you stake a claim to be a moderate?

Maybe you dont know where we are right now? Maybe you know very well and enjoy taking advantage of it.

Either way, i doubt that you can give up the valuable cloak of ‘moderation’. The dynamic here is such that a cluster of people who write(like Ed) will confirm, “Yes John Best you are moderate and OM is a far right winger”

We have been down this road before. I am surprised that you tried to run the moderation jive by me again, unless your goal is to impress the Truthdig hoi polloi.

In my opinion you are on a cusp of your own. You are on the razors edge of deciding to do better… or you could just keep playing the same jive.

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By Ed Romano, March 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

Hey. Maybe he’s onto something here. Let me try my hand at it.
  The approach of a righty poking through a lefty amalgamation of evoilutionary beef steak forces the concept of a leftist utopia into the limbo of evolving deepness where anyone who surfs across the waves can crumble into a suffering disruption. Then again, and please notice that this is my original thinking, the power elite is sliding past any number of past populations be they to the left or right but certainly not in the middle. Anyone can see that who isn’t or was. Why is this so hard to understand? If only the lefties would rely on the evolutionary dip of my well greased proceedures.

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By elisalouisa, March 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Michael: There is a tidal wave of prejudice against ‘Rightists’ expressed here that cannot be stemmed with politeness. The only way to break the cycle is to shock people with the same prejudice reflected against themselves. Truthdig pipes an awful lot of far-Left propaganda articles into your brains. If what i write helps you differentiate yourself from it, that too is a worthwhile project.

So you consider yourself on a rescue mission, saving us from far-left propaganda that Truthdig pipes out? Is your smile similar to that of Burt Reynolds in Elmer Gantry when you write such nonsense? That’s what comes to mind as you rant and rave about Truthdig and all the “Leftists” that you feel are part and parcel of this website.

As for the evolution concept Michael: “The arc of the universe bends at the elbow of Justice.”

It is my belief that the universe was so made from the very beginning. Our minds cannot fathom the span of time involved which not quite the same as the process of evolving.

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By elisalouisa, March 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Michael: Truthdig fans the flames of prejudice. There is a tidal wave of prejudice against ‘Rightists’ expressed here that cannot be stemmed with politeness. The only way to break the cycle is to shock people with the same prejudice reflected against themselves. Truthdig pipes an awful lot of far-Left propaganda articles into your brains.

Why does Elmer Gantry come to mind when I read some of your posts Michael, along with that flashing smile that Burt Lancaster did so well. Do you also smile in such a way as you rant and rave about Truthdig and all the “Leftists” that you feel are part and parcel of this website? Would a “Rightist” website give you the freedom to write time and time again, if you will pardon me, in such a vindictive manner?

As for the evolution concept Michael: “The arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”

It is my belief that the universe was so from the very beginning.

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

OM takes it farther by suggesting the ‘lefties’ on occasion let themselves dream this could happen, that is, that everybody ‘evolve’.  Am I to believe righties don’t dream this too?  Perhaps, perhaps not.

Righties tend to see a good society arising from old traditions. Lefties tend to see a good society arising by getting rid of traditions.

Righties think our predecessors were at the pinnacle of human virtue, certainly better than what we are today. Lefties think they are creating a new pinnacle of virtues on a daily basis. 

Lefties are happy to risk driving through a swamp because they believe we have never travelled a good road yet. Righties say that we should never have gotten off the road in the first place, and they want to back out of the swamp.

Either way we are pretty far in it.

Well, that was fun to write, but of course i heard all of it on Fox News!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, regarding your post of March 4 at 6:29.

It would be clearer if you’d just state what the ‘monsters’ metaphor refers to.  Although, it could be many many things. 

