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The Collapse of Globalization

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Posted on Mar 28, 2011
AP / Jacques Brinon

Demonstrators carry an effigy of Ronald McDonald.

By Chris Hedges

The uprisings in the Middle East, the unrest that is tearing apart nations such as the Ivory Coast, the bubbling discontent in Greece, Ireland and Britain and the labor disputes in states such as Wisconsin and Ohio presage the collapse of globalization. They presage a world where vital resources, including food and water, jobs and security, are becoming scarcer and harder to obtain. They presage growing misery for hundreds of millions of people who find themselves trapped in failed states, suffering escalating violence and crippling poverty. They presage increasingly draconian controls and force—take a look at what is being done to Pfc. Bradley Manning—used to protect the corporate elite who are orchestrating our demise.

We must embrace, and embrace rapidly, a radical new ethic of simplicity and rigorous protection of our ecosystem—especially the climate—or we will all be holding on to life by our fingertips. We must rebuild radical socialist movements that demand that the resources of the state and the nation provide for the welfare of all citizens and the heavy hand of state power be employed to prohibit the plunder by the corporate power elite. We must view the corporate capitalists who have seized control of our money, our food, our energy, our education, our press, our health care system and our governance as mortal enemies to be vanquished.

Adequate food, clean water and basic security are already beyond the reach of perhaps half the world’s population. Food prices have risen 61 percent globally since December 2008, according to the International Monetary Fund. The price of wheat has exploded, more than doubling in the last eight months to $8.56 a bushel. When half of your income is spent on food, as it is in countries such as Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia and the Ivory Coast, price increases of this magnitude bring with them malnutrition and starvation. Food prices in the United States have risen over the past three months at an annualized rate of 5 percent. There are some 40 million poor in the United States who devote 35 percent of their after-tax incomes to pay for food. As the cost of fossil fuel climbs, as climate change continues to disrupt agricultural production and as populations and unemployment swell, we will find ourselves convulsed in more global and domestic unrest. Food riots and political protests will be inevitable. But it will not necessarily mean more democracy.

The refusal by all of our liberal institutions, including the press, universities, labor and the Democratic Party, to challenge the utopian assumptions that the marketplace should determine human behavior permits corporations and investment firms to continue their assault, including speculating on commodities to drive up food prices. It permits coal, oil and natural gas corporations to stymie alternative energy and emit deadly levels of greenhouse gases. It permits agribusinesses to divert corn and soybeans to ethanol production and crush systems of local, sustainable agriculture. It permits the war industry to drain half of all state expenditures, generate trillions in deficits, and profit from conflicts in the Middle East we have no chance of winning. It permits corporations to evade the most basic controls and regulations to cement into place a global neo-feudalism. The last people who should be in charge of our food supply or our social and political life, not to mention the welfare of sick children, are corporate capitalists and Wall Street speculators. But none of this is going to change until we turn our backs on the Democratic Party, denounce the orthodoxies peddled in our universities and in the press by corporate apologists and construct our opposition to the corporate state from the ground up. It will not be easy. It will take time. And it will require us to accept the status of social and political pariahs, especially as the lunatic fringe of our political establishment steadily gains power. The corporate state has nothing to offer the left or the right but fear. It uses fear—fear of secular humanism or fear of Christian fascists—to turn the population into passive accomplices. As long as we remain afraid nothing will change.

Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, two of the major architects for unregulated capitalism, should never have been taken seriously. But the wonders of corporate propaganda and corporate funding turned these fringe figures into revered prophets in our universities, think tanks, the press, legislative bodies, courts and corporate boardrooms. We still endure the cant of their discredited economic theories even as Wall Street sucks the U.S. Treasury dry and engages once again in the speculation that has to date evaporated some $40 trillion in global wealth. We are taught by all systems of information to chant the mantra that the market knows best.

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It does not matter, as writers such as John Ralston Saul have pointed out, that every one of globalism’s  promises has turned out to be a lie. It does not matter that economic inequality has gotten worse and that most of the world’s wealth has became concentrated in a few hands. It does not matter that the middle class—the beating heart of any democracy—is disappearing and that the rights and wages of the working class have fallen into precipitous decline as labor regulations, protection of our manufacturing base and labor unions have been demolished. It does not matter that corporations have used the destruction of trade barriers as a mechanism for massive tax evasion, a technique that allows conglomerates such as General Electric to avoid paying any taxes. It does not matter that corporations are exploiting and killing the ecosystem on which the human species depends for life. The steady barrage of illusions disseminated by corporate systems of propaganda, in which words are often replaced with music and images, are impervious to truth. Faith in the marketplace replaces for many faith in an omnipresent God. And those who dissent—from Ralph Nader to Noam Chomsky—are banished as heretics.


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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, May 6, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

“Free trade, piracy, war - an inseparable three!” -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Chris Hedges = Priceless

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Redwood Guy, absolutely correct!

God bless the oppressed as well as the oppressors.

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, April 23, 2011 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

Everything Mr.Hedges asserts here is true. It is also inevitable. How could it be any other way? Do the ignorant educate the smart? Do the poor ever have control over the rich? Do the slow afoot ever beat the swift? Well no, of course not.

Look, this is great stuff that Hedges is writing. It is a masterful accounting of the obvious. It is stirring, and it is painfully truthful. But, after reading it, now what? (Let’s don’t even bring up the idea that the people reading it aren’t the ones being used and abused.)

The poor can never, ever, ever, be masters of the material. This is a truth too big and too obvious to grasp if your life is lived in a political reality. It is for this reason, that the spiritual realm holds power. In the spiritual realm every advantage Hedges affords to the materially wealthy disappears or worse, becomes a burden. The solution to poverty isn’t stuff on the outside, it is matter on the inside.

I’m just sayin’.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

The American Dream was turned into the Amerikan Nightmare….

Do we not see a communist-held central bank of the world, now?

And a fascist dictatorship ( or corporatism ) the world over?

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By igloo, April 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The reason so many Americans are so optimistic even if they know the mothership (the Nation) is sinking is that they desperately want to buy into the American Dream before the ship sinks. You can’t find an angrier man than one who is told that his life-long dream of striking it rich is but a pipedream. Welcome to America!!

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By ardee, April 13, 2011 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, April 2 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment


ardee—My problem is not so much with Hedges as with his fans.  It’s the same thing as with Chomsky:  people go to hear him speak, or buy his books, and tell each other that’s he’s really sticking it to The Man, he’s really telling it like it is.  Then nothing happens.  Then they do the same thing over again.  I can see this sort of repetitious thing as consistent with a conservative religion, where nothing is supposed to happen, it is suffices to hear the Word preached over and over again, but Hedges and his fans are supposed to be ‘progressives’.  Where are they progressing?  I don’t see any action—just a lot of ain’t-it-awfullism, which I can make up for myself.

Beating a dead horse, better by far than a live one.

The symptoms and lethargy you describe are not confined to fans of either Hedges or Chomsky. That the truths they so aptly enumerate spark no action is by no means their fault. Nor does it discredit the words they scribe.

That both have written on a panoply of problems that beset this nation and this world and both, in my own opinion, suggest solutions. Whether or not the fans of these two are working on solutions is unknown to you. Some solutions require a bit of anonymity I offer.

Rather than being so unfair ,again my own opinion, to those who post positive reactions to Hedges articles , perhaps puzzlement at the inactivity of most of us might be a better path…...and less sarcasm directed at Hedges.

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Arraya's avatar

By Arraya, April 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

all the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not
from the defects of the Constitution or confederation, not from want of honor
or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nation, of coin,
credit and circulation.”—b. A.D. 1735 John Adams, 2nd President of the United
States of America.

The members of the American economics profession, as [Thurman] Arnold
contended, performed a vital practical role in maintaining this unique system of
corporate socialism American style. It was their role to prevent the American
public from achieving a correct understanding of the actual workings of the
American economic system. Economists instead were assigned the task to
dispense priestly blessings that would allow business to operate independent of
damaging political manipulation. They accomplished this task by means of their
message of “laissez faire religion, based on a conception of a society composed
of competing individuals.” However false as a description of the actual U.S.
economy, this vision in the mind of the American public was in practice
“transferred automatically to industrial organizations with nation-wide power
and dictatorial forms of government.” Even though the arguments of
economists were misleading and largely fictional, the practical — and beneficial
— result of their deception was to throw a “mantle of protection … over
corporate government” from various forms of outside interference. Admittedly,
as the economic “symbolism got farther and farther from reality, it required
more and more ceremony to keep it up.” But as long as this arrangement
worked and there could be maintained “the little pictures in the back of the
head of the ordinary man,” the effect was salutary — “the great [corporate]
organization was secure in its freedom and independence.” It was this very
freedom and independence of business professionals to pursue the correct
scientific answer — the efficient answer — on which the economic progress of
the United States depended. — Robert H. Nelson, REACHING FOR HEAVEN ON
EARTH

Robert Nelson tells us that the goal of the economics profession is to prevent
the American public from achieving a correct understanding the American
economic system, thereby throwing a “mantel of protection over corporate
government!”

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Educating the poor regarding fiat and finance will be the best investment anyone can make…. but the hierarchy will surely NOT want that, for their schemes of chicanery juxtaposed to the ignorance of the masses will be their downfall from their ivory towers… for they will surely now have to ‘earn’ their fiat, rather than be ‘masters of the universe.’

“All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from the defects of the Constitution or confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nation, of coin, credit and circulation.”—b. A.D. 1735 John Adams, 2nd President of the United States of America.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 8, 2011 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Ray Joseph Cormier, April 8 at 1:51 pm:

‘John, you do come up with the best questions that have to be answered. This is only the 1st I saw in your last comment.

“Is effort to manufacture a $100,000,000 luxury yacht really as worthwhile as the same effort toward manufacturing a power plant?”

These are choices where the people are rarely consulted. These decisions are made behind the scenes by politicians and lobbyists on behalf of the corporations and business owners. ...’

On the contrary, people are consulted every day.  Whenever they choose to work for a corporation instead of themselves, go to the mall instead of build their own or barter for what they need, put their money in a bank instead of a credit union, pay medical insurance instead of joining a cooperative HMO, pay their taxes, vote for mainstream candidates, they’re volunteering to build hundred million dollar yachts.

These yachts are not without purpose.  Whenever you take a dollar from a poor person and give it to a rich person, you’ve destroyed most of the utility, the value, of the dollar.  A dollar could mean a deeply enjoyed cup of coffee to a homeless scavenger, whereas it’s waste paper to a rich man.  A hundred million dollars could build a power plant, fund one bad or a dozen good movies, build a thousand houses, or disappear into a yacht enjoyed to some extent by a few, until the desire for a two hundred million dollar yacht came upon them.  Destroying wealth is a great service to our sort of society, because it keeps it going.  Our productive powers have long since passed the ability to meet our basic needs and desires; we have to get rid of the stuff we make in order to keep our social order, based on domination and greed, power and wealth, from collapsing.

This is most critically true of the capitalists and their friends who make up our ruling class.  Without ‘constantly revolutionizing the means of production’ (and consumption), without making the economy a constant emergency, crisis, war, who would need them?  Who would prevent peace, freedom and equality from breaking out and rendering the lives of so many meaningless?

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By Ray Joseph Cormier, April 8, 2011 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

John, you do come up with the best questions that have to be answered. This is only the 1st I saw in your last comment.

“Is effort to manufacture a $100,000,000 luxury yacht really as worthwhile as the same effort toward manufacturing a power plant?”

These are choices where the people are rarely consulted. These decisions are made behind the scenes by politicians and lobbyists on behalf of the corporations and business owners.

The news reports I watch and read tells me business has loads of cash while the government and the greater majority of the people don’t, so what is the common good and who can outline it? The politicians? The Rich and the business leaders? The Corporate owned mass media?