With regard to your technique, the ‘sticking noses in corners’, it just keeps the antagonism alive.  You know this.  It pushes emotion over reason.  Hey, it’s your method, you’re entitled to it, but I have a hard time buying the purity of your motives for using the tactic.  Your style too often looks like your intent is to keep the battle raging.  I suppose that is what serves your pocketbook best.  Frankly, mine too, but I still tend to persuade toward the common good, in the center if you will, against polarization.  Someday I’ll probably get old and give up on humanity and join you.  Not yet though.

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Although I am not doing a search for it, an example of the evolution concept by Foucauldian(a Leftist) today:

In any case, I do happen to believe that the moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice, and that all humanity is moving in that general direction.

and a response by elisalouisa(another Leftist):

Beautiful. As to humanity and the universe, the continual movement of such forces as Justice is in play continually. That does bring hope, the justice that one seeks does come about but not evident as the time span that may be required for it to take place is beyond our comprehension.

I want you to know Ed, that i did not look for these, since i refuse to work at something just so you can ignore it. But these were written today and i stumbled upon them:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_cancer_of_occupy_20120206/#466342

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Well, we’re all nuts, but that’s beside the point. 

I tool a quote from OzarkMichael’s post of March 4 at 8:08, where he said, “Regarding the Leftist concept of the evolution of the human race to a more Leftist point of view and towards a Leftist utopia, all i shall say is that it is practically self-evident.”

Then I added the text in bold in place of where OM used ‘leftist’. 

I have to ‘sort of’ agree with him, it’s ‘self evident’ if one assumes everybody judges what ‘evolved’ means by their own self-centered yardstick. 

OM takes it farther by suggesting the ‘lefties’ on occasion let themselves dream this could happen, that is, that everybody ‘evolve’.  Am I to believe righties don’t dream this too?  Perhaps, perhaps not. 

I do agree that it is a pipe dream to hope people voluntarily conform to a leftist or rightist, or any other standard.  Every-bodies programming is too deep.  I assume there are those among ‘leftists’ (and righties too) fully realize their peers dream is folly, and therefore they would impose their utopia by coercive means. 

To go to a related topic, It is the ‘power elite’ which plays one sides fears off against the other, we compete for them and fight amongst ourselves. 

It is not a bad idea to be aware that minions of the ‘power elite’ saturate both the right and the left to keep the game alive.  As long as extremism can be stoked, we play the same old game and nobody does significantly better, evolved or not. 

Who is the ‘power elite’?  Anyone who surfs atop the waves of struggling human populations desperately trying to stay afloat. 

What do they think, the ‘power elite’?  Grow-grow-grow, make more babies!  The ones who can manage to find a way to pay us ‘power elite’ can have some crumbs, but no real security.  Those who cannot find a way to pay?  too bad.  we, the ‘power elite’ will be fine because the cream will rise to the top.  We float on the cream.  We will preserve the status quo. 

Think of the lowest paid profession which might prosper based on a teaming population.  As long as there are enough of the ‘teeming population’ who can pay, do they care who suffers?  no. 

Now how does this fit together?  Power elite minions and wanna-be’s are right here in the soup with us at TD, and their agenda is to disrupt.  Disruption is sport with a purpose, to maintain power and the status quo.  Don’t expect well-meaning discussions in good faith from either extreme.

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

But please, why would we expect ‘new monsters’ to be ‘uglier and hungrier’?  I really don’t want to know that…..what I want to know is how can we keep monsters from the left or right or the clouds on high or the hellish depths below to stop stealing and destroying ‘the commons’ for their short term power trips and amusements?

The new monster isnt really new, it would just be new to us.

How to control the old one? Hopefully the rules in the system allow us to improve it. If not, then even i will admit that it has to go.

Let me clear up something about my blanket use of the term “Leftist”. I use it indescriminately for several reasons:

1) If I have to flesh out every shade of Leftist from progressive to radical whenever i make a point(there are many types of progressive and no less than three types of radicals)it would be impossible to write a coherent and brief post.