What are the Corporations doing with all that cash? Creating jobs?  No, they are buying other mega Corporations with many subsidiaries having names the Public doesn’t see identified with the larger holding Company. The Consumption society is finally beginning to consume itself.

As much as the Free Market gives lip service to competition, the actions of those Corporations having all the cash and their buyouts are leading not to competition, but monopoly, the opposite direction. We are way beyond Orwell’s 1984.

At the beginning of this discussion, I posted a letter sent to the Party Leaders in the Canadian Parliament. That letter is all about choices and shaping the Future world we have to live in, either together or apart.

http://ray032.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/elections/

http://ray032.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/the-declaration/

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 8, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Any historians out there?  Please suggest a period in our history that most closely resembled this anarcho-capitalism that David Friedman and his followers would have.

On the ‘culture of busy’, of the ideology of the myth of unlimited growth…... busy doing what?  Manufacturing cheap landfill?  Do we keep busy for our 20 or 40 or 60 hours facilitating the consumption of crap with no economic payoff?  Is effort to manufacture a $100,000,000 luxury yacht really as worthwhile as the same effort toward manufacturing a power plant?  And why does asking these questions get the ire of the ‘free marketeers’ up?  How dare one question the mystical magical invisible hand of the free market?  ‘Personal freedom’?  They intentionally confuse civil freedoms with ‘freedom to behave your entire life as s self-centered spoiled brat’. 

And what a crock of noise, meaningless statistics, we dump over the fundamental issues.  The previous comments on productivity, and whether we have a system that funnels too of the gains of productivity upward to be wasted.  Before the culture of greed took over, bankers were respected because they invested in productive people and enterprise.  Now, their ethos has been diluted by the ‘investment banker’, and we see more schemes, more hollow paper based ‘wealth’ generation.  I havn’t been seeing serious long-term ‘real wealth’ generating investments for some time.  Short-term speculative bubbles (shopping malls and marketing crap) and of course unbacked paper.  And they conceal this with distractions.

So tell me…..what time period resembles most closely the age of anarcho-capitalism that is being sold to us?  Then the minions will know what books to burn.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 8, 2011 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

Anyone ever read “The 4-hour Work Week” ?

Good stuff for anyone wanting to escape 9 to 5 and economic slavery… just sayin.’

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 8, 2011 at 12:29 am Link to this comment

Odd.  I had read somewhere that the work week had increased in length—slightly.  No matter.  The variations are trivial compared to the supposed increase of productivity before and during the reign of the 40-hour week.

I omitted the role of the government, which also favors the 40-hour week in various different ways, for example by loading each instance of employment with an equal bureaucratic burden.  However, the government in theory mediates the will of the people, or of their ruling class, anyway, so I think it’s simply reflecting the situation I described previously and making it a bit more rigid.

I suppose it’s also possible that the 40-hour week is encoded in people’s genes, or is ordained by the gods; but I think the explanation that it maximizes production-consumption is the most reasonable.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Ray, thanks for sharing that video link… that was pretty dramatic and says allot… pretty timely too… I guess that happens over and over again, in many congregations.

Thanks Mr. Best for your comments… Looking deeper into those words, the heart of man is revealed… at least in my opinion, that’s what I see and notice.

I agree religion has been hijacked and used to subdue people…. yet, the truth is out there. 

We must consider all things before arriving at absolute conclusion, yet, when one reads words like those found in those passages, and the very passages Ray shared, things come into focus.. again, at least it does for me.

The more I learn about the world, its true history and find out about the crimes of men, the more real the scriptures become to me… the more my faith in God is solidified…. and the more I ‘see’ things as they really are, not as they’ve been fed to me.

Peace and Love to All.

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George F. Haley's avatar

By George F. Haley, April 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

“Could be 30 or 20 or less.”

Could be 60 or more, depending on what your utility function looks like.

“Notice that the standard work week fell during the early part of the 20th century until it reached 40 hours.  There it stuck, to this very day, in spite of the fact that productivity increased by many, many times supposedly.”

Apparently there’s some artificial legislative support for that, I assume some collusion by people who weren’t willing to work, say, 45 hours for a given wage against those who were, such as myself.

“Clearly, then, working just 40 hours does not reflect any necessity.  It’s a general choice.  No matter how much is produced, almost everyone who works at a job works 40 hours.”

On the other hand, people who have studied this question with, dare I say, scientific rigor, have found something else:

“In 1965, the average man spent 42 hours a week working at the office or the factory; throw in coffee breaks, lunch breaks, and commuting time, and you’re up to 51 hours. Today, instead of spending 42 and 51 hours, he spends 36 and 40. What’s he doing with all that extra time? He spends a little on shopping, a little on housework, and a lot on watching TV, reading the newspaper, going to parties, relaxing, going to bars, playing golf, surfing the Web, visiting friends, and having sex. Overall, depending on exactly what you count, he’s got an extra six to eight hours a week of leisure—call it the equivalent of nine extra weeks of vacation per year.

For women, time spent on the job is up from 17 hours a week to 24. With breaks and commuting thrown in, it’s up from 20 hours to 26. But time spent on household chores is down from 35 hours a week to 22, for a net leisure gain of four to six hours. Call it five extra vacation weeks.

A small part of those gains is because of demographic change. The average American is older now and has fewer children, so it’s not surprising that he or she works less. But even when you compare modern Americans to their 1965 counterparts—people with the same family size, age, and education—the gains are still on the order of 4 to 8 hours a week, or something like seven extra weeks of leisure per year.

But not for everyone. About 10 percent of us are stuck in 1965, leisurewise. At the opposite extreme, 10 percent of us have gained a staggering 14 hours a week or more. (Once again, your gains are measured in comparison to a person who, in 1965, had the same characteristics that you have today.) By and large, the biggest leisure gains have gone precisely to those with the most stagnant incomes—that is, the least skilled and the least educated. And conversely, the smallest leisure gains have been concentrated among the most educated, the same group that’s had the biggest gains in income. “

http://www.slate.com/id/2161309

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Ray Joseph Cormier's avatar

By Ray Joseph Cormier, April 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Religion? Economics?

What is this?

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth (Pope, Kings, Princes, Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs, the Rich) have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities…......................
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buys their merchandise any more:
The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men…...........
for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
Revelation 18

We all know Jesus overturned the Bankers and Merchants in the Jewish Temple. We know there are many references to Christ’s observation that hardly ever will a rich man enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s not that he excludes them. Everyone has freedom of thought and choice in determining what they value.

We know the teaching, You cannot serve two Masters. You cannot serve God and money at the same Time. Either you will love one and hate the other or you will serve one and neglect the other.

You can see a rich visual representation of this in the 2nd video clip here,

http://ray032.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/the-imperial-pope/

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

<blockquote>
John Best, April 7 at 7:27 pm:

‘... No, I rather prefer to emulate someone who enjoys life.  Work your 40….’

Could be 30 or 20 or less.

Notice that the standard work week fell during the early part of the 20th century until it reached 40 hours.  There it stuck, to this very day, in spite of the fact that productivity increased by many, many times supposedly.

Clearly, then, working just 40 hours does not reflect any necessity.  It’s a general choice.  No matter how much is produced, almost everyone who works at a job works 40 hours.

I figure it’s the approximate point at which working at production and working at consumption balance out.  If people spend too much time on the job, they don’t consume enough.  If they spend too much time at the mall, they don’t work enough.  The interest of the capitalists, and of their corporations, is to maximize production-consumption, to make a kind of constant war or crisis out of it, because this is what maximizes their power, wealth and social status.  The working class, except for us hippies, introject these capitalist values and support and imitate them; this is not surprising considering that capitalists control their workplaces, their markets, their media, their entertainment, and to a large extent their schools.

The capitalists must not only manage the production of goods and services to live; above all, they must produce scarcity.  But we don’t need to believe in it.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

You know Napolean,  Just a few moments ago, I was tending to some work and thought “The priest says the Gods need meat for the sacrifice, and your best meat, certainly not grain.”  Or words to that effect. 

Part of the quotations you cite is “To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.”  A perfect sentiment for those who steal from those who work, ‘eh??  Economists please God then?  (<:

What kills me about these is that if we’re suckers enough to believe them, well, we might as well turn our life’s work over to some broker as sanctified by and his high priest, the economist. 

There’s a lot of psychological manipulation, ideology, dressed up as science or wisdom, and we decent and meeker folk have let these clowns get away with it unchallenged for too damn long.  I think we need a forum for the purpose of thoroughly fleching out the various aspects of this massive financial and economic con so the weasles who were complicit can’t so easily slither away after the crash. 

Just vicious attacks these folk make to somehow preemptively keep clear of what happens when the shit really starts to hit the old fan. 

But back to that passage….....what is saddest is that many people worked for a thing called ‘the common good’, and we see it near pillage.  WE also see a replacement ideology ‘every man for himself’ under which massive theft is heralded as dedicated diligence and hard work.  Frankly it’s amazing Bernie Madoff didn’t get a sainthood. 

In any even, there are common core themes in what a few of us write about.  WE know there is a nasty new selfish religion at work.  The religion of self and greed.  It should be explored.  It’s a cancer that works with globalization to facilitate transfer of ill-gotten wealth.  If you know of any such forums, contact me offline.  I’m bored and sick of trolls from Goldman-Sachs and their ilk.  Boring and boorish, some smarter than others, thieves all.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

John Best, to the question: Are the winners really winning… I’d have to quote a particular source to explain my reason for asking that seemingly silly question, if you don’t mind:

“So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.

For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.

What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?

All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 

To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.

This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

This makes sense to me, but to some… not so much.

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By Ray Joseph Cormier, April 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In our Apostate nominally Christian Societies, materialistic and secular, people do not deeply consider the message of Jesus in overturning the Bankers and the merchants in the Temple.

They do not consider the several messages of Christ saying hardly ever will a rich man enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s not that he excludes them. All people have freedom of thought and choice.

You cannot serve two Masters. Either you will love one and hate the other, or you will serve one and neglect the other. You cannot serve God and money at the same Time.

The 2nd video in this link offers a graphic representation of this,

http://ray032.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/the-imperial-pope/

That is a very fine line that is the same, but different, for each and every individual and their individual circumstances.

They do not consider Christ’s struggles with the established religious leadership. He said hookers would get into the Kingdom of God before the religious leaders of the Day. Who can judge?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont is saying something below which is significant.  Economics as a religion.  Yes indeed.  Economists are at the archbishop level. Other ‘leechy professions’ take their place below. 

These are people who never had ethics, or empathy. 
Now we enter times of higher oil production prices and global competition…...they get uglier and uglier trying to prop up the religion masquerading as science called ‘economics.

If economists would only have relegated themselves to engineering or production management sorts of roles, things might have been fine, but no, they whispered in the ears of investment bankers, of politicians.  They gave them words which inspired credibility.  And the use of the cred ability?  Some offenses, Gary Mont lists below.  The latest crime: failing to make legitimate productive investments, thereby robbing 401K’s worldwide via the 2008 meltdown…...it aint over yet. 

They have another hallmark trick: accusing others of the crimes they themselves are guilty.  Nobody taught them before they called someone a name, made an accusation, or impugned a reputation…..look long and hard in the mirror.

Yes, Gary, judge them by their actions.  Let’s not bet dazzled by the continuous re-writes and reinterpretations of history.

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By George F. Haley, April 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

““his boundless energy and time-mangement skills are an example to us all”  ......exactly the sort of person I do not want to emulate.

So you want to be exhausted and procrastinate? Huh, but then how will you find time for, you know, teaching, writing, spending time with your family, playing WoW, keeping a blog, appearing at conventions, giving public lectures, SCA, and dicking around on the internet?