2) I have been told that conservatism is quite a bit like fascism, or at least there is a connection between them, and the corollary to that is that it does a conservative a world of good to have his nose stuck in that corner to consider how it stands with him. If that is true, then my comments do Leftists of every stripe a world of good in the same manner, because a person who corrects the radical far-left wing tendencies in himself is a better person for it. You still might need to have your nose in the corner again after awhile, especially after reading a week or two of Truthdig articles.

3) Truthdig fans the flames of prejudice. There is a tidal wave of prejudice against ‘Rightists’ expressed here that cannot be stemmed with politeness. The only way to break the cycle is to shock people with the same prejudice reflected against themselves.

4) Truthdig pipes an awful lot of far-Left propaganda articles into your brains. If what i write helps you differentiate yourself from it, that too is a worthwhile project.

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By Ed Romano, March 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

John, Am I going nuts? The quote you attribute to Ozark makes absolutely no sense in the English language. Whatever he is trying to say is so tortured and obscure as to be undecipherable to my mind. Ifyou get something out of it your a better man than me.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

Let me modify OM’s statement…..

“Regarding the extremist’s or fundamentalist or leftie or rightie concept of the evolution of the human race to a more extremist’s or fundamentalist or leftie or rightie point of view and towards a extremist’s or fundamentalist or leftie or rightie utopia, all i shall say is that it is practically self-evident.”

I’ll concede for the sake of argument that plenty of people view ‘highly evolved’ as being evolved toward their particular inclination.  It goes along with that seemingly irresistible human urge to view every other human as being along a continuum from good to evil.  Now, are leftists any more inclined to this characterization than righties?  I see no evidence of this.

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By Ed Romano, March 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Ozark, So the answer is the same. No proof. You man, are a work of art.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Ed, I’ve experienced the same frustrations, when it deteriorates into dogmatic twisted arguments. I quietly declare victory and bow out.  Sometimes the other party does a public victory dance, and I give them whatever joy that brings into their existence.

You gotta remember, some people thrive on the fight.  They’re here it give a librawl a whoopin.  And peoples mood changes too.  Once in a while, one who will normally be dogmatically combative, will seem sincere, but it might just be to keep a facade of objectivity or good-faith. 

Some folks seem to think they’re doing a loyal service to their party by disrupting various conversations.  There are those who try to dominate and side-track.  I swear there are some who think these forums are some kind of liberal breeding ground and are dangerous to their idea of Democracy.  It might even be that some come in to sharpen up their arguments to impress their peers.  Who the hell knows?

Anyway, I hope you don’t go off too far.  Your personal perspective of ‘The Jungle’ and many other things, illuminate important facets of these problems. 
Regards,
John

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

I am not ignoring the more reasonable people here. Just messin with Special Ed. for a moment but will be back later.

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Don’t you see, Ozark that you can’t just make up stories that seem to fit with your delusions and think that nobody will catch you at it

If I did the work of gathering up Truthdigger statements over the years that proved my point, would I win the argument? No i wouldnt, especially since what i said is self evident to anyone who has been reading the posts here at Truthdig for more than a month. If you wanted to know you would have realized that people echo Marx all the time, or you would have looked it up yourself.

So there is no point to me doing all that work. I used to be that person until i realized it doesnt matter with people like you.

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By Ed Romano, March 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Hi John, God help me not to be rigid. I can get along with folks who have an outlook that differs from mine to a generous degree.( I do have problems with most Republicans especially if they claim to be Christian)
But I find it difficult to tolerate people who try to advance bogus arguments using tortured language and think they have refuted a sane presentation when they answer in a twisted and dishonest fashion. No.I owe it to the light that’s been given me not to tolerate that. The people I have taken to task here are people who are not honest.If they have a philosophy that differs from mine that’s what makes the world go ‘round. But if they think they can destroy what I believe with dishonest nonsense they need to be taken to task. But eventually, in the service of sanity, I just have to turn my back on the deluge…..A few years ago I read a book titled - People Of The Lie- and I know that there comes a time when words cannot carry the day. You just have to turn your back and walk away. Keep Plugging.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 4, 2012 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

OM quoting and replying to Ed Romano: <i>“You express one human thought in your post that we all share, “I just want the monster to go away.” <i> Fair enough. There are uglier, hungrier, newer monsters who are eager to take the old one’s place.”  True perhaps.  Pessimistic?  No, I’ll call it a realistic possibility, and it won;t hurt if one has the philosophy to ‘hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, within reason’, the ‘within reason’ being my personal addition to the saying.

But please, why would we expect ‘new monsters’ to be ‘uglier and hungrier’?  I really don’t want to know that…..what I want to know is how can we keep monsters from the left or right or the clouds on high or the hellish depths below to stop stealing and destroying ‘the commons’ for their short term power trips and amusements?


Then there’s the case, of Justin….  Ed, I say this to help reach a possible understanding, though it may be unpleasant.  Then again I might be way off base, in which case, have a good laugh.  Let’s say Justin is a 30 something IT person.  Chances are he reports to a ‘business person’, who is likely to espouse a more ‘free market’ philosophy (not free at all, so perhaps MBA philosophy might be better) In any case, there are probably at least two factors influencing Justins current ‘dug in’ ‘pro-capitalist’ position. 

The underlying one comes from a nature which comes from a technical capability and intelligence to think there is are ‘fundamental formulae’ or fundamental models for predicting behavior.  Early exposure to the beauty of math and hard sciences pre-disposes one to search for ‘natural’ laws.  ‘Capatalism’, and many other ‘ism’s’ are tempting to embrace, and unfortunately some people think they have it all figured out at an early age, or at least come up with a model that ‘works for them’, and spend the rest of their lives trying to justify the model, or build on it, and never reach an objective stage again.  It;s quite sad, and I hope he’s not past that point. 

The other reason the atomic (individual level) version of capitalism works for Justin, is that it allows him to resolve the apparent inequities and intrinsic unfairness-es of life with a model which allows him to not only be politically acceptable to his ‘betters’, his boss(es), but also allows one to feel superior, in that the model of capitalism as adopted allows ‘leftish’ concepts to be incorporated, and ‘survivalistic’ concepts.  It is a believe structure which ‘works for him’. 

Amateur psychology aside, atomic level capitalism does not square with the specifics of equal opportunity ideas inherent in the Constitution, nor does it square with the idea of maintaining a privileged class by inheritance.

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By Ed Romano, March 4, 2012 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

No, no Ozark, You’re not geting off the hook with more
of that dishonest, crack pot posturing that you think
shows what a deep, original thinker you are. Your post that started all this said that ” leftists OFTEN say” etc etc. I asked you to for a few examples….
You replied that it is “PRACTICALLY SELF EVIDENT.”
Not a single fact to back up your claim. And since you have none you twist something that Marx wrote 150 years ago to try to justify a claim you made that has no foundation whatsoever…...and then stick your tongue in another mouse trap by claiming that Marx “REALLY CURSED Edmund Burke”. I would feel like a fool for conversing with an educationally challenged ( I’m trying to be polite )....an educationally challenged
sophist like you, but your inane comments practically beg to be shown up for what they are….. Don’t you see, Ozark that you can’t just make up stories that seem to fit with your delusions and think that nobody will catch you at it. Maybe that works down in Dogpatch, but you’re attempting to navigate in the real world now.

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

I said:

Regarding the Leftist concept of the evolution of the human race to a more Leftist point of view and towards a Leftist utopia, all i shall say is that it is practically self-evident. It is the dreamy sigh that Leftists emit once in awhile. The sighing sometimes changes to cursing upon us conservatives for preventing you from getting there, or an accusation that we will destroy everything before you can.

Ed replied:

I told you where you were wrong and you completely ignored it. You wrote that it is often said by leftists that people will evolve to the point where others will understand their point of view. I asked you to give us a few examples. You write that it is in the “dreamy sigh” leftists emit now and again and say that “the sighing alternating with cursing is a concept you invented just now”. Golly, that’s proof alright. Man, are you in training to be a stand up comic?