” Work, work, work…....for what?”

When you’re a public intellectual, or Charlie Sheen, the line between “work” and “fun stuff” isn’t so hard and bright as it is to us mere mortal wage slaves.

“To support who?”

Himself and his family, mainly, I would imagine.

“We have too many of these ‘specailists’ eating too big a share of the pie.”

Some of the things you say make me realize…well, I’m not saying I’d never have you over for dinner, but I shouldn’t leave my wallet in the same room with you, and I’d better count the silver before you leave.

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By Gary Mont, April 7, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

To any of the annointed acolytes of “Economics”.

Since I’ve never considered economics as anything other than a pseudo-religion based on tricky accounting practices, I’ve never actually given any of the “great” economists a look over.

Which one(s) promote the concept of planned obsolescence and the disposable commodity for repeat consumption?

Which one(s) promote the mercenary medical industry where the “medicines” cause more symptoms than they mask, by simply turning off body functions -(in a sane world, these are normally called toxins) - and absolutely never, never, ever cure anything?

Which one(s) promote the process of feeding the nation debilitating crap based on corn and canola oil, laden with white sucrose and 36 chemicals to prolong shelf life, that generally turn the public into jello blobs with faulty immune systems, necessitating massive and continous treatment by Drug Doktors prescribing the petrochemical concoctions mentioned above?

Which one(s) promote the burying and demotion of any technology that might interfere with the sales of petroleum, or coal based electricity?

Which one(s) promote the lowering of the nutritional value of fruit and vegetables so the consumer needs to buy and eat twice as much as normal? 

Which one(s) promote the idea that “buyer beware” is the proper direction of business, where deceipt is the primary tool of salesmanship?

Which one(s) promote the idea that “lobbying” is not bribery and should be the way government is operated?

——

I just thought I’d try and shorten the list of economic bibles I’ll need to read if I ever decide to take a look at this new religion of Mammon.

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By Anarcissie, April 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Actually, my experience with David Friedman in one-to-one debate was that (from my point of view) he twisted my words and concepts in order to try to score trivial points, which I regarded as rather dishonest, although I suppose they’re within the rules of political debate.  (Others were far, far worse, of course, so that he seemed like a beacon of sanity in a sea of muck.)  I’m sorry you find my perceptions weaselly, but they are, in fact, fairly fuzzy, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise.  Most discussions are (including this one).  We would not get much said if we couldn’t be fuzzy.

Friedman didn’t seem to grasp the wider problems with anarcho-capitalism, here referred to aptly as ‘man’s heart’, etc., so I gave up trying to rescue him from his beliefs.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

“his boundless energy and time-mangement skills are an example to us all”  ......exactly the sort of person I do not want to emulate.  Work, work, work…....for what?  To support who?  We have too many of these ‘specailists’ eating too big a share of the pie. 

No, I rather prefer to emulate someone who enjoys life.  Work your 40 and not a second more…....relax and enjoy leisure.  This idea that buys is good, and that workaholics should be venerated is idiotic. 

Napolean, you ask: “Are the winners really winning”?  I’m going to take a shot at answering that in an oblique way by asking…......are they relaxed?  Are they comfortable their ‘wealth’ will keep them happy into the future?  Is it real, stable?  You hear stories about the “pressure cooker lifestyle” of these so-called ‘winners’, and many of them bought into the crap they’re selling and are very leveraged.  It’s funny to consider the many forms of leverage about us, and how these folks make a show of feeding off the pressure, the adrenalin.  It looks like their heads will surely explode someday.  The ‘minions’ (who consider themselves ‘winners’) are so easily replaced by the brats coming our of MBA programs everywhere. 

I mean, the ‘paper’ nature of what they’ve ‘won’, the leverage, and the pressure….....I think the minions that jump on that treadmill with riches in their eyes might as well have tried to be NBA superstars. 

But I digress…....this work, work, work culture they promote….trying to get everybody else to jump through hooops….....frankly, it makes me wonder if they’d just been more productive in a regular workweek, perhaps they wouldn’t have to go about looking busy to impress their bosses so much.  You see, it’s never enough for their bosses.  The ‘cult of busy’ is part of the ‘grow grow grow’ ideology. 

I say…....do something productive…....do it so it lasts…...and enjoy life.

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By George F. Haley, April 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

“David Friedman used to show up back in the day on Usenet,”

Friedman still regularly posts to Usenet; his boundless energy and time-mangement skills are an example to us all.

” where he took quite a bit of abuse of various kinds, at least some of it fairly well-deserved, I would say.”

Pushing past the weasel words, “at least some..;” “fairly;” “I would say;” I have to wonder if the definition of the word “abuse” precludes deserving it.

“He seemed to hold up fairly well.”

You have to be dedicated to whatever he’s arguing against to the point of dishonesty to think he only does “fairly well.” He is an absolute model of intellectual honesty, attacking bad arguments in support of ideas he otherwise endorses, or the attacks of sophists on ideas he opposes, and all around he’s equal parts Socrates and Bruce Lee.

“He argued in favor of ‘anarcho-capitalism’.  He envisioned a social order in which government and state would disappear and the defense of property (which was still to be sacrosanct) was to be personal or corporate—it looked like feudalism to me,”

I absolutely do not see how you can call this feudalism, other than that’s just part of the neo-collectivist cant, along with “koch brothers” and “neoliberal” and the rest of it.

“so I would call it a state, myself.”

Without looking, I don’t have a one or two sentence definition of “State” from David, but I assume his would exclude, you know, bowling teams, even if they have some rules and some means of enforcing them.

” His book on the subject is called The Machinery Of Freedom if you want to look it up.  I suppose he still maintains his theories; with so much invested in his beliefs, it would be a waste to doubt them, economically speaking.”

Sunk cost fallacy. Really, don’t learn about this stuff from your friends when so much good information is available at home.

(you know, and plus, capitalism; free enterprise, is pretty self-evidently the best system. Only the privileged have the luxury of doubting this)
 
“In any case the Friedmans, Milton and David, are generally a good example of how unproven economics hypotheses”

I notice a lot more people try to immigrate, legally or otherwise, to freer economies from less free economies than the other way around. I suppose you can special plead your way around that, but then you pretty much have to.

”  Strange bedfellows are found, too, as when the libertarian elder Friedman went to Chile to lecture the fascist dictator Pinochet and his ‘Chicago boys’.”

Here’s a pretty good article about that:

http://reason.com/archives/2006/12/15/the-economist-and-the-dictator

Friedman pere is quoted as saying “I approve of none of these authoritarian regimes—neither the Communist regimes of Russia and Yugoslavia nor the military juntas of Chile and Brazil. But I believe I can learn from observing them and that, insofar as my personal analysis of their economic situation enables them to improve their economic performance, that is likely to promote not retard a movement toward greater liberalism and freedom.”

I hope I don’t go too far into Tu Quoque land, but that’s sure a lot less equivocal than anything Chomsky’s ever said about Cambodia, or Parenti on Cuba.

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By Anarcissie, April 7, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

David Friedman used to show up back in the day on Usenet, where he took quite a bit of abuse of various kinds, at least some of it fairly well-deserved, I would say.  He seemed to hold up fairly well.  He argued in favor of ‘anarcho-capitalism’.  He envisioned a social order in which government and state would disappear and the defense of property (which was still to be sacrosanct) was to be personal or corporate—it looked like feudalism to me, so I would call it a state, myself.  His book on the subject is called The Machinery Of Freedom if you want to look it up.  I suppose he still maintains his theories; with so much invested in his beliefs, it would be a waste to doubt them, economically speaking. 

In any case the Friedmans, Milton and David, are generally a good example of how unproven economics hypotheses can be used to support political ideas far out of their domains, the usual procedure being to start with the assumptions and framework you will later ‘prove’.  Strange bedfellows are found, too, as when the libertarian elder Friedman went to Chile to lecture the fascist dictator Pinochet and his ‘Chicago boys’.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

Ciao Napolean,
“But, are the winners really winning?  Or are their hearts simply further corrupted?”  This is a serious question and I don’t have a simple answer.  Perhaps if the question of ‘hearts’ morals, compassion, were not attached it would be simpler. 

In any event, I must say I am interested in a study that, using lasers and putting, makes some determinations about risk aversion.  I’m going to have to satisfy myself as to how they get from point A to B there.  Clever chaps, gotta hand them that.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Cheers, Best.

As for the business cycle, well surely that entails few winners with a majority of losers.

But economists may not like to use the word ‘loser’ when referring to money matters… but that’s what the real world calls it.

And not loser as in dysfunctional nor imbeciles per-say, but losers as in “they didn’t even know what hit them” losers. 

But, are the winners really winning?  Or are their hearts simply further corrupted?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Apparently I was all wrong about everything.  A detailed study on putting proves that in general economics is all very solid science, and should I also trust economists by some inference?

I have no idea what Madden is and I’m sure as hell not not trying to impress anybody.  Anyone who claims economics is a science, given their performance relative to ‘real sciences’, is the one with something to prove.  Good luck on that. 

Does anyone know if there is a civil way to call someone a name caller without themselves becoming one?  Well, I think I enjoy a spirited discussion with a gentleman, but whatever this one is, it’s not that. 

Carry ON Mr. Hedges!  And I am happy to be among people who are intelligent enough to see that we should not be trusting the pseudo-scientists who say we’re just going into another business cycle (with perhaps a double -dip), and by the way, can I run your 401K pretty please???

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

Right on Best.  I wasn’t inferring putting anyone down… just like your point of view…. and not just because it resembles mine either, but I notice you’d rather question things than simply accept… you’re a thinker, my friend!

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By George F. Haley, April 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Is it just me, or has anyone else ever thought that if Mr. Frost had taken the road more traveled by, he wouldn’t have had so miles to go and could’ve gotten to bed by a reasonable hour.

As for you, Best, well…this from the current issue of the AER is very obviously science in action:

“Although experimental studies have documented systematic decision errors, many leading scholars believe that experience, competition, and large stakes will reliably extinguish biases. We test for the presence of a fundamental bias, loss aversion, in a high-stakes context: professional golfers’ performance on the PGA Tour. Golf provides a natural setting to test for loss aversion because golfers are rewarded for the total number of strokes they take during a tournament, yet each individual hole has a salient reference point, par. We analyze over 2.5 million putts using precise laser measurements and find evidence that even the best golfers—including Tiger Woods—show evidence of loss aversion. (JEL D03, D81, L83)”

You will now be compelled to say “no it’s not!” and argue like Kent Hovind and in general show us your experience with the discipline consists of looking at a few out-of-context quotes from Wealth on someone’s pro-collectivist website.

Tell you what, though, you’d at least impress me as being someowhat less pusillanimous, you know, intellectually, than I think you are if you were to call, say, Steve Landsberg or Bryan Caplan or David Friedman conmen and their discipline a fraud to their “face” as it were, as each of them have open comment threads on their various blogs, and will respond personally. You know, if you’re not too busy playing Madden or something.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Doneyourpart, That was very kind to say, but in modesty, my mind is rather more comparable to the vacuum of deep space than said air.  I just call them like I see them. 

Overall here….......there are folks who really see serious trouble, and simply want to avoid the Thelma and Loise style conclusion.  And, there are those who are doing more-or-less fine by the present system, and seem to take comfort in going out and stomping little fires of independent thinking that erupt in places like this.  Questioning the system is threatening to these folks, some of them know how very high the stakes are and what sorts of forces are at work. 

Believe me, I didn’t mean to put Ray Cote down in any way, but even if they guy has it all figured out, we’d have to say “STOP!  Stop what you’re doing, forget what you know, especially forget every time you’ve trusted someone and got the shaft, and now, do this.”  It’s an absolutely fascinating puzzle, but an old friend of mine said it best so far….....“no matter how smart we are and how smart our systems are, humanity doesn’t stride purposefully forward, eyes fixed toward a brighter future, no, humanity oozes blindly from one calamity to the next with all the dexterity and awareness of an amoeba.”  Problem is: half the damn experts are charlatans, but we don’t which which half. 

Thinking of Ray’s suggestion though, it might be simpler, to model collapse.  The dependencies of technologies, institutions, resources, and of course the kernel of human dynamics, the unifying field theory of behavior: baksheesh.  It might actually be quite useful to encourage people toward smarter behavior…....to see how the ‘born to procreate’ attitude extrapolates out into the post oil era.

Ciao.
-J

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

John Best, you’re hilarious!  Thanks for posting your mind on here.. like a breathe of fresh air amongst the LASmog and other choking devices.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Spoken like a post-enlightenment thinker with a great blank whiteboard and a little ganga.

Robert Frost, which one can learn by googling ‘the woods are’, so surely you knew it was Frost, so why do you ask?

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By Ray Cote, April 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The history of economics ideas is the history of great thinkers jailed in an
antiquated paradigm of linear modeling.

Political economy is the ultimate in complex organic systems. Only a lexicon of
ORGANIC PROCESS LITERACY has even the slightest chance of elucidating the
dynamic organizing principles on which we could possibly build a mutually
beneficial economic homeostasis.

Until we start visualizing political economy as an instance of the repeatable
dynamics inherent in complex organic systems we will remain at the mad
hatter’s tea party.

SOCIALISM vs CAPITALISM
How do you visualize the concepts of socialism or capitalism in the context of a
vast, complex, distributed, organic system array of interdependent, mutuality
beneficial, volitional economic stakeholders.

SOCIALIST ownership/planing can be CENTRALIZED into governmental
institutions or DISTRIBUTED into community collectives.

CAPITALIST ownership/planing can be CENTRALIZED into corporate monopolies
or DISTRIBUTED into a more health array of corporate competitors.

DISTRIBUTIONALISM vs CENTRALISM
This is the CENTRAL ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE of an ORGANIC PROCESS LITERACY
based paradigm. The LEFT vs RIGHT polemic is totally irrelevant within the
context of modeling an organically complex process such as political economy.
Under an ORGANIC PROCESS PARADIGM the pertinent debate as to how best to
model a complex organic process such as political economy revolve around
methods for pooling, filtering and integrating massively distributed feedbacks
form the peripheral tentacles of the economic system and transforming that
distributed statistical information into effective central top down control
gateways that dynamically adjust to maintain overall economic homeostasis.

The design/execution of central control mechanisms should ultimately be
under the dynamic control of a distributed array of stakeholder processes all
driven by a relational, ratio driven, inertia dampened integrating rule set.

Picture an organic array of Facebook-like political-stakeholder-communities
tied together via a massive neural-network of stakeholder-defined
interconnection rules and filter-logic that serve those community’s best
interests. Organic communities of economic stakeholders globally networked
into an organic democracy.

Linear, top down, representative democracy will ultimately be replaces by an
organically networked direct democracy.

PS——————————
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But We have promises to keep,
And miles to go before We sleep,
And miles to go before We sleep.
———- who is that poet?

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

I refute it thus: you had your shot at my time.  Life’s too short.  Besides, I’ve already read more than a few econ texts and papers. No, it’s not science.  The profession bites off way more than it can chew.  From some math and stats way over to sociology, psych, politics, etc.  It’s incredible that they ask us to buy such a level of expertize.  At the engineering problem and small system level, yes, those economists have some value, but the ‘hollywood’ types ruin it for the profession.

And the problem is not the economists themselves, it’s the culture and ideology they develop to justify their worth.  It’s stealing the credibility of science.  And perhaps it’s who they sell their services too, and how those services are used, that is so damaging.  They provide that hint of due diligence, of credibility to make an IPO look a little better, or a derivative or other fund, even a national policy.

Tell me what is “scientific” about the Club for Growths ‘Grow grow grow’ policy?  I’ll bet it wouldn’t take much digging to find a few think tank economists who provide a ‘scientific’ basis.  Drill baby drill, grow, grow, grow, blha, blah, blah. 

Economists have been one of the culprits in the theft of US working capital.  They’re accomplices in our present lack of ability to produce durable goods in this country, and have facilitated the devaluation of the dollar.  Economists, by and large, for several decades have said or done nothing regarding the mindless laisse faire, self indulgent, short term ‘economic activity’ we’ve undertaken in this country, and they sure as hell should, as a profession, be called out on the carpet.  Taking away scientific credibility is the tiniest of reproaches. 

In the larger context of ‘figures don’t lie, liars often figure’, economist provide wonderful figures indeed.  Now the crash is upon us and I suppose we’re going to have to feed these maggots. 

As I said before, the most basic economics is: it’s easier to steal than to grow.  The ideology of economists has been helping people steal for too many irreplaceable years.  If people can’t see through their BS, and put these clowns to work in the fields, there’s little hope for a soft landing.

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By George F. Haley, April 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

“THAT is the value of most economists…....as distractions.”

Kaplan’s piece wasn’t so much evidence of the scientific rigor behind economics as it was evidence of the consensus among economists, which the fellow with (I think its) Ol’ Boney crossing the Alps as his avatar had claimed they didn’t do and this proved they were making the whole thing up.

If you want real scientific rigor, well, here would be a good place to start:

http://www.aeaweb.org/issue.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.1

If history is any guide, you will say something like “I refute it thus” and kick a little pebble with your toe, as though that proved anything.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

“Evidence”?  3000 or so odd words by Bryan Caplan constitute ‘evidence’?  Apparently economists have no idea what ‘evidence’ is.  What an incoherent, pointless, waste of time.  Well, I suppose that is the point….to waste our time, and perhaps to convince us that beneath the pseudo-scientific-ish trappings of ‘data’, is solid, reliable, repeatable work, in which we should trust.

I must admit I did like one sentence: “In a sense, then, there is a method to the average voter’s madness. Even when his views are completely wrong, he gets the psychological benefit of emotionally appealing political beliefs at a bargain price. No wonder he buys in bulk.”  And the same thing can be said for purchase of the blatherskype sold by ‘average economists’.  Cheap ideology that makes you feel good, like you have it all figured out.

‘Evidence’.  Ha-Ha-Ha.  Evidence to fool the freshmen.  No, all this crap is, is more hyperbole to continue to support the perceived value of the economist himself, and thus keep his wages/employability well beyond their real value.  They churn out crap to keep average folk in a daze so the ‘power elite’ as CH would say can operate with as little accountability as possible.  THAT is the value of most economists…....as distractions.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 5, 2011 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Good stuff George Haley…. from the fist article:

-Every parent eventually asks his child, “If all your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you?” I have an even more loaded question for those who refuse to second-guess the wisdom of the average voter: “If the majority said we all had to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you push people who refused to jump?” -

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By George F. Haley, April 5, 2011 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

“If economics is a rigorous science, it is hard to understand why economists differ so profoundly with one another and are so poor at predicting economic developments.”

In fact, economists have a pretty broad consensus about price theory and other microeconomic topics; this speaks to what was alleged in another comment, that economists leave out greed, selfishness, and “man’s heart.” Neoclassical economic models are based on precisely those things: homo economous suffices his preferences with his limited resources; demand curves slope down. Thus we see The Excess Burden of Taxation, Regulatory Capture, Rational Ignorance, Moral Harzard, etc.

As evidence, I present GMU economist Bryan Caplan and his excellent book “The Myth of the Rational Voter” and the surveys cited therin, about which you can read more here: http://www.cato-unbound.org/2006/11/06/bryan-caplan/the-myth-of-the-rational-voter/

As illustration, I present an anecdote from David Friedman:
“My father’s account of testifying before the Joint Economic Committee
back when Paul Douglas, who had been a prominent economist before he
went into politics, was on it. The exchanges tended to end up as my
father and Senator Douglas, who was a liberal Democrat, vs other members
of the Committee. “
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.cecil-adams/browse_frm/thread/7e29338c1e709676/d95d529e04e7754a?hl=en&lnk=gst&q=conservative+economists#d95d529e04e7754a

Now, I will admit, there is considerably more disagreement about macroeconomics, which is mainly general equalibrium and aggregate demand, and this is mostly because it’s heavily politicized. Even there, Keynesians and Austrians don’t so much disagree about intervention as tehy dovalue the long run differently.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Glad you said that John!!

I’ve read parts of “The Wealth of Nations,” and I found this one very insightful piece of that ‘gospel’ that is believed by moneyed men:

- Rents are held at their highest level, to tolerance… any higher, and the people would revolt and the ‘system’ would fail… AND wages are held to their lowest level, to tolerance… and any lower and the people would surely revolt. -

Once I read that evil, it painted a really clear picture of our world.  People surely do worship money, what it can bring / buy you, and folks commit crimes for it; robbing an old lady, a bank, or the public at large….

All for the boasting and for the heart’s delight to me.

A quick read of Ecclesiastes chapter 2 gives insight to this dilemma of man’s heart:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes 2&version=NIV1984

And, whether anyone believes in God or not, those words you’ll read sure do make sense…

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Adam Smith, like many who were in awe of Newton, tried to discover the ‘natural laws’ in their fields (whether they existed or not) and hence make their fortunes.  Thousands of con men have studied his recipe and added enough bewildering gingerbread to keep the con-based profession going.  All they offer is their religion: believe in the free market and all will be well.  It’s all faith, all a con. 

Some claim economics is a science.  Hooey.  Science is tested and retested, demanding exacting replication of identical results with each retest.  When an economist needs an excuse for a recession, they immediately conjure a new untested and untestable variable to blame.  Science my ass.  Anyone who claims economics is science has no idea what science is.  “Exquisitely complex correlation do not causality make.” 

But they follow what Smith taught…....try to look like Newton, it’ll give you credibility.  Economics is a religion brother, not science.  It takes faith.  It takes true believers.  Gotta hand it to anyone who can look you right in the eye, tell stupid insulting lies and expect you to hand over your 401K.  That’s the CON mans game…..takes lots of pure gall.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

When considering economics, folks miss a big factor:  Greed. 

Another one:  Man’s heart.

And one more:  Selfishness.

These are three elements which numbers, mathematics and science does not compute into theories or models… yet, when folks consider them juxtaposed to reality, can easily see the flaws we all share and which affect our decisions… which decisions, made at the highest levels of industry and government, can affect millions… billions… the entire world!

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By Anarcissie, April 3, 2011 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

If economics is a rigorous science, it is hard to understand why economists differ so profoundly with one another and are so poor at predicting economic developments.  Indeed, the whole enterprise seems rather improbable.  We don’t really understand human psychology, individual or social; we don’t have rigorous theories of anthropology or sociology; we can’t predict the weather or the climate very accurately; we don’t know what we don’t know about what resources there are that haven’t been discovered; we can’t predict the ways in which technology is going to develop; we can’t predict political developments; and yet economics, which necessarily must combine all of these, is supposed to be rigorous?  How?

I have to add that the labor theory of value and marginalism have very different scopes.  I know they are often compared, but it’s like comparing apples and dirigibles.  The LTV is an attempt to theorize the origins of exchange value, and runs into the problems alluded to above.

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By George F. Haley, April 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

18th century? Maybe you should Wiki a bio of Friedman and Hayek. As for why we treat economics like science, its because its science. A public enterprise whereby predictions are carefully tested through observation and corrected should they be falsified. Thus, we see mercantilism give way to free trade, and the labor theory of value give way to marginalism.