If you cant accept the statement from me, then accept the statement of Marx, who wrote about a future Leftist utopia that all human beings would eventually enjoy. Furthermore, several Leftists here have combined that concept with the concept of evolution of human beings, which isnt at all scientific but dont blame me for that. They make a poetic blur between the two concepts and you cant blame me for using that either.

As far as the Left alternating between hope and despair, (and in their despair they curse the Right), that too happens quite frequently. It is also self evident. If you wont accept it from me, then lets start with Marx, who really cursed Edmund Burke for putting the brakes on everyone’s interest in having a revolution like the one in France. What sort of radical are you if you dont know these things?

You talk about a line of attack coming from the left. I’m on what you term the left and we’re not attacking anyone half as much as you and your ilk seem to be attacking us. We just want the monster to go away.

You misunderstood about the cursing. i am not saying that the attacking is a one-way street. My statement only points out how Leftists express alternating visions of the future. One day they express the confident vision that their utopia will be triumphant in the end, but next day they despair and express a tragic vision because “people(usually American people) are too stupid, they will never make it.” My focus isnt to blame Leftists for the cursing, or say Leftists are the only ones who attack. No, my focus was on the alternating faith and doubt which the Left expresses. In their moments of faith they feel satisfied and patient, although on the way to the glorious future they might be willing to establish two levels of humanity, but in their moments of despair they begin to panic, and if they could enforce the two levels right now they would do so.

If you really want to see some examples of the ‘sigh and curse’ on Truthdig, do a search yourself. Type in “evolve” with “human” or try “evolution” with “human” or try “progress” with “evolve” and “society”. Each seach will get a thousand results and you will have to sift through them. Its a lot of work and i am not in the mood to waste time since you wont listen to me anyway. Instead, i have written a post which makes my ideas more clear for everyone else, because that is creative fun for me.

You express one human thought in your post that we all share, “I just want the monster to go away.” Fair enough. There are uglier, hungrier, newer monsters who are eager to take the old one’s place.

For a sock puppet who copies everything from Fox News, i write a lot of original stuff.

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By Ed Romano, March 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Justin, Take two aspirins and call the doctor in the morning.

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By Justin Case, March 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

If you want to be lucid you have to act like you just saw a car crash, you know someone may be alive in there & no one but you is nearby to help. You want to help & it’s dangerous so you’ll get yourself and/or others killed if you are careless. Frame in mind, danger is being registered on a moment to moment pace and in you go because you’re determined to get it right.
THAT is lucid.
Your current level of perception & action is not.

“Here’s one….Capitalists work hard and do work I can’t do”
And sometimes you work hard & do work other capitalists can’t do. Problem?

“they can’t exist without expropriating a hefty portion of what labot produces.”
ALL LABOR is capitalism. So if you can’t exist without expropriating labour of others, how do you live? How do you live with yourself?
“You say you’ve been a capitalist a long time…Now we’re getting somewhere. This explains your fury when capitalism is exposed as robbery. “
No it doesn’t.
I’ve been capitalist ever since I decided I deserve to live without robbing others.
Back when I was very young I pictured myself a socialist only.
Now that I know better I am both.
Robbery is always anti-capitalist and always anti-socialist.
The key to all of this is CONSENT.
The instant you consent IT IS NOT ROBBERY.

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By Justin Case, March 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

“Where does one start to untangle a rant like that? You certainly are an emotional fellow aren’t you ?”
No I’m not & that’s where I think a critical impasse happens.
I’m being unemotional and I’m not ranting.
And yet somehow in your mind this converts to being emotional and/or ranting.
How does that happen?

““The market, the people are the all knowing combined “....What in God’s name does that mean?”
It means the over-all complexity of all acting agents in the market is beyond all the computing power of all the machines & individuals so that if you watch it you learn from it. Like watching nature & learning from it, like how medicines are mostly not invented but copied straight from other living things be it plant or animal. The totality of the market nature like the totality of all nature is your best teacher. It has the smallest number of “errors” & the largest number of lessons.