Merely asserting “it’s all a con!” is easy. It’s just talk, after all, and talk is cheap. It’s no harder to slander Milton Friedman than it is assert Martians puke blue sapphires, or something complex like an eye could never evolve on its own. The real trick, the kind of stuff they award nobel prizes for, is proving to the satisfaction of the discipline and those who toil in it some important idea is wrong, and yet somehow I suspect none of the confident voices here have had even so much as a homework assignment involving deriving a demand curve.

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By Gary Mont, April 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

John Best:They’re con men, nothing more.

Actually, they’re legally protected, professionally accredited and socially expert con-men.

Which says an awful lot about our laws, our education and our priorities - none of it good.

In order to maintain the pretense that government is not aware of the farce called economic theory, one has to pretend that government is inept, ignorant and stupid beyond all ability to measure. Funny how these inept, ignorant and stupid men and women have such huge bank accounts.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

We are so, so, so far beyond what 18th century thinkers could imagine and reconcile.  Why do people want to treat economic hypothesis with the same credibility as scientific theories?  Because it’s part of the ongoing CON.  In the end, Friedman, and his ilk have you giving them power on your faith that they know best.  They’re con men, nothing more.

The reason we’re in a mess is because too many people found out that it’s far easier to steal than it is to build productive enteprises.

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By George F. Haley, April 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Actually, had Friedrich Hayek’s message to the effect government attempts to moderate the business cycle only delay an increasingly severe and painful market correction,to say nothing of their corrosive effects on the people’s liberty, been taken more seriously the recession would likely be over by now. Indeed, there might not have been a recession at all, as the main cause of the subprime crisis was government efforts to extend credit to people the market had decided were un-creditworthy, and the promise of rescue should the financial institutions fail.

As for Milton Friedman, well…in addition to correctly deducing the causes of seventies era “stagflation;” a period of both rising unemployment and inflation and thus helping restore prosperity, Dr. Friedman did as much as anyone to end compulsory military service in the United States. What’s Hedges here ever done, except publically lose an argument to Christopher Hitchens, carry the water for various Latin American kleptocracies and help make the world a little safer for Female Genital Mutiliation?

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

I was asking / meant for more details Anarcissie, for I’d like to feed the hungry in a smarter / more edifying way!

Here are some examples of my internet contribution:

http://www.smartpeoplesmartmoney.com/Smart_People_.html

http://smartpeoplesmartmoney.blogspot.com/

I authored those ( aside from the cut n paste / videos ) to forward the reasons explaining our “Economic Slavery” which most folks are oblivious to.

I don’t make anything from their publication, but they do cost to keep them online… so any clicking on ads would be appreciated to cover expenses. 

Cheers!

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By Anarcissie, April 3, 2011 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Actually, people often put their cookies in the soup.

I will see about getting recipes posted on the local Food Not Bombs web site (bedstuyfnb.org).  A recipe for the cookies can be found at http://1freeworld.org/aocrecipe.html.  Baking is tricky and will probably require some test runs.  Soup, on the other hand, is rather forgiving.

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By katsteevns, April 3, 2011 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Thanks Gary Mont, my bad.

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By Gary Mont, April 3, 2011 at 3:19 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie: It’s pretty hard to post cookies and lentil soup in a blog!

—-

Perhaps you have a website or a personal blog that you could post a link to then. If not, get/make one.

There is no single solution that will make all of this right. There are however, many, many small things we as individuals and as groups can do to redirect the path of society in small ways.

Many, many small solutions is all we can do lacking one large all-encompassing solution. Something that one person might consider to be a small effort, could trigger a response in someone else that alters everything.

PS - I do sincerely hope that your proposed recipe is NOT “cookies and lentil soup”. I like both, but not boiled together in a soup broth.

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By Gary Mont, April 3, 2011 at 3:00 am Link to this comment

katsteevns: Yes, Gary Mont, that is how I see it all in a nutshell. Did you happen to read my other question to you there just below Napolean’s last comment?

—-

If you mean the one that quotes this statement below:

—-

You said:
“Triad - Religion, Commerce, and Politics”

I said this above.
But not this below.

“Yet, I’ve found evidence of revision in all these places.. meaning, the world is full of more lies than truths…. it is sadly up to the individual to seek out the truth for themselves…. not ‘their’ truth, but the truth as it can only be shown them, and as I believe it, revealed by God Himself… yet the journey and opportunity is Non-Exclusive!”

Which was posted by Napolean DoneHisPart

As you appeared to be replying to what was said by N.DHP., I couldn’t really respond. smile

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By Anarcissie, April 2, 2011 at 11:45 pm Link to this comment

It’s pretty hard to post cookies and lentil soup in a blog!

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, please share some more of that you speak of… sounds very good!!!

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By Anarcissie, April 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

For the last few years I’ve been going out with Food Not Bombs and handing out free food in the parks.  I’ve been peripherally involved with some other radical initiatives like free stores.  Plus, I talk up cooperative enterprises of various kinds to anyone who seems interested; if I get a serious response I’ll follow it up, but most people seem very passive about their lives, waiting for the system to provide for them.

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By katsteevns, April 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Gary Mont, that is how I see it all in a nutshell.
Did you happen to read my other question to you there just below Napolean’s last comment?

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By Gary Mont, April 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns: “If what you say is the case, Gary Mont, then I feel we are in for a long, cold winter…....“less some catastrophic event like a new Pearl Harbor”.-lol”

I doubt it will take that long or need any specific catastrophe. Its an exponential degradation. As the wealthy gather more money, they cause the situation to worsen, but as they gather more money, they see the situation worsen and use their wealth to create more wealth in order to survive the coming storm, which in turn makes the situation worse again… a seriously escalating circular scenario that has no escape clause.

Industries, through law, are eliminating grassroots competition, destroying the ability of anyone not already wealthy to do any more than exist as a resource property.

The usual fascist ideal of slavery-to-lower-costs is being introduced through changes in law that make earning a living harder and harder, creating a nation of desperate individuals willing to do anything their wealthy masters might desire, simply to survive.

As long as everyone is busy trying to get their next meal, they won’t be spending their efforts on trying to change the world or expose the criminals to justice.

The Federal Government has become nothing more than a tool of the criminal classes, as seen by the recent events in Wisconsin. Where is the federal government while the fascists are destroying 100 years of social progress overnight? They’re busy busting Cannabis Clubs in states that legislated them as legal, because the Fed’s biggest monetary supporters; the Mob, does not want to allow any legalization of their favourite cash crops to lower its per pound value.

Worse, the “peasants” have become little more than children, bragging over first possession of the newest toys, dreaming of becoming wealthy criminals and happily maintaining the facade built for them by those who exploit them ruthlessly.

The idea of technology saving our ashes from the onrushing fire is also utterly futile as any technology that might aid the public, or lower the profits of the wealthy is automatically re-buried and forgotten, like the dozens of cancer and common cold cures that were simply too cheap to be profittable.

The middle class - the only remaining sector of society that has the wherewithall to actually work towards change - is busily promoting the destruction of earth and humanity in the hopes of climbing that last rung on the ladder and reaching the top where safety from the storm appears possible.

When everyone is diligently working towards the complete destruction of life as we know it, there’s simply nothing outside to prevent the exponential growth of the cancer.

To stop the progress of this downward spiral, it would be necessary for an epidemic of intelligence and logic and honesty to break out world-wide.

I’ve seen no signs of that happening.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

To reiterate:

Not to get all preachy and ‘go to church’ on you folks, but I used to prescribe to the same notion of what you Gary calls:

“Triad - Religion, Commerce, and Politics”

Yet, I’ve found evidence of revision in all these places.. meaning, the world is full of more lies than truths…. it is sadly up to the individual to seek out the truth for themselves…. not ‘their’ truth, but the truth as it can only be shown them, and as I believe it, revealed by God Himself… yet the journey and opportunity is Non-Exclusive! 

I firmly believe there truly is a GOD… have seen some mind boggling proof…. with my own eyes.. I won’t go into it here…

But, we can see that we truly have the power to make changes, starting with ourselves, with our choices of buying and selling and what we add our energy to….

And hopefully, we are an example for those around us, an example they can easily identify and can easily realize. 

The powers that be have their power for the belief folks have in the golden calf, the fiat… and those powers, having the ultimate power of printing out what we all use to make commerce work and to trade things… well, that is the faith which needs to be broken… the faith in the fiat.

That’s why I lend it at 0% interest…. for even the three major religions of the world mention usury to be an abomination before God.

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By katsteevns, April 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

@Gary Mont

You said:
“Triad - Religion, Commerce, and Politics”

Yet, I’ve found evidence of revision in all these places.. meaning, the world is full of more lies than truths…. it is sadly up to the individual to seek out the truth for themselves…. not ‘their’ truth, but the truth as it can only be shown them, and as I believe it, revealed by God Himself… yet the journey and opportunity is Non-Exclusive!
—————————————————————————

That being said, it seems Chris Hedges subscribes to this Triad(if I understand it correctly) as well. But since he is a bible scholar and Christian, what do you think his motive is for trying to get all his readers, not just Christians, to struggle for concrete change with the goal of changing the world, or at least the US? There is no provision in the New Covenant for leading the people to “cure” the world as it is. The gospels say that, in fact, the trend will be in the other direction.
    I can understand a Christian preaching the Word, struggling for change within himself, or being a witness to the “light” in his life. But I can not see one starting a revolution of sorts with the intent of making the world more “livable”.

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By katsteevns, April 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

If what you say is the case, Gary Mont, then I feel we are in for a long, cold winter…....“less some catastrophic event like a new Pearl Harbor”.-lol

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Gentlemen, not all will agree with everything any one person or “way” has to offer or say… I’m sure we can ALL agree on this!

Yet, as you’ve said Gary, that you’ve met only one ‘real’ Christian… they surely may have been a disciple of Christ… not merely what are simply called “Christians” by association or affiliation.

If you’d allow me the pleasure…

This passage explains:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

God ( Matthew 7:13-14 )

And this one brings more to light:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

—later in that same chapter.

Yet, looking at scripture specifically, a disciple IS a Christian, or a Christian is supposed to be a disciple.. yet, as we see just by reading history and looking at large organizations claiming to be Christian…. men follow men instead of God ( in this context ).

Not to get all preachy and ‘go to church’ on you folks, but I used to prescribe to the same notion of what you Gary calls:

“Triad - Religion, Commerce, and Politics”

Yet, I’ve found evidence of revision in all these places.. meaning, the world is full of more lies than truths…. it is sadly up to the individual to seek out the truth for themselves…. not ‘their’ truth, but the truth as it can only be shown them, and as I believe it, revealed by God Himself… yet the journey and opportunity is Non-Exclusive! 

I’ve chosen that journey, that route, that ‘road less traveled.’ 

And I’ve found this Way to be true ( the Way as prescribed by the Christ ). 

For when one considers that historical figure, and reads His Words… not the interpretations nor man’s and religion’s prescriptions of them… one can see no fault in His approach, His demeanor nor His loving message.

He was neither FOR the Jew, nor for the politician, nor for any religion or not even for Himself… but for the Father… so we can see, by following His Way, no one could claim ownership of Him nor of His Words… they can only hope to obey those words.

If I may leave you with this last one, and I thank you for reading my message today:

  “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

—John 8:31-32

To those who BELIEVE the message / gospel, if they hold to those teachings, that obedience will transform them into being His disciple.. then the truth will be made known to them, and they will be ‘free’ from the lies, manipulations, etc….. of this world.

Ok, thanks for the soap box moment, back to your ‘regular programming.’

Cheers!

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By Gary Mont, April 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns: The simplest and most effective thing that can be done, but isn’t,  is the boycott.

Absolutley agreed.

The real reason why this is not done is simple.

We mostly want to be accepted by others and play with the toys others play with and do the things others do. Its called conformity.

One of the things that a society such as ours does extremely well is ostracism. It is taught from birth to death by almost every aspect of society. All people who stray from the chosen path are punished, repeatedly until they conform, or leave - unless they can be incarcerated and disappeared.

In plainest possible words - we do not boycott the bastards who are destroying our world, because we’re all chicken-shits.

We’d rather face a foreign army and their bullets and bombs than be called freak or wierdo by our friends, family and neigbours.

So we quiety sit back, drink our beer, watch our TV and pretend like children that we like what we are and that we too hate the non-conformists who make our pretense difficult.

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By Gary Mont, April 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Napolean DoneHisPart

Thank you very much.

As is so often mentioned here, many of us have ascertained the fact that the shit has hit the fan, and can list dozens of places where the shit sticks, but what is needed desperately now, is solutions.

The list you provided is one that ANYONE can learn from and which, were we all to practice, would make a difference.

As I’ve mentioned, our leaders would be utterly helpless if we all simply stopped following their destructive lead and obeying their self-interested edicts and supporting their consumer-based reality.

You are also correct that many will see the inclusion of religion as a part of the process to be contradictory, and this includes myself.

In my experience, religion is a part of the problem and its sole purpose is to keep humanity from evolving beyond the peasant stage by any means possible.

I see it as the left arm of Triad - Religion, Commerce, and Politics - the three primary devolution forces of man. I read somewhere that over 90% of all wars have been due to religion.

On the other hand, those who use religion in order to aid and abett human growth can exist, although they would have to break many of their religion’s base tenets to do so. For example, I once met a real Christian, but so far only one. All the rest were merely followers of the church, and were primarily intrerested only in getting their reward for proselytizing.

Thanks again.

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By katsteevns, April 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

The simplest and most effective thing that can be done, but isn’t,  is the boycott.

Is it because we don’t have enough conviction in our cause?

Is it because their are not enough of us?

Is it because of the sorry state of communication and organization of those who seek fundamental change NOW?

Or is it because we can not agree on what would be effective and fear wasting time and energy?

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Gary, cheers!

I shop local, privately owned businesses / local corporations..

I invest only in companies doing clean and natural things, no matter how much of a return I can gain from them.

I lend to my friends and family, at no interest.

I promote folks to quit their slave jobs and pursue their dreams.. to pursue working for oneself / self employment or starting their own _______ ( they fill in the blank )... or if they choose not to or will not, to ensure their rights via union or other means.

I correct folks when they begin to use rhetorical arguments ( liberals vs conservative for example )... I explain the story-lined paradigm is not surely sublime… but one continuous lie.

I share the scriptures as far as I understand them to bring clarity to this dark and lie-filled world ( the only reason I’ve come to know and see anything is because God has revealed them to me… and even more so in His Word ).... but I’m sure this little paragraph most folks will frown at.. but just being honest about ‘me’ and what I do.

I encourage folks daily, in person, via FaceBook, and sometimes on here to look beyond themselves, to consider others better and to learn from the least of us, not only from the greatest of us.

I ask folks to question EVERYTHING and not take anything, especially this life, for granted.

I refuse buying from fast food places who are found the world-over and / or serve horribly unhealthy food… and encourage others to do the same.

I expose the high crimes of Monsanto and the like, and ask folks to consider the food they eat, to make sure it is in fact food and not some laboratory experiment turned into a profit-making product… and to consider who / what they support in their buying and selling of things.

I encourage the growing of food, I have several fruit trees which I share with my friends.. and share with people that FOOD is #1 next to health, next to shelter.. and if those three things are owned / made self sufficient… then a ‘freedom’ of sorts can be realized.

I help folks get out of debt, for this is paramount to not paying tribute to the beast of differing weights and measures.. the chicanery and debauched currency we have been experiencing.

Well…. I do a few things in my real life, not just spout off what ‘others’ should do while I do nothing / keep being a sheep, shill, lackey, etc…

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By Gary Mont, April 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Napolean DoneHisPart, Anarcissie

Please - list the things you have done - and would have us do - to put an end to the horror story we all find ourselves in today.

I’m certain that will be far more constructive than simply admonishing everyone for their lack of physical rebellion.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Your consuming habits is a personal change, for starters.

Your learning habits is another one.

You speech is another one ( do you follow the rhetoric and storyline paradigm or have broken free of that confine? )

Considering all sides of any argument, point or position.. and then LOOKING beyond for yet another option which has yet to be presented ( thinking outside the crispy cream donut hole ).

Many of the old guard, Amerikan Dream believing internet jockeys on here still believe to be on the ‘right’ side of history and keep thinking ‘God is with us / Amerika’ but sadly you too have drunk all that kool-aid for so many years, you can’t see past the sugar rush.

It takes more than sound bite news to ‘see’ what has happened to this country and who this country truly belongs to ( just look up that swastika shaped Naval building in that San Diego naval base, for that should give you a clue ).

Some folks would love me leave, for their poor and corrupt minds wouldn’t be infiltrated with the true rantings of a madman.  Sure I’m mad!  Who wouldn’t be after discover the charade which has been the epic story of history?

Even Christ was upset.. and turned them tables of the money changers.

Is ANYONE ready to turn the empty tables in your mind?  How about the Bankster’s tables?

Well, your hired government bailed out the banksters and planted their tables further into a foundation, built upon the blood of your sons and daughters.

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By DigThis, April 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

People who are actually inclined to do something about the problems we face are not the same as those hanging around forums, wasting energy.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, April 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

I’m leaving the door open behind me, to show the way to a place where folks actually think outside their paradigms… and haven’t simply swallowed the mass media’s lies about your personal identity… walmart-shopping, military-supporting, Amerika-loving comrade.

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By Anarcissie, April 2, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

ardee—My problem is not so much with Hedges as with his fans.  It’s the same thing as with Chomsky:  people go to hear him speak, or buy his books, and tell each other that’s he’s really sticking it to The Man, he’s really telling it like it is.  Then nothing happens.  Then they do the same thing over again.  I can see this sort of repetitious thing as consistent with a conservative religion, where nothing is supposed to happen, it is suffices to hear the Word preached over and over again, but Hedges and his fans are supposed to be ‘progressives’.  Where are they progressing?  I don’t see any action—just a lot of ain’t-it-awfullism, which I can make up for myself.

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By ardee, April 2, 2011 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

Napolean DoneHisPart, March 31 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

Posting on these boards is a waste of time.

Let me be the first to wish you goodbye and good luck. Please close the door behind you as you depart.

Anarcissie

Your one woman crusade against all things Chris Hedges is rather puzzling, especially when your screed seems handicapped by a seeming reading incomprehension when it comes to the content of Hedges articles.

In an era when hope diminishes this author preaches hope. In an era when truth is a rare commodity Hedges tells the truth. You claim to fail to understand his appeal. I cannot fathom your constant defamation of the guy. People are attracted to any sign of hope, to any direction that leads us out of the swamp. You post inaccurate summations of his articles ( in my own opinion) in pursuit of some agenda all your own….

why not just skip the guys efforts if you refuse to understand them?

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By Gary Mont, April 2, 2011 at 1:12 am Link to this comment

bris: “There are simply not enough resources to make globalization successful. This must be obvious to those who run things.  What can one make of leadership that has us all running full tilt toward a cliff?

——

Leadership needs followers.

Our leadership is almost 100% composed of people who have accumulated and stashed away large boxes of money and property (by means fair and foul), and have become accustomed to living like gods among mortals.

They have collectively lost all concept of survival sans capital - the unthinkable.

Poetically - In effect, by leading humanity full tilt towards the cliff, they hope there will be enough of us so that when they reach the cliff-edge, our bodies will have stacked up high enough that they can simply meander across the chasm on the sea of corpses.

Plainly - The leadership of earth hopes to wrest enough cash, property, toys and non-perishables from the populations in as short a time as possible, that whatever the future holds, they will have the clout to be in charge and stay at the top of the food chain.

Any of us left at the end, will be gathered up and salvaged as slave labor, raising hydroponic crops inside their hidden underground castles.

In fact, the very act of doing this, causes the calamity they hope their stash of cash will get them through. Natural disasters are simply icing on the cake, since they can make an extra fortune replacing whatever gets broken.

One could say today’s leadership is utilizing the advantages of adversity in their mad rush to turn the earth into mad-money for their ring-side seats to the next fall of man.

Sadly, the followers are; by their very nature, blind, deaf and dumber than rocks and must take a large portion of the blame for their own liquidation.

As to the idea that globalization lacks natural resources, this is only true if we continue to maintain this disposable civilization where things are built to last one year and where food is manipulated to make it as non-nutritious as possible so people have to buy 10 times as much to survive.

The earth can probably sustain as many as 150-200 billion people under an intelligent, technologically controlled economy - based on renewable and re-usable resources, where things are built to last 100-200 years before breaking down and money has become an incredibly silly notion of a bygone era.

You can bet your life, our “leaders” will not be the ones to lead us in that direction however.

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By katsteevns, April 2, 2011 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Ray, that really doesn’t really shed much light on the subject, now does it?

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By brisa, April 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

For globalization to succeed, China and India need to enjoy the same growth that the US did over the past 75 years.  Of course, this growth will need to be powered by energy (read oil).  The US had the advantage of that energy being very inexpensive and plentiful.

There are simply not enough resources to make globalization successful. This must be obvious to those who run things.  What can one make of leadership that has us all running full tilt toward a cliff?

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By katsteevns, April 1, 2011 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

A good way to get the feel for the “pulse of America” and how she deals with crisis is to try and navigate through rush hour traffic.(did you get the bird today or have a near-collision?) Then go to any border or airport and see the increasing number of uniforms, dogs and electronic contraptions observing your every move. All this while Obama and friends secretly funnel each tax dollar towards his “final solution”.

If we can’t vote out both Dems and Repubs PDQ, we are in for some deep kimshi.

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By Anarcissie, April 1, 2011 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

DigThis, March 31 at 8:59 pm:

‘... The biggest problem is that too many people appear to be desensitized to the realities of war, social injustice and the environment crisis.  Journalists such as Hedges are fighting to resensitize them.  Certainly nothing will happen so long as people remain numb or dimly aware of reality. ...’

I’d say the biggest problem is that people are desensitized to their own lives.  For most Americans and Europeans, war, social injustice, and the environmental crisis are abstractions, and there is very little they can do about them.  However, they can form cooperatives and unions and other organizations and try to change their workplaces and communities.  That requires thinking about one’s strengths, one’s resources, one’s possibilities.

But as far as I can tell Hedges spends almost all of his timing preaching to the choir and telling them how awful everything is, which is what they already believe (as the folks in his amen corner make evident).  I don’t see what this accomplishes or why people like it so much.

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By katsteevns, March 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

“and construct our opposition to the corporate state from the ground up.”

Can he say it any louder?!? Chris Hedges certainly has plenty of material for the “memory hole”, maybe it will be enough to clog it up for good. I hope our “yungins” are taking this in cuz the “oldins” have lost their hearing…..selectively.