But if you never look, what can you learn?

Every mathematical pattern, every strategy, every solution on every time-frame is in the market. You just need to watch it to learn. I’ve been watching. I’ve been learning.

“If you want to present an argument, Justin ....it has to have some semblence of lucidity. “
Ed, you are lacking lucidity. That’s why you can’t understand it. You’re in a dream-world reality rejecting half & trying to be comfortable in the rest. That’s NOT how life works.

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By Foucauldian, March 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Then call it by its proper name:  anarchists!

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By Anarcissie, March 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Foucauldian, March 3 at 8:15 am:

‘... at other times, she refers her audience to writings by the spokespersons for anarchism, which are rather shallow compared to her own thinking powers.

...

Will the real Ana please stand up and be counted!’

I’m not sure who the shallow people are.  If I write or quote something it is to move the discussion along towards an area which I think I might find enlightening or entertaining.  Or I will quote a brief passage to show what I’m referring to.  In the matter of anarchism, if we’re going to discuss anarchism, we’re probably going to have to actually read and quote actual anarchists, smart and stupid, if we want to say anything meaningful about anarchism.

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By Ed Romano, March 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

Youcan knock me down and step on mny face
slander my name all over the place
But please don’t refer to liberals as leftists.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

OM, regarding “...adopting a Leftist agenda is a mark of racial superiority, which creates a scientific justification for treating some members of the human race as inferiors…”  I think it depends who on the left you;re talking about, and who on the right, but, I don;t think the justification is a scientific one.  What it is, depends on what sub-set of the left and right you are considerting, but yes, I’ve seen the attitude that certain members of the left have ‘seen the light’. 

And, certainly a similar phenomenon exists from the right, where more often than not, ‘seen the light’ does carry the religious overtone, and manifest itself through a social political agenda.

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By Foucauldian, March 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

Is that how you read OM, having it exactly as he
wants it?

In any case, you picture of the Right is incorrect,
unless you take the posturing for the real.  Come to
think of it, the liberal Left (and to the best of my
knowledge, there is no other) is not exactly free of
that defect either.

The political divide in the West does not separate
humans into villains and saints.

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By Ed Romano, March 3, 2012 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

’ The left wants to change the world on the dot…the right does not”. .... Why in God.s name would the right want to change the world ? They’ve got it exactly the way they want it.

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By Foucauldian, March 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

I should think, John B, that OM’s critique of both
the Left and the Right is implicit.  If there be
any disequilibrium here, I think it comes down to
the fact that the Left entertains the illusion of
being able to change the world on the dot, whereas
the Right does not.  The world will change, that’s
for certain, for history always has a way of
righting itself, but it will happen in due course
(which isn’t to say that the Left’s efforts are in
vain, only that it’s too much given to self-
flattery).

That’s my read, in any case, but I’m certain OM
will respond in my stead.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, To your post of March 3 at 7:16 am.

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘leftist’ exactly, but it might not be necessary or possible to resolve that here.

My question, and please do not consider my reply as a reply from the left, OK?  As a test, I am trying to look at both ‘sides’ as mirror images of each other.  With that in mind, is it possible, in your most objective look, to consider that the ‘superiority of the left extreme’ also exists, perhaps by other mechanisms, but do you see any of it on the extreme right? 

And of course you’re under no obligation, but I’ll repeat my previous request regarding your post of March 2 at 9:33, you said, “To make matters worse, the bad actor(modern man) thinks he is the pinnacle, that he is the best ever, that his career will be the fulfillment of all thespian hopes and dreams. Conservatives dont say that very often, but Leftists do.”  Did you answer that in a way I was too dense to detect?  It has happened.  Thank You.

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By Foucauldian, March 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Indeed, ardee, and it’s not just the “arrogance of
youth” that’s on display here.