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By DigThis, March 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:  “I guess to be honest, then, I would have to ask how many people are actually having trouble surviving, and what ‘a decent living’ is.  I was talking to someone the other day who has what she regards as a soul-killing slave job for a big corporation.  I suggested she quit.  She said she couldn’t quit because she has to keep her children in expensive schools, keep her SUV in gas (she needs a big car because of the children), pay her mortgage….  These are choices.  Mortgage or freedom, SUV or freedom, having children or freedom.  I’m not saying they’re the wrong choices, although I think they would be ultimately unsatisfactory for me and apparently a lot of other people.  Their idea of ‘a decent living’ doesn’t include freedom.  As for survival, I know a lot of poor people, and I don’t know any who aren’t eating.  We are a long way from non-survival.
My take on people repeatedly choosing stuff over freedom—‘a decent living’—is that they wind up full of resentment and hatred.  This manifests itself eventually in a variety of behaviors ranging from personal piggishness and environmental destruction to racism, classism, organized sadism like the Drug War, and outright warmongering.  So I think that’s a political problem, stemming from what I regard as bad cultural influences, and we wind up with our kleptocracy, our rights problems, and maybe even fighting in the streets.  It would be a lot more sensible to organize ourselves in such a way as to avoid the fighting and the submission to sociopaths which we now choose.
I think it’s necessary to ask what constitutes our problems so we can do something about them.  Which is one of the reasons I get tired of Hedges’s over-the-top hysteria and ain’t-it-awfulism.  It’s not getting us anywhere.”
—————————————————————————

The biggest problem is that too many people appear to be desensitized to the realities of war, social injustice and the environment crisis.  Journalists such as Hedges are fighting to resensitize them.  Certainly nothing will happen so long as people remain numb or dimly aware of reality.

You may be correct that the word “struggle” is relative.  The millions in this country living in poverty, battling unemployment or living without health ins, are probably all better off than, say, homeless people living in Tijuana or Old Delhi.  They may even be marginally better off than they were here 30 or 40 years ago.  But does that mean we stand by in silence as capital concentration in this country accelerates at ever alarming rates?  While we wage two wars? While we blame those fat-cat teachers and fireman in Wisconsin for our problems?  I could keep going but these posts get too long….

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By revdrcr, March 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Mr Hedges…I suppose that, with all the long winded blatherskites in the Comment section, the chances of your seeing this are about minus zero, but one never knows….OK do you seriously think that Hayek and von Mises would approve of the coporoate/oligarchical fascism that you have confused with free market capitalism? If you do, you need to go back re-read these authors. It doesn’t matter, you know, whether Norman Thomas or Murray Rothbard run the show…human nature, and its corruptibility is the problem.

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By Gary Mont, March 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

gerard: “I consider that the word “globalization” is a concept larger and more profound than its current usage, limited as it usually is to mean merely “international capitalism”.

—-

While I’m likely working against the flow again, I simply don’t think of Globalization as any sort of capitalism at all.

For me, capitalism is the true description of EVERY government ever created, regardless of its label.

Government is purely a population exploitation process designed to create an environment where the wealthy can prosper through the labor of the captive “civilized” population. The Wealthy make up the membership of all governments.

In my opinion, 99% of all the non-natural crisis in history was manufactured by government, at the behest of the wealthy, to increase profit. Today its quite possible that even apparent natural disasters are manufactured and directed by the Elite through such technology as HAARP.

Globalization is, in a way, a natural realization that we live in a box and that things that affect one area of the box, affects all areas of the box eventually. At its simplest, a failure of crops here causes a lack of availablity of that crop there. Or more current - a nuclear meltdown there causes a rise in cancerous growths everywhere.

I think its a sign of growth or global enlightenment if you will, brought about through improved transporataion and communications world-wide. The introduction of automatic computerized tranlsation between languages is a barrier breach that every governmnent in history has dreaded, since the Tower of Babel.

Globalization is however, a population based event, and not one created by the Elite. The Elite have always considered the whole world as there private playground, and globalization is not something they want made available to the “peasants” of earth.

Because of this, it is quite likely that another period of isolation(ism) is being manufactured for humanity by those who think peasants should remain ignorant and uneducated and without access to their counterparts around the world.

A new World Order, or World Government, would simply be a gang of rich thugs drawn from all the nuclear owning nations, who have agreed to allow only the use of conventional warfare and not nuke each other. After all, one cannot spend radio-active gold, or rape radio-active peasants, or sell radio-active war-orphans to the porn industry.

This would allow a third world war to be waged without the threat of nuclear retaliation and this would produce the massive profits possible to criminals only during the confusion and chaos of large scale war.

Such a war will let the Elite rid themselves of non-elite competition to their businesses and purge their nations of dissenters, legally and officially through kangaroo tribunals and the drafting of those deemed dangerous. It would allow them to put and end to any public globalization easily and efficiently.

I think this is indeed their current agenda - the re-establishment of the the Dark Ages and the Tower of Babel through 100 years of global war and an end to the threat of a public globalization.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, March 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Posting on these boards is a waste of time.

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By gerard, March 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont: I consider that the word “globalization” is a concept larger and more profound than its current usage, limited as it usually is to mean merely “international capitalism”.  In the broader sense, globalization has been a historical change implicit since the beginning of the so-called “age of discovery,” that marked the relatively rapid expansion of geographical knowledge. Subsequent worldwide spread of scientific knowledge further enlarged the boundaries of the concept.
  For more than a century, the actuality of
“globalization” has been evident, and regimes of all kinds have been in more or less conscious revolt against the concept.  Resistance to the goals and methods proposed by the United Nations and jealous guarding of “national interests” have been clear signs of that resistance. The fall of the British Empir was one death knell.  Current “empire-building” wars over the domination of resources are
clear signs of regression—reactive tendencies to refuse to admit interconnections and mutuality.
  The emergence of the Internet clearly puts an end to isolationism and domination.  The race now is to create forms of just governance fast enough to avoid the destruction of “civilization as we know it” which—admittedly, is far from as “civilized” as we might wish. It looks like touch-and-go for the next hundred years or so, before new and more humane international relations format can be built—if.  Globalization is a “work in progress” depending on the best efforts of the young people of the world.
Many questions arise. The attempt to criminalize Bradley Manning and Julian Assange is a bad sign—but here’s hoping!

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By WriterOnTheStorm, March 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

This link (you may have to copy/paste it into your browser) will take you to a
recent Alternet article better explaining the rise of Neoliberalism in America, and
why we should all be aware of it:

http://www.alternet.org/economy/150343/the_real_story_of_our_economy:_w
hy_our_standard_of_living_has_stalled_out/?page=entire

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By Arraya, March 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

It is fact that most well off people will have, on the average,
couple of kids, however most hard pressed people will have about five or six
kids.
I lived several years, in a poor third world country, which has growing economy
and some natural resources but most of the population have five or six kids.
Yes, that country was not a model in social or economic justice but it was
importing almost 50% of its food consumption to feed that growing population,
what is left of its resources were spent on industrialization but there is no way
there will be enough jobs for all these young people, comming of age and are
lookin for jobs.
Birth control is a must for planet earth, otherwise, there will be dire problems
in the very near future.

No doubt, population dynamics should be understand - but there is a reason
why people in the first world have less kids - EDUCATION

The key phrase for googling is “demographic transition” for other important
facts about population.

Now, we would have dire problems with half the population because of our
interface with the earth and management of resources.  Yes, population does
present new challenges in resource management but, the fact of the matter is,
we don’t manage resources.

Imagine never looking at and accounting for what is on your bank account
balance.  The fact is we live on a finite planet with finite resources and a host
of other planetary limitations.  We need to act as such, not in a lets play
“surviver” earth kind of way, but in how we manage our collective resource
inheritance. 

First thing would be to stop treating is as a race to use as fast as possible for
profit. 

In the distribution to the public of the products of industry, the
failure of the present system is the direct result of the faulty premise upon
which it is based. This is: that somehow a man is able by his personal services
to render to society the equivalent of what he receives, from which it follows
that the distribution to each shall be in accordance with the services rendered
and that those who do not work must not eat. This is what our propagandists
call ‘the impossibility of getting something for nothing.’ Aside from the fact
that only by means of the sophistries of lawyers and economists can it be
explained how, on this basis, those who do nothing at all frequently receive the
largest shares of the national income, the simple fact is that it is impossible for
any man to contribute to the social system the physical equivalent of what it
costs the system to maintain him form birth till death—and the higher the
physical standard of living the greater is this discrepancy.

snip

Since also the energy-cost of maintaining a human being exceeds by a large
amount his ability to repay, we can abandon the fiction that what one is to
receive is in payment for what one has done, and recognize that what we are
really doing is utilizing the bounty that nature has provided us. Under these
circumstances we recognize that we all are getting something for nothing, and
the simplest way of effecting distribution is on a basis of equality, especially so
when it is considered that production can be set equal to the limit of our
capacity to consume, commensurate with adequate conservation of our
physical resources.

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By Arraya, March 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

but it’s not as if Hayek and Friedman were part of some
conspiracy to make the
rich richer. They were simply mistaken in their assumptions. As theorists, they
naturally tended to attribute economic conditions to a theory or a system, when
more often it’s a specific outside force that’s the deciding factor.

This is all economists(money-market theorists) are is “assumers” that use
correlation to prove their assumptions.  Assumptions that are supposed to be
immutable laws of nature.  Efficient market, maximum utility maximizer, etc.. 
All nonsense.

All they are is university trained bullshit artists wrapped in complex math.  A
little more advanced version of medieval court astronomers that would advise
kings.

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By Gary Mont, March 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

This is basically what I’ve been attempting to say to Lafayette about fascism - thank you Arraya.

——-

Arraya: “isms” don’t really seem to matter anymore - we currently run profitism across the globe.  With a mix of all the old isms psychological tricks for controlling purposes.  Our main goal “collectively” is turn as much of the world to money as fast as possible, in a race.  That’s about it - all discussions about which “isms” the ruling parties are resembling most or which “money-market” theorist they are taking advice from is moot. ”

———

While every poltical faction takes a label, none of them actually adhere to the clinical descriptions of those labels. The members of these factions simply do whatever they feel will gain them the most money and power regardless of the label they fly as a flag.

What would one label a political party that manufactures financial crisis in order to privately prosper from the catastrophe thus created, over and over again, until the economy of the nation they live in fails completely??

To discuss, for instance, the Bush Regime as Fascist or Plutocratic, is not truly valid as such regimes are just gangs of people who are purely out for wealth and power and actually have no real political agenda aside from making the world easier to exploit for themselves and their friends by eliminating laws that prevent outright theft and moneyed manipulation, by those with vast wealth.

I use the term fascist based upon the Nazi Regime, which masqueraded as a Socialist Party to gain power and considered slavery and deceit as perfectly good business practices. This fits such “gangs” as the Bush Administration fairly well, as far as their true colors are concerned.

Methinks a new verbiage is needed today to describe the types of population exploitation methods being formed under the guise of politics.

For me, this whole thing merely proves that humanity has long outgrown the whole politics concept, since in my opinion, very few nations actually have a government any longer. They have instead, a gang of criminals doing their level best to steal everything in that nation that they can get their hands on. They barely even pretend to be politically interested any more. Their only concern is finding places to stash the wealth of the nations they control.

I assume that the people in power have realized this also and have decided the only way to keep their occupations alive is to manufacture and orchestrate crisis after crisis to make the world believe they are still necessary. In truth, they are the problem and the source of all unrest globally.

I think its time for something entirely different to take the place of the obsolete and cancerous political system. Perhaps the global communications available through the internet could be cultivated into a global policy intercourse that could do what politicians are supposed to do. I do not know.

But I do know that absolutely no political solution is possible to this situation we find ourselves in today, simply because the problems themselves are created by and instigated by the thing we call politics.

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By truedigger3, March 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Arraya, March 30 at 1:41 pm

Arraya wrote:
The richest 30% account for 87% of all private consumption.
And the remaining 70%—ALL the people on the planet who are either poor or of modest means—consume only 13%. And we’re telling them that the problem is that they are having too many kids, which is causing resource and environmental problems?!

I believe that this re-defines the word “GALL”.
—————————————————————————-
Arraya,

NO, there is no “GALL” here whatsoever!
YES, I gree with you, that there is, of course,  exploitation and injustice and that the 87%
of world population are not getting their fair share, however, assuming there is no exploitation and greed, and there is equal distributin, still planet earth cannot support a decent life for almost7 billion people and counting.
It is fact that most well off people will have, on the average, couple of kids, however most hard pressed people will have about five or six kids.
I lived several years, in a poor third world country, which has growing economy and some natural resources but most of the population have five or six kids.
Yes, that country was not a model in social or economic justice but it was importing almost 50% of its food consumption to feed that growing population, what is left of its resources were spent on industrialization but there is no way there will be enough jobs for all these young people, comming of age and are lookin for jobs.
Birth control is a must for planet earth, otherwise, there will be dire problems in the very near future.

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By JDmysticDJ, March 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Again Hedges is, in my opinion, right on in his social analysis and the realities that threaten us here in the U.S., but also threaten the world at large.

Recent developments have proven to me that the Democratic Party as it exists today, is no bulwark against the ever encroaching corporatism i.e. fascism. The West has not pulled back from its attack on Arab/Muslim States, quite the contrary, the attack has escalated, and the U.S. Middle Class, but more specifically the working poor and poverty stricken of the world are currently suffering greatly under the abuses of Capitalism. We in the U.S. are not adequately represented by our elected national leaders, but some Democrats at state and local levels are trying to push back against the abuses of Capitalist forces.

I have long maintained that non-violent civil disobedience would serve to educate the electorate, which would lead to reform. Public protest has had some success in Wisconsin and to a lesser degree in other states where people have found themselves under attack by Capitalist Ideology. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has turned to tyranny in order to circumvent the public protest, but he is losing politically, and he is threatened with recall. Keeping the pressure on Walker will be necessary in order to achieve victory for the people of Wisconsin, but maintaining the zeal against Walker may be problematic. I fear that the people of Wisconsin may tire of the struggle, and that corporate interests will come to Walkers aid in order to give his, and their, policies credibility with an electorate that has reverted back to apathy and has become discouraged with small D democratic politics.

Be that as it may, what’s needed desperately is a new paradigm of political thinking that will defeat Corporatism, and lead to democratic socialism. Whether that new paradigm will come about by “Radical Socialist Civil Disobedience” is questionable, and it is very possible that “Radical Socialist Civil Disobedience” will lead to a paradigm that is not at all conducive to democratic socialism, but quite the contrary. Predicting how the U.S. electorate will react to “Radical Socialist Civil Disobedience” seems uncertain to say the least, and might instead lead to political chaos and a rise in reactionary right-wing movements, and electoral victory for reactionary right-wing corporatists. I personally can not believe that “Radical Socialist Civil Disobedience” will achieve anything but weakening and factionalizing the Left, leading to a right-wing corporatist, neo-fascist, electoral victory, and a worsening of the realities that confront us.

I see the urgent need of a popular people’s movement to defeat Corporatism with all its corresponding evils, but I fear a political chaos that will serve the interests of reactionary forces, making realities worse, instead of better.

To say that I am conflicted would be a gross understatement, saying that I am fearful of future events is also an understatement, saying that there is an urgent need to vanquish Corporatism would adequately describe my belief, but how to achieve that task gives rise to uncertainty. Perhaps Hedges is correct about Radical Socialism being our only hope, but actions that ultimately lead to radical right-wing victory, continued strife, a diminishing of social justice, continuing world conflict, environmental danger, continued human suffering in the poorest nations, and an all encompassing diminution of the quality life world wide; are the dangers that confront us.

Has mankind progressed in ways not related to technology? Violence has become institutionalized, and depersonalized for many, but violence and suffering persists for the vast majority of human beings. Believing that violence and suffering are natural and unavoidable is the philosophy of the sociopathic. Progress will only come through struggle, but that struggle must lead to authentic progress, not to a seemingly endless circle of folly.

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By Ratiocinator, March 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Here is a link that if you search around you’ll find glaring examples of what
globalization really looks like; India grabbing virgin land, 20 square miles at a
time for 120 pounds, to harvest roses. Paying a dollar a day to ethiopian natives who “willingly” left
their farm land for the promise of clean water, schools, and jobs. You know the ethiopian government gets it’s cut. 8 months later
only foundations have been dug. Natives live in tents and wrap the roses bound for
sale in England. “This is Virgin Land, Green Gold.” The proud owner of the rose
business bosts. The same thing is happening in South America. We need to stop
the exploitation but there is little hope. Corporate owned mainstream media will
never even hint at what is happening. Global exploitation will continue for as long
as it can until they completely destroy all resources for short term lining of
pockets. Exactly like the financial meltdown happened.
http://ethiopianunitydiasporaforum.com/news/unrest-in-the-middle-east-and-africa-country-by-country/

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By Anarcissie, March 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

DigThis:

“How can we bridge the gap between important movements such as the environment, women’s rights, gay rights, and the daily struggles for survival and a decent living for most of our population?”

Gary Mont, March 29 at 8:52 pm:

‘Honesty as an absolute political policy. ...’

I guess to be honest, then, I would have to ask how many people are actually having trouble surviving, and what ‘a decent living’ is.  I was talking to someone the other day who has what she regards as a soul-killing slave job for a big corporation.  I suggested she quit.  She said she couldn’t quit because she has to keep her children in expensive schools, keep her SUV in gas (she needs a big car because of the children), pay her mortgage….  These are choices.  Mortgage or freedom, SUV or freedom, having children or freedom.  I’m not saying they’re the wrong choices, although I think they would be ultimately unsatisfactory for me and apparently a lot of other people.  Their idea of ‘a decent living’ doesn’t include freedom.  As for survival, I know a lot of poor people, and I don’t know any who aren’t eating.  We are a long way from non-survival.

My take on people repeatedly choosing stuff over freedom—‘a decent living’—is that they wind up full of resentment and hatred.  This manifests itself eventually in a variety of behaviors ranging from personal piggishness and environmental destruction to racism, classism, organized sadism like the Drug War, and outright warmongering.  So I think that’s a political problem, stemming from what I regard as bad cultural influences, and we wind up with our kleptocracy, our rights problems, and maybe even fighting in the streets.  It would be a lot more sensible to organize ourselves in such a way as to avoid the fighting and the submission to sociopaths which we now choose.

I think it’s necessary to ask what constitutes our problems so we can do something about them.  Which is one of the reasons I get tired of Hedges’s over-the-top hysteria and ain’t-it-awfulism.  It’s not getting us anywhere.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, March 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont: “I’m afraid these forms of population exploitation are all far too
similar for me to really comprehend any differences between them.”

It would be unfair to characterize Neoliberalism as a “form of population
exploitation”. Theorists like Hayek and Friedman usually operate from a
principled position of doing what’s best for society overall.

Hayek experienced the Nazis first hand. He believed that Fascism in general
was a capitalist reaction to communism. He felt that FDR’s New Deal had given
far too much power to the state, and that this could give rise to an American
fascist movement. This is why he swam against the current and proposed an
economic system in which the state’s role would be drastically cut.

One of Hayek’s biggest mistakes was attributing the economic growth of the
19th century to liberal, laissez-faire market practices, that’s why he proposed a
return to those principles. What was really happening was that the railroads
were opening up vast new areas for exploitation. Americas wealth was
predicated not on liberal economic practices, but on gold booms, silver booms,
cattle booms, lumber booms, and later oil booms, and of course a cheap
exploitable immigrant labor supply. It’s worth pointing out that none of these
resources were renewable.

During the “golden years” of the 50’s and 60’s in America, Hayek was
considered fringe. Almost everyone followed the ideas of economist John
Maynard Keynes. But when our economy started to tank in the 70’s, many
began to question Keynesian economic theory, especially Milton Friedman, who
taught in the same school as Hayek had.

Friedman made the same mistake as Hayek. He falsely attributed the economic
downturn to the economic system (Keynes this time) and championed a new
liberalism as the answer. But what was really happening was that we were
reaching the end of the era of cheap exploitable resources. Gold and silver had
become too expensive to mine, ecologists were warning of the dangers of
deforestation, and labor had formed unions to protect themselves and to
ensure that they got some small piece of the pie.

Strictly as a means to jump start a stagnant economy, Neoliberalism worked.
But it worked the way using jet fuel in your car works; it improves its
performance for the seven miles you get before the engine overheats and
catches fire. What many don’t realize is that we had lots of warnings before the
economic meltdown of ‘08. The government bailed out big business several
times, including the savings and loan debacle of the eighties.

It didn’t matter to those in power, because they were quite literally raking it in.
It’s now well known that Neoliberalism almost always leads to a destructive
accumulation of excess capital in too few hands. The biggest transfer of wealth
in this country was not from the top down as the Reaganites would have us
believe, but from the middle class up. There is no debate about this, the
numbers aren’t challenged, even by hard-core conservatives.

But it’s not as if Hayek and Friedman were part of some conspiracy to make the
rich richer. They were simply mistaken in their assumptions. As theorists, they
naturally tended to attribute economic conditions to a theory or a system, when
more often it’s a specific outside force that’s the deciding factor. As I said
before, Clinton did this when he attributed the boom years of 90’s to
Neoliberalism, when in fact the internet was supercharging our economy just as
the railroads had done 150 years before.

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By Psychobabbler, March 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

There is a difference between identifying an individual or group as Fascist v.s
calling the entire system Fascist, so stop twisting things to suit your arguments
Lafayette.

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By DigThis, March 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

“Gary Mont:  I don’t think its possible to bridge the disparate concerns such as those you mention above. Each special interest group tends to desire top billing in the hopes of being better heard than the others…..A good example might be the 9/11 truth movement….Its probably a lack of resource thing”


Left activism is weak exacly because it is sectarian and fragmented.  Previous movements in the US, for example, were comprised of disparate groups such as labor and civil rights that found unity in common goals.  So it is possible.  Its also the only way I can think of to actually change something. 
 
The 9/11 truth movement example you mentioned lacks an important ingredient that prevents it from becoming a popular movement.  As Howard Zinn said, the issue is interesting but has no practical political value.  Like the JFK assasination, conspiracy theories by definition can never be disproven, and therefore tend to go on idefinately with no effect on policy.  On the other hand, truth movements about how 9/11 was used to get us into Iraq, or why there are people in the world who would attack us in the first place are still important questions.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, March 30, 2011 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

The military dictatorship instilled since WWII circumventing Congressional declarations of war is still alive and well:

http://fora.tv/2010/02/10/Garry_Wills_Bomb_Power

Kennedy opposed this power behind the front of the executive office:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFGMyyRURFM&feature=related

Perhaps we can get back on topic of denouncing and bringing down the Amerikan Empire and stop the banter over arguable and debatable malarkey.

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By Arraya, March 30, 2011 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

“isms” don’t really seem to matter anymore - we currently run profitism across the
globe.  With a mix of all the old isms psychological tricks for controlling purposes. 
Our main goal “collectively” is turn as much of the world to money as fast as
possible, in a race.  That’s about it - all discussions about which “isms” the ruling
parties are resembling most or which “money-market” theorist they are taking
advice from is moot. 

Currently, this race has gone off the tracks and is ripping the planet apart.  It’s
starting to cannibalize.  Global corp is going to turn into global corpse.

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By Lafayette, March 30, 2011 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Typo: Three hundred French civilians died in WW2, as a consequence of fascism.

Should read: Two hundred sixty-seven thousand French civilians dies in WW2 as a consequence of fascism.

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By Lafayette, March 30, 2011 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

THE FIFTH AMENDMENT

RL: When discussions like this end up arguing about what are the basic facts, it has no hope of reaching any kind of resolution.

Yes, of course. Let’s have, rather, rants and tirades, polemics and mendacity. All for the joy of expressing them in print on a blog; to share their pure inanity with all and sundry.

The facts bring us closer to the truth than rampant emotions.

Don’t hide behind the 5th Amendment. It was intended to prevent the incarceration of those who spoke out against tyranny - not those who voice inanities.

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