You want to help?  Do so by example, but never, never
claim it for a motive!

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By ardee, March 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Justin Case, March 3 at 5:07 am

The reason you are a phony, or rather only one such, is held within your statement that intimates concern and a desire to help. Your only concern is to be seen as far brighter and more useful than ever you are or can be until you learn humility.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Quick reply to Ed Romano, March 3 at 7:08 am.
I hear you, and once in a while, after I’m exhaused by bullshit, yep, I’ll slap a tag on somebody.  It’s a sign the enlightening value is far under the aggravation value, a write off.  Yes, I hate to do it, and am fairly judicious about it, and often give them another chance.  OM for instance.

On a previous bit of a thread…. that issue with workers standing in line to take your job if you’re not satisfied with whatever crumbs the boss is throwing you?  The grow-grow-grow mentality of the ‘capitalists’ might bear on that.  Always a population close to desperation, somebody ready to take your place in line.  There’s a relationship to population level and education.  ‘They’ (i hate to use that word, it’s so us-vs-them and that aint right either) want quantity not quality.

Don’t worry (in total sarcasm) the cream will rise to the top.

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By Ed Romano, March 3, 2012 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

Ozark,  When you are” wrong you want to know about it” ? I told you where you were wrong and you cpmpletely ignored it. You wrote that it is often said by leftists that people will evolve to the point where others will understand their point of view. I asked you to give us a few examples. You write that it is in the “dreamy sigh” leftists emit now and again and say that “the sighing alternating with cursing is a concept you invented just now”. Golly, that’s proof alright. Man, are you in training to be a stand up comic?..... You talk about a line of attack coming from the left. I’m on what you term the left and we’re not attacking anyone half as much as you and your ilk seem to be attacking us. We just want the monster to go away.

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By Foucauldian, March 3, 2012 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

I think you’ve just resolved the paradox, Michael.

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By Litl Bludot, March 3, 2012 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

In a sense, this a reply to OM, although I strongly suspect he or she is a sock puppet (if you don’t know, look it up,,). If not, certainly someone who would pretend to never realize that what one is defending is fascism. For those who continue to mistakenly think that they are arguing with anything but intellectual dishonesty, I offer this quote and link, and then, to try to be on topic,  by asking if nonviolence can be an effective resistance to fascism, once it is in place. Hedges evidently thinks it does. I hope he is correct, since we are now, effectively, a fascist state-as well as Europe and the rest of the world, by being subject to global corporate control. You may just want to skip down to the criteria that characterize fascism, and then, well, just look around,,,, But don’t waste anymore of your time with OM, because you are just feeding the beast, and disregarding your own worth.

“,,,,,,,,there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.”

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=britt_23_2

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, March 3, 2012 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

I really wantd to get off Truthdig but Foucaldian’s post was quite good. The first paragraph was good because I want to stand against it and contrast to it.

The second paragraph is good because i agree with it but had not yet formulated the thought myself. Ok here is the first paragraph:

I’d like to get back, Michael, to the topic of (i)reason as a platform for informed action (rather
than mere justification); and (ii) the dual nature
of OWS as both an exercise of “group-think” and a
crucible for many individuals forming informed
opinions and understandings.

You certainly would figure some things out. I wont dispute that but wilol become conflicted as (i) develops into (ii). I do not wish to empower Leftist action unless the same principles are grandfathered back toward what I hold dear. And it wont happen, so all i would be doing is creating even more inequality. Second paragraph:

I’m somewhat conflicted by some of Ana’s postings. On the one hand, she’s brilliant, coming up with most astute observations and analyses; at other
times, she refers her audience to writings by the
spokespersons for anarchism, which are rather
shallow compared to her own thinking powers.

Foucaldian, that is the best work by anybody on this thread. I couldnt agree more and feel sad that i didnt put that together and write it myself. Allow me to add one more crucial acclamation: Most Leftist people want to remain above everything, especially idealists. Anarcissie is an idealist, yet s/he plunged in and committed to a particular real thing, Occupy Wall Street.

There is nothing messier and more full of contradictions than real life, yet the bottom line is found there. That is what Anarcissie is reaching for and the process is unfolding before our eyes. I dont pretend to know where Anarcissie will end up, but the journey is real.

Truthdig is much richer for Anarcissie being here, and anything s/he links to is not as good as an Anarcissie post.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, March 3, 2012 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

poop

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, March 3, 2012 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

For an argument to carry any weight, Ozark it cannot consist totally of name calling, opinion and fag ends of a philosophy picked up on Fox News. It has to be set up with a modicum of intellectual rigor and honesty.

Fox News has never said anything about “two levels of humanity”. Unlike yourself who is probably cut and pasting from God-knows-where, my thoughts are entirely my own and the concepts I express tend to be creative and original.

Regarding the Leftist concept of the evolution of the human race to a more Leftist point of view and towards a Leftist utopia, all i shall say is that it is practically self-evident. It is the dreamy sigh that Leftists emit once in awhile. The sighing sometimes changes to cursing upon us conservatives for preventing you from getting there, or an accusation that we will destroy everything before you can. This too is an original analysis of my own. The “sighing alternating with cursing” is a concept i created just now. Try finding it on Fox News. You cant. heck you wont try anyway. Do you care enough about the truth enough to admit that you were wrong? Of course not!

I could start finding many Leftist’s posts on Truthdig over the last 4 years to prove my point about ‘evolution’. But I know you. You would ignore the work i do and merely change your line of attack. You especially dont want to know when you are proven wrong, because it makes no difference to you.

When I am wrong I want to know about it. It makes a huge impact on me. Huge. So we are playing by different rules, arent we?

Knowing this, should I scavenge for quotes to prove the self-evident to someone who neither knows nor cares to know?

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By Foucauldian, March 3, 2012 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

I’d like to get back, Michael, to the topic of (i)
reason as a platform for informed action (rather
than mere justification); and (ii) the dual nature
of OWS as both an exercise of “group-think” and a
crucible for many individuals forming informed
opinions and understandings.

I’m somewhat conflicted by some of Ana’s postings. 
On the one hand, she’s brilliant, coming up with
most astute observations and analyses; at other
times, she refers her audience to writings by the
spokespersons for anarchism, which are rather
shallow compared to her own thinking powers. 

If it weren’t for the latter, one would think she’s
a groupie.  We know better, of course, but it’s
still a puzzler.

Will the real Ana please stand up and be counted!

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By Ed Romano, March 3, 2012 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Ozark, You can’t maintain two levels of humanity ?? Isn’t that what we’ve had now for at least several millenia?
  ” It is OFTEN said by leftists that people are going to evolve”... Since this statement sets up your straw man perhaps you can give us a few examples of “often”.
  ” Leftists want to restrain some people….”
Restraining is bad hey ? So when are you going to start petitioning for burglars, pedophiles and axe murderers to be set free?
  For an argument to carry any weight, Ozark it cannot consist totally of name calling, opinion and fag ends of a philosophy picked up on Fox News. It has to be set up with a modicum of intellectual rigor and honesty.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 3, 2012 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

I think they’re talking about cultural evolution.  Culture is available to everyone.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, March 3, 2012 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

John Best, it is often said by Leftists that people are going to evolve to the point where Leftist ideas will finally be understood and adopted. It is almost a religious statement, it is a hopeful light in dark, disturbing, demoralizing times.

Setting aside the hidden personal conceit of the people who make such remarks(who obviously are already more advanced than the rest of us) I focus on the odious concept that merely adopting a Leftist agenda is a mark of racial superiority, which creates a scientific justification for treating some members of the human race as inferiors, as scapegoats, as people who need to be restrained for the sake of a golden evolutionary future.

But hark to my warning, which has been ignored many times before: “You cannot maintain two levels of humanity. One way or the other, we shall be equals!”

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